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Join the British Invasion: The Sixties on CNN

February 16, 2014

CNN tapped us to create a multi-platform marketing campaign for “The Sixties: The British Invasion,” a one-hour TV special about the landmark cultural event that ignited when The Beatles made their historic US arrival on February 9, 1964 to perform live on the The Ed Sullivan Show — to the tune of a record-setting 73 million TV viewers. Co-executive produced by Tom Hanks, the documentary premiered on CNN/U.S. on January 30, 2014 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the musical revolution.

Led by Creative Director Anna Minkkinen, we worked closely with CNN to create a series of promos and teasers, as well as digital and print collateral for “The British Invasion” episode. We also produced a teaser for the full 10-part episode CNN Original Series “The Sixties” coming in May 2014.

“Loyalkaspar’s ideas and execution of The British Invasion campaign set the tone for what’s in store for the larger campaign to promote The Sixties original series” says Whit Friese, vice president, on-air promotions at CNN. “From the outset, our lines of thinking were perfectly in tune with one another. loyalkaspar was not only exceptionally perceptive to the myriad themes our series explores, but knew how to conceptualize them in a captivating way. The ‘60s were a watershed decade in America, marked by major shifts in politics, media and pop culture. To conceptually tie these worlds together cohesively is what great creative is all about.”

“loyalkaspar was not only exceptionally perceptive to the myriad themes our series explores, but knew how to conceptualize them in a captivating way.”

“The CNN brand is elegant and smart, and we wanted to stay true to the integrity of their brand as a news organization, while giving them an entertainment edge that felt exciting as they continue developing their original programming brand overall,” remarks Anna.

The entry point of television in the American home is the consistent visual theme that ties the campaign together. It also served as a trope for connecting the special episode to the upcoming series as a whole.

“The ‘60s marked the first time major political and cultural events were televised,” says Anna. “As Americans began tuning into national events together, news segments even doubled in length. Considering CNN’s nature and their connection to this historical cultural shift, the TV theme was fitting.”

While bands such as The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Who were among the many British bands that were deeply associated with the cultural phenomenon, the Fab Four are attributed to igniting it. Our debut teaser aptly coincides with the band’s frenzied arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in 1964. The spot cleverly captures the date without any shots or music of The Beatles. Instead, we played on the contextual irony of the word “invasion” by focusing on the hysteria of band’s welcoming fans.

“The emotion that emanates from those kids seeing The Beatles for the first time is just amazing,” continues Anna. “You feel this aura of repressed kids who were suddenly set free, just screaming and losing their minds. We loved the idea – and had access to that footage – because it speaks to the impact of their arrival. It truly felt like a fun way to tease that The Beatles are coming.”

For the banner takeovers on CNN and US News & World Report, loyalkaspar played on the double meaning of the word “invasion,” using a hybrid of emergency TV broadcast language, as well as British flag-inspired typography and visuals. This design approach also provided a fun trope for the skins on Pandora.

CNNWebTakeoverFinally, for the debut teaser for the full “The Sixties” series, loyalkaspar placed surreal TVs in chaotic environments as a representation of key news broadcast moments to reference TV’s role in the decade. It also conveys the visual experience the new series will offer, including never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage of newsrooms during events such as JFK’s assassination.

“CNN, being true creative partners who were committed to the show’s vision, embraced so many of our ideas and did everything within their reins to get what we needed.”

“What’s interesting about this campaign is all of the spots are tonally different, but they share thematic tie-ins, which we customized to each graphic execution and platform,” concludes Anna. “The underlying challenge was that we couldn’t necessarily use just any Beatles audio track or clip. But CNN, being true creative partners who were committed to the show’s vision, embraced so many of our ideas and did everything within their reins to get what we needed.”

See the full case study here.

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