Friday, October 25, 2013

Anchorman 2 promotion machine is huge - Creative Excellence Fridays

In the words of Ron Burgundy. "Hold on. It's about to get weird in here." The days of producing a television commercial, backing it up with print and a radio commercial and "lettin' her rip" are gone.

Today, the television commercial is part of a complex, multitiered combination of online and offline promotion.

 It might include YouTube channel integration, Google remarketing campaigns, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest support.

And bringing up the rear, an old trick that has new legs. Product cross promotion. Anchorman 2 comes out in December. And I can't remember when I've seen such a well executed pre marketing roll out for a movie.

Ron Burgundy started the buzz for Anchorman 2 on Conan Obrien in March of last year.




Now the marketing team behind Anchorman 2 has created the perfect storm by using other companies' money to promote their movie. The fictitious character Ron Burgundy is the new spokesperson for Dodge Durango.

The spots are fun, well done, and successful create buzz for both Durango, and the movie.




And the follow up.



And one horsepower.



And if this isn't enough, Ben and Jerry's has just announced a new flavour in honour of Ron Burgundy. "Scotch Scotch Scotch"



And the marketing machine extends into the website as well with various games including the Anchorman2 mustache maker.

You have a choice of the burgandy, the fantana or the peppercorn.  I thought I was more of a peppercorn guy.





Often, when there is a huge marketing machine in place for a movie, the hype is bigger than what the actual movie can deliver. Judging from the trailer I think this movie may actually deliver.

But as Ron Burgundy would say..."Hold your horses muchacho. You'll just have to go on this freaky ride to find out."


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Orville Redenbacher pops back to life - Creative Excellence Fridays

Companies all hope to create the iconic character that becomes synonymous with their brand. Christine McGee, Kernel Sanders, Wendy's Dave, they all became household characters. And if your iconic character is poked fun at by John Stewart or Jimmy Kimmel, you know you've hit the motherlode. One such character, growing up, was Orville Redenbacher. They didn't come any nerdier but his message hit its' mark. Orville Redenbacher popcorn became the benchmark for premium popcorn. The downside? Well, at some point, everyone dies.

That sets the marketing team spinning to try and recover the brand that now has a huge hole left by their dearly departed talking mascot. And then the question of, what's appropriate as far as a continuation of the icon after he or she has stepped off into the great beyond.

Well the rule of thumb seems to be, wait a few years, then reach into the vault and pump some old commercials into the editing suite and see what you can come up with. Dave Thomas is being seen again, along side the new Wendy's spokesperson, his daughter. Kernel Sanders was revived, and yes Orville Redenbacher is popping again. But in 2007 there was a bit of a unique twist to the formula. Acclaimed director David Fincher (Social Network, Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, House of Cards) has always been a keen student of visual effects. He was called upon to not just edit a spot together with old footage, but create a completely new commercial featuring Orville himself.

First, for a fair comparision, from 1985 here is the original Orville.

 

Now, here is the David Fincher digital revival from 2007.



I have tremendous respect for David Fincher, but this one doesn't work for me. It seems, well, digital, and a bit stilted. And frankly, just creepy. I think it would be more appropriate inset inside an episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.

The good news is, an actor can breathe easy, at least for now.  Although an actor still might want to think about putting a little away for a rainy day. Because natural rain has already been replaced by digital effects.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nuit Blanche brings out the artist in everyone - Creative Excellence Fridays

Nuit Blanche has once again come and gone in Toronto.   Seeing as how Creative Excellence Friday's is a weekly navel gaze at creativity, I thought I'd share something very visceral and personally inspiring from last Saturday night.

I discovered a few years back, the only way to do  Nuit Blanche is by bicycle.
There is so much ground to cover and the cabs and streetcars literally come to a grinding halt.





We started out at the LightBridge.  A talented musician and artist John Farah created it.  Different songs all in the same chromatic key  overlap as you slowly walk along the bridge.





But what was even more inspiring was the culmination of many minds into singular works of art.


The Gallery West on Queen West, near the Drake Hotel opened up their doors and invited anyone and everyone to come in and just paint their hearts out.

They had several buckets of paint and dozens of brushes on work tables. People would just pick up a brush, walk up to a wall, and start painting.








What was really magical was the way everyone worked in collaboration with the previous contribution.   It was like a sci fi movie where the aliens take over our brains and one central brain guides everything together mellifluously to create one beautiful work of art.


 The colours somehow seemed to work,  although this was due in part by what was made available through the gallery, but as anyone who ever dipped his or her finger in some paint in kindergarten knows, when you mix paint, colours change, and things happen.

The end result was beautiful, raw, and worthy of passing on.






And the street poets came out to play too with words of wisdom instinctually scrawled along side the paintings.




And not to be outdone, the Gladstone Hotel invited people in to work on a collaborate effort inspired by silent film.   

Stills from silent films were shot through a project on to a giant canvas on the wall.  Busy artist bees would sketch out the major lines and then pass it over on to a secondary table where anyone could make their mark, their stroke, their blot, their paint soaked elbow or any other contribution to the canvas.  The end result was a beautiful merging of graffiti and colour.

Kudos to ScotiaBank for recognizing it's important to fund the arts.   And I hope their good intentions are paid forward for years to come.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso 




With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bryan Cranston paid the bills with commercials - creative excellence Fridays

Breaking Bad was an unqualified, monster success for AMC TV. And what made it even more interesting was that it was all done with talented actors who were not stars. It was a total team effort of respected, but not household names. Two seasoned veterans behind the camera pulled it all together. Show runner Vince Gilligan cut his teeth on the X-Files and cinematographer Michael Slovis brought extensive behind the camera cinematography experience from 30 Rock, CSI and countless other television shows.

But the person who probably benefited the most was Bryan Cranston. He was a journeyman actor with a long list of credits, but just hadn't crawled over the ridge into super stardom, until now.

And when we say a long list of credits, we mean long. In addition to the occasional guest role as Jerry the dentist on Seinfeld ...



...Cranston paid the bills with so many commercials in the 80's and 90's we can't even list them all. But we can list a few. 1987 and Coors Light. Nice 80's hair Bryan.



JC Penny. You start to see some of the Heisenberg swagger here.



And no career would be complete without a Preparation H commercial.




The next leg of Bryan Cranston's career has just begun and based on the versatility of the clips above, we can expect more great things ahead. As an aside, if you're a fan of the look of the show, have a look at this interview with Forbes with Michael Slovis. A great read as he talks about how HD television enabled him to do things not previously possible in small screen television.

I'll miss Breaking Bad. But it's such a beautiful thing to watch a show go out on a high note and not wait to jump the shark.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.