What They Did: Well, what didn't they do? In sum, the agency created a genuine pop culture phenomenon in the King, the mute spokesman for BK, who showed up in commercials, in sanctioned and (maybe) unsanctioned online incarnations, on TV shows, and in the physical world via a Halloween mask that would sell out and appear on eBay for more than ten times its original price. For the launch of BK's Chicken Fries, CPB created Coq Roq and all the live shows, videos, and carrying on that go along with a masked thrash metal band. Highlights include the superb Paul Hunter video "Cross the Road," what may or may not have been a decency scuffle regarding the group's web site and references to what groupies may or may not love, appearances on Myspace.com, a DVD and text messages from lead singer Fowl Mouth.
And then, there's "Fantasy Ranch." Enough from us; here's what some of the many, many blog commentators said about the epic ad:
"Yes, I think this is pretty much the epitome of art in the human species."
"It is the most wonderful short piece I've seen since the whacked out video for the song 'Frontier Psychiatrist,' by Australian electronica band The Avalanches."
"'The Breasts, They Grow On Trees.'" Greatest quote ever. I want it on my tombstone when I die."
Behind the Work Part One--The King. Why?
Andrew Keller: Because the name of the place is Burger King and they didn't have one. Also because we are not the category leader and we need symbols that reinforce the fact that the commercial you are watching is not for McDonald's or Wendys. Also it proves our point of difference in a simple iconic comparison. Do you want to hang out with Ronald, Dave or the King? That's a pretty easy one. And the King is a great symbol of "Have it your way." Clearly he lives the lifestyle and has the ability to bestow the lifestyle onto others. Doesn't everyone wish they had an omnipotent friend?
Rob Reilly: He's become part of pop culture. The advertising was step one. Now he's on ESPN and The Tonight Show. Soon he will be President of the United States.
Part Two Coq Roq
Andrew Keller: It started with Chicken Fries. And "Subservient Chicken." Chicken Fries are not nuggets. Nuggets are for kids. And chicken strips are for moms. Chicken Fries were designed for our core target. 18-34 year old guys. The notion "rebel chicken" became the strategy statement to position the product. Because it was chicken, the question became "Should we leverage what we've created with 'Subservient Chicken'?" and if so, "How?" But we didn't want to do the Subservient Chicken the same way every time. So instead we worked off of the cultural impact the Subservient Chicken has had. The notion that the Subservient Chicken website had inspired a down and out musician to take ownership of his situation and make something happen for himself. So he dressed himself in the image of his inspiration and created the band Coq Roq.
Coq Roq consists of Seattle musicians frustrated with the current music business, who jumped at the opportunity to get production dollars and exposure from the King himself. Four songs. Two full length videos. A web site, a DVD and commercial appearances with big media weight that gave them a big head start and created a signing frenzy. All for singing about their favorite product. The fabled win, win.
The Client Virgin Atlantic
What They Did: After creating the Jetrosexuals concept and linking the airline to a general sexy superiority in travel, with award winning efforts (like the "Haircut" viral banner ad ) CPB created ticket look-alike print inserts as well as new identities for each of VA's flights to London. Harking back to an era when air travel was an exercise in glamour rather than anger management, the agency gave flights names like the Miami-to-London TranceAtlantic and the L.A.-departing LoPro with each trip's personality detailed on the airline's web site.
The Client Mini
What They Did: Among the agency's efforts for (now retired) client Mini was the Titanium Lion finalist "Counterfeit Mini" campaign. The effort centered on a fictitious watchdog body, Counter Counterfeit Commission and ads (including TV spots and real and fake ads in Auto Trader) that alerted consumers to the underground fake Mini industry and drove consumers to site where they could order a DVD documenting this nefarious activity. The agency also created a range of Mini Motormate products designed to reflect the Mini ethic, like the Hey Horn and the Moto-Go Grip.
Behind the Work: According to Andrew Keller: "It's the story of an idea finding a medium and vice versa. We wanted to take Mini to a larger audience. That meant TV. But we had to do it in typical Mini non-traditional fashion and in keeping with our use of media as creative content distribution device. Direct response TV was a great option for getting on TV at much lower rates. It was our only chance. But direct response comes with rules. You have to sell something and you have to display a website or phone number for a large portion of the spot. At the same time conceptually we've always been trying to make Mini an icon. Mini has such a distinct look that we thought it would be believable and consequently funny if people were actually making fake Minis. Proof of our iconic state. People copy icons like Elvis and Rolex. Obviously there would have to be a watchdog group to deal with such a situation. The Counter Counterfeit Commission. So now what do we sell? Or what do they sell? We were gonna just sell a brochure or pamphlet and do some web extras but we thought hey we've got cameras and stuff, lets make a DVD and sell that along with some CCC stickers. The target will like it a lot more. So we surprised Brian Buckley with a thick script for a DVD. He didn't even flinch."
The Client Slim Jim
What they Did: To reinvigorate the skinny meat treat, CPB resurrected a newly meaningful tag, added a character, the Fairy Snapmother, and aimed both squarely at teenage boys. Looking like a somewhat ropier Henry Rollins, the Snapmother motivates self-doubters with a Snap! and a wack of the meat wand. The scenarios are dudecentric but the Snapmother's advice is somehow universal.
Behind the Work: CD Tom Adams explains: "It's one of those taglines that everyone recalls, and we didn't want to walk away from it. So we had to give snap some relevance to the target other than biting into a Slim Jim. 'Snap' is also a quick decision. A gut response that says go for it. And the Fairy Snapmother came out of that. It's that split decision personified. Teens really dig the Fairy, but more importantly they identify with the situations the fairy shows up in."
The Client The Gap
What They Did: As the everyman togs chain undertook a redesign of its stores, the company called on CPB to trumpet the change. The agency's integrated campaign says "Change. It Feels Good" and conveys the idea that any change can be meaningful. The campaign included the Book of Change, a tiny tome which offers some surprisingly motivational thoughts on the subject, a Spike Jonze-directed brand film that showed the retailer literally tearing down the walls, and an online experience, watchmechange.com that allows users to create another self, transformed in body and garb to desired specifications.
Behind the Work: Andrew Keller: "The stores were being completely redesigned. There seemed to be a couple cultural ways in to this. There are a lot of people who don't love what Gap symbolizes. And fantasize about tearing it down. We thought we could leverage that tension to tell everybody about the store redesign. We felt the self-deprecation and new look would give us a second chance with a lot of consumers. Also ultimately we wanted to make the brand stand for change. Gap changes its styles quite a bit but no one is aware of this. So Gap is changing. You are changing. And changing rooms are as sexy as an airplane bathroom. So what if I could tell my girlfriend or boyfriend about my new openness to change. What if I could make a person just like me and make them dance for a friend. Well, I'd do it, of course.
Not To Mention
Miami Ad School
The Best Fucking Ad Ever and the Most Fucking Letters to Creativity Ever.
American Legacy "Truth"
The "Series" Fair Enough
The Mantropy campaign to save men from the neutering effects of modern metrosexuality, including a site, a DVD with films by J.J. Sedelmaier, stickers and a petition.
Bell, Molson, Shimano, Coke, Victoria's Secret