CL Plays Gibson Guitars in Ads

Carmichael Lynch positions Gibson as the true guitar player’s instrument in its first work for the company, which includes Gibson’s first foray into TV.

“It’s not the poseur guitar,” said Brian Kroening, associate creative director for the Minneapolis agency. “Gibson is the one imitated by all the other brands.”

The campaign includes the first TV work for the Nashville, Tenn., company. The black-and-white spot focuses on hands playing a guitar solo while onscreen text reads, “Lyrics. Just a waste of time between solos.”

“The experience of guitar playing is something you want to show, and TV is the medium in which to do that,” Kroening said.

In part to save money, Kroening is also the featured player in the television spot. “Being the target audience, it’s really easy to be the creative director,” he said.

The campaign, which also includes print, in-store posters and outdoor, is tagged “Pure,” to emphasize Gibson’s stature among guitar players, Kroening said. “‘Pure’ really captures what Gibson is,” he said.

The print work slated for guitar enthusiast publications as well as mainstream weekly news and business magazines in February continues the theme set in the TV spot, with headlines like “Can you get rich and famous playing a Gibson? How do you define rich and famous?”

Though the work currently only showcases Gibson’s electric guitars, the “Pure” line will ex-tend to the company’s acoustic guitars and amplifiers, Kroening said.

In what Kroening termed a “high-visibility, high-impact” media buy, the television spot will be shown on ESPN and ESPN2 in New York and Los Angeles. Outdoor is slated for billboards in Times Square and on Sunset Boulevard.

Last month, St. Louis shop Core unveiled its first work for Gibson’s lower-priced Epiphone brand. The shop won the Epiphone account shortly after CL was awarded Gibson USA’s $2-3 million account in August.

The split is intended to give the two brands separate identities, Kroening said.