From the emotive Add Hope campaign made from children’s drawings, to the grand party that is Cell C “Believe” – Darling proves once again that no challenge is too big for versatile director Jono Hall…
The journey one takes with Cell C through this mini-movie is quite simply magical. Starting in a miserable, rain-soaked Cape Town CBD, our protagonist quickly bursts his way into a wild ride of crazy new experiences, all when he pushes the “Believe” button on his phone.
He’s taken through a whirlwind of glamorous yacht parties, and an AfrikaBurn-esque carnival. He’s swooned over by a bevy of gorgeous women, kisses a mystical mermaid and climactically lands up on stage at a massive concert in the desert, not too shabby a way to spend the day, right?
True to form, the making of this commercial was a whirlwind in itself, totalling 168 sleepless hours, 40 rolls of duct tape, 75 bunches of bananas, 30 litres of paint, an elephant called Eleanor and more cups of coffee than our dear president could possibly count out loud, just for starters…
So here was the brief: create a commercial that tells the story of a sad, isolated child who grows and develops into a happy and positive human being over time, with the help of good nourishment.
Sounds pretty straight-forward right? Well here comes the catch; tell that entire story through the drawings of children…
Darling Films and Director Jono Hall knew that the natural creativity that children innately have could end up making something really special, and so were incredibly keen to take on the challenge and the leap of faith required to do a job like this. This meant letting the children at Africa Tikkun, one of the beneficiaries of KFC’s Add Hope, be the major creative force in the telling of the story.
Under the guidance and supervision of psychologist Juliana Mendonca, the children were asked to draw characters and interpretations of their world – basically set free with as much paper and crayons as their hearts could desire.
And after roughly two weeks and 1000 drawings by 250 children, they started the process of choosing the specific drawings that would be used in the commercial.
You can imagine that this process was quite frightening to begin with, as there was really no telling what was going to come back. As a result Jono and the Ogilvy team had to go on the journey with hardly any preconceived ideas of what the ultimate story was actually going to be, letting the children’s pictures be the guiding light.
But as soon as the first incredible pictures started to come in and the elements started to fall into place, the team knew that the faith in the kids was going to pay off. Jono’s approach was to build a world that starts as a dark, colourless, onimous place – that through the course of the commercial, emerges into a bright, happy one, filled with laughter and friends and colour. They blended a “pop-up book” style of real backgrounds, created as a set, lit and shot with film cameras, after which Jannes Hendricks animated the little hero character into the footage of those sets. Together they ultimately brought this whole journey to life, carefully creating emotions and a real spark of life out of what started out as a simple picture drawn by a child.
See the end result here, made by the hands of children and crafted by Jono Hall:
The new Metro FM campaign from King James II directed by Darling Ross Garrett is a powerful, moving piece that captures a pivotal moment in a live music performance. The commercial is the latest in the line of impactful spots for this brand.
Ross’s approach, from casting through to sound design, played an imperative part in adding to the amazing atmosphere captured. From the very start he placed noteworthy emphasis on both audio and visual elements, working on both concurrently to create the beautiful end result. Audio was outsourced to Amsterdam in the search for a fresh take.
To put it all together Darling’s team leveraged off an existing live event in Zone 6 in order to capture the real magic of the crowd and ensure an authentic atmosphere and mood in the commercial. Ross’s passion for his craft is evident in every frame of this spot as he captures a meaningful “moment in time”.
“Dream Census”, a commercial shot for the National Lottery with Network BBDO, was the first Darling job by Ross Garrett.
What is a dream? Ross went road-tripping through the Cape, Karoo and back to Johannesburg to capture the inception of a dream through a series of deeply considered and carefully crafted imagery. Every detail from casting through to each moment of the magical cross-country journey oozed style and dripped emotion. The result? A spot that moves, engages and, in one way or another, resonates.
“Ross gave a script, that on paper could’ve easily ended as a montage of clichés, a raw edge and emotion that delivered both a beautiful spot and a perfectly established tone of the broader campaign,” said the Network BBDO team.
During her first year at Darling Films, Darling Jeana Theron and Hunt Lascaris TBWA have received a D&AD Pencil and a Cannes Finalist for the MSF campaign.
Having been well respected, both locally and internationally, for her beauty and aesthetic work, Jeana has focused on broadening her reel into more performance and conceptual filmmaking, resulting in a diversified body of work that shows there is no stopping her passion for the craft.
The latest Darling Jeana reel includes a broad spectrum of work; from the dramatic MSF spots for Doctors without Borders (see the case study below) to a lighter look at the relationship between a father and his daughters for DSTV.
Darling Director Chloe Coetsee got in touch with her ‘softer side’ when she was invited to direct a moving and authentic commercial for Ogilvy Johannesburg and KFC.
The concept of the commercial is based on the real-world truth of single parent families that get to spend very little time together due to real-world demands. In this spot, the mother works night shift in a hospital and only sees her kids as she arrives home in the mornings. Chloe wanted to set this in a fresh environment, which meant the Darling team headed off to shoot in Clarens. In order to ensure the integrity of the story, Chloe only shot in the early morning and late afternoon.
We love this spot, which once again shows Chloe’s skill with performance and versatility as a director. Watch the Director’s Cut here:
When London based agency, FCB Inferno, wanted to make a spot for Grants whisky that broke off the well-worn path of ‘adverts-with-dudes-in-suits-in-a-cigar-lounge-looking-constipated’ – they found Jono Hall through a wonderful instance of serendipity. Because, with a blazing soundtrack, fresh styling and a flowing camera, he crafted them a spot that’s as fresh and smooth as Grants whisky itself.
In the search for the ultimate refreshment Darling Chloe Coetsee and Ogilvy went as far as New Zealand in the 1st of a series of commercials for Sprite.
The concept called for Sbu and Laz to look for a way to demonstrate the ultimate refreshment of Sprite by jumping into an icy lake, using a visual language reminiscent of “myth busters”. The location: Lake Hope, Queenstown, New Zealand. The team from Darling; Ogilvy and Khaya Dlanga from Coke were airlifted up the mountain to reach the Lake.
“Refreshing like that” was really taken to heart as Laz leapt into a hole created in the snow on this beautiful location.
Chloe and Ogilvy also shot a fun package of short inserts for the Internet that will run parallel with this spot (coming soon).
When you’re launching a new TV channel with the tagline “Out of this World TV” – you need an ad that is just that.
Black River FC wrote a script for a South African SciFi movie and then asked Jono Hall and Louis Minnaar to basically go and have as much fun in space as they possibly could.
Now, anybody who’s seen “the Voyages of Captain Makhamisa and the Vuzu Amp Starship” will have no doubt that they took that brief very seriously indeed.
Louis Minnaar championed the Spaceship Design (including the spaceship interior) and took care of all of the the Graphics, while Jono Hall got some hilarious and unforgettable performances out of the actors.