The latest TV campaign from The Meth Project, directed by Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream”) and produced by Wild Plum, takes an uncompromising look at the reality of meth abuse. Created by ad agency Organic, the powerful spots aim to reduce first-time meth use asking, “What do you know about meth?” and graphically portraying its consequences.
The campaign includes a new website:
, as well as radio, print, mobile and out of home advertising.
To view the spots:
Hard-hitting and stark, the four :30 spots, “ER,” “Deep End,” “Losing Control” and “Desperate,” provide a somber glimpse into the darkness of meth addiction, from stealing and soliciting money to attempts of suicide and trips to the ER.
Aronofsky’s single-take approach maintains an unflinching realism: there are no flashbacks, no reasons or excuses; only scared faces and voices of regret entangled in a worsening situation. Each spot opens with slow-motion close-ups on a young person’s face as the voiceover gets us into his/her head and thoughts. As the speed ramps up, the surreal and peaceful opening soon turns into a very real and eerie realization of what’s happening in the present.
“When we discussed this project with the client, we felt that Darren was the perfect fit as the director,” explains Shelby Sexton, Wild Plum Executive Producer/Partner. “Darren had previously collaborated with The Meth Project (formerly Montana Meth Project) and we knew he’d bring the right sensibilities and authenticity to the concepts.”
For the two-day shoot in NYC, all of the sets were built on stage, enabling Aronosfky and his crew complete control of the environment. To achieve the single-camera moves, they had to easily adjust the camera and walls of the sets.
“The project engaged us with the alarming realities of the meth; we knew there was no sugarcoating the truth,” concludes Sandy Haddad, Wild Plum Executive Producer. “The stories had to embody a brutal honesty to get the campaign’s message across. Organic and Darren [Aronofsky]’s vision shaped that message effectively.”
Project: The Meth Project
Spot Titles: ER, Deep End, Losing Control and Desperate
Airdate: November 8, 2011
Ad Agency: Organic/San Francisco
Group Creative Director: Brad Mancuso
Creative Director: Urs Ross
Director of Production: Laurale Wunsch
Art Director: Tyler Warrender
Copywriter: Fred Abercrombie
Production Company: Wild Plum
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Director of Photography: Darren Lew
Executive Producer/Partner: Shelby Sexton
Executive Producer: Sandy Haddad
Executive Producer: Scott Franklin
Line Producer: Ted Robbins
Set Designer: Charles Infante
Make-Up Artist: Martina Kohl
Editorial & Post Production Company: Final Cut NYC
President: Stephanie Apt
Executive Producer: Viet-An Nguyen
Editor: JD Smyth
Assistant Editor: Ben McCambridge
Smoke Artist: Cecil Hooker
Sound Design: T. Terressa Tate
Motion Graphics: Phillip Brooks
Color Correction: Technicolor
About Wild Plum:
Boutique production house Wild Plum was founded in 2007 by industry veterans Shelby Sexton and Alisa Allen. Sexton, executive producer, and Allen, CFO, boast over two decades of combined experience, both having extended stints at the renowned Plum Productions.
Based in the heart of Venice, Wild Plum handles some of today’s most exciting directorial talent and is dedicated to producing not only traditional commercials, but also new creative content in the fast-paced and ever-changing production industry. Its roster currently includes Kamp Grizzly, Kieran Walsh, Ericson Core, Shane Drake, Mike Goubeaux, and Jan De Bont. Recent projects include campaigns for Adidas and Target directed by Kamp Grizzly, Paramore’s “Monster” music video directed by Shane Drake, Dial’s “Oath” commercial helmed by Ericson Core, and its eight season of branded content for “American Idol” and Ford.