Responses by Brian Ganther, executive creative director, BVK
Background: The purpose of the work was for the Wyoming Office of Tourism to show leadership and hope during COVID-19—a crisis that is devastating the travel space. We wanted to provide a calming, inspirational message to those who call Wyoming home and those who travel or aspire to travel there.
Reasoning: It struck us that Wyoming’s wide open spaces are the perfect metaphor for what’s happening in the world at this moment in time. We’re all being asked to spread things out and give each other some space for the common good. This one-minute spot reinforces that message. It encourages people to overcome their fear and to use the silence and emptiness to reflect and re-evaluate how they will approach life when it gets back to “normal.”
Challenges: Ironically, the space that separated the team. Because of COVID-19, we had our producer, writer, art director, editors, account directors and clients completely isolated from each other throughout this process. The experimentation and collaboration that typically happens in a room together had to happen in a new, very remote way.
Specific demands: It’s scary for brands—especially travel brands—to stick their necks out and make a statement in the midst of this crisis. There’s the fear of saying the wrong thing and creating backlash. Finding the right balance made it harder. But what made it easier was a client with a spine who was willing to do the right thing and stand behind it.
Visual influences: The Wyoming landscape itself fueled the solution. We had a cache of epic footage from a bunch of different shoots. And what we’ve captured in these shoots is what we call “Epic Intimacy,” which are intimate, personal moments experienced in these amazing, wide open spaces. That played perfectly to our crisis-driven message about embracing the void and the separation we’re all experiencing.
Time constraints: In some ways, the time constraints helped us. Given the speed at which the news of the crisis, travel closures and shelter-in-place decrees were moving, we had to move fast to be on the front edge of a response. There wasn’t the usual amount of time to overthink things.