How a top Canadian studio made technology tangible for Samsung

Paris-based advertising agency Heaven contacted Montreal studio Vallée Duhamel to collaborate on an ad that would highlight the unique functionalities of Samsung's Galaxy Note S-Pen. Designer Julien Vallee explains…

The initial brief was really simple: illustrate the functionality of the S-Pen by interpreting each of its features in the 'real world' through real objects in the daily life of a user.

The target audience Samsung wanted to reach was pretty large. The idea was to reach mostly professionals that would use their phones for work and personal matters – the film wasn't intended to reach only creative people.

Hit play to watch the final ad, above, and scroll down to find out how we brought Samsung's Galaxy Note S-Pen to life...

01. Translate the pen's features into tangible actions

The first step was to analyse the functionality of the S-Pen and translate its uses through different objects that they could relate to. There were a lot of them and we had to carefully consider the order in which they would appear in the final film.

Pretty basic tools included 'cut and paste', for example, which we replaced with obvious objects like scissors and a glue stick. Others were more specific, such as the multi-tasking feature, which is basically two programs running simultaneously on a split screen.

We illustrated that by having the hands play ping-pong and writing with the typewriter at the same time. In total we represented 11 different types of functionality.

02. Identifty the challenges early on

Since we wanted to do everything in-camera, there were some real challenges regarding the size of the objects – the way they would move and interact with the desk environment.

Another aspect we were dealing with was the ability of the actor (Émilien Zauhar, who practices penspinning as a hobby) to make interesting movements with the objects.

03. Choreograph the actions

One last constraint that we decided to add was for the choreography to be coherent: the order of crafted actions had to follow an ordinary day, so coffee in the morning, picnic for lunch, ping-pong game in the afternoon and so on.

04. Bring in other creatives

Make sure you work with the right people. We love meeting new people and involving them in our projects. Sometimes we feel too close to our creative process, and being challenged by an outsider can really change established perceptions.

Next page: four more steps for making a stunning ad – plus get 50 per cent off a Computer Arts subscription

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