Coinstar Banks On Publicis Seattle

SAN FRANCISCO Loose change comes to life in Publicis Seattle’s first work for Coinstar, which breaks today, the agency said.

With “Cash in. Go splurge” as the tagline, the “Inspired Coins” campaign encourages people to use Coinstar machines to exchange piled-up pocket change for paper money—then go out and spend it.

In the first television spot, “Shoe,” pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters crawl like ants through a house, finally assembling on the living room coffee table. The coins stack together and form an elegant, high-heeled shoe. “What could your change be?” a voiceover asks.

For the spot, more than a thousand coins were filmed using stop-motion animation, a first for the client.

“Coinstar literally invented the [change-to-bills] category, so our work needs to be equally innovative and ground-breaking,” said Bob Moore, president, executive creative director at Publicis Seattle, a Publicis Worldwide shop.

A second execution, “Headphones,” is aimed toward men and uses the same concept: If a bunch of loose change is converted to cash with the help of a Coinstar machine, that cash can be used to splurge on a special treat.

Both spots are scheduled to air for the next four weeks on cable networks including MTV, TLC, USA and the Sci-Fi Channel.

“We are very happy with the creative work and believe it will inspire people to cash in their jars of change sitting at home,” said Gretchen Marks, vice president of marketing for Bellevue, Wash.-based Coinstar.

The company estimates that about $99 in loose change can be collected in the average U.S. household.

“Most people underestimate the amount of change they have,” Marks said. “Once people use Coinstar and discover the real value of their change, they come back again and again.”

Founded in 1991, Coinstar operates self-service coin counting machines in retail locations such as supermarkets and drugstores. While the current ad push is limited to the United States, machines are also located in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Previous work for the client was done by Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. The most recent tagline was “You give us coins, we give you cash.” That campaign was more product-focused than the Publicis work, which aims to connect on a more positive level, Marks said.

Coinstar spent $8.1 million on advertising in 2003 and $5.1 million through September of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Publicis Seattle retained the Coinstar business in January.