Traction for Traction

Each week, The Examiner showcases an advertising campaign by a local company.

Client: Traction

Job: Shamelessly promote ourselves and our unique approach to integrated marketing — Brand Experience Design.

Agency: Traction, San Francisco. www.tractionco.com

Principals: Adam Kleinberg, Theo Fanning, Michele Turner, Paul Giese.

Other clients: The Bay Institute, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Dolby, HedgeStreet, Hyperic, LightFull Foods, Livescribe, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Sue Fisher King, Virgin Mobile, ZoneAlarm

Creative team: Theo Fanning, creative director; Jim Reed, associate creative director; Jon Stepping, art director; Eric Ryan, art director; Kellie Okai, designer; Jason Headly, copywriter.

The plan: Use unexpected marketing tactics to illustrate our approach to designing integrated brand experiences. The campaign began a launch party for the Institute of Practical Underpants at Traction HQ, complete with panty-mimes and an underpants fashion show. We then mailed hundreds of pairs of underpants to potential leads. Each package lead the target back to www.practicalunderpants.com. That drove them to a Web site where they could watch a video and meet Undie, the animated underpants. Then, they could use a fun interactive tool called the Elasticator 4000 to find out what kind of underpants are right for their brand. Finally, they’re directed to a landing page for Traction to get fitted with the appropriate experience for their brand. And of course, practical underpants are also on MySpace.com and YouTube.

The theme: Practical Underpants.

The concept: Underpants are just like advertising. Everyone wears underpants and every company wears a brand. For some they are sexy, for others conservative. Regardless, everyone must find the fit that is most practical for them and wear it proudly. The Institute of Practical Underpants was created to define a methodology based on this principal. And to show how Traction weaves communications together holistically to design an engaging customer experience. And to make people laugh.

Theo Fanning

Age: 33

Position: Creative director

Background: Held senior creative positions at Tribal DDB. His client credits include Apple, Bonny Doon Vineyards and Virgin Mobile.

What drove your development of the concept?: We wanted to get people’s attention. And if I got a pair of underwear in the mail, I’d go to the URL printed on them. I also really thought that a pair of talking animated underpants would be hilarious.

Working on next: The launch campaign for the Livescribe smart pen.

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