Responses by Shane Hutton, executive creative director, Arcana Academy
Background: The purpose of the project is to inform and remind people to use primer before they paint to get the best results. Nowadays, a lot of people turn to the web for tips and advice on home improvement projects. Some of our audiences are comprised of Xennials—the oldest subset of Millennials—who are now buying their first homes and starting families. For a lot of them, this is all new. They are open to building relationships with brands and they are looking for inspiration and information about home improvement. We want to be part of that conversation.
Reasoning: In finding a solution, we focused on how renovated rooms make you feel. For us, that’s just much more powerful than all of the usual imagery you see in the category.
Challenges: Breaking the pattern of safe behavior in this segment and not showing the people painting. That said, whenever you find yourselves asking, “Can we do this?,” you’re probably starting a legitimately new dialogue with the work. We made sure the how-to and product information content was part of the communications mix; we just didn’t lead with that conversation.
Favorite details: We’re happy that the thirty-second spot creates an emotional response. And we are happy with the consistency of the look and feel across channels. That’s important when you have smaller budgets because it makes the campaign look larger than it really is. Visual influences: We took the most interesting part of any home improvement show—the reveal of the new space—and we put higher production values on it. It sounds lofty, but visually, we were influenced by Terrence Malik’s film The Tree of Life.
Specific demands: Setting a goal of making an emotional connection with people about primer is a difficult challenge. It’s always a balance between what people need to know and what people want to see.
Anything new: We learned that it really does take great clients to make great work. When you are trying to push an unconventional idea like this through a giant corporation, it takes dedicated clients willing to have the hard conversations internally to make it happen. At that point, your job as an agency is to do anything you can to help them on that journey.
Alternative approach: The only thing we would do differently is to spend more money on media. It’s a nice campaign. We’d love for as many people to see it as possible.