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Top Spot of the Week: Grey for Good's Short For #ClearThePitch Campaign


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2016


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Starting out as what could well be a brand film for an athletic equipment/apparel company, this short features soccer balls from around the world. Then the action takes an unexpected and disturbing turn, revealing a boy with a missing limb. He asks us if we saw the bomb, adding that “I didn’t.” He then points out a cluster-bomblet which actually looks much like a ball.  A message then appears on screen which reads: “Unexploded ordnance and mines kill or maim children just playing ball.”

This short is the centerpiece of a campaign which broke on Monday, April 4, the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Conceived by Grey for Good, the philanthropic arm of Grey Group Singapore, the campaign is for DanChurchAid (DCA) to drive support for creating safer communities in post-conflict zones around the world--communities free of dangerous remnants of war such as land mines, unexploded ammunition and cluster bombs.

The integrated campaign #ClearThePitch builds an emotional link to one of the world’s biggest sports: Soccer. It’s a universal sport and is played on streets, fields, playgrounds, parking lots and many more places. But due to remnants of war such as land mines, cluster bombs and unexploded ammunition, in large parts of the world playing soccer on fields can be extremely dangerous, especially for children.

James Teh of Great Guns directed the short which is driven by a score crafted by Yessian Music. The short has an iconic song as soundtrack, the football hymn “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by supporters in stadiums around the world to back their teams and reinterpreted in a highly emotive acoustic version.

“We really had to think long and hard on how to approach the music on this,” said Brian Yessian, partner/CCO of Yessian Music.  “It’s an iconic song in the football/soccer world and has a very strong and emotional connection to the fans.  From the beginning we talked about whether to make this a 12-man choir approach, a single adult or child, or to move the lyric through a group of people that slowly join to sing together.   In the end, and also one of our very first attempts, we landed on a distinctive voice that had an emotion and passion, which felt natural and real while it continues to build in layers. We are talking about a real serious issue that most people in the developed world are not familiar with.  Together with a subtle sound design approach that helps to misdirect the concept with the fans chanting and cheering, we are able to set up the story.”  

This is a story of innocence.  Innocent children, playing football/soccer in fields with their friends.   The sonic palette feels reverent, passionate for the sport and positive until the moment we see the boy at which point the music drops down to acknowledge this horrible outcome for an innocent child playing in the fields.  The music then recaps in a very inspiring and emotional tone as a call to action.  It is a delicate balance between the music score and sound design which walks a fine line of reality and emotion.


Client DanChurchAid (DCA) Mine Action Agency Grey Group Singapore (through Grey for Good) Till Hohmann, executive creative director; Antonio Bonifacio, creative director; Konstantin Popovic, managing director; James Dickinson, copywriter; Luis Fabra, art director; Brendan Cravitz, sr. executive producer; Lauren Riley, producer; Suresh Ramaswamy, digital lead; Karishma Menon, digital. Production Great Guns James Teh, director; Laura Gregory, exec producer; Mathew Alden, producer; Ann Suthida Sihasavetra, line producer; Sinthop Sophon (Jeab), DP; Nattachai Kitjanawanchai (Nut Art), production design. Music/Sound Design Yessian Music, New York Michael Dragovic, composer/arranger; Jeff Dittenber, sound designer/mixer; Brian Yessian, chief creative officer. Song: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II) Postproduction Cutters Ryan McGuire, editing supervisor; Timo Otsuki, exec producer; Shumpei Negami, producer; Ben Conkey, colorist; Toshiki Kamei, colorist assistant; Dr. Yu, online/finish; Tomomi Ogawa, online assistant.

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