Most Idahoans can agree that a learning revolution is critical for Idaho. Of course, we all have different ideas on how to make that happen. Cutting through that chaos is a challenge met head-on by the new campaign for Don’t Fail Idaho, an initiative funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.


The Don’t Fail Idaho campaign began its sixth year with a renewed commitment to help inform and motivate Idahoans to raise their voices, hold policy-makers accountable, and challenge a broken system. Delivering its message is always a balancing act. People don’t like bad news, especially when it’s that the state they love and call their home is falling behind in both education and the economy. But, facts are facts and we owe it to our future to face them and align towards common goals.



Make education the #1 priority.

Make a strong Idaho a reality.

And now for the tough part. How can we deliver potentially polarizing facts while bringing people together in a dialogue? To do this, we had to elevate the conversation. We decided to show that beyond perceived differences in class, age, and locale, there are common concerns that affect all Idahoans.

As the script states:


No matter who you are, as Idahoans, we share two things in common.
Every day the future of our state attends an education system
outranked by 47 other states. 


And we make lower average weekly wages than our counterparts in 
49 other states.

Addressing this in copy was just one piece of the puzzle. We wanted a fresh visual execution that not only brought in some visual awe but also made the takeaway stronger.

To do this we partnered once again with Gentleman Scholar, a creative production company in Los Angeles and New York. Having collaborated with them on multiple past projects, including Don’t Fail Idaho’ “Nowhere” in 2015, Buck The Quo “Anthem,” “Makers,” and Love2Learn “Gold” all in 2016, we knew they would bring their design-driven, visual storytelling mojo we needed.


In past campaigns, we’ve visually expressed the Don’t Fail Idaho campaign as illustrations, live montage, a combination of montage and illustration, and the live-action narrative. To really highlight the individuals we were bringing forward, it was decided to remove the background and feature each Idahoans’ individual personality. Pairing certain archetypes with on-screen type that worked against our preconceptions. So, over a rancher we see “WHITE COLLAR,” and over a computer specialist we see “BLUE COLLAR.” This shows us when we look past stereotypes we see individuals and looking even further we see we all share common concerns.

Using the definitive lighting one sees with sculpture and fine art, it was decided we needed to slow down time to look more closely at each moment to reveal a new way of seeing.


In early November of 2017, four members of Drake Cooper (Executive Creative Director Jennie Myers, Creation Director Dylan Amundson, Story Director Sean Young, and Sight, Sound & Motion Manager Ryan Cork) teamed up with Gentleman Scholar to oversee production of “Differences.”

Slow speed commercial shoot with Drake Cooper and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Slow speed commercial shoot with Drake Cooper and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Slow speed commercial shoot with Drake Cooper and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Slow speed commercial shoot with Drake Cooper and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation

To slow down the buzzing cloud of nanoseconds we happen to call “The Present Moment,” we had to REALLY slow it down. This was achieved by using a Phantom Flex4K camera set to capture footage at a mind-breaking 600 FPS (frames per second) in crisp 4K resolution. Most of us are used to the slow-mo feature on your smartphone that captures at 240 FPS. For comparison, see how some BTS iPhone footage looks side-by-side with the Phantom Flex4K:

Oh, and the weird robot crane thing. That’s a
Bolt High-Speed Cinebot. It’s basically a motion-controlled high-speed crane. This allows camera movement and the capture rate to be completely in sync. The Bolt Cinebot is programmed to make precision movements and when paired with the ultra-slo-mo you get some truly breathtaking footage. Just ask Kendrick Lamar.

Long story short, the visual storytelling came together to create a visual story that further conveyed the essence of the foundation’s goal to make Idaho a place to learn, thrive, and prosper. The campaign launched at the beginning of the year timed with the 2018 Idaho State Legislative session, important television events such as Super Bowl LII, the Winter Games, and the 90th Academy Award ceremonies to help ensure that education and, most importantly, Idaho students would be at the top of the agenda.

The Final Spot

Don’t Fail Idaho | Differences :60 from Don’t Fail Idaho on Vimeo.

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