Blog Archives

Think Nothing Big Happened at the Super Bowl? Think Again.

Sunday night proved to be a bit of a bore with the Seahawks dominating the entirety of the game. So what kept us watching at DGC? The marketing showdown of course! Here are a few trends that emerged from the biggest night in advertising:

  • Nostalgia trumped glitz: A lot of brands like Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet and Maserati took the sentimental route, opting for feel-good over splashy spots. For example, Microsoft inspired us with a :60 spot narrated by Steve Gleason, a former NFL player with ALS, through the use of eye tracking technology on a tablet. Steve speaks about how technology has the power to “take us places we’ve only dreamed of” as we see images of technology helping a woman hear for the first time, a child run with prosthetic legs and an elderly man losing his eyesight paint.
  • Brands ambush the Super Bowl: Brands that didn’t have TV spots during the big game got creative in how to reach large audiences. Newcastle was a winner, enlisting Anna Kendrick to star in its video “Behind the Scenes of the Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Brown Ale Almost Made.” While on the other end of the spectrum, jcpenney was sending out tweets filled with typos, calling it a stunt to promote its “Go USA” mittens. Other brands certainly had fun in the social conversation – Coors Light chimed in to suggest the department store drink responsibly and Kia offered a designated driver.
  • Light humor reigned: There was far less over the top, slapstick humor during this year’s big game. Outside of the expected Go Daddy ad, brands and advertisers went with lighter humor. Take Volkswagen’s “Wings” spot created by Project: Worldwide agency ARGONAUT where every 100,000 miles, a German engineer received a pair of wings. And in TurboTax’s “Love Hurts,” the brand compared watching the game between two teams that aren’t your own to watching your crush dance the night away at prom with a cool dude that isn’t you. And, on another nostalgic note, DGC client David&Goliath brought us back to The Matrix in its newest spot for Kia.
  • Double spots: Brands like Pistachio and Chevy doubled up on spots during the game. For instance, we got to see Stephen Colbert try to rely on his fame alone to carry the pistachio commercial but unfortunately fell short. In the second spot, the branding is amplified to the point where Colbert cracks his head open to reveal a pistachio inside.

And it didn’t stop there. Denver-based DGC client and Project: Worldwide agency Motive, along with Mekanism, created the Super Bowl Halftime Show for Pepsi. And DGC client Pandora hosted a “Pandora Presents” Event at the Bud Light Hotel in NYC on January 31. The show was headlined by Imagine Dragons, who just came off its well-received Grammy performance and Grammy award win the previous weekend.

We hope you enjoyed game day as much as we did. What was your favorite part?

DGC Live at Advertising Week: Building The Sound of Your Brand

Music has become infused into plenty of marketers’ strategies – from using songs in ad campaigns, partnering with artists for tours, and creating live events with an artist in mind. Finding a pitch perfect song or artist for your brand is part art, part science – and all about authenticity.

Pandora SVP Strategic Solutions Heidi Browning moderates “Building the Sounds of Your Brand”

Pandora SVP Strategic Solutions Heidi Browning moderates “Building the Sounds of Your Brand”

That was the focus of the panel hosted by Pandora Radio titled “Building The Sound of Your Brand,” moderated by Pandora’s Heidi Browning.  Panelists included Aaron Fetters from Kellogg, Ryan Gavin from Microsoft, Colin Jeffery from David&Goliath, and Jeannette Perez from Sony Music Entertainment.

“Music is a huge part of what we do on the creative side,” said Colin Jeffery, Executive Creative Director at David&Goliath. “When we launched the Kia Soul campaign six years ago, we had an odd brief on a semi-odd car. So we created the ad, and played it with different music, to help see what felt right. Our spot with the Hamsters has been one of the top 5 commercials viewed on YouTube.”

Ryan Gavin had a different approach to incorporating music into ads. “What we did with our Internet Explorer commercial was to find the right song, then carve the ad from there. We just played it on repeat and created a great spot. When you have people searching ‘Internet Explorer Commercial Song,’ you’ve done your job right for both the artist and the brand.”

As data continues to be one of the top trends to predict success and influence, Heidi Browning, SVP Strategic Solutions at Pandora noted the success of a song in an advertisement. “After the Internet Explorer ad with Alex Clare, Alex saw a 6000% increase in new radio stations. LMFAO saw a similar increase and only continued to climb in following their ad with the Kia Hamsters.”

For Kellogg’s, they’ve partnered with several companies, including Pandora and Live Nation, to create custom radio stations and events on behalf of their Pop Tarts Brand. “Pop Tarts is meant to be a fun, ‘crazy good’ brand,” said Aaron Fetters, Director of Insights and Analytics Solutions Center at Kellogg Company. “We created a right music that fit the brand, and we were able to meet all of our key metrics of success and reach our target audience in a fun, unique way.”

One of the keys to success is remembering the human element to working with bands. “We are dealing with human beings,” said Jeannette Perez, VP, Music for Brands, Advertising & Licensing, Sony Music Entertainment. “We have to fulfill the client’s needs, but we also need to respect our artists. It needs to be an authentic partnership.” The entire panel was in agreement.

