Brooklyn Film Festival’s New Ads Couldn’t Be More Scornful of Hollywood

TBWA animations keep it real

Will the Brooklyn Film Festival ever go Hollywood? Fuggedaboutit!

Four short, simple animations by TBWA\Chiat\Day deliver the message that the New York borough and its festival of independent films, which runs from May 29 through June 7, are "3,000 miles from Hollywood"—in mindset as well as distance.

The cartoon vignettes run between 15 and 25 seconds, comically contrasting celluloid styles from each location. For example, on the soundstages of Los Angeles, intricately choreographed fight scenes are performed by highly skilled stunt professionals suspended like marionettes on wires. In Brooklyn, you just get a knuckle sandwich. Similarly, we learn that Left Coast love triangles are overplayed soap operas, while in Brooklyn, everybody gets a piece of the action.

Animator/illustrator Seokmin Hong's no-frills approach effectively positions Brooklyn as gritty and unpretentious in counterpoint to the razzle-dazzle opulence of Hollywood. "Other film festivals ultimately become 'Hollywood,' " says Matt Ian, ecd at TBWA. "This campaign highlights the fact that Brooklyn—its culture, its people, its art, its attitude—remains as far away from Hollywood as you can get."

Hmm, the L train hipster does bear a striking resemblance to a Spielbergian space alien. But that's true of pretty much everyone in Williamsburg these days.

TBWA takes the differentiation concept a step further than BBDO's recent Tribeca Film Festival ads with Jason Sudeikis, in which tourists on the street gave the Hollywood star "directions." In Brooklyn, of course, plenty of folks would be happy to tell you where to go!


Client: Brooklyn Film Festival

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York

Executive Creative Director: Matt Ian

Creative Director: Deniz Marlali

Associate Creative Director, Writer: Steve Skibba

Animation, Illustration: Seokmin Hong

Print Design: Sarah Romanoff

Executive Producer: Chad Hopenwasser

Sound Design: Roman Zeitlin

Director of Digital and Content Strategy: Aki Spicer

Account Director: Ed Rogers

Strategy: Damasia Merbilhaa

Social Media Team: Ryan Jin, Kiyotaka Sumiyoshi

Original Music: Elias

Composer: Eric Ronick

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@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.