Ad of the Day: The World’s Most Amazing Mountain Climber Stars in Intel’s Latest Spot

Erik Weihenmayer's story

Intel's "Look Inside" film series about inspiring people scales new heights in this 90-second spot about Erik Weihenmayer, who's beaten long odds to climb the world's seven tallest peaks.

There's a potent reveal—which we won't spoil—around the minute mark, where we learn about Weihenmayer's physical condition and what he's had to overcome to reach those summits. It's an emotional jolt that powers his narration. "One of the shortfalls I think many people have is that they allow all these distractions and fears and doubts to get into their head and sabotage them," Weihenmayer says. Later, when he asks, "Is there a way to make that difficult thing a catalyst to moving onto something different rather than just allowing it to crush you?" his sincerity resonates like an echo down a canyon wall.

Ad agency Venables Bell & Partners and director Christopher Hewitt of Knucklehead get the tone just right, presenting Weihenmayer as a super achiever but not a superhero. His humanity and humility stay firmly in focus. The story is told in reverse, starting at the top of the mountain and working backward, a winning approach that Intel and VB&P used in their earlier viral hit about teenage cancer researcher Jack Andraka.

Both films succeed as uplifting pieces of branded content, with the Intel connection wisely undersold. Here, the end line—"There's only one way to discover what you're made of: Look Inside"—seems tailor made for Weihenmayer, as that's precisely what he's had to do, never losing sight of his goals and aspirations.

Intel will donate $30,000 to No Barriers USA, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, if Weihenmayer's video is shared 2,900 times on Twitter. (That number is a reference to the 29,000-foot elevation of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth.)


Client: Intel

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness

Creative Director: Tom Scharpf

Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd

Art Director: Stephen Lum

Copywriter: Liz Cartwright

Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen

Agency Executive Producer: Emily Moore

Agency Producer: Melissa Nagy

Production Company: Knucklehead

Director: Chris Hewitt

Executive Producer, Managing Director: Matthew Brown

Line Producer: David Bishop

Director of Photography: Chris Sabogal

Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post

Senior Producer: Kristin Branstetter

Editor: Sam Gunn

Assistant Editor: Zach Vandlik

Mix, Sound Design: Joel Waters @ Lime

Music: Elias Arts

Executive Producer: Ann Haugen

Composers: Jonathan Elias, Sarah Trevino

Telecine: Company 3

Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

Visual Effects: The Mill

Visual Effects Executive Producer: Sue Troyan

Visual Effects Producer: Jordan Sharon

2-D Lead Artist: James Allen

2-D Artists: Nick Tayler, Steve Gibbons, Scott Johnson

End Animation: Brand New School

Executive Producer: Devin Brook

Producer: Amy Russo

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.