Responses by Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, chief creative officer, FCB Toronto
Background: We wanted to create a provocative campaign that raised awareness for the Bank of Montréal’s (BMO) Celebrating Woman program—a program that gives these recognized female leaders a platform to be seen. As more and more women are changing the face of leadership, FCB Toronto and Toronto-based production company Someplace Nice also wanted to bring these women into the spotlight.
Reasoning: We wanted to play with those long-standing perceptions—about who is more successful in the technology and entertainment fields—and challenge them. We questioned that bias with a simple misdirect, where the viewer at first thinks the featured successful business leader is male before realizing that the spots talk about the women leaders as they step into the foreground. This way, we get viewers to think differently about the face of leadership.
Challenges: We debated the most about finding the right visual language to tell our story. Should we see our heroine from the start, should we not? Was it best to reveal through a rack focus or a cut? In the end, we decided the simplest way was probably the best—to have her in the background and walk further into frame.
Favorite details: We love the fact that the creative idea was conceived and executed by many women at the agency—from the creative team, to planning, to the account team, to myself, the chief creative officer. For the shoot, we used a female director and as many female crew members as possible, leading to not only an inspiring shoot, but also a rewarding one.
Anything new: We were surprised to see that when people use search terms like “CEO,” “CFO,” or even ”Canadian business leaders” on Google, the top results are all male. Our goal was to change the face of those results by bringing more female leaders to the top of Google search results—notably the women recognized through BMO’s Celebrating Women Awards.
Time constraints: Since we only had a day to shoot the content, we ensured that our storylines and setups were simple and to the point. I think this worked in our favor as it kept our message pointed and powerful.