Ok Great had the pleasure of chatting with David Baldwin of Baldwin& this week to discuss their latest ad campaign ‘Find Your Inner Burt’ for Burts Bees. We posted on the project a couple of weeks ago, but we thought it would be fun to get a more in depth explanation of the project straight from it’s creators.

Full interview after the jump!

OKG: Was your client, Burt’s Bees, heavily involved in the creative concepting for the project? Or was this something developed more internally & then pitched to them?

B&: We came up with the idea ourselves and pitched it to them along with a number of others. We then worked very collaboratively with them to fill it out and produce it. The whole idea of the ‘&’ in our name is very deliberate and collaboration is a big part of that. It’s all about putting together the right team of people to get things done and get them done well. We also worked with Mekanism in SF and Driver in NY. We couldn’t have done it without them.

In fact, the credits should really be Baldwin& Mekanism & Driver & Burt’s Bees.

OKG: When pitching the idea to Burt’s Bees did anyone from Baldwin& dress up as their ‘inner burt’?

B&: We did not but the client asked us for beards and hats to present the idea internally to their management. So there was a period of a few days where we were getting pictures of bearded clients emailed to us.

OKG: It seems like many new ad campaigns these days are built around & start with a microsite – would you agree? This has obviously changed a lot from how campaigns were launched 30 years ago – do you think it’s changed for better or worse?

B&: There’s a lot of opportunity now compared to the past. And while there have never been so many communication tools at our disposal there’s also less attention towards traditional media by people. It’s overwhelming how much we’re all assaulted by messages these days in our everyday lives.

Our goal is to create experiences that delight people. If you can do that you can engage them in a pretty rich conversation. If not, then it’s harder to a establish relationship beyond transactions.


OKG: Most people are familiar with the microsite from the campaign, but I’m guessing some weren’t privy to some of the other elements (i.e. events, promotions, etc). Can you describe some of the work that was done here.

B&: Well, I look at it as a number of experiences that include a microsite. The idea was to create a sustainable campaign that lived Burt’s Bees values. So we created sustainable sampling kits that included what we call a Beardana, a Burt hat and a lip balm. There was no packaging and the point was to give people something they’d enjoy and they could play with or wear beyond the events. Hence, the beardanas.

We also created events where people could make their own smoothies on a human powered bike blender. The smoothies were made with some of the natural ingredients that are found in Burt’s Bees products. We had a team of Burt lookalikes delivered all of the messages and the sampling and the like.

Finally there’s a Twitter promotion going on as well where you can win a year’s worth of Burt’s Bees products and an ongoing conversation on Twitter and Facebook through sharing your burtified image with your friends and followers.

OKG: You often refer to your title at Baldwin& as ‘lead guitar’ which stems out of drawing an analogy between a new business and a band of musicians. “A new company is a lot like a band. Play your instrument, carry your own equipment and always make sure the entire band sounds great.”

If your business is the band, who is your client in this scenario? The audience? A guest vocalist!?

B&: The idea of Lead Guitar is a direct result of the ‘&’ again. The goal is to build a powerful creative company that is a complete team. No one person can do it all. So lead guitar simply means that sometimes you step forward when you play a solo but most of the time you’re just in the band. And you have to be surrounded by a great band or there’s no music

OKG: What instrument would Burt play?

B&: You know, he’s a surprising guy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s an amazing classical pianist or something.

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