Articles on this Page
- 09/20/16--06:40: _Funny Business: Wha...
- 09/20/16--07:27: _Sonos and Rough Tra...
- 09/20/16--08:14: _Cosmo Designed a Ca...
- 09/20/16--10:25: _Timberland Really W...
- 09/20/16--11:08: _Ad of the Day: Elen...
- 09/20/16--12:21: _Why Adidas Is Sudde...
- 09/21/16--06:21: _See What a 14-Hour ...
- 09/21/16--07:16: _Ad of the Day: This...
- 09/21/16--09:49: _Bacardi and Oscar W...
- 09/22/16--06:32: _Hillary Clinton Jus...
- 09/22/16--06:52: _Can't Get a Creativ...
- 09/22/16--07:24: _Here Are Lots of Wa...
- 09/22/16--10:00: _Ad of the Day: Oddb...
- 09/22/16--10:06: _Adweek Podcast: Let...
- 09/22/16--12:18: _How a Juice Brand U...
- 09/22/16--13:48: _A Vote for Hillary ...
- 09/23/16--06:28: _Pro Athletes School...
- 09/23/16--07:32: _David Ortiz Shows O...
- 09/23/16--09:10: _Ad of the Day: Pine...
- 09/23/16--09:45: _2 New Movie Trailer...
- 09/22/16--06:32: Hillary Clinton Just Went on Between Two Ferns, and It's Hilarious
- Tim Nudd, creative editor of Adweek
- Kristina Monllos, staff writer at Adweek
- Aneya Fernando, web editor at Adweek
- Jason Lynch, staff writer on the TV beat at Adweek
We've all been there. Walking out of a client meeting with a sick feeling in your stomach. Seething silently as you try to figure out how the client didn't see the brilliance of the idea that seemed so obviously perfect to you and your team. Throwing all the blame for the dead campaign squarely at the client's feet, and heading to the bar to drown your sorrows.
Meanwhile, across town, a young standup comedian is on stage at an open mic. She's been rehearsing for weeks on a new joke she's sure is great. And yet, she hasn't yet gotten the laugh she expected from it. She's tried delivering it with different facial expressions, inflections, gestures, attitudes and still no laughs. But finally, today, she adds a slight raise of the eyebrow, a slight roll of the tongue, and rips into the punch line with a newfound sense of gusto. The audience explodes with laughter.
I, myself, started doing standup comedy a little over a year ago. I'm no expert. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that the more you rehearse and experiment with a joke, the better the reaction you're going to get. This realization has forced me to confront some hard truths about the way I present my advertising ideas. I've realized that many of us have been shooting ourselves in the foot for years by putting way too much emphasis on our presentation decks and leave-behinds, and way too little emphasis on how we actually communicate our ideas as human beings.
So, what ideas can we take from the world of standup comedy and apply to pitching our work?
Delivery Is Everything
Try something. Go pick out one of your favorite standup comedy bits. One that's just so hilariously insightful and perfectly attuned to the cultural zeitgeist that you're sure no one could deny that it's genius. Now, transcribe it. Write down every phrase, every "umm," every pause. Now record yourself reading it out loud. How did it sound? Was it funny? Was it even good? Some of it will be, and some of it won't.
The truth is, some of the best comedy bits aren't much on paper. They're great because of the skill and practice and personality that went into presenting them. Imagine Lewis Black's material read without his seething rage. Imagine Amy Schumer's latest standup special if your next-door neighbor did it.
Now imagine Dave Chappelle reading the ingredient list of a frozen pizza. Or Wanda Sykes reading from a legal textbook. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.
Delivery matters. The most famous creative directors I've encountered over my career have all been masterful and charismatic presenters. These guys all know that we cannot expect our clients to understand how compelling and entertaining our ideas are just from a bland and half-hearted reading of a script. Like it or not, we have to be great performers to sell great work.
Practice Makes Perfect
I used to make a point to NOT practice my presentations too much. I wanted to seem natural, honest and authentic, not like some canned salesman spouting off talking points. I wanted the clients to sense my true belief in the ideas I was showing.
I took the same approach when I first started doing standup comedy. But then I saw myself on tape. I was horrified. My thoughts weren't expressed clearly. There was too much gobbledygook between the important bits. The paragraph that on my screen seemed ready for publication in The New Yorker felt way too long and wordy for presenting as spoken word.
Then there was the most horrifying bit: "Ummm" "Uhhhh" "And…" "So, uhhh," "You know," "like." They were all over my first performances. And they just suck the air out of any room. They don't make you sound natural; they make you sound like you didn't care enough to rehearse. They distract from the idea. Now this might seem obvious, but I personally shudder to think about how many of these have been in my presentations over the years.
Serious comics who truly want to make a career of it usually hit the stage 25-30 times a week. They're doing the same material, saying the same words, over and over. Little by little, they hone their delivery. They get better and better. I've had the privilege of watching one particular comic, Craig Fox, go from slightly awkward and nervous on stage when I first met him a year ago, to absolutely confident and hilarious today. How? By experimenting with his delivery, developing his persona, and most of all, repetition and practice, 25-30 shows a week. It works.
It's Not the Audience, It's You
Every once in a while, I'll watch a comic bomb, and then blame the audience. It's horrible to see. And it's generally clear to everyone in the room that it's not the audience's fault, it's the comic's fault. The audience didn't show up hoping to see someone they didn't laugh at.
And yet, as ad guys, we blame our audience constantly. We rarely look in the mirror and evaluate how we presented our ideas. I'd bet if we were watching our presentations from the outside, we'd shift a heaping helping of that blame back onto ourselves. Now that's not to say there aren't terrible clients who just aren't interested in great work. There are. But blaming the clients for not understanding never leads to better results in the future. Working to present our work in the most compelling way possible does.
Clients Are the Toughest Audience There Is
When I tell people that I've started doing standup comedy, their first reaction is usually something like, "Oh, that seems so scary." "I admire your guts for doing that." Well, thanks. It can be scary, because you never know what reaction you're going to get from an audience.
But if you compare standup comedy to presenting in front of a group of clients, the client presentation is by far the scarier and more difficult proposition. First of all, a comedy audience wants you to be great. They are there to laugh. They've got a few drinks in them. They're there to have a good time.
Your client is not out for a night of fun. Their job is on the line. They've been in boring meetings all day. Their boss is in the room. They're frightened of what you might say. Because the more you've done your job of being innovative and groundbreaking, the more they feel their security threatened. If your work does well, you and your agency get the credit. If your work does poorly, they get the blame from their stockholders, supervisors, etc.
Based on that, I'd say presenting work to a client is far scarier than joking about one's genitalia to a room full of drunken strangers, and requires at least as much presentation skill.
