I am often asked the question "What is your favorite campaign that you have created over the years?" and most often my response is something along the lines of "Well, honestly, by the time the campaign is executed and done, I have spent so much time on it that I am ready to move on to the next idea." and that is not far from the truth, creative sparks are amazing yet when working on the idea for 16 weeks straight, you start to look forward to when it will be finished. But obviously, there have been jobs we have executed that stand out in my mind as being at the core of who we are and personify our vision. So looking back at the hundreds of clients we have worked on over the last 10 years, I decided to pick out 10 campaigns that to me are special, listed in no particular order.
1. Shark Week - Discovery Channel
This was the first really big execution we did for Discovery Channel's Shark Week. An 80 foot shark on the bottom of the pool at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (We also did a slightly smaller one in Orlando). We received 5 news stories about the campaign and were one of the first to do underwater media.
In addition to the underwater billboards above, in NY and LA we created Shark Bite media. We bought hundreds of items off of Ebay and Craigslist, had bites taken out of them, stenciled them, and then left them on the streets for people to see and take. Everything from cars and surfboards to office desks and pet carriers were branded. This is one my all time favorite ideas and was lifted for Shark Week Australia 2 years ago.
2. Le Tigre Launch
We were asked to help create a guerrilla plan for the Le Tigre clothing brand relaunch. We had three main ideas. 1- Use the iconic logo and create clings that we could apply to any and every advertisement we saw. They may be promoting Apple, but they are wearing Le Tigre. 2. Clean Graffiti - We were the first to bring Clean Graffiti to the states and worked with the originator of the idea, Moose, to make it work. 3. Sponsorship take-over. Lacoste was the apparel sponsor of the US Open, and was giving away keychains. So we decided to take a group of guys and gals, give them 10,000 polo shirts over 3 days to distribute, and have them ride the 7 train out to the tennis stadium. They would get on the train 3 stops before the stadium, anyone who had a ticket to the US Open could choose their size and color of polo for free while on the train. The team then rode the train one extra stop and came back to do it again. What it meant was that more people were wearing and connecting with Le Tigre then Lacoste, and yet the competition nor US Open sponsorship team, had any idea how we were getting the product inside. This earned us national press and helped launch the brand to it's target audience.
3. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
What started as an insider campaign meant to target a diehard niche audience ended up being a national controversy when the people and authorities of Boston mistook our electronic graffiti for 'suspicious devices.' Quite possibly the most insecure moment of my career as we saw an idea intended for one thing, spiral into something very different. Yes, it raised our profile greatly, but I still stand by the fact that both we and our client would not have wanted this type of attention and that the whole thing was blown out of proportion. One up side is that we were referred to on the Colbert Report, which to this day is still on my DVR.
4. Vespa Free Parking
I love the simple ideas. To promote the eco-friendly Vespa, we chopped traditional parking spaces meant for 1 car, into mini parking spaces for 8 Vespas. For a month Vespas could park free in them at parking lots across manhattan.
5. Women & Company
The women's financial membership service from Citigroup came to us early on and we worked together for 5 years creating a variety of ground level media and promotions. The above, to use actual mirrors as our outdoor campaign, back in 2004, was very unique and tied in very well to the brand promise to personalize the financial planning experience.
6. SONY Ericsson Stealth Campaign
The 7 city stealth marketing campaign done with Fathom Communications for the SONY Ericsson T68i phone in 2003 was the first time that we saw major press with a creative idea. The Wall Street Journal broke the campaign about our 'Fake Tourists' going around and asking people to take their photo in front of major city sights, only the tourists would not hand a camera, but would instead hand over the T68i (the first phone in the US with a camera attached, ahhh the good old days). This went over well with some, not so well with others, but along with all of the other tactics employed, helped launch an industry. A recent film, The Joneses, largely takes from this campaign.
7. Come Home For The Holidays with HGTV
This campaign done with Doner for HGTV was not the easiest we have ever done. We had to build a 3000 square foot house in 3 days in Herald Square, NYC right before Thanksgiving. We then had thousands of people come through and record holiday greetings for their family, who they were generally not with, so that they could virtually be 'Home for the Holidays.' Those videos were then burned on a DVD and could be watched, downloaded or emailed from the application. It rained 2 of the 3 nights we were building as well, and then the temp dropped 20 degrees, meaning we had to bring in extra heating units. In the end we still had over 10,000 people come through the house, meet the HGTV stars and share some seasonal love with their families which made all the work pay off.
8.GE Appliances - High Profile Pair In The Square
It takes over 3000 articles of clothing to cover 7 blocks of Times Square with laundry lines. We found this out the hard way. For this event, to launch the GE Profile Washer/Dryer that could do 6 months of laundry without refilling the detergent, we had the idea to cover Times Square in laundry. Over 1200 feet of laundry lines were installed through 7 blocks of the busiest neighborhood in the world all of which ended in huge inflatable versions of the Washer/Dryer pair. We also had celebrity jeans that we were auctioning off with The Biggest Loser's Alison Sweeney for charity. The campaign was extremely successful garnering over 125 million press impressions and raising thousands of dollars for the Clothes Off Our Back charity.
Another one of those simple ideas that just made sense. For the TLC show Overhaulin', we found real old beater cars on craigslist, and then had half of them tricked out to show that a transformation was happening. Since this was in essence what the show did, it felt right. Tow Truck Media! We then hired tow trucks to drive the modified cars around NY, Chicago and DC to the delight and wonder of the crowds around. Any place the trucks stopped, we would immediately be overloaded with questions, requests for samples and more than anything requests for pictures with the car. One of the Overhaulin' cars was in the Discovery Channel/TLC Lobby last time I went to visit.
10. Nurse Jackie - The RX Games
To promote season 2 of Showtime's Nurse Jackie, we created The RX Games, a charity event for New York's finest nurses, nursing students and select charities. The event brought the stars and those they portray together for a unique event that raised $100,000 for the charities that participated. The American Cancer Society team was the big winner but the opportunity to raise awareness about an often under-appreciated segment of the healthcare industry, while also giving a nod to the new season of Nurse Jackie was a big win for us and this event was one of the most fun and exciting events we have done.