Loaf and the art of slow living

Creative agency isobel on why loafing is good for us

MediaCat sat down with Rob Fletcher, Executive Creative Director at the independent creative agency isobel, to hear about their new campaign for Loaf (directed by Rob and produced by isobel), creative partnerships and why a little ‘loafing’ is good for us all. 

How did the collaboration between Loaf and isobel come about? 

We started working with Loaf in January 2022. They were an established brand, but wanted a creative partner to help bring them to a wider audience, injecting more emotion so they stood out from other brands. The collaboration grew naturally.

Talk us through the ad and the creative thinking behind it

Loaf owner, Charlie Marshall, played me a recorded voice message from a few years ago. It was an old man having a rant about how he was appalled that to him ‘loaf’ by definition meant laziness — not something to be celebrated! We took the opposite view. In a world of anxiety, tension and stress, loafing can be a good thing sometimes.  

How does it differ from last year’s ‘Loaf like you mean it’ campaign?

It basically comes from the same starting point, that ‘to Loaf’ is positive. Lets celebrate Loafing, that to Loaf is an acceptable pastime, whether that be a Loafing Olympics or a protest against the chaos and stress of modern living.

The ad is a ‘protest for slow living’… a call to slow down. What does that mean to you, and why is it important now?

The Loaf brand is clear and precise in its attitude: that your home should be somewhere to slow down, relax and chill out from the outside world which, for many, is becoming more stressful, fast and tense.

Writing a bespoke song with Lost Boy was crucial in terms of capturing this message and distilling it down to the fact that, really, we should see doing nothing as a glorious positive and take a stand for kicking back and taking a load off. Loaf furniture is soft, comfortable and designed for loafing. If you want angular, upright, designer furniture that’s designed for showiness, look elsewhere.

Takes us behind the scenes of the making of the ad

The song came first from songwriter and music producer, Lost Boy. Then we made an animatic. Then went to a large studio to make a test film with a stand-in cast made up of friends (we actually cast the keyboard player for the role) with an app-based pivoting tripod. We got the timing bang on and positions of everything, so come the shoot day we knew exactly what we were doing.

The ad was created in-house. What were the challenges and benefits of doing it this way, and is this process going to become more common in the industry? 

More and more we know brands are looking for truly cost-effective, quick and effective solutions to production. For us, adding in-house production to our bow was a no-brainer. We can now shoot, edit and post-produce films in-house. It means we can be faster, smoother and make budgets work harder.

Logistically speaking, it allows us to erase the gap between having ideas and making them, and get a top-down view of all assets, from TV to social.

That doesn’t mean to say because we can, we should. Talent is still the biggest player, but if a script sings and we feel confident we can do it, then we will. Sometimes an outsourced production can be a godsend, but sometimes it can be a gooseberry.

Featured image: The Art of Loafing campaign