Be Ready for Anything, and Plow Through With Confidence
I once started talking to an audience member from the stage, only to have him pass out mid-sentence. I once had a waitress drop an entire tray of full beers onto the front row in the middle of my punch line. And I once had the CMO of a Fortune 500 company start snoring loudly in the middle of my pitch presentation.
None of these things can be controlled. What I can control is how I react to it. Any comedian will tell you the best possible course is to stick to your guns and keep moving forward with confidence, no matter what. There's nothing more uncomfortable that watching a nervous comic (except maybe being that nervous comic). And I'm betting it's pretty damn uncomfortable to be in the client's chair watching a nervous creative timidly read through a script.
OK, Craig, if you're so smart, what do you suggest we do about it?
I'm so glad you asked. I have two main suggestions.
1. Take a standup comedy class.
Trust me, it will entirely change your perspective on presenting the first time you get up there. Once you've stood naked with a microphone and stared into the abyss of a crowd of people waiting for you to make them laugh, client presentations will seem a heck of a lot easier. There's nothing quite like just getting up and doing it, and that's what most standup comedy classes are, just getting up in front of your classmates with a mic and going for it, then getting quick feedback on how you did. Improv classes are great, too. But to me, preparing and performing a standup routine is much more relevant to what we are asked to do as advertising presenters. For those in New York City, I highly recommend Rick Crom's classes at Comedy Cellar.
2. Stop obsessing over decks. Start obsessing over your presentation.
How many times have you pulled an all-nighter before a pitch, poring over every single word choice in a long PowerPoint deck, only to barely rehearse your presentation. Well, guess what? It's a PowerPoint deck. It's going to be boring no matter what you do. So instead, concentrate on rehearsing. Get some sleep the night before, so you can present with gusto and excitement. Your client will feel the difference.
None of this is revolutionary stuff. We all know it intrinsically. But unlike working comics who perform several nights a week and get constant feedback on how they're doing, we only have a live audience of clients once in a while. So, next time you've got a big meeting coming up and are poring over your deck to the detriment of your performance in the room, ask yourself, "What would Joan Rivers be doing?"
Or you can always drown your sorrows after the meeting at a local comedy club.
—Craig Miller is a freelance creative director/copywriter, director and amateur standup comedian. He's currently based in Brooklyn after stints as a creative director at Arnold Boston, VCCP London and CP+B Boulder, where he worked on Domino's "Pizza Turnaround" campaign among many others. You can catch him this Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Maelstrom of Comedy show at The The Village Lantern in New York.
But if "Netflix and chill" isn't your thing, and you're a high-fidelity fiend who's really bummed about the untimely end of the record label heydays, Sonos has the bed for you.
The brand has partnered with cult record store Rough Trade to create a home audio listening experience right inside the latter's Brooklyn location. "Night at Sonos Listening Room at Rough Trade" is, in its own words, "an ode to the old-school record store culture."
The sleep-in includes two Sonos PLAY:5s, two Sonos PLAY:1s, a Sonos Connect, and a Pro-ject record player—not to mention all the out-of-print zines and music you'll ever need to get your geek on, and illustrative art by New York cartoonist Mark Stamaty.
For privacy reasons, the images seen here are staged, and your sleeping quarters will actually be in the Listening Room (shown below), located inside a shipping container above the entrance. The bed can be put wherever you wish.
Then there's the food. A mini fridge comes stocked with snacks and drinks from local Brooklyn spots. And whether you want to party hard or keep the space to yourself, the staff will prepare it with a soundtrack made to your specifications.
The space will be available on certain Friday and Saturday nights in October and November. Best of all, it's free: People over 21 with Airbnb accounts can enter from Sept. 19 to Sept. 26 to win a dream night of ear candy indulgence.
There's just one Cinderella-style caveat: If you invite others, Sonos needs a headcount in advance, and everybody needs to leave by 2 a.m. Them's the rules.
Here's an exterior shot of the shipping container you'd be living in:
On top of spoiling music lovers and cashing in on "earned media," it's easy to see what Sonos and Rough Trade get out of this: People are more likely to buy pricey items—like sound systems—when they've tried them. And lulling those same fans to sleep in a retail space that's the emotional equivalent of Narnia activates the ultimate greed factor: When stuff that isn't yours feels like it's yours, it's harder to give up, which makes you more likely to purchase.
If a staff member slides a rare piece of vinyl into your specially curated playlist, come on—it's going to feel like destiny. You'll want that.
Speaking of wanting stuff, Rough Trade knows all about that. At sunup, the store will be yours alone for purchases galore. Take it all home with you, for a price, and give those guys something nice to pad their PowerPoints with.
More pics appear below.
Women everywhere, rejoice! There is now a car just for us!
Women's magazine and marketing menace Cosmopolitan announced at London Fashion Week that it's teamed up with car maker Seat to release a vehicle designed for "fun and fearless Cosmo girls."
The Seat Mii by Cosmopolitan—we wonder if Nintendo will bristle at the name—has eyeliner-shaped headlights, a champagne-colored interior, comes in purple, and is "fun to drive and easy to park." (What, no damsel-in-distress light so we can flag down men to parallel park it for us? Missed opportunity there.)
If you're cringing, you're in good company. It's a solid flashback to when Bic launched "Bic for Her" pens, which were, incredulously, designed "with a thin barrel … to fit a woman's hand" and were made available in pink and purple. The online backlash to Bic for Her was swift, fierce, and hysterical. And Cosmo and Seat are feeling the heat as well.
We can't accuse them of pink-taxing, as the price of the new just-for-women car has not yet been announced, but we're all really hoping our husbands let us buy one.
Timberland wants to give liars the boot—a comfy boot, that is, and shoes too, with anti-fatigue technology, so folks won't have to invent ridiculous excuses when their tired, aching feet make them goof up in the workplace.
Come on, some mustachioed motorcycle dude named Fernando—rocking a shiny, skin-tight purple jumpsuit and his own trumpety-hot theme song, no less—didn't really cause a boo-boo at the warehouse, now did he?
Yeehaw! Hump that cycle seat!
"We felt there was more room for unexpected comedy around the excuses people make rather than just trying to make funny films about making mistakes," Trent Patterson, creative director at The Martin Agency, which made the campaign, tells AdFreak.
"This route allows us to highlight a lot of different types of workplaces and workers, and then have those workers tell almost any story," he says. "So, the campaign can go in a ton of directions."
Such as dispatching Ray-Banned bros in black to the scene when some strange, perhaps extraterrestrial whatsit has fallen from the sky—plop!—right into freshly laid concrete:
You know, Mulder and Scully would look dope in Timberlands. (Well, in anything, really.)
