With America more polarized than ever, it seems somebody, somewhere is always feeling offended about something. So the Brooklyn Film Festival is leaning into that this year, with a marketing campaign that takes pride in the fact that it has "something to offend everyone."
The campaign by Mullen Lowe New York includes a digital film inspired by stereotypical human resources videos, schooling viewers on how to talk to others about some of its films without offending them.
It leads people to a website, howtotalkaboutbff.com, featuring a "course" of humorous short videos, in which the protagonists try (and fail) to communicate new ideas to their partner, dog or work colleagues. On "completing" the course, viewers can get a digital certificate, which will allow them to get a discounted ticket to the Festival, which runs from June 3-12.
The campaign also includes out-of-home work, including billboards running in Times Square this week. They feature illustrations of characters expressing their anger in some very explosive ways—there's vomiting, exploding brains and more.
The campaign underscores how the Brooklyn Film Festival prides itself on never censoring its filmmakers, offering a range of narratives, sensibilities and arguments that explore every aspect of human reality from different points of view.
“By never censoring their filmmakers, The Brooklyn Film Festival caters to an audience that appreciates being challenged," said Rich Singer and Zack Menna, group creative directors at MullenLowe New York, in a joint statement. "As a joke, we thought those people might need help talking about the films they’re about to see with people who might not be as open-minded as they are, so we took inspiration from the interactive HR training videos we are made to watch every year. If they can teach us how to interact with our coworkers without being offensive, surely, they can teach filmgoers how to do the same.”