Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Our brief was to promote Canon EOS, a leading brand of DSLR cameras. We began with a simple insight that great photography is not about technology, it is about inspiration. Our solution was ‘EOS Photochains’ – A new way for people to be inspired, that would literally spread from one photographer to the next as a new creative experience. By transforming photography from something people traditionally do on their own into a unique way to connect with others, Photochains is growing as its own social network of photography, and a new creative experienceWe began with a simple insight that great photography is not about technology, it is about inspiration. Our solution was ‘EOS Photochains’ – A new way for people to be inspired, that would literally spread from one photographer to the next as a new creative experience. By transforming photography from something people traditionally do on their own into a unique way to connect with others, Photochains is growing as its own social network of photography, and a new creative experience.
Photochains was created by integrating the advertising, live social media network and photographers as one:
Our first step was to create a photochain, which we showcased in national television, print and online advertising. This directed people to the photochains website, where they could upload photos to continue the chain we had started. Once online, people could also start their own photochains, or join those created by others. People soon became the medium for the campaign, inviting friends, family and colleagues to join their photochains. As the photochains network grew, we ran real photochains and the photographers who had created them, in our national advertising. This constantly showcased the live network of photochains, integrating the growing community with the advertising itself, as a way to constantly attract a growing audience. Photochains is now growing as its own social media platform, which continues to grow with every photo.
Results and Effectiveness
Photochains has created a new way for photographers to connect through photography, as well as a new dialogue between Canon EOS and the photographic community:
- 94 photos uploaded every day since launch, which is 4 photos an hour
- 12 minutes average time on website
- Over 20,000 photos uploaded from around Australia to date
- Canon EOS has risen to a record 67% market share in Australia since launch
Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Andy DiLallo, Jay Benjamin,
Creative Group Head: Michael Canning
Art Director Kieran Antill
Digital Creative Director: Kieran Ots
Lions Grand Prix for Media
Gold, Silver and two Bronze awards in the Direct category
Silver award for the Promo and Activations category
Silver award in the PR category
German sporting-goods company adidas-Salomon AG returned from near death in the mid-1990s with a new focus and global strategy. No longer content to allow competitors, especially the seemingly invincible Nike, to dominate the sporting-goods category, adidas launched a full-scale offensive designed to increase awareness of the brand, enhance its image, and elevate sales. The company moved production facilities to Asia to cut manufacturing costs, formed high-visibility alliances with sports organizations and athletes (including a sponsorship of the New York Yankees baseball team beginning in 1997), purchased the French company Salomon SA (a manufacturer of golf, ski, and bike equipment) in 1997, and pumped additional funds into its modest marketing budget. Hoping to increase the sales of its running accessories in the United States, adidas America, Inc., the U.S. headquarters for adidas, released a provocative campaign titled ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different.’’
The San Francisco office of advertising agency Leagas Delaney released the branding campaign with an estimated $1 million. To prove that the company understood the sport of running, the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign, which began in 1998, targeted the serious runner, a relatively small and anonymous audience. With full-page and two-page ads in specialty magazines such as Runner’s World and Running Times and with some executions in the general-interest Sports Illustrated, the series of print ads celebrated the rather unusual but relatively common habits of dedicated runners, such as smearing Vaseline on the inner thighs and under the arms to prevent chafing. Sean Ehringer, Leagas Delaney’s creative director, explained, ‘‘[adidas] wanted to do a brand focus campaign that gave them some running credentials, and the way we decided to do that was to let runners know that we understand them . . . Runners have their own kind of weird way of doing things, so there’s a lot of things to talk about there.’’ The campaign ended in 2000.
According to the ad-industry publication Campaign, ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ was the third most awarded series of print ads in the world for 2000. It helped Adidas’s brand awareness in the United States reach record highs and was eventually expanded globally.
