As lights come back on, Viola Davis narrates Bank of America's message of hope for the future

Ringan Ledwidge directs 'Commencement' film symbolizing the economy's rebirth

Published On
Jun 01, 2020

Editor's Pick

When it comes to emotive advertising, Viola Davis seems to be the go-to actor at the moment, not only appearing in the latest L'Oreal ad about self-worth but narrating a new heartfelt film about the pandemic from Bank of America.

The film is called "Commencement" and Davis' voiceover takes the form of a commencement speech of sorts, except that she's pointing out that "we won't get a diploma or a degree or any sort...but we are entering a new chapter in our lives."

Rattling Stick's Ringan Ledwidge directed the film for Leo Burnett, using the motif of lights of coming back on in the darkness to give us a message of hope for the future and symbolize the economy's rebirth. (While the ad broke last week, it seems particularly poignant in the light of this weekend's events across America.)

The footage was all filmed in the U.S., with Ledwidge directing from afar via Zoom. It includes images of closed stores, theaters, restaurants, factories, schools and sports venues switching their lights back on. Davis' speech ends with a riff on the famous Leonard Cohen quote: "There's a crack in everything for a else can the light get in?"

 "I really wanted to capture the spirit that runs through the country,” Ledwidge says of his vision for the spot. “It was important that the locations, although free of people, resonated emotionally, felt familiar and all-encompassing. I guess in a way they’re a reminder of the wonderful things we do and one day, step by step, will do again.”



Jun 01, 2020
Client :
Bank of America
Agency :
Leo Burnett-Chicago
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Liz Taylor
Creative Director :
Andre Santa Cruz
Creative Director :
Caio Batista
Executive Creative Director :
Sue DeSilva
Global Chief Strategy Officer :
Mick McCabe
Executive Vice President Director of Strategy :
Nicole Hayes
Senior Vice President Strategy Director :
Dominic Hanley
Executive Vice President Business Leadership :
Debbie Myszynski
Vice President/Group Director Business Leadership :
Audra Curran
Account Director :
Leti Freytes
Executive Producer :
Ashley Geisheker
Senior Producer :
Kimberly Cowie
Project Management :
Keaton Wilson
Creative Resource Director :
Nancy Parnell
Celebrity Services :
Peggy Walter
Senior Vice President Activation Director :
Dan Bruinsma
Vice President Media Account Director :
Ryanne Bianchini
Associate Media Director :
Nicole Fosco
Editorial :
Work Editorial
Editor :
Rich Orrick
Color and Finishing :
Harbor Picture Company
Colorist :
Elodie Ichter
Music :
KO Music
Composer :
Philip Kay
Sound Mixing :
Harbor Picture Company
Engineer :
Mark Turrigiano
Production Company :
Rattling Stick
Director :
Ringan Ledwidge
Partner/Executive Producer :
Joe Biggins
Executive Producer :
Jeff Shupe
Head of Production :
Richard McIntosh
Line Producer :
Joey Zadwarny
Associate Producer :
Sean Curtis
Sales :
Marni Halliburton
Sales :
Sean Sullivan
Director of Photography :
Adam Arkapaw
1st Assistant Director :
Justin Charbonnet
Production Supervisor :
Devon Wright
Asst. Production Supervisor :
Bailey Padgett

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors