Pool creates viral with Bert and Ernie for TomTom
November 8, 2011
You have reached your destination: Sesame Street!
Amsterdam, 4 November 2011
To celebrate the launch of the new Sesame Street voices for TomTom, digital agency Pool Worldwide has created a viral video in which Bert and Ernie record their voices in a recording studio. The video, starring Bert and Ernie, was shot in October in New York and will go live online on November 8th.
After the success of the TomTom virals starring Darth Vader and Yoda, it made sense to bring Bert and Ernie into the sound studio setting and document their (mis)adventures. Even the hapless sound engineer James is called back for more misery.
“By continuing in the spirit of the Star Wars Voices virals, we build up a series in which different characters attempt to record their voices for TomTom, each in their own unique way.” says Pool Worldwide’s creative director Erwin Kleinjan. “Each new recording session is a surprise; who’s in the hot seat this time and how will they fare in the recording studio environment. So, we create a campaign for the TomTom voices and ensure a steady flow of new and exciting content.”
Sesame Street themselves are no viral novices. The online video ‘Smell like a monster’ starring Grover (a spoof of the famous Old Spice campaign) racked up millions of views. The children’s TV series, in turn, was impressed with the TomTom Star Wars virals made by Pool which have received numerous awards and have been viewed more than 6 million times.
“That made working together all the more exciting.” according to Kleinjan. “The people behind Sesame Street know better than anyone how to create something that touches the hearts of millions of people. We’re so grateful for being able to reciprocate their fun and excitement during the course of the production. We’re quite proud of that.” smiles Kleinjan.
For the creatives at Pool, the Sesame Street project was extra special. Kleinjan “A project like this might come along once a year if you’re lucky. After all, you’re working with your childhood icons. And that makes it really special. It’s amazing to watch how the muppeteers bring Bert and Ernie to life using only their hands and voices. Suddenly you’re no longer directing people, but instead are talking directly to Bert and Ernie, who then respond with questions or comments completely in character. That was quite an experience.”
￼The viral is an homage to Sesame Street. The dialogues, the shooting style, lighting, music, and especially the educational ‘element’ included in the video, are inspired by the classic Bert and Ernie sketches we all know and love. Although this viral’s target audience includes those past puberty. “The narrative and jokes are so universal that regardless of how old you are, you’ll be able to identify with them.” says creative Nick Schonfeld. “And just as in many of the Sesame Street sketches, we’ve included a ‘lesson’: road safety, something that TomTom and Sesame Street both care about a lot.”. Sesame Street have set up their own Road Safety Initiative and TomTom encourages drivers to stay safe in a variety of ways.
The installing of alternatives to the standard navigation voice on your TomTom device continues to be a great success. Drivers everywhere are downloading the voices of their favourite actors, cartoon characters and other famous faces, and TomTom has built up quite an impressive database of voices for users to choice from. You can now be guided by Roger Moore, John Cleese, Homer Simpson, Sponge Bob and Snoop Dogg, to name but a few. “And on the 8th of November they will be joined by Bert and Ernie.” smiles Kleinjan.
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