Sedgwick Rd. Finds a Cohort in Cinema Seattle

The first work to come out of Sedgwick Rd., formerly known as McCann-Erickson Seattle, appears to be just what the shop had in mind when it changed its name.

In Cinema Seattle, Sedgwick has a local client that is open to a fresh, even risky creative approach to promote its Seattle Film Festival, set to run from May 24 to June 17. Cinema Seattle is an existing client, but it is the type of business the shop needs to retain and cultivate as it seeks to carve out a new niche.

“There is a little karma that comes with this,” said agency president Jim Walker. “Our first work as a new agency is for a client that wants strong creative work. We’ve always felt that creative is the sharp edge of the knife.”

The shop has created 30- and 60-second versions of a TV spot as well as ancillary work, including a poster.

In the spot, a man in an apocalyptic industrial setting is seen peering into mechanical boxes. In each he sees a memorable clip from a film shown at the festival. At the end, he looks up to find a huge eye peering at him, thus suggesting he himself is in a box.

Creative director Steve Johnson said the work reflects the theme of this year’s festival: “Life in perspective.” “We wanted to underscore the fact that there are so many points of view,” said Johnson, who filmed the spot in Los Angeles’ Herald Examiner Building because the aging structure created the proper atmosphere. “The audience that goes to this festival is a little hipper than the people who go to a multiplex.”

Johnson added he was enthusiastic about the shop’s new identity because it reflects the level of creative work already being generated.

For its part, Cinema Seattle gave the agency high marks. “The product they gave us is way beyond what I’ve come to expect out of the Seattle creative market,” said the festival’s director, Daryl Macdonald.