Leica Pays Tribute to Photographers with the Promo “Leica – The Hunt”

After the previous Leica promos that have won many awards, the Brazilian Ad agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has just released a new short film called “Leica – The Hunt”.

Inspired by stories of photographers who spared no efforts for everyone to see reality, Leica launches a new production dedicated to these professionals.

Luiz Marinho, photographer and representative of the brand in Brazil, says that “without the passion and the vision of these people, no camera would make history on its own. Therefore, we felt that it would be fair and truthful to pay homage to them, since they are our eyes around the world”.

In the production “The Hunt”, the brand brings up the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, but also portrays other dark moments, from war to wild nature, to represent the courage of these men and women.

For the co-directing duo, Kid Burro (Stink Films) “rare are the films that allow immersion in concept and development like this. We studied, for over a year, several stories of photographers and, mainly, the obstacles they had to overcome to achieve the striking photos of their careers. Without their bravery and boldness, maybe many stories would have never been known around the world”.

Created by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the tribute is almost 5 minutes long, in order to involve the spectator in a unique narrative about risk, passion, and history. “No one doubts that photos have the power of transforming the world. But we thought it was time also to tell the stories of the heroes behind the photos”, declare Rodrigo Castellari and Pedro Prado, the creatives responsible for the film.

Updated to April 19, 2019 

The original upload on YouTube was up for just a few before it was abruptly removed. It turns out Chinese citizens took to social media to criticize Leica for the dramatization, claiming it was an insult to China. The short film released by its ad agency in Brazil depicts a news photographer covering the Chinese government’s crackdown during pro-democracy protests in Beijing in 1989.

Reuters writes:

The hashtag “Leica insulting China” surfaced on China’s Twitter-like Weibo late on Thursday, before being censored. Users left hundreds of comments on Leica’s official Weibo account criticizing the company for the video.

“Get out of China, you are done,” one user posted.

Others cheered the video as daring ahead of the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on June 4, but the majority of posts were scrubbed from Chinese social media by Friday and the comments section on two of its most recent Weibo posts were disabled.

Users were also prevented from posting messages using Leica’s English or Chinese name with warnings that they were violating laws, regulations or the Weibo community guidelines.

It wasn’t long before the Chinese government stepped in and censored the conversation by banning the word ‘Leica’ in both English and Chinese on Weibo — the Communist Party has long censored photos and discussions of the bloody protest, and its efforts have ramped up ahead of the 30th anniversary of the event on June 4th.

China is one of Leica’s biggest growth markets in the world, so Leica is understandably now trying to distance itself from the ad — despite what the ad agency originally stated, Leica spokeswoman Emily Anderson said to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post:

“Leica Camera AG must therefore distance itself from the content shown in the video and regrets any misunderstandings or false conclusions that may have been drawn.”
The company has taken measures to ensure that the film is not shared on Leica’s own social media channels, she added.

The original video is still available on Leica Brasil’s page and many unofficial copy are uploaded from some users on Youtube.

Updated to April 21, 2019 

Here is the official statement from the FNazca/Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency that created the short film:

F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi has worked for the representative of Leica in Brazil since 2012, developing content for several different media platforms for the client over this time. The agency has created pieces that made history in advertising and became communication cases, such as the commercial “100”, created and produced to celebrate the 100 years of the brand, a work acclaimed around the world and awarded with the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Festival.
The commercial “The Hunt”, launched in Brazil this week, is another among these works that we have developed together with this client and for which we have immense pride and are sure to have delivered a remarkable piece.
F/Nazca, a 25 years agency completed exactly this week, would never harm its huge reputation by creating, producing and airing a work without the proper approval of its client.
Regarding the pronouncement by Leica Europe, since our relationship with the brand is restricted to the Brazilian market, we are unable to comment.

Updated to April 23, 2019 

Another update on the “Leica – The Hunt” video that caused the Chinese government to ban the word “Leica” from social media – here is the official statement from Leica’s spokesman Dirk Große-Leeg:

“The video was not commissioned, financed or approved by any company in the Leica Group. We expressly regret any confusion and will take further legal steps to prevent unauthorized use of our brand.”

via Reuters.

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