You probably know this by now about Ad Nut's species. Squirrels are, admittedly, voyeuristic by nature. Perched up on a branch, hidden by foliage, squirrels have a natural vantage point with which to stare through people's windows at those luscious, curved cashews you continue to tease and tempt with by bringing to your lips but then putting them back down to leave in that bowl by your bedside table just sitting there–my God, what's wrong with you people!
Give Ad Nut a moment.
This is probably a good time to underline what may be okay for squirrels is not okay for people. But setting aside the genuine creeps, Ad Nut recognises that many humans, while they may not seek it out, can be are easily captivated if they encounter anothers' private moments, just because it gives them a glimpse into the true nature of their relationship.
Which brings us to 'Undressing Softness,' Skyn condoms' latest brand film and campaign in Japan ahead of Valentine's Day. Conceptualised by independent creative agency UltraSuperNew, it brought several Japanese couples together on camera who were given envelopes with instructions on what to do with their partner.
Each task, from holding hands, looking into each other's eyes or hugging one another, led to greater levels of intimacy until they were told to remove each others' clothing except their underwear, as seen in the film above.
It's meant to be eye-opening, not just for the viewers, but for the couples who by concentrating on one another will find new levels of recognition and intimacy.
But what's interesting about the film is the empathy it elicits. The couples are nervous and rightly so. They don't know what they'll be asked to do next and they have to do it publicly. This becomes even more apparent for the thousands who viewed the film on an OOH digital billboard at Tokyo's busy Shibuya station.
What comes out in these 'forced' intimate exercises is a 'real' sense of bonding and closer intimacy from the couple since they're in the situation together and have to show trust in one another. For those looking in on these real moments, the film comes across more sweet and loving, than sensual or sexual, which is different for a condom brand.
While the brand knew that an OOH campaign featuring half naked couples would create a strong hook but created concerns around media placement, they nonetheless felt that the nature of the film would help it to be viewed in the right context.
"We wanted something that creates more than just impact," said Annie Hou, senior manager of business development for APAC LifeStyles. "Something that reveals the soft but yet strong connection between couples."
"As we were planning this experiment-ish idea, we didn’t give out any information to the couples so they were definitely in for a surprise," added Yousuke Ozawa, Creative Director, UltraSuperNew. "But as the directions in the envelope eased them into the real topic, every couple were comfortable undressing each other. One couple immediately smiled, other couples became very tense and other couples were completely open to it, as if they couldn’t wait to start. Every couple had a different reaction to the envelope."
Continuing, Ozawa notes: "What we found interesting was, after they took everything off (besides their underwear), all four couples hugged each other without any instructions from the director or from the envelope, as if they were pulled together."
Client – SKYN
Annie Hou – Business Development APAC
Agency – UltraSuperNew
Creative Director: Yousuke Ozawa
Art Director: Rebecca Chen
Copywriter: Issei Usui
Producer: Daiki Shimizu
Web Producer: Mana Shigeki
Web Producer: Alex Watanabe
Producer: Alex Schmidt
Production company – Boomachine
Director: Marc-Antoine Astier
DoP: Christoph Gelep
Producer: Miyuki Maruoka
AC: Arnaud Sarniguet
Media – Hit Vision and DAC
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