New Agency/Production Company Hybrid Completes First Assignments, Global TV and Print Campaigns for Bulova and Wittnauer Timepieces

Veteran agency creative Neal Werner and respected commercial production executive John Grossman have joined forces to launch theFirm Creative Group, a new boutique agency/production company. The company's first assignments – new global TV and Print campaigns for both the Bulova and WIttnauer line of timepieces – will air nationally throughout 2006. The print ads have appeared in People, InStyle, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar to name a few.
"Similar opportunities to branch out have presented themselves over the years but I've always resisted because it never seemed like the right fit," said Grossman. "However with Neal it's different thanks to our collective fashion backgrounds. This is an area where both Neal and I are comfortable and have expertise. We believe that as a boutique you can't be a generalist because clients want to work with companies that 'get' their business and know how to brand it effectively."

Prior to theFirm Creative Group, Grossman was the executive producer of the commercial production company The Firm, which specialized in fashion and beauty spots. Since its launch in 1998, the company produced over 300 commercials, many for its long time client Macy's department stores. Werner comes to the new venture following three years running Werner Advertising, working on projects for Bulova and Wittnauer as well as others. Prior to that he was creative director at Revlon's in-house agency, handling creative duties for all of their brands. His resume also includes stints at agencies such as BBDO, Geers Gross and Tarlow Advertising.

"I've worked at big agencies and companies all my life and I can honestly say this approach is much more satisfying," said Werner, "I can take all my years of experience and work directly with the client as opposed to having to work through the myriad of levels at the bigger shops even before a creative concept reaches the client. There's an immediacy to this approach that is invigorating personally and much more effective for the client."

Bulova, Wittnauer and Beyond
That approach is on display in theFirm Creative Group's first assignment, the new international television and print campaign for both Bulova and Wittnauer timepieces. The new campaign builds on Werner's previous work that, according to Bulova, helped the company achieve record-breaking sales in 2005.

Stylistically, the TV spots for Bulova and Wittnauer are noticeably different both in tone and target audience. Directed by fashion specialist Malcolm McLean, the Bulova TV spot, which is aimed at younger consumers, features a distinctive graphic approach with male and female models interacting with a larger-than-life Bulova timepiece that orbits around them. The only copy is the Werner-created tagline: "Time flies. Bulova soars."

Contrasting that is the mysterious and sleek look of the Wittnauer spot (also directed by McLean). Targeting luxury consumers, the spot features an elegantly dressed woman and life-size Wittnauer timepieces emerging in and out of a silhouetted, dream-like darkness.

"For Bulova, the basic idea was to treat the timepiece almost as if it were a fragrance ° © making it the iconic image that drives the spot," explained Werner. "Wittnauer is a more expensive and luxurious brand so we focused on the idea of night and came up the 'Into the Night' tagline. We wanted the tone to be dreamy and sexy in a film noir way. It's deliberately slow-paced and languid, and because of that it cuts through and draws you in."

Clearly it's an approach that is resonating with the client, as evidenced by theFirm Creative Group's next creative assignment for Bulova's Accutron brand.

"I think that theFirm Creative Group's contribution to both brands has been quite significant," said Fae Druiz, A.V.P. Creative Director at Bulova. "The entire process from selecting the creative direction to shoot day was flawless."

Agency/Production Company: theFirm Creative Group, New York
Creative Director: Neal Werner
Executive Producer: John Grossman
Director/DO: Malcolm McLean
Photographer: Alex Beauchesne

Editorial/Post: Moondog Edit, New York
Editor: Peter Kasko

Music: Nico Kean Music, New York
Composer: Nico Kean

Audio Post: Lost Dreams, New York