Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management company and part of dentsu, announces that its global B2B marketing organisation, Merkle B2B, has released a behind the scenes ‘statement film’ with legal and financial firm Irwin Mitchell. The film, captured by director, Owen Tooth, wheelchair user, provides a behind the scenes look of the making of Irwin Mitchell’s new powerful campaign – The Human Touch – which features real clients sharing personal stories and highlighting the impact of case outcomes.
Global, full-service agency Merkle B2B, created the campaign and partnered with creative studio Annex and their director Oscar Cariss to bring the project to life.
Receiving the brief to ensure inclusivity was at the heart of the campaign, executive creative director Jason Fletcher, saw an opportunity not just to reflect inclusion on screen but was determined to use as fully inclusive as possible production team. The campaign included TV, photography and a suite of film, highlighting the behind the camera talent.
Oscar Carris directed the commercials, whilst the photography was shot by blind photographer, Ian Treherne, under the mentorship of Rankin. Musician Derek Paravicin who is blind and autistic, was on piano. The full production team was made up of 30 percent disabled people with 60 percent taking up senior roles, a stark contrast to the nine percent that make up the creative industry and a nod to the work that Irwin Mitchell is currently implementing to become a more inclusive employer as part of its aims to be a leading responsible business.
The core concept of the new campaign is about connecting with clients on a human level and understanding their situation. It brings to life the very personal emotions that individuals go through in moments that matter and how Irwin Mitchell have the empathy to understand and deal with. Whether clients are experiencing heightened emotions like anger and vulnerability, or more subtle emotions like doubt and insecurity, Irwin Mitchell helps them to transition to more positive state.
The clients featured include a young girl left with cerebral palsy after suffering a brain injury in a medical negligence incident. There is also a woman who took her divorce case all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for fairness, and a private client who needed advice on his tax, trusts and estates and is now receiving financial planning advice from Irwin Mitchell. The campaign creative is a very fresh approach to that seen with traditional legal advertising.
The creative approach is currently airing on TV, print and online and will be shown over the next couple of months.
Victoria Brackett, chief commercial officer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our new campaign considers the emotional transitions our clients go through as they navigate life’s ups and downs. When our clients come to us, they often display negative emotions such as concern and stress. Our personal, human approach helps turn these negative emotions into positive ones.
“Whether this means a good honest heart-to-heart with a personal injury client, taking the time to establish a deeper understanding of a business, or planning for retirement - these are the human touch moments that matter and that set us apart.
“We took an inclusive approach to producing this campaign that will change public perceptions within the broadcast industry. As well as using real clients, not actors, we’ve assembled a behind-the-camera team made up of people who are often overlooked: those with disabilities both hidden and visible. It's about giving opportunities to talented individuals who don’t always receive the opportunities they deserve.”
Jason Fletcher, the executive creative director, Merkle B2B, comments: “We are privileged to have worked on this campaign, which I have to say, has to have been one of the best experiences of my career. Meeting some of the clients and sharing some of the personal stories was so encouraging.
Then, to have discovered such brilliant disabled people to work within our truly diverse team really makes the campaign a success before it even airs. We partnered with them across our whole production including directing, photography, sound, hair and make-up, voiceover, music and editing.
“What we are really hoping for is that this inspires other creative agencies and production companies to use more disabled talent, an area that the industry has been lagging behind on for many years. This campaign is testament to the fact that differences of perspective only add richness to creative concepts, seeing Ian at work with Rankin was truly incredible. Hopefully this can drive change and open up more opportunities for a community that is often discriminated against.”
See the behind the scenes statement film here.