NBCUNIVERSAL 360 CAMPAIGN: ALL TOGETHER DIFFERENT
NBCUniversal is a big, big entertainment brand. They own 3 broadcast networks, 17 cable networks, and over 50 digital properties. In 2014, they consolidated all of the media buying events for their entire portfolio into one big Javits Center throw-down, the 2014 Upfront. This is kind of a big deal – but how do you let the world know about it?
They came to L+C for a big, multimedia brand campaign announcing this sea change. The creative demanded a strong concept in which to ground all executions. A tagline, a new brand identity, and an anthem spot – and that was just the foundation.
We built the campaign around the line “ALL TOGETHER. DIFFERENT.”. “All Together” announced the portfolio consolidation. “Different” made it clear this was something new, and it resonated with the networks, who very much desire to maintain their own sense of identity.
The existing NBCU brand colors were discarded in favor of a rich, vibrant, multi-hued color scheme for the Upfront campaign. The removal of a rigid color system and the blending of all the brand colors alluded to the portfolio consolidation. Each network was assigned a 3-color gradation that accompanied their talent in print, web, and OOH – first just as a colored square in phase 1 of the campaign, and later as a full-page color background in phase 2.
The “ALL TOGETHER. DIFFERENT.” campaign headline proved to have a lot of legs. We customized the line for just about every single NBCU talent that appeared in the campaign. The cast of Suits was “All Together Unexpected”. Chicago Fire was “All Together Heroic”. CNBC anchors were “All Together Newsworthy”. Kim Kardashian was “All Together Big Business”. Jimmy Fallon was “All Together Entertaining”. And so forth.
We coordinated a “mondo” shoot of all the NBCU talent o be featured in the campaign. This took place over 2 weeks in LA & NY. We shot 128 celebrities in 7 days, using a “Bolt” robotic arm imported from Germany and a phantom camera running at 1000fps. The absurdly fast and precise Bolt arm allowed us to program complex moves ahead of time to capture our celebs in their finest slo-mo moments. It was intense couple weeks, to say the least – but it provided us with more than enough footage to fill the 100-foot lwide Javits center screen, as well as video billboards and web pre-rolls in the weeks preceding the event.
We rolled out a massive 360 campaign in two phases (see below) – with different degrees of color and messaging. this included about six weeks of print, web, and OOH on a national scale. Full page ads in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc. 1 and 2-page spreads in Ad Week, Ad Age, and Variety – to name but a few. Weeks and weeks of home page takeovers of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Ad Age, etc. NYC was particularly saturated, with a 30 Rock subway station takeover, taxi tops, digital billboard busses, phone booths, video billboards, bus kiosks, and a massive billboard on the west side highway.
The upfront itself had 4000 attendants, a live telecast red carpet with paparazzi and screaming fans, and a 100-foot screen with dazzling video content using footage we shot in LA and NY. We created video content for the entire show. This included a walk-in loop of their talent, an show open, a show closer music video, and an entire graphics package for the event. The event was a smashing success and a real game changer in the TV industry.
I creative directed the entire campaign from start to finish, and I did a fair amount of the writing as well. I supervised the music for every phase, and I worked hand in hand with the editors and animators to translate our designer’s amazing storyboards into moving pictures with our live action footage. A great many people helped me in this endeavor. Too many to mention. It swallowed about 6 months of my life, but conceiving and executing a true 360 campaign of this magnitude was incredibly satisfying in the end.
Below are just a few of the hundreds of video and still deliverables we generated during the campaign. Some video elements are rendered in their true, ultra-wide aspect ratio – inside a simple 3D model of the space we used for R&D and presentations.