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MOcean Helps Usher in The Simpsons on FXX

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LR-SimpsonsEntertainment creative agency mOcean recently contributed to the launch campaign for the arrival of The Simpsons on FXX, which kicked off on Aug. 21 with a 12-day marathon of the show’s complete 25-year catalog. MOcean was integral to the post process, editorial and finishing of the humorous “Kitchen Sink” spot announcing FXX’s acquisition of syndication rights for the animated series. In addition, the company worked along with the FXX team to conceive and produce broadcast and online promos for the massive campaign.

The company’s other creative includes choral homages to Danny Elfman‘s iconic main title theme and viral mash-ups featuring Homer and Ned Flanders immersed in Simpsons-inspired memes.

“This was by far the biggest, most exciting project with the FX family yet,” said mOcean SVP creative director Greg Harrison, who has worked extensively with FX Networks, including the creation of branding spots for the launch of FXX, as well as on-air promotions for a number of their original shows. “The inherent challenge was doing justice to one of the funniest, most beloved TV franchises in history, not to mention the legacy of its creators Matt Groening and James L. Brooks.”

Echoing the spirit of The Simpsons was just one part of the marketing equation. The big-picture strategy was to filter the show through the FXX brand, which mOcean had previously contributed to with the “It’s Like” network launch campaign.

“FXX has its own comedic sensibility, and once we gained traction making that tonal connection with the show, our strategy became intuitive,” Harrison explained. “The choir spots are a great example of this. Inflecting the network brand of humor into the classic Simpsons intro, we could simultaneously honor the show.”

Comedic timing was crucial to the choir spots, “Keith” and “Incomplete,” which mOcean refined every step of the way, from concepting and scripting to music direction and editorial. FX’s internal graphics team produced the final animations.

Two more promos were derived from viral treatments that the company conceived during the pitch process. The concepts were so well-received that FXX commissioned them for broadcast. MOcean licensed YouTube‘s most popular “fail” videos for one of the promos, replacing each crashing head with Homer’s animated head screeching “D’Oh!” at the moment of impact. Similarly, “Deedly” (set to the Toontastic techno track, “Diddley Dee”) is a montage of ridiculous YouTube dancers, whose heads are replaced with Ned Flanders. The company handled writing, editorial, art direction, music supervision, sound design and animation for both spots.

“The viral spots are a natural extension of FXX’s user-generated brand aesthetic merged with the sensibilities of The Simpsons,” said Harrison. “Tons of credit has to go to both the FX and FXX teams for what we brought to this campaign. Their cinematic, passionate approach to marketing is what empowers us to do our best work with them.”

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