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When I was a teenager I had no real idea what I wanted to do. Later on in life, I thought I wanted to be a fiction writer. And now, at almost thirty - well, I'm closer than ever to finding that right fit as an advertising creative. But thinking back to those fearful days when the future seemed open, bright and limitless and yet at the same time labyrinthine and confusing - these uplifting videos would have certainly had a positive effect.
Collaborating with The Guardian and Rolex, Longform has created a series of portrait films: Where I Went Right. The series explores the careers of four British innovators in their respective fields. Explorer: Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Space Scientist: Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Anatomist: Alice Roberts and father of the Web, no-less, Sir Tim Berner-Lee. The famous interviewees provide valuable insight and inspirational advice for the next generation of pioneers- " If only we had career advisors like these at school".
What I find particularly interesting here is that while these videos were sponsored (and I'm reading that as paid for for Rolex), there's no branding whatsoever. The thematic link is there - a life well lived is one in which time is valued and spent wisely - but beyond that, they really don't feel like 'branded content'. Because they're not. So is this the future: advertising without advertising? How does one justify this sort of expense at a strategic level? At any rate, these videos are a pleasure to watch and I suggest you check them out below.
It's also worth mentioning that Sennep, the company which developed the website showcasing these films, boasts:
Taking a 'mobile first' approach, Sennep designed and developed this elegant interactive around the heart of the project: the videos. On mobile and tablet devices we took full advantage of touch screen, allowing you to swipe and tap through speakers and clips or just sit back and watch the videos end-to-end. On desktop, videos play full width in the browser - uninterrupted unless you move your mouse. Sharing via social media was a key requirement for the project, and at any point you can share single clips or the full video.
Since we use our phones with their big lovely HD screens for so much internet browsing nowadays, it's fascinating that more and more experiences like this are being designed with a UXP focussed mobile first view. In terms of consumer browsing behaviour it makes sense, and I'd wager we're going to see a lot more of it in the future. As an agency, I think there must be quite a difference between saying "We can optimise for mobile" and "We can deliver a scaleable mobile first experience". One seems like an add-on, the other more of a strategic response to consumer behaviour.
Anyone can change everything, but to be successful you need to make the most of the time you have.
I really enjoyed these films; an inspiring kick to get you out of bed on a Sunday morning. I'm still not getting dressed, though.
For the Guardian
Commissioning editor - Robin Hough
Creative director - Alistair Campbell
Commercial lead - Matthew Race
Producer - Ivor Sims
Writer and Director - Yannakis Jones at Longform
Executive producer - Hannah Cooper
Editor - Dan Lumb at th1ng
Colourist - Danny Atkinson at th1ng
Post Production - th1ng
Music for Sir Ranulph, Sir Tim and Alice - Mutant Jukebox
Music for Maggie - Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
Mixed by - Farrell Lennon at Audio Monkey
Creative director - Matt Rice
Technical director/Developer- Christoph Lorenzi
Project manager - Talia Richardson
Designer - Duarte Fernandes
Developer - Chi-chun Chang