Video production tips and techniques from Content Media Group.
Dos Equis introduced you to the "Most Interesting Man in the World. Now, meet "The Laziest Sales Guy in the World". Content Media Group spoofed one of the year's best commercial campaigns by producing two comedy spots for LiveOffice. Stay lazy, my friends.
The e-book promised Groundbreaking, Google-Busting SEO Tactics. Oh, it was spam. But whoever sent it, “Thank you!” The payoff to my website was a blistering 15-20 visitors a week. Can you say, “Near Server Crash”?
Can you say, “It’s not the size of your Unique Visitor Count, but how many you transform into clients?” Little did web visitor number 17 know, they’d become one of those elusive, recessionary creatures known as “client”. The call buzzed-in on a Monday, “Hi, I found your site. Can you help us produce a TV commercial?” What part of “Duuuh-Yes!!” is confusing?
Me: “What’s your vision for the spot?”
Visitor 17: “We’d like to do a spoof on “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials from Dos Equis. We were thinking…”
Me: “Sorry to interrupt, but you had me at “Most Interesting Man in the World”. Sign me the frick up!”
MBA programs don’t teach those kind of communication skillz. (Maybe I’ll write an e-book…check your Spam Box)
The nice, young lady was calling from LiveOffice, a Los Angeles-based IT company. I was hanging on her every word. At that moment, she was “The Most Interesting Caller on my iPhone”. They wanted to put a fresh spin on the Dos Equis campaign. When she said the spots would feature “The Laziest Sales Guy in the World”, I almost blurted out, “I love you.” Thankfully, in true iPhone style, the call dropped.
Why go nutszo over a TV commercial production? When people you’ve never met offer to pony-up real money to watch you play in the creative sand box, it’s the only legitimate response. After some boring business formalities, we scored the gig! (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)
Time wasn’t our friend. We had one week to write, cast, shoot and post two spots. They originally ordered one, but that seemed so pedestrian. America, Land of Excess, why not stoke the new client out and over deliver? Isn’t that what everyone does??
Dos Equis forever changed the landscape of a commercial break by doing the unthinkable: Produce spots that people will actually watch (real time NOT fast forward). “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign has been a serious score for the Mexican beer company. LiveOffice was hoping to crack open a cool winner, too.
The beer ads feature a ruggedly, suave ladies man whose life drips with intrigue and adventure. Rich visual portrayals of bravery and success support the claim. Without reservation, he is the world’s most interesting man.
Competing with near perfection is a fool’s game. Why beat ‘em, when you can pee your knickers spoofing ‘em? It worked for the “Naked Gun” movies (up until Part 27), right? Comedy thrives on contrast. Who could be more different from the beer sippin’ swashbuckler than The Laziest Sales Guy in the World?
Meet Jack DeBlanco. The office is his personal playground. Meetings, sales calls, expense reports…rookie moves. For Jack, it’s all about putting practice, massages, four martini lunches and lead poaching. The Dos Equis Hero’s motto: “Stay thirsty, my friends.” DeBlanco’s tag line reeks of gin and sin: “Stay lazy, my friends. Stay lazy.”
Similar to the beer spots, we would shoot scenes portraying our main character doing everything in his power to avoid the pesky responsibilities of work. The creative process began with crafting solid one-liners:
-He took up smoking…just for the extra breaks.
-He never lets a sales meeting…get in the way of a good round of golf.
-He believes the three-martini lunch…is for quitters.
Once the list was narrowed to eight winners, each was storyboarded. What kind of ridiculous situations can we concoct for our lazy guy? Am I really getting paid for this?? The creative took about 24hrs to lock. Now, bring on the out-of-work actors!
Here’s the plan: Blast out casting call Friday. Audition hopefuls Tuesday. Shoot lazy bastard Thursday. Buckle up, let’s go!
438 headshots later…ten were invited to audition for the role…of an afternoon. First up, Andy Mullins. Sporting a slick zoot suit with white tipped spats and a leopard print ascot, we were dying before he uttered his first line.
Client: “It’s him. We’re done. He’s our guy.”
Me: “I totally understand the excitement of your first casting call, but we still have nine more very qualified actors to audition. Let’s keep an open mind.”
Client: “Okay, you’re the expert.”
Of course, Andy Mullins got it. A cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Pierce Brosnan, he would soon become “The Laziest Sales Guy in the World”. Would the world be ready? Not my problem. I had a shoot with nine set-ups to pull off in two days.
Ten set-ups/individual scenes later (somehow a 75’ yacht got thrown in the mix last minute), we wrapped, on-time and on-budget…Well, kind of, we never budgeted for the hot escorts…but who does?
What a day! We shot five scenes at their office in Torrance, one set-up on a beautiful yacht in Marina del Rey and four scenes at a cool bar in Santa Monica. None of it would’ve happened without DP Keith Holland’s creative eye, quick, mad lighting skills and cool goatee.
But there wouldn’t be a Lazy Sales Guy without the lazy brilliance of Andy Mullins. Thriving on the ludicrous, he was up for anything! His comic timing and marvelous facial expressions delivered the comedy goods. Character actors, like Andy, have always been the backbone of Hollywood. It’s rare when Hollywood HAS the backbone to honor their contribution (Google “Charlie Lane”…stepping off my soap box). Thank you, Mr. Mullins, for keeping it funny!
Big frickin’deal, we wrapped. Anyone can shoot stuff. LiveOffice needs two spots cut pronto! In Dos Equis’ form, we enlisted the voiceover artistry of a rich, smoky toned narrator to guide the viewer from scene to scene of lazy goodness. Music was chosen…and nixed…and nixed a couple more times to keep our ears sharp.
Two days later, we debuted a cut. The client flipped. We wet our knickers…again. (How embarrassing…pass the Depends) Cue the dusty cliché: Win-win! LiveOffice scored two clever, brand-building commercials. Content Media Group racked-up a cool reel piece and, hopefully, a repeat client. However, too soon to tell, we haven’t sent our final invoice.
Brave readers, what’s the take-away? Always click on your Spam. What may, at first, look like a “useless” male enhancement “scam” could turn into The Most Awesome Client of the Month (Yes, my LiveOffice peeps, you rock!).
If you feel totally let down by that lesson, try this: Implementing organic SEO techniques can deliver more visitors to your site. But more visitors don’t make for healthy bottom lines…clients do. No website alone can close a deal or forge a lasting relationship. Commit to rocking your customers’ world and your world will be so much sweeter. Stay busy, my friends. Stay busy.
Commercial Production by Content Media Group, Los Angeles.