Entertainment > Branded Entertainment

BARELY LEGAL PAWN

PMK*BNC, New York / AUDI / 2015

Awards:

Silver Cannes Lions
CampaignCampaign(opens in a new tab)
Supporting Content
Case Film

Overview

Credits

Overview

CampaignDescription

Branded video content is an effective way to generate awareness, but today’s U.S. consumer is especially discerning. Content that clearly panders runs the risk of losing views. And to get people to watch is only half the battle. Getting people to share is the greater challenge. So, how can a brand create a video that delicately walks the fine line between branding and storytelling, and more importantly, how can a brand drive virality?

To get people to watch and share, the video needed the perfect combination of: 1) Talent – People with the right personality and chemistry, and a built-in, loyal fan base that would be likely to share; 2) Storyline – Great content entertains and sucks the viewer in; the right story would drive people to action; 3) Pop culture relevancy – The combination of the right talent plus a timely news hook would create buzz.

Effectiveness

For the fourth consecutive year, Audi of America returned as the official automotive sponsor of the Television Academy for the 66th Primetime Emmy® Awards. The challenge? Sponsors of the Emmy Awards receive little earned media attention and social buzz, outside of the advertising trade audience. The conversation almost entirely centers on award show predictions/winners, fashion/beauty and celebrity gossip. In a crowded space where sponsors receive little organic consumer buzz, how can a brand drive substantial earned media and measurable consumer engagement as part of a sponsorship, and before the show?

The solution? “Barely Legal Pawn,” a comedic and branded online video, starred popular TV stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as seedy pawn shop owners Buzz Jackson and Randy Jackson; and TV star Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, playing herself, tries to sell her “Seinfeld” Emmy to help her pay for an island she purchased after a night of too much wine. The choice of cast was crucial: Cranston and Paul had recently starred together in one of the most popular television series ever in the U.S. -- "Breaking Bad" -- and that show had recently gone off the air. "Barely Legal Pawn" offered an opportunity for fans to see their stars together once again. All three actors were nominated for 2014 Emmy Awards.

The video was posted on the Television Academy’s YouTube channel a week before the awards and was pitched wide to reporters, editors, bloggers, fans and influencers, and socialized through Audi channels. We had ZERO paid distribution.

Fans watched and shared. The video reached over 8.6 million views, topping viral video charts across automotive and entertainment industries. “Barely Legal Pawl” owned nearly 50% of all pre-Emmy share of voice with in the first 24 hours of release, with visibility in 128 countries with over 225 million media impressions.

Implementation

The goal was to reunite actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Why? In 2013, fans around the world were devastated when the popular TV show "Breaking Bad" went off the air. Screenings of the final episode made national headlines. Additionally, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and actor Cranston once worked together on the legacy TV show "Seinfeld." Because of the storyline and cast, viewers stuck around for over 6 minutes. How do we know? At the end of the video, Aaron Paul delivers his famous one-liner “ya bitch,” which became one of the most used hashtags upon release.

Outcome

Social highlights:

• 8.6+ million YouTube views (less than 1.5% total dislikes, 6.5k comments)

• 203.8+million social media impressions

• #1 Reddit.com on homepage

• #BarelyLegalPawn was a Facebook trending topic

Earned media highlights

• 17 broadcast stories: 20+million impressions

• 186 print and online stories: 205+million impressions

• “Barely Legal Pawl” owned nearly 50% of all pre-Emmy share of voice within 24 hours

Topped viral video charts

• #1 USA Today’s Web To Watch Top Picks

• #1 Video of the Week on AutoNews.com

• #2 AdWeek.com’s Viral Video Chart

Added value:

• Aaron Paul mentioned “Barely Legal Pawn” on the red carpet

• The Television Academy played the video in-theater during a commercial break

• Fans created Tumblrs, websites, art and collateral (e.g. t-shirts, GIFs, etc.)

Relevancy

For the fourth consecutive year, Audi of America returned as an automotive sponsor of the Television Academy for the 66th Primetime Emmy® Awards, which included in-show commercials and event sponsorships. Typically, sponsors of the awards receive little earned media attention outside of the trade prior to the show. Audi recognized the value of creating an entertaining and shareable branded online-only video featuring high-caliber talent that would generate substantial online views, and considerable earned and social media (without spending additional money on paid distribution) to breakthrough a crowded space. Unlike traditional advertising, the video only subtly integrated the Audi product, delivering an entertainment experience instead of a commercial. “Barely Legal Pawn” produced incredible results for the brand, most notably the video’s more than 8.6 million YouTube views. With “Barely Legal Pawn,” Audi created a pop-culture moment that had the right talent and the perfect story that resonated with millions during the Emmy Awards media blitz.

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