The Purest Picture
JWT Amsterdam’s innovative campaign for Spa turns a drop of water into a lens
Amsterdam, 24 January 2018 – The small town of Spa is set just outside a nature reserve in the Belgian Ardennes. This is the home of Spa mineral water - which claims to be the world’s purest water. J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam set out to prove just how pure and clear Spa water is, so the agency came up with the idea of challenging top Dutch portrait photographer, Robin de Puy, to take a photo through a drop of Spa.
The innovation team at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam were set the task of turning this natural element into a functional lens – and building a unique camera to capture a portrait through a drop of water. Teaming up with tech specialists Etulipa, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam broke the problem down into several steps.
The force of gravity dictates that a drop of water dissolves into a puddle when placed onto a glass plate, so the first challenge was to find a way to make the drop of Spa water keep its spherical shape. The answer was to add water-repellent coating. The next problem to solve was to find a way to control the shape of the water drop to allow the photographer to pull focus. This was resolved by employing an electro-wetting technique: by changing the electricity voltage running through the drop of water, its shape either contracts or expands. Then, a small mirror was added underneath at a 45- degree angle to reflect horizontal light up through the lens. Finally, a sensor was added, and after much experimenting, the world’s first water camera was finally ready to make its premier.
Bas Korsten, Creative Partner, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
Robin de Puy, portrait photographer
CREDITS SPA ‘The Purest Picture’
AGENCY J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
CREATIVE PARTNER Bas Korsten
CREATIVES Niels Bredemeijer, Rienk de Vries
INNOVATION DIRECTOR Emmanuel Flores
PR DIRECTOR Jessica Hartley
ACCOUNT Alewijn Dekker, Charlotte Lilly
TV PRODUCER Mariska Fransen, Martijn van Hees
PRODUCER Julie van Lanschot
EDITOR Tim Arnold
TECHNICAL PARTNER Etulipa
Vice President Operations Pieter van der Valk
CEO & Electrowetting Expert Hans Feil
PRODUCTION COMPANY DPPLR
DIRECTOR Maarten Groen
DOP Myrthe Mosterman
EDITOR Ruben Labree
PRODUCER Lotte Kwak
MUSIC Audio Netwerk
SOUND DESIGN Alan van Ramshorst
PORTRAITS MADE THROUGH A DROP OF SPA:
STILLS FROM THE CAMPAIGN:
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About J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
We’re a local agency with international ambitions. Intergalactic ambitions even. To reach that goal we’ve transformed the agency quite drastically. For instance, we only have 3 departments: Think, Do and Make. Why? Because you have to keep it simple this day and age to help your clients face an increasingly complex world.