24: Series Launch Through Series Finale
FBC had a lot riding on the new drama from Imagine Entertainment. It was part of a key multi-series deal; it was the personal project of Brian Grazer and Howard Gordon, both important relationships for Twentieth Century Fox; it starred a big name from motion pictures; and it would test the network’s ability to mount a fall/winter ad campaign and successfully launch a new drama mid-season.
We were under contract with the network at the time, and this series demonstrates one of Industrial Creative’s strong suits: developing creative to support a number of marketing positions. First, the story itself: L.A.’s counter-terrorism unit races against the clock to subvert a terrorist plot and save the country from disaster. Then a pivot: sell the show as a high-concept series, one terrifying 24-hour day told in a season of 24 one-hour episodes (no bathroom breaks; sorry, Jack). Then another pivot: sell the team, the C.T.U. itself. And then the big idea, the one that stuck: the hero sell.
Though it seems spot-on in hindsight, it was a challenge at the time. The idea of a renegade agent who will go rogue and do anything, even kill, in the name of justice was controversial, and risky. But the network committed, the hero launch campaign was taken to finish and released.
Tragically, the nation was devastated just weeks later by 9/11. The show’s anti-hero was embraced by a stunned nation, and the name “Jack Bauer” became a cultural touchstone.
Ultimately the strength of our creative cemented a lasting partnership with Rick Laurenzo in on-air and a series of art directors in the print department. Industrial Creative developed creative for every season premiere, episode, sweeps arc and season finale for all eight seasons of the legendary show, as well as both follow up movies.
"24" campaign line