At the close of the panel, the panelists all agreed that music is a universally appealing medium to connect with consumers, but stressed the importance that the brand, artist, and song must all be in alignment for the partnership to truly work and be considered a success for everyone – especially consumers.

What Do Women’s Rights, a One-Armed Surfer, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the First Man on the Moon Have to Do With the California Lottery?

Source: David&Goliath

None of them could have been possible without this single word: Believe. Because in order to achieve the seemingly unfeasible, you must truly believe that big things are possible.

When the California Lottery was ready to launch Powerball, they decided they needed a different approach than anyone had ever attempted before. With only about 30% of Californians feeling positive about the Lottery brand, they needed to go beyond just showcasing Ferraris or yachts in advertising. They needed to start changing perceptions about the Lottery and its players. The Powerball campaign begins a new stage for the Lottery, giving the brand meaning beyond opulent stuff.

Like California itself, the California Lottery is a brand that stands for optimism and opportunity, and they wanted to see those values reflected in their campaign. They wanted to create something that was bigger, more inspirational and more of a mindset.

But standing out wasn’t their only challenge. Powerball is a national game played across the US, which means the odds, as well as the rewards, are that much greater. Which means you really have to “Believe.”

The launch has two distinct phases.


The first phase is to get people to believe in the word “Believe.” To that end, giant billboards with the single word “Believe” will appear all over California. This tease has no mention of the Lottery. The reason for this is to ensure credibility and make sure that consumers don’t feel like they are being sold to — to give them an opportunity to just savor the word. So when they eventually find out who the message is coming from they will respect them even more.

Alongside these billboards, we’ll introduce a series of iconic images of events and people that overcame huge odds because they believed: a women’s suffrage march; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the first man to walk on the moon; Bethany Hamilton, the teenage girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but believed she could keep surfing; and Robbie Knievel’s infamous jump over the Grand Canyon. None of these events would have been possible without one incredible word: Believe.

PHOTO CAPTION: The unbreakable Berlin Wall once divided an entire country - until both sides joined together and tore it down forever. Proof that anything is possible when you believe.

PHOTO CAPTION: The unbreakable Berlin Wall once divided an entire country – until both sides joined together and tore it down forever. Proof that anything is possible when you believe.

On August 18, 1920, women gained what was rightfully theirs: the right to vote. Proof that anything is possible when you believe. After losing her left arm in a shark attack, pro surfer Bethany Hamilton got back on her board and inspired millions. Proof that anything is possible when you believe. On May 20, 1999, Robbie Knievel had the guts to jump the Grand Canyon. Proof that anything is possible when you believe.

The second phase is the launch of the theme line, “Believe in Something Bigger.”

But “Believe in Something Bigger” isn’t just a theme line, it’s a mindset — one that inspires people to think beyond what’s possible. To be part of a movement of optimism and larger-than-life dreams, and to serve as a filter for the Lottery and the people who play.

To kick off this phase, the California Lottery is applying a multi-tiered approach starting with “RedBall California.” Working with world-famous artist Kurt Perschke, gigantic red balls will begin to appear in unexpected places all across California, with the final red ball ending up at the official Powerball launch party in Sacramento on April 10, 2013.

Then they will launch the campaign itself, starting with an epic :60 cinema/TV/viral film, shot all across California by Academy Award-winning cameraman Janusz Kaminski. The film shows millions of white balls softly falling to earth in a snow-like fashion as consumers look on in amazement. All of this is set to an inspirational choir version of the song, “California Dreamin’.” In the end, a single red ball lands in a man’s hand. As he joyously looks up, spreads his arms and smiles, a title appears and reveals the completed tagline: “Believe in Something Bigger. Powerball.”

In addition, an online contest is being held inviting Californians to create their own version of the song. The winner wins a cash prize and the chance to realize their dream by performing their version live at the April 8, 2013, launch event and gaining exposure through all the PR and social outlets.


Replacing the inspirational tease posters will be headline executions encouraging people to “Believe in  Something Bigger”  with Powerball.  For  example, on  the freeways  one billboard  will read: “Adopt a highway. All of it.” Another, posted only in Los Angeles, will read: “L.A. doesn’t have a football team. Fix that.”

A “Believe” website will encourage Californians to post their dreams and continue the conversation of “Believing in Something Bigger.” So where did all this believing come from?

What better place to look for such a movement than an ad agency called David&Goliath — an agency built on the premise of overcoming huge odds and big challenges? The agency was founded by David Angelo, who also happens to be one of the creators behind the iconic “Hey, You Never Know” campaign for the New York State Lottery.

According to David, “Times have changed. Advertising used to give people something to buy, now it needs to give them something to believe in.”

“The Powerball launch gives the California Lottery an opportunity to shift the brand conversation from desperation to inspiration. We’re not just trying to sell Powerball tickets, we’re trying to inspire a movement — one that encourages people to believe in infinite possibilities and change the world around them. This platform will also allow us to talk about the positive impact the proceeds have on the school system in much more credible and authentic way.”

“Because when you Believe in Something Bigger, anything is possible. Anything.”

%d bloggers like this: