About Touching Stories

TRUST was tasked with the challenge of creating an engaging digital PR platform utilizing social media channels to promote client Tool of North America’s “Touching Stories” iPad films during the Cannes Lions. Five of Tool‘s directors — Geordie Stephens, Jason Zada and Erich Joiner, Sean Ehringer and Tom Routson — shot four films with interactive points that call for touching, shaking or turning the iPad built into the plots. A partnership with Domani Studios provided the technology to connect the film process with the iPad’s multi-touch and accelerometer features, as well as the ability to load videos or visit Web pages. The result goes far beyond special effects — the team built each film’s story within the context of the iPad experience.

The Idea

An unconventional film project deserves an unconventional PR strategy, so TRUST came up with the concept for a multi-pronged guerilla PR effort that included a website developed to engage creatives at some of the largest and most respected advertising-centric companies in the United States and Europe as well as key trade press and web influencers.


TRUST embarked on a massive data cull which required coming up with a list of 500 leading advertising influencers and collecting their personal information from a variety of social media channels; including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Armed with this information, TRUST then developed HaveYouBeenShortlisted.com, consisting of a collage of 500 thumbnail faces. Visitors could scroll over the photos to enlarge them and link to the subject’s social networking pages. TRUST managed the campaign’s Twitter feed and engaged with Cannes related Facebook pages, posting updates like “We got tickets for the Shots party”, “Can’t wait for Massive Music” and “What’s the deal with this haveyoubeenshortlisted site?” The homepage also integrated Facebook’s “Like” feature and other share options so visitors could spread the word. The guerrilla campaign drove traffic and generated buzz among industry associations, bloggers, and tweeters.


During the week-long festival, contenders were whittled down in phases, their photos blurred out and hyperlinks deactivated. Once the 15 pre-selected winners were finalized, the TRUST team tracked down each one in Cannes and surprised them with a free iPad preloaded with Tool’s “Touching Stories” app. The TRUST team, armed with still and video cameras on the ground in Cannes captured the deliveries and then posted it on the campaign site.

Winners included:

Lars Bastholm, New York Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy

Iain Tait, Portland Interactive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy

Susan Credle, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett

Nicke Bergstrom, Creative Director, Mother

Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director, droga5

David Rolfe, Director of Integrated Production, Crispin Porter + Bogusky


Fast Company: Making of Touching Stories: Director Sean Ehringer Messes With “Sarah and Jerry”

Fast Company: Director Tom Routson and Hotel Tryst Tale, “Triangle”

Fast Company: Directors Jason Zada and Erich Joiner With “All Ends, Ends All”

Fast Company: Director Geordie Stephens and “The Most Interesting Couple in Britain”

Fast Company: The New Touching Stories App Brings Four Interactive Films to the iPad


PSFK: Choose Your Own Adventure: Touching Stories Brings Interactive Film To The iPad

Creativity: Tool of North America: Touching Stories