We live in divided, distracted times. Heads down, faces lit by the glow of a screen, we’re awash in an endless stream of news, gossip, and commentary. Beset on all sides by bad news, we feel more isolated by the day. Technology may be omnipresent, but we take it for granted and it often just plain bums us out.
With this in mind, we decided it was time to remind everyone of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral’s central, and continuing, role in American space exploration, science, and rocketry for their latest campaign.
More than just a launch pad for astronauts, space shuttles, and today’s SpaceX rockets, the Kennedy Space Center is a beacon that encourages us to look beyond our world (and our devices) — reminding us of all that we can achieve when we dream big and come together for the common good.
Wagyu is expensive and people tend to think of it as a special-occasion meat, a splurge with which to celebrate on weekends and holidays. And when they do buy it, they get Ribeye and Filet Mignon, not the less expensive cuts. So our client had a unique problem: a surplus of lower-priced Wagyu cuts and a product that isn’t thought of as a daily dish.
How could we take those two perceived negatives and cook them into something positive and tasty and connect it to our new brand positioning, “Eat Life to the Fullest”?
We started by looking at the work week and realized that the worst day of that week, as everyone knows, is Monday. Reams of data show that Mondays are actually, statistically and empirically, far worse than any other day. If we were going to help people use Wagyu to make the most of life, we had to start here.
So, we created an entirely new product line: a Case of the Mondays. Inspired by Office Space and the Monday malaise, we put together the perfect pairings of Wagyu to rescue your week, depending on your appropriate price point. Each Case of the Mondays was a different size and contained a variety of cuts tailored to help you defeat your own case of the Mondays.
To support our new offering, we created a social video campaign that absurdly dramatized typical Monday pain in catchy, meme-like ways. This was a first for a meat company that sells luxury beef: no cowboys, no homes-on-the-range, no sizzling steaks. We wanted to talk to people on a personal, human level — if you’re having a miserable day, you definitely don’t want to see something that looks way better than how you are feeling. Media ran only on Mondays, with a special emphasis on Mondays that people dread — like the day after the Super Bowl and the first Monday back to school.
As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. So, who are you if you eat Wagyu beef?
That’s the question we needed to answer when Lone Mountain Wagyu, a cattle ranch in New Mexico with all-Wagyu herd, approached us to help reframe their brand. They’d had a lot of success selling their beef to Michelin-starred restaurants across the country, but hadn’t quite cracked the direct-to-consumer market yet.
Starting with their existing customers, we wanted to understand why people bought Wagyu — an expensive, extraordinarily marbled luxury beef originally from Japan — and what it meant to them. Through our research, we discovered that our core customers were people who were deeply passionate about what they did for a living, were fiercely independent, and motivated from within. So, if we wanted to reach them on their own terms, we’d have to position Wagyu as life-affirming and indulgent, but also unpretentious and refined. It’s what you want to eat when you know you’ve made it, but don’t necessarily want to brag about it. And it’s what you want to eat when you want to eat, literally, the best beef in the world.
With this, we saw an opportunity for Lone Mountain Wagyu to stand for more than just fancy meat, and represent something far greater. Eating Wagyu beef is a celebration of all that is wonderful in life. In this, Lone Mountain Wagyu could be the impetus to get you started on a journey of experiencing all that life has to offer. And so, their new brand positioning, “Eat Life to the Fullest,” was born.
In a category riddled with cliché images of cowboys, ranches, and serious-looking meat, we would set ourselves apart by putting the products in the context of a life well-lived. To visually distinguish ourselves, we turned to illustration as the base for all our communications — something universal that spoke to the idea of celebrating and living well, and that was as far from the typical meat branding as we could imagine. Our iconography would be a mix of images from the ranch, the world of food, and the world of living-it-up. And we redesigned the company’s logo, using the iconic Lone Mountain (an actual mountain that sits on the edge of the ranch) to bring to life the beauty of the New Mexico desert.
