Giant Spoon was invited to visit with STX Entertainment when the fledgling studio was looking for a traditional media planning and buying agency. What it got was something much, much more, and the client wasted no time putting the boutique’s extraordinary inventiveness to work.
Jack Pan, STX president of marketing, motion picture group, was listening to Giant Spoon present ideas on an upcoming film when he realized they were actually the perfect partners to activate an audacious marketing idea in support of another project: STX’s first motion picture, "The Gift."
The movie is an unsettling tale of an old high school acquaintance reconnecting with a man decades later. The ominous hits overdrive when the acquaintance sends gifts to the man and his wife that seem to indicate an intimate knowledge of their lives.
Playing on the thriller’s stalker theme, the resultant Spoon effort to drive awareness for the trailer launch involved sending more than 40 influencers (editors, iHeart Radio DJs and social stars) “gifts” from the film’s antagonist, based on highly personal details uncovered by delving deep into the influencers’ pasts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Pan turned to Giant Spoon — he likens them to an ideation “SWAT team” — because “they understand what makes movie marketing tick, the emotional levers we have to pull to truly sell consumers.”
Giant Spoon gets that kind of client compliment a lot. The ideation agency launched in 2013 by four OMD iconoclasts — Alan Cohen, John Haber, Trevor Guthrie and Marc Simons — captures the zeitgeist so perfectly that it seems to routinely come up with insanely cool but grounded and extremely effective campaigns on every conceivable kind of platform. So consistently does it excel, in fact, that Giant Spoon is Mediapost’s Creative Media Agency of the Year — for the second year in a row.
“Brands need to be producing content,” says Simons with the low-key confidence that characterizes the shop. “We understand how to market content. It comes down to our focus on cultural integration. That’s the differentiator.”
In 2015, that confident creativity was displayed in such Spoon-fed brilliance as “The Message,” a fictional podcast that ran that ran on iTunes for client (with OMD) GE that revolves around the science and mystery of encryption; a virtual reality video on how nature influences design produced by The New York Times’ T Brand Studio that ran on the Times VR app; and other unconventional efforts for Hewlett Packard, NBC, Lego, Cole Haan and Condé Nast, among others.
“They think differently,” says Andy Goldberg, GE chief creative officer, of his experience with the Spoons. “We’re always looking for what is the next thing, what’s coming. They have that mentality, too. It’s not just ‘we’ll fill out the media plan box.’ They have this endless curiosity to break new ground.”
As for the Spoons themselves? They’ll just keep on doing what they do.
“We’ll celebrate success and we want to make great stories,” concludes Guthrie, “But every day, it’s ‘what are we going to build next?’ You’re only as good as your next idea.”
Oh, and that other film Giant Spoon was presenting ideas for to STX? They’re going to get to work on that too, Pan says.