Tag Archives: henry alex rubin


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.


Whopper Freakout wins at One Show

“What’s the one show?” i hear you say, perhaps.  The One Show is arguably the leading American creative advertising award show.  The actual awards are metal pencils like the one pictured.  It’s a big deal to win a One Show gold pencil.  (despite what the award-losing haters say!)

Anyway, one of our favorite pieces of advertising from recent times won big at the The One Show last night. Won lots of pencils.  It was created by Crispin Porter Bogusky on behalf of client Burger King and was directed by Henry Alex Rubin (of Smuggler).  The idea was mischievous in the extreme.  What they did was rig a BK in Las Vegas with hidden cameras and tell everyone who came in looking for a Whopper that BK no longer sold them.  With predictably hilarious reactions from whopper lovin’ Americans.  While most advertising suffers from being a rather one-sided contrivance, this was undeniably real and credible. And great viewing.   And, after you laughed hard at the resulting film, you invariably started thinking about having a Whopper.  Hmmm…whopper!  It worked in a very Pavlovian way.

So, congrats to all at CPB including our old compadre uber-producer David Rolfe.  And to Henry Alex Rubin, who we at The Escape Pod have had the distinct pleasure of working with in the past and hope to again in the future.  And let’s not forget Drew Santarseiro!