Having started with the basics of Lone Mountain Wagyu’s brand and mission, we are currently doing a company-wide re-think, examining how everything from their products and packaging, to collateral and advertising can become prompts to help people start eating, and living, life to the fullest.
dineL.A. Restaurant Week, a bi-annual eating extravaganza presented by L.A. Tourism, was getting stale. Originally created during the recession to get Angelenos out of the house and into restaurants across town, the messaging was always value-driven. Eight years later, with foodie culture exploding and Los Angeles considered a dining mecca, the event was indistinguishable from the hundreds of other Restaurant Weeks across the country and, most importantly, the dozen or so held in Southern California.
We decided it was time to give dineL.A. Restaurant Week a makeover. Taking inspiration from the style of Los Angeles, as well as the visual language of fashion advertising, we reimagined the event along the lines of Fashion Week — a glamorous celebration of Los Angeles taking its rightful place among the culinary elite. Working with photographer Stephanie Gonot, we transformed the event’s most popular cuisines into real-life fashion shoots as colorful and approachable as the city’s dining scene.
The resulting campaign, Eat Fabulous!, was everywhere foodies look for inspiration: heavily digital and social, with a print presence in L.A. Weekly. On Snapchat, we created special geofilters that helped fans share the fabulous meals (and deals) they were enjoying. Because, after all, showing off where you eat can be as much a fashion statement as what you wear nowadays.
Los Angeles is a city of endless change. So the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board wanted to create a new campaign that went after Millennials, who have been key in the transformation of the city. The question was: how do you redefine a place that holds such a key place in the American imagination — and not all of it good?
We decided to turn away from clichés, and focus on experience. After all, L.A. is much more than the Hollywood sign and movie studios. By treating every piece of creative — TV, OOH, digital and radio — as an opportunity for viewers to lose themselves in a story, we transformed the sprawl of the city into a playground of endless possibilities.
The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name is both a blessing and a curse. The “Berkshire Hathaway” part, thanks to its association with founder Warren Buffett, gives the company immediate credibility in the often dicey world of real estate. But the “Home Services” part? Well, no one seems to know what that means, creating a significant awareness problem for America’s second-largest real estate brokerage.
We set out to change that, with a campaign designed to explain what “Home Services” means, and how those services benefit high-value target audiences like first-time home buyers, down-sizers, and luxury buyers every day. Here’s a sample of the over fifty pieces of live-action and animated content created for each target.
Samsung’s products were touted as “the next big thing,” but rarely did the distinction extend to their owners. In the instance one was featured, it was typically a high-profile celebrity like LeBron James or JAY Z. With this online campaign, we turned a spotlight on some of the amazing, real-life people who embody the brand through their independent spirit and willingness to break the rules.
At 6’7”, Fabrice Calmels was told he was too tall for ballet, and now serves as a principal dancer with the world-famous Joffrey Ballet. Michelle Waterson helps defy expectations of what a mother should be as the world’s #1 Atomweight MMA fighter. And as leader of the band Western Bells, Sarah Ellquist DeBlanke is breaking into the music industry on her own terms. Throughout, we showed that breakthrough devices demand breakthrough owners.
Tom is a navvie, a guide that helps workers find jobs on the factory ships that now dot the American coastline. He swims his clients through six miles of corrupt Labor patrol boats, overzealous patriots, and rough waters off the Rockaways in New York City. Last week, after five years of being in business, he finally ran into some trouble. Tonight is the night he can get out of it...
My friend Leo Vladimirsky needed a cover for his first published effort, “Collar.” I opted for something that wouldn’t just stand out on Amazon, but also reflected the story’s mood. If you’re a fan of grim near-future fiction like Gary Shteyngart’s “Super Sad True Love Story,” you’ll love “Collar."
Six years after it was originally cancelled, Netflix wanted to build buzz for its exclusive new season of Arrested Development. By focusing on the show’s best asset — its devoted, long-starved cult following — we created a seven-month, multifaceted campaign that rewarded the faithful and got the Bluth-curious interested in the upcoming season.
The entire campaign was designed to get fans talking. Teases of the new season were hidden across the web, Netflix and New York City. David Cross’ Dr. Tobias Fünke released his green-screen sizzle reel, encouraging fans to insert him into their own videos. On Twitter, Ron Howard recited fans’ tweets as the show’s narrator. In key cities, fans had the chance to visit traveling pop-up Bluth family banana stands.
