Amazon Books
Directed by The Barkers
Editorial
Animation
Live Action
2D Animation
Motion Design
VFX/Visual Effects

Amazon Books

Beyond the look of the cover, the touch of the pages, and the sight of the beckoning ink, the words that grab us from the beginning of a great book are a magical thing. What if those words came to life in everyday scenes, writ out before our eyes in curl, block and cursive until, surprise! You realize #YouJustStartedABook? When the team at Hustle tapped The Barkers to create a series of spots for the first ever Amazon Books campaign, that’s exactly where they went.

Amazon Shines A Light On Books

Beyond the look of the cover, the touch of the pages, and the sight of the beckoning ink, the words that grab us from the beginning of a great book are a magical thing. What if those words came to life in everyday scenes, writ out before our eyes in curl, block and cursive until, surprise! You realize #YouJustStartedABook? When the team at Hustle tapped The Barkers to create a series of spots for the first ever Amazon Books campaign, that’s exactly where they went.

Executing on this simple, but oh-so-clever idea, The Barkers hid the text from the start of great stories in scenes where type would normally live, but out of context: In a bakery, a fashion ad and yoga parlor, on a video game screen, and more. Each spot builds to the big reveal at the end: #YouJustStartedABook. That, followed by Amazon’s invitation to “Read on, or read another.”

A mix of motion, stills, and graphic art (GFX), “this dream project was a truly integrated campaign with final work living everywhere in almost any ratio you could imagine,” says Chris. “Working in mixed media for the entirety of our careers, our knowledge of how to streamline production to capture motion and stills seamlessly, and in formats that give flexibility in post-production, was key:  No need to constantly redo shots for a crazy framing for social, etc.”

The Barkers worked closely with the team at Hustle to dial-in the look for the campaign. What started as a very cinematic approach moved towards a look that felt native online. “We wanted each piece to feel as if it had been made by a creator on the platform where it would live,” Chris explains. True to each vertical, that meant locked off match cuts for TikTok, stills with parallax, and single takes to showcase mad cake-decorating skills. Even though the spots would live in unique places, The Barkers wanted the entire campaign to be cohesive. “When Hustle told us they loved the way our work, “looked like a smile,” we knew we’d hit the mark, finding the feeling that fit with Amazon’s trademark smile logo.”

While this wasn’t The Barkers’ first shoot during COVID, it was truly the one that dialed the duo in the tightest. With the agency located in LA and Chicago, and Amazon in Seattle, everything was done remotely. “We can honestly say this was one of the most collaborative shoots we’ve ever done,” says Chris. “We moved fast. Calls were made on time. And our agency and client stayed on point, staving off Zoom exhaustion through four days of both on-location and in-studio shoots that had us all over Chicago constantly bouncing between a live stream from our Alexa Mini and tethered stills camera.”

Cake
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Fashion
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Yoga
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We showcased so many great faces and perfect personalities in these roles, but the standout was our Yogi. He was even a contortionist! That’s how he was able to nail an incredibly difficult pose and hold it out to our timing on set. Dude gets the gold star.

The Barkers x Sarofsky

Success with this job was all about finding a balance between practical props and GFX. One behind-the-scenes lesson that kept The Barkers smiling through the stress?  “Always have an amazing screen printer on set when you’re making custom clothes,” says Chris. “Sarofsky’s team saved our lives one screen-printed bomber jacket at a time. Custom bread shop window? Check. Custom Coffee Shop menu? Check. Neon sign in a living room? Let’s make that in post.”

Sarofsky made the 16-bit and entertainment pieces entirely in house.

16 Bit
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Entertainment
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The Social Stories
The Best-Ever Branded Page Turn

One element about which we are especially proud? The end-tag page turn. “It’s really simple and a great branding element that creates cohesiveness for the campaign,” says Creative Director, Erin Sarofsky.

The Production

Our agency, client and crew were unbelievably supportive in bringing this project to life…and did we mention that Kristen was 8-months pregnant on set? What a boss!

Project Credits 
  • Director
    The Barkers
  • Photography
    The Barkers
  • Producer
    Rachel Waters
  • Art Department and Set Design
    Kyle Schuneman
  • Food Stylist
    Beth Somers
  • Wardrobe Stylist
    Elizabeth Margulis
  • Hair and Makeup
    Jenna Baltes
  • Executive Producer
    Steven Anderson
  • Executive Creative Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Creative Lead
    Duarte Elvas
  • Producer
    Kelsey Hynes
  • Editor
    Megan Marie Connelly
  • Motion Designers
    Matt Miltonberger
  • Jake Allen
  • Dan Moore
  • Nik Braatz
  • Griffin Thompson
  • Tanner Wickware
  • Color
    Jeremy Stewart
  • Finish
    Cory Davis
Client Credits 
  • Agency
    Hustle
  • Producer
    Kelly Wood
  • Creative Director
    AJ Hassan
  • Copywriter
    Lizette Morazzani
  • Art Director
    Manny Fernandez
  • Client
    Amazon Books
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