Ad of the Day: Intel Tells the Amazing Story of 3-D Printing Prosthetics in War-Torn Sudan

Mick Ebeling rescues Daniel

At its core, Intel's "Look Inside" campaign illustrates the power of technology to improve lives. This is especially true of the third ad in the series, which follows Mick Ebeling, the CEO of Intel-backed Not Impossible Labs, to South Sudan, where he creates the world's first 3-D prosthetic printing and training facility to help those who have lost limbs to warfare.

The three-minute film from Venables Bell + Partners and director Lucy Walker (twice an Oscar nominee for her documentaries Waste Land and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom) focuses mainly on a teenage double-amputee named Daniel. But the ad isn't just about printing new body parts for those in need, as significant and moving as that is. It's about bridging divides—geographical, cultural, racial—and coming together to give everyone a chance to realize his or her potential.

"You can't put the pieces back together in someone else's life," Ebeling says at one point. "But maybe if we print them new pieces, they'll start to put them back together themselves."

Indeed, Ebeling's work is as much about sharing knowledge and fostering self-sufficiency as it is an act of personal altruism. That gives this film added emotional depth and elevates the message to a somewhat higher plane than earlier "Look Inside" ads—the ones with Jack Andraka and Erik Weihenmayer—though all are potent examples of brand journalism. In each spot, Intel's technology plays an appropriately "inside" role that never overwhelms or undercuts the narrative. (Here, the scene of a young amputee shyly standing in a doorway, watching villagers learn how to 3-D print the new limbs that will change his life, is both subtle and stunning.)

Like its predecessors, "Inside Mick Ebeling" tells its tale in reverse. Daniel is first seen using a prosthetic arm to toss a ball. The story then works backward to show Ebeling's motivations. But is this really starting at the end? I wonder. Such amazing achievements, after all, begin with big ideas and visions—for example, an image in the mind's eye of a limbless boy made whole. So the chronology feels like a natural progression, giving viewers a look inside the dreams that inspired a more hopeful reality.

Client: Intel
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Executive Creative Director: Paul Venables and Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tom Scharpf
Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd
Art Director:  Ezra Paulekas
Copywriter: Rob Calabro
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen 
Production Company:  The Ebeling Group
Director: Lucy Walker
Director of Photography: Adrian Belic, Timoteo Freccia, Aaron Phillips
Executive Producer: Kira Carstensen
Producer: Francine Weiner
Editing Company: Beast Editorial/LA
Editor: Kyle Brown
Sound Design: 740 Sound Design
Sound Designers:
Music:  Beacon Street Studios
Mix: One Union Recording
Head of Client Services: Kate Jeffers
Business Leader: Erik Petersen
Account Director: Joe Harrington
Account Supervisor: Kara York
Account Manager: Sarah Ruppert
Assistant Account Manager: Jillian Gamboa