Invasion of the Lens People

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Madison, Wis.-based communications company Planet Propaganda produced a wry take on political advertising to promote the 2004 Wisconsin Film Festival, which was held April 1-4 in downtown Madison. "After three years of building brand awareness, we wanted to promote the event's larger leadership role regarding film in the Midwest," says Planet brand manager Travis Ott. "Since the Wisconsin Film Festival is the area's biggest proponent of independent film, it made sense to champion that cause. Hence what Ott calls "a creative spin on grass-roots politics"-since festivalgoers share a passion for indie films that can provoke heated debate and emotion, the political campaign approach positions the festival as a cause to rally around. Photocopied flyers, stickers, buttons, direct mail postcards, brochures, black and white print ads, posters, life-size cutouts and a "self-aware manifesto" calling on film people near and far to "join us as we strive toward a happier, healthier tomorrow" are intended to "provide a consistency and sense of urgency for film enthusiasts," says Ott. The creative centers around the festival's signature reddish-orange color, with a limited palette of orange, black and white for that grass-roots politics look, with people inspired by models and fashions from old department store catalogs. Planet also produced five TV spots, which doubled as cinema trailers, not to mention the festival website, www.wifilmfest.org.

Client: Wisconsin Film Festival Design: Planet Propaganda CD: Dana Lytle, John Besmer Designer: David I. Taylor Copywriter: James Breen Brand Manager: Travis Ott Production Director: Ann Sweeney Production Designer: Angie Medenwaldt Photographers: Kevin Wade, David I. Taylor, Tommy Sweeney

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