How a Hollywood Creative Ad Agency Won Over the Biden Campaign

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Courtesy of BOND

How a Hollywood Creative Ad Agency Won Over the Biden Campaign

Bond, the agency behind key art for “Wonder Woman” and “Tenet,” created viral art pieces for the Biden-Harris campaign

Moments before President-Elect Joe Biden appeared on an outdoor stage in Wilmington, Delaware, to deliver his election victory speech, he shared an image on Instagram – a map of the United States, filled with the illustrated faces of Biden, Kamala Harris and people young and old. The illustration was accompanied by the simple but powerful phrase, “All of Us United.”

But just a week earlier, the team at Bond — the creative advertising agency behind key art for films like “Wonder Woman,” “Birds of Prey,” and “Tenet” — pulled off what seemed like the impossible: conceptualizing, casting, shooting and creating a visual campaign for a potential Biden victory on Nov. 3, all within 48 hours and in the midst of a pandemic.

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With Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” mosaic at the United Nations as inspiration, the Bond team knew it didn’t have enough time to go through the typical days-long casting process. So the agency put out an open casting call to its own staff and brought in friends, children, mothers and colleagues from multiple diverse backgrounds to be represented on the map. And after a frenzied weekend of socially-distanced work, the team finalized the piece the Sunday before Election Day. The following Saturday, after Biden was projected as the winner, the president-elect shared the illustration to his Instagram page and racked up over 3 million likes.

“This was such an important election that everyone really wanted to participate and put their heart and soul into,” Luke Silver-Greenberg, the owner and founder of Bond, told TheWrap.

Courtesy of BOND

Four months earlier, the staff at Bond was eager to use their expertise in creating campaigns for major motion pictures and video games to help stoke enthusiasm for the Biden campaign. The stakes, they understood, were high — but so was their desire to help out.

“They say don’t go to dinner and talk about politics and religion, right? And I usually am pretty good at doing that. This conversation was different,” Silver-Greenberg said. “It felt clear that there was science and truth on one side and that, as an industry, so many people were laid off at theme parks and movie theaters, and the path back to a thriving industry that we all love so much was through Biden.”

“We were all, at the time, looking at the landscape and saying, ‘We’re feeling hopeless,’ at times, in terms of where the world is, what’s happening with the virus, what’s happening with civil unrest and all of the terrible atrocities in the world, and we thought we could contribute in a really meaningful way,” he added. “It really felt like it was the right move to make. And I think that we felt that ethically and morally, and just in our bones.”

The only problem was convincing those in Washington — an “insiders’ game,” as Silver-Greenberg put it — to trust a Hollywood company to do so. “I remember one person saying, ‘You guys are movie guys. You have no business working on the presidential election.’ And it was just, I think it was a little demoralizing,” Silver-Greenberg said.

Still, the agency pushed forward. About a month later, according to Silver-Greenberg, Bond was able to finally reach the Biden campaign and make its case. But instead of shying away from its Hollywood background, Bond sought to demonstrate how the team’s past experience working on campaigns for film and TV projects like “Wonder Woman,” “Game of Thrones,” “Jurassic World” and “Rogue One” could be an asset for revitalizing the Biden campaign.

“It was really about harnessing the amazing pieces of those projects in order to create superheroes, create pop culture moments,” Silver-Greenberg said.

Courtesy of BOND

After campaign managers for the Biden team were on board, Bond faced its next hurdle: working around a tight timeline. But with more than 60 people contributing to the project, the agency was able to create 13 pieces of key art. It even earned the attention of figures like Taylor Swift, LeBron James and Hillary Clinton, who each shared pieces from the collection, led by Bond’s senior art director Paul Zeaiter, on their social media accounts ahead of the election.

“It was really important that this campaign was not about mudslinging and talking trash,” Silver-Greenberg said, “but really about being able to close your eyes while you were either waiting in line or just thinking about the vote and envisioning this strength and character behind Biden and Harris.”

J. Clara Chan