Bringing Humanity to a Technology Brand.

April 1, 2011

EC1 set out to uncover the humanity behind the #2 browser in the world, Mozilla Firefox. On our search for the heart and soul of the brand, we interviewed the staff, the founders and the hardcore techies who made Firefox what it is today. We listened—sometimes very hard as the technology was slightly over our heads—but we felt a lot. We felt their passion for their product. And even more so, we felt their dedication to the cause of keeping the web free, open and accessible to everyone.

You see, Firefox is the only non-profit browser in the market. It creates and innovates by putting the public’s benefit over the bottom line. Every product and service is created for the end user—not for the gain of anyone else.

The thing is, most people don’t know about Firefox’s non-profit status, which we found is a very compelling point of difference to consumers. It makes new users want to seek the browser out. It makes current users more loyal. It makes lapsed users open-minded for a second chance. It gives people a reason to love Firefox beyond it being a great product.

The work you see below (and hopefully around town) is the first messaging of its kind in market. It’s a toe in the water, so to speak, of a larger brand initiative to come. We’re proud of it. As proud as we are to be working with a technology company that actually gets what it means to be human.

A few of the outdoor boards in the campaign:


The Secret Lives of Seahorses brings home another big award.

December 1, 2010

We at EC1 are honored by the news that our long-time client, Monterey Bay Aquarium, won the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Brass Ring Award. Our work for the Aquarium’s 2009 exhibit The Secret Lives of Seahorses brought home the big award Best Integrated Marketing Campaign. The IAAPA Awards, announced on November 17 in Orlando, Florida, is a worldwide competition, pitting the Aquarium against some of the biggest and best parks and attractions out there.

The winning campaign chronicled the unique life of a male seahorse named Herbie Hippocampus. Across multiple platforms, we told the story of our lonely hero, his quest for love, and the complications that come with it, like male pregnancy. Herbie set out to look for some seahorse love, and in the process, gained thousands of fans’ love in return. Check out the whole campaign here.

This award is just another example of the great work that can come from an inspired partnership with a client who’s committed to innovation and teamwork. Here’s to another 10 years of award-winning collaboration.


May 4, 2010

San Francisco, CA.- May 4, 2010 – Pacific Life, provider of a wide range of life insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds to individuals and businesses, announced today that it has chosen San Francisco-based advertising agency, Engine Company 1, as its creative agency of record.

Pacific Life, in partnership with search consultancy SelectResources International, performed an extensive review of multiple agencies in their search. The network and cable television campaign being developed by Engine Company 1 will begin appearing in the Fall of 2010. Media buying remains with Mediaspot, Pacific Life’s media AOR for over 19 years. Spending is undisclosed.

“We look forward to collaborating with Engine Company 1 in building on the high levels of awareness of the Pacific Life brand and further reinforcing the positive image of the company” said Bob Haskell, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of Pacific Life. The humpback whales featured in Pacific Life’s advertising represent strength, performance, and protection—qualities that are core to Pacific Life’s business of helping people plan for a more financially secure future. The iconic whales will remain at the forefront of the advertising.

“It’s an amazing honor to be selected to work on a brand with such incredible history and opportunity for continued growth,” stated Grant Richards, Managing Partner and Creative Director at Engine Company 1. “We are inspired by Pacific Life’s long term success in their industry and look forward to being a part of their bright future.”

CreativeMedia3—An Unholy Alliance.

January 12, 2010

Media and Creative, Creative and Media. An alliance born out of a mutual frustration. Born out of an overlooked theory of the 60’s, but pushed aside as creative became king and media consisted of spreadsheets and cost per points. An after-thought. The theory is none other than Marshall McLuhan’s famous mantra, “The Medium is the Message.”

Download to desktop: EC1_CreativeMedia.pdf


November 18, 2009

IAAPA Winner - Best Television Spot 2009

The first-place award for best television commercial was announced at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions expo in Las Vegas.

Created by Engine Company 1, “Puddles” uses live action and digital imaging together with evocative music to connect a young girl with starfish and penguins that appear in the rainy-day puddles in her front yard. The theme is summed up in the tagline: “Some experiences follow you home.”

In 2009, the Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates 25 years of inspiring conservation of the oceans.

Not Just for the Kids

February 25, 2009

Coraline Box

Have you gone to see the animated feature, Coraline yet? I finally did. Admittedly, I’m a little late on the bandwagon but it was still great. While the charming 3D animation is fantastic, it’s not the only innovation that should be celebrated. The film’s mash up of traditional Hollywood movie promotion and some very smart “pinwheel” marketing concepted by Wieden+Kennedy, proved to be very successful in more than just the kiddie market.

With Phil Knight, founder of Nike, heading up the film’s promotion and pushing the distribution company, Focus Features, to launch the campaign a little differently, Coraline was able to bring in $7 million more than was originally projected. If you’re interested in finding out how a 70-yr-old billionaire founder of a shoe company got involved, click here.

What particularly caught my eye was the innovative marketing tactics that I started following on the web about a month ago. Wieden+Kennedy has the uncanny ability to be able to get the consumer engaged and people talking. The campaign for Coraline was no different. They understood the fact that this movie could appeal to an older generation with it’s emotional core and used this to reach out directly to niche markets that included toy makers and design geeks. The agency sent 5o of their favorite blogs a handcrafted box filled with original pieces from the production(such as Coraline’s wigs or her hand knitted sweaters). Each box was individually unique and brought great curiosity about the film to their recipients. Many of them can be seen here.

What a clever way to get influencers to talk about a mainstream children’s movie. It’s good to see the importance of design culture recognized and the power of word of mouth in action.

Data Offered to Google TV Advertisers

February 2, 2009
Now Available With Tracking

Now Available With Tracking

In a move that is likely to make creative and media teams cringe, Google will be offering viewing data to advertisers who have purchased television media time through “Google TV Ads.”

Advertisers who place television advertising via the “Google TV Ads” system can “… be provided impression data for ads that appear during shows that consumers record using a DVR. The data [may] shed light on how frequently specific ads are actually played back or skipped over by DVR users” (read full Google posting here).

Advertisers could use such data to determine which creative spots are less prone to fast-forwarding and which networks perform better for certain brands.

Although Google TV represents only a small percentage of the overall television audience, this move represents another shift in the measurability of advertising effectiveness.  Agencies would be well advised to continue leading the discussions with clients on the most effective ways to invest their media dollars, and the messages that resonante with their target audience.