GUILLAUME DE FONTENAY
Guillaume de Fontenay Creates Awareness for Earthquake Preparedness in a new FEMA spot for Leo Burnett Chicago
MTh director Guillaume de Fontenay’s spot “The Day Before” for FEMA via The Ad Council and Leo Burnett Chicago, is a subtle yet harrowing call for earthquake preparedness. Guillaume’s concept utilizes a split-screen framework to depict an average day in the lives of two comparable men based in San Francisco, one from the present day and one from 1989. Despite the 23-year gap, the two men’s days are remarkably synced – dealing with the morning commute, getting excited for that night’s baseball game, fighting a jammed office photocopier, and more. Everything these men do throughout the day is parallel – until suddenly the 1989 man vanishes. The viewer then learns that that day was October 17, the date of San Francisco’s deadly Loma Prieta Earthquake.
The spot notes the differences from 1989 to 2012 down to the very last detail – the types of cars on the road, the size of a specific tree, the types of alarm clocks the men use. Wide exterior shots also note how the San Francisco skyline has evolved. However the power of the spot is in the overwhelming similarity and normalcy in each man’s daily routine. The message is clear: this could be anyone, and any day could be “the day before.” Guillaume’s unique vision spurs viewers to action not through horrific disaster footage, but through a straightforward, relatable narrative that truly hits home.