"We liked the idea of the spots feeling very different from each other," says Patterson, "so 'Crash' gave us a chance to make an action sequence to juxtapose against the swooning in 'Fernando.' "
Amusing stuff, and certainly on brand—but perhaps a stretch, like leather pinching at the heel when you jam your beefy hoof into Timberlands two sizes too small. And if the gags get overly complex, could people miss the point? After all, the whole "unreliable narrator" hook is a tad tricky.
"We wrote some stories that were more elaborate, with more twists and turns that seemed funny, but would probably have been a lot harder to follow," Patterson says. "Ultimately, we settled on stories that, while outlandish, were pretty straightforward."
That's also why each ad closes "with a very clear payoff line—'Stop the excuses'—labeling what came before as a fib," he says.
Bottom line: Wear Timberlands ... and be a better worker-drone for the Man!
Director of Marketing: Cassie Heppner
Senior Marketing Manager: Rebecca Conway
Associate Marketing Manager: Ryan Murphy
Agency: The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Creative Director: Trent Patterson
Associate Creative Director: Alexander Zamiar
Associate Creative Director: Jonathan Richman
Executive Broadcast Producer: Christina Cairo
Executive Broadcast Producer: John McAdorey
Associate Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney
Senior Production Business Manager: Kelly Clow
Business Affairs Coordinator: Kim Leonard
Planning Director: Kristin Axelson
Account Director: Michael Henry
Project Manager: Karen McEwen
Production Company: Tool
Director: Benji Weinstein
Managing Partner, Live Action: Oliver Fuselier
Executive Producer, Live Action:Lori Stonebraker
Production Service Company: Steam Films
Managing Partner/EP: Krista Marshall
Managing Partner/Head of Sales: Jennifer Sykes
Line Producer: Rob Jacklin
Production Company (Product): Spang TV
Executive Producer: Melanie Cox
Producer: Christina Garnett
Producer: Erin Surber
Director/Director of Photography: Jamie Prescott
Editor: John Dingfield
Color: Company 3
Colorist: Tyler Roth
Online: Method Studios
Online Artist: Mark Anderson
Design: Method Design
Head of Production: Lauren Roth
Original Music for Fernando: Overcoast
Composers: Colin Beckett, Travis Tucker, Aaron Esposito
Producers: Travis Tucker, Colin Beckett
Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
Sound Designer & Mix Engineer: Mike O'Connor
Executive Producer, Owner: Kristin O'Connor
General Manager/Scheduler: Clinton Spell II
Gatorade's "Win from Within" message has already yielded some fantastic marketing about where athletes like Serena Williams and Usain Bolt find their inspiration. Now, the sports drink is back to focus on WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, and her sister Lizzie.
A new two-minute ad from TBWA\Chiat\Day beautifully tells the story of why the Chicago Sky forward, and league MVP for 2015, dropped out of a U-Conn scholarship earlier in her career so she could continue to spend time with her sibling, who has cerebral palsy, and cannot see or hear.
"Everyone thinks I came home to help her, but she was the one helping me, getting me out of the worst rut of my life" says Delle Donne. "She gives me perspective."
It's a powerful sentiment, stunningly captured, as the athlete reflects on the sheer joy her sister gets from something as simple as the feeling from a gust of wind.
In the end, a commercial that flirts at the beginning with grandiose concepts like fate ends on a surprisingly practical note. "You don't focus on what you don't have," concludes Delle Donne. "You celebrate what you do."
From one angle, that might still seem like oversimplified marketing pablum, easy for a celebrity athlete raking in a presumably sizable endorsement check to say, no matter the depth of her personal struggles or of her empathy. From another, it might seem exploitative of her sister.
But in the end, it's very humanizing, spotlighting an underrepresented population and offering useful pop wisdom—not just for would-be sports stars, but for anyone who's felt beaten down, and is still capable of taking a step back. That's good news for Gatorade. Aspiring pro ballers is a much smaller market for sugar water.
Gatorade also created a companion piece featuring a wind-powered art installation by artist Michael Murphy. "Using 1,606 wind spinners and a 20-by-20-foot metal structure, the sculpture creates a unique perceptual experience embodying the perspective brought by Elena's big sister Lizzie's love of the wind," the brand says.
See a video of that work below.
"Odd, isn't it? For a man to run when technically he shouldn't even be walking?"
We live in a magical time, when disability doesn't have to spell the end of an active person's journey. And a fascinating new Adidas campaign from India draws attention to something that has never occurred to most of us: Why should a blade-running athlete with only one foot—or anyone else—have to buy expensive athletic shoes for both feet?
Enter Adidas Odds: "An even pair of two lefts, or two rights, for those who run against the odds." The first ad for the Adidas Odds collection, masterfully voiced by actor Kabir Bedi, features Major DP Singh, India's first-ever blade runner, in all his athletic glory.
The unique Indian initiative comes from Taproot Dentsu and Carat Media, and stems from the insight that para-athletes should be able to buy pairs of footwear for only the right or the left foot. We also love the name, whose many meanings the campaign toys expertly with.
"At Adidas we live a simple principle: No athlete left behind," says senior marketing director Damyant Singh of Adidas India. "This philosophy is at the heart of 'Odds by Adidas.' It is our way of encouraging and cheering para-athletes on to achieving their best on the field of play, and we hope Major DP Singh's story inspires many more to live their dreams and prove that sports has the power to change lives."
The second ad takes things in a different direction, and is narrated by a shoe.
The Odds line is available in the Adidas Mana Bounce model, in men's sizes only, from the brand's fall/winter 2017 collection. Athletes can opt to buy either a right or a left pair via the Adidas India online store. Let's hope the campaign spreads, and that more options become available as it progresses. (Women need shoes, too.)
"Losing a part of the body does not lead to disability. Losing the will to fight out odds, does," adds Major DP Singh. "Celebrate odds and be the winner. If you wish to give up anything, give up giving up. That's the message I wish to give everyone. And that's the reason I run every day."
Emirates Airlines recently upgraded Casey Neistat to first class. He filmed the experience, and it's a nine-minute testament to obscene flying decadence.
There's a drinks bar that magically slides out of the windowsill at the push of a button. There's a cooked-to-order menu that includes 21-year-old scotch and caviar. There's all kinds of swag, including slippers and pajamas, and a chair that converts to a bed (complete with a flight attendant to make it). Set largely in a secluded pod with a set of mechanical doors, there's also the centerpiece—a five-minute shower at 43,000 feet above sea level.
