Advertising Campaigns, Marketing & Branding

Creative Direction | Strategy | Copywriting | Video

Talent taking photo at shoot.

 

OVERVIEW

I started working with National Tobacco Company’s internationally known brand, Zig-Zag, in 2014. It’s been an incredible experience to work on such a well-known brand, and it’s probably as close of a connection as I’ll ever get to Dr. Dre. Through a tightening up of the brand, website build, well over half a dozen video productions and retainer work, I’ve touched every aspect of the company’s marketing efforts as of late.

BRANDING & PERSONAS

When you’ve been in business since the kinetoscope was tech’s next big thing, you’re doing something right. That’s Zig-Zag. And this brand didn’t make it 130 years by delivering more of the same. They had to evolve.

Zig-Zag’s personas are some of the more interesting I’ve worked with, ranging from older blue collar dudes who have used the papers their whole adult lives, to young urban adults who love the brand’s flavorful cigars. The wide range of fanatics (and I mean fanatics — these people get tattoos with the Zig-Zag logo) is a true testament to Zig-Zag’s commitment to staying relevant. The brand could have settled with being a cigarette paper company, but it didn’t. It moved into cigars, cigar wraps, cigarillos, pipe and cigarette tobacco, and the list goes on. Now that the industry is going digital, Zig-Zag has released a series of vaporizers.

This is why I love working with this brand — they get it. They understand that “cigarette papers” at face value are a commodity. But to be an industry leader in all-things smoking is priceless. I worked on the initial brand tightening, which was more about the visual brand, and have continued to work on the positioning of the brand to all of these personas, be it on the website, video work or, the most recent undertaking, social media.

COPYWRITING  & CREATIVE DIRECTION

In the interest of evolving the brand further, we were tasked with creating two commercials around two of Zig-Zag’s products, SloBurns and Cigars. I’m the Creative Director on the account, and for this particular project I was the copywriter and worked with a director of photography to conceptualize the storyboards. We decided to tell the story of a younger hero who wants to live life his own way. Despite having spent a considerable amount of time living in mom and dad’s basement, Millennials are increasingly becoming the most independent and adventurous generation. They don’t care about societal norms, other generations’ expectations or brands that are fake.

Brad directing

Giving talent creative direction on set. It was a full day, shooting at two locations with a large crew.

Despite having spent a considerable amount of time living in mom and dad’s basement, Millennials are increasingly becoming the most adventurous generation. They don’t care about societal norms, other generations’ expectations or brands that are fake. So my goal with these spots was to align the historic brand with the authenticity Millennials appreciate so much.

Overall I’m proud of these two spots, as they shepherd Zig-Zag, a cultural rock star, into yet another generation of brand evangelists.

 And don’t worry. You don’t have to watch them on a kinetoscope.

Zig-Zag — Slo Burn Commercial

Zig-Zag — Wrap Commercial