CNN taps entertainment branding agency loyalkaspar to create a multi-platform marketing campaign for The Sixties: The British Invasion.
New York -- CNN recently tapped entertainment branding agency loyalkaspar to create a multi-platform marketing campaign for The Sixties: The British Invasion, a one-hour special about the landmark cultural event of The Beatles’ historic U.S. arrival on February 9, 1964, to perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show -- to the tune of a record-setting 73 million TV viewers. Their success was quickly followed by other British bands hoping to conquer the hearts of American teens, including The Animals, The Kinks, The Hollies, The Dave Clarke 5, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, whose music defined a generation – and remain vital and relevant today.
From multiple Emmy Award-winning executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (HBO’s John Adams and The Pacific), and Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Herzog (History’s Gettysburg) of Herzog & Company (HCO), the documentary premiered on CNN/U.S. on January 30th to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the musical revolution, which has influenced virtually every aspect of modern American life, from fashion and hairstyles to advertising, politics and sexual mores.
Led by Creative Director Anna Minkkinen, loyalkaspar worked closely with CNN to create a series of promos and teasers, as well as digital and print collateral for The British Invasion episode. The agency also produced a teaser for the full 10-part CNN Original Series The Sixties coming in May 2014.
"loyalkaspar's ideas and execution of The British Invasion campaign set the tone for what's in store for the larger campaign to promote The Sixties original series” says Whit Friese, vice president, on-air promotions at CNN. “From the outset, our lines of thinking were perfectly in tune with one another. loyalkaspar was not only exceptionally perceptive to the myriad themes our series explores, but knew how to conceptualize them in a captivating way. The ‘60s were a watershed decade in America, marked by major shifts in politics, media and pop culture. To conceptually tie these worlds together cohesively is what great creative is all about."
“The CNN brand is elegant and smart, and we wanted to stay true to the integrity of their brand as a news organization, while giving them an entertainment edge that felt exciting as they continue developing their original programming brand overall,” remarks Minkkinen.
The entry point of television in the American home is the consistent visual theme that ties the campaign together. It also served as a trope for connecting the special episode to the upcoming series as a whole.
“The ‘60s marked the first time major political and cultural events were being widely televised,” says Minkkinen. “As Americans began tuning into national events together, news segments even doubled in length. Considering CNN’s nature and their connection to this historical cultural shift, the TV theme was fitting.”
loyalkaspar’s debut 15-second teaser aptly coincides with The Beatles’ frenzied 1964 arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. The spot cleverly captures the event without any shots or music of the Fab Four. Instead, loyalkaspar played on the contextual irony of the word “invasion” by focusing on the hysteria of the band’s welcoming fans.
“The emotion that emanates from those kids seeing The Beatles for the first time is just amazing,” continues Minkkinen. “You feel this aura of repressed kids who were suddenly set free, just screaming and losing their minds. We loved the idea – and had access to that footage – because it speaks to the impact of their arrival. It truly felt like a fun way to tease that The Beatles are coming.”
loyalkaspar produced the “Reviews” spot, which debuted during The Grammys. They juxtaposed a series of detracting quotes about The Beatles with footage of their arrival, essentially throwing out the old guard sentiment, while highlighting how audiences today revere The Beatles as an institution.
For the banner takeovers on CNN and US News & World Report, loyalkaspar played on the double meaning of the word “invasion,” using a hybrid of emergency TV broadcast language, as well as British flag-inspired typography and visuals. This design approach also provided a fun trope for the skins on Pandora.
Finally, for The Sixties series debut teaser, loyalkaspar placed surreal TVs (broadcasting historical news moments) in chaotic environments as a representation of TV’s role in the decade. It also conveys the visual experience the new series will offer, including never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage of newsrooms during events such as JFK’s assassination.
“CNN, being true creative partners who were committed to the show’s vision, embraced so many of our ideas and did everything within their reins to get what we needed,” concludes Minkkinen.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.