Saatchi’s ‘Don’t Blink’ Campaign Brings San Jose Daily Up To Speed

A world of things can happen in the blink of an eye. That’s the message from Saatchi & Saatchi in its first campaign for the San Jose Mercury News newspaper, using the theme “Don’t blink.”
The campaign for the San Jose, Calif., paper broke last week on local TV stations in California’s Silicon Valley. Saatchi is rolling out three 30-second TV spots, as well as radio, outdoor and newspaper executions. The effort will run through the end of the year.
The new advertising is the daily’s first in many months. McCann-Erickson’s San Francisco office resigned the estimated $1-2 million account in September after handling it for over two decades. The agency’s last campaign for the newspaper used the theme, “The newspaper of Silicon Valley.” Saatchi won the business following a review that included several Bay Area shops.
“In our initial focus groups, we found that residents of Silicon Valley feel like they’re living in a part of the world that’s bright, exciting and ever-changing,” said Julie Bauer, general manager of Saatchi’s San Francisco office, about the new theme. “However, they didn’t feel that way about the local journal of their community.”
The TV spots’ frenetic pace is intended to mirror how rapidly information travels and events happen. One execution features rapidly multiplying red pinpoints on a blank map, with a voiceover saying, “Someone is making money … thinking … burning a bridge … having a baby,” and so on.
The agency’s text-heavy print and outdoor work continues the same theme. One execution begins with the phrase, “Today someone will …” in bright red letters. The ad continues with a long, unpunctuated string of verbs, including “coddle heal regroup weep invest pretend.”
With campaigns such as this one, Saatchi’s San Francisco office is moving forward with its expressed desire to expand beyond its technology-oriented clients such as Hewlett-Packard, added Bauer.