Both DDB Chicago and their long-time client, State Farm, believe that at the heart of any strong community are neighbors who care. Moved by this belief, the two have partnered to launch the Neighborhood of Good initiative online and on broadcast TV.
Beginning with a moving 2-minute short film called, “The Following,” the two hope to encourage viewers to take action on important causes they care about.
The short opens with a man who can’t seem to shake the empathy he feels when he sees a subway poster for a rescue dog who needs adopting. Throughout the piece the dog follows the man, constantly reminding him that he needs a home.
The film escalates as the man continues to receive constant reminders about others who need assistance — a veteran who sits next to him at the office, a high school dropout at a diner, a child with cancer and even a polar bear. All represent a different cause he could volunteer for. It finally ends with him entering a youth outreach center and actually doing something.
“You can lift the weight of caring by doing,” a voiceover says at the end.
The soundtrack features a cover of “Don’t Let Me Down,” a song made popular by the Chain Smokers. It was re-recorded by four-time Grammy winner Joy Williams, formerly of the Civil Wars. Her version of “Don’t Let Me Down” is available on streaming music channels and she is donating her proceeds from the single to the American Red Cross.
The film, along with 30-second and 60-second versions airing during March Madness on CBS and other high-profile programming sheds a somber, but realistic light on the fact that only 1 in 4 people volunteer (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). DDB and State Farm both hope this will start to serve as a reminder and a catalyst to get people to move from good intentions to taking action when it comes to volunteering in their community. The need is clear – most people say they want to volunteer, but only one in four actually do. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).
According to Christie Griesmaier, DDB Chicago’s Associate Director of Agency Communication, “The Following" will help kick off State Farm's Neighborhood of Good™ initiative. Since this is an ongoing platform for State Farm, more work will launch in the future, but what type of work and when is still in the works.
The film launched online on Monday, March 13, on NeighborhoodofGood.com, a companion site that matches volunteers to causes in the community. You can see the 2-minute film by clicking here. It already has 6.5 million views.
Creative: John Maxham: Chief Creative Officer: Mel Routhier: Group Creative Director, Adam Cook: Creative Director, Copywriter, Chris Bruney: Creative Director, Art Director; Katie Bero: Associate Creative Director, Brian Culp: Associate Creative Director
Production: Diane Jackson: Chief Production Officer, Scott Kemper: Executive Producer, Zoe Grubbe: Production Business Manager, Linda Bres: Music Production Manager
Production Company: MJZ
Dante Ariola: Director, Eriks Krumins: Excutive Producer
Natalie Hill: Producer, Laurie Crawley: DP
Quito Cooksey: Production Designer
Editorial: Final Cut
Joe Guest: Editor, Eric McCasline, Suzy Ramirez: Executive Producer Barbara Healy, Frankie Elster (London): Producer
Dillon Stoneburner (LA), Kit Wells (London): Assistant Editors
Camila De Biaggi: Executive Producer, Jesse Kurnit: Head of Production, Barry Gilbert, Sandra Eklund: Producer
Colorist: Jean-Clement Soret, Matt Tremaglio: Lead Compositor
Maxyar Sharifian: Compositor, Fabian Frank: CG Lead Artist, Chloe Dawe: CGI Modeling/ Groom, Maximilian Mallmann: CGI Rigging, William Laban: CGI Groom/ Lighting, Matteo La Motta: CGI Lighting, Tim Van Hussen, Boris Cailly: CGI Animation
Music Agency for Supervision and Licensing: Comma Music
Bonny Dolan: EP/Managing Director, Michael Paoletta: EP, A&R + Supervision/Licensing, Bryan Rheude: Creative Director
Leigh Salzman: Producer, Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down” as performed by Joy Williams
Audio Post: Chicago Recording Company
Mark Ruff: Sound designer, Mixer, Jason Hoban: Assistant