Rob Talks Loaf

Rob Talks Loaf

5 September 2022

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How a Sofa Brand Is Making Loafing a Competitive Sport

The latest campaign from UK sofa, beds and furniture brand Loaf is all about embracing loafing as a desirable pursuit – and encouraging people to really take their lazing about seriously. Created by independent creative agency isobel, it centres on the line: “LOAF LIKE YOU MEAN IT.”

The work includes a series of TV ads featuring a ‘loaf-off’ between two competitive loafers, accompanied by sporting style commentators, bringing the loafing (lack of) action to life. Two further TV ads feature solo loafing heats.

The campaign also includes a range of static and digital OOH and press ads, showing people in their ultimate loafing positions, celebrating the joy – and the art – of loafing.

Rob Fletcher, executive creative director at isobel, who also directed the films, told LBB’s Alex Reeves about making the campaign.

LBB> Where did this campaign begin for you? And how did that lead to the idea for turning loafing into a sport?

Rob> Charlie, the owner of Loaf, played me a phone message recording they received, a few years ago, from an elderly gentleman who was appalled that Loaf were advocating loafing. The gentleman couldn’t understand how loafing could possibly be anything but laziness. He was disgusted that Loaf were celebrating one of humankind’s worst attributes. I think for me, this was gold dust. As a modern society, with hectic work and lifestyle timetables, doing nothing should no longer be seen as a negative but as a glorious positive that recharges us all and is the antidote to modern fast living. Loafing should now be a legitimate pastime. Loafing should be a genuine pursuit. A sport even. And where there’s sport, there’s always a championship.

LBB> What was the process of writing the various scripts and deciding on the different demonstrations of champion loafing?

Rob> There was a sketch on the BBC show ‘Big Train’ – a staring competition. I always loved how they turned something quite dull into something exciting. We wanted to show people actively doing nothing. It sounds like an oxymoron, but loafing isn’t being asleep or comatose. It’s purposefully taking time to do nothing. We wanted tiny movements and moments in the films that we could dramatise to the point of ridiculousness. I think all films should have jeopardy or friction. For me, films should strive to be different from their neighbours in an ad break. Films seem to be getting faster and faster, everything packed in very tight, no room to breathe. This was a perfect opportunity to pull the plug on all that and be different.

Keep the scripts open with room and space around them.

LBB> You directed the spots too. What were the biggest considerations there for you?

Rob> I think if you write something, and truly believe in it, and can see it clearly when you shut your eyes,  then you should (if possible) find the confidence to see it all the way through and direct it. As I grow older, I find it incredibly hard to hand the vision over to someone else. I think the trick is to surround yourself with the best people. The team at Loaf are amazing. The team at isobel are amazing. It wasn’t a case of us and the client – the team was made up of both. Loaf knows its brand, knows its product inside out, and isobel knows production, timing and the intricacies of filmmaking. The combination is electric. As director, you just have to stick to your vision, and let the best people be at their very best.

LBB> What will you remember most about shooting it?

Rob> A shoot for me should be decision-free. It’s a day for executing the decisions. The day is hard work. We shot a vast amount in one day. Stills and film. Many, many sofa moves and re-dressing. But all the decisions were pre-made in pre-production, so the actual day was smooth. It ran like clockwork and every single person knew what they were doing and when. It’s intensely satisfying to see. It’s like decorating. All about the prep!

LBB> Is there any particular detail that you’re especially happy with?

Rob> Loaf is a very good client. They are obsessed with detail. We discussed and deliberated every single inch. Loaf has created a brand that’s all about detail. They were confident to stick to our concept and our narrative – and this never changed but the casting, styling, props etc. were very much deliberated and the result is in keeping with the brand’s positioning. What I’m most happy with is the way we worked together in a positive, respectful way. It’s a fun and enjoyable way to work.

LBB> If loafing is a sport now, does that mean darts is too?

Rob> The first annual Loafing Championships are to be held at Lakeside, 2023. Tickets on sale soon.

See the full campaign here .