Kwikset, the keyless entry and re-keying company, unlocks the humor of home invasions in these amusing, mildly edgy tales of suburban paranoia to promote its SmartKey technology.
The ads, running exclusively on YouTube, posit a support group for people who can no longer invade the house of a woman named Amy because she has installed Kwikset locks. "I just can't move past it," a middle-aged music teacher despairs. "I've never laid my hands on a better piano." Others in therapy entered Amy's home uninvited to try on (and steal) her clothes, splash around in her hot tub and enjoy her home-theater system. Once, when Amy was away for a week, they threw a wild party at the house, and some dude secretly lived in the guest bathroom to avoid paying rent.
"It's easier to give an acquaintance a key than it is to ask for it back when the two of you lose touch," says Nick Lange, creative director of Nurture Digital, which created the campaign. "We're targeting homeowners who know their spare keys are in circulation, but who can't quite justify the hassle and expense of hiring a locksmith to change their lock."
While using the same fear-response mechanism that drives those disturbing commercials for home-safety systems and related security services, Kwikset suggests the threat in cheeky fashion instead of trying to scare the crap out of us. The comedy—directed in classic sitcom fashion by Shawn Wines—allows the viewer to evaluate the product's potential without feeling unduly manipulated. "We felt that humor was a way to make the message of these ads fresh," says Lange. "It's a fine line when your whole campaign is about breaking and entering."
Could some folks object to the campaign's tone (making light of serious crime), or its other un-PC elements, like an elderly neighbor who keeps showing up at Amy's because she's forgotten where she really lives?
"The fact that these pieces take risks that might rub some viewers the wrong way was a serious concern," says Lange. "When viewers look carefully, though, they'll see that the stereotypes being referenced here are ultimately turned on their heads. The older woman who sometimes forgets which house is hers is revealed to be a master lock-picker who knows exactly what she wants—her neighbor's hot tub."
"A lot of our favorite comedy pushes viewers a little outside their comfort zone," he adds, "and we felt that doing the same would make these ads most worth our audience's time."