The gift boxes from Dutch home and body care brand Rituals open up a world in accordance with their themes: sakura, hammam and ayurveda. Inspired by traditions from Japan, the Middle East and India, they evoke rituals involving cherry blossom, steam baths and ancient philosophy. A woman moves through all three themes after picking up a gift box in a snowy forest.
The gift of Rituals was directed by the New York-based, Dutch director Eva Midgley. After working with L’Oreal and SK-II in the past, this was her first commercial for a Dutch cosmetics company. ‘I really enjoyed working directly with the client,’ she says. ‘There was no agency in between, which is very unusual. I was able to get to know the brand really quickly and understand what they were looking for much better. It allowed for a lot of freedom in developing the concept.’
There was no agency in between, which is very unusual. I was able to get to know the brand really quickly and understand what they were looking for much better. It allowed for a lot of freedom in developing the concept.
Combining the three themes was the trickiest part in the commercial’s creation. How do you jump from one to the next? Eva was able to intuitively link the shots with magical transactions that don’t interrupt the flow. She loves shooting underwater. ‘I just shot a music video completely underwater,’ she enthuses. ‘For the past few years I’ve been intrigued by filming underwater and it keeps finding its way into my work. Of course, water is an important aspect of cleansing rituals. I keep asking myself, what else can I do underwater?’