Make the Best Out of Absurdity

Written By
Devina Faustasia

Edited By
Fazrah Heryanda

Photo Cover
Rekreasi Creative Playground

Have you ever wondered how an advertisement that you see was made? A good advertisement can successfully deliver the message within a short amount of time, and the catchphrase could stay on top of the mind even in the coming years. Creating an advertisement is not as simple as directing an actor after they memorized their lines. It requires a long creative process to come up with a strong concept to engage with their audience and bring awareness for the brand. Take a look at how social media today, like Youtube and Instagram, are filled with the current trends of ads—displaying a new concept of absurdity. The idea of ‘absurdity’ breaks the conventional rule of producing a regular ad but experiment with something that doesn’t make sense at all. From the meme qasidah Kerja Keras Bagai Quda (Work hard like a horse) to the combination of a widely popular anime and a presidential election has succeeded in bringing ad with a fresh concept which garnered so much attention at the time. Read how Anggi Sonsen from Rekreasi Creative Playground, Jakarta-based agency, and Raka and Aswin from People Film, Surabaya-based production house tell us that absurdity is a part of where creativity resides in an advertisement.

Photo Source: People Film

The creative industry in Indonesia has emerged to become one of the nation's strong sectors. So, can you tell us more about your business?

Rekreasi Creative Playground:

A team of four created reKreasi Creative Playground in 2014. The strong key point of our business is a combination of both creative agency and production house. We aim to eliminate the boundaries of dealing with a lot of different parties involved in a creative process. Therefore, we provide various types of services in one place to ease clients.

People Film:

People Film is a creative agency and a production house that was founded back in 2014. Our business works toward connecting with the audience by making short movies or films. Aside from collaborating with brands and corporates, we also like to express the creative side within ourselves by initiating our own projects.

The concept of absurdity has become a current trend nowadays. Why do you use this concept in your works? Is it going to be your signature style?

Rekreasi Creative Playground:

Absurdity is one of the many styles we do when creating an advertisement. Two things that we consider to determine the approach for an ad are the brand and its audience. Brands have different ways on how they want to be seen in the public eye. Started from there, we observe the audiences’ characteristics. Here, we answer questions like what they are looking for, the current trend, and many more. These two things will allow us to experiment and come up with different approaches to an advertisement.

People Film:

The first thing that comes in mind when creating an advertisement is figuring a way to stand out from the crowd. We need to come up with ideas and concepts that will draw people’s attention to the message we want to project. To me, absurdity is actually an objective concept. However, by creating something different, people will have the tendency to talk about it, and it will be remembered. That is what inspires us to always try the extraordinary approach.

Photo Source: Rekreasi Creative Playground

It's great to hear your insights about absurdity. Then, take us through your behind the scenes of the creative process of creating an effective advertisement!

"First and foremost, we researched the type of audience as the target market for the brand. This research is done to understand what the audience might like, and we can choose the main concept of the ad. "

Rekreasi Creative Playground:

First and foremost, we researched the type of audience as the target market for the brand. This research is done to understand what the audience might like, and we can choose the main concept of the ad. There are many styles we can explore to connect with the audience, such as bringing out the emotional appeal of humor. After that, we will present these concepts to the clients. Sometimes clients can be skeptical towards the concept, and therefore we need to convince them and do multiple presentations. We’ll move forward to the production after everything is settled. After we have the final results, we can boost them through our service of digital amplification.

People Film:

There are a lot of things that go behind the scene in creating a short advertisement. As an example, to shoot a commercial for Mayasi, it took us about two days to shoot in 2 different cities, which was Surabaya and Batu. It was pretty tricky to find the props that would help us enhance the ad and bring out the Japanese vibe that aligns with the brand. We have a limited budget, but we managed to make a convincing set for the production. There were about 20-25 people involved in this project. Finally, editing took about three weeks.

Photo Source: Rekreasi Creative Playground

As an experienced creator in the industry, you have involved in a lot of projects. What do you think is the most memorable experience that you had in making those videos, and why?

Rekreasi Creative Playground:

One of my all-time favorites has to be a video series for Bukalapak called Medok Pendekar Jari Sakti. Back in 2016, there were not many short movies on YouTube as they weren’t as popular as it is today. It was quite challenging to create them as we cast mediocre amateur actors, but we were able to cover it all up with strong character representations and a good storyline. In the end, the project accomplished the goal of creating a good impact on both the creative and business side of the brand. We are proud to say that is is one of the best masterpieces that we’ve created.

"Absurdity is actually an objective concept. However, by creating something different, people will have the tendency to talk about it, and it will be remembered."

People Film:

The best highlights we had so far was when we created an ad for Mayasi. We put our own twist to portray the character of Narto and Saskeh that was inspired by Japanese fictional characters. When creating ads, most client aims to gain brand awareness among the audience and strengthen their brand identity. However, we used that opportunity to use our voice to express our annoyance towards the chaotic situation caused by the presidential elections. Not only succeeding in achieving the clients’ goals, but we were also able to channel out a unique idea based on the situation we faced at that time.

Photo Source: People Film

Lastly, what is next for you? What do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming years?

Rekreasi Creative Playground:

Due to the pandemic’s current situation, most projects are on hold, and few have been canceled. We have some limitations in creating content such as the directing process of an advertisement done remotely, or only one talent is allowed to shoot at one time. This situation forced us to adapt and create a whole new system that works to survive in the industry. We hope these limitations will not hinder our creativity always to bring something fresh to the table. Lastly, we hope that the creative industry in Indonesia will strive forward and continue to rise through the upcoming years.

People Film:

In the future, we want to initiate a lot of projects in creating creative content. We also want to do more collaboration in the future. For those of you readers who are preparing something or maybe establishing your own brand, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have in our office or online meetings.

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