On social media, we built excitement for the new season by throwing community viewing parties of past episodes and celebrating fan-created content and their favorite inside jokes.
Once the show debuted, we followed fans’ binge-watching parties, debuted the show’s official Fakeblock app and shared a special message to fans from show creator Mitch Hurwitz.
The end result was one of the most talked about shows of the year, both online and off. Arrested Development garnered three times the buzz of Netflix sister show House of Cards. The campaign was lauded by publications like Fast Company and Mashable as the perfect example of how to market a TV show to today’s digitally-savvy, socially-connected viewer.
Webby Awards — (Entertainment), Winner; (Overall Social Presence), Honoree
CLIO Key Art Awards — (Integrated Campaign), Gold; (Digital), Silver
Old Navy wanted to celebrate the impending milestone of 5 million Facebook fans with a coupon. The trouble is Old Navy shares discounts with its cost-conscious consumers on a daily basis. We needed to cut through the clutter and do something special that would allow Facebook fans take part and spread the word.
We decided to take Old Navy's tagline, "Come Fun, Come All," literally. With the help of more than 450 fans, a ton of props and flawless choreography, we would create Old Navy's biggest coupon ever.
We shared two teasers that built excitement and encouraged fans to get the word out. When Old Navy reached their 5 millionth fan, the coupon was finally revealed, and included a fully scannable bar code.
Tens of thousands of new Facebook fans were quickly added. And the coupon was a big hit online with Old Navy customers and sites like Creativity, Adweek and PSFK, among others.
Samsung tasked us with a near-impossible challenge: We had one week to conceive, sell and produce a spot that must feature David Beckham, the Samsung GALAXY Note and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Oh, and the spot also needed global appeal, and David was only available for an afternoon.
We came up with something that played to both David's and the GALAXY Note's creative strengths. The result was seen nearly 4.5 million times on YouTube, got tons of positive press for Samsung in the run-up to the London Olympic games and even inspired its own super-cute response video.
In a down economy, people were cutting spending everywhere. Cheaper groceries, fewer nights out, leftovers. The family vacation, when still possible, had become a shade of itself — road trips, stay-cations, nearby amusement parks, camping. And, worst of all, the dreaded "trip to see the relatives."
Carnival wanted to remind people how awful a land-based vacation could be. That a Carnival cruise was of a similar cost, but without the hassle and compromise people took for granted on land. Comparing the two provided context for the majority of America that had never been on a cruise, and didn't know how it stacked up against the old standbys.
The campaign focused on cities with a nearby Carnival post. We pushed against local vacation favorites like Six Flags, Great Wolf Lodge or Atlantic City, and reminded people how close a Carnival cruise truly was. We extended our story by highlighting different land-based scenarios (and their corresponding pain points) in targeted online videos, banners and OOH.
One Show — Merit
Carnival helps create fun and memorable first-time experiences for guests every day onboard their ships, whether it's riding a wave runner, parasailing above the Caribbean or breaking into song with a waiter between courses at dinner. Unfortunately, most consumers aren't aware of what a cruise offers, or how a Carnival cruise compares to more familiar vacation experiences on land. With that in mind, we decide to awaken consumers to everything that is possible on a Carnival cruise, and bring those first-time experiences to cruise rookies everywhere, both online and off.
BUILDING AMERICA'S LIST — We began by declaring 2011 the Year of Firsts, and putting Facebook at the heart of our campaign. To mobilize consumers to create their wish list, we assembled popular firsts and solicited our existing Facebook fans for their "bucket list" favorites, whether part of the cruise experience or not. We built on this with a Facebook application that enables consumers to see popular items, create their personal "bucket list" and share it with friends and family.
More than 50,000 lists were created and they were shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook news feeds. These lists became an easy and effective way for Facebook fans to introduce cruising to their friends. The campaign played a major role in tripling the brand's Facebook following from 400,000 to more than 1.2 million fans in only 5 months, more than any other cruise line. Carnival kept the campaign top of mind on their Facebook wall and encouraged further participation by giving away a free cruise every month.