The airline gave the YouTube filmmaker a courtesy bump on a 14-hour flight from Dubai to New York. And while the resulting video emphasizes that the company didn't pay Neistat for the coverage, it certainly got incredible value out of the deal.
By taking him from business class, where tickets on a similar one-way flight run about $5,000, to the top-of-the-line experience, which Neistat bills as a $21,000 value (though it can go for as "little" as $9,000), Emirates earned itself a lengthy piece of content that's drawn more than 8 million YouTube views since Monday.
Neistat has happily done paid work for brands including Nike and Mercedes. In this case, he seems pretty psyched about the Emirates perks alone. That's understandable, given nobody likes to spend hours hurtling through space in a tin can, sardine-style—even if his original ticket was presumably a notch or three above the average cattle coach airline experience.
At the same time, the shameless degree of pampering that the airline slathers on its first-class customers is a bit eyebrow-raising, and a tone of tongue-in-cheek incredulity permeates Neistat's whole exercise.
It's an occasion on par with the birth of his children, he jokes. And to be fair, someone could probably comfortably deliver a baby in that seat.
Don't fear the Carolina Reaper. But you should absolutely approach its scorching scythe of flavor with extreme caution.
Next month, and for a limited time, the wacky tortilla gourmets at Paqui will start selling Carolina Reaper Madness chips online and at select stores nationwide. And by "chips," we really mean "chip."
Priced at $4.99, said item comes in a small, red, coffin-shaped box with the robed figure of death depicted on the front and, on the reverse, this challenge: "Do you dare to go to hell and back?" You get one—that's right, ONE—standard-size chip per package.
That's because this particular snack is spiced with fearsome Carolina Reaper peppers, widely touted as the hottest variety on Earth, topping the Scoville Heat Chart at 2.2 million SHUs. (Suck it, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion! Don't strain your stem looking up from second place!)
The little devils even inspired a meme, with brave idiots scarfing down the flame-balls and posting their reactions online. A few weeks back, some Ohio middle-school kids ate the accursed things and were treated for extreme burning sensations in their mouths, blotchy skin, hives and vomiting.
Hey, sounds like fun. Right?!
Paqui encourages fans to try the Carolina Reaper chips and share their reactions on social media. Those tagging @PaquiTortillas and using the hashtags #OneChipChallenge and #sweeps get free bags of the brand's more conventionally flavored crisps, and the chance to win a year's supply of chips and a GoPro Hero4 Silver. (So you can film yourself scarfing down chips from here to eternity.)
Here's a promo clip of folks indulging in some Paqui Reaper madness:
No one expired, though clearly, some didn't particularly want to go on living. Here at Adweek, we have a history of sampling unusual experiences for ourselves. You might recall one of our colleagues consuming every item on Taco Bell's Dollar Menu at a single sitting, while another braved the olfactory horrors of a fart-smelling VR device. (This is how you win Pulitzers, people!)
Anyway, after confirming our healthcare premiums were up to date, and with a glass of water nearby, this reporter dutifully devoured one of Paqui's Carolina Reaper morsels. After savoring a faint, fleeting note of sweetness, we quickly concluded that… SWEET SWEATY BETTY SAVE YOUR LIDDLE BIDDY BABY WHOAAAAA POPPA MOW MOW HOT-HOT-HOTSY!!
It was like a religious experience, mainly because our tongue was on fire. And that accursed conflagration was reaching down down down into our digestive depths, twisting us sideways/inside-out/round-and-round with searing waves of pepper-powered pain.
The water—it did nothing! And 20 minutes later, we still felt a hint of heat as the embers slowly died in the ravaged ruins of our mouth.
Still, for all that, it wasn't as bad as eating Pringles.
"Paqui is aiming to reach those audiences who like to push their limits," brand manager Jeff Day tells Adweek. "This chip is certainly on the extreme end, but it brings to life in a real way what we can do, which is deliver authentic flavors and experiences."
Here's Day putting himself to the test:
Was that clip kind of blurry? Maybe our vision hasn't come all the way back just yet. With this chip, you really can—and should—eat just one.
More pics of the cool packaging below.
America's top rum brand launched its biggest-ever integrated global ad campaign today with a new spot helmed by famed director, music video auteur and Oscar-winning screenwriter Michel Gondry.
The 30-second Bacardi ad from agency of record BBDO New York focuses on reclaiming the nightlife for its most dedicated denizens. These "Glow Gals" and "Brave Shirts"—formerly known as "Bridge and Tunnel" to New Yorkers with upturned noses—don't only come out at night. But they thrive on the night's unique charms, many of which go unnoticed during the day.
You know these archetypes: The guys who proudly wear shirts brighter than the streetlights above them; the women who can't seem to pull themselves away from their smartphone screens; the not-quite-locals who risk missing the last train home to wring every possible drop of pleasure from the pre-dawn hours.
Gondry's unique style, familiar to millions thanks to his work on music videos for The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers, Bjork and many more in addition to films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, comes through in a spot shot from the perspective of a cab passenger reviewing his or her nightlife options in an unnamed city.
Viewers may also note Gondry-esque quirks like an expanding speaker system that mimics the ever-longer drum line from The White Stripes' "The Hardest Button to Button" or a transit tunnel that resembles a downtown disco with its swirling lights and mirrored walls.
Bacardi's favorite web-winged mammal also makes a prominent appearance as the spot ends, thereby signaling the brand's renewed status as ruler of the post-sunset scene.
"Bacardi understands the night better than anyone else given our brand icon, the bat," says North American chief marketing officer and global lead for the Bacardi brand Mauricio Vergara in a statement. "The 'We Are the Night' campaign recognizes that the night is so much more than a time of day. It's a unique world, with vastly different behaviors, and we hope to capture that through the campaign and immersive consumer experiences."
Beyond the ad, which debuts tonight on primetime cable, this campaign will include digital video along with large-scale social media buys and out-of-home executions in major metropolitan areas like Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. Its mobile components will also target revelers as they arrive at their favorite nightlife destinations.
While the Bacardi brand continues to lead the rum market in the U.S., its share has dropped somewhat in recent years. In response to this dip, parent company Bacardi Limited made some big changes in 2015 by consolidating its global creative and media accounts with BBDO and OMD and creating two new top marketing roles to eliminate the previous global-regional divide.
BBDO's first work for the new client, launched approximately one year ago, cast Bacardi as a young, fun-loving brand by way of a literal party house on wheels.
