A Commercial Shoot with Heart

Sometimes simplicity tells the fullest story. So when Publicis, the agency for Dawn dish soap asked us to help tell the story of Dawn’s role in rescuing animals affected by oil spills, we chose the simplest, most elementally appealing image imaginable: a new duckling, shot in close-up to reveal the softness—and of course, cleanness—of its downy coat.

That single, iconic image evoked sympathy, joy, and in this context, brand affinity. What wasn’t simple? Getting 5-7 day-old ducklings to sit for their portraits. Not only do ducklings like to explore, but they need to be warmed throughout the day, so even working with several animal handlers, the shoot was an all-day exercise in patience and precision.