“Increase our online sales and make our pillow the most desirable thing in your bedroom.”
This was the directive given when the team at the luxury brand The Pillow Bar approached us to create their first ever digital and broadcast commercial campaign. I thought to myself “Hold up, you want us to make the awkward oblong lumpy object most people sleep on, more desirable than the awkward lumpy somebody some sleep with?”
That’s exactly what they wanted. Challenge accepted.
With the brand’s objective in mind and armed with the knowledge that humorous commercials typically garner more buzz, we decided comedy was unquestionably the way to get a million people to see this product – yes, literally a million. In fact, experts assert laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your energy and can diminish pain. Ironically, sleeping on the right pillow can have the same benefits. So comedy was the obvious cornerstone of the project we embarked upon.
Writing a commercial
The best commercials are comprised of three facets: a great story, astute execution and a memorable tag. “Upgrade your life in bed” was our tag. Now, we just had to follow through on the other two elements.
Between four espressos and two restroom breaks we crafted our story, birthed from this question: “Um … what do rich people steal?”
You’ll see what answer we came up with when you watch the spot on our portfolio page. The dialogue and storyline play on the can’t-get-enough nature of a luxury comfort item by showing the lengths some would go to for a great pillow.
How do you produce a commercial for TV?
With our script completed, we delved into casting the spot. Fortunately, our client understood the value of casting real actors and not her cousin Joe who’s convinced even his pet iguana laughs at his impersonations. After auditioning a flock of actors, we settled on four talented performers who looked the part, but more importantly could deliver our story in an amusing way.
The next two weeks consisted of storyboarding, securing a location, wardrobe selections, art direction and deciding on which DP I would hire to execute the visual style I saw in my head.
The shoot day arrived in no time and seemed to end just as quickly – when you love what you do, it never feels like work. But working with a crew of thirty people inside of a six million dollar house without breaking a single thing is truly a miracle.
Twelve hours, five scenes, 75 takes and 656 gigabytes of 6K RED footage later, I had the pleasure of yelling my favorite three words: “That’s a wrap!” All that was left to do was to lock ourselves in a dark room over the next 5 days to edit the story. Stop by our portfolio page to see the final commercial.
After post-production was complete, I laid in bed (on my down pillow, of course) reflecting on how much work it took to accomplish one 30-second commercial. I said to myself, “Self … have you lost your mind? Why would you spend so much time and effort on one spot?” I paused for an answer, and then my inner self uttered, “I’d do it for a chance to do it again”.
The truth is, I don’t know if this commercial will earn me or our client millions, but I am confident in the invigorating feeling I receive each time I empty out every last drop of creative zest in my body to produce great work, and that, my friends … is worth a million bucks!