For the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign, Adidas narrowed its audience to pinpoint the serious runner, a group frequently overlooked by the sports media despite the popularity of running. The lack of hype surrounding running could perhaps be attributed to the individuality and solitude of the sport. As Leagas Delaney’s Ehringer remarked, ‘‘Most people who run run silently on their own for their own reasons, and nobody even knows they exist.’’ Ehringer also emphasized the importance of running and said, ‘‘It is very much a unique and individual sport, but it’s a part of almost every athlete’s life at some point.’’ To lure runners, an extremely dedicated lot, Adidas adopted an honest and direct approach. Ryan Erickson, a marketing executive at adidas’s rival Reebok International Ltd., explained the importance of credibility when advertising to runners. Erickson said in Footwear News, ‘‘Runners sniff out fake stuff in a heartbeat.’’
In planning the ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ branding campaign, Adidas and Leagas Delaney felt that it was important to speak directly to the runner. Ehringer told Joan Voight of Adweek, ‘‘I am so tired of this huge trend where ads keep telling you that you are not adequate in some way. ‘Be that’ or ‘Do this.’ . . . What is wrong with celebrating the fun-ness of the brand? . . . Better to have a conversation with people, not a conversation at people.’’ In keeping with this belief, and to make the most of Adidas’s marketing dollars, Leagas Delaney created a series of colorful print ads that celebrated running with a direct and unique approach only runners would likely appreciate and understand. Ehringer explained, ‘‘The unusual thing about [the campaign] was we were really very literal about it. I think it was pretty courageous to do ads that were so honest about really talking to runners that a lot of people wouldn’t even know what you were talking about.’’ To add an extra element of interest and to further suggest Adidas’s bond with runners, many of the ads starred Adidas-sponsored runners, talented athletes with little face-recognition value.
One of the early ads was a two-page color spread featuring a male runner—an adidas-sponsored marathon runner—applying bandages to his nipples at a road race. His shirt, with pinned-on race number, was casually tucked into the waistband of his shorts as he completed the bandaging task. Skyscrapers and other runners appeared in the background. A heavyset woman in nonrunning attire, perhaps a spectator, observed the runner’s ritual with a slightly bewildered look, emphasizing how odd the act must appear to nonrunners. The only text in the ad was the Adidas logo in one corner and the tagline in another.
A second ad showed a walking and running path in a city. A male runner blew his nose in typical runner fashion—with a finger pressed against one nostril to allow the forceful emanation of mucus from the other—as a disgusted nonrunning female looked on. The ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ slogan appeared in the middle of the ad, and the text at the bottom read, ‘‘You’ve never experienced a support shoe like this. The incredibly smooth ride of the Equipment Tyranny is something different too.’’ The $1 million campaign appeared in running-specific publications such as Runner’s World and Running Times and in the popular magazine Sports Illustrated.
Another ad showed two male runners racing a cable car up a steep San Francisco hill as cable car riders looked on. The Vaseline ad featured a male and a female runner getting ready for a race by applying Vaseline to various body parts that might otherwise get rubbed raw while running. The male runner was Peter Julian, who was a four-time all-American while at the University of Portland. Similar ads continued until the campaign ended in 2000. The ‘‘Runners. Yeah, We’re Different’’ campaign generated much interest and discussion among runners. The campaign ended in 2000, and some of the final ads were bolder than those from 1998.
One 1999 ad, for example, featured a full view of the backside of a naked male runner (two-time 10,000-meter Olympian and four-time 10,000-meter U.S. champion Todd Williams) who stood by the open trunk of his car to change out of his muddy running clothes. Another ad showed a female runner squatting by a tree next to a trail, her shorts pulled down. Although these ads were quite daring, the acts featured were not out of the ordinary for runners.
Adidas’s director of marketing communications, Karyn Thale, told Adweek that the company was pleased with the advertising efforts and said, ‘‘It is time to tell our story in the U.S., and the Leagas ads are doing a great job of [expressing] our brand’s young, fresh and hardworking image here.’’ Adidas continued to thrive and in 1998 held onto its number three ranking in the athletic-footwear industry with a 6 percent share, according to market research firm NPD Group, Inc. In comparison, Nike’s retail dollar share was 34 percent and Reebok’s 13 percent. Although overall spending on athletic shoes dropped 6 percent from the previous year, running shoes continued to lead the athletic-footwear category, acquiring 17.1 percent of retail sales. Adidas’s U.S. net sales jumped 68 percent to $1.59 billion, and the running category grew more than 50 percent from 1997. Adidas spokesperson John Fread told the Business Journal of Portland, ‘‘For us,  was an outstanding year, another record.’’ Adidas was definitely back in the game, and it planned to stay there, pursuing its commitment to sports and athletes around the globe.
