Artist's Soapbox Derby

Bringing back SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby for the first time since 1978.

In the 1970s, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art held two artist soapbox derbies that have since become enshrined in Bay Area art history — and in 2022, finally, they brought it back. In partnership with SFMOMA, we captured the story behind the soapbox derby’s newest chapter and created a suite of materials to promote the event.

Shot over two days in San Francisco, we sat down with artists and racers from then and now to discuss the evolution of the Bay Area art scene, the decades-old heritage of the 1970s races, and the wildly joyous spectacle of the 2022 event in all its glory.

Our promotional campaign began by crafting a visual world, and a series of bite-sized “teasers” that unite SFMOMA’s modern look and feel with archival footage of the original 1975 derby.

As race day neared, we launched a 60-second trailer capturing the ethos of the event. By featuring material from participating artists, our film is able to “pass the baton” from 1975 to 2022 as it transitions from archival footage to present-day artists. In keeping with the spirit of the event, our script was brought to life through collaboration with Bay Area arts and culture journalist Pendarvis Harshaw.

As if it couldn’t get any more fun, SFMOMA invited us to participate in the race itself. Naturally, we built a giant six-foot-tall coffee mug, which Associate Creative Director Ian Watt built in his garage, towed up to San Francisco, and raced down the hill in-between interview shoots.