CAA Marketing and Umpqua Bank Get Animated to Sigur Rós

By Erik Oster 

CAA Marketing teamed up with production company Nexus and director Kibwe Tavares to create “The Seed & The Moon” for Umpqua Bank.

The three-minute animated spot, set to music by Jónsi of Sigur Rós, opens on a futuristic city, with seemingly the last tree in the urban sprawl being felled. A single seed manages to slip into a crack in the sidewalk and, accompanied by lines from the poem “Good Timber” by Douglas Malloch, begins to grow. Soon lush vegetation is overtaking the city until, at its conclusion, people and plants seem to live in harmony.

The animation is mesmerizing, with Jónsi’s ambient soundtrack and the lines from “Good Timber” providing a nice accompaniment. As an animated short, “The Seed & The Moon” works fairly well, functioning as a brief, slightly surreal tale of triumph over adversity. As an ad for Umpqua Bank, it sort of fails to hit the mark. “We are all made to grow” says the tagline at the end of the spot, after over two and half minutes, finally tying the action to the brand (albeit flimsily). Effectiveness aside, from a viewer’s perspective, it comes as a nice change of pace from the typical monotony of the banking category.

The spot isn’t the entirety of the campaign, however, as viewers are directed to Umpqua’s “Open Account” podcast, which bank claims already has over 13,000 downloads. There’s also a  traveling art installation called “Exhibit: Growth.”

“Our goal is to inspire and empower people to take action,” Umpqua’s executive vice president of communications Eve Callahan explained to Adweek. “We want people to realize that money and banking don’t have to be intimidating, and that they can start easing the confusion and stress associated with these topics right now by having a conversation.”


Client: Umpqua Bank
Spot: “The Seed & The Moon”
Agency: CAA Marketing
Production Company: Nexus
Director: Kibwe Tavares
ECD: Chris O’Reilly
Executive Producers: Jeremy Smith / Julia Parfitt
Producer: Jo Bierton / Demi Jones
Project Lead: Dave Walker / Ben Cowell Thomas
Animation: Nexus
Compositing: Nexus
Editor: David Slade at Nexus
Grade: Time Based Artists
Sound Design: Tom Myers (SkySound)
Music: Jónsi of Sigur Rós