Agency: BBDO New York
Spot: "The Night"
Chief Creative Officer Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Danilo Boer
Executive Creative Director: Marcos Kotlhar
Associate Creative Director: Marcus Johnston
Associate Creative Director: Jim Connolly
Global Executive Producer: Angelo Ferrugia
Producer: BreeAnn Stuart
Business Manager: Matt Friday
Jr. Music Producer: Julia Millison
Evp, Senior Account Director: Steven Panariello
Account Director: Joshua Goodman
Account Manager: Meghan Wood
Account Executive: Lindsay Vellines
Evp, Group Director, Behavioral Planning: Gordon Mclean
Head of Communications Planning: Julian Cole
Communications Planning Director: Patrick Tomasiewicz
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Michel Gondry
Director of Photography: Shawn Kim
Production Designer: Maxwell Orgell
Head of Production: Molly Griffin
Executive Producer: Lisa Tauscher
Producer: Raffi Adlan
Production Manager: Debo / Joseph DeBartolo
Edit House: Final Cut
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Head of Production: Jen Sienkwicz
Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Producer: Penny Ensley
Assistant Editor: Spencer Campbell
Vfx & Design: The Mill
Producer: Chris Harlowe
Production Coordinators: Chris Lewis, Carlos Zalapa (New York)
Shoot Supervisors: Glyn Tebbutt and Felix Urquiza
2-D Lead Artist: Glyn Tebbutt
3-D Lead Artist: Felix Urquiza
2-D Artists: Katerina Arroyo, Tom Van Dop, Brad Scott, Dag Ivarsoy, Jake Elbers, Peter Sidoriak, Chris Knight
3-D Artists: Cory Cosper, Juan Salazar, Ahmed Elmatarawi, Blake Guest, Monique Espinoza, Troy Barsness, Mahmoud Elragheb, David Tyler Young, Michael Lori, Danny Garcia, Steven Olson
Matte Painting: Ed Laag
NY 2-D Lead Vfx/Finishing: Krissy Nordella
Colorist: Fergus Mccall
Executive Producer, Color: Dee Allen
Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
Production Coordinator, Color: Evan Bauer
Audio Post: Heard City
Mixer: Philip Loeb
Producer: Talia Rodgers
Song Title: "Night Creatures"
Composers: Luis Almau and Peter Raeburn For Soundtree Music Limited
Publisher: Soundtree Music Publishing Limited
Managing Director / Music Supervisor: Jay James
Additional Credits for Social and Bar Call:
Social and Bar Call Films Editor: Spencer Campbell
Finishing: Significant Others NY
Creative Director: Dirk Greene
Sound Mixer: Terressa Tate
Finishing Producer: Alek Rost
Color: Color Collective NY
Colorist: Mike Howell
I really regret doing this," Hillary Clinton declares about halfway through her new Between Two Ferns interview with Zach Galifianakis. But of course, that's more than a bit disingenuous, as the five-and-a-half minute video below will surely prove to be among her best bits of marketing for the upcoming presidential election.
President Obama famously sat down for a Between Two Ferns interview in 2014, in what turned out to be an ad for Healthcare.gov. (That video ended up winning a slew of ad awards.) Likewise, the new video, from Funny or Die, is a sly bit of advertising for the Democratic presidential nominee. It's peppered with Trump insults, and even the jokes about Clinton—from her wardrobe to her email use—feel pretty friendly.
Even the Trump campaign commercial that runs toward the end of the interview undermines the Republican. Now, Zach really just needs to get Trump on the show.
Job hunting is balls, especially when you're fresh to the industry and have little more to your name than some spec work and a wild hope. Where do all those LinkedIn job submissions go, anyway? Nowhere you can follow, my friend.
The worst, though, is when you finally do get the recruiter's name and it's like trying to decrypt the Riddle of the Sphinx just to get them to look at you. That's why designer and maker Cassondra Bazelow is coding up Responsive Recruiter Bot, a Facebook Messenger bot that, if nothing else, will at least give you the time of day. (Just don't expect to get many words in edgewise.)
Open the link. Click on "Chat now." When Messenger opens, hit "Get Started" to launch a dreamy recruitment convo:
She kicks off with flattery! She responds so fast! And while you may never learn the agency's name, you'll be told its princely perks: No banner ads. No client reviews. An open floor plan desk by a corner window. Do what you want, put it on TV, everyone will love it. See your family. Guaranteed 8+ hours of sleep. But the best line by far is "I've been authorized to offer you more money than you're asking for."
In short, it's a sex bot for people who are sick of hearing "We'll keep your portfolio on file." To fully complete the fantasy, just close your eyes, lean back and fill in the agency's name for yourself.
Doesn't that feel good?
The bot's still in development, so we won't spoil its ending for you, but we also don't recommend you throw your Bamboo Pad in the air and quit right now. Meanwhile, people on the recruitment end of things can play with a bot, too: Bazelow has her own Cassondra Bot, which is right on her portfolio contact page. She's a fun interviewee. We played 10 Things and a Lie with her:
Unlike with Rosie the Recruiter, however, we sense that playing with Cassondra Bot may actually lead to a happily ever after—one where a real person appears in a real office, ready to jam.
We know. We checked.
If there's a moral to this story, it's probably this: As expectations have changed for brands and agencies, so too have they changed for people. It's no longer all that efficient to simply push content—be it a wordy print ad or a wordy CV—and expect flocks of interest.
Build experiences. You know the rest of this speech, so we'll leave you to it.
Agencies goosing their award-show entries for a better chance of winning? That never happens. Does it?
Such chicanery won't get entrants anywhere at the 2017 North American Effie Awards, that's for sure. That show honors advertising effectiveness. So, to win an Effie, you'll need verifiable real-world results.
Take, for example, impressions. And we're not talking about some art director's goofy take on Jerry Lewis that rocked the holiday party, but quantifiable proof of a campaign's penetration in the marketplace.
Effie judges expect to see carefully calculated numbers scrupulously checked for accuracy. Having some dude named Melvin pull random figures out of his butt simply won't do:
Hmm, 2.6 billion impressions on a total media spend of $500? Pretty impressive. That guy must work at Walrus!
Kidding, Walrus … you're above reproach. The New York agency created "Impressions" and several other amusing spots for "It's Effie Season," a new campaign promoting the show that calls out all manner of entry shenanigans.
"Sometimes agencies can go a bit overboard in their attempts to prove their work changed the world," Walrus CCO Deacon Webster tells Adweek. "This campaign aims to have a little bit of fun with that behavior. It's about as inside baseball as you can get. An accountant would have no clue what we're talking about here. But to anyone who's ever filled out an Effie entry, hopefully this will strike a chord of recognition and amusement."
Work runs across the award show's social and digital platforms and in its email marketing. The first Effie deadline is Oct. 11, and the final one is Nov. 9. So, get cracking on those submissions. Just remember, case-study videos driven by hyper-passionate voiceovers won't sway the judges:
That's voiceover pro Kevin Cummings, whose pipes just oooooze sincerity. "He was great at hitting that cheesy 'Our ad campaign changed the planet' type of tone that we were looking for," says Webster.
