One of the things we pride ourselves on at Commoner; our ability to approach a subject 'story first' and then think about the best way to tell it. This way we give our clients maximum opportunity to capitalise on their content budgets whilst staying true to their core brand story.
Commoner came on board in the second phase of Kangan's major brand push, with our objective to capture the emotional journey of a student reviewing their options after high school.
For this series we set out to represent an authentic student voice. Over the course of a few weeks we met with 10 students from a broad range of faculties and education levels. We were looking for each students inner conflict that we could craft into a relatable and engaging story.
It’s standard practice for us to audio record all our initial interviews and, listening back afterwards, we heard a special honesty in our chosen students' voices. So for this project we packed away our cameras and captured our stories on location, using just a microphone and digital recorder. We felt the influence of the camera changed the nature of our conversations, and without it, we were better able to uncover the real story.
The visual treatment was designed to fit a tight production timeline and support, rather than lead, the students' testimonies. Using the RED Dragon cinema camera we were able to shoot in 50fps to help emphasise the inner emotional journey that each of the students went on as well as their connection to Kangan as a pathway to opportunity.
Since launching in 2013 the stories have become a pillar of Kangan’s marketing and continue to be in 2016, featuring online, in cinema, radio and on TV. Testament to our story first approach, the base stories have proven flexible to whatever format that’s presented to us.
The Real Stories series was later expanded to encompass other trades within the school curriculum as well as workplace retraining.