In the campaign’s final year adidas reached its highest brand awareness in company history. The adidas sales increase during the campaign shocked sporting-goods analysts because running shoes were previously considered a slow-growth category. The print ads collected more awards than print ads released by any other competitor in 2000, and adidas eventually expanded the campaign internationally.
Advertising Agency: Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, CA
Creative Director: Harry Cocciolo, Sean Ehringer
Art Director: David Ayriss, Peter Nicholson
Copywriter: Steve Morris, Scott Wild
Photographers: Eugene Richards, William Howard
A marvellous advertising campaign celebrating the imagination of children.
Childrens Campaign (2008)
Creative Directors: Alexandre Hervé, Sylvain Thirache
Copywriter: Matthieu Elkaim
Art Director: Pierrette Diaz
Peintre: Richard N’Go
Illustrator: Pierrette Diaz
The Balloon (2008)
In this spot, a face-shaped helium-filled balloon embarks on an epic journey into the sky and beyond. A red helium filled balloon with eyes narrowly escapes being burst by a weather cock before launching into the sky to fly with the birds, hang out with a hot air balloon, call in on a mountaineering expedition, flirt with the Yetis. The journey takes the balloon through air traffic, past an astronaut and beyond. The ad finishes with the creator of this fantasy, the girl who lost her balloon.
Creatives: Pierrette Diaz, Mathieu Elkaim
Production Company : Wanda Productions, Paris
Director/Animator: Yoann Lemoine
Post-Production : Digital District
A black and white forest is colored in vibrant hues under our eyes except for one sad little panda, which sets off the compassion of an imaginative little boy. In the beginning the world existed in black and white. After that, it became enriched with colors. Forests, rivers, animals, flowers… everything changed.
Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Hervé
Copywriter: Charlotte Roux
Art Director: Héloise Condroyer
Production Company: Wanda
Music: Swing Jungle Colors
Late last spring, Omid Farhang, vice president and creative director at the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, started hearing a word around the office: “carrots” . He didn’t think much of it at first. Crispin specializes in lavish, zeitgeisty campaigns for brands such as Burger King and Old Navy. New clients are often assigned code names, to keep them a secret as long as possible. Carrots probably meant a new campaign for Nike or Frito-Lay. Then Farhang heard the brief. “I was like, Wait, carrots is carrots?” he says, laughing.
Bolthouse Farms sells nearly a billion pounds of carrots a year – the carrots Farhang kept hearing about – under a number of different brand names and supermarket labels. Only Grimmway Farms, a few minutes down the road in Bakersfield, California, sells more, just barely. Together, the two companies control more than 80% of the carrot market in the United States. As produce growers go, they are huge businesses — in Bolthouse’s case, between $600 million and $800 million a year in revenue, including premium beverages (carrot juice, of course, as well as açai, fruit smoothies, and vanilla chai) and salad dressings.
The company has been around for nearly a century now, but it boomed in the 1990s, with a breakthrough product. A local grower named Mike Yurosek had become frustrated with all the waste in the carrot business. Supermarkets expected carrots to be a particular size, shape, and color. Anything else had to be sold for juice or processing or animal feed, or just thrown away. Yurosek wondered what would happen if he peeled the skin off the gnarly carrots, cut them into pieces, and sold them in bags. He made up a few test batches to show his buyers. One batch, cut into 1-inch bites and peeled round, he called “bunny balls.” Another batch, peeled and cut 2 inches long, looked like little baby carrots.
