Casio G-Shock – Around the world in 30 days
Time is running out.
It literally was as we had only 1 month to shoot a 5 film campaign for Casio in 3 cities; Los Angeles, Tokyo and London.
The creative team at Autobahn developed the concept, which encapsulated the idea that we all have precious seconds to live and have to make the most of this so called life. Nothing illustrates the idea of wearing a watch better than talking about time itself, its finite quality (we only have so much of it for ourselves) and its infinity too, after all, the world doesn’t stop spinning after we stop existing. I am on a deep philosophical mindset, but fear not, as it is a positive one.
The concept had us telling the stories of 4 men, that through adversity and struggle conquered their space and built a life where at its core resides what they love doing. In a time where financial success and achievement is overly valued we wanted to shine a light on what comes before – hard work and failed attempts. We wanted to tell stories that could empower those who are going through hardship and that would inspire people to keep pushing, believe in themselves and follow their passions.
From that idea, our creative team wrote a manifesto for the campaign that would then become the driving force behind the concept and the powerful narration, stitching the main film together and setting the tone for the documentaries. (See the full Manifesto text below)
Through an in-depth casting process in 3 cities we settled on 4 characters for our film.
Gary Powel – Gary is an incredibly successful drummer. He is part of The Libertines, an important band of the early 2000s (you are living under a rock if you don’t know them), has played with The New York Dolls and plays currently with The Specials (as well as with The Libertines). All legendary bands in their own right which shows how lucky we were to have him part of this project.
Zachary Wohlman – Zach was taken under the wings of Freddie Roach, perhaps the best boxing coach ever (no joke). He has trained Julio Cesar Chavez, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, George St Pierre amongst others. Zach has had a great start of his career only to be diverted by some personal problems. He is now coming back and we are certain he will make some noise.
Ben Wood – Ben is a badass. He is an ex Royal Marine, Muay Thai pro fighter and coach and nowadays he thinks it is a good idea to go run ultra marathons in the mountains. At the time of filming he was training to run a 100km race and he was not flinching, he was hungry for it. The guy always finds the physical and character strength to keep moving, a literal translation to Casio’s tagline ‘Never Give Up’.
Seiichiro Asuke – Seiichiro is a master craftsman. He builds motorcycles, furniture and lives an honest and beautiful life in Tokyo. He has managed to channel his personalities into what he makes. It all feels that comes from him, from the things he lived and loved. Seiichiro has a punk DIY quality that resonates very much with what ‘Never Give Up’ is about. To bend the world to you and not to bend yourself to the world.
Our time with each of these characters was a rich experience. They all had something to contribute to the project and mostly to teach us about life. None of them talks more than they walk, they set example by action and to see them doing it is inspiring. When you turn your camera to a good subject, it’s hard to fuck it up, everything feels like a tetris game where each piece comes perfectly timed to fit in that gap and you progress without a sweat. Don’t get me wrong, each crew member in this project have put buckets of sweat into it, but when you work on a campaign where the elements and subjects are right, the sweat comes as part of a joyous process.
Everyone gave their all, client, cast and crew and we thank them for it.
If you want to read the full Manifesto text, here it is:
“The countdown starts when you are born.
I wish I heard that as soon as I opened my eyes,
when my lungs first filled with air.
There was time before us, and there will be time after us.
But what you do with the rare seconds you are given depends only on you.
Someone once said:
‘The day you give up on your dreams,
is the day you give up on yourself.
You might have stumbled epically, but be proud.
Do what you cant.
Go where you aren’t allowed.
Be who they told you could never be.
No one ever tells you to fail,
but here I stand whispering in your ear…go fail.
Raise your head.
Never give up”
We are only selling watches here, point given, but the experience of making this campaign is human, made by humans and telling real human stories. Watch or no watch, people will connect and be inspired and that’s advertising doing a better job amidst not so noble endeavours.
Shot on the RED with anamorphic lenses in Tokyo, Los Angeles and the U.K.
Below is a short behind the scenes film of our adventures. We like glossy images but we are also a sucker for vintage lo-fi textures.
Words by Pedro de la Fuente