Don't wait to say beautiful words

For Dela, with Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam

Real people. Real speeches. Real love.

Known fact: the most beautiful speeches are delivered at funerals. But why wait until it's too late and not say beautiful words to our loved ones here and now?

Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam came up with this wonderful insight as the campaign for funeral insurer DELA and our approach was simple. We would not work with actors but film real people surprising their loved ones with an affectionate speech.  

That approach inevitably made production extremely complicated. How could we capture one-off speeches? What if the speaker was too nervous? What if the loved one didn’t react in the right way? 

Our solution was to produce three speeches at each location. Three stories involving real people. This further complicated our research and meant we had to find a totally new way of working. We made our speakers rehearse to make sure they owned the speech. After all, our “stars” were normal people who had been never in the spotlight before. 

We had to get it right the first time. To capture that moment we used seven cinematic cameras with huge telephoto lenses. We wanted all the footage in wides, mediums and close-ups. Our camera operators hid in the oddest spots like a ferry lifeboat or behind flowers and stacks of cardboard boxes in a supermarket.

In addition to the six commercials, we produced three touching short documentary films, directed by Joep van Osch, that zoomed into the stories behind the speeches.  

It was all possible thanks to the close collaboration between the client, the agency, the crew and the speakers. The outcome is a series of heartwarming films and speeches that literally gave us goose bumps. And it’s just real people saying wonderful words to the ones they love.