Courtney Hoffman's directing debut for WhatsApp's 'Message Privately' campaign

WhatsApp has released a series of spots from its global privacy campaign, a collaboration with BBDO Berlin. Courtney Hoffman of London-based production company Lief marks her directing debut and hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the 'Message Privately' theme.

Using a rich visual palette, the ads show the Facebook-owned app's end-to-end encryption feature – the one that appeals to many of us, as we enjoy extra layers of protection, ensuring only ourselves and the recipient have access to our messages – not even WhatsApp.

Keeping things fun with pops of colour and a bouncy vibrancy throughout, there's a richness to the storytelling that Lief and Hoffman are renowned for. Of course, Hoffman is no stranger to working within this world; for the past decade she has worked as a lauded costume designer for commercial and film, with credits including Baby Driver, The Hateful Eight, and Captain Fantastic.

It'll come as no surprise, then, that every detail of the WhatsApp campaign oozes a filmmaker-forward approach, featuring costume, art direction, cinematography, and great casting of actors, while the original music by award-winning composer Emile Mosseri (Minari, Kajilionaire) brings a playfulness and spirited energy to each spot.

The first ad, Double Date, shows us an awkward restaurant scene, where one couple dominates the conversation. Rather than delivering a nudge or kick, the quieter twosome WhatsApp one another privately under the table, then share a knowing glance. In Dream Job, a woman receives notice of a career-changing decision while in the loo, then proceeds to take a victory exit lap out of the office. In the third, the feel-good Secret Language reveals the behind-the-scenes education that went into learning the language of a loved one.

"I had a tremendous amount of trust and freedom throughout the entire creative process, from casting primarily theatre actors to using bold colours and crafting the scores," says Hoffman of the project. "I loved the challenge to tell full, ambitious, visual stories in 30 seconds and I hope this proves that when you give women a chance, that fresh, exciting, new perspectives can be unleashed. Margo Mars proves that when we champion each other, incredible things can happen."


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