When featuring a treasured national celebrity in an advertising campaign, it’s tempting to make the product an afterthought. To milk the golden goose for all their worth! But it tends to come off as a bit obvious, particularly now that consumers are increasingly savvy. Surely it’s better to integrate the celebrity into the brand message as seamlessly as possible? Direct Line are doing it very well right now – linking an iconic problem-solving movie character with their own brand offering.
Of course, it depends on who you’re working with, and we were incredibly lucky to have such a talented and enthusiastic personality in Clare Balding. Would anyone else have been willing to get on a Segway, dodge a vacuum cleaner and cosy up under the bed covers with a stranger over the course of a two-day shoot?
Audible needed a very creative advertising agency
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to before we filmed in bed with Clare. Our client and their brief.
Audible allows you to listen to audiobooks. Obviously? Well, you might think so, but after research for our previous activity with Audible we found that audiobooks were far down the list of things people do in their downtime when unable to read. Repetitive playlists, inane social media updates and avoiding eye contact with fellow passengers were all apparently prioritised over listening to an entertaining audiobook.
For Audible’s new integrated campaign, there were two objectives: 1) To highlight that audiobooks can be listened to during your downtime (when reading is not possible) and 2) To show visually that you can listen to your favourite authors anytime, anywhere.
Creating a consistent campaign across television, radio, OOH and Digital OOH is a challenge for any brand. Audible had the added obstacle that its dominant feature is sound – easy for radio, harder for the other executions.
At the risk of tooting our own horns too loudly, we came up with several rather brilliant campaign approaches. Fortunately, Audible agreed. With the preferred route involving Clare Balding (so viewers could visualise one of their favourite authors reading to them), our next hurdle involved her availability, and wouldn’t you know, Clare had several half days free! The only trouble was, they were in seven days’ time.
Integrated campaigns can take months, sometimes years if a brand doesn’t have a clear idea of what they want to do. Over the past six weeks, Scorch London and Audible have worked together to create, produce and deliver a TV commercial, multiple radio, OOH and DOOH executions, all underneath a consistent campaign message that we believe meets both objectives. It goes to show that clarity of thought and confidence in the executions are what matters most – which Audible had. Timeframes can always be condensed if you’ve got all your creative, production and post in one place – which Scorch London prides itself on.
That campaign – ‘There’s always time to listen’ – will be everywhere soon. So anytime you see Clare Balding lying on a luggage rack, riding a Segway, or in bed with a microphone, you can hopefully look at the execution and say ‘there’s a campaign that knows how to use a celebrity correctly’…