Beaverbrook says there’s nothing sexy about beige

January 21, 2013  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

There are no songs about “Beige suede shoes” or “Pretty in beige,” so Alberta homebuilder Beaverbrook Developments is urging house hunters to look beyond that blandest of colours in a new campaign.

The “Don’t Be Beige” campaign, developed by Toronto boutique agency Giants & Gentlemen to promote Beaverbrook’s One At Windermere development in Edmonton, runs through January and includes print, online banners and a 30-second TV spot (a rarity for the category) that is also running in cinema pre-roll.

The spot opens on a couple in bed, with the man leaning over to cuddle the woman, who says “Not now Harold.” The man responds, “Harold?” and the couple look at each other in surprise before the woman sighs “Oh geez” in a manner suggesting this has happened before. The reason for the mix up has more to do with real estate than anything salacious.

Print ads feature a beige background accompanied by messages including “Save the monotony for your job” and “Vanilla is for ice cream.”

“They really want to break the mold within the category and do work that’s creative and stands out,” said Alanna Nathanson, partner and creative director at Giants & Gentlemen, of the agency’s charter client. “We’ve been doing interesting work for all the developments, but it was really nice to do a commercial for them, which is unusual for the category.”

Nathanson said the unconventional media approach is intended to reflect the unique nature of the houses within the One At Windemere development. Giants & Gentlemen was involved in multiple facets of the development itself, from coming up with its name and logo to providing input on house designs. “The more involved we can be, the better,” said Nathanson.

Launched last March by Nathanson, her former Taxi 2 partner Natalie Armata and former Publicis vice-president and brand director Gino Cantalini, Giants & Gentlemen has grown its client roster to approximately eight in the ensuing 10 months. It has worked with clients including Cineplex, Delsey Luggage, Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee and Park’N Fly, for which it recently launched a new radio campaign. The agency now boasts a full-time staff of five backed by several contract positions and a network of freelancers and will soon open its first office space.

Giants & Gentlemen closed out 2012 by landing the assignment for SIR Corp.’s Alice Fazooli’s and Canyon Creek brands, as well as the assignment for a new wine from Treasury Wine Estates (which counts Wolf Blass, Lindeman’s and Rosemount Estate among its brands) called 19 Crimes. The wine is set to launch in several Canadian markets later this year.

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