People are much deeper than stereotypes. That’s the first place our minds go. Then you get to know them and you hear their stories, and you say, ‘I’d have never guessed.’ —Carson Kressley
Stories are a natural part of any good ad, whether it’s video or still. Ads have to be compelling stories where the viewer can put themselves into the situation or, at least, relate to some aspect of the story. No one buys a product with which they cannot in some way relate. So, a large part of being a creative ad person is knowing how to tell a good story.
Linus Karlsson tells great stories. As chairman of McCann/Commonwealth, though, we’ve seen Karlsson more as an agency builder. Some of us are old enough to remember his fantastic Miller Lite ads from several years ago, but he’s been heading up the corporate side of things long enough many might have forgotten just how creative he can be. Apparently, that is a large part of the reason he started a new agency, Ming Utility and Entertainment. Small and focused on work that is either useful or entertaining, Ming gives Karlsson the chance to spread his creative wings once again, and he has created a most compelling story in the Frank & Marty campaign for Smith Optics.
The trend among makers of sunglasses is to put them on pretty faces, cool people who are doing all the things you would like to be doing if you weren’t tied down with silly stuff like work and children and paying bills. Karlsson goes exactly the opposite direction not only in creating characters who aren’t especially young and hip, but the two people out of ten who wouldn’t use Smith sunglasses while fishing. They consider such an advantage cheating.
We’ve seen similar approaches before, but Karlsson goes all in with a set of short films that allow us to really get to know Frank & Marty, and gives Karlsson and his team plenty of room to tell the whole story. The two characters, both of whom are fresh castings we’ve not seen before, even have their own website and social media accounts. And Instagram (there’s a joke there, but you won’t get it until you’ve seen all the videos)
Take a look at the videos below and enjoy the work of a master storyteller. These are the kind of stories we all want to tell with our pictures. This is what makes being creative fun and worthwhile.