Dee Rees and Rachel Morrison’s Lovely Samsung Ad Urges You to Make Something, and Make History

The 60-second spot will air during the Oscars

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Rachel Morrison, the cinematographer behind Dee Rees’ movie Mudbound, is up for Best Cinematography at this Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards—the first woman ever nominated in that category. Samsung’s lovely Oscars spot winks at that history-making moment, with a winsome shot of Rees and Morrison eating popcorn in a theater, in a 60-second spot directed by Rees and shot by Morrison.

Kicking off with a shot of two teenage girls in a very accurate teenage girl bedroom (shoutout to the production design team for nailing that) considering whether they should make something, the ad follows various creators who give the girls advice and encourage them to, well, go out and create something.

The spot, Make It Yours” from Wieden + Kennedy Portland, features famous faces like Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu, Insecure’s Issa Rae and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, as well as up-and-coming creators and influencers like Akilah hughes, Shantell Martin, Nigel Sylvester, Molly Burke, James Spooner, Deepica Mutyala and Ann Lupo.

By seamlessly weaving the advice of more well-known creators with up-and-coming ones, the ad seems to argue that a certain level of cachet or acclaim doesn’t make your advice more valuable than someone else’s—your drive and willingness to create does. It’s an aspirational message to tout new phones (Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+) but it’s affecting and well-crafted.

Client: Samsung
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Production Company: Anonymous Content
• Akilah Hughes – Young millennial creator comedienne who started on YT doing sketch comedy and vlogs (319K social footprint)
• Shantell Martin – British artist highlighting her unique artistic style and experiential approach with video (233K social footprint)
• Nigel Sylvester – BMX athlete who creates videos to allow his viewers to experience the ride with him (701K social footprint)
• Molly Burke – Accessibility, anti-bullying and mental health activist whose visual impairment doesn’t get in the way of delivering compelling videos that highlight how she persevers in everyday life (290K social footprint)
• James Spooner – Film director turned tattoo artist who spotlights his art in social media
• Deepica Mutyala – Beauty blogger who empowers women of all skintones on her YT channel (346K social footprint)
• Ann Lupo – Young independent filmmaker and YouTuber recently debuted her feature film “In Reality” (14K social footprint)
• Dee Rees – Director of “Mudbound,” “Bessie” and “Pariah” and first African American women to received an Academy Awarded nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in the 2018 Academy Awards
• Rachel Morrison – Director of Photography (DP) of “Mudbound,” “Fruitvale Station” and “Black Panther” and first woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography in the 2018 Academy Awards
• Issa Rae – Author and creator of “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl” on You Tube, and “Insecure” on HBO (3M social footprint)
• Constance Wu – Actress appearing in “Fresh of the Boat” ABC / TBC and upcoming film “Crazy Rich Asians” (291K social footprint)
• Taika Waititi – Maori actor and Director of Thor: Ragnarok and original screenplay writer of “Moana” (764.4K social footprint)

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.