It may be 93 years old, but Grey New York has managed to creatively resurrect itself with an infusion of youth: the now ubiquitous eTrade baby. Last year, as ad spending industry-wide plummeted 11%, the WPP-owned agency boosted its operating profits by 44%, thanks to 17 new business wins including BMW, Ketel One, and the NFL.
Grey’s creative revival can be credited to Tor Myhren, its chief creative officer, who has sent his own DIY spirit coursing through his creatives and newly charged production department that creates advertising, Myhren says, “in real time.”
Grey used Phantom HD digital video, the technology typically used for nature shows on the Discovery Channel, to capture the eloquence of football at 1000 frames per second.
Grey’s singing, purging, and chatty eTrade babies have shot straight into
pop culture, with guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and a Fox feature film now in the works.
This visually jarring poster of the presidential running mates unleashed online five days before the 2008 election went viral with 37 million views, and zero media dollars spent.
Instead of lecturing his new creative staff on the virtues of an open office, chief creative officer Tor Myhren shot a video on the cheap, spoofing Sinead O’Conner’s “Nothing Compares to You.”