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The Power of One

The Power of One

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

November 11, 2019

Havas Milan and Coop’s latest campaign takes viewers on a journey through the eyes of a determined shopping cart.

"There are issues and battles we just can’t fight alone and it’s only by fostering collective awareness that you can aim at such goals"

Can responsible grocery shopping change the world? Havas Milan and Coop certainly think so. The Italian supermarket’s latest campaign showcases the power of individuals in the global movement for change. The “Shopping Can Change the World” message is portrayed through a powerful modern-day fairy tale, which follows a strong-willed Coop grocery cart as it breaks free and embarks on an epic journey to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing our generation. Giovanni Porro, Chief Creative Officer of Havas Milan, talks about the emotive campaign that champions Coop’s commitment to safeguarding the planet and the people and animals that inhabit it.

 

How did the concept of this campaign form and why was the shopping cart chosen as the main protagonist? 

The idea that “Good Shopping Can Change the World” is what first shaped this campaign. Looking at this sentence on a white slide felt like something magnificent. It’s a strong, inspiring line, born from what Coop concretely does every day. In this campaign, we matched this idea with some contemporary issues that are becoming more and more urgent to our society. A whole generation is taking over the world to remind us of their desire for a different future, and grocery shopping is one of the ways we can have a positive impact on change.

The shopping cart idea came at the second stage of concept development. We were looking for a strong symbol that could represent both Coop’s commitment and the consumers’ common feeling. We needed a memorable protagonist that was able to make us passionate about its adventures. 

The campaign took a subject as serious as climate change and told Coop’s story in a playful way—what was the thinking behind this decision?

What led us in this direction was Coop’s DNA. Coop is, in many ways, a brand ahead of its time. It started pursuing sustainability, labor rights, and food safety long before these issues became trending topics. With its actions, Coop has often anticipated behaviors that are now required by law. The risk, in these cases, is to sound like someone who’s bragging about their achievements and, as we know, generally, “Mr. Perfects” are not very well loved. So, we decided to narrate Coop’s big commitment in an entertaining way, to try to engage people through emotions.

"What we absolutely wanted was to give this cart a real soul and to make it more human"

How does the video highlight Coop’s brand mission and values?

The video shows some of the areas of Coop’s commitment. One is, for instance, reduction of plastic in packaging and the decision to avoid including microplastics in products. Another is the welfare of farm animals, along with labor rights, especially in agriculture. Also, Coop’s commitment to lowering the amount of pesticides and their alignment with the fight against deforestation. In our institutional video, we tried to touch on as many sides of Coop’s commitment as possible.

The Family’s Vincent Lobelle directed the story—how did his involvement elevate the campaign?

We chose Vincent for two reasons. The quality of his reel was impressive, of course, especially in terms of CGI mastery. But, even more than that, he has the ability to always convey emotion. What we absolutely wanted was to give this cart a real soul and to make it more human. The coin scene with the two little girls, for example, was Vincent’s idea: a cart interacting with two kids, acting just as if it were human. The small details that elevate the audience’s final feeling.

The video starts off small and builds to an epic finale. Tell us a little about the production process. Where did you film scenes for the ad and what was involved in digitally creating scenes such as the ones in the depths of the ocean and in the Antarctic?

We spent five days shooting and about 50 post-producing. We filmed the beach, countryside, and supermarket scenes in Tuscany. It required an interesting mix of techniques. When possible, we used a real cart moved by ropes, or by a remote-controlled motor, or propelled by a quad. In scenes such as that with the whale, or the train journey, we pasted the cart in CGI onto pre-existing material. The Antarctic scene is 100% digital.

The shopping cart shows how the power of one can inspire many; was this a key goal of the campaign?

There are issues and battles we just can’t fight alone. It’s only by fostering collective awareness that you can aim at such goals. We expressed this concept that a coalition of carts would act as one as they begin to follow their leader.

Climate change is extremely topical; why did Havas Milan think it was important for Coop to align itself with this movement?

Coop is a new client to Havas Milan. Of course, we knew climate change was important from the consumers’ perspective. But as we started to study Coop as consultants, something became immediately clear. It wasn’t us who suggested Coop joining the movement for the protection of our planet; it was rather in Coop’s story itself. The contemporary ideas that form its sustainable philosophy are completely in line with the current trending topics. The challenge was to find the courage to state something important. And then, of course, to find the right storytelling that struck the right notes. We hope we achieved that.

