Responses by Signal Theory.
Background: With “A Different Kind of Crown,” we wanted to celebrate today’s women in agriculture while encouraging the next generation to follow their passion into the field. Told through the lens of the holidays, the spot shows how stereotypes can be just one of the challenges women face when trying to break into farming.
Design thinking: A lot of our thought process revolved around building as much nuance into the story as possible. It had to be human and include all the complexity and conflict that goes into human thinking and emotions. Where some stories lean into a more overt narrative style, we leaned into restraint, letting the viewer project some of their own experiences onto the story.
Challenges: One thing we needed to avoid was coming off as accusatory in our messaging. The lack of women representation in farming is a widespread issue with plenty of underlying causes. Because of this, it was important that we didn’t place blame on any one group, especially our core audience.
Favorite details: There’s a love that comes through, even amid conflict. You see the girl’s disappointment in the crown that’s initially gifted her, and that’s tied to her parents not seeing her for who she is. But you can also sense the purity of their actions. They want to see her happy, which makes the reconciliation that much more rewarding.
Visual influences: Many of our visual influences came from home movies. Many of us remember those Christmas mornings that captured the energy and anticipation of it all. We wanted that to come through as much as possible so we could juxtapose that enthusiasm with the letdown of the crown. Additionally, you’ll see lots of natural light and a richer color tone to bring through some of the intimacy of those family gatherings.
Specific project demands: For the sake of continuity, we knew we’d need the child version and adult version of our hero character to share a similar look without relying too much on makeup or other visual trickery. To increase our odds, we cast a wide net in our search for talent, requesting auditions in both the Midwest and West Coast. Fortunately, the two best actors of the bunch were also mirror images of reach other. Finding those two gave the spot a necessary bit of cohesion.