Next, a scribe slaves at her keyboard to embiggen a modest sales bump:
Yep, writers can twist words every which way until they say something that seems impressive, even when the actual facts and figures add up to bupkis. (That's why writing's the best paying job on earth!)
Finally, a timeless marketing trope gets bumped up a few point sizes:
Wha? Hey, dudes, you're supposed to make the Adweek logo bigger, not that other one! Ah well, the whole point is that such puffery falls flat when you're entering work for the Effies.
"It does seem that every year there are things like 'A billboard powered solely by hugs' that get a whole ton of industry accolades even though the outside world never sees them," says Webster. "Ultimately, the great thing about the Effies is they effectively weed all that noise out because results are a huge component of winning. So, sure, enter your hug-powered billboard—but a whole heck of a lot of people better have hugged it, and it better have demonstrably moved a lot of product if you want to win."
Client: Effie Worldwide, Inc./North American Effie Awards
Chief Creative Officer: Deacon Webster
Art Director: Evan Vosburgh
Head of Integrated Production: Valerie Hope
Production Company: Whiteboard Pictures
Producer: Jonathan Yaniv
Director: Jacob Sillman
First Assistant Director: Nadia Fedchin
Director of Photography: Christopher Parente
First Assistant Camera: Cameron Femino
Gaffer: Forest Erwin
Grip: Justin Chen
Sound Mixer: Chris Scott
Art Director: Cory Nicholas
Hair & Makeup: Lani Barry
Production Assistant: Liz Bendelac
Production Assistant: Megan Brittan
Production Assistant: Mark Stepanov
Casting: Whiteboard Pictures
Actors: Anthony Michael Lopez, Rikki-Lee Millbank, Marc Levasseur, Morné Vogel, Carmen Mendoza, Andrew Colford, Mike Holt
Voiceover Artist: Kevin Cummings
Voiceover Casting: Carrie Faverty, The Sound Lounge
Locations donated by: Red Fuse Communications and The Sound Lounge
Pizza Hut has a lot to brag about, but it's way too humble to do so. So, the pizza chain is having some surprising characters do the bragging for them.
That's the premise of Droga5's amusingly offbeat first work for the brand, which carries the tagline "No one out pizzas the Hut" and will feature all kinds of unusual "bragspeople" talking glowingly about the chain's food—beginning with the Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza, introduced earlier this week.
The first two bragspeople are a homesick alien who's found a lot to like about Earth (in particular, Pizza Hut food) and a man who's suffered a near-death experience and can now see the wonders of the world (in particular, Pizza Hut food) through fresh eyes.
See those spots, directed by Adam & Dave of Arts & Sciences, here:
Scott Bell, group creative director at Droga5, told Adweek in an interview Thursday that the characters are meant to help snap TV watchers out of their typical commercial stupor.
"We wanted to pick memorable characters that, as soon as the spot comes on, you're like, 'Wait, what's this? Why is this person in a Pizza Hut kitchen? What's going on?' So you're more likely to pay attention to what they have to say," he said.
The Pizza Hut employees in the spots, meanwhile, seem a bit uncomfortable with the high praise coming their way, which allows the brand to pretend it's not patting itself on the back quite as directly.
"They have a lot of things to brag about. They practically invented pizza as we know it," Bell said of the chain, which was founded in Kansas in 1958. "They were the first to allow you to order pizza online, the first to deliver pizza to the White House, the first to deliver pizza to the space station. There's a lot of love for Pizza Hut in the world. But they've never bragged about these things, because they really are a humble company. They don't want to come off as arrogant in any way. So, we wanted to be able to brag on their behalf."
The alien spot has clear echoes of ET, though Bell said that's just incidental.
"Pizza is something everyone loves but really takes for granted," he said. "Our thinking was, 'What if you looked at it through the giant black eyes of someone who wasn't from Earth?' So you get that perspective on how amazing pizza really is, and how good we have it that we have Pizza Hut pizza."
The tagline, "No one out pizzas the Hut," Bell added, is "really about claiming leadership. No one tries harder than Pizza Hut, no one innovates more than Pizza Hut. It really is America's favorite pizza, and it's all about proudly claiming that role as the leader in pizza."
"We were drawn to the power and simplicity of the campaign right away, and we were immediately pleased and excited about what we saw in the first execution," David Timm, CMO of Pizza Hut, told Adweek.
Radio ads are also being released with a similar theme, and more TV spots are on the way, including one with a conspiracy theorist character. The campaign's characters may also show up outside advertising, Bell said, including a partnership with ESPN's College Gameday.
Here are a couple of the radio spots:
Bell said it's a "campaign we see going for a long time, and having a lot of fun with," and added that humor was the natural way to go.
"Pizza's fun," he said. "People love pizza. I've got kids, and we order pizza every Friday night, and when the delivery man shows up, it's like the house explodes with joy. This just plays into that. It's a fun category, and if we're not having fun with it, then we're not doing our jobs right."
Which new broadcast TV shows are worth watching this fall, and which should you steer well clear of? We've got all the answers on this week's episode of the Adweek podcast, Yeah, That's Probably an Ad.
There are a few very promising shows, including ABC's Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland; NBC's This Is Us; and Fox's Pitch. Adweek's TV reporter, Jason Lynch, tells us all about those programs, as well as some freshman series that probably won't do quite as well.
On this week's show, we also talk about the Emmy Awards telecast, the breakup of Brangelina, how Skittles handled a provocative mention in a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., and some of the week's best new ads—including Apple,Audi and Lurpak.
This week's podcast panel is:
Got questions, comments or topic suggestions for our panel? Email your thoughts to email@example.com and we might include your note in an upcoming episode.
Never mind goji berries, chia seeds and kale. On Sept. 9, Suja Juice, a trendy entry in the ongoing battle for our superfood dollars, released Midnight Tonic, an all-black, limited-edition beverage that it spent weeks seeding, without explanation, to health-conscious celebrities with active social media lives.
The mysterious drink, of which only 1,000 bottles were available, crashed the site and sold out within three days of launch.
"The only thing we spent money on was making and shipping the product. No one was paid for their endorsement," says CMO Heather MacNeil Cox.
Witness how Eva Longoria reacts in a Snapchat Story that makes compelling use of the platform's bumblebee filter. She also shows us the black-on-black packaging. Per the star, Midnight Tonic looks like a "shady bottle" of unmarked black juice until you've had a few sips, at which point you can finally see the labeling.
