The first step in dealing with a mac & cheese obsession is admitting that you have a problem.
After calling parents out for skimming their kids mac & cheese, we felt it was time for families to call a truce. And we figured they’d want it in writing.
Next we headed out to Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City to let the grown-ups know we’re on to them.
Psst! Up here. It’s the noodle. You may have heard of me. I’m out on the street spreading a little unconditional joy. A simple elbow shaped pasta that doesn’t care who you are, or what your private obsession might be. That doesn’t examine, or judge, or target, or serve up programmatic ads for things you’ve Googled online, or offer an immersive retail experience based on your purchasing patterns. No pressure. No hard sell. No strings attached. Just a little old school blue sign keeping it real with a wink and a smile from a brand you probably secretly love.
Domino’s Pizza needed more Facebook ‘likes’ to maintain their dominance in a highly competitive social media pizza war. And they were willing to give away 10,080 free pizzas, one every 60 seconds for an entire week, to get it done. Now for most businesses, a ‘like’ for a pizza might have been a acceptable trade off. But this was war.
Potty Mouth Alert: Turn the volume down if the kids are nearby.
We came back to Domino’s with a question, “Why just give pizza away, when you can get everyone on Facebook to fight over them?” So we built a mind-numbingly addictive 8-bit arcade themed game on Domino’s Facebook page, and had pizza fanatics blow the crap out of as many pixelated pizzas as they could in thirty seconds to try and win one. Highest score wins the pizza – 1,440 pizza shootouts a day, 10,080 pizza shootouts a week. The price of admission? One Facebook like. The results? 515,353 visits, 783,245 games played, 214,200 ‘Likes’ and apparently a few minor freak-outs, all in just seven days. Oh, and then there was that whole Noid thing.
Instant recipe videos on Instagram. Short, sweet and shareable, with a foodie aesthetic. That’s how these Jell-o recipes reached nearly 20,000 shares and over four million views on Facebook.
We also made these strangely mesmerizing six second ingredient teasers set to an odd mix of tracks. And don’t cheat yourself, once they start playing, click them again to hear them in all their awesomeness.
Imagine setting off on a journey without having any clue where you’re going or what you’re going to do when you get there. Some might call that crazy. We called it NEXTPEDITION.
Today, travel has become routine. Thanks to the convenience of modern technology we have every aspect of our trip planed, programed and arranged down to the smallest detail. In the process, we’ve managed to plan, program and arrange the spontaneity right out of the equation. Travel used to be about discovery and the journey, today it’s just one predictable tourist trap after another.
How do we bring the adventure back to travel?
Instead of letting technology spoil the fun, we thought we’d use it to allow travelers to let go. We created a custom travel experience called NEXTPEDITION, where travelers relied on a hand-held device to reveal surprise destinations and day-by-day recommendations tailored to their interests and personalities. Essentially, we dared people to embark on a journey without knowing where they’re going or even what they’ll be doing once they get there.
But we didn’t just throw a dart at a map and put them on a plane. Before sending them off into the great unknown, we asked a few questions. Once we got a bead on their personality and what they were into, we set these daring adventurers up with a travel sign (imagine a horoscope for travel), a digital travel console, a customized dossier, access to a global network of travel experts and a few words of advice, “Be ready for what’s next.”
To help us create the perfect travel experience, we got to know our NEXTPEDITIONers via an online personality quiz. Once they discovered their Travel Sign, we took advantage of American Express Travel’s global expertise and connections to plan an trip they’ll never forget.
When Fruit of the Loom asked us to help launch a new line of premium men’s underwear, putting ads in fancy men’s fashion magazines just seemed like the thing to do.
It turns out most of the underwear ads in those magazines are more style than substance. And since Fruit of the Loom isn’t exactly famous for their stylish undies, we went with substance.
Just in case our blunt but sexy looking ads didn’t prove that Fruit of the Loom belonged in their metrosexual magazines, we threw in one of those scented strip thingies.
Flap copy:Take a sniff. Notice the bouquet. It’s a complex mix of pure U.S. grown cotton and cutting-edge spinning technology. With a finish that evokes fresh linens hung on a cool fall morning. Enjoy.*
*Our scent strip doesn’t actually smell like our boxer briefs. However, if you close your eyes and breath deeply, you might get an imaginary but subtle hint of super-soft cotton, gently ringspun with delicate notes of beautiful Kentucky bluegrass. Mmmm. Doesn’t that imaginary smell smell nice?
Thank you Mik Manulik for your exceptional writing skills.
• DIGITAL •
The ol’ ‘click-bait’ & switch ploy. Here we are elbowing our way into one of their online magazines.
Nobody makes a fuss over Father’s Day. Which is exactly the way dads like it. So with that in mind, we created a registry of “no-fuss” Father’s Day gifts that only a dad could truly appreciate.
First we grabbed a few fatherly looking colleagues from around the agency and made shareable animated GIF coupons that gave dads permission to indulge in the simple pleasures of being dad.
Then we built a home for them on fruit.com and added seamless integration with their e-commerce site to drive sales of another easy gift that only a father could love; a Fruit of the Loom Classic Tee. This was all done in-house on a limited budget – so no big productions and not a lot of fuss. You’re welcome dad.
In the world of advertising, the best idea is always king. Which pretty much leaves all the other ideas to fend for themselves. So, to all the advertising ideas that have ever been artfully sketched and summarily NOT executed, I dedicate this page to your memory. The following collection of abandoned sketches is my tribute to every thumbnail sketch that has ever been conceived and then killed in the name of advertising.
And now I present a 3:2 window into my creative process. To the Art Directors who strive to perfect their craft, I say “Behold the lost art of the thumbnail sketch.” And to my second grade teacher, “Yes Ms. Schnepp, you can make a living by doodling all day.”
The default comment for when a creative returns to a CD’s office to retrieve a forgotten notebook is always, “You can have it back. We already looked through it and didn’t find anything good.” So if I accidentally left any good ideas on this page, and you win some Titanium in Cannes, you can thank me later.
Here’s a subscription ad campaign for Playboy magazine that I made when I was in school.
“…Designed to take advantage of men’s inability to never miss a scantily clad woman, and highly appropriate for the content of the host magazine, this insert does it’s job well. As Hunter says, ‘Everybody knows that if a hot chick hands you a magazine insert – you take it’. Even with the obvious sexiness, these pieces still manage to go above the expected and surprise the viewer with it’s cleverness and wit.”
Still wondering if I’m the right guy for the job? Got fifty-seven minutes to kill? Save yourself a little guesswork and watch my virtual job interview with Alex Bogusky and Omid Farhang, the first and perhaps last live job interview ever broadcast in the history of live job interviews.