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Eager to build on our Emmy award-winning work for CNN’s The Sixties, The Seventies and The Eighties, we dove into the not-so-distant past to rediscover a decade of major transformation. “Left to our own devices” became our mantra—at once referring to the technology boom that gave us iPods and Sidekicks along with the social upheaval brought about by events like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Wall Street crash.

We kicked off the campaign with a tease spot to announce the return of that old brick-of-a-phone you almost forgot about after all these years.

A lot happened in ten years. Tracing the evolution of mobile technology, gaming devices, voting machines and HDTV, we set out to bring you back to the ‘Noughts by framing archival footage in the myriad screens the decade produced.

To create our launch spot, key art and episodic toolkits, we dug up our old devices and captured them for real to get an authentic sense of all the details in those Zunes and Nokias…

The 2000s series features episodes on a variety of topics ranging from war and financial collapse to television and music. We shot a variety of environments to serve as textural backplates for type that CNN could customize.

We meticulously composed detailed still lifes to frame iconic people and objects from the time. We referenced digital cameras, the first iPod, flip phones and even Obama’s famed blackberry. The campaign appeared in print and on billboards, digital signage, bench backs and even elevator fronts.

Our key art designs translated seamlessly into a digital campaign with the flexibility to frame interactive video within our devices.

Our campaign extended into the original series opens that appear before each episode. Here, we playfully nod to the pain of buffering and the struggle to stay connected in a world of uncooperative connection speeds.

Our teases and promos were met with excitement across social media, helping The 2000s premiere at #1 in cable news among 18-54-year-olds.



Hungry for more 2000s-era madness? Check out this playlist we created while researching our campaign.

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