Kastner LA is distributing a holiday video that’s a toast to the grind of the advertising agency worker.
In the spot, agency creatives, strategists, account people and administrators are unified by their exhaustion and late nights. The Kastner team is depicted stretched out on their mattress-sized standing desks as they slowly motor upward.
The setting is dark, showing the agency on a lonely night. It starts with some establishing shots, setting a scene familiar to all office overnighters - the dripping tap, the empty conference room, the longed-for exit door.
The soundtrack, fittingly, is the bluesy Andra Day song, "Rise Up."
"Like everybody else in this business, we eat, work and sleep, everything, at our desks," said Kastner LA Creative Director Simone Nobili. "Every day, I see the desks going up and down as people are standing then sitting, standing then sitting. I thought it would be really awesome to have people lay on their desks and then watch them go up."
But first, Nobili had to test how much weight these desks could bear and found they’d carry 220 pounds and could reach as high as seven feet. Then, he had to enlist colleagues to put in another late night, as he wanted to shoot the spot after hours.
Nobili and his two partners in the director’s 3dots collective, Tobia Sempi and Mo Stoebe, shot the video in one night. Kastner employees are captured curled up on their sides, feet hanging from desks, some lying sleeplessly, staring at the ceiling and even lying head-to-head, holding hands. Long shots show a tableau of people on desks, inching upward.
In the editing room, Nobili captured the holiday message which makes up the parting shot: "Rise above everything that held you down in 2019. Happy 2020 from Kastner LA."
"Everyone has their ups and downs," said Nobili. "So it is really nice to say rise up to whatever held you down 2019."
The holiday video is being sent to clients, friends and advertising agency colleagues across the country, and especially those in Kastner’s Playa Vista neighborhood.
"We are saying, we are in this together, we got you," said Nobili.