Cannes Lions

A Train of Memories

SIX INC., Tokyo / SOTETSU / 2023

Awards:

2 Gold Cannes Lions
2 Bronze Cannes Lions
4 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

SOTETSU is a Japanese railway company operating entirely within Kanagawa Prefecture, which neighbors Tokyo, since 1917. It has been contributing to the wellbeing of local communities for over 100 years through railway operations and regional development efforts.

In March 2023, SOTETSU established a direct through service to central Tokyo by connecting with the Tokyu Line, which had been a long-awaited dream since its establishment.

Our mission was to promote the newly-opened link to families and potential families, showcase how it provides transfer-less access from the Kanagawa suburbs to downtown Tokyo, and present it as a place for families to settle down.

Idea

The direct connection opened in March, which, in Japan, is the season for graduation ceremonies, entrance ceremonies, and the start of new careers. It’s a season that the Japanese feel deeply about and associate with new beginnings.

Based on this insight, we decided to celebrate the story of children's growth and leaving the nest, which is a universal experience in life for many families. Our idea for the film draws from two perspectives relevant to the brand purpose for local life alongside the lines.

The first is to celebrate the beauty of ordinary family life: The Sotetsu Line isn’t for temporary events. Instead it’s a long-standing vital infrastructure that supports the everyday lives of its passengers, particularly families.

The second is to celebrate the newly-extended potential of those living along its lines: The direct connection to Tokyo expands their scope of activity and opens up new possibilities.

Strategy

The direct connection opened in March, which, in Japan, is the season for graduation ceremonies, entrance ceremonies, and the start of new careers. It’s a season that the Japanese feel deeply about and associate with new beginnings.

Based on this insight, we decided to celebrate the story of children's growth and leaving the nest, which is a universal experience in life for many families. Our idea for the film draws from two perspectives relevant to the brand purpose for local life alongside the lines.

The first is to celebrate the beauty of ordinary family life: The Sotetsu Line isn’t for temporary events. Instead it’s a long-standing vital infrastructure that supports the everyday lives of its passengers, particularly families.

The second is to celebrate the newly-extended potential of those living along its lines: The direct connection to Tokyo expands their scope of activity and opens up new possibilities.

Execution

Our creative idea of music was to sample and mashup two famous licensed Japanese songs from different eras and connect them into one track like a train running across generations.

The first is "Family Scenery" by HANAREGUMI, a folk masterpiece with the theme of "family" released in 2002, and the other is "On A Time Machine" by PUNPEE, a hip-hop masterpiece with the theme of "time" released in 2017. The train of two songs with a pair of themes and genres, goes to a new soundscape, telling a timeless father-daughter story running through the years.

We welcomed PUNPEE as a music composer. The backing track is mainly composed of the sampled guitar riff from "Family Scenery" and the sampled loop from "On A Time Machine". The lyrics are alternately interwoven as follows:

--

Verse 1: "On A Time Machine"

Verse 2: "Family Scenery"

Bridge: "Family Scenery"

Chorus: "On A Time Machine"

--

Our film follows the track of the father-daughter relationship evolving over twelve years as they commute to work and school on the same train on the Sotetsu Line. The entire story is set on a train and was filmed in one shot.

As the daughter grows, she explores new social values, ventures beyond her family circle, and becomes distant from her father. The ever-changing father-daughter relationship throughout the years is styled as a seamless time-lapse sequence of 50 actors with train's winding movements to express the swaying emotions of the two. It reflects how life goes by in a succession of ordinary moments like an uncut one-shot film.

In the final scene, the father prepares to get off at their usual station, except this time, the daughter will continue on to her new university in Tokyo. She is on the new connecting line that goes directly into Tokyo.

Outcome

Soon after our launch, many viewers took to social media to share their admiration for the father-daughter story, their personal train or family experiences, their amazement and respect for the filming techniques, and their love for the Sotetsu Line, resulting in its viral spread. And while it just happened to coincide with the launch of GPT4, the work proved how films crafted by human hands could still inspire and move people.

- over 17M Video Views

- over 713K Likes

- over 843 Articles

- over $4M Earned Publicity

- over 1M plays in Music Distribution Platform (ex.Spotify)

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