Gorton's brings back fisherman

A scene from "Coach," a video vignette directed by "Saturday Night Live" director Mike Bernstein, that projects a humorous side to Gorton's iconic slicker-clad Gloucester fisherman.

The Gorton’s fisherman, on sabbatical since about 2010, is back and the iconic marketing figure now will be at the center of a social media-centric campaign by the Gloucester-based frozen seafood company.

The new campaign kicked of this week with the release of “Coach,” a video vignette directed by “Saturday Night Live” director Mike Bernstein that projects a humorous side to the slicker-clad Gloucester fisherman while still reinforcing — Gorton’s hopes — the coveted image of ruggedness and serious custodianship of the ocean.

The video spots, according to Gorton’s Vice President of Marketing Chris Hussey, have been tailored for presentation on a variety of different social media platforms and not as traditional television advertising spots.

“We see this is a great opportunity to engage with our traditional consumers that mean so much to us now, as well as helping us capture a whole new generation of consumers through social media,” Hussey said. “These videos will basically live on the various platforms of social media, such as YouTube, Facebook. Twitter, Instagram and others.”

The campaign, developed over the past year with the Boston-based Connelly Partners advertising agency, will feature seven new videos to be released over the next six weeks on a recurring schedule. It is expected to run through the first half of 2017, Hussey said.

“This is a campaign that will build a bond with out consumers over time,” Hussey said. “We see it leveraging on our established heritage in a more relevant way.”

The videos, she said, will inject the Gorton’s fisherman, now sporting a viking-like beard, in real-life situations.

“In a way, it’s all about stripping down the corporate veneer, placing him in situations with real people,” Hussey said. “It’s about building a broader appreciation for the fisherman in a way that’s entertaining.”

In the trailer for the campaign, the fisherman strolls into a bar in slow motion as looks of recognition appear on the faces of the other patrons. In the first video “Coach,” the fisherman applies his own spin to a sideline celebration.

Hussey said the new campaign wasn’t developed to support any specific product line and was timed for release at a time of the year when consumers tend to adopt a greater appreciation for healthier eating.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.

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