Ad of the Day: Skype Crosses Continents in Family Spots

Long-form work by Pereira & O'Dell

When I left Uganda, it was in the middle of the night," says Denis, the newly minted Pennsylvanian in "The Impossible Family Portrait," perhaps the most effective spot in Pereira & O'Dell's series of three new ads for Skype, which is tapping directly into what makes the brand so important to so many people.

It's interesting—advertisers tend to eschew the first-generation immigrant experience because it can be controversial both politically and among people who inevitably feel misrepresented. But Skype is wise enough to recognize and embrace its role as the lifeblood of intercontinental families (full disclosure: including mine), and so the immigrant experience becomes hugely important. Kudos to these guys for having the guts to go with that.

"The Animal Family Portrait" is loads of fun in a totally different way. Here, it's about adorable quadrupeds rather than emotional bipeds. So, it's a more upbeat take ("This is what happens when Americans raise 'roos!"), but the point is essentially the same: Skype allows for a connection deeper than wires and lenses. It's dangerous to tell people that your product has a spiritual dimension, but the agency and the directors, Gregory Mitnick and Nat Livingston Johnson, make the point delicately and well.

The final spot in the trio is "The Growing Up Family Portrait," and it's the least effective, possibly because the stakes seem a lot lower (and possibly because people in Los Angeles are intrinsically unsympathetic. It's true—leave the TMZ and you're suddenly a person again), but it's still cute.


Client: Skype

Agency: Pereira & O'Dell, San Francisco

Chief Creative Officer: P.J. Pereira

Executive Creative Director: Jaime Robinson

Creative Director: Jonathan Woytek

Senior Art Directors: Tim Delger, Brett Beaty

Senior Copywriter: Katie Brinkworth

Art Director: Arnau Bosch

Copywriter: Chris Ryan

Designer: Leila Moussaoui

Vice President, Client Services: Gary Theut

Account Director: Ivy Truong

Account Supervisor: Ali Forgeron

Assistant Account Executive: Kelsey Towbis

Project Manager: Katie Shesgreen

Vice President, Strategy: Nick Chapman

Vice President, Media Strategy: Joshua Brandau

Strategy Director: Justin Cox

Associate Strategy Director: Jasmine Summerset

Media Strategist: Liz Wood

Vice President, Production: Jeff Ferro

Senior Integrated Producers: Erin Davis, Victoria Whitlow

Senior Broadcast Producer: Elisa Moore

Interactive Producer: Kathy Zembera

Print Producer: James Sablan

Producer: Bill Spangler

Business Affairs Manager: Xandra Ess

Production Company: Station Film

Directors (Peking): Gregory Mitnick, Nat Livingston Johnson

Executive Producer: Caroline Gibney

Producer: Sarah McMurray

Artist: John Clang

Crew: Eric Axene, Shadi Best, James Burger, Anne Curran Conrad, Travis Drennen, Tonya Martin, Sean Moser, Ryan Moriaty, Mario Sanchez, Elin Tew

Editorial Company: Umlaut Films

Editor: Jessica Congdon

Assistant Editors: Peter Geiger, Michael Pavoni

Colorist: Ivan Miller

Executive Producer: Gina Locurio

Producer: Kelly Gibbs


"The Impossible Portrait": Original Composition: Human

"The Animal Family Portrait," "The Growing Up Family Portrait": Original Composition: Future Perfect

Sound Mixing: One Union Recording

Sound Mixer: Matt Zipkin

Executive Producer: Lauren Mask

Digital Production Company: Uncorked Studios

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