Kristin Cavallari and Jesse McCartney, as well as brands like Pop Sugar, also shared the bevvies. The posts, which appeared on Snapchat and Instagram, can be found below.
The campaign has generated 13 million social impressions so far, with a projected 16 million by week's end. Suja explains that, while each celeb has a large social fan base (Longoria's Instagram alone counts 3 million followers), they were chosen for more than their figures.
"We chose influencers that have been organic fans of the brand since the beginning, people that love and drink Suja on their own," says Cox. "The Midnight Tonic surprise shipment was a way to thank them for their support, and also re-engage in a conversation about something new and cool."
The effort is also part of Suja's 2016 "Surprise + Delight" initative, which rewards fans with unexpected gifts. The brand organized a social listening campaign for people who used hashtags like #caseofthemondays, #isitfridayyet, #momprobs and #lackofsleep, then delivered cold-pressed bottles of Midnight Tonic to their doorsteps, coupled with the hashtag #ItstheJuice. People could also opt to gift some to friends with a voucher.
"When a brand does something unexpected, something that gives back to its loyal fans, it really breaks through in a way other tactics do not," Cox says.
Here's a shot of the box it came in:
Midnight Tonic is made of something called "activated charcoal," which, according to integrated pharmacist/CEO Michael Altman, RPh of Organic Pharmer, "acts like a magnet for organic toxins"—one reason it was once a poison remedy.
It perhaps also explains why Santa gives you coal when you're bad: He's trying to extract the poison from your soul.
Well and Good details what else can be found in Midnight Tonic—lemon, stevia, schizandra berry (a mental clarity and energy booster) and ginger. "Alone, [activated charcoal] has a neutral taste, so the Midnight Tonic has more of a slightly sweet flavor, with a bit of a kick, thanks to the ginger," the publication reassures skeptical readers.
Image credit: Well and Good
There's been a lot of debate about the real merits of superfoods, which many argue are hype-sucks that won't do much more for you than basic veggie-rich eating will. But it's hard to retain facts when Instagram is swathed with gorgeous pictures of exotic chia seed puddings and raspberry-seminola-porridge bowls, artfully sprinkled with quinoa puffs.
But more than the FOMO, the mystery, the brand value and the harmless ingredients list, Suja attributes the success to its focus on the people that fuel it—a critical element whose value is sometimes lost when hype is on your side.
"I think it is more important than ever to look beyond advertising, both traditional and non-traditional, to stay connected with consumers," Cox concludes. "We as consumers are programmed to see not only more, but also better optimized, advertising every day."
We'll drink to that.
No agencies were used (or harmed) in the execution of the campaign, which was strictly influencer- and fan-focused. Design agency Bex Brands developed the packaging, with Covet handling PR.
What happens when celebrated slam poet, songwriter and rapper IN-Q turns his attention to the current political scene? A lyrical slicing and dicing of Donald Trump without ever saying the candidate's name.
In a stripped-down, black-and-white video released Thursday, the spoken-word artist says he's not only voting for his politician of choice, he's voting against her opponent. "This is the most important vote I'll ever cast/At least I'll have a clean conscience when my grandchildren ask," he says in the short film from Los Angeles ad agency Audience X.
Its launch aims to amp up the visibility of National Voter Registration Day next Tuesday and reach out to new potential voters, particularly millennials.
IN-Q (short for In-Question)—a veteran of TEDx Hollywood, the Cannes Lions festival (where he performed at a Y&R dinner this past June) and HBO's Def Poetry Jam—refers to Trump as a "sociopath" and a "great villain," and urges voters to be heroes by keeping him out of the Oval Office.
The four-minute vignette comes from cinematographer Dion Beebe (an Oscar winner for Memoirs of a Geisha) and director Unjoo Moon.
Gatorade is back to gleefully shame more of its own consumers for being lazy and out of shape—this time with a roving crew of top athletes and nasty sportscasters, who all pop out of the back of a box truck to mock them for drinking the beverage while not sweating.
A new series of of reality-style videos from TBWA\Chiat\Day titled "Burn It to Earn It," features big names from football, basketball and baseball—the NFL's J.J. Watt, the NBA's Karl-Anthony Towns, and MLB's Bryce Harper. There's even a soccer version for Spanish-language audiences, with James Rodriguez, midfielder for European football club Real Madrid.
In the first minute-long U.S. spot, Watt, tight end for the Houston Texans, tackles a stunt man into a pile of trash, then chases some poor sap (or an actor playing one) and swatting the Gatorade out of his hand. In a second, towering Minnesota Timberwolves player Towns crushes one passerby in a dunk contest where the judges are the true stars, mocking the gravity-bound loser with ruthless signs and banter.
The basic idea traces back to 2014, when the sports drink first launched its "Sweat It to Get It" message with a series of spots set in a convenience store, starring comedian Rob Belushi and athletes Cam Newton and Peyton Manning, who all refused to sell Gatorade to customers who weren't dripping with the evidence of an intense workout. That campaign also included the line "Burn Some to Earn Some."
A 2015 extension, also featuring Manning alongside his brother Eli, saw an exacting vending machine refuse to grant students the sports drink on the same grounds.
The new spots may take the humiliating tradition to new heights, or depths. In a third video, Towns, a 7-foot-tall center and the league's 2015 Rookie of the Year, plays a game of keep-away with a woman who won't stop jumping for the bottle of Gatorade he's stolen from her. She scores an incredible number of points for her persevering spirit but wins for the perfect primal scream she lets out when she finally nabs the drink (or more accurately, when he lowers his ridiculously long arm enough for her to actually be able to do so).
In a fourth spot, Washington Nationals right fielder Harper berates some roped-in guy for running too slow to deserve a Gatorade (the pro player has apparently, to his credit, stopped counting incessantly). In a fifth, Watt challenges a woman to push a blocking sled, and then, dissatisfied with her performance, offers to help—which manifests in a manner that shouldn't be surprising or funny, but is.
A sixth spot sees Towns schooling another random Gatorade drinker in a one-on-one match-up. In a seventh spot, Watt scoops up and carries off a skinny young man who's had the misfortune—or fortune—of happening into the quarterback role during an in-the-street snap. As one announcer puts it, in perhaps the most hilarious line of the campaign, the NFL star has made the yellow-polo joe "the luckiest girl at the dance."
In the eighth spot, a guy in a Nationals jersey gets a chance to pitch for Harper. Alas, according to the judges, he has the arm of a "weak, sad kitten." In the ninth ad, Harper lazily pegs ground balls past a couple of guys who got shanghaied into being the world's most inept infielders, before forcing them both to do sit-ups instead—and only rewarding one.
