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When the client gets the unexpected.

I’ve mentioned in another post that besides On Air promos (basically the tv programs’ trailers), I did what we call integrated contents, wich are On Air promotions for TV shows/movies/programming slots with a client, creating a concept that spoke for both, the show (plus the network’s look & feel) and the client’s product/brand. So, what happens when the clients expects something really specific and you can’t (by any means, you just CAN’T) give them exactly what they want?

Well this happened to me. Burger King’s branch in Mexico were celebrating their 20th anniversary in that country (the broadcast signal for this channel’s group went from Mexico to Argentina, including Brazil through different feeds) and they wanted to sponsor A&E Movies, a two day programming slot with different kind of movies (from action and drama to romantic comedies). They expected some medieval themed video, referring to the brand’s advertising mascot The Burger King. Well, the guys at the sales department did a very good job by promising this big client with those type of movies and an integrated promo. The thing is, we didn’t have a single medieval themed movie. None. Not even a medieval flashback in a comedy. Zero. Nada. So, after I (figuratively) slammed my head to the wall, I began watching every single movie on the grid for that month, disregarding the genre. The important thing was that we had to have the rights for those movies while the promo was on air by contract.

I’m goint to pause here and clear out some doubts you may have about this promos. The movies were never directly associated with the product, they were expressing an idea, a concept, that links to the client’s product/brand. So legally speaking, there’s nothing wrong. As long as you had the movies in the promos with rights to be on air on your contract, you could use the footage to advertise within the channel. I clear this out knowing is not a common practise in some countries, where the sponsored content is mostly spot ads and the infamous this is broght to you by…

Well. They wanted Kings, so I gave them Kings. But not the crowned and bearded ones. No. The modern kings, the new worshipped and revered, the guys in the big screen: the top billing, most recognisable faces on the industry. Selected some short audios with cocky phrases, some good music and BAM! an audio that saved my life: Sean Penn’s speech on All the King’s Men (Oh! the irony…)

I was pretty nervous about this promo. I could have called the ad sales department and tell them to call it off, cancel and lose the sponsorship, but I had to try and save the day. So it went through my boss’ approval, my boss’ boss approval, and then to the client. We waited for a few days, knowing what was at stake (our reputation, but mostly my job). So they gave us the answer. They were thrilled with it. That was like a little (but felt huge) achievement for me in my proffessional career.

Here’s the promo. Sorry, if you’re spanish, you’re going to hate the “latin” (mostly mexican) dub. If you’re Latinamerican like me, and hate all dubbed material, well, you know. And if you’re a native english speaker just try to go along with it, there’s subtitles available on the video options, make sure to turn them on.

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