Bunny balls never made it. But baby carrots were a hit. They transformed the whole industry. Soon, the big growers in Bakersfield were planting fields with baby carrots in mind, sowing three times more seeds per acre, so the carrots, packed densely together, would grow long and skinny, for the maximum number of 2-inch cuts. Yields and profits climbed. The really big deal, the thing nobody expected, was that baby carrots seemed to make Americans eat more carrots. In the decade after they were introduced, carrot consumption in the United States doubled.
Then a couple of years ago, after a decade of steady growth, Bolthouse’s carrot sales went flat. Sales of baby carrots, the company’s cash carrot, actually fell, sharply, and stayed down. Nobody knew why. This was a big problem.
For Jeff Dunn, Coca-Cola was the family business. Dunn’s father spent most of his career at the company negotiating huge sponsorship deals around events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Just a few years out of college, Dunn followed him. Dunn eventually took over his father’s job and became one of the company’s top executives, overseeing all of Coca-Cola’s businesses in North and South America. Like his father, Dunn considered himself a marketing guy, which made sense for a top executive at a soft-drink company. “We were selling sugar water and fairy dust,” Dunn says. “And don’t forget the fairy dust.”
Three years ago, he became CEO of Bolthouse. His office is across the street from an agricultural machine yard filled with tractors, seeding trucks, and 65,000-pound harvesters. It has been something of a change. Then again, there are similarities. “Carrots are basically a duopoly,” he says. “It’s Coke and Pepsi.” And when he looked at his flagging sales, he wondered if some fairy dust might help. Dunn put together a series of focus groups and surveys and discovered something interesting. People said they were eating as many carrots as they always had. But the numbers clearly showed they were buying fewer. What people meant, it turned out, was they were as likely as ever to keep carrots in the fridge. When the recession hit, though, they became more likely to buy regular carrots, instead of baby carrots, to save money. But people used to eating baby carrots weren’t taking the time to wash and cut the regular ones. And unlike baby carrots, which dry out pretty quickly once a bag is opened, regular carrots keep a long time. So people were buying regular carrots and then not eating them, and not buying more until the carrots they had were finally gone or spoiled. Bolthouse had never marketed its baby carrots. It just sent truckloads to supermarkets, where they got piled up in the produce aisle. Dunn assembled a small team and studied advertising campaigns for other agricultural commodities, such as almonds, avocados, eggs, and milk. They were shocked at what they found. “Every campaign paid back,” Dunn says. “Every single one. Between 2 and 10 times.”
So they drafted a brief to circulate to ad agencies. “Carrots have an appealing personality. Fun, fun-loving, friendly. High-energy. Visually appealing,” they explained. “Baby carrots are the best form factor of carrots.” Dunn was clear: He didn’t want a health campaign, one that talked about beta carotene or cutting calories. He wanted something more emotional, maybe something funny, something that appealed to impulse rather than responsibility – the kind of thing a soft-drink or snack-food company might do.
Dunn’s team talked to more than 20 agencies. One firm pitched a commercial with a vegetable army, baby carrots in the lead, storming a beach defended by junk food. Another proposed pairing two unlikely celebrities together, or maybe rival politicians, with the punch line “Look who’s having a baby!” Dunn kept a memento from the proposal he liked best, a large model of a carrot ripping through a jelly doughnut, red jelly oozing from the exit wound. Nothing, though, seemed quite right. Even the outrageous ideas tended to come back to avoiding junk food and eating healthier.
Then something unusual happened. One of the agencies recommended a rival firm, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. They thought the sensibility Dunn was fishing for sounded like Crispin’s work. Dunn figured there was no way Bolthouse had the profile or the resources to hire a firm like Crispin. But he called them anyway. “You guys are kind of late to the game,” he said, “but do you want to take a crack at this?”
A mounth later, Dunn flew to Boulder, Colorado. Crispin had decorated its modern, glass conference room like a barn, with bales of hay stacked all around and a wooden bolthouse farms sign over the door. Farhang, the creative director, wasn’t sure about the barn. It’s possible these guys may find this offensive, he thought. They aren’t a bunch of bumpkins. The presentation began with some ethnography. Crispin had done its own behavioral research, lurking in kitchens around the Boulder area. Staffers had watched suburban moms unpack their groceries and studied where kids looked for snacks when they got home from school. Kids seldom went to the refrigerator; instead, they went straight for the cupboards or the pantry. If they did go to the fridge, baby carrots were at least visible, out on a shelf. Full-size carrots, though, always went in the vegetable drawer. “The drawer of death,” one kid called it. Adults weren’t particularly fond of the vegetable drawer either. They tended to associate it with all the vegetables they buy and forget, and then discover weeks later, limp and leaking. A strategy began to emerge. Let regular carrots be the vegetable.
