Following the release of our recent work with MullenLowe and TRESemmé, director Kim Jacobs shares her experience on the project.
When MullenLowe and TRESemmé came to me with this campaign, I was immediately drawn in by their desire to cast women for who they really are, and not just what they looked like. We hear clients wanting real people all the time, but unfortunately for one reason or another they lose sight of this along the way. Upon speaking with Karen Ellis, the ECD at MullenLowe, she explained how genuine the clients were, and we both got excited by what could be our process and the results ahead.
I love women. They have a different way of moving in the world influenced by expectations, culture and perceptions of them which creates very unique layers of wisdom, grace, grit and humor that is such beautiful humanity. When I get the opportunity as a director to genuinely connect with women and capture them in images that represent them for all they are, it’s really inspiring.
We dove in deep during casting to find authentic women who were willing to share their genuine selves - not just their gorgeous hair. Finding women who can be vulnerable and authentic in front of a camera is tricky. There were a lot of laughs, some tears and so many honest moments of bravery that came from women showing up and allowing us to see all of them. It was disruptive and uncomfortable to some of the women who were expecting us to ask for profiles and not a back story. It’s a time consuming and unconventional approach but one that allowed us to meet and ultimately cast so many incredible women.
Our “talent” became our friends and as friends do, we listened deeply. We heard what they do for fun, what scares them, who inspire them, what they would fight for, and all the work they are engaged in doing outside performing. We found women who had experience and loved being on camera, but who also ran online businesses, were accomplished industrial designers, had recently mastered in mathematics, ran a bespoke travel company, and had taken leaps and risks in their lives to pursue the things they believed in.
We created a relaxed atmosphere on set where everyone felt safe and that allowed for surprises, spontaneity and fun. We also had all of women on set every day. They became friends with each other, they sat with me by the monitor and each day we inspired each other to be more adventurous and have more fun. The project had so many moving parts with specific, unique market considerations that it could have been very tempting and easier to slot our talent into a massive production puzzle. We managed to balance the complexity and the scale of the project with an ease and playfulness which translated to all the moments we captured.
Everyone in the process supported our approach to make these authentic ads. Our crew in South Africa was tremendous. Their talent and support allowed us to execute this TRESemme campaign with genuine care and fun. It was one of those experiences where things just come together effortlessly (with a lot of effort) and I’m grateful to all of the amazing people who we collaborated with.
You can watch one of the seven spots we made with the brand on the right, and see more of Kim's work here