CREATING FIRSTS AT SEA — To show consumers the power of first-time experiences, we took the campaign a step further with a veritable Cruise of Firsts onboard a Carnival cruise. We recruited two families and two couples, all cruise rookies, and exposed them to a number of surprise firsts over the course of an eight-day cruise to the Caribbean. Picky eaters tried new food. Kids went for their first snorkel. One nervous Dad sweat through his t-shirt while going on his first-ever parasail. Throughout, a lot of fun was had, and key aspects of the Carnival cruise experience, from accommodations to dining and entertainment, were highlighted. The resulting videos were shared with consumers on Facebook, and via online media on sites such as YouTube and Hulu.
CREATING FIRSTS ON LAND — Back on land, we furthered our goal to make firsts happen both in local markets and on national television. In Charleston, a key Carnival port, the brand sponsored the Cooper River Bridge Run, a popular annual race. With the support of local media and PR, Carnival held a contest seeking one lucky couple who was up for both running their first 10k race and getting married at the finish line. Two firsts, checked off in one go. Our winning couple, Tina and Andy, became the toast of Charleston, and we shared their story with the world via Facebook and online media. Their honeymoon was, of course, onboard a Carnival cruise.
CELEBRATING FIRSTS EVERYWHERE — Carnival also celebrated consumers' first-time experiences throughout the campaign. Consumers' firsts weren't just shared with friends and families on their Facebook news feeds. We also honored selected fans by featuring their accomplishments as our Firsts of the Week — replacing them as Carnival's profile pic, and showcasing their first on the brand's Facebook page. In key markets, dozens of local consumers who had checked something off their "bucket list" also had the chance to star in a digital billboard, and share their first with their hometown for a month.
ESCAPING THE EVERYDAY — To support the campaign, we also brought some of the firsts experienced onboard a Carnival cruise to out-of-home and television, allowing consumers the chance to get into the spirit of trying something new. Placements in malls allowed consumers to set foot on a Mayan pyramid or escape underwater into a snorkeling excursion, as well as virtually demo aspects of the cruising experience for friends or family. The television reinforced the power of first-time experiences for both families and couples. It also encouraged viewers to get involved on Facebook by responding to the question, "What have you always wanted to do?"
Everyone knows Heineken. As the world's first global beer brand, it is both available and identical the world over. Our task was to find a fresh way to tell their story, "Born in Amsterdam, raised by the world."
We quickly discovered that, while everyone knew Heineken, few knew anything about them. When presented with the facts, consumers tended to skip past and go straight for the beer. Our challenge was to make the story of Heineken as interesting as the drink itself.
Spanning nearly a century and a half, Heineken is a story of Dutch history, craft and hardship. Within it are a wealth of insightful anecdotes that seldom leave the brewery walls and bring the brand to life better than any person could.
After cataloging dozens of these moments, we chose the best and wrote short, digestible films on each, labelling them according to their content.
Final control was given to users. We let them create their own Heineken story by selecting their favorite Brewing, History and Product moments. They were then combined into a personalized "Beertime Story" film that spoke about all aspects of the brand.
The modularity of the mechanic encouraged users to come back to hear new stories, was easy to use and held viewers' attention. It also allowed new stories to be swapped in easily, and facilitated localization — crucial for a global audience.
Individual Beertime Stories were seeded on Facebook to build interest — and to keep them from remaining hidden from the world. After all, a good story, like a good beer, is something worth sharing.
Codemasters launched Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, the sequel to a massively popular first-person tactical shooter.
The game itself is ultra-realistic, which separates it from the 'spray-and-pray' shooters that dominate the category. One of the key features of the game is that it puts you in the position of a real soldier, experiencing the battlefield as it actually is, especially with regards to sound.
Our concept focused on 'situational awareness,' a trait all Marines should exhibit. We wanted the viewer to see the battlefield like a real soldier. In this execution, we created a soundscape (in Dolby 5.1) from the individual sounds of weapons, as if you are inside a Marine’s head, waiting for the right time to strike back.
