Nickelodeon Showcases Silly Tricks

The Martin Agency’s first cable TV push for Nickelodeon stars a band of middle school cutups doing goofy tricks “because they can.”

The Richmond, Va., shop recently launched a handful of variously timed spots that celebrate kids performing the stunts — the ones they usually do when parents are not around.

The tricks include eyelid inversions, syncopated farts and facial contortions. Some performances were combined thematically and will air as 60-second spots. A girl who walks on the knuckles of her feet, and a boy who feeds a string of dental floss up one nostril and out the other will play as single ads. “The spots are as long as the trick takes to perform,” said Martin creative director Rob Schapiro. “We’re not editing for standard times.”

The campaign, created on a project basis, comprises 13 spots in all. The tagline: “Because we can.” The ads will run on the New York-based Nickelodeon network through September.

“We wanted to take the things that kids do to amuse their friends in the cafeteria and put them on a pedestal for the whole world to see,” said Martin art director Kevin Ragland. “Kids perform these talents because they can.”

“We wanted a campaign where the spots were content, not ads,” Schapiro added.

Director Rohitash Rao of Moxie Media in Los Angeles used one camera on the kids and another for their reaction shots. “We casted from groups of real kids and some professionals,” Schapiro said, “but we didn’t use any of the pros.”

Prior work for Nickelodeon, by Kidvertisers in New York, employed the theme, “Nickelodeon Nation,” and featured kids singing and playing.