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Inside Assembly's 'Inside-out' and working with Anchor and Fonterra to bring the word of the benefits of milk to the millennial masses

A video campaign to sell milk? In film noir? With slam poetry? Bold - which is precisely why Jonny Kofoed and Assembly didn't back down when creating a campaign for Fonterra's Anchor milk brand.

Working with a large client like Fonterra – New Zealand’s largest company – requires a certain amount of self-confidence. Creating a video campaign to promote it Anchor milk brand in a 1940s film noir style that calls to mind the grittiest streets of Brooklyn or Queens (at least before gentrification set in) and references poetry? You might as well face the entire All Blacks by yourself.

But surprise, surprise: that’s exactly what Jonny Kofoed did (the film noir video campaign, not the All Blacks showdown).

“They were really trying to communicate something to a new audience,” he says of working with Fonterra. “It was really about getting people to engage with the brand. There was a need to reframe it.”

The premise is surprisingly simple, yet bold nonetheless: for the first 13 years of our lives, we do exactly what our parents tell us. For the next 13, we do the exact opposite. That’s the idea for Anchor’s “Inside-out” campaign.

Three videos were created (including a version with mixed media, and another with choreographer/dancer Parris Goebel). For each one, words by world champion slam poet Harry Baker are paired with abstract sound, while film footage 3D and stills bring to life an inventive idea that boasts of the benefits of milk.

But it’s the film noir version that stands out the most.  Judges say the video is “the perfect representation of moving image craft applied to design thinking and delivered as a brave piece of visual communication.” Fitting, no?

“It definitely stands out,” Kofoed says of the idea, noting that the biggest challenge was gaining the trust of Fonterra to pursue the idea because the film noir style was so unique to sell a product.

But once that trust was gained, Kofoed is quick to mention one thing: putting it all together was heaps of fun. “There’s an expectation to perform,” he says. “I put a lot of pressure on myself. But it was fun. It was quite rewarding to create all the artwork from scratch.”

Kofoed credits being able to work with a great team for the campaign’s success, adding that the help of creative agency Colenso BBDO was particularly invaluable. “It’s all about relationships.”

And as for winning the Purple Pin at the Best Awards? “It’s a great celebration of creativity in New Zealand,” says Kofoed. “A Purple Pin shows it (an idea) is working. It’s certainly encouraging.”

We’ll drink to that. Trim milk, preferably.

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