Launching bonafide British comedy icon Rowan Atkinson’s new series, Man vs Bee, on Netflix, featuring his first original comedy creation in almost a decade, we were asked by our friends at Netflix to come up with something to make it famous among parents and kids alike.
So rather than doing the standard talent junket thing, we created a duo of headline-grabbing creative campaigns.
Kicking things off for the family audience by immortalising Rowan in a special bespoke Beano comic strip in an iconic pop culture crossover. Drawn by celebrated Beano illustrator Nigel Parkinson, stars Atkinson as the series’ eponymous hero ‘Trevor,’ a hapless house sitter who attempts to take care of a luxury mansion before chaos ensues after being invaded by a mischievous bee.
Inspired by his unique slapstick comedic credentials from the show, the bee-spoke strip transports Trevor to Beanotown, where he runs into serious difficulties alongside a cast of favourite characters, including favourites such as Dennis, Gnasher, Bea (Dennis’s baby sister), Minnie, Pieface, JJ and Rubi.
Announcing the launch of the Bee-No landed print and 60 + regionals across the UK, as well as a raft of consumer onlines, kids press and stand-out pieces across the likes of The Sun and The Daily Star in print – not to mention massive engagement on social media as the Bee-no was handed to kids and families attending the London premiere of the series.
Next up, our second campaign looked to tackle the serious issue of bee conservation with a truly eccentric piece of creative as we unveiled a series of eccentric life-sized wildflower-filled ‘Growin Atkinson’ bee buffets caricaturing Rowan Atkinson’s iconic likeness on the steps of St Pauls.
Launched by Rowan, the campaign was in partnership with The British Bee Charity and a drive to help to raise awareness of the plight of native bees in the UK as more than a third (35%) of Brits noticed massive declines in bee populations this summer due to a 100% increase in honeybee hives in London in the last ten years, meaning there’s now not enough nectar and pollen to sustain native species of British bee.
With commissioned research, an expert in bee conservation and with quotes and comment on the story from Rowan, the coverage has been wild, racking up hundreds of hits and doing the rounds nationally, across all the major regionals and onlines.
We’ve landed meaty pieces on The Sun and The Daily Star (again), not to mention stunning feature pieces on The Express, The Mirror, The Daily Mirror Weekend’s “picture of the week” (in print) and Evening Standard. As well as becoming a must-visit attraction across Time Out and Secret London, to name a few.
It’s been a frantic but fun couple of weeks with the team helping make Man vs Bee one of the most hotly anticipated drops in recent memory.