A campaign by Uncommon
Sustainable footwear and apparel brand, Allbirds, have appointed Uncommon as lead creative partner on a project basis. The brief to Uncommon was to craft an attention grabbing campaign for the brand’s environmentally friendly, ZQ-certified Wool Runners range ahead of this year’s gifting season. The new work showcases an unexpected product demo of the brand’s trainers highlighting just how light they really are.
The product demo opens to a pair of Allbirds floating mid-air set to a heavy drum beat. As the shoes float, the camera slowly pulls back to reveal an installation — the trainers are on a platform connected to four cords actually attached to four balloons being held aloft by some leaf blowers. A balloon pops and the Allbirds Wool Runners fall into their (recycled) box — the copy reads: Give Light. Tread Lighter — a nod to the low carbon footprint linked with making a pair of Allbirds (7.6 KG).
The work was directed by Chris Cairns through Partizan and was shot with no tricks or gimmicks. The production process involved building the custom-designed installation to make the shoes float for real. The demo playfully combines science and design to capture and highlight the defining feature of the shoes, their lightness. The idea focuses on shooting the installation in one live moment, to further emphasise the demo working for real and therefore allow the product to continuously float in mid-air. The film also includes other key nods to the brand including an NZ backdrop outside the barn in shot.
Let there be light.
“This campaign was about the challenge of showing how light our shoes weigh, while balancing being light on the planet,” said Allbirds head of creative, Alex Valdman.
“The challenge with this was how do you tell two stories in a simple and elegant way. The result is an irreverent spot that begs all of us to tread a little lighter during the holidays. We’re excited to continue to find fresh ways to tell stories around the benefits of natural materials with help from our friends at Uncommon.”
The San Francisco-based footwear, and now apparel, company with New Zealand origins launched in March 2016 with a vertical retailing model and quickly gained a reputation for quality and comfort of the shoes as well as being commended for their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Every pair of Allbirds Wool Runners is made with ZQ-certified merino wool, ethically sourced from New Zealand farms renowned for their commitment to animal welfare and care for the natural world. Wool that’s soft, cozy, warm but breathable. And remarkably light. But these trainers aren’t just light on your feet, they’re also light on the planet. The standard sneaker emits 12.5 kg CO2e. Allbirds average shoe emits 7.6 kg CO2e.
The new campaign, launching end of November ahead of the festive season, will run across key global markets including the US, UK, Korea, Germany and France. The work will feature across media such as TV, online and social.
Project name: Tread Lighter
Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Production company: Partizan
Director: Chris Cairns
Editor: Chris Cairns
Producer: Emily Crofton
DOP: Dan Lowe
Post-production: Time Based Arts
VFX Supervisor: Sheldon Gardner
VFX Artists: Sheldon Gardner, Stephen Grasso, Jamie Crofts, Will Robinson
Colourist: Lewis Crossfield
Soundtrack composer: Soundtree
Audio post-production: Soundtree
Media agency: Allbirds (in-house)