Samantha Bee, host of TBS’ weekly late-night show, Full Frontal, took on an array of iconic horror film characters just to convince people to get out there and vote.
“The only way to stop this living nightmare is to vote like your life depends on it,” she says in the above spot, for which Los Angeles-based Mocean provided a production assist.
“Our objective for this campaign was to amplify the smart, hilarious election coverage that Samantha Bee and the Full Frontal team deliver each week to their fans,” said Melissa Chambless, executive vice president, marketing, TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. “We leveraged classic horror tropes for a satirical campaign inspired by today’s chilling political climate and – the scariest part of all – the fact that 40% of eligible Americans didn’t vote in the last election. So please listen to Sam, and vote like your life depends on it!”
The campaign features scenes from Scream, Nightmare On Elm Street, Silence Of The Lambs, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, with each film’s scenes recreated in detail by TBS and Mocean, led by CCO Greg Harrison.
“The main challenge was to capture the cinematic look and feel of each iconic horror film while delivering it at a comedy promo pace with Sam at the center,” said Harrison, also in a statement. “As a director, I loved finding the funny, vote-related version of the iconic Johnny Depp bed scene, the dog-Bjorn for Sam’s Buffalo Bill, and having a car run over a Sam Bee effigy was a clear career highlight.
“It was inspiring to watch Sam get into each character’s makeup and wardrobe and find their comedic essence on-set,” he continued. “To pull off such an ambitious shoot in two days required a shorthand collaboration across the board, and our long relationship with the team at TNT/TBS really made this not only possible but also a blast.”
Harrison chose to recreate the setups practically as much as possible, with very little VFX work involved. Full Frontal, TBS and Mocean recreated the four horror films in two shoot days in New York, and literally wrapped one day prior to the president first officially speaking about the pandemic in March. New York and LA were shut down just days later, and of course plans for launching the campaign in theaters in the spring were delayed. The “art mimicking life mimicking art” aspect of the campaign continued—as the pandemic unfolded, the world seemed to become even more of a “horror” than we’d imagined when scripting the spots, and the scenes featuring the president speaking were updated to reflect the most up-to-date “horrors” of the year.
The 360-campaign launched September 16 with an extensive media buy, including placements in the Emmy, Saturday Night Live, the presidential debates and in theaters as well as on billboards and out-of-home installments nationwide.
Executive Vice President, Marketing, TNT, TBS and truTV: Melissa Chambless
Senior Vice President, Brand Creative: Bret Havey
SVP, Brand Marketing: Telmo Tabuas
VP/Creative Director: Pamela Craciun
Sr. Director, Marketing: Natali Johnson
Director, On Air Promotions: Brian Hoffman
Sr. Writer, Producer: Matt Day
Sr. Manager, Marketing: Jez De Wolff
Manager, Marketing: Jessica Pratt
VP Production: Michael Carnall
Sr. Production Manager: Marcus Welch
CCO/Director: Greg Harrison
Writer/ACD: Jon Monson-Foon
Senior Producer: Renee Sweet
Supervising Producer: Amanda Amann
Line Producer: James Heth
DP: Chuck Ozeas
Production Designer: Marc Benacerraf
Editor: Ben Sprowl
Creative Coordinator: Ashley Bayer