All hearing care ads look the same. Smiling old people with grey hair and grandchildren. A friendly ear doctor in a white lab coat testing the ears. A trustworthy voice over. That’s exactly the kind of stuff that turns hearing aids into things for old people, while there are over a million people in the Netherlands alone that are experiencing hearing loss in their early fifties. People refuse to get hearing aids, because they think it makes them look old. While in fact the opposite is true. Because not beïng able to join conversations, having to turn up the volume of your TV so loud the neighbours can hear it or laughing just too late because you missed the joke, that’s the kind of behaviour that makes you look old.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
We were responsible for the strategy, idea and execution.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
People refuse to get hearing aids, because they think it makes them look old. While in fact the opposite is true. Because not being able to join conversations, having to turn up the volume of your TV so loud the neighbours can hear it or laughing just too late because you missed the joke, that’s the kind of behaviour that makes you look old.
Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?
Most hearing care campaigns are targeted at elderly people who are wearing hearing aids. But research shows that there’s a very large group of people who are experiencing the first signs of hearing loss, but are doing nothing to fix it.
Schoonenberg asked us to make a campaign targeted at this relatively young group of people. The deniers who refuse to get a hearing aid.
Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?
The main reason why people refuse to get a hearing aid is because they think it makes them look old. The creative insight we found is that it’s actually the other way around: Not wearing a hearing aid makes you look old. Because that’s when your heading loss gets noticed. The latest hearing aid tech is almost invisible and will make sure you can keep enjoying conversations and other sounds. It actually keeps you ‘young’.
Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?
There were of course many alternative ideas. This one was chosen because it’s a very true insight that resonates with the target audience. And because it results in work that is not like any other hearing care campaign we’ve ever seen.
How did the client initially react to this idea?
They were brave enough to love it. There’s an edge in connecting hearing loss to age, but we all felt it would make for powerful and smart ads. Especially considering the target audience that’s very young at heart, in their early fifties.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?
There were lots of challenges. From script, to concept testing, to limited time/money, to wardrobe, to edit, to focus groups. It was super important that the chemistry in the team was great. This enabled us to really discuss every choice we had to make, with everyone getting their say. This is the only way to keep everyone motivated and happy all the way through production.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
This was the first campaign we made directed by Canadian directors The Perlorian Brothers. It was amazing to see them work. The fact that they’ve been a creative team in the past, makes it very easy to work with them as a creative. You notice there’s a similar type of thinking that gets you to the interesting stuff really quickly. Also: we’ve never seen a director get so many (subtle and weird) expressions from an actors face, these guys now every trick.
Where do you see this campaign going in the future?
The campaign launches with the commercial ‘The Tennis Club’, but two other commercials will follow later this year. All are based on situations that everyone with early hearing loss will recognise.