Human roots as a narrative device

This new ad film for Elder, a UK-based care agency, is by the UK-based agency Love or Fear.

Watch the film first:

From a purely aesthetic sense, the idea of using stop motion animation using wool, felt (a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing, and pressing fibers together; in this case, using wool) and dye for colors is wonderful given the final output that is starkly unique. The look is the first thing that attracts immediately.

But there’s a deeply interesting insight in the narrative too.

Elder’s method of adult-care is live-in. They place trained live-in carers for a range of needs including personal and complex care. This is different from senior citizen homes and centers that offer such care at a place of their own where the elders need to be admitted/joined/placed.

The narrative device of roots stems (pun unintended) from this insight.

In a senior citizens’ place, you uproot an elder who has built his/her own root with the house, place, surroundings, and neighbours. With Elder, you do not need to uproot them and let them continue where they are, with the support of live-in carers.

That specific nuance, between the kind of care elders get in a senior citizens’ home vs. live-in care comes out beautifully in the theme the agency chose. The senior citizens’ home category tends to ask the elders to build new roots in their place, while Elder commits to letting them nurture their existing roots. It’s a choice for the elders, of course, but the fact this option exists for them is very good.

You may argue – how much do such roots built around a physical place matter in these days of digital connections? Can’t they move to a senior citizens’ place and continue to be in touch with their past neighbours via the internet?

While that is not an outlandish idea at all, that doesn’t take into account how much those roots matter to the people, particularly when they are living away from their wards/other members of their family.

In a way, the roots they have built and nurtured in their homes would be like a second family to them. Elder’s campaign addresses that point with an evocative, almost-poetic flourish.

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