The Muppets are back together again, thanks to Facebook Portal

Campaign from Anomaly shows how the video-calling products reunite the gang, even though they’re far apart

Published On
Sep 24, 2019

Editor's Pick

Facebook is bringing in the big guns to promote its Portal video-calling device: The Muppets.

The fuzzy friends star in a new campaign for the company's new suite of Portal products, which include the newly redesigned Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV.  The effort bows a year after the privacy-challenged company debuted the first iteration of the in-home calling device. 

The effort was created by Anomaly L.A. and the Facebook AR/VR creative team. Directed by Bob Industries’ Dayton/Faris (“Battle of the Sexes,” “Little Miss Sunshine”), the anthem ad kicks off with Rowlf at the keys, ruefully performing the opening of the furry friends’ classic “The Muppet Show” theme song: “It’s time to play the music…” 

It then cuts to his other pals who continue the tune, one by one, from far-flung spots around the world—Miss Piggy in Paris, Gonzo cooking a meal at home, and Fozzie Bear, who changes the lyrics and pensively croons, “Miss you guys.”

But then, a knock at the door reveals an unexpected present from Kermit—he’s sent the whole gang a Portal! From there, the tune brightens and the whole crew (including Swedish Chef, Beeker, Monster and even Camilla the chicken) are back together, happily in each other’s faces again, thanks to Portal products.

The endline reads, “If you can’t be there, feel there.”

The introductory spot began running this week. It kicks off an integrated campaign that will continue over the coming months with other ads diving into how the Muppets use Portal to stay in touch. 

According to Dave Kaufman, director of marketing for Portal, the campaign aims to “showcase the unique value that the Portal family of products can bring into people’s lives, which is helping people to feel together no matter where they are.” When the brand debuted Portal’s first gen product last year, “we felt there was a lack of human connection in the category, as the majority of home devices didn’t have a screen or camera.” 

Thought Kaufman can’t disclose any specific figures on Portal sales, he says the company was “happy” enough with them that it expanded  the product line, with support for WhatsApp, new features and partners in the platform ecosystem.

As for how Facebook’s privacy issues have influenced Portal marketing and development, he says that the device was designed with privacy and security in mind, with clear, simple settings to help users enable related security and safety tools, such as an integrated camera cover.  “You’ll even see the Muppets demonstrate these features later in the campaign," he says.  
 

Credits

Date
Sep 24, 2019
Client:
Facebook
Agency:
Anomaly-Los Angeles
Director:
Dayton/Faris
Production Company:
Bob Industries
Chief Marketing Officer:
Rebecca Van Dyck
Executive Creative Director AR/VR:
Josh Higgins
Executive Creative Director Portal:
Larry Corwin
Director of Marketing:
Dave Kaufman
Managing Director AR/VR:
Margaret McLaughlin
Creative Director:
Demian Oliveria
Creative Director:
Albert Kelly
Marketing Manager:
Aditi Raipet
Marketing Manager:
Jamie Kelly
Marketing Manager:
Palwasha Khatri
Marketing Manager:
Katharina Stieglmar
Producer:
Adrian Gunadi
Program Manager:
Amanda Clements
Marketing Research Manager:
Apurva Pawashe Luty
PR Manager:
Lisa Stratton
Business Affairs:
Susan Conklin
Communications Planner:
Nick Holmes
Communications Planner:
Greg Hyde
Communications Planner:
Jessica Mann
Production Manager:
Michael Steinbach
Executive Muppet Studio:
Leigh Slaughter
Disney Director of Business Affairs:
Tyra Harris
Music Composer:
Ed Mitchell
Director:
Dayton
Director:
Faris
Executive Producer:
T.K. Knowles
Executive Producer:
John O’Grady
Producer:
Bart Lipton
Director of Photography:
Kris Kaschikis
Production Designer:
Alex DiGerlando
Production Consultant:
Soapbox
Vice-President:
Andrew Williams
Producer:
Chelsea DiVincent
Staff Writer:
Matthew Barnette
Editorial:
Union Editorial
Editor:
Christian Jordan
Editor:
Teddy Gersten
Editor:
Andrew Ratzlaff
Assistant Editor:
Joe Hughes
Assistant Editor:
Otto Mertins
Producer:
Dani DuHadway
Associate Producer:
Lilly Ghodoushim
VFX + Color:
The Mill Los Angeles
Shoot Supervisor:
John Leonti
Shoot Supervisor:
Tim Rudgard
Producer:
Melanie Roy
Producer:
Andrew Gilson
Executive Producer:
Anastasia Von Rahl
Production Coordinator:
Justin Rhee
Creative Director:
John Leonti
VFX Supervisor / Lead Artist:
Tim Rudgard
2D Lead Artist on Big Bad Piggy:
Julian Ford
2D Artist:
Yukiko Ishiwata
2D Artist:
Stephen Paragone
2D Artist:
Philip Ineno
2D Artist:
Roman Yavorsky
2D Artist:
Marissa Chin
2D Artist:
Franz Kol
2D Artist:
Lenz Kol
2D Artist:
Jeff Langlois
2D Artist:
Patrick Dirks
Finish Artist:
Tim Robbins
Colorist:
Matt Osborne
Master Grade:
Thomas Mangham
Color Producer:
Blake Rice
Sound Design + Mix:
Lime
Audio Mixer:
Matt Miller
Assistant Mixer:
Ian Connie
Sound Designer:
Michael Anastasi
Executive Producer:
Susie Boyajan
Senior Producer:
Kayla Phungglan

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type