joe hartley

Playing Lynch

A Collaborative Meditation on the Works of David Lynch (for Squarespace)

Squarespace believes that no idea is too big or too wild for a beautiful platform. Putting this belief into practice, they asked us to help them bring together high-profile artists across disciplines to celebrate the dark lord of big, wild ideas, himself: David Lynch. And along the way, they wanted to benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which aims to better the world with Transcendental Meditation.  We created “Playing Lynch: A Collaborative Meditation on the Work of David Lynch.” (AD: Cody Ackors)

The centerpiece was an 8-chapter film in which John Malkovich and acclaimed photographer/director Sandro recreated scenes from iconic David Lynch films to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation. 

As you dived into the site, you encountered new characters, and new “meditations” on each character. For each scene, popular contemporary artists re-interpreted the soundtrack. These tunes were sold through the site, raising proceeds for The David Lynch Foundation.

We wanted to connect with the true Lynch heads, so we teased Playing Lynch with cryptic Easter eggs and a healthy dose of mystery.

On fan forums, we used unknown accounts to post links to an enigmatic countdown clock over an shadowy “David Lynch.” This landing page clicked through to Squarespace-made sites for fictional businesses, which true fans recognized from the world of David Lynch.

This sent fans on a wild goosechase to get to the bottom of things. By the time a network of Lynch-loving celebrities started posting cryptic Malkovich-as-Lynch photos, the fan community was in a full-on frenzy.

This attracted the attention of the blogger community, propelling us to 166 million earned media impressions. We confused people and delighted them, and along the way, showed them what Squarespace can do.

Playing_Lynch_Preacher_5 hi res.jpg

Awards: Art Director's Club -  Gold, 4A Partner Awards - 1st Place Creative Partnerships, AICP NEXT Award, Cannes Lions - Cyber Lions Shortlist, One Show - Merit, Webbys - Movies & Film Websites

Press: Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, AdAge, Chicago Tribune, CNET, The independent (UK), NME, Indiewire, It’s Nice That, Spin, HuffPost, Consequence of Sound, YAHOO!(!)