jason oke

If you’re not in awe, you’re not paying attention.

Only in a woman’s world

The second campaign that we’ve just launched is for a few other Frito-Lay brands.

Frito-Lay is introducing some new products and reorganizing some of their their packaging and in-store shopping experiences to appeal more to women. As you can imagine, it’s a massive project for them.

To support those initiatives, we’ve created a new web video series called “Only in a woman’s world.

We launched it with a trailer last month that shot up to about a million views on YouTube.

On the heels of that trailer, the official launch of the series was this past weekend, with a red-carpet premiere in LA with a sprinkling of celebrities and invites to a great group of awesome female bloggers who helped us cover it. The first three episodes of the series are up today, with lots more to come.

The press is starting to roll in on this stuff, and there was a nice write up in the NY Times last week that delves into some of the upfront learning that was done to really understand women and snacking, work that took over a year and ranged from ethnography to neuroscience. Even better, it has the distinction of being the first campaign I’ve ever been involved with to be covered on entertainment news shows. The NYT is nice and all, but The Insider FTW!

One of the best things about this campaign was that the team, both client and agency, who worked on it was entirely female – and I think that played a massive role in it actually working.

Big congrats to everyone who worked on it for pulling this together, and especially to our clients who have been incredibly passionate about truly and deeply understanding the mindsets of women around snacking and media, and for being willing to step outside the confines of traditional advertising when it came time to do the communication.

UPDATE: Oh yeah – how could I forget – you can follow the series on Twitter too…

Filed under: ads, Juniper

Happiness is simple

We’ve had a couple of big new campaigns launch in the US over the past few weeks. These have both been in the works for ages so it’s nice to finally see them out there and getting some positive response. And both are the kind of stuff that I’m honored to just have been in the same building with.

The first campaign is for Lay’s potato chips. This has been a great brand to work on. It’s huge (by some measures it’s the largest food brand in North America) and pretty much ubiquitous, which makes for an interesting challenge: how do you reintroduce people to something that they’re already deeply familiar with?

This is how we chose to do it:

The response has been great so far, both from industry press like Adweek (here and here) and Shoot Magazine who awarded Fireworks the ‘best music track of Winter 09’, but also from friends I have mad respect for like Charles and Paul.

And more than just these ads, I really like “Happiness is Simple” because it’s a great platform to build lots of stuff from, with a tonality that seems to fit well for today’s cultural climate.

Big props need to go to the whole team who worked on it, including some amazing clients for being brave enough to make some big changes on their biggest brand.

UPDATE – If you like the Lay’s work, the “Happy” spot is up for AdWeek’s “Freakiest ads of the month” – go vote!

Filed under: ads, Juniper

Catching my breath

So I’m starting to realize that building a new agency is hard. As the observant among you will have noticed, I’ve had to let blogging fall by the wayside for a while due to lots of work and traveling.

The volume of traveling has some carbon footprint issues that make me feel icky. But one of the side benefits is getting to catch up with friends. Back in December I ran into Richard Band, an old planning friend who’s now at Egg Strategy in Colorado, and had breakfast with Ed Cotton in San Francisco. And this past week I had a fun evening of planning drinks with Leland, Seth, and Noah in NY. Leland’s also in the midst of starting up new agency so it was good to compare notes on things like balancing chaos with process.

In years of working at big multi-national agencies, I sometimes found the sheer amount of process and structure got in the way of getting things done. I felt this becoming more and more of a problem as it’s become necessary for brands (and agencies) to be more nimble.

I still stand by that assessment, but I’m realizing the other side of the coin now – there’s a lot of value of process and structure which I took for granted. One of my reasons for joining Juniper Park was the chance to create something new without decades of legacy structures all around. But being at a new agency with no process (yet) makes things twice as hard as they need to be, because you have to do things while also figuring out how to do them, all at once.

We’re in the enviable position for a new agency of having a lot of amazing and challenging client work already, but it’s come at the expense of having time to establish a way of working (or a website or even business cards) – we just rolled up our sleeves and started. It’s been fine so far – a smart, energetic group people can muddle their way along for a while, and the chaotic energy is actually really invigorating and inspiring at times, like a high-wire act.

But it’s clear that this a way of working can’t be sustained forever – it’s also draining and inefficient. So the next challenge is to stop and find some time to build some structure into things. I’ve come full circle. And I’m left wondering whether it’s possible to reign in the chaos a bit, but keep the energy?

Filed under: Juniper, planning

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