On the soccer pitch and the basketball court, Women's World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe and three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird rank among the world's elite athletes.
These days, however, with most sports still on hiatus, they're navigating the new normal as best they can, and spending way too much time at home, judging from cute spots created by Copacino Fujikado for life insurance firm Symetra.
The power couple bake bread (poorly), rearrange furniture and run drills in the living room. At one point, Rapinoe talks to a potato. Thankfully, it doesn't talk back.
They also make plans for the future, "because there's good things ahead," Rapinoe says, to which Bird quickly adds: "Like more championships." (That's how winners roll, people!)
The commercials close with the line: "You can't predict the future. But with Symetra Life Insurance Company, you can prepare for it." They break on Sunday's pre-show coverage leading into the remote 2020 ESPY Awards on ESPN, and during the program itself, which Rapinoe and Bird will host with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Of course, it's Pride Month, and the presence of the couple serves to underscore Symetra's commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company recently pledged $250,000 to the GSBA Scholarship Fund, one of the nation's leading LGBTQ+ grant programs.
Rapinoe and Bird shot the ads at home using an iPad and iPhone, guided by O Positive director Jess Coulter and her team.
"We were originally prepping to shoot a different very funny and charming Symetra spot [starring Rapinoe and Bird]," Coulter says. "But then The Bad Thing happened, and advertising became about These Times. Thankfully, the creatives acted quickly and pushed beyond a vague 'In This Together' message for Symetra. They opted for an insightful, tone-perfect idea that felt personal and tailor-made for Megan and Sue's personalities."
"There are many things I love about directing," she says, "but one of them is nerding out on production problem solving. Megan and Sue are also nerds when it comes to figuring this stuff out, because they have a very entertaining Instagram show called 'A Touch More' that they produce from home. So we worked together to help them emulate a full set in the comfort of their apartment and made sure the rest of us felt connected even though we were all scattered across the country."
In terms of tone and message, "we wanted to empathize with our consumers and show them that they're not alone," adds Copacino Fujikado executive creative director Mike Hayward. "Despite all the uncertainty, even as states continue to reopen, we can still plan and have hope for the future."
SVP, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs: Trinity Parker
VP Brand Development and Corporate Marketing: Kathryn Riley
AVP, Creative Director: Korbi Faust
Agency: Copacino Fujikado
CEO: Scott Foreman
Chief Creative Officer: Mike Hayward
Group Creative Director: Andrew Gall
Associate Creative Director: Andy Westbrock
Sr. Copywriter: Caroline Henry
Sr. Producer: MacKenzie Huff
Chief Strategy Officer: Tim O'Mara
Sr. Strategist: Richa Ruchita
Media Supervisor: Gina Neace
Sr. Social Strategist: Mikel Hanson
Social Strategist: Rachel Danto
Account Executive: Joey Gale
Sr. Account Director: John Line
Production Company: O. Positive
Director: Jess Coulter
Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
Executive Producer: Marc Grill
Producer: Jason Reda
Post Production: Arcade Edit NY
Editor: Ali Mao
Assistant: Laurel Metzler
Flame Artist: Tristian Wake
Flame Assistant: Mark Popham
EP/Partner: Sila Soyer
Producer: Fanny Cruz
Color: Company3 NY
Colorist: Jaime O'Bradovich
Producer: Kevin Breheny
Record + Mix: HEARby Sound
President/Creative Director/Engineer: John Buroker
Executive Producer: Nannette Buroker
Business Affairs: Be Grizzlee
Global Business Affairs Director: Christine Claussen