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Viacom Ads Throw an All-Star Party for Fans

It’s been one of those years for Viacom, so when the time came for an upfront trade campaign, it decided to throw a party.

The house party theme used in Viacom’s ads “bring to life the fans’ connections with the talent and the brands that people are passionate about, and puts our advertising partners in the middle of that,” Viacom Catalyst senior vice president of brand strategy and creative Cheryl Family said.

Catalyst put together a video and a series of print ads showing franchises and stars from the company’s key brands partying alongside their fans.

Under the theme “For All Fankind,” ads emphasize how Viacom’s brands connect emotionally with fans, how fans hang out with its properties longer and how they’re the most engaged. Ads also note that Viacom reaches the most millennials, something particularly attractive to advertisers, Family said.

The key image of the campaign is crowd-surfing, “which really shows the mutually beneficial relationship we have with our fans. They adore this talent and these brands so much that they’re actually propelling forward,” she said.

Trevor Noah of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show shot his scenes on his birthday. “When Trevor got to crowd surf, he was really into it,” Family said.

Viacom hired well-known music video director Hannah Lux Davis for its video and photographer Kareem Black for the print ads to bring authenticity and make the talent comfortable.

The shoot for Josh Duhamel, from Paramount’s Transformers franchise, ran long, but he was having fun playing ping pong in his area of the party house, Family said.

Also featured in the campaign are the MTV Moonman, BET’s Jidenna and Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.

The video can be found on a new website,, where advertisers are invited to “let our datadriven audience insights, branded content and multiplatform distribution strategies help you unlock the power of our young, diverse fans wherever they are.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.