Following the CNN original series The Sixties, creative agency Loyalkaspar reunited with the network to help produce another multi-platform branding and marketing campaign for its new offering, The Seventies.
The eight-part documentary series from producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (Playtone), in association with HBO and producer Mark Herzog (Herzog & Company), immerses viewers into that era through the use of rarely seen archival footage, as well as interviews with journalists, historians, musicians and television artists who were eyewitnesses to history.
Led by creative director Anna Minkkinen, Loyalkaspar worked closely with CNN to create a series of promos and teasers, as well as key art and brand elements for The Seventies campaign’s digital components. Watch it here.
According to Minkkinen, “That decade revealed the consequences of the ‘60s and, ultimately, set the stage for our modern world today. This lasting significance informed how we concepted our campaign, while the integrity and intelligence of both the series and CNN inspired our work.”
Drawing a connection to The Sixties campaign motif — television’s entry into the American home — Loyalkaspar used classic Polaroid photos to frame the subjects explored in the second installment of the series.
“We wanted this campaign to have its own personality as a decade within the larger brand of the series,” says Minkkinen. “When the first truly instant camera came out in 1972, it was the quintessential consumer-facing technology of the time — and the perfect device to visually underscore the purveying theme of change explored in CNN’s series.”
This theme is further expressed through the tagline that Loyalkaspar coined — “One Nation Under Change,” which alludes to the bicentennial, as well as themes of self-reinvention in America, both socially and politically.
The teasers and launch promo feature iconic ‘70s songs, including the revolutionary chant of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” in the launch spot, a dynamic stop-motion collage of instant photographs and sound bites that capture the essence of the decade.
Loyalkaspar combined an array of design and filmmaking techniques to create the spots. The intensive pre-production process included detailed animatics and tests to map out camera moves choreographed to the music, as well as meticulous prop selection — both to ensure historical accuracy and to create a bold and cohesive color palette.
Loyalkaspar captured the nostalgic environments primarily in-camera on Phantom 4K and Red Dragon 6K models, using a techno-crane to achieve complex long takes with curving moves that travel over detailed sets. A Canon 5D was used to shoot some additional elements (backplates and Polaroids) used in the launch spot. Dream On evokes the POV of a determined journalist, as the camera moves across a colorful desk of ‘70s artifacts, including a typewriter, rotary telephone, and a Watergate-headlined newspaper. The team also shot additional background plates for future episodic promotions, including props for end pages.
“We wanted these spots to feel photographic and expressive of the time, which was a big motivation for capturing the environments in-camera,” concludes Minkkinen. “We did rely on CG for certain shots, but by combining real elements with our CG strategically, we were able to keep the spots feeling organic.”
For preproduction, Loyalkaspar created animatics with Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4D. In post, they called on Adobe Premiere for the edit. Tracking was in Imagineer Mocha and Photshop’s After Effects was used for compositing, animation and color treatment. The studio did some 3D modeling and animation in Maxon’s Cinema 4D for the Let’s Get it On spot.