Moroch and Citrus Work with Niven Films to Create “There’s a Story Here” campaign.
AdChat DFW recently caught up with Barbara Barnes, Creative Director at Moroch, to chat about the new James Avery Christmas campaign, “There’s a Story Here.” Citrus Advertising, shares the Avery account with Moroch as a partner account.
AdChat DFW: How long has Moroch had the James Avery account?
Barbara Barnes: Just over two years. And Moroch shares the account with Citrus Advertising. I’m a freelance creative director that works through Moroch. And Jason Shipp is my creative director partner that works at Citrus. The other departments are shared, too.
AdChat DFW: Is this their first national TV commercial?
Barbara Barnes: Yes. They stuck their toe in the water with spot TV in key local markets last Mother’s Day. That was really successful, so they took the plunge with a Christmas campaign that’s heavily focused on key local markets with spot TV to drive in store traffic and national cable to grow awareness across the country. We are very excited to be a part of this. It is a really big deal.
AdChat DFW: How did you learn about the James Avery brand?
Barbara Barnes: Most people in Texas have heard of the brand. And customer surveys told us that their existing customers are very passionate about the brand. It’s kind of crazy how much people love this brand. I’ve never worked with a client that has so much brand love. We heard over and over the stories and traditions that included James Avery. So, we just needed to try to see how we could duplicate that beyond Texas. We did more research with the customers to find out what they liked. It seemed that every time we’d ask the customer about their James Avery jewelry, they would touch it as they spoke about it. And they associated each individual piece with a memory.
AdChat DFW: How did you come up with the concept?
Barbara Barnes: We saw how the jewelry connects them with either a loved one or a moment in time or an emotion. That insight is where the idea for the campaign came from, and where everything we’ve done for the past two years has come from. It’s a story. It’s a memory, not just, ‘this is what my grandmother gave me for my birthday when I was 16,’ it’s more of a story about what happened that day and how special the grandmother is. The jewelry helps them hold on to a piece of their lives. In fact, we came up with the line in the campaign, “There’s a Story Here,” two years ago.
Last year we captured some customer testimonial videos where a particular piece of jewelry held a very dear story to the recipient. You should watch them. Some of them will make you cry…in a good way. I mean, they are amazing stories that the jewelry connects them to.
AdChat DFW: Much of your media buy is :15 spots.Was that an issue getting the story across in that short of time?
Barbara Barnes: Typically, yes, it’s really hard to tell a compelling story in fifteen seconds. So, we knew since the majority of the spots are :15s, we had to keep it really simple, make it relatable, make it beautiful and keep it true to “There’s a Story Here.” And so that’s what we did. We engaged Norry Niven of Niven Film to direct, because he’s shot with us for many years on other clients and it was just a perfect fit. We knew he could capture the emotion of these women opening their James Avery jewelry boxes, and we knew he would make it beautiful.
AdChat DFW: You don’t actually show jewelry with the actresses opening their James Avery jewelry box, was that deliberate?
Barbara Barnes: Yes. We purposely didn’t want to show what the actual jewelry or stories were,(because we only had fifteen seconds), and because we weren’t selling specific jewelry, we were selling the emotional connection of the brand. And while you don’t know the actual jewelry or stories, you know they are both great from the reactions. And to make sure viewers know it’s a jewelry commercial, we end with a shot of a single piece of jewelry that is reminiscent of the gorgeous James Avery catalog shots.
AdChat DFW: Are they expanding their stores nationally?
Barbara Barnes: They are first going through the Dillard’s footprint. So many Dillard’s stores have a James Avery counter in their jewelry department.
AdChat DFW: Anything you’d like to add?
Barbara Barnes: I’d like to mention that it takes a brave client to do “brand” advertising these days. Especially when CMOs have to justify their ad spend. It was really wonderful getting to work on a campaign for a client that is already well-loved by many, and getting to introduce them to new areas. And one reason this campaign is so beautiful is that the VP of marketing and the creatives at James Avery have excellent taste, and not only embrace creative, but insist on it.