Il Ponte del Sorriso and the absurd job interviews to kids [VIDEO]

"What do you think of the financial crisis? Do you pay taxes?". Such are the questions asked to the little protagonists of a marketing campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Il Ponte Del Sorriso Interview

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

To promote their mission, Il Ponte del Sorriso created a funny campaign, designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, where a small group of children go through an unlikely interview, realized by Nik “the hyena. The questions spanned from economy to renewable energy, prompting wide-ranging reactions: amused, confused, unexpected; regardless, all of them proved that, as the campaign’s claim goes, children cannot be treated as adults.

Ninja Marketing interviewed Alessandro Orlandi who, together with Luca Pannese and Luca Lorenzini, designed the campaign. Enjoy!

Alessandro, hi. Were did the conversational concept came from?

We wanted to use a simple metaphor to explain the discomfort experienced by children in a hospital that wasn’t designed with them in mind. However, we didn’t want to create yet another commercial.
So, Casting was born: a project where everything is real. We are convinced that only by facing authentic children reactions, you will get the strongest emotional responses from the audience.
This is why no one knew what would have happened. The children didn’t know, and neither did we.
We called for a real casting without telling them what was going on. We didn’t even warn their parents. We just had a bunch of questions, everything else was executed on the spot by Nik Bello who is a fantastic improviser. Editing was really difficult, since the footage was over 6 hours long… We laughed a lot, and when you have so much fun you don’t feel hungry or tired, everything becomes easier.

To do social campaigns without being dull is never easy. The choice of a conversational concept and the character Nik are a bit upstream, in that sense. What was the main driver behind the design of this campaign?

In social communications we can find the highest peaks of creativity, as well as the lower ones. However, let’s not forget that the goal isn’t to create something cool and creative just for the sport of it, but to aid non-profit organizations in their fund-raising, therefore the most important goal is to capture the prospective contributors. In Italy, the level of such campaigns is generally low. In most cases, you’d have a commercial where a testimonial, shot on white background, invites people to donate.
We wanted to do something more, that could even be reused on social networks to generate free media; we didn’t want to confine ourselves to the classic TV commercial. Once we figured out the concept, we called Nik Bello and he instantly agreed to help us.
In our case, Nik is not a testimonial, we chose him simply because of his ability to play the role, and not because of his popularity, which is, however, not a bad thing to have. Our main goal was to spark the word of mouth.

As a creative, what differences do you see between working for a non-profit such as Il Ponte del Sorriso, and corporates and brands?

Pros: Social is an interesting topic for creatives, because they can employ much deeper levers than those used to sell a product.
Cons: Budgets are much lower, in some cases, such as in this case, they are zero. This is how much we spent. No invoices, no reimbursements for none of the participants.