Coolfire Studios, Rodgers Townsend Play It Safe While Innovating In Pandemic Production For Spectrum Brands


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Jul. 13, 2020


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Coolfire Studios in St. Louis recently produced a broadcast campaign in partnership with St. Louis-based ad agency Rodgers Townsend, with safety concerns and considerations in play during this pandemic era. The campaign entitled “Protect Your People” was produced for Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent and Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent, both of which are part of the Spectrum Brands portfolio.

Coolfire president and EP David Johnson said in relation to COVID-19, ““By mid-March, we knew that the production process was going to be changed at least for the time being and potentially forever. As creative problem solvers, we approached this the same way we would any other problem and formulated a plan that would keep everyone safe and deliver creatively.”

Michael McCormick, chief creative officer for Rodgers Townsend, noted, “You can only solve it so many ways with stock footage, stills, animation or even type. Some ideas, even now, beg to roll camera. Our friends at Coolfire and the entire St. Louis community have gone above and beyond to keep the makers making safely.”

Johnson credited the agency with doing “a fantastic job of developing scripts that were highly creative, but at the same time producible in this new environment. Our cast and crew were fantastic and adapted to this new work environment very well. They were all excited to get back to work, but at the same time, knew what they needed to do to facilitate a safe working environment.” 

McCormick added, “We owe it to our client partners and the brands we serve to grow their business. Even with the incredibly challenging and ever-shifting environment of COVID, Coolfire has helped us safely produce work without compromising the idea. Everything takes a little longer right now, but making is still very much possible.”

Two spots were produced (:30 and :15 versions for each) and were directed by Cody Stokes. “Daredevil” features a precocious young girl preparing to make an epic jump over her stuffed animal collection with her bike while “Garage Band” features a young teen rocker who is about to bring down the house with an over-the-top guitar solo. The message in both is that you can’t protect them from everything, but at least you can protect them from ticks and mosquitoes. The spots are airing on national cable networks as well as on social media platforms.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the elements of the campaign came together followed by the two :30s.


Client Spectrum Brands, Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent/Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent Agency Rodgers Townsend Michael McCormick, chief creative officer; Patty Ivey, producer; Ross Bradley, creative director; Jeremy Hagen, writer. Production Coolfire Studios Cody Stokes, director; Chris Durr, DP; David Johnson, exec producer; Daniel Gartner, producer; Cory Hinesley, production designer. Editorial Coolfire Studios Kevin Johnson, editor/colorist; Patrick Vaughan, editor/VFX; Mike Kearns, behind-the-scenes video editor. Original Music & Sound Design Brent Johnson

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