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Death: Turn Towards It

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Brief: Launch a campaign across existing interfaces for a Netflix show by generating content to promote a said show with the Netflix branding in mind.

Concept: The Midnight Gospel is a show about Clancy Gilroy who interviews beings from different planets for his spacecast. Each episode has the theme of death. In many cultures, talking about death is taboo and inappropriate. The Midnight Gospel embraces it, right until the end of the season. I wanted to start the conversation around death, what it means and what it does to us. At the end of each episode, Gilroy would somehow end up with a pair of shoes. I used the shoes as a means to flesh out the campaign.

The Midnight Gospel was created by Duncan Trussell. He has a podcast on which the episodes are actually based on. You can find his podcast here.

The project started with sketches then critique, then research. I had a hard time conceptualising the point of the campaign. I have an interest in package design, so that’s where the shoebox came in but what was the point of it? That’s what I had to answer with every choice I made. I also had to pay attention to Netflix and how their branding works when it comes to Out of Home advertising.

To further the concept, I created a survey about death with some of the questions being:

  • What do you think of death?

  • What do you think is important to remember about death?

  • How does death make you feel?

It can still be found here. It garnered some fantastic responses. At first, I didn’t know what I was going to do with the responses but because they were so profound, I felt they had to be seen. I used the responses as copy for the Out of Home advertisements. Here is a report of the survey.

I chose the top 3 episodes according to IMDb (at the time) of the show and worked them out. The shoeboxes would not have the actual shoe from the show but rather a high-quality cardboard cutout of the shoe as a keepsake.

From the top 3 episodes, I rewatched them, took notes, and collected quotes. This project was definitely focused more on the copy, as the words used were quite powerful, so the design had to complement that did not overshadow it.

The colour palette for each shoebox was based on the shoes for the corresponding episode. For the typefaces, I wanted a futuristic and squarish typeface to match the typeface of the end credits. The futuristic tone matches the space theme of the show as well. I chose different typefaces for different episodes, but Vox typeface was primarily used.

The shoeboxes consisted of wrapping paper, the box, and a thank you card. The warping paper had a pattern that was made up of elements from that specific episode. The box had the highlight quote from that specific episode. The thank you card had the highlight quote again but a further explanation of the quote for more context. The shoes on the thank you cards were hand-drawn from the screengrabs of the show.

The general poster for the show would have a QR code on it that fans can scan to receive an email prompt. Then they would receive a confirmation email from Netflix about when the shoebox would be shipped to them. I created both pieces through mockups, Adobe XD and Adobe Photoshop.

All in all, I love this project. I think the conversation around death needs to be explored more because it really is a part of life. My favourite part of this was watching the show again and understanding the quotes.

You can reach out to me on my Instagram or email. If you’re interested in a multifaceted podcast, you can have a listen at mine here.



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