Stick your tongue in a socket. Pour gas on your head while smoking a cigar. Hold a grenade between your lips and pull the pin. Put a milk bone between your teeth in front of a snarling
German shepherd. These are some of the outrageous images Robaire & Hogshead is using to launch The Patent & License Exchange in a new print campaign bowing in September magazines.
Founded in 1999, the Pasadena, Calif.-based advertiser, operating under the Web name pl-x.com, bills itself as the world's safest marketplace for intellectual property.
The site connects buyers and sellers of intellectual property in a risk-adverse environment in which buyers can reassure themselves, for example, that a property they want to license is proprietary.
Pondering the brief, Sally Hogshead and Jean Robaire, co-creative directors of the 2-year-old Venice, Calif., creative resource, realized that what the client needed to communicate most was the concept of minimizing or eliminating the risks involved in licensing intellectual property.
"There's a lot of skepticism about this kind of marketplace because it's so new," said Hogshead. "We looked at risk as the primary thing to overcome in the advertising."
"There were many clichEs we could have gone to [to communicate risk]," added Robaire. "We really had to find ways to communicate the idea that hadn't been done before."
Enlisting the help of Singapore photographer John Clang, the duo created a series of six ads that feature the aforementioned images, accompanied by wry musings on the campaign's theme.
The gas-pouring smoker, for instance, is shown in an ad that carries the line, "Pardon the interruption, but could we take a moment to review your risks?"
The multimillion dollar effort will run in The Wall Street Journal as well as other major national magazines. K