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Creating the Planet's Great Reset with Iris

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Picture the blank page, staring at you right before a new drawing, story or project. Scary, isn't it?

The big blank page can be daunting. It is up to creatives to fill it with all the amazing ideas we are known and paid for, driving change with our craft, shaping the future with our fingertips. The future is in our hands. Now more than ever, it is time for a Great Reset – to reflect on our actions, to pull together and make the world a better place even beyond lockdown.

The Great Reset, with a stunning film made by Iris, is just about that and much, much more. This week we are getting Behind the Idea that brought the campaign and website to life, hearing from Iris global executive creative director Grant Hunter.

The Great Reset from Iris on Vimeo.

What was the brief?

Create a call to arms for The Great Re_set. The Great Re_Set is a movement created by The Purpose Disruptors, the group behind last year’s Create & Strike. A cross-agency, network that is starting to show how collaboration rather than competition can create real, lasting change for the good of society and our planet. Led by Jonathan, Lisa, Tom, Ben and many others, the PD network ran a series of workshops that challenged creative minds to come up with ideas for The Great Re_Set. The Great Re_Set looks to #CreateTheReset. An industry call-to-arms that asks us to reset ourselves, reset our work and reset our impact.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

The virtual creative sessions saw creatives from across companies come together to explore possible narratives; along with ideas of ways to get the creative industries to step up and take action.

At Iris we picked up the gauntlet and looked at how we could bring the call to arms to life. Covid-19 has given us the opportunity to test drive an alternative future, one that’s resulted in a staggering reduction in emission levels of 7%, which the UN states is the same annual reduction required to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. We need to maintain many of the changes we’ve made during this ‘pause’ if we have any hope of hitting that target.

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

The great, big blank page is what we face as creatives every day and many of us struggle with that inner turmoil about the greater effect that irresponsible consumption has. Our creativity has the power to influence behaviour. So we developed the narrative for the launch film in three chapters. The first reminds us of the power our creativity has, but questions why we rarely take stock to really think about its effect. The second acknowledges Covid’s role in giving us a moment to pause and the positive behaviours it has encouraged during the ‘new normal’. The Final Chapter presents the opportunity we have – the great big, blank page. Our opportunity to reimagine, to reset the way we live and to question what we influence.

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

The Great Reset launch film is in itself a glimpse of what’s possible when you recycle stock and remix it to create something new. It was all created in-house with our Iris design and animation studio led by Lolly, Dave and Phil.

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

Join The Great Reset. Get involved. Visit www.greatreset.com. Use your creativity to influence behaviour. Have the conversation with your agency, your peers, your clients. Join one of the virtual gatherings and pledge what you can.

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

A challenging two-week development timeline from script to final film saw rapid development in multiple work streams. The Identity and a website were also developed in parallel to the film.

We had limited budget, lockdown conditions and no time. The script went through multiple iterations to fine tune the messaging. Art direction routes were explored simultaneously with production quality at the very forefront of our minds. By using stock, a mix of footage and stills (big thank you to Shutterstock for supporting the production) with a restricted palate we created a world that could flex through the three chapters. Each designer took a different scene all working to an overall design direction. Daily teams calls kept the design and animation team of nine connected and on track. Al, our animation lead, burnt some serious hours and his dedication is exactly the passion that this movement needs.

Our creativity has the power to influence behaviour

With the animation in full swing we then turned our attention to the music. I had been in a podcast session with Gas, a music outfit up in Manchester, where we’d had a great chat as part of their Having a Gas series, but the session hadn’t recorded. That led to a conversation between Greg and I about latest projects and we got on to the Great Reset. Gas jumped on it and composed six demos in 24 hours. We then refined this down to two front runners over the next 48 hours. Gas also then found the VO talent from the Giles Peterson Worldwide FM crew. Selassie one of the future bubblers was the perfect fit, an authentic voice from the creative community.

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What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

That we collectively pull together as a creative industry and forget about competition. Through collaboration we can fast forward the conversation and encourage action, so we have a chance to keep our collective emissions down.

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

This is just the start. The hard work begins now but the initial response has been super positive and the number of pledges builds on a daily basis.

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