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Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

April 1, 2019

Fullsix France brings Schmidt to great heights with their award-winning “Vertical Home” campaign.

"We had the crazy idea of making the impossible possible."

What do you do to make your client stand out from its competition? Well, if you’re Fullsix France you pitch an idea that’s 6,000 feet off the ground.

Fullsix France’s Deputy General Manager Ilana Azoulay shares how the agency brought “Vertical Home” from paper to the side of a mountain on the cliff of Parmelan, in Haute-Savoie, and last week was named the 2019 Grand Prix Stratégies Digital winner.

This seems crazy! How did you get the client to agree to this idea? Surely some lawyer somewhere must have raised a couple of concerns?

You’re right, the idea is crazy. Schmidt was wondering how it could communicate its expertise in designing ultra-personalized kitchens. We had the crazy idea of making the impossible possible: design, produce, and set up a full kitchen and dressing room on the side of a mountain at an altitude of 6,000 feet.

Instead of the classic 30-second spots on TV, we made a dedicated website and an 8-episode web documentary to share this crazy experience in detail, and make people live the accomplishment of this huge feat.

We immediately assessed its power and loved it, but we also had to convince ourselves to suggest it to our client, because it was a call for bids. However, we definitely believed in the strength of this idea for Schmidt and got it through the process.

Then, we had to convince our client. The challenge was huge, not only for us but also for Schmidt’s team, but, then again, the power of the idea outweighed the complexity of the project.

Schmidt’s team had to be brave and as crazy as we are to choose our recommendation; we want to thank them for that. Today, everybody is not just happy, but proud to have done it.

How does the campaign tie into the mission at Schmidt?

Because its core expertise is to tailor-make kitchens and storage solutions for individuals, Schmidt does not just say that it is capable of designing, producing, and setting up a kitchen or a dressing room depending on the constraints of the building—it promises improvements in line with everyone’s aspirations.

And because Schmidt makes no compromises, it is not sufficient to merely state that everything is possible—the brand proves it by realizing the impossible.

The “Vertical Home” campaign (an 8-episode web documentary without any special effects) is the ultimate “torture test.” By being committed to designing, building, and setting up a kitchen and dressing room on a sheer cliff for the mountaineer Kenton Cool, Schmidt demonstrates it can make any of your craziest obsessions come true.

Walk us a little through the logistics of building and setting up a fully functioning kitchen on a mountain. I’m almost hesitant to ask—any behind-the-scenes glitches that you had to deal with during the shoot?

The structure on which the material was fixed and would allow the cameramen to shoot was 13 x 7 meters (~300 feet) and weighed 600kg (~1,300 lbs). We had on site a core team of 30 people, and at its peak up to 45 people. The shooting lasted 15 days for the web doc (eight days with two cameras), four days for the TV ad.

We had to adapt to the weather, which turned out to be very tricky (rain, wind, cold), and we had to delay many days of shooting because of these weather conditions. The team had to change the location of the shoot because the first mountain was too dangerous and then had to set up and install everything in windy and wet conditions—and had to be ready for the exact moment when the sun appeared.

Thankfully, the team stayed focused and we had a couple of hours of sun.

Obviously, we were very careful to take care and clean up everything when the work was done to leave the mountain as natural as it was before our arrival.

"The challenge was huge...but, then again, the power of the idea outweighed the complexity of the project."

How did the idea of promoting the kitchen with an 8-episode web doc come about? Where can people watch the episodes?

Campaigns related to the kitchen market are usually all the same, and with no surprise. In fact, they all look the same. We wanted the Schmidt brand to stand out from the competition. To stand out thanks to the idea, but also to stand out in how we communicated the idea.

That’s why we set up a full 360° media play (print, TV, social media kit, display, and this 8-episode web doc) to allow us to make every visitor really feel the feat we achieved—to show them that everything was made for real and let them comprehend how difficult it was—all in order to highlight that there’s only one firm with the expertise to do it: Schmidt.

And Schmidt can now bring such a feat to your home.

You can watch the episodes in English, in French, in Spanish and in German.

How did adventurer Kenton Cool, who has climbed Mount Everest 13 times, get involved?

We wanted to involve an experienced mountaineer who would embrace the project. Kenton was very enthusiastic for the project and got fully involved in it, from the very beginning of the conception to the final cut. Kenton was just as perfect as the kitchen and the dressing room were.

What is the ultimate message of the campaign?

We thought about what we considered to be an impossible project, and we succeeded in pulling it off, to illustrate that Schmidt’s ultra-personalization expertise enables them to make your craziest projects come true in your home.

How has the campaign been received so far?

The results are as spectacular as the project was: So far, we have 20 million views of the videos, an increase of 40 percent in social interaction, and a boost of Google queries on the brand Schmidt.

Beyond the great commercial figures, this campaign was also an extraordinary human adventure for all the people involved. It was a business and emotional adventure.

