The Jaffes’ Big Teeth Productions sinks its creative chops into international Navteq video web series

An international campaign for local Navteq, which powers Google Maps and supplies technology to many popular GPS production, has pushed three-year-old Big Teeth Productions into the high-end video marketplace.

The Big Teeth campaign, a series of videos for the Navteq website and retailer training, is the company’s first consumer-targeted spots after a history of B-to-B-centered marketing.

“They challenged us to put it in language that people can understand, and open their eyes to something different and more fun to watch,” said Big Teeth creative director Gregg Jaffe, who scripted the campaign.

Big Teeth executive producer Elise Jaffe, who is Gregg’s wife, landed the gig through a former colleague at JWT, who is now a Navteq staffer. The Jaffes turned to Elise’s longtime friend Scott Valins of New York-based Valins & Co. to animate the spots, which introduce the company to consumers and offer guidance on navigating through available GPS products. They’re participating in various stages of development for parallel campaigns in Brazil, Mexico and across Europe.

The Jaffes started Big Teeth when they were dating. Elise was a freelance producer and Gregg was a former account person at Ogilvy & Mather. Their core business was in personal event videos, which they continue to produce, but their client base has steadily expanded to small- and mid-sizes businesses, and now into major corporations with Navteq.

“When we started I was still freelancing, and I said ?if this doesn’t work out in two years we’ll have to rethink things,'” Elise said. “Almost exactly two years later was my last time freelancing because we were getting so much business.” After running Big Teeth out of their apartment for a year and a half, they opened their Lincoln Avenue office last year and hired a sales rep.

The bulk of Big Teeth’s work now is viral video. “Every client wants viral video without necessarily knowing what that means,” Gregg said. “People don’t pay as much attention to commercials now, so [clients] are more inclined to create short, interesting video for YouTube or Facebook.”

Big Teeth is working with fashion photographer Kari Skaflen of KMS Photography on the monthly web series Above the Fray. “We’re talking to up-and-coming designers, doing something that’s more accessible than the uptight fashion world,” Gregg said. “We want to get the hipness without the pretension.”

They’re also developing web video campaigns with the sport satire site The Heckler, for which Gregg writes occasionally, and the text message marketing firm Image Architecture. They’re hoping to begin a campaign soon for the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, which they aim to be the prototype for a niche working with chambers of commerce.

The Jaffes are also looking to partner with a marketing company that specializes in web placement and optimization. “We know there are companies that do both” production and placement, Elise says, “but what sets us apart is the fun, makes-you-smile kind of feeling we bring to it.”

Big Teeth Productions is at 4306 N. Lincoln; phone, 773/588-597. See