“Everyone else pitched baby carrots as an antidote to junk food,” Dunn says. “Where Crispin came out was almost the exact opposite. We want to be junk food.”
Farhang and his colleagues unveiled storyboards with concepts for a series of winking, self-aware junk-food ads. One ad featured a baby-carrot-branded spray tan, endorsed by Snooki, the star of MTV’s Jersey Shore. In another, a sultry model, surrounded by billowing black silk, runs a carrot slowly across her lips as a voice-over purrs about indulgence – think Dove chocolates. The best one seemed inspired by a Mountain Dew commercial. A skater dude rides a jet-powered shopping cart through a desert pass, dodging baby-carrot gunfire. Things blow up. There’s a pterodactyl. “Extreme pterodactyl!” the voice-over yells.
“To have a great advertising idea, you have to get at the truth of the product,” Farhang explains. “The truth about baby carrots is they possess many of the defining characteristics of our favorite junk food. They’re neon orange, they’re crunchy, they’re dippable, they’re kind of addictive.”
Bolthouse didn’t have much to gain from a house-branded campaign since it sells under many labels, and a generic campaign like “Got Milk?” might convince its rival, Grimmway, to share the cost, so Crispin made baby carrots the star. “It’s not about making baby carrots cool,” Crispin CEO Andrew Keller stresses. “It’s about getting baby carrots into a different category.”
Crispin imagined individual snack packs made of opaque, crinkly plastic, like a potato-chip bag, with bold, junk-food-style graphics (the new packaging would cost about 25% more than traditional veggie bags, but Dunn could justify it as a marketing expense). “People are now grabbing a bag of these, you know, eating them in the car,” Dunn’s marketing chief, Bryan Reese, says. They’d look right at home by a convenience-store checkout.
Farhang and his colleagues showed ideas for a baby-carrot vending machine, too, and a chilled carrot jar, like a cookie jar, that might stay out on the counter. Bolthouse’s traditional packaging worked only for the produce aisle and the kitchen fridge, and it asked more of people. “You know, unzip the 2-pound bag of baby carrots …” Reese says, in a weary voice. “Grab a few baby carrots … rezip it …” We might remember this as an unfortunate cultural milestone, the moment when eating baby carrots became too much work, but Bolthouse wanted people eating more vegetables, and it was looking for whatever would sell.
Just to be safe, Crispin presented a few ideas that brought up healthfulness. But Dunn didn’t seem to care. Farhang thought that was smart. “What a silly use of advertising dollars to tell people that vegetables are healthy,” he says.
A few weeks later, Farhang was in the California desert, with a film crew. “There’s a guy in a shopping cart with a rocket strapped to it, and there’s pyrotechnics lining the base of a cliff, and there’s a really hot model standing next to a machine gun,” he recalls, and laughs. “It’s hard not to be nervous. We’ve got this client that has a genuine desire to change its business, to change the way that people look at carrots forever.” And it was planning to spend a huge sum of money for a produce company, in the neighborhood of $25 million. “This isn’t Coca-Cola,” he says. “We have one shot to get this right.”
At Coca-Cola, Dunn was obsessed with per capita consumption. “Per capita was my mantra,” he says. But as he neared the end of his time there, he began to feel conflicted. It was still his job to sell more Coke. But people were drinking a lot of Coke. He talked to his father about it. “If you’ve got a per capita of three, four, five” — 500 Cokes a year — “that’s fine. But there are places in the United States where you have per capitas of 1,000. I can’t get my head around somebody drinking 1,000 Cokes a year,” Dunn says. “This was before obesity had become as prevalent. But it was pretty clear that’s where the world was going. And certainly sugar soft drinks had a direct role in that.”
