Once upon a time, there were three bears who lived in a house deep in the sun-dappled woods.
We’re talking about Matt, Joel and Phil. You’ll notice pretty much immediately that they’re not axially bears—well, not in the ursine sense They’re burly, hirsute gay men—slang term: bears—starring in agency BMB’s cheekily unconventional content play for Britain’s Rowse Honey.
In the most famous version of the classic fairytale, a wee lass named Goldilocks wanders into the home of a papa, mama and baby bear, sampling each one’s bowl of porridge to see which suits her taste.
BMB’s reimagines the story as a short-form online cooking show, and Goldilocks is nowhere in sight. Only papa bears live in this particular cottage. But piping-hot porridge—topped with Rowse Honey, of course—still has a role to play, as you’ll see in the trailer below:
Whoa, those were grrr-oovy grizzly-clawed slippers, right?
BMB creative chief Jules Chalkley says the strategy behind the campaign is simple—to “encourage more people to put more honey on porridge.”
“We wanted to find the ultimate advocates for porridge and honey,” Chalkley says. Who better, the team decided, than the Three Bears, “the original porridge connoisseurs,” presented in a modern, sharable platform designed to “tap into the nation’s deep love for cookery shows,” he says.
The first of three installments runs slightly less than two minutes. Along with steaming porridge to warm you up on a cold winter’s day, the guys show off their “hot pants” (literally, underwear heating on the stove) and share the love with a bear hug (what else?).
“We knew that casting would make or break the campaign,” Chalkley says. “It was important to find the characters that would make it feel authentic and genuine, who we could trust to accurately represent the gay bear community. Their chemistry was absolutely everything. We also wanted to find people with a genuine passion for food, the great outdoors and fitness. Each episode, while entertaining, needed to be informative and useful.”
It was also essential “to start from a position of absolute respect,” he says. “We cast and wrote very carefully, taking advice from people within the community, and encouraged the cast to co-write the scripts and be their genuine selves. Ultimately this is a funny and charming breakfast show for everyone and made with love and fun.”
Matthew Lister, one of the campaign’s shaggy stars, adds, “Recently, LGBT people have appeared at the forefront of several advertising campaigns. That said, it seems certain groups have been underrepresented in the media, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to feature in The Three Bears. The filming process reminded me a bit of my experience of the bear community. We arrived on the first day not knowing each other, but everyone was easygoing and welcoming. Very quickly the banter and camaraderie between us all developed, and by the end we all felt like great mates.”
Indeed, the relaxed, jokey interplay among the guys should leave viewers hungry for more. We’d say they got the creative recipe just right.
“Filming was hilarious,” Chalkley says. “The three guys clicked immediately and had this instant chemistry. Even when the camera wasn’t rolling we were all in hysterics. Unfortunately, most of it we couldn’t use, but we’ll leave that to your imagination.”
Client: Rowse Honey
Chief Creative Officer: Jules Chalkley
Creative Director: Matt Pam & Simon Hipwell
Art Director: Jenny Piggott
Copywriter: Harry Boothman
Business Director: Richard Wilcock
Account Director: Ben Clark
Agency Producer: Elin Tiberg
Executive Digital Director: Ben Lunt
Digital Producer: Melanie Lowings
Photographer: Clare Lewington
Director/ Production Co: Chris Goulder / Bare Films
Producer: Jessica Turner / Tim Marshall
Editor: Chris Roebuck
Post Production: Yoomin Lee and Andy Brown @ Jogger
Sound Design: Tom Heddy @ Wave
Typographer: Sam Kallen
DoP: Chris Clarke