Interviews: Greg Hunter, GCD Firehouse Agency – Jeff Elmore, Executive Producer CUT – Chelle McDonald, Producer
AdChat DFW: Tell us about the “Be There” campaign for Interstate Battery.
Hunter: At the end of last year we rolled out the 360 multi-media “Be There” campaign with broadcast, web videos, social versions, mobile radio and digital. One spot used a specific YouTube pre-roll that plays the skip ad function in a fun way. But the mobile ads were by far the most unique, marrying technology with the creative message.
AdChat DFW: How did you concept the “low battery trigger” idea for mobile spots?
Hunter: I’d love to say I came up with it, but our media team found it. A media partner presented the idea. They knew how to detect the battery life of the phone and can trigger creative to run when the battery is low. We thought what a cool opportunity to create fun content that plays on their phone when their battery life is low. In terms of the ad buy, this was a small percentage of the campaign, but it went beyond and became a PR story. You can give credit to Interstate Batteries as much as to us.
AdChat DFW: How were they different than the others?
When it came to the mobile spots, they were more personal because it plays on a person’s phone. When the ad starts to play, they have an option to skip it, so we knew the sooner we could communicate that their battery life was low, the better. As each spot starts, there’s a banner pop-down that told them their battery life is low in red. We had the character in the spot point up to the banner and basically say the same thing “Uh-Oh, your battery life is low” and that’s followed with “If only your car could tell you that too!”
And then we segue into the individual scenarios. One named “Check” has a Publisher’s Clearing house-type-guy standing at your front door with a check, but you’re not home because you’re stuck somewhere with a dead car battery, so we are heading over to your neighbors instead.
The other one, is much more emotional. A woman in a kitchen with birthday party noises in the adjacent room, says “If you knew your car battery was low you wouldn’t have missed your best friend’s kid’s 3rd birthday party, where you were supposed to bring the cake. And the whole time she’s been messing with something off-camera and you don’t know what it is. Then she lifts up a hot dog with 3 candles lit and says “but I’m sure this will be fine” and heads off singing Happy Birthday.
Watch both spots…
Charlie Uniform Tango, Production Company and Post Production
AdChat DFW: Tell us about the other spots.
Hunter: The big idea of the campaign revolves around the idea that a car battery is important, but not so much as it starting your car, but rather that it gets you where you are going. The idea was with an Interstate Battery you can get there.
AdChat DFW: What were some of the scenarios?
Hunter: We had one spot airing around Thanksgiving about a grandmother sitting in her room alone talking about how she was waiting for you to come visit. But your battery died, so she had a lawyer change her will. So the message was don’t mess with grandma, get an Interstate battery.
Biscuit Filmworks, Production Co. Charlie Uniform Tango, Post Production
Another spot running before the holiday was similar to a Marvel movie trailer, with a Super Guy that needed to save the day, but he couldn’t due to a dead battery in his Super Car.
Biscuit Filmworks, Production Co., Charlie Uniform Tango, Post Production
AdChat DFW: Where did they air?
Hunter: On male-skewed cable channels like NFL Network, VH1, Spike, The Fuse, and Velocity.
AdChat DFW: What was shot and produced in DFW?
Hunter: The YouTube, mobile and radio spots. We used CharlieTango’s Director Jeremy Bartel. Chelle McDonald was our producer, we love her.
AdChat DFW: What production company did you use?
AdChat DFW: We used CharlieTango, we work with those guys all the time and have a great relationship with Jeff Elmore. I told him we had this budget and these number of spots and they were on board.
AdChat DFW: What can you say about working with Firehouse?
Jeff Elmore: It’s always great working with Firehouse, they are constantly coming up with memorable unique content and this time was no different with these mobile, YouTube, and radio ads.
AdChat DFW: What did you think when you heard about concepts for the mobile spots?
Chelle McDonald: I honestly I was shocked and surprised that the technology existed to read the battery life. I thought it was a great idea that lent itself to the concept.
AdChat DFW: How long have you been producing for Firehouse?
Chelle McDonald: I’ve been working with Firehouse for over four years and have witnessed a truly amazing relationship between the agency and client. I am happy to be called every year to work on the Interstate Battery account. It’s a real pleasure
AdChat DFW: Do you have a fun story about the shoot?
Chelle McDonald: We shot three spots in one day, two being exteriors. And it was was one of those rare days in Dallas that it literally poured all day. We had the most incredible crew from Liberal Media that supplied gear to protect us from the rain. But the audio engineer was the real star. The sound of the rain was so loud, but you when we listened to the audio we couldn’t hear it at all. It was incredible.
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