There are very few things as rewarding as managing a big campaign, whether as Creative Director overseeing the bigger picture and directing clients, or down at the coal face producing everything from poster, web banner and viral films to shooting broadcast promotional and commercial on-air spots, indents and interstitials.
THE REBRAND OF VIASAT EXPLORER: We felt it was crucial to build awareness of the more adventurous and serious nature of this factual entertainment channel by building an identity that spoke to our 34-56 year old males who, research told us, were less interested in truckers and boys toys, and more interested in real men, and in how those giant toys actually work.
We understood too, that our promotions would need to incorporate a narrative and style that continued to reflect this and that would be reflected in key visuals for banners, posters and digital billboards. We needed to move way beyond 'wacky' or' lifestyle' or 'informative' - we needed to really pique the curiosity of our viewers with big, real stories. In other words, we ourselves needed to produce authentic content that spoke to them. Top Secret was a great example of this, where we produced a little shot narrative to connect our male viewers back to the serious personal, authentic human story behind Black Ops soldiers, whilst also riffing on the reference theme of Call of Duty.
It wasn't all 'grown-up and serious' though, as we also produced a black ops game, World at War, tied into the channel Facebook page, which was a huge hit with fans.
With a rebrand or a relaunch, every part of the process is exciting, as an idea builds - sometimes the most straightforward brief can end with the most exciting idea, sometimes the most challenging brief can require the most straightforward route 1 creative. Yet still there is the execution - as with the five minutes we managed to grab with our Salvage Masters here, off the coast of Tuscany, the sun rapidly setting over the Costa Concordia, our flight time looming - that can be the biggest thrill. As can be the editing and approval process, and the amazing moment when sign-off is complete.
A massive turning point for Viasat Explorer. Having fully understood the emerging viewer demographic for the channel, a new raft (excuse the pun) of programmes were bought in with Salvage Masters as the flagsip (excuse the other pun).
And what story could be bigger and more real than the raising of the Costa Concordia, the biggest salvage operation in maritime history?
Having built a dedicated Facebook page, I flew out to Tuscany to the Isola del Giglio to work with the FactTV crew, shooting viral BTS films, promo material, and interviews with the man himself, salvage master Nick Sloane, before the Concordia was moved to Genoa.
We ran the films and interviews online and in extended promo time, alongside a campaign of radio spots, channel brand awareness image spots, posters and digital billboards across Scandinvia, Russia and East Europe three months ahead of the programme airing to consolidate and support the brand overhaul for Explorer.