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AT&T's Latest 'It Can Wait' Ad Shows a Brutal Crash in Reverse, but There's No Going Back


AT&T's "It Can Wait" texting-and-driving campaign from BBDO New York has included many notable executions, including the painful Werner Herzog documentary from 2013. And the latest spot is no exception, featuring quietly gripping storytelling from Anonymous Content director Frederic Planchon that suddenly explodes with horror.

The almost four-minute film is remarkable. (It's supported by three 30-second spots, one of which will run on TV.) Slow-motion cinematography, shot at 1,000 frames per second, captures the brutal consequences of taking your eyes off the road to glance at your smartphone, even briefly. The footage then plays in reverse, ending on the cause of the terrible crash.

That cause, notably, isn't that the driver was texting. The "It Can Wait" campaign has always focused on texting, but it's is now evolving based on new research that revealed the prevalence of drivers engaging in other smartphone activities, like social media, web surfing, video chatting and more.

The campaign is evolving in other ways, too. AT&T, working with Reel FX, has developed an app called the It Can Wait Driving Simulation that uses virtual reality to give an immersive view of what it is like to text, post or video chat while driving. The VR simulator is freely available for iOS and Android and works with Google Cardboard.

A souped-up version of the simulator—running through the Samsung Gear VR headset, with premium sound from Bose QuietComfort 25 acoustic noise canceling headphones—will soon go on tour, visiting schools, fairs and partner companies in 100 U.S. cities.

Client: AT&T
Title: Close To Home

Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald
Senior Creative Director: LP Tremblay
Senior Creative Director: Erik Fahrenkopf
CD/Art Director: Grant Mason
CD/Copywriter: Kevin Mulroy

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
Executive Producer: Dan Blaney
Music Producer: Melissa Chester
Senior Integrated Business Manager: Cristina Blanco

Managing Director: Mark Cadman
Senior Account Director: Brian Nienhaus
Account Director: Gati Curtis
Account Manager: Johnny Wardell
Account Executive: Sigourney Hudson-Clemons

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Frederic Planchon
Executive Producer: Eric Stern
Producer: Paul Ure
Director of Photography: Jody Lee Lipes

Editorial: WORK Editorial
Editor: Rich Orrick
Assistant Editors: Adam Witten and Trevor Myers
Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
Producer: Sari Resnick

Visual Effects: The Mill
EP/Head of Production: Sean Costelloe
Line Producer: Nirad 'Bugs' Russell
VFX Supervisor : Gavin Wellsman
2D Leads: Gavin Wellsman; Krissy Nordella
2D Compositor: Michael Smith; Chris Sonia, Keith Sullivan
2D Assists: Heather Kennedy; Sungeun Moon, Yoon-sun Bae, Marco Giampaolo
3D: Yili Orana , Corey Langelotti
Pre Vis Artist: Jeffrey Lee
Editor: Charlotte Carr
Designer: Clemens den Exter

Color:  The Mill
Colorist: Aline Sinquin

Music House: Grooveworx
Executive Producer: Dain Blair
Sound Design: Brian Emrich
Original music composed by Rob Simonsen

Sound: Sonic Union
Sound Mixer: Steve Rosen

Motions Graphics and Titles: Polyester

—It Can Wait VR App
Reel FX Team:
Gary Banks
Keith McCabe
Dale Carmen
Dan Ferguson
Leigh Mergehenn
Ethan Compton
Kacie Bangle
Rachel Bradley
Justin Skerpan
Molli Leggitt
Barrett Lewis
Chas Naylor
Patton Tunstall
Lyn Caudle
Jared Brower
Dylan Rogers
Steve Johnson

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