Ad of the Day: Charter Will Help You Cook a Live Octopus, Unless You’re a Big Softy

Saatchi highlights moments that call for quick browsing

Who needs Shark Week? An octopus steals the show in Charter Communications' latest campaign touting its Spectrum fiber-optic network.

In the most memorable of three new spots from Saatchi & Saatchi N.Y., a young couple, inspired by a Travel Channel cooking segment, venture to Chinatown and bring home a cephalopod. As you might imagine, things don't exactly go according to plan when they try the dish at home. 

"It's funny how seeing a clearer picture can lead you to see the bigger one," the voiceover says, closing with the campaign's overall "Where will it take you?" themeline.

The visuals are memorable, though a bit unclear in how this is all selling high-speed Internet, since basic Web browsing seems to do the trick. Still, the Octopus spot highlights the urgency that can come about when you need to learn something new without a second to spare. 

Charter poses the same question of "Where will it take you?" in two additional ads that show, respectively, a father and son building an elaborate working volcano for a science fair (what could possibly go wrong?), and a distraught dad who can't get his newborn to stop crying (because we've never seen that scenario before).

Ben Saunders' slick, naturalistic direction gives the humor an unforced, understated feel, and the spots, all charming in their way, help Charter convincingly convey the real-world impact its service can deliver.

The octopus, however, is the campaign's break-out star, and the sight of the beast clinging to the husband's fingers with its tentacles (as he prepares to drop the creature into a pot of boiling water) is genuinely affecting. Guess I'm just a sucker for the sentimental stuff.


Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Management Director:  L Parker Barnum
Account Supervisor:  Kathryn Neugold
Assistant Account Executive:  Ted Walker
Chief Creative Officer Jay Benjamin
Executive Creative Directors: Justin Ebert and Anthony DeCarolis       
Associate Creative Director:  Mark Potoka
Copywriter: Ross Wolinsky
Chief Production Officer:  Tanya LeSieur
Director of Content Production:  John Doris
Executive Producer:  Diane Burton
Music Producer:  Christine Hunt

Production Company: Exit Films
Director:  Ben Saunders
Executive Producer:  Katrina Latour
Director of Photography: Ryley Brown

Tribu International /Uruguay
Line Producer: Warren Keuning
Head of Production:  Eduardo Ruggieri

Editing Company: No6
Editor:   Jason Macdonald
Executive Producer:  Deborah Sullivan                     
Producer:  Malia Rose

Music Production: Human
Producer:  James Wells
Original Music: Human