With more than 35 million Americans now unemployed due to the pandemic, a new campaign by recruitment brand Monster.com gives voice to some of the frustrations of the current "work" environment. However, the feelings aren't voiced by people, but by inanimate work bags.
In the spots, by MullenLowe, a graduate's backpack, businessperson's luggage and a tool box all express their feelings: for example, the backpack is confined to her bedroom with her childhood toys after years of education and traveling the world, while the suitcase is stuck in a closet rather than accompanying its owner on business trips and the abandoned tool box complains that he can't put any of his tools to use.
“We wanted to tap into how people were feeling in the current work environment and give them permission to be frustrated and anxious, but also offer a solution to help them work through it,” said Ben Salsky and Myles Allpress, creative directors at MullenLowe, in a statement. “The work bags were a way to represent a range of jobs and bring them to life to voice these emotions, adding some levity to a heavy situation. Suddenly you’re feeling for a suitcase tucked away in a closet or a backpack stuck in bed all day, and maybe that makes you laugh. We figured we could all use a laugh at the moment.”
The spots were directed during lockdown by MAMA, via production company World War Seven. To make them as authentic as possible, voice talent wasn't told they were playing the role of a backpack or a suitcase, just that they were representing an impacted member of the workforce. And in line with social distancing regulations, the video feed came directly from an Alexa camera into a Zoom meeting led by the MAMA team, with client and agency present.