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A Timeless Love

A Timeless Love

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

April 2, 2018

Based on a true story, this is a tale of love and triumph.

"Life insurance is love insurance."

Ian Brown, Executive Creative Director of Havas Champagne in Phnom Penh, talks about how he and his team managed to tap into emotion with this new film for insurance company Prudential Cambodia.

 

Was this film inspired by a true story?

Yes. Our Head of Media, Bopha Un, told it to us. It was a story based on her brother’s life. After presenting several rounds of fictional scenarios, there was a small but important change of direction—base the concept on reality for greater impact. We turned to our Khmer staff and asked if they had any stories of enduring love and personal sacrifice. Bopha shared this touching story.

The approach to this story was more cinematic. Why tell such an involved narrative, rather than a shorter, 60-second spot?

In this part of the world, storytelling is the way tradition and learning is passed down through the generations. There is also a peculiar quirk in Cambodia when it comes to storylines: they’re expected to have a tragic outcome. In fact, 80% of all Khmer folktales end in tragedy. An eight-minute film gave us the chance to build the characters in depth, weave a complex plot, create a backstory, plus have a more natural delivery of Prudential’s key message: Life insurance is love insurance.

A key decision in the creation of this film was selecting a young, ambitious Khmer director: Chum Sothea. He had shot a few self-financed, short films but had yet to get a break by working on an international brand like Prudential. We took a calculated risk. Not having a hotshot, international director behind the camera made the client nervous at first. But with careful reassurance, we were able to work with Sothea. Because of this, we have a film with important cultural nuances made by a director who extracted the very best from the 100% Khmer cast.

"In this part of the world, storytelling is the way tradition and learning is passed down through the generations."

How does this emotional approach appeal to viewers?

The category of life insurance can be uninspiring, with the purchase of a policy viewed as just something practical and sensible. But by adding a powerful layer of emotion and using a story that our target customers can identify with, we thought it would be touching and relatable. We were right.

“Timeless Love,” after just two weeks on Facebook, had been viewed more than 750,000 times with 3,000 shares. Considering Cambodia has a population of 15 million people, that is a pretty good result for what is historically a low-interest category.

What do you want people to take away after watching this film?

Make sure that you look after the future of your loved ones.

 

 


CREDITS:

Client: Prudential (Cambodia) Life Assurance

Head, Brand and Communications: Bophany Un

Assistant Manager, Brand and Communications: Yuvattey Ngeth

Agency: Havas Champagne

Group Executive Creative Director: Ian Brown

Group Creative Director: Dalischa de Kok

Script by: Ian Brown, Dalischa de Kok, and Chum Sothea

Managing Director: Dannith Oung

Group Account Director: Karen Grace Marquez

Senior Account Manager: Pisey Chea

Strategic Planner: Vincent Crouzet,

Art Direction: Lala Limpo, Pagnarith Sao, and Aurelien Soula

Director: Chum Sothea

Assistant Director: Vandy Piseth

Director of Photography: Charles He

"Life insurance is love insurance."

Ian Brown, Executive Creative Director of Havas Champagne in Phnom Penh, talks about how he and his team managed to tap into emotion with this new film for insurance company Prudential Cambodia.

 

Was this film inspired by a true story?

Yes. Our Head of Media, Bopha Un, told it to us. It was a story based on her brother’s life. After presenting several rounds of fictional scenarios, there was a small but important change of direction—base the concept on reality for greater impact. We turned to our Khmer staff and asked if they had any stories of enduring love and personal sacrifice. Bopha shared this touching story.

The approach to this story was more cinematic. Why tell such an involved narrative, rather than a shorter, 60-second spot?

In this part of the world, storytelling is the way tradition and learning is passed down through the generations. There is also a peculiar quirk in Cambodia when it comes to storylines: they’re expected to have a tragic outcome. In fact, 80% of all Khmer folktales end in tragedy. An eight-minute film gave us the chance to build the characters in depth, weave a complex plot, create a backstory, plus have a more natural delivery of Prudential’s key message: Life insurance is love insurance.

A key decision in the creation of this film was selecting a young, ambitious Khmer director: Chum Sothea. He had shot a few self-financed, short films but had yet to get a break by working on an international brand like Prudential. We took a calculated risk. Not having a hotshot, international director behind the camera made the client nervous at first. But with careful reassurance, we were able to work with Sothea. Because of this, we have a film with important cultural nuances made by a director who extracted the very best from the 100% Khmer cast.

"In this part of the world, storytelling is the way tradition and learning is passed down through the generations."

How does this emotional approach appeal to viewers?

The category of life insurance can be uninspiring, with the purchase of a policy viewed as just something practical and sensible. But by adding a powerful layer of emotion and using a story that our target customers can identify with, we thought it would be touching and relatable. We were right.

“Timeless Love,” after just two weeks on Facebook, had been viewed more than 750,000 times with 3,000 shares. Considering Cambodia has a population of 15 million people, that is a pretty good result for what is historically a low-interest category.

What do you want people to take away after watching this film?

Make sure that you look after the future of your loved ones.

 

 


CREDITS:

Client: Prudential (Cambodia) Life Assurance

Head, Brand and Communications: Bophany Un

Assistant Manager, Brand and Communications: Yuvattey Ngeth

Agency: Havas Champagne

Group Executive Creative Director: Ian Brown

Group Creative Director: Dalischa de Kok

Script by: Ian Brown, Dalischa de Kok, and Chum Sothea

Managing Director: Dannith Oung

Group Account Director: Karen Grace Marquez

Senior Account Manager: Pisey Chea

Strategic Planner: Vincent Crouzet,

Art Direction: Lala Limpo, Pagnarith Sao, and Aurelien Soula

Director: Chum Sothea

Assistant Director: Vandy Piseth

Director of Photography: Charles He

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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