Dunn talks as if he carries some karmic debt, still. But his experience comes with a unique perspective. “If all we do is tell people fruits and vegetables need to be part of their diet or they’re not going to be healthy — the rational approach — we have zero chance,” he says. “The last 10 years has proven it. There’s been so much written and so much government stuff. And per capita consumption isn’t up. I believe there’s a different approach.
“People will say, ‘You open the bag, it’s just baby carrots.’ Well, it’s just Lay’s potato chips, it’s just Doritos, there’s nothing special about them,” he says. “They’re just cool and part of your life. If Doritos can sell cheeseburger-flavored Doritos, we can sell baby carrots.”
Crispin’s campaign, “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food,” debuted last September in two test markets: Syracuse, New York, and Cincinnati. (There are plans to expand the campaign to other markets by this fall.) Three television spots aired, as well as a web series, Munchies, starring two slacker grocery clerks. ” Display ads, printed up for supermarkets, presented baby carrots as “the original orange doodle,” and billboards suggested never fear carrots and beer. Maybe most provocatively, Bolthouse installed baby-carrot vending machines, wrapped in eat ‘em like junk food graphics, at a pair of high schools.
By November, sales in Bolthouse’s test markets were up 10% to 12% over the year before, compared to minimal improvement or slight decline in a control group. The vending machines were selling 80 to 90 snack packs per week; a number of schools have approached the company about installing their own machines, and Bolthouse is investigating what it would take to scale vending into a real business. In April, it will test its first movie tie-in, with snack packs promoting a new animated comedy, Hop.
Despite running for just one month in two test markets to date, the $450,000 “Eat ‘em like junk food” campaign has garnered nearly 63 million PR impressions across the world, valued at over $15 million. It’s been covered by networks and publications including NBC, Fox News, CNN, Huffington Post, Associated Press, USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times. Xtreme Xrunch Kart has also been downloaded and played in more than 75 different countries worldwide. And since the point was to sell carrots, baby carrot sales lifted by 12 percent in our test markets.
Widespread media attention to the baby carrot re-branding campaign, contributed to an 11.3% median rise in baby carrot sales in the test markets carrying the junk food packaging. Increased sales, in combination with strong consumer interest and demand, resulted in many of the major grocery store chains agreeing to carry the new packaging national in October 2010, including Kroger, Wegmans and Walmart. National media attention also enabled Bolthouse Farms to negotiate for larger display areas and better store positioning for baby carrots.
The public relations campaign positioned Bolthouse Farms as an innovator in the agriculture and health food marketing industry, thus elevating the company’s corporate profile overall. The notoriety of the campaign also directly resulted in meetings for the Bolthouse executive team with numerous influential celebrities that may result in future business opportunities and/or partnerships for the company, including: Jessica Seinfeld, Jamie Oliver and Lauren Bush. The crowning achievement of our media efforts was secured in late spring 2011: a five page feature in the April issue of Fast Company, cementing the campaign’s status as an innovative and remarkably successful case study in disruptive communications and marketing.
When you think “exciting snack,” baby carrots don’t come to mind. Like most veggies, they tend to sit forgotten in refrigerator crispers across America. Of course, junk food doesn’t have this problem. So what will it take for baby carrots to get out of the bottom drawer and become a sexy, top-of-mind snack alongside the likes of Cheetos and Doritos? Maybe the only thing missing is the junk food marketing. ‘A Bunch of Carrot Farmers’ exploit infamous junk food marketing tactics – while poking some fun at them – to garner international press and stake their rightful claim as the ultimate snack-your-face-off crunchy munchy. Introducing the first-ever Baby Carrots branding campaign: ‘Eat Em Like Junk Food.’
Advertising Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Reilly
Group Creative Director: Tiffany Rolfe
Creative Director: Omid Farhang
Art Director: Liz Levy
Copywriter: Omid Farhang, Marc d’Avignon
Graphic Designer: Greta Ackerman, Aryanti Ingenille
Bronze Lion, NYF and Clio