Ellie Kemper Crashes Old Droga5 Ads in the Agency’s New Ads for Chase

Meta view of a world awash in sales pitches

Droga5's new work for Chase's Freedom Unlimited card is advertising about advertising. It stars Ellie Kemper, who amusingly points out how the world is inundated by commercials, billboards, product placement and more—but the upside to endless ads is that, thanks to Chase, you get 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on whatever they convince you to buy.

The self-referential campaign launches with the spot below, in which the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, as charming as ever, navigates this world swimming in sales pitches with typical good humor and self-deprecating comedy.

In a particularly meta touch, the campaign includes other spots in which Kemper comments wryly on old ads—ones, not coincidentally, that were also made by Droga5—beginning with a Quilted Northern spot that we wrote about last May starring a frog toilet-roll holder.

More spots are forthcoming with other brand partners, beyond Quilted Northern, that are also Droga5 clients. (Not that the average viewer will be aware of that connection.) 

The idea could be dismissed as navel-gazing, and there's certainly an element of that. But Kemper's involvement balances it out: The actress—who is suddenly a major ad star, following this and her extensive Buick work—makes the work more broadly appealing and keeps it from falling too far into solipsism.

"What I love about the Chase Freedom Unlimited campaign is that it's fun and unique," she said in a statement. "The tone of the campaign is funny and fresh, and I think we're bringing the new product to life in an interesting way. We had a blast making it."

The campaign was developed with media agency Zenith. "Having a creative idea that is dependent upon media placements is a dream for a media agency to sink its teeth into," says Eric Pisick, the Chase account lead there. "We had a blast coming up with new to market opportunities that brought this funny, lighthearted notion of the inundation of sales messages to life."

"With the insight that, as consumers, we are bombarded daily by thousands of selling messages on every conceivable media, we simply decided to immerse our message within and around them," says Duncan Marshall, creative partner at Droga5. "With the help of the delightful Ellie Kemper, as well as several enthusiastic brand partners, we played with the world of the sell to promote our own."

As part of the campaign, Chase is partnering with NBC's The Voice to create custom bumpers that reference upcoming ad breaks and remind viewers they can get 1.5 percent cash back on anything those ads are selling.

CREDITS
Client: JP Morgan Chase
Campaign: Chase Freedom Unlimited "Everything Unlimited"
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Creative Partner: Duncan Marshall
Creative Director: Casey Rand
Creative Director: Karen Short
Senior Copywriter: Pete Gosselin
Senior Art Director: Jay Hunt
Copywriter: Colin Lord
Art Director: Inna Kofman
Associate Design Director: Devin Croda
Junior Designer: Alex Lumain
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
Executive Producer: Carlin WilsonWebb
Group Integrated Production Manager: Topher Lorette
Associate Broadcast Producer: Jackie Omanoff
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Executive Interactive Producer: Thomas Longo
Interactive Media Producer: Madison Goldberg
Senior Social Producer: Chris Parke
Associate Social Producer: Kylie Loeffler
Head of Art Production: Cliff Lewis
Senior Art Producer: Bianca Escobar
Senior Print Producer: James Deprima
Senior Retoucher: Peter Gibson
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Colm Murphy
Strategy Director: Tom Haslow
Senior Strategist: Nick Maschmeyer
Senior Strategist: Ned Sonnenschein
Group Communications Strategy Director: Alan Smith
Senior Communications Strategist: Yan Wang
Communications Strategist: Parks Middleton
Executive Group Director: Agnes Fischer
Account Director: Megan Gokey
Account Supervisor: Caroline Engram
Account Manager: Taylor Holland
Associate Account Manager: Kelby Schmidt
Project Manager: Emma Tonetti
Client: JP Morgan Chase
Chief Marketing Officer: Kristin Lemkau
Chief Brand Officer: Susan Canavari
President of Chase Branded Cards: Pam Codispoti
General Manager, Chase Freedom: Naney Pandit
Executive Director, Card Brand & Advertising: Ryan MacDonald
VP, Card Brand & Advertising: Greg Stranz
Marketing Analyst, Card Brand & Advertising: Stephanie Byard
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Hank Perlman
Executive Producer/Managing Partner: Kevin Byrne
Executive Producer/Head of Sales: Dan Duffy
Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura
Executive Producer: Nancy Hacohen
Producer: Tom O'Malley
Production Supervisor: Lucy Sheridan
Editorial: PS260
Editor: JJ Lask
Editor: Ned Borgman
Senior Producer: Laura Patterson
Postproduction: The Mill
Executive Producer: Chris Kiser
Producer: Andrew Hamill
Lead Flame: Mike Smith
Animator Clemens: Den Exter
Music: Dutone
Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: Steve Rosen
Photography: Walter Schupfer Management
Photographer: Andrew Eccles