CHICAGO Campbell Mithun creatives spent seven months negotiating with studios, talent and actors' estates to come up with the latest 30-second TV spot for longtime client Andersen Windows.
"We wanted to show the American public how endearing the home is," said John Borchardt, the agency's executive producer.
The spot, which celebrates the Bayport, Minn., company's 100th anniversary, shows characters from The Honeymooners, The Munsters, The Flintstones and I Love Lucy entering their houses and proclaiming, "I'm home." The effort is meant to reinforce the company's "Long live the home" tagline, which was introduced last year.
"Other than the classic image from I Love Lucy of Desi coming in the door, we didn't start out with specific shows or, even more important, episodes in mind," Borchardt said. "We knew there had to be great footage out there but, in decades of television, we just had to start looking."
The Minneapolis agency worked with Historic Films in New York to screen hundreds of hours of classic sitcoms to find the right clips. "We did a little looking ourselves and realized we were out of our league simply because we didn't have access to everything," Borchardt said.
Historic Films came back with a reel of 60-70 clips, though not all of them contained the key words, "I'm home." From there, the agency whittled the list down and began negotiating with studios and actors' estates.
Not all were receptive to the idea, Borchardt said. The agency wanted to feature a clip of Robert Young from Father Knows Best, but after negotiating the rights with the studio, the actor's estate vetoed the use, saying the family had arranged not to use his likeness in advertising, Borchardt said.
"There was two sides to every [clip] we wanted to use," he said.
Or more. The agency also ran into problems with current TV shows. Some networks balked at releasing clips because the agency could not guarantee that they would not air on competitors' stations, Borchardt said. He noted, however, that the end result gives the spot a nostalgic feel appropriate to the company's 100th anniversary celebration.
"The shows that we ended up with bring a smile to everyone's face," he said. "There's something to be said about being nostalgic."
The TV spot is set to break on March 3 on cable and syndication. Andersen is expected to spend between $15-20 million on advertising this year, according to sources. The company spent nearly $30 million on measured media through the first 11 months of 2002, according to CMR.