The spots, of course, all seem clearly staged. But the concepts are largely entertaining, and the zingers from the judges particularly so, even if they are mean-spirited and the gag drags on at times. One thing, at least, is for sure—professional sports would always be a blast to watch if all announcers were as acerbic as these.
There are lots of current applications of drone technology, but not many of them are very useful to the average consumer. But what's this? A drone that allows you to literally snack nonstop? Now that's something plenty of Americans can get behind.
Viral video agency Thinkmodo made just such a device, called the JerkyBot, which is a flying ad for Chef's Cut Real Jerky. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz shows it off in the video below—which happens to be the first time Thinkmodo, which usually prefers YouTube, has launched a video on Facebook.
The brand says:
JerkyBot is part drone, part cutting board, and all about delivering jerky in the clutch. Chef's Cut Real Jerky and brand partner David Ortiz teamed up to make his post-baseball life more efficient and fun. And that's how JerkyBot was created. JerkyBot is set to take jerky to new heights—like, serving tray height—to provide David (or anyone) premium, hand-cut, chef-crafted jerky on the go—without having to go anywhere.
It's a gag, clearly, but there's been plenty of interest, judging by the view counts. As of Wednesday, the Facebook video (and reposts) had more than 7 million views.
Most folks won't be floored by these brief, humorous Pine-Sol vignettes. But that's probably OK with the venerable brand, which just wants to tell viewers that its grease- and stain-fighting action works on lots of household stuff, not just floors.
Running as YouTube pre-rolls geared to the site's most popular searches—from "funny cat videos" to "makeup tutorials"—each ad opens by explaining something the product can't do.
For example, in the clip below, will Kitty leap onto the table or the countertop? Pine-Sol concedes it hasn't got a clue. But it has got the right stuff to make either surface shine:
Heh, Mr. Boddington's all like, "I'm stock footage—meow!" Using stock exclusively allowed Pine-Sol to keep the costs low across 19 videos.
"The work was designed to resonate with the audience by meeting them where they are, and talking about the things they're talking about—literally," says Stefan Smith, senior copywriter at Critical Mass, which developed the campaign. "Our target is too clever and focused to watch something they don't connect with right away, and Pine-Sol isn't something they are naturally enthused about."
C'mon, dude, who isn't enthused about Pine-Sol? (Maybe they'll put you on a car account next time.)
Oh, and the tagline changes to fit each ad. "Pine-Sol. We're not cats" serves Mr. B. well enough, but aspiring rockers get a different slogan:
Wow, "We don't rock" shows admirable self-awareness, Pine-Sol! Kidding, of course. You absolutely rock—as much as any household cleaner can.
"By tying into the thing they're actually looking for, we've got a way better chance of getting the viewer to watch our ad and consider our message," Smith says. "It doesn't seem so random, as so much pre-roll does. It might even be a little surprising or uncanny, making them wonder how we did it."
Does this qualify as Cannes-conquering comedy? No. That said, the best ads of the bunch are amusing absurd. This next one deals with dating, and as it turns out, this particular scenario sparked an animated discussion among the creative team:
"We end the video with 'Pine-Sol. We don't date.' Which is obviously true. A bottle of Pine-Sol has never dated anyone or anything," Smith says. "But originally we wanted to say 'Pine-Sol. We're lonely.' Which consistently had us laughing out loud. But then we had to be our own buzzkill, because a bottle of Pine-Sol doesn't ever feel lonely. And we argued over that point for hours. There's still a bit of schism in the office. There's a good chance the argument may come back up at the Christmas party."
Check out the rest of the spots below:
Agency: Critical Mass
Conor Brady, Chief Creative Officer
Jared Folkmann, Group Strategy Director
Christiaan Welzel, Creative Director
Stefan Smith, Senior Copywriter
Scott King, Strategy Director
Kathryn Whiteside, Senior Designer
Nik Mihaylov, Senior Designer
Gavin Morrissey, Senior Studio Designer
Lauria Ma, Project Manager
Amanda Fung, Project Manager
Carla Velazquez, Production Coordinator
Jolene Dobson, Senior Account Director
There's been a movement in two directions over the past few years in how movie trailers are edited and assembled.
They've adapted to new media platforms and audience tastes to more effectively and efficiently sell movies to audiences, making sure to present a product that has maximum appeal, showing a movie that is absolutely worth … whatever the call to action is. That might be dropping $10 and three hours at the theater, it might be the cost of a VOD rental, it might be the decision to maintain or begin a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription.
Two bits of movie marketing from earlier this week show a couple of ways in which trailers are changing to get people's attention.
First is the trailer for Passengers, the upcoming science-fiction romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The day before the full trailer was released, a teaser came out letting people know it was on its way.
That tactic has become relatively common and achieves a number of goals. For one, it speaks to the entertainment press to let them know to plan for something big that's coming so they can plan their editorial calendars and publishing schedules. It also works to set audience expectations and give them something to salivate in anticipation of.
Movie studios have figured out that if you take something big—in this case, a trailer starring two of today's biggest stars—and chunk it up a bit, you can get multiple hits off it. The life cycle of a big release trailer these days runs about 72 hours, beginning with the release announcement (for the trailer, not the movie), then the trailer itself and then a day's worth of analysis and GIFing of that trailer.
The second example of a recent trend is the latest trailer for Loving. The movie stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in a true story of a mixed-race couple from decades ago whose marriage led to a Supreme Court ruling making interracial marriage legal across the country. The trailer doesn't even officially kick in for 15 seconds. Before that, what we're shown is an encouragement to watch the trailer.
But, you may be wondering, why do we need to be convinced since we've already made the decision to watch it by clicking play or opening the link in a new tab?
The answer comes when you stop thinking about watching it on YouTube and start thinking about it playing as a native video on Facebook or Twitter. It's part of a larger trend in the last year or so to present a shortened version of the trailer with subtitles (to allow for how most social videos, at least for the moment, autoplay with no sound) to get people's attention and encourage viewing of the full video.
Loving's 15-second intro is the longest example of this tactic, with most running just five or six seconds, since that's about as much time as people will give it as they scroll down their feeds. It needs to make a strong case very quickly to hook the audience and achieve the goal of raising awareness.
Both of these are examples not just of the evolution of trailers but also the way studios have adopted some, if not all, principles of content marketing in their efforts. Getting multiple hits off ancillary content is a strong tactic that increases the ROI of the big beats of a campaign. And adapting content to maximize attention on new distribution channels is a core principle of content marketers, who are increasingly shooting vertical video, 4-by-3 photos and so on.
Now, you'll excuse me while I ugly cry over the Loving trailer for like the 17th time.