LESS EXPECTED. MORE HONEST
If you live in NY, take pictures, make movies, listen to music, sing songs, you know the iconic superstore B&H Photo — they’re an institution with a seriously loyal following. Being busy wasn’t their issue. Connecting with a younger, broader audience was. Hello, YouTube. Meet B&H.
As B&H’s agency of record, our goal is to generate brand awareness and expand their consumer base, so we have created a series of buzzworthy campaigns specifically for the social media giant.
To date, our videos for B&H have more than 163M views and counting.
A little background… In all our work for B&H, we lean into their disarmingly simple values – fair pricing, consumer-first policies, and honest business practices. These are the things that make them unique and so incredibly charming. We write, design, direct, and animate videos to reflect this authentic personality and capitalize on the brand’s longstanding (but largely unknown) company pillars.
We also hand-picked the loveable New York filmmaker, Ed Burns, to be the voice of B&H. He perfectly captures the energy and tone of the brand. He’s also a super nice guy.
CUSTOMER STORIES: STEPH MANTIS
For the latest installation of the B&H Customer Stories, we meet Steph Mantis — an artist and pizza maker who uses a camera with her microscope to capture incredible bio-art photography of many things, including pizza toppings. Steph’s unique artform might make it seem like her photography needs are out of the ordinary, but, without hesitation, B&H knew exactly how to help.
We know NASA needs no introduction, but their B&H story sure does. Apparently, NASA was in search of a unique and rare Hasselblad lens they needed for a space mission. Unable to find such a rare product, NASA called B&H who had the exact lens they were looking for. Sound out of this world? B&H often has what others don’t, and that’s just one of the reasons they’re the go-to photo + video superstore for customers big and small.
One of the first B&H Customer Stories features Fred Smith, a fitness instructor who moved from Atlanta to New York on the very day the city went into Covid lockdown. When we first talked with Fred, he said that B&H changed his life. We had to know more! After the fitness studio he worked for shut down, he turned to B&H to help him start his own fitness platform, Workout with Fred, and a podcast. Watch the spot to learn more about how Fred’s story went beautifully from lemons to lemonade.
JACK + BARBRA
We immediately fell in love with Jack and Barbra and their stories about living in REMOTE Alaska. As loyal B&H customers for 30 years, they regaled us with tales of receiving their B&H packages after a journey from plane to smaller plane, then thrown from one guy to another guy, and ultimately landing on a dusty gravel landing strip — intact! The way they described how perfectly B&H packaged everything, we knew they would make an excellent Customer Story. Don’t you think so, too?
To capture Fred’s and Jack and Barbra’s stories, we had to get crafty because #Covid. Our scheme to fly off to Alaska just wasn’t going to happen, nor was being physically with Fred in his apartment. So, we planned and produced fully remote shoots — sending cameras and gear to the wilds of Alaska and the heart of Manhattan.
We then walked our storytellers through the set-up, conducted on camera interviews, and had them capture b-roll, all while we directed from our homes. The result further enhanced the “authentic” nature of these stories and perfectly captured their personalities.
DATA DRIVEN CREATIVE
Creating for YouTube — and armed with support from Google’s brand team — we are able to use real time trends, data, and analytics to adjust and readjust our creative for maximum impact on the platform.
A Brief history of B&H
This first campaign asked: Who are Blimie and Herman? Exactly. This launch film is a celebration of the special superstore, sharing their unique ingredients with love and charm.
MEET THE STAFF
It could be argued that the best thing about B&H is the people who work there. They are intelligent, helpful, honest, and never overly salesy. Rare, right? This film introduces real B&H employees in one camera move, across one long counter. Through a sequence of interactions, the viewer gets to experience the real magic of B&H and why it is so important to do business with real people instead of algorithms.
In a word, overwhelming. The B&H campaign was one of YouTube’s Top 10 True View Ads for 2019, as listed in AdWeek. Sales went up by 800% in the first two weeks (wow). AND the vast amount of viewer comments were not only positive — they dramatically raised awareness.