Milkt director Danny Clinch has re-teamed with clothing brand John Varvatos to shoot “#PEACEROCKS,” a Fall/Winter campaign starring legendary musician Ringo Starr that also supports his charity The Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund. The effort, anchored by a cameo-filled behind-the-scenes short film and a dynamic social media component, kicks off an initiative to spread a message of peace and love; a mission that Starr has championed for more than 40 years.
The idea to include Starr evolved organically out of a chance encounter at last year’s Grammys where they were honoring the Beatles with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “We always have our wish list of people who we want to be in the campaign and of course Ringo is on that list,” explained Stephen Niedzwiecki, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of John Varvatos’ agency, YARD. “Then, after John Varvatos went to the Grammys, that experience had him wanting to go for Ringo for the campaign. I mean, he is a Beatle for God’s sake! Danny helped with reaching out to his management as well. ”
The short film is shot by Clinch in his signature black and white documentary style, interviewing Ringo Starr about his history on the drums while cutting between shots of a modern drum circle including Clem Burke, Tré Cool, Jim Keltner, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeremy Piven, Chad Smith, Matt Sorum, Steven Tyler, and John Varvatos all performing while championing peace. As Clinch shifts between these celebrities, their unique drumming styles provide a perfect balance to Ringo’s words of wisdom, all displayed in rich and inviting greys that have become the hallmark of the rock-inspired Varvatos brand.
“#PEACEROCKS” is one of many creative collaborations between Clinch and YARD, marking their 20th campaign for the brand. It’s a relationship that has extended from the Varvatos campaign to even Clinch’s retrospective photography book Still Moving, which Niedzwiecki aided in editing and designing.
“It’s very rare in this business and in one’s career that you find that someone that you click with and stick with creatively and you create something that stands out amongst the competitors and defines a brand for years to come,” said Niedzwiecki. “I’m glad that’s the case with Danny.”
Central to the campaign is the “#PEACEROCKS” initiative, a call-to-action that encourages participants to share photos of themselves flashing the peace sign via Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Facebook. For each #PEACEROCKS tagged photo, $1 will be donated by Varvatos to the charity through the end of 2014. Additionally, “Peace Shops” will be activated at various Varvatos points of sale where 100% of proceeds from a “peace rocks tee” will be sold to benefit The Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund. The fund helps implement scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities for at-risk populations suffering from epidemic levels of chronic stress and stress-related disorders that fuel violence, crime and soaring health costs.
This latest John Varvatos campaign follows 20 seasons shot by Milkt’s Danny Clinch.