The Client: Oprah & Gratitude
Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. His recent theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic, narrated by Forest Whitaker, and the pollination documentary Wings of Life for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep. Designed to inspire, educate and evolve our perspective on the world, Schwartzberg creates and curates Moving Art™ videos. Louie’s three TED talks have gone viral with over 47 million combined views.
The Challenge: Measure the Global Impact of Gratitude
With the help of a generous Templeton Grant and strategic partner Oprah Winfrey, Louie was challenged to produce statistical proof of the global impact of gratitude through the creation of 15 short films. It was of utmost importance to create a website that would express this mighty intention in a unique and refreshing way – no small feat when dealing with such an ambiguous subject matter as “gratitude”!
The website had to capture your attention visually. It had to capture and build an immediate audience. It had to be able to withstand global traffic and host 15 projects with numerous large file media assets.
It had to be stunning and impressive, worthy of catching the eye of our greatest global iconic leaders. And, of course, it had to be cool. I wanted this project to be a vehicle with which Louie could reach a new audience: younger, hipper, edgier. This could be his way of establishing a timeless brand, bigger than himself. This was his future.
Initial Concept: Needed To Find Our "Yellow Bracelet"
The project began with looking for my “yellow bracelet”… that brilliant symbol which could immediately come to be recognized around the world, could be afforded around the world, and wouldn’t be lost in a crowd.
That’s when I stumbled upon an old sketch I had hidden in the archives, inspired by the famous 1956 French silent film Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon)… and the rest fell into place … When asked why, “Because a red balloon makes everything better.” Doesn’t it?
The idea of a gray drab world being saved by the vibrant bigger-than-life burst of delicious joyful ruby red… I knew it was the message we needed, “We Believe Gratitude Can Color The World.”
Solution: Oprah says make it 3.5 Million "Big"
The indicator of success here was measured in total video views. Templeton required 3.5 million, an ambitious number.
Greta Rose Agency would have the joy of creating something out of nothing: the brand, the strategy, the tools, the reporting. We would design and build the website, including a vast body of engaging and visually inspiring content. We would create, develop and execute the brand and social media marketing strategy. We would ultimately be 100% responsible for this project, managing the website and its content and the audience engagement. We would construct an arsenal of tools to engage and inspire strategic partnerships and key influencers, and we would be accountable for delivering the Templeton grant objectives.
Note: By December of 2016, we had achieved 109% of our goal, or 4,118,184 video views. As of In our research, we have identified the most successful means of delivering our videos is via an amazing story on our blog, which then gets shared by strategic partners on social networks. We anticipate exceeding both our objectives as well as our reporting “requirements,” as we now believe it would be more informative to do comparative analysis with control groups to show measurable benefits (in categories of health, mood, creativity, for example) from before and after. Point is, we hold ourselves accountable to producing results that matter.
Here is a quick thank you deck we created at the end of February, 2017. Click to view full deck.
On the Set of MarieTV
Oprah Winfrey claimed exclusive rights to present the project on Oprah.com, including Super Soul Sunday. Arianna Huffington would dedicate a section of HuffPo to Gratitude Revealed. I also introduced Louie to Marie Forleo and created the opportunity for Louie to be on MarieTV. Read a fun blog post on the studio taping here.
But Wait There's MORE:
Gratitude Projected Upon The Vatican
Just before Christmas 2015, a miracle opportunity transformed into reality: Louie’s time-lapse films would be projected upon the exterior of the Vatican. Yes, I mean the Vatican of Rome, at the request of Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City.
As the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors, you can imagine the miracle he witnessed in person, standing among the crowd in Italy, watching his own work projected larger than life.
Here’s a 1-minute glimpse, showing how time-lapse can in fact touch the human spirit deeper than words can express.
Greta Rose has a rare and exceptionally valuable skill set – in one person I find an artist, fellow geek, designer/developer, data hound, web guru, strategist…all in a savvy business person who is actually fun to hang out with, too. Greta quickly became a trusted member of my crew, giving voice to not one, but two new brands we were developing, and their related online communities. She is well worth the investment and I’ll definitely be back next time I have another brand to launch.Scott James, Chief Executive Officer, Moving Art