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Ad of the Day: Skype Crosses Continents in Evocative Family Spots


When I left Uganda, it was in the middle of the night," says Denis, the newly minted Pennsylvanian in "The Impossible Family Portrait," perhaps the most effective spot in Pereira & O'Dell's series of three new ads for Skype, which is tapping directly into what makes the brand so important to so many people.

It's interesting—advertisers tend to eschew the first-generation immigrant experience because it can be controversial both politically and among people who inevitably feel misrepresented. But Skype is wise enough to recognize and embrace its role as the lifeblood of intercontinental families (full disclosure: including mine), and so the immigrant experience becomes hugely important. Kudos to these guys for having the guts to go with that.

"The Animal Family Portrait" is loads of fun in a totally different way. Here, it's about adorable quadrupeds rather than emotional bipeds. So, it's a more upbeat take ("This is what happens when Americans raise 'roos!"), but the point is essentially the same: Skype allows for a connection deeper than wires and lenses. It's dangerous to tell people that your product has a spiritual dimension, but the agency and the directors, Gregory Mitnick and Nat Livingston Johnson, make the point delicately and well.

The final spot in the trio is "The Growing Up Family Portrait," and it's the least effective, possibly because the stakes seem a lot lower (and possibly because people in Los Angeles are intrinsically unsympathetic. It's true—leave the TMZ and you're suddenly a person again), but it's still cute.

Client: Skype

Agency: Pereira & O'Dell, San Francisco
Chief Creative Officer: P.J. Pereira
Executive Creative Director: Jaime Robinson
Creative Director: Jonathan Woytek
Senior Art Directors: Tim Delger, Brett Beaty
Senior Copywriter: Katie Brinkworth
Art Director: Arnau Bosch
Copywriter: Chris Ryan
Designer: Leila Moussaoui
Vice President, Client Services: Gary Theut
Account Director: Ivy Truong
Account Supervisor: Ali Forgeron
Assistant Account Executive: Kelsey Towbis
Project Manager: Katie Shesgreen
Vice President, Strategy: Nick Chapman
Vice President, Media Strategy: Joshua Brandau
Strategy Director: Justin Cox
Associate Strategy Director: Jasmine Summerset
Media Strategist: Liz Wood
Vice President, Production: Jeff Ferro
Senior Integrated Producers: Erin Davis, Victoria Whitlow
Senior Broadcast Producer: Elisa Moore
Interactive Producer: Kathy Zembera
Print Producer: James Sablan
Producer: Bill Spangler
Business Affairs Manager: Xandra Ess

Production Company: Station Film
Directors (Peking): Gregory Mitnick, Nat Livingston Johnson
Executive Producer: Caroline Gibney
Producer: Sarah McMurray
Artist: John Clang
Crew: Eric Axene, Shadi Best, James Burger, Anne Curran Conrad, Travis Drennen, Tonya Martin, Sean Moser, Ryan Moriaty, Mario Sanchez, Elin Tew

Editorial Company: Umlaut Films
Editor: Jessica Congdon
Assistant Editors: Peter Geiger, Michael Pavoni
Colorist: Ivan Miller
Executive Producer: Gina Locurio
Producer: Kelly Gibbs

"The Impossible Portrait": Original Composition: Human
"The Animal Family Portrait," "The Growing Up Family Portrait": Original Composition: Future Perfect

Sound Mixing: One Union Recording
Sound Mixer: Matt Zipkin
Executive Producer: Lauren Mask

Digital Production Company: Uncorked Studios

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