Business & Tech

Bold Types

Finding a pitchman involved no travel at all for luggage maker Samsonite

Chris Morris for The Boston Globe
Julian Edelman

The executives at Samsonite in Mansfield didn’t need to go far to find their next pitchman — just the next town over, where New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (right) happens to work.

The Pats star is one of three celebrities shown going about their day in a series of online video ads for Samsonite’s new line of business bags, in a campaign dubbed #WorkNotWork that was launched this month. The others are fitness trainer/choreographer Shaun T and chef Kristin Kish.

Boston ad agency Connelly Partners, Samsonite’s longtime agency, designed the ads. They were filmed locally in May. Kish was shot in the South End, while Shaun T danced in an old mill building in Worcester, says Carissa Mak, associate creative director at Connelly.

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“We didn’t want these videos to feel like they were just ads,” Mak says. “The whole idea of the spot was to show you could really love your job, and when you do, it’s not really work.”

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Mak had hoped to shoot Edelman in Gillette Stadium but it apparently was unavailable. So the crew packed up their bags and headed for the FieldHouse in Sudbury. The ad’s writers designed the workouts in consultation with Edelman. He’s shown lifting, running, catching.

But the production crew struck a balance. They didn’t want to push him too hard.

“We were making sure the intensity level came across on camera, but we didn’t want to hurt him,” Mak says. “He was working up a sweat by the end. He definitely got a good workout.” — JON CHESTO

Angling for the top guy

For more than four months, Andrea Honore has marched up to Governor Charlie Baker’s waiting room from her Financial District job for her 15-minute vigil to oppose a natural gas compressor station in her hometown of Weymouth.

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On Tuesday, her 79th day, she had plenty of company. More than 100 supporters filed into the State House with her for the lunchtime protest.

Honore wants to meet with Baker to talk about the issue, not with someone in his constituent services office. She hopes to persuade Baker to visit the Weymouth location. And, ultimately, she wants to stop pipeline developer Enbridge from building the project.

She has exchanged pleasantries with the governor. But the only time she says she has been able to talk with him about the project was last Thursday — and it was on a radio show, not in the corner office. Last week, Honore called in to WGBH’s “Ask the Governor, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan,and asked Baker where he stands.

Braude pressed Baker on why the meeting with Honore hasn’t happened yet, and Baker basically said he didn’t know. (A spokesman for Baker later told the Globe that the administration has been in touch with local officials and appreciates the feedback on the issue.)

Baker has said this issue is more of a federal question; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already approved the project. But Honore says state agencies do have power over whether the compressor station goes forward.

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Honore has chatted with other visitors like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and an entire crew from Keolis, the commuter railroad operator — and she has soaked in the view of Boston Common from the State House balcony. But she hasn’t had any luck with her main goal of persuading Baker.

“We all have these hopes — he’s a reasonable guy, he’ll see,” Honore says. “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” — JON CHESTO

The GE effect? Nah

If you’re a regular reader of these pages, or just haven’t been living under a rock for the last 18 months, you probably know General Electric is building its new global headquarters in Boston, on the banks of Fort Point Channel.

So when Amazon.com said Monday that it plans to plop 900 workers in an office building next door, you might think GE’s arrival in the neighborhood had something to do with that decision.

Nope.

The corporate giant next door barely registered with Amazon executives when they decided to lease 150,000 square feet at 253 Summer St., said Michael Touloumtzis, head of Amazon’s local office. The yellow-brick building is actually connected by a (shuttered) skyway to part of GE’s three-building campus, a remnant of the site’s past as a factory for the Necco candy company. But Amazon rented the space mainly because it was big enough to fit their ferocious expansion plans, and sits a stone’s throw from South Station.

“We were kind of short on places that’d work,” Touloumtzis said. “When we realized GE was right there it was sort of like ‘Oh, yeah, I guess they’re next door.’ But that was not an objective at all.”

So much for “the GE effect,” which real estate brokers have been touting as they peddle space near the new $200 million headquarters. Maybe Fort Point is so hot these days that it sells itself. — TIM LOGAN

Notable lack of opposition

Last week, seven business groups sent a joint letter to legislators expressing their opposition to the final budget plan because of a controversial $200 million health care assessment on employers.

But there were two groups missing: the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Business Leadership.

The chamber chose not to weigh in on the fee, while the alliance supports the Legislature’s decision to levy an assessment without imposing reforms to control health care spending.

“We think the compromise they have come up with is reasonable,” said alliance president Jesse Mermell.

It’s not the first time the chamber and alliance have separated from the pack. Last year, the two organizations got behind the state’s groundbreaking pay equity legislation early on, while other business trade groups expressed opposition or stayed on the sidelines.

On Wednesday, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest trade group, doubled down on its dismay with Beacon Hill’s budget and urged Governor Charlie Baker to go back to the drawing board on the health care fee designed to prop up the state Medicaid program, known as MassHealth.

AIM and other groups, including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, have called on the state to control spending at MassHealth and to institute fixes to the private insurance market.
— SHIRLEY LEUNG

Can’t keep a secret? Tell us. E-mail Bold Types at boldtypes@globe.com.