"We had the crazy idea of making the impossible possible."

What do you do to make your client stand out from its competition? Well, if you’re Fullsix France you pitch an idea that’s 6,000 feet off the ground.

Fullsix France’s Deputy General Manager Ilana Azoulay shares how the agency brought “Vertical Home” from paper to the side of a mountain on the cliff of Parmelan, in Haute-Savoie, and last week was named the 2019 Grand Prix Stratégies Digital winner.

This seems crazy! How did you get the client to agree to this idea? Surely some lawyer somewhere must have raised a couple of concerns?

You’re right, the idea is crazy. Schmidt was wondering how it could communicate its expertise in designing ultra-personalized kitchens. We had the crazy idea of making the impossible possible: design, produce, and set up a full kitchen and dressing room on the side of a mountain at an altitude of 6,000 feet.

Instead of the classic 30-second spots on TV, we made a dedicated website and an 8-episode web documentary to share this crazy experience in detail, and make people live the accomplishment of this huge feat.

We immediately assessed its power and loved it, but we also had to convince ourselves to suggest it to our client, because it was a call for bids. However, we definitely believed in the strength of this idea for Schmidt and got it through the process.

Then, we had to convince our client. The challenge was huge, not only for us but also for Schmidt’s team, but, then again, the power of the idea outweighed the complexity of the project.

Schmidt’s team had to be brave and as crazy as we are to choose our recommendation; we want to thank them for that. Today, everybody is not just happy, but proud to have done it.

How does the campaign tie into the mission at Schmidt?

Because its core expertise is to tailor-make kitchens and storage solutions for individuals, Schmidt does not just say that it is capable of designing, producing, and setting up a kitchen or a dressing room depending on the constraints of the building—it promises improvements in line with everyone’s aspirations.

And because Schmidt makes no compromises, it is not sufficient to merely state that everything is possible—the brand proves it by realizing the impossible.

The “Vertical Home” campaign (an 8-episode web documentary without any special effects) is the ultimate “torture test.” By being committed to designing, building, and setting up a kitchen and dressing room on a sheer cliff for the mountaineer Kenton Cool, Schmidt demonstrates it can make any of your craziest obsessions come true.

Walk us a little through the logistics of building and setting up a fully functioning kitchen on a mountain. I’m almost hesitant to ask—any behind-the-scenes glitches that you had to deal with during the shoot?

The structure on which the material was fixed and would allow the cameramen to shoot was 13 x 7 meters (~300 feet) and weighed 600kg (~1,300 lbs). We had on site a core team of 30 people, and at its peak up to 45 people. The shooting lasted 15 days for the web doc (eight days with two cameras), four days for the TV ad.

We had to adapt to the weather, which turned out to be very tricky (rain, wind, cold), and we had to delay many days of shooting because of these weather conditions. The team had to change the location of the shoot because the first mountain was too dangerous and then had to set up and install everything in windy and wet conditions—and had to be ready for the exact moment when the sun appeared.

Thankfully, the team stayed focused and we had a couple of hours of sun.

Obviously, we were very careful to take care and clean up everything when the work was done to leave the mountain as natural as it was before our arrival.

"The challenge was huge...but, then again, the power of the idea outweighed the complexity of the project."

How did the idea of promoting the kitchen with an 8-episode web doc come about? Where can people watch the episodes?

Campaigns related to the kitchen market are usually all the same, and with no surprise. In fact, they all look the same. We wanted the Schmidt brand to stand out from the competition. To stand out thanks to the idea, but also to stand out in how we communicated the idea.

That’s why we set up a full 360° media play (print, TV, social media kit, display, and this 8-episode web doc) to allow us to make every visitor really feel the feat we achieved—to show them that everything was made for real and let them comprehend how difficult it was—all in order to highlight that there’s only one firm with the expertise to do it: Schmidt.

And Schmidt can now bring such a feat to your home.

You can watch the episodes in English, in French, in Spanish and in German.

How did adventurer Kenton Cool, who has climbed Mount Everest 13 times, get involved?

We wanted to involve an experienced mountaineer who would embrace the project. Kenton was very enthusiastic for the project and got fully involved in it, from the very beginning of the conception to the final cut. Kenton was just as perfect as the kitchen and the dressing room were.

What is the ultimate message of the campaign?

We thought about what we considered to be an impossible project, and we succeeded in pulling it off, to illustrate that Schmidt’s ultra-personalization expertise enables them to make your craziest projects come true in your home.

How has the campaign been received so far?

The results are as spectacular as the project was: So far, we have 20 million views of the videos, an increase of 40 percent in social interaction, and a boost of Google queries on the brand Schmidt.

Beyond the great commercial figures, this campaign was also an extraordinary human adventure for all the people involved. It was a business and emotional adventure.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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