Saturday Night Live director puts spotlight on Gorton’s Fisherman

Published on
February 2, 2017

Gloucester, Massachusetts-based company Gorton's Seafood is kicking off a new advertising campaign which will reintroduce the iconic Gorton’s Fisherman with the help of acclaimed Saturday Night Live director Mike Bernstein.

The advertising campaign, which saw Boston-based advertising agency Connelly Partners lend a hand, will feature the Gorton’s Fisherman in a series of comical videos in which he uses his seafaring wisdom to guide him through a host of modern-day trivialities on land.

“Out on the sea, this wise, legendary, healthily-bearded spirit guide of a man has all the unadulterated confidence in the world,” said Gorton’s of its Fisherman icon, in a press release. “The only problem is he applies those principles to life on land which proves to be unorthodox, though gets the job done.”

The videos, seven in total, will run through paid spots on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout 2017. One of the installments, titled “Real Deal,” sees the Gorton’s Fisherman enter a bar full of “hipster” patrons “in their too-cool-for-school wardrobes,” and involves the hipsters coming to terms with the fact that the Ffisherman is, in fact, the real deal. Another video, “Coach,” features an overzealous fisherman dumping a cooler of ice water full of fish over his coach’s head during an intense sporting match. Other installments involve the fisherman contending with the upkeep of his apartment using vessel-cleaning techniques; finding romance; filling out his basketball brackets; and more.

“Each spot ends with self-awareness from the brand that they can be trusted for great fish and meal-time goodness, but not the other stuff,” according to the company.

“For 167 years, Gorton’s has been singularly focused on providing the best seafood possible,” said Chris Hussey, vice president of marketing at Gorton’s Seafood, in a prepared statement. “We loved the idea of bringing back this trusted icon and embracing the idea that we’re good at what we’re good at, and proud of it. Each one of our short videos starring the Gorton’s Fisherman was created to be entertaining and work well on social platforms.”

The target demographic for the campaign are “Busy Fuelers,” who are busy people craving delicious, convenient food that they can make at home, said Gorton’s. The company’s redesigned website also appeals to this consumer group, offering content “for people looking for travel-inspired recipes, ideas for families with picky eaters and information on the health benefits of seafood among many other ideas.”

The company will also be running three videos featuring content integration with various Gorton’s product lines on social media platforms, in conjunction with the Gorton’s Fisherman spots.

“This work is a celebration of the fisherman’s one-track mind, and his confidence that lets us know he’s the slightest bit in on the joke,” said Steve Connelly, president of Connelly Partners. “Our fisherman can be trusted for great, quality fish, but we can’t expect him to give up his dedication to fishing and act like the rest of us. These spots, as well as all the work we’re producing for Gorton’s, are hyper-focused on catering to the Busy Fueler who wants the people providing their food to be focused on nothing but the food.”

Launch dates for the updated website and advertising campaigns are slated for release in early February.

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