20th century painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell created some of the most iconic images of modern American life which have endured long past his death. One of his most famous paintings, Freedom From Want shows a scene where a grandmother is setting a turkey down at the dinner table for the family at thanksgiving. The definition of family has expanded considerably since then and this campaign ‘For What Matters Most’ for Tylenol reflects those changes.
Working with agency JWT New York and production company Maverick NYC the aim of this commercial was to show the way the family has changed since Norman Rockwell’s painting in 1942. We shot in San Francisco but the idea was for it to feel like it could be geographically anywhere in America and with families from all different backgrounds. The ‘traditional’ nuclear family unit no longer applies to modern American life and we wanted to reflect that.
The film is one part artistic recreation and another an account of each families holiday experience. We shot the whole film with a soft back lighting setup to draw visual links to Rockwell as well as provide that warm home like glow. The challenge with each final locked off shot was to create the look and feel of the original painting but with modern contemporary American families. We were also incredibly lucky to get such great families as our subjects. They were all amazingly genuine on set and responded with real emotion that you can't get from staged actors.
The film received a lot of positive responses, especially from the LGBT press. Outward had this to say ‘Tylenol has made an ad featuring a lesbian couple in a contemporary reimagining of Rockwell’s famous Freedom from Want and it’s pretty cute’.
The film has been hugely successful, garnering over 3 million views on YouTube and making it one of the most watched US online campaigns of the holiday season.