CNN recently tapped New York-based entertainment branding agency Loyalkaspar to create a multi-platform marketing campaign for The Sixties: The British Invasion, a one-hour special about The Beatles’ historic U.S. arrival on Feb. 9, 1964, to perform live on the The Ed Sullivan Show. Their success was quickly followed by other British bands hoping to conquer the hearts of American teens, including The Animals, The Kinks, The Hollies, The Dave Clarke 5, The Who and The Rolling Stones.
Led by creative director Anna Minkkinen, Loyalkaspar worked closely with CNN to create a series of promos and teasers, as well as digital and print collateral for The British Invasion episode. The agency also produced a teaser for the full 10-part 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,” said 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 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,” said Minkkinen.
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 being widely televised,” says Minkkinen. “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.”
Loyalkaspar’s debut teaser (:15) depicts The Beatles’ frenzied 1964 arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. The spot captures the event without any shots or music of the Fab Four. Instead, Loyalkaspar focused on the hysteria of the band’s welcoming fans.
“The emotion that emanates from those kids seeing The Beatles for the first time is just amazing,” explained Minkkinen. “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.”
Loyalkaspar also produced the “Reviews” spot, which debuted during The Grammys. The spot juxtaposes a series of detracting quotes about The Beatles with footage of their arrival, essentially throwing out the old guard sentiment, while highlighting how audiences today revere The Beatles as an institution.
Finally, for The Sixties series debut teaser, the company placed surreal TVs (broadcasting historical news moments) in chaotic environments as a representation of TV’s role in the decade.
“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,” concludes Minkkinen.