"There are issues and battles we just can’t fight alone and it’s only by fostering collective awareness that you can aim at such goals"

Can responsible grocery shopping change the world? Havas Milan and Coop certainly think so. The Italian supermarket’s latest campaign showcases the power of individuals in the global movement for change. The “Shopping Can Change the World” message is portrayed through a powerful modern-day fairy tale, which follows a strong-willed Coop grocery cart as it breaks free and embarks on an epic journey to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing our generation. Giovanni Porro, Chief Creative Officer of Havas Milan, talks about the emotive campaign that champions Coop’s commitment to safeguarding the planet and the people and animals that inhabit it.

 

How did the concept of this campaign form and why was the shopping cart chosen as the main protagonist? 

The idea that “Good Shopping Can Change the World” is what first shaped this campaign. Looking at this sentence on a white slide felt like something magnificent. It’s a strong, inspiring line, born from what Coop concretely does every day. In this campaign, we matched this idea with some contemporary issues that are becoming more and more urgent to our society. A whole generation is taking over the world to remind us of their desire for a different future, and grocery shopping is one of the ways we can have a positive impact on change.

The shopping cart idea came at the second stage of concept development. We were looking for a strong symbol that could represent both Coop’s commitment and the consumers’ common feeling. We needed a memorable protagonist that was able to make us passionate about its adventures. 

The campaign took a subject as serious as climate change and told Coop’s story in a playful way—what was the thinking behind this decision?

What led us in this direction was Coop’s DNA. Coop is, in many ways, a brand ahead of its time. It started pursuing sustainability, labor rights, and food safety long before these issues became trending topics. With its actions, Coop has often anticipated behaviors that are now required by law. The risk, in these cases, is to sound like someone who’s bragging about their achievements and, as we know, generally, “Mr. Perfects” are not very well loved. So, we decided to narrate Coop’s big commitment in an entertaining way, to try to engage people through emotions.

"What we absolutely wanted was to give this cart a real soul and to make it more human"

How does the video highlight Coop’s brand mission and values?

The video shows some of the areas of Coop’s commitment. One is, for instance, reduction of plastic in packaging and the decision to avoid including microplastics in products. Another is the welfare of farm animals, along with labor rights, especially in agriculture. Also, Coop’s commitment to lowering the amount of pesticides and their alignment with the fight against deforestation. In our institutional video, we tried to touch on as many sides of Coop’s commitment as possible.

The Family’s Vincent Lobelle directed the story—how did his involvement elevate the campaign?

We chose Vincent for two reasons. The quality of his reel was impressive, of course, especially in terms of CGI mastery. But, even more than that, he has the ability to always convey emotion. What we absolutely wanted was to give this cart a real soul and to make it more human. The coin scene with the two little girls, for example, was Vincent’s idea: a cart interacting with two kids, acting just as if it were human. The small details that elevate the audience’s final feeling.

The video starts off small and builds to an epic finale. Tell us a little about the production process. Where did you film scenes for the ad and what was involved in digitally creating scenes such as the ones in the depths of the ocean and in the Antarctic?

We spent five days shooting and about 50 post-producing. We filmed the beach, countryside, and supermarket scenes in Tuscany. It required an interesting mix of techniques. When possible, we used a real cart moved by ropes, or by a remote-controlled motor, or propelled by a quad. In scenes such as that with the whale, or the train journey, we pasted the cart in CGI onto pre-existing material. The Antarctic scene is 100% digital.

The shopping cart shows how the power of one can inspire many; was this a key goal of the campaign?

There are issues and battles we just can’t fight alone. It’s only by fostering collective awareness that you can aim at such goals. We expressed this concept that a coalition of carts would act as one as they begin to follow their leader.

Climate change is extremely topical; why did Havas Milan think it was important for Coop to align itself with this movement?

Coop is a new client to Havas Milan. Of course, we knew climate change was important from the consumers’ perspective. But as we started to study Coop as consultants, something became immediately clear. It wasn’t us who suggested Coop joining the movement for the protection of our planet; it was rather in Coop’s story itself. The contemporary ideas that form its sustainable philosophy are completely in line with the current trending topics. The challenge was to find the courage to state something important. And then, of course, to find the right storytelling that struck the right notes. We hope we achieved that.

Patricia Murphy is a content creator with a background in digital health and lifestyle journalism. She loves to chat and tell stories.

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