The most dramatic and suspenseful lunchbox opening ever! (new work for client Lunchables)

Some brands are iconic. They own their category. They are it.

Lunchables is one of those rare brands.

It’s the cool lunch to pull out when you’re a kid in the school lunchroom.

It’s full of fun.

Part game, part lunch. What’s not to like?

They should really call them Funchables. Sorry, I’ll leave quietly ;-)

So we thought simply presenting the idea of Lunchables in a really dramatic way would be a good idea.

Kids don’t have a lot going on in their lives when you think about it. So what they get for lunch is a big deal every day at school. It can make or break the day.

The spot is set at that moment of truth when a kid finds out exactly his mom put in his lunchbox.

Is it a bomb? Or is it a hit? That moment of truth.

Bud Light is up for review

Just read that Bud Light is up for review after 28 years at incumbent DDB Chicago.

I worked on that brand for two years at DDB in the mid 90s.

It was great fun to work on but it was made difficult by the brand having the stone age strategy of “what would you do for a Bud Light?”.

Everything you thought of and idea you had was immediately met with an “oh we did that three/five/seven years ago!” reaction.

Or, “the brewery doesn’t like spots with epileptic penguins”.

So it could be a mind-bendingly difficult assignment to come up with anything fresh for. A real head scratcher.

But the good thing was I was being paid to do this and had nothing else to occupy my time.

Plus, I was insanely bent on producing a famous funny beer spot. That helped too.

Also, the brand had experienced double digit growth every year for 12 years. So the client was unusually receptive to crazy ideas.

Working on Bud Light was a great training ground for a lot of creatives, myself included.

They had a monstrous media budget and the production budgets weren’t too bad either. I was also keen to take advantage of that. And did!

If you did a Bud Light spot the whole country would know about it. This prospect would frequently cause me to wet myself.

DDB Chicago did a stellar job on Budweiser Light, as it was initially named, over the years.

It’s one of the all time great marketing success stories.

So a hearty WELL DONE! to veteran Chicago DDB-ers JT Mapel and Mark Gross and Chuck Rachford and (you know he’ll sulk if i don’t mention him) Chris Roe!

I don’t know how you guys did it, year after year after year.

After year.

And well done to everyone else who nearly shat themselves with terror on a Sunday night because the latest Bud Light Superbowl scripts were due Monday morning.

And you’d heard Goodby were rumored to be in the frame on this one.

And the pressure was really on this time.

No,seriously guys! This is really serious this time!

And Bob Lachky has a verucca.


It was like Vietnam.

If you weren’t there you just can’t understand maaaaaaan!!!

Writing for online video vs writing for :30 TV

Having done a lot of online video and a ton of :30 TV I am, i think, finally in a position to bore you all to death on the subject.

:30 is no time at all. It’s the blink of an eye.

An online video can be as long as you like.

That’s the biggest difference. You actually have time to relax and tell your story.

So all you need is a story worth telling. So go find one.

That’s very liberating.

But it means your time limits and discipline must be self imposed. Your video still has to race along, desperate not to lose your viewer’s attention. Just like on TV. The uber lesson that nobody gives a shit still applies if you seriously want people to watch your video, if you want to earn your own unpaid audience.

The biggest difference, creatively, is that your ideas have to be bigger.

Bigger in this sense. At least this is the filter i put on my ideas.

Could you squeeze a half hour TV show out the idea?

If not, then you probably just have a TV commercial on your hands.

Latest Escape Pod work for new client Herculiner.

Herculiner is a do it yourself pickup truck bed liner.

You coat the back of your truck with the product and it creates a scratch proof lining that provides great traction in the back.

Lining your own truck bed will typically save you about $400 vs having it done at a car dealership. And all you’re really doing is essentially painting the back of your truck. Even I could do this! I suspect strongly.

So what we have here is a product that is a fundamentally good idea.
And one that naturally lends itself to dramatic demonstration of its efficacy.

So that is exactly what we did.

To demonstrate how resilient Herculiner is we dropped a stuntman clad in a suit of metal armour into the back of a truck and sped off around an off-road track. Our stuntman banging around in the back of the truck as it went.

Our stuntman/actor Shark, yes that’s his real name, was a trouper and a bona fide tough guy.

He spent an entire day wearing 200 pounds of metal in the blazing Calfiornia desert sun.

He even got a split lip for his trouble. You can see where he got it in the spot. It’s the bit where he bounces up into the air and lands on his face as the truck hit a bump

Well done Shark! Hope to work with you again. Thanks man.

The spot was directed by Brad Demarea and edited by Graham Metzger at Hootenanny. Big thanks to Nicholas Simon and all at SMACS productions for pulling all this together so fast and so reasonably. Top job sirs!

We couldn’t be happier with this spot. Everything lined up perfectly on this one.

Kudos to Escape Pod media maven Matt Johnson for having the idea of putting a guy in a suit of armour in the back of a truck. And thanks also to Escape Pod producer Kent Kwiatt for suggesting sending him around an off-road track.

And thanks to Herculiner clients Susan Sperling and Brian Bohlander for immediately recognizing the value in this idea and for being such great sports on the shoot.

Fun was had to say the least.

As it should be!