heroes inside us — a water bottled with soul: a case study

as seen on Ads of the World *

Case Study on a Social Experiment for DEVIN Spring Water

Brief | 4 production companies briefed for the project.

Casting | Over 50 real people who wanted to share with us who their heroes are and why.

Crew | Over 30 crew members working in strict confidentiality the whole time.

The Concept

On 28th of June along with Devin Spring Water we conducted аn authentic social experiment, documented in a video commercial.

Devin Spring Water created the concept based on an anthropological study which showed that Bulgarians are tired, stressed and moody. They had decided to embark on a challenge through a social experiment with real people and their loved ones and to show that in today’s world of stress and obligations someone is seeing You as a Hero. Hero means that You influence people close to you by caring for them and making their life a better place, sometimes without even realizing it.

We invited ordinary people to share with us more about themselves and choose the word that describes them best:Tense, Overwhelmed, Regular, Hero. We called these people “. Without them knowing, we also invited their close ones to rate them in parallel. We called them “. That’s where the magic began to happen. In today’s world of stress, information overload and commitments,we all feel stretched to our limits and rarely see ourselves as heroes. But on 28th of June 2020, ten people saw themselves through the eyes of their loved ones as true heroes of the everyday’s life.


From the very beginning the idea was for something bigger and more important than just a traditional or ordinary commercial — one of the main purposes in front of us was to give people the emotional strength to conquer the everyday stress, uncertainty, fatigue and see themselves as heroes.


That’s why the well — conducted and very extensive casting was one of the biggest challenges of the pre-production. Casting for real people to participate in a real social experiment is very different from casting actors and extras to participate in a typical commercial. We reached over 50 people with the following brief: “Tell us about your personal hero.” We were trying to find the stories that maybe someone else won’t see as unique or interesting, trying to read between the lines.

After carefully choosing our stories we had to make contact with all of the Batman characters with a cover story to slightly mislead them and make them want to come and participate in a videotaped interview for Devin Spring Water’s Study for Hydration. We had to convince every Batman of the importance of his/her participation in this official hydration study. We had long and friendly conversations with them, explaining the importance of this topic and why they are exactly the type of person we are looking for. Risky, but fun and challenging in a good way.

So far so good, the next big challenge was to keep this secret until the end, until we surprised each of our Batman characters with the message and thoughts of their Robins about them. It was a complex and challenging process for the whole crew but everyone came through spectacularly and made the impossible — possible.

And it happened even better than planned because of the great impact this experiment had on the participants — long held breaths, laughter, tears, a fast heartbeat, so many hugs, kisses and surprised eyes. Without a doubt, we can say that this day has become an unforgettable experience not only for the Batman characters and their Robins, but also for the whole crew involved.

How handplayed helped

Official Making: Alexander Pehlev

There was a high degree of involvement during the project from the moment we took the brief and made it a road map, adding to it our expertise in production by finding the right people to take part as crew members, organize everything and shoot it as clean and as simple as possible.

For us, this was not only a simple TVC shoot , in which we would provide everything a production company usually needs to provide. It was a challenge of two shooting days in which we told 10 unique and personal stories about 10 people, keeping the authenticity with the environment created on set with a flexible and supportive approach from everyone in the team.‍

photographer: Zlatimir Arakliev

What they said?


handplayed is an award-winning full-service content creation studio, based in Sofia,Bulgaria. We produce commercials, music videos, films & experiences.