Responses by FCB Brasil
Background: Gooders, a platform that turns good deeds into good deals, wanted to show how doing good always results in good things—you just have to be willing to take a closer look and find hope in the most unlikely situations.
Reasoning: We found Irena’s Sendler biography through one of Alice Munro’s short stories, and were shocked that we weren’t familiar with the story of a social worker who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Also, Gooders wanted to air the commercial in time for Mother’s Day, on May 10, which was close to the twelfth anniversary of Irena Sendler’s death, on May 12. It was a great opportunity for Gooders to pay tribute to all moms with the true story of the woman who became known as the mother of the Holocaust children by doing good.
Challenges: Finding the right balance between the seriousness of the subject and our respect for the story on one hand, and the need to convey a message of positivity and hope on the other. We also struggled with the concept for a while but finally found the solution in Irena’s own words. In an interview late in her life, someone asked her if she felt like a hero, and her answer was: “Heroes do extraordinary things. What I did was not an extraordinary thing. It was normal. I wish I had done more.” That was coming from the Polish lady who saved 2,500 children, was tortured, sentenced to die, escaped and lived in anonymity until some students found out about her.
Favorite details: Telling this woman’s story, not because of her gender, but because of how extraordinary the story is. We are living in strange times of authoritarianism and threats to human rights, so being able to represent a client that is all about doing good makes the entire team proud. Also, the soundtrack. We had a partner at Jamute who had just watched the movie Miracle in Cell No. 7 and had loved the instruments on the soundtrack. When we told him Sendler’s story, he composed an exquisite soundtrack that was neither harsh nor overly sentimental.
Visual influences: Though we looked at many Polish posters and illustrators who portrayed moments of suffering, we didn’t want a direct reference to this style as we wanted people to feel positive after watching the one-minute film. Our main inspiration came from artists who used restricted colors palettes and basic shapes; we also looked at artists who used woodblock printing and artists who worked with vectors. The film was introspective and thoughtful, so the visuals are constrained in order to give space to the voiceover and the music.
Time constraints: Time constraints had a direct impact on the kind of illustration, language and motion that we used. We had to have strong and easy-to-animate elements, and at the same time, convey kindness through thin lines and colors. Coming up with the solution to balance strength and delicacy was quite a challenge, solved beautifully by Julio Zukerman, the main illustrator, in partnership with Vitor Camacho, André Mezzomo and Guilherme Manzi.