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Washington Nationals – Thunderstruck Ad


For the third consecutive year, EP*Vision‘s Maryam Parwana East Pleasant Directors David Weinstein and Stash Slionski have teamed up with the Washington Nationals and their branding agency 40/40 on the team’s season advertising campaign and in-stadium display content.

This year’s entry is a thematic continuation of the past two campaigns, with a duo of high-intensity spots featuring action footage blended with studio footage of star players. Bold and defiant narratives – a hallmark of the team’s distinctive “Natitude” – pepper the spots, most powerfully in shorter ads focused on star players Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.

“Going into the initial campaign with the Nationals in 2011, we knew that they were working on a three-year cycle and that they wanted a modular approach so that 2011, ‘12 and ‘13’s campaign would all work with each other seamlessly,” notes Weinstein. “The 2013 look worked fluidly with the Phantom campaign we shot in 2012 and the team was able to use all the assets in a cohesive package.”

East Pleasant has worked with 40/40 since 2007, when the two entities teamed up on a series of projects with NFL PLAYERS, the marketing arm of the NFLPA. The transition to working with the Nationals and COO Andy Feffer proved seamless. “There was a comfort level already established and we really knew what we could expect from 40/40 creatively and vice versa,” explains Weinstein. “No matter the shoot, there has to be a narrative to it, with great storytelling and great visuals, and 40/40 principal John Trotter understands that as well as anyone.”

Weinstein & Slionski’s extensive sports experience has given them a special skill set in working with athletes. “The first thing you have to realize with athletes is that they take direction better than anyone – most of them have been playing organized sports on a high level their entire lives, so they’re used to a regimented schedule and people telling them what to do all day, every day,” says Weinstein. “When they get on set with us, we just make them feel at home, play some music they like, and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Their job is stressful enough, so we just mess around and make it feel like a clubhouse.”

EP*Vision CD Maryam Parwana led post work on the campaign, recreating the fluid production pipeline from client to post that has contributed to the success of so many past campaigns.



Credits:
Client: Washington Nationals
Advertising Agency: 40/40
Production Company: East Pleasant
Director: David Weinstein & Stash Slionski
EP: Michelle Cuccuini Hicks
Director of Photography: Stash Slionski
Editorial: Pleasant Post
Editor: Chris Fiore/Parallel Universe
Producer: Taylor Colbert
Color Grading: Pleasant Post
Post/Effects: EP*Vision
CD: Maryam Parwana
Producer: Niabi Caldwell
Sound Design & Mix: Big Yellow Duck

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The piece salutes Caster’s will to succeed even as her legitimacy as a female athlete has been continually contested on the grounds of society’s deep-seated fear of that which is different. Caster’s courage and determination is celebrated through a montage of powerful portraits of teenage girls staring into camera while a voiceover delivers a message about society’s tendency to hold female athletes back instead of allowing them to flourish.

Caster went on to win her race, taking a gold medal home to her country, while the film’s powerful message sparked a torrent of pride and enthusiasm across both South African and international social media platforms, with Caster herself being proud enough to share it on her social media.

Creative Credits:
Advertising Agency: Design Futura
Agency team: Gustav Greffrath & Bianca Vermaak
Production company: Arcade Content
Producers: Lebogang Rasethaba & William Nicholson
Director: Kyle Lewis
DOP: Pierre De Villiers
Stylist: Kaley Meyer
Editor: William Kalmer, Deepend Post
Colourist: Craig Simonetti, Pudding
Music: Tapiwa Musvosvi
Sound company: Freq'ncy

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