It doesn't get much more wholesome than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and a unicorn. So, for a squeaky-clean Super Bowl, it's fitting that Goodby, Silverstein & Partners chose those three characters to star in the first game spot for Emerald Nuts, a division of Stockton, Calif.-based Diamond of California. "We love our G-rated audience," says Sandra McBride, vp of marketing for Diamond.
The 30-second spot, in development since October, is a departure from last year's "EN" campaign from Goodby—15-second vignettes that showed "egomaniacal Normans," "eerie namecallers," "earmuffed negotiators" and others craving the nuts. Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon of Omaha Pictures, the new spot features a father who tells his daughter that unicorns and other beloved icons like the Easter Bunny will disappear forever if she eats the nuts. A unicorn appears in the living room to dispel the lie, as do Santa and the Easter Bunny.
The concept, developed by creative director Jeff Goodby, art director Steve Yee and copywriter Dan Rollman, was one of several batted around, some of which may be used in the future, says McBride. A casualty of testing, however, was a fourth character: a leprechaun. "We loved the leprechaun," says McBride. "But we felt the audience could respond to three characters." EmeraldNuts.com will include a link to AngryLeprechaun.com, where the character will complain about how hard it is to get a break in Hollywood. The link will become live as soon as the spot airs.
The ad is not as wacky as the "EN" work. "It's warm and humorous instead of rock 'em, sock 'em," McBride says. "We wanted to stand out from that level of intensity. It's like in a noisy room—a hush will demand your attention." Adds Goodby account director Tanin Blumberg: "We have a happy ending. It is still offbeat, irreverent and quirky."