While Looney Tunes has been staying relevant as a franchise over the years, with partnerships such as USPS Bugs Bunny stamps, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Movement Strategy want to raise the visibility of Bugs and his friends in those who may never have watched the cartoons on traditional TV screens.
"A challenge that comes along with the human aspect is that the internet is moving quickly, and we have to react to what’s happening,” explains Sara Martin, associate creative director, Movement Strategy. “The way to make an iconic brand relevant is very specific to that brand. You have to follow your brand’s DNA, look at what’s happening right now, and find where those two things converge,” says Martin.
Enter the ACME Intern. This wacky but fun character is created to make Looney Tunes "break the Internet.” Since April, Warner Bros. and Movement Strategy have transformed Looney Tunes social-media channels — specifically Instagram and Twitter — into a more authentic and refreshing voice. Tweets include wondering if “Taz has a dictionary” and how the intern just stares “at Yosemite’s beard when we are on a video chat lol.”
“To help us do this, we’ve built a team that can monitor social and craft content and responses that are fully engaged with what’s happening online. We’re constantly being proactive and anticipating big moments before they happen, so we can jump in on conversations immediately.”
The content toggles between reactions to current events and more outlandish content with remaining informational for fans of Looney Tunes. For instance, people can now purchase Space Jam baseball hats.
One key to a successful relationship is confidence with the other side and a mutual vision.
"Over the years, we’ve built an incredible amount of trust with them, so while we do have a collaborative content calendar, we have the context and background that we need to understand what’s important to Warner Bros., their priorities, their restrictions, why they can and can’t do certain things, which allows us to do community management and create spur of the moment content,” says Martin.
There are times when priority characters need to be brought to the forefront, though the agency looks for opportunities for all Looney Tunes characters to insert them in conversations. “We’ve spent the time taking each character’s cartoon tropes and translating them for social,” says Martin. “Daffy’s that get-rich-quick, power-hungry underdog in the cartoons; on social, he’s thirsty. So we do pick and choose who gets highlighted based on how they resonate with the fans and how we expect them to perform, but we also know what’s priority for the brand. IT’S DUCK SEASON!”
The campaign’s rollout during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic presented some “major adjustments,” says Martin. For one, the original planning had the Intern starting their first day in an actual physical office. The agency had to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to best adapt the Intern’s situation and the content during the pandemic.
The end result showed the Intern’s first day through text messages and virtual meetings rather than featuring him going into an office. Since then, the agency has continued to capture content in living spaces, as opposed to offices, to truly reflect the times, just as Looney Tunes always does, quips Martin.
Since April's launch to the end of June, the campaign has increased follower count on IG by 36% (+63,308) and increased follower count on Twitter by 30% (+11,481). Collectively there are 75K new followers across social media and the campaign has notched 21.3 million views across channels.