WITH THE RIGHT MARKETING, IT'S EASY TO PICK SIDES.
When your client tells you in no uncertain terms that the digital world is your oyster, you'd be a fool not to go big. Long before everyone started calling it "content marketing", we just called doing stunts like this "advertising in the digital space with a shorter distance from idea to execution". Same thing, I guess. "Content marketing" is a lot stickier.
That’s exactly where we found ourselves with agency client, Long John Silver’s. We were relaunching their brand from toes-to-nose – new logo, tag, ads, packaging, website, you name it. And while it was all strong work – we wanted to do something a little more engaging for online content.
Enter Pip and Hobart, the Carson and McMahon of their own late night online talk show. Animated by our friends out at Yankee Peddler, Pip and Hobart were the animated online avatars of myself and my art director partner, Chase Ramirez – me the semi-neurotic, angst-riddled type and he the doughier, slow-ier Stimpy to my Ren. (Yes, we voiced them ourselves)
After two episodes, we found ourselves already thinking beyond the trappings of their well-appointed studio, showing some drama behind the scenes and Hobart’s hallucinogenic daydreams. We created original music, Hollywood trailers and all manner of just general weirdness.
Very quickly, the concept was capturing the attention of fans and their franchisees. I distinctly remember the email asking if Chase and I would be willing to don Pip and Hobart suits for the opening of a new franchise somewhere in Iowa. As it turns out, foam rubber hushpuppy suits are not available from Amazon and the idea was, thankfully, scrapped.
We continued to find new opportunities for the doughy duo to talk for the brand. I’ve got enough Pip and Hobart coffee mugs to serve a fire department – and we did a really cool online game to go along with NCAA March Madness where the highest scorer could win free LJS for a year. (Having helped design it, I had the top score but there’s that whole “employees and affiliates” disclaimer on every sweepstakes.
Was this the pivot point for their brand? Certainly not. But my at-the-time six-year-old thought there was nothing cooler. It’s never a small victory when you can get your own child to be for once impressed with what you do.