A monster made of cables points the way to refurbed tech in US campaign for Back Market

Spot created with Nexus director Johnny Kelly mixes stop motion animation and puppetry

Published On
Nov 28, 2022

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Back Market, a marketplace for reconditioned electrical and electronic appliances that originated in France, is making a heavy push into the U.S. market with an ad that portrays technology companies as a "monster" made up of tangled chargers, cables and earbuds (the kind that, probably, you actually have sitting in a drawer because they no longer fit any of your new devices.) 

The advertiser enlisted director Johnny Kelly of Nexus Studios, who's known for his work on Chipotle's award-winning stop-motion ad  "Back to the Start" as well as puppet-maker Andy Gent, who worked on Wes Anderson’s ‘"Isle of Dogs," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," for the spot, which combines stop-motion and puppetry. It tells the tale of a little girl that tries to explain to the Tech Monster that we have enough stuff, and shouldn't always be seeking to replace it. Unlike real-life "tech monsters," the creature does begin to see the error of its ways. 

The ad is running over TV, social and video, while outdoor ads will be deployed in New York City around Port Authority, a station takeover in Union Square, and around Penn Station.

Back Market is known for its humorous and provocative campaigns in the European market, including a recent spot that portrayed cats as evil, and a campaign that targeted Apple Store customers on Earth Day. 

The campaign comes as the company wants to widen its reach in the U.S. ahead of the key holiday season. It currently operates in 16 countries including the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K., Spain, Japan, and is widely known across Europe—one in four people in France have purchased their phone from Back Market. 

"The story of The Monster asks us to reflect on our own buying habits and challenges the belief that you have to sacrifice something when buying products that have a lower impact on your wallet and the environment," said Woody Wright, head of U.S. Marketing, Back Market, in a statement. "Back Market believes we should do more with what we already have, an idea shared through the tale of a monster who sees that ‘new’ isn't always better."