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This Interactive Split-Screen Film From Converse Is a Valentine's Ad You Can Actually Stand An intriguing look at artist couples

Converse is out with a three-minute bit of artistic voyeurism ... and it's great.

Titled "Lovesick: Converse Couples," the commercial puts split-screen to exceptional use, telling the stories of dancers, drag queens, graffiti artists, musicians and stylists, and their relationships with people who share their respective crafts.

It's sweet, charmingly gritty, and sprinkled with down-to-earth humor. One lover expresses gratitude that his girlfriend didn't smack him the first time he kissed her; another laments a moment when she realized she couldn't be a brat to her boyfriend because they were at work, and a third admits his counterpart makes him laugh "all the time … every Tuesday."

The clip is also interactive, letting viewers slide a divider to move between the two frames, revealing additional footage and alternate perspectives on the participants' body language (at times refreshingly, making it less mushy and more casual)—with some shots staged to splice together later, as if the two parties were conversing.

Click the image below to start the video:

Created by Anomaly and released on LVMH lifestyle website Nowness, the video invites comparison to other dual-perspective ads, like Honda's hit "The Other Side," a seamless overlay of two contrasting stories (check out the case study).

More thematically relevant is Cornetto's choose-your-own-teen-prom-romance, which bounced viewers around in a clunky YouTube hack.

For its part, Converse's take on the technique is perfectly streamlined, sweetening a story that stands well enough on its own. The broader strategy is familiar enough—the brand is no stranger casting itself as a friend to artists the way it did with programs like Rubber Tracks, which sponsored recordings for unsigned musicians. Here the mix of evergreen cultural tropes—the love lives of others, the mystique of the creative process—combine to create rich layers of interest. And flashes of personal psychology—like when a drag queen talks about how his partner helped him move past a history of abuse—add depth and credibility.

It's an improvement on the self-expression theme explored in Converse's "Made by You" film from last year, which was all shoes and no faces: A fun and spirited ode to individuality, but less substantive, despite the fact that the campaign, like this one, used real people from around the world.

The new piece will be translated into 10 languages. It features Brazilian dancers Junio Teixeira and Ana Luizi; drag queens Nathaniel Visneaskus, who performs as Mocha Lite, and Ryan Skilton, who performs as Misty Meaner; graffiti artists Amuse126 and Merlot; musicians Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle, who perform as pop duo Buscabulla; and stylists Alison Isbell and Blake Burkholder.

And it's still loaded with more than enough shots of the product, which never really seems out of place—because in this milieu, it really isn't.

CREDITS

Client: Converse
Agency: Anomaly
Production company: Aspekt
Directors: Alphabetical Order® (Marcus Linnér and Daniel de Viciola)
DP: Mattias Rudh
Editor: Simon Ponten
Post Production: Stopp Family / MediaMonks Stockholm
Digital Production: Caviar Digital

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AdFreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd.

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