Your Shot: Humour Helps Heimat and HORNBACH Take Aim at Privacy in 2016
Personal freedom is limited in 2016 life - and it’s with this in mind that Germany agency Heimat devised ‘Your project only belongs to you’ for HORNBACH. Directed by British director Ian Pons Jewell via Berlin production company Anorak, the main spot shows a frenzied protagonist scrambling through various emotional states brought on by his DIY endeavours. It’s a campaign with a serious backbone and amusing muscle. LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with Heimat copywriter Nico Blättry to find out more.
LBB> What was the strategic thinking behind ‘Your project only belongs to you’?
NB> When it comes to HORNBACH the project itself is at the very core of it. It’s essential because it sprouts from necessity. You do something for a reason, it gives you a purpose somehow. To keep this value as fresh as possible, we try new angles and put it in ever-changing contexts. Therefore the strategy as always was ‘observing’ on a daily basis. Observing people, observing culture, observing today’s mentality and putting it all together within a relevant story that people would talk about and identify with.
LBB> There’s quite a political edge to the campaign - highlighting the invasion of people’s privacy and such. Why was it right for HORNBACH to get involved in that conversation?
NB> In general you could say, ‘when it speaks from the soul it’s right’. So HORNBACH has always been a brand that has got involved in topics which are ‘larger than life’ and concern the human being itself. Of course there’s a political edge to it from time to time, but as a motivator for DIYers, we talk about the positive aspects – the things no one can take away from you, instead of all the bullshit you have to put up with everyday. As said in the TVC – ‘Leave everything behind. Do whatever you want.’ Politics, laws, restrictions and all that are left aside during the project. It’s pure work. It’s freedom.
LBB> I love the underlying humour of the whole thing though - how tricky was it to balance that with the more serious themes within the film?
NB> It came naturally because, besides all this drudgery, of course DIY is fun too. People do a lot of funny and weird stuff when no one is watching – when shame is non-existent. It’s a huge part of being free and doing whatever you want, so it blended in pretty well with the other themes.
LBB> What inspired each emotional state we see the protagonist in? Was it a case of the agency drawing from personal experience?
NB> Absolutely. We talked a lot about freedom in general and the different emotions connected to it. Everyone knows what it’s like to be home alone. It’s a special feeling. But on top of that we also asked the community – the HORNBACH fans – in advance if they had any rituals when they were working on their projects. So it was mutual inspiration between the agency and real DIYers.
LBB> Why was Ian Pons Jewell the right director to bring this idea to life?
NB> He was the cheapest. Just kidding. Ian has done a lot of visually outstanding music videos in the past, which was just what this concept needed. He had some great approaches in how to work out the different moods and themes. Working with him was great – also because of the nice cat t-shirts he wore during the shoot.
LBB> Who is the English voiceover? And why did you go for that quintessentially English sound?
NB> John Standing lent us his spectacular voice. The English sound gave the almost poetic copy a very erratic touch, which fit well with the concept.
LBB> The print and OOH is ‘surprisingly restrained’ according to the press release. Can you explain that?
NB> Being able to do whatever you want and letting yourself go is just one side of the medal. Being alone with yourself, private and intimate is the other. So we took a step back, gave the protagonists space and air to breath. It’s only them and their individual project – no distractions, no one else. We felt like print was the right medium to show that.
LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
NB> Fitting all of the scenes into one minute. But it worked out somehow.