Robert Goulet is fighting back against Emerald Nuts' natural energy. Last seen in one of this year's better
Robert Goulet is fighting back against Emerald Nuts' natural energy. Last seen in one of this year's better Super Bowl spots, in which Goulet wreaks havoc inside the office when drones get drowsy, he's back with the Snooze Bar, guaranteed to put office workers to sleep so he can continue his cubicle carousing. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners art director Will Hammond and copywriter Chris Beresford-Hill worked along with art director John Nussbaum to create the site, which involved Nussbaum cajoling Goulet into recording a five song EP in addition to numerous sound bites for the site. Below, Beresford-Hill owns up to his personal interest in the project and being part of Robert Goulet's newfound glory.
Why Robert Goulet?
I've kind of always been a little bit obsessed with him. Once the Will Ferrell impression came out, I went on his website, and he puts all his Christmas cards on the website, and if you go on YouTube you can see a clip of this pilot TV show that he did and it's horrible, but he's such a character and he's so intriguing and his name sounds so funny and he's a little bit mischievous looking, and he was so awesome in the Naked Gun, when he played Quentin Hapsburg, in the Naked Gun 2 ½ so it's kind of like 'why not Goulet.' If not him, our backup was going to be Jeff Goldblum. It seemed to make sense from the beginning.
How did the site evolve out of the spot?
After the Super Bowl spot it seemed like, of the people we wanted to reach, a lot of people were really interested in it. It seemed to be getting so much love on YouTube, and the comments were all so positive, which is so rare, so we had money lined up for a next phase but it wasn't a broadcast, it wasn't a radio, it wasn't a print, it was just enough for some banners and a microsite. Rather than re-tackling the same brief of afternoon energy slumps it sort of naturally unfolded. We're imaging that our Goulet character must be like 'drat' because he can't maraud and steal like he used to now that the secret's out. So what happens next? Goulet wants to get back at Emerald Nuts and get people sleeping again. So to get back at Emerald he'll position a candy bar, do something in the snack category, and it'll get people asleep so he can return to his sneaking. So that seemed like a fun, silly idea that seemed to hit on everything we wanted.
And Emerald, of course, was cool with it.
Yeah, our client was really on board with the Goulet thing from the beginning. We all thought it was going to take some convincing. The great thing is we have this great property and have this great character we created, and we can leave it at that, or we can push the boundaries and allow it to play out a little more and allow a little good versus evil, natural energy versus sneaky baritone.
So you went back to Goulet and said 'let's do this next part'?
We had a contract for likeness and things related to the spot, and he was really happy with the commercial. Initially we showed him the first cut and he said the music was crap and he didn't like that he was eating a phone memo. Then when it came out all of a sudden Goulet loved it, he started getting recognized in airports again and he was getting more fan mail and the hits to his website doubled, so he was like 'Yeah, I'm in.' He knows we're not going to do him wrong. He really loves playing a conniving villain type. And it's really cute, he always makes comments about his wife and manager Vera. Like on the shoot when we were going to have him pour the coffee on the keyboard, he very gleefully was like 'Oh, Vera's not going to like that,' but he loves being dastardly. When we were recording him doing all these little wild lines for the site, he gets such a kick out of hit. It's so natural for him. He's like that awesome, old school bad guy that you love to hate.
So for this second bit you grabbed him and hit the studio?
I was on a shoot at the time and John Nussbaum, one of the art directors of the interactive flew down to a small recording studio in Vegas and Goulet and his longtime piano man Vinnie Favale went in there and John went in there with a giant sheet we wanted him to read and he just blasted through it all and Vinnie would sit with him and add these crazy little pokey accent notes on his electric piano. It took no more than three hours for everything. All the modern studios they have this sleek button built in to the console that you can hit and speak to the booth. John was saying in this place it's like a rickety old microphone and you have to turn on an on off button on it, so it's a really kind of dingy and old school place.
This just launched, how has reception been?
Consciously today was going to be the day everything was finished on it, the album, Goulet's 3pm Lullabies, was going to get put on, but some of the web banners went live last week. We weren't trying to reach out and get press on it or anything, but someone must have seen the banner and submitted it because it was featured on Monday on the Best Week Ever blog. Hopefully it's just fun enough that people will want to spend some time on it.