With 7 million views, 30,000 shares and a sales increase of 526 percent, to say it’s been successful would be an understatement. The ad features a singing and dancing French woman to show audiences that Lumē can be used anywhere. Yes, you heard that right anywhere.
Jonny Vance, the creative director over the campaign, said the idea behind the ad wasn’t random. “We thought ‘what’s the opposite of stinky private parts and armpits? Probably a classy, Persian woman in a café and then having her sing about these problems on a glamorous stage,” said Vance. “We thought that would be the perfect juxtaposition for this taboo subject.”
The ad stars Whitney Meek, a cast member of Studio C. For those of you who haven’t assimilated to Utah culture yet — and I get it, after three years of living in Provo I’m right there with you — she’s a Studio C cast member.
This isn’t the first time Harmon Brothers has used an LDS star in their ads, but Daniel Harmon, the chief creative officer at Harmon Brothers, said this isn’t just a coincidence or a matter of convenience. In fact, over 200 actresses from across the nation were considered for the role, and in the end, they felt like Meek was the right choice.
“Anyone you see that ended up on camera, it’s because they really wanted the part. They showed us the goods and we feel like they’re the best person for the job,” said Harmon. “ Utah Valley is actually a pretty great hotbed of talent in marketing and film and we’ve been able to build up a really good network of great talent to draw from.”
This idea extends to Natalie Madsen, another Studio C cast member who helped write the ad’s script, and Zach Atherton, the director and owner of Provo’s ImprovBroadway, who co-stars alongside Meek.
And of course the ad is done in true Harmon Brothers fashion — it doesn’t shy away from things that you wouldn’t be comfortable bringing up on the first date. Well, things I hope you wouldn’t be comfortable bringing up on a first date.
But for the Harmon Brothers, Taboo is sort of a specialty. “In a way, we kind of liberate these conversations of problems that everyone has but they’re just too ashamed to talk about,” said Vance.
Harmon said that marketing these products that deal with uncomfortable problems is an exciting challenge, but that before they take on any new client, they have to be sure it actually works.
“We feel like nothing sales better than the truth and that our passion for the product will ultimately come through in our work,” said Harmon. “Lumē definitely fits that category.”
For the Harmon Brothers, their faith and the values that go along with it is what helps them figure out how to convey taboo subjects to their audiences.
“Your first line of defense when it comes to what jokes are appropriate or accessible is your own kind of moral line,” said Harmon. “We very much judge our own work by what we’re sensitive to. We want to make something that we’re proud of that we’re not ashamed to show to other people, and I’d say faith plays a role in that.”
Both Harmon and Vance said that their faith largely impacts their work.
“You can’t divorce faith from our culture,” said Vance. “Each person has a different faith and a different level of faith, but you can’t divorce it from your creativity; it’s is the lens by which we see things.”
Look out for more of the Harmon Brothers’ faith-influenced, laugh-inducing work by checking out their website.