Workshop

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Art Direction in Isolation with Great State

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Who said you need a full crew and exotic locations to make a successful social campaign?

What started as a bet with Great State's MD quickly turned into one of the funniest and most creative projects we've seen during lockdown. Using nothing but random objects lying around the house, Great State creative director Jack Ashdown and managing director Neil Collard put together some quite impressive shots for their clients' social campaigns – though it looks like it was Jack who won the challenge.

And it is precisely with Jack that we are catching up for this Behind the Idea, for a fresh take on social imagery showing that creativity knows no boundaries.

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How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

It actually started as a bet between me and our MD Neil Collard - who could come up with the best bit of social content for our clients over the weekend? At the time we were in full “do not leave the house” lockdown so the concepting was a couple of Teams calls with the creative department, a couple of sketches, and we were off looking for random things around the house. By Monday I was ready to collect my £10 from Neil

Tell us more about the concept. Why was it the right choice?

We just wanted to bring a little escapism to our isolation and prove to ourselves that creativity and constraint can be fun

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What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

It was interesting to see how everyday household objects can look very different through a macro lens. As soon as you zoom right into something, it takes on another form entirely; plants become forests, torches become studio lights. I spent hours picking up random objects around the house and looking at them through the camera; pans, plants, stationary, toys… This DIY crockery-and-clutter approach to photoshoots isn’t without its challenges though; holding a camera whilst balancing a pot-plant and torch in the other hand is tricky, and cats make terrible production assistants.

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What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter? 

Sometimes it’s good not to overthink things. Agencies and clients are often very precious about ‘the process’ so it was fun just doing things on a more ad-hoc basis, working it out as we went, without an exact end product in mind.

What is one unique fact about the campaign? 

No photoshopping was allowed, and we could only use objects we found around the house. 

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How long did it take from inception to delivery? 

A weekend! 

How satisfying is it to see it out there after so much hard work?

I’m just relieved I beat the MD.


Jack Ashdown is creative director at Great State.
 

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