LOS ANGELES Breaking nationally this week, a television and online campaign by independent Ignited Minds relies on real people, in real relationships, to promote Logitech's new QuickCam Web camera.
"A lot of people think of Webcams only in a business context," said Mike Wolfsohn, vice president-creative director at the Marina del Rey, Calif., agency. The QuickCam campaign, however, demonstrates the ways Web-camera technology can enhance personal lives as well, he said.
Wolfsohn—who worked on the effort with a creative team including copywriter Jason Carter, art director Tim Washburn and reality-TV director Adam Reed—said Ignited Minds began with the "conscious decision" not to fall back on traditional scripted-and-acted commercials.
Instead, he said the agency looked to cast pairs of people with existing, real-life relationships. At the shoot, Webcam-equipped computers were set up for each duo, who were provided only with basic conversation-stimulating suggestions and props.
"They weren't delivering lines, so there were great natural reactions," Wolfsohn recalled. As each duo acted out scenes "in their own words, in their own way," he said, ensuing interactions displayed how QuickCams "bring people closer together" and offer "a better form of communication than you could have through IM, e-mail or telephone."
After sorting through "some stuff that obviously wasn't appropriate . . . but hysterical," Wolfsohn said, the shop settled on three final executions. Each 30-second spot begins with the Logitech logo against a white background; corresponding audio sounds like a typical phone conversation. The logo is then replaced with text that reads, "Make a better connection," then cuts to reveal the conversations are actually taking place via Logitech QuickCam.
Because young parents were a target demographic, one spot features a dad and Goldilocks-cute daughter playing and hugging as mom blows kisses over the WebCam. But Ignited Minds also wanted "different types" of consumers to consider less obvious camera applications, Wolfsohn said: music lessons, repair assistance and cooking instruction, for example.
To address those potential buyers, one spot begins with audio of a young couple discussing yoga. The subsequent visual depicts the female looking into a QuickCam, only to see her boyfriend strike a clearly non-yoga pose. Another execution starts as a young man tells his father he's a new grandpa. When the commercial cuts from the "better connection" card, viewers see the so-called grandchild: a wrinkly faced, chubby puppy.
The spots run nationally through December on cable networks including HGTV, CNN, TLC, Sci-Fi, USA, Food Network and FineLiving, the agency said. They are also scheduled to appear on United and American airlines domestic flights.
A complementary online component includes interactive banner ads on CNN.com, Marthastewart.com, weather.com. Fortune.com, Oprah.com and iVillage.com.
Ignited Minds called the QuickCam ad spend "modest," declining to be specific. In 2004, Logitech spent $500,000 on its prior generation Webcam, per TNS Media Intelligence, a part of its $8.3 million overall ad budget.