Matthew Miller
Feb 7, 2017

Have you heard the one about love that lasts forever?

Cleverly produced love story out of Australia has a hidden agenda.

Have you heard the one about love that lasts forever?

Spoiler alert: This is a case where you may want to watch the film before reading further.

In a clever film for Cochlear by CHE Proximity, a couple's life together plays out in a way that will make it increasingly difficult for those with hearing loss to follow the plot as the film goes on. Did their love endure, or falter over the decades? Your answer may depend on your hearing ability.

The client, which sells implantable hearing devices, wants to dramatise the impact hearing loss can have on communication and relationships. The film does so using not only sound design but also editing that purposely cuts away from facial expressions that would clue one in while showing body language that's designed to make it seem like the couple's adoration has faded.   

To target a generally older crowd, the agency first placed the film in cinemas that were playing Oscar favourite ‘Lion’, and claims the film led to opposite reactions among the watchers. 

Campaign Asia-Pacific's comments: The fine print explicitly says the film should not be considered a real hearing test, and we suspect almost everyone would have trouble understanding the conversations toward the end. Nonetheless it's an effective dramatisation of a condition that impacts quality-of-life significantly and tends to engender denial in sufferers.

Unfortunately, the online presentation of the film seems to indicate an odd lack of confidence. You can't find the film anywhere except on the official website, where the company's logo and the title of the page in your browser ("A film designed to test your hearing | Cochlear") give away the game rather than letting the film work as intended. There's also a "trailer", but that too appears on YouTube with a title that acts as a spoiler. It seems a shame to go to such lengths to make the film and then give away its secret. A more stealthy approach would have given the work a chance and, given people's love of a mystery, been more shareable. 

For those who may be interested, here's a making of video:


Client: Cochlear Limited
Shaun Hand, General Manager, Cochlear Australia/ New Zealand
Linda Ballam-Davies, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Cochlear Australia/New Zealand
Kerryn Burke, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Cochlear Asia Pacific
Kate Harrison, Social Media Manager, Cochlear Asia Pacific
Emma Ramsay, Clinical Education Manager & Audiologist, Cochlear Asia Pacific

Agency: CHE Proximity
Chris Howatson, CEO
David Halter, Managing Partner
Mariana Rice, Group Account Director
Alice Jamieson, Senior Account Manager
Harry Manion, Account Executive
Ant White, Executive Creative Director
Brian Jefferson, Group Creative Director
Ben Stainlay, Creative Director
Jake Blood, Junior Art Director
Anne Lau, Junior Copywriter
Tori Taylor, Executive Producer
Elizabeth Geor, Head of Experience
Daniel Bradley, Head of Investment
Christina Webb, Trading Manager
Cameron Dinnie, Head of Programmatic & Data Partnerships
Lily Tidy, Strategic Planner
Jen Livingston – Senior TV Producer
Sam Mitchell / Damian Capicchiano- Additional Editing
Jamie Metcalfe, Digital Products Director
Blair Patterson, Digital Producer
Eddy Milfort, Senior Digital Designer
Rollo Hardy, Digital Designer
Glade Kettle, Digital Developer

PR agency:  PR Edge
Nichola Patterson, National Managing Director
Amber Petty, Senior Account Director
Clare McInerney, Account Manager
Tess Vallance, Account Coordinator

Pete Baker, Screenwriter/Director, The Glue Society
Revolver/Will O'Rourke, Production Company
Michael Ritchie, Managing Director/EP
Josh Mullens, EP/Head of Projects
Jasmin Helliar, Producer
Stefan Duscio, DOP
Philip Horn, Editor
Noise International, Sound Studio
Erin Maxwell, Production Manager
Kathleen Burrows, Sound Designer
Bruce Heald, Composer

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