Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Work and The Work

I've been pretty much ignoring this blog save a few running for charity and trying to start a non-profit posts.

What a good guy!

But truth is, most of my time has been spent trying to get you people (especially the sports fans among ya) to feel a deeper, stronger connection to ESPN. I do this primarily, as many of you know, by developing interesting strategies for their variety of properties. These ideas serve as platforms for our creative work.

That's what we call what you call "ads" here at W+K, the "work." I wanted to use this post not only to make an excuse about being super busy with work but also to show you the most recent work I have been a part of bringing to life (in my own small way).

When most sports fans think of ESPN's advertising, they think "those SportsCenter commercials." And that's a good thing because most of them 'em. I do too (even if they don't require a "planner" and brief). When we set out to announce the start of SportsCenter going live in the morning, however, some strategic thinking was essential. Planning's role (my role) was as much about tonal approach as it was about message. The news itself was not wildly important news to sports fans nor would it have a huge impact on the show, so we had to be honest, transparent even, and make the campaign the news/entertainment. The tagline (as it often does) encapsulated our strategy "More work for us. More better for you." You seen it (and my handwriting) here already.

In addition, I am particularly jazzed (yeah, I said it) about latest work we did right after the Olympics. Our clients smartly wanted to be proactive about making a statement that celebrated this global event (which of course ran on NBC, not ESPN). We framed the challenge to figure out a way to be true to our personality without being self-serving. We turned the work around within a week and the response to our ad in the Sunday New York Times has been great.

Also very recently, we launched our campaign for Monday Night Football on ESPN. The idea is simple, Monday Night Football helps you get through Monday. Was this a planning breakthrough? Hells no. But it's the truth, and in my career as a planner, I've found some of the campaigns I'm most proud of working on have started with identifying a clear truth like Mondays suck or You need a vacation (Bahamavention). Back to the MNF campaign, I'm really happy with how it turned out...and only partly because MC Hammer is in one TV spot. (Whose beeper keep beepin' and beepin'!?) Check out Creativity's nice write-up.

Other than that, I've been working to get our office's blog in full swing, updating my Tumblr, and of course wishing I was responsible for the brief that led to this work.

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