Andrew Bannecker Gets Thankful with American Greetings
Tis the season to be thankful, and no one is more acutely aware of this than American Greetings. The greeting cards giant enables millions of customers around the world to express their feelings to their loved ones, and their latest campaign with Andrew Bannecker works to spread even more cheer. Andrew took statements of Thanks from American Greetings and illustrated the ideas behind them, bringing them to life in this series of images.
The words that they chose for the project weren’t carefully crafted talking points that went through focus groups. Instead, they were pulled from real users who tweeted with the hashtag #ThankList. American Greetings counted all the tweets and Facebook shares with the hashtag and for each usage of the hashtag donated $1 to United Way Worldwide, a non-profit that enters under privilege communities to help them with long terms development for sustainable progress. Engaging with this kind of communication made the project special for Andrew. “It makes it a little more enjoyable to work on these messages that really were peoples’ tweets and submissions,” says Andrew. “It makes it a little more personal when I’m working on it and I can sort of get into the characters. I have a little more fun with the idea that they’re real people. So actually it was more special to work on than a regular job.”
Since each of the Thank Yous were submitted by real people, some of them got really unique. But, as we all know, the more specific sentiments get the more they become hilariously relatable. Andrew found himself connecting with each of these writers by design, but some of them got really close to his own personal experience. “My favorite one was the cat video,” explains Andrew. “My wife and my sister in law have that kind of bond over that kind of silly stuff and that was a fun one to work on. I think it had a lot of personality and people can relate to it.” It was a message about sharing what’s important to us and what makes us laugh, something that is incredibly intimate, even if it’s through the lens of cat videos on YouTube.
Interacting with these submissions was the most important part of the project, something that both Andrew and American Greetings were super aware of. American Greetings did what they could to enable that connection, the biggest step was to let the collaboration happen in the doing. They stepped back and let Andrew do his best work. “They told me to do what felt right, what’s fun, what’s going to be memorable to the viewer,” Andrew says. “It was a nice, open, creative brief. It was enjoyable. You don’t get that all the time.” By allowing Andrew to interact directly with the sentiments of these users he was able to create something deeply personal, helping viewers relate to the messages more deeply. At a time we’re meant to remember everything we should be thankful for, these are messages we can all relate to.