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Moving forward...Sh-boom, sh-boom...Reg Lascaris

Doesn't it feel good to move forward?
Sure does; and our client Standard Bank is now sharing that feeling with TV audiences all over Africa.

The bank's new 60-second brand ad 'Moving Forward' really does move you and ... sh-boom, sh-boom can't help but sing along to the soundtrack of that 50s doo-wop classic, "Sh-Boom, Life Could Be a Dream" by The Crew Cuts, 1954.

Emotion like this is not usually associated with financial services advertising, but traditional sector conventions have just been disrupted for good.

The commercial rapidly featured on 'Shots', the global web showcase for top creative work. I'm not surprised. The universal appeal of Standard Bank's 'Moving Forward' proposition could hardly have been conveyed in a more compelling way.

Standard Bank's brief to our Johannesburg agency was to develop a concept that would capture the essence of what the bank is all about and how the bank helps customers move forward - and bring its meaning to life. We all move forward but just in different ways and at different times and this is what we wanted to communicate.

Standard Bank has been moving forward for over 150 years, but doesn't bore viewers with a history lesson. Instead, we are engaged and entertained by a tuneful reprise of moving-forward moments that apparently put the Sh-boom lyrics into the mouths of historical figures.

We move to the shuffle-beat of The Crew Cuts soundtrack from the first manned air flights more than 100 years ago right up to the ultra-modern radio telescope dishes clustered in the present-day Karoo.

In between, we see clips of the first mass-produced cars, the young Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, the suffragette movement, Ghandi, Winston Churchill, the end of World War Two, TV in its infancy, early space launches from Cape Canaveral, the end of colonialism, a young Miriam Makeba, pioneer heart surgeon Chris Barnard, our first democratic elections, Ghanaian independence and African sporting triumphs and even a bopping baby, on You-tube.

Figures have been inserted into the footage in historically correct attire and hair to sing the Sh-boom song and the 'Life could be a dream' refrain. Entire stadiums appear to erupt into song. Countless extras were choreographed in some street scenes.

The technique - inserts into historic footage - was used in 'Forrest Gump', but I can't recall it being applied in quite this way in a TV commercial.

The ad soon featured on social media and consumers picked up the vibe by posting their moving forward moments on the Standard Bank website. The campaign is also supported locally and in other African countries through outdoor executions.

It's a ground-breaking concept and I applaud everyone connected with it - Standard Bank marketers, the creative, account and strategic personnel at our Johannesburg agency and our collaborators at the production and lm companies.

Posted on 5 Nov 2012 10:25