Party City is a brand that remains steadfast in their attempts to prove you don’t need a distinguishable identity to survive in the modern business climate. Their inventory is essentially Walmart's, but with far less variety and firearms and far more promiscuous Halloween costumes. To help give the brand some sort of shape, we harkened back to its guts and focused on its namesake with the goal of making Party City the store you shop at as to guarantee a memorable party. The real insight we made, however, was no matter how you plan for parties, the best are a weird mix of a few basic lessons, spontaneity, and luck. We hoped to address all three of these issues with our Professor Party character and a campaign that encouraged people to party for whatever reason.
Brand Manifesto/ Thesis
To get consumers to think of Party City when considering how they'll spend their hosting dollar, we developed the character of Professor Party, the foremost authority on all things party. We thought the most natural way for people to familiarize themselves with Professor Party and his ground-breaking work in this nascent (and non-existent) academic field was to share the abstract from his PhD thesis. This also doubled as a brand manifesto that led the remainder of the creative.
Ask Professor Party (Web Video/ Print/ Social/ Nontraditional)
But what good is a professor if you can't mine their brains for precious thought nuggets? We felt this was a problem that was naturally addressed with our web series "Ask Professor Party" and subsequent social extension. The videos would live on Vimeo and our website, while the Twitter feed works two ways: at times there is someone who directly answers queries addressed to the doctor. Other times, a Professor "bot" responds using "Magic 8-Ball" style messages related to partying. The print campaign is also made up of these somewhat contemplative messages on how to improve your chances on throwing a great party. Finally, the graphs are an example of non-traditional, where we would have followers draw up their own graphs in their respective schools or place of work, and if deemed party-centric enough, be rewarded with Party City prizes.