“Most Chinese never say what they truly feel,
Lycra partnered with AKQA Shanghai, PIG China and director Laurent King to create three extended branded films, starting with a six-minute musical film set to an original song.
Lycra’s unique fibre has been giving clothing greater flexibility for over 50 years. The brand wants to let consumers know that Lycra is “the difference that makes the difference” when it comes to clothing durability. To demonstrate that seemingly small differences can massively affect outcomes, each of the films is based around twins, and the differing fortunes of one that wears Lycra and one who doesn’t.
The first film was released in August. Focused on hosiery, the message is that tights made with Lycra won’t run or fray around the edges, hence the film’s title, “Love Will Never Run”.
In a bold move to give the film an energetic and contemporary edge, the piece was shot as a musical. Eric Cruz, ECD of AKQA Shanghai, explains the rationale, “Most Chinese have a hard time expressing what they truly feel inside, they are not as outward in how they express themselves. [This film] was about showing what’s happening on the inside through music. It’s almost like stepping inside their emotions, their heads and their hearts.”
莱卡广告《剪爱》| Lycra Love Will Never Run
Cruz says that Lycra felt the emotion in the storytelling from the pitching stage. Six months from the initial pitch which began a close collaboration with the client, evolving the storylines and honing the scripts – in the process creating a level of trust that Cruz feels allowed them to reach a more creative outcome. “The client was very, very open. They are probably one of the most collaborative type of client I have ever worked with in China”, he says.
Having decided the film would be stronger if the actresses were singing rather than dubbing in professional vocalists, PIG China cast twins Jenyi and Teresa in Los Angeles, the American daughters to Chinese parents, both as comfortable delivering lines in Mandarin as they were singing in English.
《剪爱》演员Jenyi与Teresa | Jenyi and Teresa
PIG还找来了位于上海的法国音乐制作公司，Green United Music (GUM)。这也是GUM首次在中国参与这类广告音乐作品，在开拍之前他们只有三周的时间 – 一切从零开始，创作歌曲、敲定是否可行、最后在到录音。第一次就要把歌词和节拍弄准，因为后续不能再变。
PIG brought on board French Shanghai-based music production house, Green United Music (GUM). For its first such musical job in China, the studio had three weeks before the shoot to create, confirm and record a song from scratch. It would not be possible to change the lyrics or the tempo afterwards, so getting it right first time was critical.
GUM执行创意总监Thomas Faucheur说，他们遇到的第一个挑战同时也是最大的挑战，就是如何让旋律朗朗上口，并且要抓住人的情绪。后来他们找到了法国巴黎的作曲家Alex Brovelly。
The first challenge, and the biggest, says GUM ECD Thomas Faucheur, was creating a catchy melody with the right mood. Paris-based French composer Alex Brovelly was tasked with the job.
接下来的一步就是把AKQA创作的脚本细节打造成歌曲。Faucheur说，“还要找人专门作词，如何把词跟曲配起来，词作家们才是行家。”正因如此，他们找到人在上海的澳大利亚作词人David Mc Clean来帮着他们作词。之后他和GUM一起跟AKQA来来回回沟通，创作了歌词。
The next stage was adapting AKQA’s detailed script into song form. “We needed a songwriter because these guys know very well how to make words sound”, says Faucheur, explaining the decision to draft in Shanghai-based Australian songwriter David McClean. He and GUM then crafted the lyrics via a back and forth editing process with AKQA.
One day before the shoot and fresh off a flight from LA, Jenyi and Teresa came into the GUM studio to lay down the vocals.
All three films needed to be shot over four days in Shanghai – an aggressive schedule. The production would need to shoot six minutes of footage in the timeframe usually allowed for a 30-second TVC.
莱卡《起点》| Lycra Make Your Move
法国导演Laurent King视野精准、指导清晰、准备一丝不苟，这些品质让他赢得了各方的赞许。PIG中国执行制片Nick Dodet认为团队合作井然有序、效率很高，他说，“Laurent King非常清楚他想要什么，在讲长故事方面经验丰富，再加上Jan Prahl在长篇电影方面的经验，所以我们整个脚本非常流畅。广告公司的创意团队也给了我们很大的支持，也很懂得流程。正因有了这样沟通我们才能够完成这个项目。”
American-French director Laurent King earned praise from all sides for his precise vision, clear instructions and meticulous preparation. PIG China EP Nick Dodet describes a well-aligned, efficient team effort, “Laurent King had a very clear vision of what he wanted, and his experience of longer form storytelling, combined with Jan Prahl’s feature film experience, allowed us to flow nicely through the script. The agency creative team was extremely supportive and understanding in the process. We only managed to pull it off due to our horizontal relationship.”
Credit is due not only for the brave decision to create an original musical piece, but also for the non-literal creative. Eric Cruz explains this is how he likes his storytelling, “People will read into it what they will. It’s our job to make sure that they understand the backbone of the story and to give them a piece of branded content that is repeatedly watchable, where every time they watch they peel back a different layer.”
莱卡《礼物》预告片 | Lycra Trailer
另外两支广告预告片可以在莱卡中国官网上看到。第二支广告已于本月放出，是一个针对牛仔裤以跳舞为主题的广告。第三支广告也将于近日投播。这两支广告同样是由《Love Will Never Run》团队的作品，或许值得我们期待。
Trailers for the forthcoming pair of films can be seen on the Lycra’s China website. The second, released earlier this month is a dance-focused story for Ready To Wear jeans. The third will be released shortly after. Executed by the same team as Love Will Never Run, these are ones to watch.