Leica’s Latest Camera Ad Is a Mesmerizing Ode to Black-and-White Over Color

Free yourself from colors

Who’s in the market for a digital camera that costs $7,450 and shoots only in black and white? I know I am!

To plug the pluses of the LeicaM-Monochrom (Typ 246), which boasts a high price tag and just such a creative constraint, São Paulo, Brazil, agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has released “Free yourself from colors.” The poetic video, voiced by Toby Ricketts, posits that nothing is more colorful than black and white—not blood red, not green grass, not the diverse blues of water.

“The black-and-white world is anarchistic,” Ricketts reads as monochromatic flights of fancy flicker before us. “In it, norms exist only for those who decide to invent them.” Color takes on the nuances of voices in a storybook: You’re free to see it as you like, working your imagination to all its psychedelic possibilities.

The first part of the purposely gritty 1:14 film takes on the formal rigidity of colors, using animations created digitally. In the second half, which compounds on the anarchistic liberation of an inky world, animations were created with projection and stop-motion, photographed and shot using the M-Monochrom.

“The unique nature of Leica Monochrom made us delve into the universe of photography as a whole,” say directors Mateus De Paula Santos and Fábio Acorsi of Lobo. “Not only technically, translating the analogical and digital processes of photography, but also conceptually, given the brand’s relevance for the success of languages such as photojournalism. This approach led to the selection of basic geometric shapes, such as the circle (reticule) and the square (pixel), as the matrices of the graphic interpretations of each paragraph of the film’s copy.”

“Black and white is all the colors, whichever inspiration decides,” Ricketts continues in the video, positioning color as imagination’s prison.

The film ends with a tagline that drives that point home: “Free yourself from colors.” (If Pleasantville had made the same argument, maybe it could have protected its idyllic setting a little longer.)

The campaign will include three radio spots, and will air in Brazil, France and Germany.

Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
Category: Film
Client: Leica Gallery São Paulo
Title: Everything In Black & White
Product: Leica M – Monochrom
1st DATE: April 4, 2017
General Creative Director: Fabio Fernandes
Creative Director: Pedro Prado | Rodrigo Castellari
Creative Team: Pedro Prado | Rodrigo Castellari
Account Management: Saulo Sanchez | Gabriela Marques
Media: Maurício Almeida | Edison Tamashiro
RTVC: Elucieli Nascimento | Fernanda Sousa | Rafael Paes | Victor Alloza
Production Company: LOBO
Director: Mateus De Paula Santos | Fábio Acorsi
Design and Animation: Bruno Ferrari | Fabiano Broki | Fábio Acorsi | Felipe Frazão
Art Director: Fabiano Broki | Andreia De Marchi
Executive Producer: Alberto Lopes | Sérgio Salles
Account Management: Márcia Guimarães
Sound Production: Satelite Audio
Production: Equipe Satelite
Maestro: Equipe Satelite
Account Management: Fernanda Costa | Tatiane Dias Ferreira
Voiceover: Toby Ricketts
Client Approval: Luiz Marinho