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Kinda hip...

Kinda hip

It’s a fact: young people are culturally predisposed to pay more attention to someone if they’re holding a guitar. No kidding. And so, Toronto-based Imported Artists Film Company and agency Vickers and Benson employ a guitar, a guy and a song on a 30-second psa for the Concerned Children’s Advertisers.

‘Transactions’ is an easy spot to watch, not forced or preachy, and actually kindaÉwellÉhip. It’s a simple spot about a simple concept – choice. ‘Our goal was to make the young audience aware and understand that when it comes to drugs, they are the ones that have the power to make the decision,’ says v&b copywriter Philippe Garneau.

As in the majority of rock ‘n’ roll scenarios, where musical dexterity and prowess are lacking, lyrics and and truth abound. The spot features a guy – just a guy, every guy – standing on a corner – just a corner, every corner – singing and strumming a guitar.

‘You can feed your pet hamster when you’re supposed to or he’ll die. Dead hamster! You can eat a ton of fries or you canÉ’ pointing to a exercise-deprived/calorically challenged passerby in tight white denim, ‘Éyou can look good in pants. Nice pants! You can do drugs, or you can do everything else. What, you didn’t think you had to choose?’

Cinematographer Sean Valentini punctuates the clever lyrics with ease and humor using a moving camera, low angles and extreme close-ups.

Kudos to the talent direction and casting of the psa; director Richard D’Alessio brings out the best in Scott Rawson (of Squawkbox fame) as the musical bard. And, like the bards of yore, our street poet not only has a sense of humor, he knows how to drive a point home. For his last statement, Rawson looks us right in the ‘eye,’ head on, no lilt in his voice, no fooling.

v&b credits go to art director Michael Wurstlin and producer Bev Cornish. At Imported Artists, Wayne Craig produced and Christina Ford executive produced.

Third Floor Editing’s Gillian McCarthy performed the offline edit on ‘Transactions,’ Command Post and Transfer was the online facility and Rosnick-McKinnon handled sound. JL