Ingalls’ Offbeat, Brand-Building Effort Tries To Create a Personality for the Newspaper BOSTON-The latest image campaign for The Boston Globe gets its inspiration from the Candid Camera television series and features unsuspecting pedestrians accosted by talking newspaper dispensers.
The effort seeks to establish a personality for New England’s largest newspaper, explained Steve Bautista, creative director of Boston-based Ingalls Advertising, which developed the campaign.
In the late 1980s, the client used celebrity Jay Leno in a series of well-remembered TV spots. “The [dispenser] works in much the same way as Jay Leno [did],” Bautista said. “Leno became the personality of the paper. [Now], the newspaper box is the personality of the brand.”
A trio of 30-second TV spots was edited from more than 30 hours of footage the agency shot at various Boston-area locales, including City Hall Plaza, the Prudential Center and Brookline Village, Bautista said.
A camera and speaker were set up inside the dispensers. Comedian Joe Smith, who provides the voice of the boxes, observed passers-by on monitors inside a nearby van. He worked from a script designed to communicate key points about the paper and give him enough latitude to ad-lib, Bautista said.
In one spot promoting the Globe’s sports section, a pedestrian pretends to be an offensive lineman for the New England Patriots. Another ad features a discussion on the newspaper’s arts coverage which inspires a young man to perform a dance routine.
“The strength of this campaign is that it brings The Boston Globe’s personality to life in an entertaining way,” said Mary Jane Patrone, the newspaper’s vice president of sales and marketing.
Selling the offbeat idea to client executives was not difficult because “[it] was easy to imagine,” Bautista said. “The only question was . . . how to portray all the information” they wanted to get across. “We think we did it,” he added.
The campaign retains the tagline, “Have you seen the Globe today?” because “there was a lot of equity in that line,” Bautista said.
The effort runs for six weeks and also includes radio spots and billboards. Media spending was not disclosed.