Responses by Derek Lui and Harry Ingrams, creatives, Wieden+Kennedy London
Background: The National Trust was founded to preserve and protect the land and historic places for everyone, forever. Modern life, with its endless distractions and stress, has distanced us from what the National Trust has to offer. This was our brief: for the charity’s 125th anniversary, how can we encourage people to reconnect with nature and make the National Trust play a bigger part in their lives?
Reasoning: We dug into the archives of National Trust cofounder Octavia Hill. Within her impassioned essays, we found a quote that rings as true today as it did 125 years ago: “We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space.” This quote informs the spirit of the campaign. While modern life gets more and more overwhelming, the National Trust encourages us to find calm in nature.
Challenges: Defining a voice for the National Trust. We explored so much writing, design and animation but in the end, we realized the most important thing is how we make people feel. Does this film make you feel calm? Does it make you want to put down your phone and just sit underneath a tree? Could it lower your heart rate? We tested all of our ideas against this feeling.
Favorite details: The campaign is made up of so few ingredients: calming scenes of nature with animated typography. When our films are so simple, the tiniest details matter. In the studio, we noodled over the way a word ebbs and flows like an ocean wave. Or how individual letters span out so gently, you might miss it if you weren’t paying attention.
Visual influences: Advertising, Netflix, reality shows, social media, the news—basically everything you see on screens. All of it is so attention grabbing, so frantic and in your face, we decided that National Trust should be the opposite of that. Our one-minute fifteen-second film positions the National Trust as a moment of exhale amongst all the madness.
Specific demands: As we prepared for a week of shooting, we quickly realized that you can’t script nature! The weather would suddenly change, barnacles were only found on the edge of a dangerous cliff or the deer were too shy to show their faces. We wrote piles of scripts and only a fraction of them were captured.