Achieving a real human connection in advertising is perhaps the most difficult challenges of the job, leaving many opting instead to hide behind smoke-and-mirrors tricks of technology and social media. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, however, in 2011 achieved the tricky balancing act of combining both extraordinary digital feats with emotionally resonant messages.
The agency's work for Chevy last year was a mix of the technologically ground-breaking and the kind that tugs at your heartstrings. The agency put plenty of creative muscle behind work for the client in 2011, the brand's centennial anniversary year. "Then and Now," placed old photographs of the cars and their owners into the same places the originals pictures had been shot, highlighting the longevity and importance of that brand in American lives.
That set the stage for an online platform that aimed to reunite Chevy owners with their long-lost cars. One film from the effort showed a pair of brothers' years-long effort to find their father's '65 Impala and became a World Series commercial. The agency also masterminded daredevil stunts to launch the 2012 Chevy Sonic, including a huge, interactive projection mapping event and--no lie--a bungee jumping Sonic sent over the edge by fans via social media.
Chevy is just one example of the agency making good on its goal to counteract the intrinsic "shallowness" of the ad world with truly "connected" efforts. Also in the reunion vein, the agency launched "Reunite America" for Tostitos. The social media effort attempted to bring together people who had been estranged for years. For HP, the agency was also behind "Hacking Autism," a program that sought to give voice to autistic children through the brand's tablet technologies.
And, in the realm of just plain funny, the agency got viewers to know professional basketballs better, through a series of human sit-down conversations that the players had with that most unassuming of hosts: The Ball.