Like so many things during the pandemic, when New York City shut down in March, Soho-based creative agency Black Spot had to adjust on the fly to deliver to NBCUniversal a massive and editing-intense digital campaign ahead of Peacock’s launch.
“Peacock’s offerings are incredibly diverse, and the campaign had to demonstrate the immense content offering in an entertaining, captivating, big, bold way,” said Black Spot Creative Director Shana Boniface in a statement. “Working hand-in-hand with Peacock’s creative teams, we created a comprehensive series of spots to highlight their tremendous breadth and depth of movies, series, sports, and news, paired with simple and rhythmic copy, cadence, and design, making Peacock’s content both undeniably fun and utterly ownable.”
This project largely consisted of a massive amount of viewing, selecting and editing content into quick compelling clip-based spots to promote the launch of NBCU’s new streaming service. It also included motion graphics, based on the service’s simple but bold yellow and black palette and sans serif font drawn from Peacock’s logo.
The bid initially required the team to deliver 860 elements, including multiple versions of original promotional spots and repurposed elements that could fit all of the different social media platforms, whether those were 1:1 for Instagram, 16:9 for other platforms or verticals for TikTok. As the project wore on, that number escalated to more than 2,500 unique pieces. And Black Spot had to do all of it in eight weeks.
At the job’s peak, Black Spot was running four separate teams of 35 individuals working around the clock in three shifts to complete, caption, quality control and distribute the entire campaign, which ultimately grew to more than 2,500 unique pieces of content, across every major social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others.
The spots emphasize the breadth and depth of Peacock’s offerings, from drama to comedy to reality, movies and more. Putting them together required the team to sort through untold hours of content to arrive at the exact clips they wanted. Meanwhile, Peacock’s in-house team handled things like writing the campaign’s tagline of “Watch. Love. Repeat.”
“Initially, the ask was to take three disparate movies or shows that might not fit together in a natural sense and create a throughline that might connect the three properties,” said Ian Collier, lead project creative director and editor, Black Spot. “And then we needed to execute that 860 different times,” added John Laskas, creative director and founder, Black Spot.
Going through all of that content to find exactly what is needed upped the job’s difficulty quotient, Collier said.
“It’s certainly a challenge when you are dealing with shows with ten seasons, but sometimes it’s narrowed down for you because the client wants to focus on certain characters or storylines. But it does fall upon the editors to do a lot of screening and to the writers to take a lot of notes. A lot of it is being intensely familiar with the properties you are working with and then being able to connect the dots between properties,” he said.
“With Law & Order: SVU, the only limitation was that the clips had to be from seasons one through 20,” Collier said, tongue only a bit in cheek. Something that helped with many of the shows was the fact that NBCU had years of topical promos available from which the team could draw.
And while everyone suddenly had to work from home just as the project got going, they managed to adapt quickly. “The COVID situation allowed us to scale up even more easily than if we had been working in our Soho offices. We had to adapt to not having central storage and Ian’s team worked around the clock.”
While Peacock launched in full on July 15, it’s adding content all the time, having just announced last week that it has picked up all eight Harry Potter movies. If Peacock comes calling for more promos, Black Spot is ready since it was the vendor for NBCU’s rollout of the franchise on Syfy.
“We hope to do more in the future but right now we’ve given everyone two weeks off because they killed themselves,” said Laskas. “This was definitely the most rewarding project I’ve done in my professional life.”
A sampling of a few of the campaign’s spots are above and below:
Peacock’s Got Drama
Peacock’s Got Comedy
Peacock’s Got It All
Agency: Black Spot
Executive Producer: Taylor Ervin
Lead Project Creative Director, Editor: Ian Collier
Creative Director: Shana Boniface
Creative Director, Editor: Li Perez
Project Manager: JoAnna Laskas
Editor: Jonathan Baylis, Brian Bove, Tim Byfield, Paul DiNatalie, Jason Howe, Amanda Murphy, Brendan Murphy, Caleb Oglesby, Matt O’Connor, Sonny Ratcliff, Ben Whitten
Audio Engineering: Big Barn Records
Assistant Editor: Prashanth Kamalakanthan, Jack Kendrick, Thomas Meyer, Aaron Prieto, Daphne Rustow, Ty Woorley
Additional delivery support from: Aarmada Entertainment, Berzerker Productions, The Field
Lead Creative Agency: Anomaly
Additional Creative Agency: Dutch Toast