Irreverent is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of the BIO Channel, but that is the best way to describe the new 9-spot image campaign created for the popular cable network by BIGSMACKtv, the agency/production/design studio hybrid led by Creative Director Andy Hann. ''BIO has changed their identity significantly over the last few years and so we wanted to reinforce the networks brand, which at its core centers on the idea that understanding is empowering,'' Hann says. The campaign centers on profound quotes from famous personalities read with intense seriousness by real people in their natural environment who have seemingly embraced the quotes as a life mantra through which they have become more empowered and actualized. Each spot begins with a seemingly out-of-left-field Latin-infused percussive soundtrack that abruptly stops as soon as the subject stands before the camera on a small red circle stage designed to recall the red dot in the BIO logo. The juxtaposition of the quotes and who said them with the personality and setting of the real people gives the campaign its absurdist edge. The spots ends with the BIGSMACKtv penned tagline: ''The stories are true. The inspiration is endless'' followed by a fast-paced montage of black and white still photos of an array of celebrities from Al Capone to Cameron Diaz to the Rolling Stones and more. BIGSMACKtv began the process with hours of extensive research to find these revelatory quotes. Their only criteria was that it feel insightful enough to be believed that the person reading the quote would take it to heart. The detailed casting sessions for the nine principal talent included equal parts real people and actors was followed by an intense one-day shoot on a farm in Bucks County, PA and exterior locations in downtown Philadelphia. Although the shoot was logistically complex, Hann notes it was made easier thanks to their smart casting choices. ''When you have the right cast, the shoot is easy,'' Hann notes. ''The real people were quirky personalities to begin with so all they had to be was themselves, and the actors were consummate pros. The goal was to find people that had a look about them that was easy to prejudge. But then, through their quote, your perception of them would change. Its about empowerment through knowledge, which is really what BIO is all about.''
Creative Credits: Client: BIO Project: 9-spot image campaign Agency/Production: BIGSMACKtv, Philadelphia, PA Creative Director: Andy Hann Executive Producers: Heidi Erney, Kelly Dials