HBO is promoting the second season of “Big Love“, a series featuring a man with three wives, in a set of television advertisements for fictional products. (See the print advertisements from the campaign at Duncan’s Print).
Eau De Polygamie
Eau de Polygamie is a fragrance with the power to “Set yourself apart from his other wives”. Three wives compete for attention at the washing line…
Polygarol is an erectile dysfunction drug, ideal for the man who has a lot to live up to. Watch for the symbolism embodied in the woman’s bananas, man’s rake, the three tires, and the lawn irrigation system.
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
The Big Love campaign was developed at Creature, Seattle, by creative directors Matt Peterson and Jim Haven, art director Miranda Gerlock, copywriter Danielle Trivisonno, print producer Amy Swanson, broadcast producer Jenn Pennington, account director Steve Hawley, account managers Allison Schuchart and Beth Randolph.
Members of the Creature creative team give their perspective on the campaign…
“The beauty of Big Love lies is its ability to envelope the audience and in some mysterious way allows them to relate to characters and a lifestyle they normally would not. Viewers can watch this show about a man with multiple wives and actually feel like it’s normal for them. It’s only afterwards that an uncomfortable feeling creeps up on them, causing them to question their own perspective. “Why is this so funny?” “Why am I relating to and rooting for this family so much?”
In order to do justice to these complex themes when promoting the show’s second season HBO knew they had to make a departure from traditional “tune-in” marketing that typically relies on cast imagery and show footage to do the heavy lifting. The strategy behind the “It’s a polygamists world” campaign was to recreate that uncomfortable feeling in the marketing itself and essentially take the audience through the same process they go through when watching the show.
The work is meant to draw the audience into something that appears normal on the surface, but inevitably lead them through the emotions that accompany the uncomfortable realization that what they’re seeing, reading, watching is actually not normal at all.
Creature’s goal in executing of the campaign was to extend the feeling you get while watching the show beyond Monday nights at 9pm and into the rest of our audience’s daily lives. Ironically, it was using traditional media spaces to target a very non-traditional target audience that enabled the campaign to turn expected messages into something that could elicit that unique uncomfortable feeling. Simply put, the success of the campaign relied as much on where the work was placed as it did on what the work looked like or said. The added levity of being misled by the campaign’s expected packaging makes the work even more interesting, effective and similar to the actual show.
Filming was directed by The Goetz Brothers (Kevin and Michael) via The Joneses, Santa Monica, with director of photography John Toll, executive producer Mel Gragido. The Joneses hosts Polygarol in quicktime format.
Editing was done by David Trachtenberg at Jigsaw Editorial, Los Angeles, with producer Sybil McCarthy-Hadfield.