The Paradigm is Shifting

GUESS

The story of born makers fashioning one unique campaign, creating mad excellence together.

Action

The world-renowned fashion-brand Guess contacted Bonne Marque to team up for a Christmas campaign based on #shareyourlove. There were five other agencies in contention, but we were confident. We’re a bold brand. Guess were once known for being bold, and they needed to make a strong impact on Facebook and go viral. They seemed to have distanced themselves from the brand they used to be. Let’s bring them home.

After a dozen drafts, the script was based on two sisters spending Christmas together, the younger of which is attempting to help her sibling through a difficult time. It was an interactive story. Visually, our sketches were inspired by the work of Oliver Stone and David Lynch, in terms of ironic exaggeration. The writing had both its feet in realism and sentiment. An interesting combination. Our sentimental story – fitting the hashtag – had a razor-sharp edge of ironic coolness that reminded us of how Guess used to be.

Then we got creative. Were we over-complicating an already tight schedule by making a video and a website to present our script? Or were we guaranteeing the contract?

We sketched, recorded a voiceover in a studio, cut the sketches and audio together to create a video storyboard, and then designed a pitch website.

Visions still swimming in head like catfish in pools of coffee mud. After 21 hours of sleep in 7 days, I close down shop with a frosty beverage, crawl into bed to relish in my subconscious and start over again.

Ray Mendez

Rationale

The title on our pitch website was ‘You didn’t think we were just going to send a script, did you?’ meaning any agency who had simply sent a script will have appeared lazy or lacking in imagination by comparison. This wasn’t our motivation though. We were just concentrating on creating the best pitch possible, and this was the best title we wrote.

We hoped our pitch would show Guess our journey in creating the campaign, so underneath the title we shared an inspiration-board of our motivation and muses for the type of women who represent their brand, and then a far more intricate account of our inspiration. We share our thoughts on their brand, the nature of our campaign and our working process. It was an interesting story, particularly considering the time restraints. We felt it was an advantage that they knew who we were.

A few 20-hour days in the office later, we had the website coded and sent Guess a link. In a meeting with Guess the following morning, the conversation was ruined by technological issues and misunderstandings. We wrote an email instead, walking them through our pitch website and campaign idea. Guess soon informed us we had “won the competition” and requested some changes before they sent the campaign idea to Guess US, which was a mere formality, apparently.

The rough sketches of our first Guess storyboard: introducing Jenny and Chloe. #shareyourlove

Scene 1: Jenny comes home from uni. Chloe, her older sister, hears her enter and calls her name.
Scene 1: The two sisters talk about their final lectures before Christmas.
Scene 1: Chloe asks Jenny her plans for tomorrow and asks for help decorating the apartment for Christmas.
Scene 1: The hairdryer stops working. Chloe hits it hard.
Scene 1: An example of the interactive story in action: the viewer decides whether to buy Chloe a new hairdryer or make a scrapbook.

Few brands have the chance of being represented by characters as genuine, strong and relatable as Jenny and Chloe, standing out amongst an industry saturated with empty glamour.

Scene 2a: If the viewer chooses option one, they see Jenny hand Chloe a new hairdryer. Note the framed photograph on the wall for later in the story.
Scene 2a: Chloe is a little ungrateful. The sisters talk about decorating again, wanting to prove they can manage Christmas away from their parents.
Scene 2a: Jenny mentions she heard Chloe and her boyfriend arguing over the phone. Chloe changes the subject.
Scene 2b: If the viewer chooses option two, they see Jenny hand Chloe a Christmas scrapbook.
Scene 2b: Seeing photos of their parents as a young couple and them as young girls makes them talk about the past.
Scene 2b: Chloe remains upset. As well as her boyfriend issue, she misses home too. Jenny invites her shopping with her friend, but she says no.

Whichever option the viewer previously makes, they arrive at the following final scene. Jenny is shopping with her friend.

Scene 3: Jenny tries on a dress in a GUESS changing room.
Scene 3: Her friend says “So?” Jenny says “It’s mine.” She loves the dress and will buy it.
Scene 3: While drinking coffee after shopping, Chloe texts her sister. It’s good Jenny made the decision to spend Christmas with her sister.
Scene 3: Jenny hands Chloe a final Christmas gift. Chloe opens it to find the dress Jenny had bought for herself.
Scene 3: The similarities between Chloe and her mother are great. Jenny is sharing her love by giving her sister something she wanted for herself.

Pour yourself a drink, sit back and watch our animated voiceover storyboard.

A fashion brand campaign inspired by David Lynch, Oliver Stone, Christmas and a broken hairdryer? Escape boring cliches for something truly original and groundbreaking.

Samuel Burrows

Takeaway

Remember when we told you the final approval was a mere formality? If only, dear friends, if only. We made the suggested alterations to the script and website and sent Guess the link to our final pitch, along with a detailed flowchart of our vision that more clearly explained the various threads of the narrative of the interactive video. We were excited about the improvements. At an early stage, the interactive nature of the script was centered around which gift the younger sister should purchase her sibling to ‘share her love’ but the interactive nature took on a new level when visitors could choose which character they would be at the start of the story. In a sense, the two different perspectives were two separate stories, making quite a unique campaign.

Here’s the thing though: after five weeks of waiting for this final approval, Guess Europe told us that they failed to get approval for the campaign. We would have liked to have known Guess in Europe were pitching Guess US cold, and we could have helped them convince, but we were alas never made aware.

Still, it was a paid pitch and we would have gladly worked on the campaign even had we known we were pitching Guess US cold. We would have helped them convince their superiors. It was a little surprising to us though that Guess’ founder and creative director, Paul Marciano, didn’t appreciate our stylistic nod to the greatest work of his lifetime.