Tag Archives: back to school

more penny antics

last week we, in conjunction with Innova and DIG communications, staged an event for client officemax. we created the world’s biggest penny tray and placed in the world’s biggest mall: the mall of america in Minneapolis.

We filled the tray with two million pennies ($20K) and invited people to take them. And take them they did. In under three hours there wasn’t a penny left in the tray.

We filmed the penny melee that ensued and put the sped-up film on our back to school youtube penny pranks channel. What is it about time-lapsed films that is so appealing? It’s the filmic equivalent of hearing a funny helium voice. it never fails to entertain. Or is it just me?

Anyway, check it out. See two million pennies disappear in 30 seconds!


A couple of weeks ago we tersely posted that we’d been on a very “very intense” shoot. And that we’d show the resulting filmic promotions as soon as we could. Well, we’re finally done. And we are very proud of how they turned out. You can see them all here.

Background: to promote client OfficeMax’ back-to-school penny deals, we (ie, actor and comedian Matt McCarthy) went around New York City trying to buy things with pennies, secretly filming the (mostly hostile) reactions of the unfortunate merchants. We tried to buy everything from a can of soup to a $4000 engagement ring to a used car in Queens.

This is the third year in succession that we have shot a hidden-camera campaign for OfficeMax’ back to school effort. Previously we produced TV shows that aired on ABC Family and the CW network. Both times we shot with Oscar-nominated Smuggler Films director Henry-Alex Rubin. This year we worked with Henry-Alex again. Shooting hidden-camera is nerve-racking to say the least. You have no idea what footage you’re going to end up with and have very little control over the situation. So it’s a big gamble every time. But it’s also a lot of fun. Shooting regular “contrived” commercials can only be a bit boring by comparison.

I’m glad we shot in New York, the uniquely New York characters we filmed really added flavor. It was like shooting characters from Seinfeld. They did not disappoint. Kudos to Matt and Christina at The Whitehouse/Chicago for doing a brilliant job of editing.