What’s a party without a baby elephant?
In the commercial below, a precocious pachyderm at a soiree unpacks a snoot full of cuteness as it sniffs out genuine KP Nuts. BMB London crafted the spot, which is the brand’s first TV commercial in nearly 25 years, and part of a broader campaign portraying its snacks as “The Nut Nut’s Nut.”
Nosey beast! And his name is Jimbo. Awww! (Those guests better watch where they step.)
So, an elephant selling nuts … that’s never been done before, ever. Hey, BMB, what’s the big (gray and wrinkly) idea?
“At one level, it’s a sophisticated gag about the ‘elephant in the room,’ in this case passing off inferior products as the real thing,” agency business director Jake Goodman tells AdFreak. “On another, thanks to a love for Disney’s Dumbo among other stories, it’s drawing on an existing cultural association between an elephant and great-tasting peanuts that is both straightforward and novel. Lastly, it could be a scene from a buddy movie between a guy and his elephant friend at a party. What’s not to love?”
Nut sales spike during the Q4 holiday season, so KP’s summer campaign is a somewhat unconventional strategy. “A big part of the marketing job is to get consumers thinking about our brand at a time of year they don’t, rather than re-enforce existing behavior,” Goodman explains.
Unlike Wonderful Pistachios’ cartoony, anthropomorphized elephant Ernie, voiced by John Cena, KP’s Jimbo comes across as fairly realistic.
“We needed him to be cute but fussy,” Goodman says. “A great deal of research was done into old documentaries—which, to our great surprise, had baby elephants wandering around houses—to get a feel for the movements he might make.”
Veteran commercial director Guy Manwaring, known for his humorous touch on behalf of big consumer brands, and production house Glassworks helped bring Jimbo to life.
The goal, says agency creative chief Jules Chalkley, was to “ensure the CGI elephant felt as much part of the story as possible. Getting moments of the physical world meeting the digital world right proved challenging. Scenes had to be shot a few ways to get all of the required data to link everything together seamlessly” in postproduction.
On set, “a man in a gimp suit on all fours” enthusiastically performed elephant moves for the CGI team to replace with Jimbo animation, Chalkley says.
Now that sounds like a party.