Havas, UNIT9 Films and LS Productions partner with Vanish to reduce landfill waste
Created by Havas and produced by UNIT9 Films, ‘Vanish: Love for Longer’ is a 20-second spot that encourages social change by proving a stain should not be the end of your clothes. Vanish reveal the backdrop to a sustainable project where they encourage the recycling of clothes that would typically go to landfill sites. LS Productions worked closely with UNIT9 Films and Havas on the production, securing the authentic landfill site for the documentary-style call-to-arms commercial.
Directed by UNIT9 Films directing duo Greg & Jacob, the film opens on a landfill site that spans endless mountains of debris, stretching far into the distance. This narrative runs alongside the shocking fact that ‘every year UK families throw away over 300,000 tonnes of clothing’. To urge families to spare landfill by starting in the family home, the narrative cuts to show a mother using the clothing detergent to clean her families stained garments – rather than discarding them. In a call to action the advert ends with the statement ‘If we play our small part, we can reduce landfill together’.
Directors Greg & Jacob comment: “We were drawn to the idea that a massive brand like Vanish wanted to shift gears and stimulate social change. For them it didn’t feel like just advertising a product; it’s an opportunity to start a movement. We loved the approach focussing on the Vanish team on the ground, scouring the vast landfills for wasted clothing. Mysterious ‘scientists’ picking through giant piles of rubbish is certainly not something we see every day so, we needed to maximise the scale of the operation and give the audience a sense of mystery.”
The production team faced challenges in gaining permission to use landfill spots in England to shoot the commercial. However, LS Productions, who had serviced Stella McCartney’s Winter 2017 campaign on the same location, was brought on board and enabled access to the Scotland-based site.
As members of AdGreen, an organisation that supports the advertising industry to adopt environmentally sustainable production methods, LS Productions was passionate about the commercial. Sarah Drummond, Executive Producer at LS Productions says: “It is really important to us to be involved with a project that promotes sustainable approaches – like bringing clothes back to life instead of needlessly discarding them.”
For the directors it was important that the action was not only real but would illustrate an achievable goal on both a domestic and industrial scale: “Our background is in documentary film, so this whole campaign felt like a match made in heaven. Our goal was to make the connection between the industrial and the domestic - to show that you, at home, have the power to change the way we do things, creating a clear visual and thematic difference between problem and solution. We love working with real people and the whole piece had a loose doco approach that we enjoy.” Say Greg & Jacob.
Whilst the spot provided the perfect location for the film there were some challenges to be expected with working on a landfill. Sarah Drummond, Executive Producer at LS Productions explains: “As we had experience with working on this location we were well-prepared to accommodate the crew. We ensured the team were kitted out with wellies and used masks with essential oils to cover the scent!”