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The Eighties


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Creating our award-winning campaigns for CNN’s acclaimed Original Series THE SIXTIES and THE SEVENTIES was quite a ride, so we were more than excited to travel back to THE EIGHTIES.

We knew this one was going to be BIG.

For our SIXTIES campaign, televisions transformed our view of the world. With VCRs and joysticks, THE EIGHTIES allowed us to take control. Our campaign plays off this new era of TV, to be recorded, rewound and fast-forwarded.

Whoever coined the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ obviously missed the ’80s! Budgets were big; shoulder pads were huge. After years of conflict and decline, America was ready to amp it up.

The campaign took off with an on-air tease, followed by a launch spot, OOH print across NY and LA, web takeovers and on-air episodic promos. As we approached the premiere, we went BIG with a multi-day experiential event at Grand Central Terminal.

Presented as a mashup of iconic moments playing off a VHS tape, our long-lead tease was designed to reignite your buried ’80s memories.

Our launch spot takes the viewer on a journey through the biggest moments and personalities of the decade.

We used tape cases, boomboxes and VCRs as elements to brand episodic promos, digital banners and website takeovers.

The ’80s were fertile ground for animated logos: they emerged from the static on a VHS rental and were on repeat on new cable channels. For this custom CNN Original Series open, we created an homage to the decade: ambitiously flashy in its rainbowtastic repetitions yet charmingly primitive by today’s standards.

We combined big personality with big technology by placing the likes of Reagan and Madonna on VHS tapes across New York and LA.

What better way to mark the return of the decade than by placing a giant boombox in the middle of Grand Central Terminal? Building up excitement for the premiere, we replayed the decade with a live DJ, free classic arcade games and dancers decked out in a spectrum of ’80s styles.

Our once-in-a-lifetime event unified varied elements of our campaign, integrating banners and on-air promos seamlessly into the space, while our brand ambassadors danced away, dressed as b-boys, valley girls and aerobicizers.

With a foot traffic count in Grand Central Terminal of 400,000 people over the course of two days, this event delivered on both casual and highly engaged impressions. By offering our visitors a special print of their photos tagged with #EIGHTIESCNN, we translated real life engagement to an active online social conversation.

The end result? In addition to the millions of impressions made online through hashtagged media, THE EIGHTIES premiere episode was a huge ratings success and the second most-watched original series debut in CNN’s history. Beyond the numbers, we surrounded CNN’s THE EIGHTIES with emotion, positive energy, nostalgia and excitement; the happiness index for this event was off the charts!

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