- Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018
It’s not so easy for a commercial about constipation relief to bring a smile to one’s face, but that’s exactly what Thinking Machine’s Docter Twins have accomplished with their new campaign for Senokot Max out of Havas London.
Award-winning directors Matt and Jason Docter tackle one of life’s most inconvenient ailments, striking a humorous tone in this lighthearted, playful musical. Shot in Prague, the charming spot celebrates how everyday activities like going to the gym or grocery shopping can feel incredibly freeing when you’re living a "wonderfully regular life."
“The new positioning ‘feel the freedom’ drove the team to tell this story,” explains Havas London Senior Planner Rosanna Owen. “Talking to consumers we really understood how held back they were. Celebrating getting back to regular was a much more positive and exciting creative angle for this campaign. The musical element is a great execution of that ‘spring back in your step’ feeling!"
Being a musical, the most important piece of the puzzle was nailing the song. Starting with a melody Havas London creative Tom Manning composed for the original pitch, the team then enlisted Stuart Hancock of London-based music house A-MNEMONIC to hone in on the tone of the track, resulting in the upbeat and celebratory feeling achieved in the ad.
The Docter Twins wanted the singing to feel naturally imperfect and off-the-cuff, leading them to record the singers live on the shoot day. Recording each take as the actors sang along with the track via a hidden earwig, they were able to capture a spirited, natural delivery rather than a slick, artificial studio quality.
Of the collaboration, Jason Docter remarks, “The lovely creatives and agency producer from Havas London were a dream to work with — smart, artistic, and incredibly dedicated. They trusted and valued our opinions throughout the process and we luckily got to spend a lot of time together in Prague, which was an incredible experience.”
The song and dance number for Senokot Max is supplemented by an additional spot “Garden of Gutfulness” for Senocalm, the brand’s IBS gas related symptoms relief capsules. The location and talent were key for bringing to life this playful ad, which conveys the zen-like mental calm. Taking place in a lush garden, an approachable young woman promotes the enlightened state of achieving “gutfulness” as she glides on a rope swing, skips stones in a pond, and indulges in a bit of topiary art.
Spot-on casting led the team to actress Emma Connell, who brought a measured composure and serene quality to the dialogue. The audience is keenly aware she is talking about a bowel movement, yet her natural charm and cunningness shines through. By leaning into the humanity of a woman finding respite from her IBS, the Docter Twins expertly translate the message of the product with an unexpected dose of humor and whimsy.
The Senokot campaign comes fresh off a debut showing for the Docter Twins at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Their humor-driven “Data in Dollars” campaign for Xfinity won two Silver Lions for Data-Driven Targeting (Creative Data and Media Lions) and a Bronze Lion for Social – Targeted Communication (Mobile Lions), among five shortlisted entries.
Watch “Wonderfully Regular” here: https://vimeo.com/279293619
Watch “Garden of Gutfullness” here: https://vimeo.com/278790790
Screenwork Credits Senokot “Wonderfully Regular”
Category Manager GI UK: Florence Paoli, Brand Manager: Ivona Dimitrova
Agency: Havas London
ECD: Elliot Harris, Creative Director: Dave Mygind, Creative: Tom Manning, Account Director: Matt Ramage, Account Manager: Sophie Amodio, Agency producer (film): Sarah Sharp, Agency assistant producer: Mary Musasa, Strategy Partner: Chantelle Begley, Senior Planner: Rosanna Owen, Junior Planner: Oli Stogdale
Media agency: Zenith
Production company: Savage
Producer: Petr Moravec, Director: Docter Twins, Director of Photography: Filip Marek, Production Designer: Pavel Kout
Post-production: Big Buoy
Editor (Prague): Tomas Klimek, Editor (London): Russell Oxenden
Music House: A-MNEMONIC
Soundtrack composer: Stuart Hancock @ A-Mnemonic
Audio post-production: Dave Cooper @ Scramble
UK/S/0818/0013. Senokot Max Strength, for short terms occasional constipation. Contains Senna. Senocalm is a medical device. Always read the instructions.