Fifty-five years ago, this was the speech that legendary orator and 35th US President, John F. Kennedy was supposed to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart but was assassinated en route to the venue on November 22, 1963. But Agency Rothco and The Times proved that with today’s powerful technology, a speech never made could be heard and a new perspective to the death news of JFK could be shared.
The winner of Cannes Lions’ Creative Data Grand Prix award this year, the spot has been covered by 59 countries worldwide and had an editorial reach of over a billion. Apart from the Grand Prix, the commercial also won One Shows, D&AD Pencils and Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions.
Accenture Interactive agency Rothco reviewed 831 JFK speeches and interviews and painstakingly engineered sounds to synchronise well among several sound qualities and background noises, for the speech to appear smooth and delivered in Kennedy’s own voice.
The result is world’s first AI audio synthesized speech created only with data and a successful ‘Find your Voice’ campaign for The Times. The editorial wanted to be positioned as a common platform that aptly represents each different voice. This never-seen-before sound engineering advancement that cherished the legacy of a world-renowned figure and one of the greatest orators of all time helped the news brand achieve their voice in the multitude with a master digital storytelling.
Here is how the making of the hugely anticipated JFK speech happened:
In this powerful speech, JFK urges his beloved people to differentiate between “rhetoric and reality” and to “exercise strength with wisdom and restraint” so the nation may “achieve in our time and for all the time the ancient vision of peace on earth and good will toward men.”
The Executive Creative Director at Rothco said in a statement ahead of the release of this campaign: “When we delved into the words JFK had written for the Trade Mart speech, we found they were not only poignant for the time but strikingly relevant today. By bringing his voice back to life to deliver this speech, the message is even more powerful.”
The Times had run several promotional teasers along with this spot to create an unwavered excitement and enthusiasm to hear Kennedy after so long in a smooth articulation of his vision of world freedom. This campaign became the apt lead up to JFK’s centennial birthday.
Attendees at the packed Trade Mart were shocked and dismayed that fateful day in 1963 when they learnt about JFK’s death as they waited on at the venue for his great speech. Watch what happens when an attendee hears JFK recite his final speech on what should guide America on the road to freedom, 55 years since his death.
Sources : Rothco | The Drum | Adweek