The final product was shown on TV and in cinemas and military bases across the UK, US, Netherlands and Germany.
Best played loud.
Xbox had an image problem. While their console provided a myriad of activities (from streaming movies to online game shows) most people still thought of it as a hardcore platform for hardcore gamers.
We decided to turn people’s perception of it upside down, starring, as the hero of our film, the hero of the new Xbox interface: the avatar. By making him appear to be the one seeking you out, we broke through the natural resistance people have and made Xbox approachable. The film was seen over 5,000,000 times across Europe.
Johnnie Walker continued to tell people to ‘Keep Walking’, yet did nothing to enable them to do so. Our solution was simple: a mobile platform on which we released a series of apps that helped modern men progress in every aspect of their lives.
THE WALKS — Knowing about the world that surrounds you is of key importance to a progressive man. The Walks allows them to pick a city, or a theme, and take a guided walk (complete with supporting media like film, photos and MP3s). As they pass a ‘point of progress,’ the app alerts them, serving up the appropriate piece of content. At the end, a wee dram.
THE FLASK — Putting a bottle of whisky down on a table has always been a status symbol. We endeavored to create a modern version of status with the digital Flask. A mobile gifting platform, The Flask allows you to give and receive free drinks at premium bars around the world.
THE MENTOR — Most people never realize that blended whisky is harder to make than single-malt whisky. Johnnie Walker, being a blender, has a wealth of whisky expertise. We thought it’d be useful to pass it on, by giving people a Mentor, who could coach you through the history and tasting process, then enable you with your own whisky journal, connected to a community of other enthusiasts.
The launch of the Happiness Factory spot gave people a glimpse of the world inside Coca-Cola, but the experience stopped there. We decided to further the story by allowing people to have a go at any one of the interesting jobs inside. The site allowed visitors to easily find the right Factory job for them, while a host of above- and below-the-line executions mimicked a true recruiting campaign, from job-seeker sites to fly-postings.
Cannes Cyber Lion — Bronze
One Show — Bronze
D&AD — In-book
CLIO Awards — (Animation), Bronze; (Artistic Technique), Shortlist; (Microsite), Shortlist
Webby Awards — (Best Use Animation), Winner; (Online Games), Winner; (Best Visual Design), Honoree; (Food & Beverage), Honoree
FWA — Site of the Month; Site of the Day
AOL had a two-fold challenge. First, they wanted to drive traffic to their site via ‘listicles’, (top-ten lists that summarized the past year in fashion, food, pop culture and so on.) Second, people tended to view them as stuffy, not savvy and a bit obsolete.
Our solution was to create (or highlight) the stories behind the content, so each execution tells you something you didn’t know, and gets you excited about the rest. Because of the vast number of lists, our campaign was quite large: 3 films, 4 radio executions and dozens of banners.
Success was measured not only in click-throughs, but also in forum posts, which consistently mentioned how impressed users were that AOL was doing something entertaining.
The New York Jets, an NFL team in the league's largest market, wanted to connect with their fans both in the US and around the world. We accomplished this with a thorough digital rebrand, which had, at its core, a revitalized Jets website.
Information that was previously static and updated by hand (depth charts, injury lists, rosters) was resuscitated and made interactive, becoming both more meaningful and easier to use. We also created a space for the team's first full-time online reporter.
The digital redesign extended to all aspects of the team's marketing, including on-air branding and title graphics for the team's newly-launched Jets TV property, as well as seasonal events such as pre-season training camp. This included the proposal of the team's first-ever viral, "Ride the D-Train," in which we envisioned one lucky fan taking the ride of his life on a player-powered tackling sled.
McDonald's had a paradox on their hands: while millions of people came through their doors every day, and their products were made of real beef and real ingredients, the consensus on the street was quite the opposite.
We decided that the best way to combat the skeptics was to deliver a site whose look and content was as appetizing as the food. The redesign of their stores (which had begun a few years earlier) should be followed online: premium content, that’s still fun and engaging, would help lift their image from secret guilty pleasure to proud badge.