CGU Insurance and its creative agency Thinkerbell have collaborated with The Jim Henson Company, leading innovator in the field of puppetry and producer of beloved projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and more, to develop the next phase of the insurance provider’s ‘Insuring Ambition’ brand platform.
The new short film, Tall Poppy, tackles Australia’s negative cultural phenomenon of cutting down successful people, businesses, and entrepreneurs – that we commonly refer to as tall poppy syndrome.
American puppeteer, director and producer Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island, Muppet Christmas Carol, Farscape) directed the film, a unique tale of ‘tall’ Poppy and her journey to hold onto and share her ambitious spirit.
The full-length Tall Poppy film can be viewed below. Various shorter versions will exist in other media.
The film, produced in California, USA, was released in Australia on 20 February 2022. Last night, as part of the film’s national rollout, an ambitious media approach developed by Initiative saw a five-minute version of the film run in full during the advertising break of primetime current affairs show 60 Minutes on Nine.
Brian Henson said: “Tall Poppy is about celebrating ambition, and facing the feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability that can get in the way of living to your fullest potential. The ambitious team that came together to create this film, brought together by our incredible partners at CGU Insurance, definitely saw the magic and innovation that can happen when everyone feels free to share their own unique talents. We hope that Poppy’s story will inspire Australians to celebrate their own tall poppies.”
Tall Poppy was created using an impressive range of production techniques and technologies, combining classic tabletop puppetry with rich visual effects, resulting in a hand-crafted yet sophisticated look. Dozens of puppets built by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and nearly 150 visual effects shots provided by Stargate Studios were needed to complete the nine-minute film.
IAG chief marketing officer Brent Smart, said: “Who says B2B work targeting insurance brokers needs to be boring and rational? We created Tall Poppy to get Aussies to think differently about tall poppy syndrome and how it holds us back. CGU’s brand platform “Insuring Ambition” demands ambitious ideas, like wanting to work with The Jim Henson Company, one of the best storytellers in the world. The level of craft and care they brought to this, in addition to that of our brilliant partners at Thinkerbell, really shows in the work.”
The film forms part of a broader CGU Insurance campaign aimed at inspiring brokers, SMEs and ambitious Australians to celebrate and admire creativity and innovation. The campaign will roll out across multiple media from 20 February.
Thinkerbell national chief creative tinker, Jim Ingram, said: “More than a third of Australians believe that ambition is often regarded as a dirty word – we set out to change their mind with this campaign. Poppy is a heroine for the positive power of ambition, which can lead to creativity and innovation.”
Initiative’s chief strategy officer, Chris Colter, said: “With such an ambitious film as the lead, the rest of our media plan needed to match. With several market-first executions and bold media activations, kicking off by running the five-minute film uninterrupted in 60 Minutes, we’re ensuring CGU Insurance is not just promoting the power of ambition but living it.”
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