The ‘Quietest Library on Earth’ Faces a Noisy Coup in Design Army’s Stylish New Spot

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There will be no chitter chatter in this sanctuary of silence. No clicking pens or clacking heels or, god forbid, coughing fits. This is, after all, the Quietest Library on Earth.

Presiding over this place, described as a “temple of hush,” is a zero-tolerance “quiet guard” ready to pounce on every rustling candy wrapper. He’ll put a stop to that gum smacking and pencil drumming and, while he’s at it, call out every single page turned or smile exchanged if he deems it the slightest bit disruptive.

What are these patrons to do? Plot a revolution using only their eyes, according to a brilliantly twee campaign from Design Army and director Dean Alexander for Georgetown Optician.

The Washington D.C.-based agency has established a fabulously quirky history with the brand stretching back to the long-form ad, “Our Family Knows Glasses,” one of Adweek’s favorite spots of 2015. 

This latest chapter, shot in the stunning George Peabody Library in Baltimore, changes the focus, so to speak, from the semi-fictionalized origin stories of the family-owned business. It creates a draconian (but thoroughly Wes Andersonian) environment filled with retro fashions, exaggerated sounds and surreptitious schemes where “expressive eyes and animated eyewear do the talking.”

The gorgeously rendered ad, running about two and a half minutes with the tagline, “Join the silent revolution,” aims to build brand awareness and set Georgetown Optician apart in its competitive category.

“How the heck do you make eye exams and optometry interesting? There’s nothing sexy about an optician.”
Pum Lefebure, CCO, Design Army

“How do you go against the big guys?” says Pum Lefebure, Design Army’s chief creative officer. “And even more challenging — how the heck do you make eye exams and optometry interesting? There’s nothing sexy about an optician.”

The concept sprang from the quiet cars of the D.C. to New York City trains, Lefebure says, where silence is golden and offenders are shushed. Execs moved the setting to a grand old library with a soaring atrium and cast-iron accents and populated it with nattily dressed characters straight out of Moonrise Kingdom. (Think ’70s high-school yearbook photos come to life with lots of big hair and even bigger glasses).

The “quiet guard,” as the on-duty tyrant, takes his job so seriously he causes a coup. And then, faced with snacks, acrobatics and Chihuahuas, he completely (and gloriously) melts down.

Alexander, a partner on the previous Georgetown Optician work, called the new campaign “wonderfully twisted and absurd. Anytime we can combine eyewear with a contortionist, a 19th century library and a giant moving eye is a good day as far as I’m concerned.”


Creative Agency: Design Army
Director: Dean Alexander

Creative Team:
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer: Pum Lefebure
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer: Jake Lefebure
Creative Director: Sucha Becky
Sr Art Director: Heloise Condroyer
Art Director: Gaby Hernandez
Copy/Script: Mark Welsh
Content Designer: Rachel Newman
Production Team: Mariela Hsu, Tiffany Palacios, Chazlyn O’Bannon, MJ Minutoli, Matt Francisco

Video Team:
Director: Dean Alexander
1st Assistant Director: Erin Winebrenner
Director of Photography: Kyle Deitz
Editor: David Grossbach
Gaffer: Mark Hutchings
Best Boy Electric: Jason Shinsato
Generator Operator: Ben Vaeth-Levin
Electric: Chris Henry
Electric: Russel Wicks
Key Grip: Scott Perryman
Best Boy Grip: Matt Brennan
Dolly Grip: Joe Kurtz
Grip: Ryan Gallo
1st AC: Aidan Gray
2nd AC/DIT: Masha Pavlova
PA: Layla Robinson

Music/Sound Design: Simon Lister, Squeak E. Clean Studios
Composer: Scott Langley
Voice Over: Lee Perry
Colorgrading: Parker Jarvie, Company 3
Visual Effects: STUDIO Local

Wardrobe Stylist: Michele Onofrio
Wardrobe Assit: Darcy Stockton
Wardrobe Assist/Seamstress: Brandee Mathies
Lead Hair/Make-Up: Dale Johnson
Hair/Make-Up Team: Sarah Fiorelle, Cedric Aissa, Holly Burnham, Teena Smith, Shannon Warman, Brandon Russel

Props: Amaryllis Designs

Kyrylo Kabachenko, Anna E. Vasyuta, Coco, Guven, Simon Lieber, Gordonnay Gaines, Daje Barbour, Dylan Yahiaoui, Luccia Wolfe

Mary Warner, Aurora Mostacci, Margaret Anne Murphy, Audrey Malek, Nicole Fallek, Paige Hancock, Victoria Zapata, Alyssa Michener, Anna Fox, Shelly Airey, Blair Kerr, JP Wogaman, Kcaremba, Xander Johnson, Nicholas Cowden, Danny Tippett, Jason Chae, Chloe Alexander, MJ Minolti, Tito (Dog)

Special Thanks:
George Peabody Library
Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower

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