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Emerson Students Collaborate on Winning Ad Campaign

Four students. Four hours. $10,000 dollars on the line. When Sam Clarke ’09, Ian Cardoni ’12, Phil Hamilton ’11, and Stella Plato ’10 decided to revive Romeo and Juliet for a video advertising contest, they didn’t know how it would turn out, but they knew it had to be funny.

The contest was designed as a promotion for the Jawbone bluetooth headset. The company challenged young filmmakers to create a short video based on the theme, “I wish I had a Jawbone.”

From hundreds of submissions Jawbone narrowed the field to 25 videos and ultimately chose Romeo and Juliet as the winner. The video retells the classic Shakespeare tragedy, with a twist. Everyone knows how the story ends, but what if Friar Laurence had had a cell phone and Romeo a Jawbone headset?

“Whenever I write for a contest like this, I ask myself, ‘What can we do that nobody else will think of?’”

The film was shot in Norwood, Massachusetts, at locations including a medieval-style town hall and a set for a high school production of Beauty and the Beast. Clarke wrote the script and designed costumes for the production, while Hamilton took charge of cinematography and editing. Plato was the Production Assistant and also played Juliet. Cardoni did some writing as well. “Whenever I write for a contest like this,” Clarke said, “I ask myself, ‘What can we do that nobody else will think of?’”

The film received 5,600 hits on the Jawbone website and the students were notified of their win by phone. Clarke described his reaction to the news. “It was electric. An idea that came to me in the shower won my friends and I $10,000 dollars. Coolest thing ever.”

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