Brian Kunath's profile

iRobot "Better Together"

iRobot was rolling out its new brand tagline, "Better Together," at the end of 2015 and wanted to introduce it to fans during the holiday campaign. We thought it would be cool to emphasize the humanity of the tagline by showing how real families are Better Together around the holidays. 
Instead of creating ads, we went to three homes and captured everyday life in a magazine-style photoshoot, complete with a journalistic approach to the writing that focused on story first. By involving the audience in the characters we interviewed, we were able to bring iRobot and "Better Together" into the story authentically.

Better Together Profile: Rick Malwitz
Take a drive down a certain leafy street in Broomall, Pennsylvania and you'll pass the home of Rick Malwitz. Don't worry if you miss it. From the outside, Rick's two-level house, its front porch choked with kid's toys, blends in with the neighborhood. Call it camouflage. Because inside, you'll find a guy with an obsession usually found in Hawaii, not landlocked Broomall. Scroll through to discover the many interests that drive this husband and father of two, and find out why Rick, his family and their Roomba are Better Together.  

Two heavy basement doors clang open and up stomps Rick into the backyard, covered in dust. When he enters his house, he immediately goes into decontamination mode (an agreement with his wife). Still, the bits of foam, plastic and dust that cake his shoes and powder his jeans also find a home on the wood flooring, throw rugs and, well, everywhere. Such is the life of a surfboard shaper.

Motes of fiber suspended in the halogen light force Rick to don a mask in his basement workshop. Shaping surfboards started as a way for Rick to feel more connected to his passion. He honed this craft through hours of research, advice from other shapers and endless practice. Today, sixty miles from the nearest ocean breaker, Malwitz Custom Surfboards ships boards as far away as Australia.

To ensure each board is truly unique, Rick shapes them without the use of any template, and designs with only the surfer’s needs in mind. Then he hands it to local surfboard glassers, who finish sanding, coating, polishing, and painting. It’s a labor of love that requires talented people working together. But the results are reflected in the quality of the boards and the smile on Rick's face. 

You'd expect a guy like Rick to drink a lot of coffee. But his relationship with the bean goes beyond the average Starbucks devotee. Turns out the video animator/surfboard shaper also roasts his own blends, another craft he taught himself. Now he owns his own roastery (Concave Coffee), which provides craft roasts for a handful of cafes in NYC. His beans are a hit—even Roomba can’t get enough of them.

Last, but definitely not least, Rick makes time for his family: his wife Ruth, the two girls, and a few pets. Oh, and look—there’s Roomba, which his kids named Josephine by the way. 

Rick, his family, and Roomba. Better Together.
Better Together Profile: Chaucer Barnes and family
Moving to a big house suburban New Jersey was a surprise to Chaucer and Ashely, who figured they'd never leave the cultural comforts of their beloved rental in Brooklyn. But like so many other migratory urbanites, a growing family pushed them to seek wider yards and more square footage. Being a homeowner never occurred to Chaucer as a possibility until he visited a friend and mentor who made the move a year before. Check out the album to meet the newly transplanted Barnes family and see why they're Better Together.

Their new home in West Orange, New Jersey presented new challenges for the family. More room to fill and decorate, more messes to chase after, and new homeowner tasks that only the owners of a 100-year old Victorian house can appreciate. 

On the upside, there was plenty of space for the family's newest addition to explore with his robot pal. 

Chaucer explores his library of military history books in the upstairs study as he talks about what it took to leave behind his apartment in historic Bed-Stuy. More than a physical move, it demanded that he reconsider his opinion of living away from a thriving city. If NYC offers culture on every corner, Chaucer is building his own version with friends in his new community.

With a new house, there’s a lot of decorating to be done. But the Barnes family doesn’t mind getting their hands a little glittery. In fact, it’s a passion that they all share. And since Ashley teaches second graders at the local elementary school, there’s never a shortage of creative projects to try, and never a shortage of scraps for Roomba to pick up.

The digs are new, but some things remain the same. Take the bedtime routine, for example. There’s nothing like a good fairy tale to put the kids to sleep. For Ashely, time playing with her daughter is one of the best moments of her busy day.

There's still much to be done in their new place. Some of the original windows need replacing and there are the usual leaks to fix and cracks to mend. But the joy they feel every day as a family has already made their house a home. And with Roomba to take a little extra off of their cleaning schedules, they have more time to simply be. The Barnes family, their new home, and Roomba. Better Together.
Better Together Profile: Diana and Cleo
Meet Diana Yen and Cleo. One is a food stylist and the other is an Instagram celebrity. Or maybe they're both Instagram celebrities. Together, they share a beautiful apartment in Brooklyn Heights, where they love spending a little "we" time between their busy cooking and modeling careers. Check out their photo series to see why Diana and Cleo, two free spirits, are Better Together.

Feeding time in the Yen home is a feast of fresh fruits and vegetables. Diana's English Angora rabbit Cleo nibbles throughout the day, which comes in handy when chef Diane has leftover veggie scraps. Still, things can and do get a little messy and Diane is never comfortable on her sofa for too long before chasing down a spill. Her Roomba helps, especially when she's away at her Lower East Side cooking studio, Jewels of New York.

Diana's airy apartment on Cranberry Street is suffused with southern light that highlights the snowy, comfy faux-fur sofa and rug (and the real fur on Cleo). We've caught them relaxing, but these moments of repose happen more for photoshoots than in their real lives. Note the two phones next to Diane. 

Like most people who live in New York City, when Diana first decided to get a pet, she thought her only options were a small dog or cat. But a friend ended up changing her point of view of what a house pet can be.

In addition to owning a coast-to-coast multidisciplinary cooking studio, Diane is a photographer and the author of A Simple Feast, a cookbook that combines recipes with real-life fairytale stories of living in New York. But Cleo is no slouch. As the most famous English Angora Bunny on Instagram (with 18K+followers), the fluffy, floppy-eared celeb lives a cosmopolitan life that, yeah, we sort of envy.

Diana's love for cooking comes from her mother, who lives on the West Coast. There remains a distinct influence on her cooking that can be traced back to her childhood, when she learned to prepare sumptuous Chinese dishes from mom. As passion became her life and business, Diana's culinary vocabulary has become truly global. But it all began in a kitchen with mom, and she'll never forget that. 
Diane, Cleo and Roomba. Better Together.
Better Together Profiles Video
Our photoshoot subjects gave a Roomba to someone who made a difference in their life, which serves as a CTA for fans to do the same.

Social CTAs
We encouraged fans to nominate someone they think deserves a Roomba by tagging them and sharing with #BetterTogether.
iRobot "Better Together"

iRobot "Better Together"

A holiday campaign that proves we're all Better Together.