Hungry for CNN.com

By Ad Published on .

Another former creative, Brendan Gibbons, has joined the Hungry Man crew, announcing his entry into directing fulltime with a hilarious campaign for CNN.com that brings a human and humorous new look to CNN's staid images. An eight-year Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. vet who worked on clients like IBM and Sprite, Gibbons also co-conceived the campaign with former agency buddies Guy Barnett and Callum McGregor, now otherwise known as The Brooklyn Brothers (see p. 26). The spots transplant the likes of Christiane Amanpour, Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper from the frontline or the news desk into drab office digs, where they're at the droll disposal of sometimes finicky or ADD-addled websurfers. "The brief from CNN said they wanted to brand CNN.com separately," explains Gibbons. "CNN.com has a slightly different demographic, a little bit younger, a little bit cooler. They found that there are all these people who have CNN.com as their home page and they were going there like six or seven times a day, and they wanted to show CNN.com as a little bit more accessible to everyone." The expertly executed laughs make it clear that Gibbons is a directing natural, especially with talent and comedic timing, but he admits he got some help from unexpected places. "We cast actors who were going to be good at improv to work against them and push the journalists out of their comfort zone, so we could find some magic moments," he notes. "But both Anderson and Wolf ended up being like those folks, and some moments were created by their instincts and their comedic timing. Anderson has this amazing deadpan delivery and he and Wolf are just really talented, funny guys. They instantly understood what this idea was about and kind of took it to another place."
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