Tag Archives: promotion

New work for Lunchables

(NOTE: best when played full screen and with the speakers turned up)

We recently shot this :90 film epic to promote a Lunchables promotion that we created with client Lunchables.

Hang on, that doesn’t sound nearly impressive enough. Let’s have another go at this.

Just so we’re clear: we (the escape pod) first came up with the idea for the “never be bored again” promotion for Lunchables (let’s call that stage one) with Lunchables (our client). And then we (the escape pod) conceived and executed this epic cinematic film (that will run in cinemas) to promote the promotion (called “never be bored again”) that we (the escape pod) created (let’s call that stage two) with our client (Lunchables).

That’s much easier to remember.

Well, as part of this “never be bored again” promotion, we are giving away the stuff every kid would love to have. such as an amazing customized tree house designed by America’s preeminent tree house designer. And tons of Nerf blasters and a lot of other great stuff. You know, stuff kids really, actually want. Not what we adults want them to want. Or what it’s PC to think that they want.

Hat’s off to Hasbro by the way for being cool enough to partner on this.

And hat’s back on, briefly, and then back off again to commend the Lunchables team at The Escape Pod for pulling all this together. Lots of people needed this one to turn out good. That’s always tricky!

We’re breathlessly excited about this because it was such a dream thing to shoot: pure childish joy.

To achieve this, we retained the services of a director whose work I’d seen and admired years ago. And coincidentally the ad that he’d shot featured a treehouse, as subject matter. I would like to point out that this was NOT the reason we hired him. We’re not that literal! We swear! That would be sad.

His name is Ray Dillman and he’s housed at the venerable MJZ in LA, a great production house that has never let us down.

Ray is a true artist and a gentleman and he was great fun to shoot with. He even got Irish breakfast on the craft services menu on the second day of the shoot. It was really good too. Except for the baked beans. I’m kidding Ray!

Ray, and Eric Treml,his Austrian DP, had a lot of fun shooting this one. It was fun just to watch them have fun shooting it. We just basically were along for a very pleasant ride. Everyone was in complete agreement about everything. Getting hot English tea (with milk and sugar) delivered to camera one was our biggest hiccup of the day.

And we got our compadre from the Budweiser glory days, ace editor Mike Coletta from Redcar Chicago, to cut this one. And he really did a great job. I still find it exciting to watch and I’ve seen it a million times. I think that’s the test of a great edit. Thank you Mike.

The music kicks ass doesn’t it? That was rather deftly handled by Lorne Balfe. You may know his work. Little thing called Pirates of the The Caribbean. Heard of it? That was him and Mr. Eric Zimmer.

Radar Studios in Chicago stepped in at the last minute to do a very tricky job exactly right. Thank you Radar guys for creating the crucial ‘here’s what this is all about’ portion of our epic. It is seamless and epic and completely in tune with the body of our spot. No easy task. You saved our bottoms!

Sound design, which was really tricky on this one (it’s going into cinemas only remember. great sound only please!) was excellently noodled by Drew Weir at Vagabond Audio.

Color, another tricky one, again coz it’s cinema, was handled by Mike Matusek of Nolo Digital Film here in Chicago. Home of the best chicken Tikka Masala in Chicago.

And a shout out to our cast of amazing kids. There are some bona fide stars in this one. And it was a very physically demanding shoot. Lots of running and gunning over two hot summer days in the woods of Ventura county. Thank you Emma Nelson at ocean park casting in LA.

Finally, and most importantly, a big thanks to our wonderful clients the Lunchables brand team. Thank you Boyd Tubbs,Thomas Bick, Reed Damon, Kelly Herbert and Joe Fragnito.

We all had a blast doing this one. You can tell.

Fun is good!

Booze. It’s all in your head.

My recent post about the Irish pub i worked in aroused a funny memory of my time there. And an important lesson for marketers of alcoholic beverages.

It’s that drinkers’ choices of brands are based entirely on criteria that exist solely and uniquely in their heads. People will swear their choice of lager tastes better and that they could pick it out in a taste test. They’ll usually have some “reason” in their head why they’re right.

And it makes sense that it would be this way. People have no way, other than their taste buds, of telling what’s good and what isn’t good. But the drink you hold in your hand says something about you. So people, young people especially, don’t want to make the “wrong”choice. But they’re not going to ask someone what they should drink, are they? That would be weak.

So they kind of need to convince themselves of their own drink choices. They look for exterior justification. Is the lager from Germany? Great. Is the ale from Belgium or England? Great…etc..They look to rationally justify their purchase. At various points in the ’80s, in Ireland, Australian lagers came into vogue (“it’s hot in the outback, they must know refreshment” was the justification there), higher-alcohol German pilsners were also big for obvious reasons. And Heineken was everyone’s default lager. Solid choice. The Dutch know how to have fun! Btw, Heineken tastes a hell of a lot better in Europe, where it’s actually brewed.

Back to the story. So, late in the 1980s, some idiot beer marketer decided that it would be a great idea to introduce Colt 45 malt liquor to Ireland. Now having lived here in the USA for a long time, it’s even funnier to me that someone would ever have thought that this was a good idea. It was a lousy idea. Malt liquor, to Irish ears, sounded like American for whiskey. You want us to drink pints of beer-lookin’ whiskey??? And the advertising didn’t help. It assumed we knew what malt liquor was. Consequently, drinkers were afraid to ever even try it. They didn’t know what the hell it was.

So, in a desperate effort to boost sales, the distributor decided to hold an inter-pub competition to see who could sell the most Colt 45 in Ireland. The prize was a free holiday in sunny Spain. And Galway’s weather consisted of year-round merciless and constant lashing rain from the angry Atlantic ocean. So that was a very appealing prize.

Now all the popular Guinness-produced draft beers — Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks — shared a similar idiot-proof keg-tapping mechanism. But the European beers – Heineken and Carlsberg – shared a slightly less well designed, more tricky tapping mechanism. Colt 45 kegs were identical in every way to the European kegs. So one of the bar staff hit on a genius idea: at a certain point in the night switch the Heineken lines over to Colt 45 kegs. The reasoning being that the customers would have had about five pints by then and they wouldn’t notice the drastic difference in taste. They were, after all, mostly young and drinking primarily for effect.

And it worked. Because we were insanely busy and sold a lot of Heineken we drained our Colt 45 kegs dry in a matter of hours. Now that it had suddenly become Heineken! I remember feeling nervous but the older bartenders were very confident that no one would notice a thing. We didn’t get a single complaint. And there was quite a wild disparity between the taste profiles of the two beers. But because they had been conditioned to thinking it was Heineken, they swigged it back without batting an eyelid. Hey, it was lager-looking and carbonated. And someone they trusted, me, had just sold it them as Heineken. So it must be Heineken. I couldn’t believe it.

The bar effortlessly won the Colt 45 competitition. Alas, I was part-time so wasn’t eligible to go to Spain. And Colt 45 never took off in Ireland. But it might now. Play up the hip-hop/gangsta connection. Fiddy Cent is huuuuuge in Ireland. I could totally sell malt liquor to Ireland. Now. It’s a good idea in 2008. In 1988, not so much.