Spectacular promo film here from Reebok, inviting you to “give me your classics and I’ll show you the future.” As well as taking you swerving around northern A-roads in a BMW E28 M5 (dream car) stopping briefly on the way to pick up a blonde girl in the leafy suburbs (dream babe) this short film perfectly promotes the nostalgia associated with the Reebok Classics.
Created by Anthony Crook of Ridley Scott Associates and lifestyle magazine The Rig Out, the film is “a celebration of creative youth: the current pioneers who are making music, creating great record labels, making flyers and magazines. They are crafting their own future as well as shaping ours. Their story challenges us all to focus on the present and the future.”
With a voiceover from Paul Popplewell of Tyrannosaur and 24 Hour Party People fame and some fantastic photography by Joshua Gordon, this short film is a love letter to the makers’ and directors’ youths spent in their hometowns. Here’s Glenn Kitson, the Creative Director of The Rig Out and the film’s director Antony Crook on the inspiration and process behind the film.
How did the campaign come about?
Glenn Kitson: About a year ago I approached Reebok at a trade show in London and said, “You guys are from Bolton, I’m from Bolton let’s work together.” Just being cheeky really. They called us in a little while later saying they want to work with us.
What was the brief?
GK: Communicate a message to a new consumer. Reebok had noticed that Classics were being worn in places like Dalston and the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and they wanted to shift brand perception to this mid-range consumer. Our brief was to approach that demographic whilst maintaining credibility with the new creative consumer they were already appealing to. God this sounds dry.
Who came up with the slogan “Give me your classics and I’ll show you the future?”
Antony Crook: Reebok wanted the word “classics” in the script, and it just tied-in with this idea of a lot of people in this culture that we were filming were always talking about the past. What we wanted to do was make this thing about the present.
GK: What you have to remember is that Reebok made the first ever running shoe so they’re an innovative brand. We created a concept that keeps them in the present, the message being that there are people being creative right here, right now. Lets focus on the present and put our energy into the present, the youth, and the people who are being creative in the here and now.
Is that why you got Ninja Tunes DJ Illum Sphere on board?
AC: We shot it in Bolton where we’re from and we were looking at who was creating the cool stuff in our home city.
GK: People in the suburbs listen to the people in the city who are always talking about old city heritage. They never mention the people who are creating, and that’s what we wanted to do. People still get photographed outside the sign that says Hacienda flats. Honestly there’s a blog, check it out it’s called Hacienda apartments. I’ve got a friend who lives in one of the flats opposite and he runs a Tumblr of people getting photographed next to the sign.
AC: It’s something we find frustrating about Manchester.
What was the homecoming shoot like?
AC: It was very autobiographical. Everything was shot within a third of a mile of where we went to school, so it was all local knowledge. The opening shot was of a road where we used to go up and sit watching this brick mill town with the city beyond it. It’s a view that’s quite inspiring, looking at the horizon and what’s beyond it. We got the opening shot first; that came really early on.
GK: It’s about aspiring to more, its totally metaphorical. You’re looking over Bolton but in the background you can see Manchester and the all the big buildings. Especially coming from Bolton, going to the city felt big. I can remember going with my mum as a kid and it felt exciting. You want more than your surroundings and that’s what we want to express with this. It’s a real British culture, driving around in the car with your mates just looking for spots to hang out.
How was the production process?
AC: We had a really good DP, Lol Crawley, and we managed to stretch his budget to use a great camera and lenses for two days. We were lucky with the lack of light too as we wanted to capture that flat greyness. Shooting in Manchester is great, it’s not wanky it’s just easy. There’s a toughness about northern crews, no one complains everyone just gets on with it.
GK: We shot on the Ordsall estate, which is super-rough. We were trying to do a stunt and the security were a bit nervous. As we where setting it up two young lads roll up on £20,000 BMW high-powered motor bikes, checking us out, and you don’t have bikes like that at a young age if you’re not up to anything. They pulled up to our stunt guy and went “what you doing?” and he just said “doing a shoot for Reebok” and they both just went “nice one” and shot off and did wheelies straight though the estate. It was pretty mad. It’s the type of estate where you walk into a boozer and get offered a machine gun.
Was it another nod to the North West by including Paul Popplewell on the voiceover?
GK: His range is broader than that. We wanted someone charismatic, not too manc-sounding or over the top because that can turn people off. He was perfect and it was brilliant to work with a proper professional. He totally got it. I think with all of this, Illum Sphere, Paul Popplewell, Lol Crawley it felt like a really collaborative process.
Other than Reebok, what’s your favourite thing to come out of Bolton and Manchester in the last 20 years?
GK: Probably Oi Polloi.
AC: I’d say that too.
GK: It’s our mate’s shop. I love it to death.
AC: It’s a clothes shop but it’s like a cultural hub in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The stuff they put out is great.
GK: It’s that aspirational thing again. Oi Polloi are like your older brothers that have all the cool shit
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