August 22, 2011
Thanks to a collection of commercials that have gone deservedly viral, the Bruins Bear has been a sensation for the Boston Bruins and an affront to far-too-easily-offended visiting fans. Said director of marketing Chris DiPierro in 2010: "Everything he does is representative of the guy who sits in Balcony 318 every single night. He's the enforcer of Bruins fan rules."
The campaign was created by an ad agency called Mullen, where the Bruins worked with VP and associate creative director Greg Almeida.
Almeida left Mullen to become an associate creative director at Arnold Worldwide, the powerhouse agency that counts McDonald's and Amtrak and Hershey's among its clients. According to Direct Marketing News, he's one of the reasons the Bruins also decided to leave Mullen for Arnold this summer. (Mullen's CEO for Boston told DMR that it was a mutual decision not to extend the deal once it expired in July.)
All of this advertising insider stuff is fine and dandy ... but what about the Bruins Bear's future?
According to the Boston Herald, Arnold expects to make him even more iconic:
"Everyone loves the bear. It's an icon, and we're looking to evolve the idea and take the bear into new places," said Peter Favat, Arnold's chief creative officer. "We have lots of great ideas and are gearing up to develop a social media campaign that will get fans pumped for the new season."
Mullen, the Bruins' agency since 2008, debuted the bear ads in April 2009, as the team entered the playoffs, and scored a million YouTube hits in two weeks.
"The bear was an extremely popular campaign and we think it reignited the fan's passion for the teams and fueled their success," said Mullen spokesman David Swaebe. "We are proud of our work and the Bruins' success, and now it's another agency's turn."
As lovers of the Bruins Bear and the ad campaign it spawned, we're cautiously pleased. On the one hand, more Bear equals mo'better. On the other, the snarky tone of the print campaign was just as wonderful as the commercial spots. Is that something Arnold will retain, or will the Bear's bite be a little more restrained under new management?
s/t to Puck Daddy reader Andy McKechnie for the tip.