It’s nothing new. In the world of publicity you are forced to sell anything in everyway possible, depending on your client’s needs and the nature/quality of the product. And this, my friends, is the root of all conflicts between creatives and clients: finding the common ground without creating something too far fetched or false and keeping it fresh and creative. When I worked for cable TV (The History Channel/A&E/Biography Channel Latinamerica) I was part of the Creative Services department, a branch of IBS (Integrated brand solutions), which was the in-house publicity agency for these channels’ group. There, we did something very common in Latinamerica but not quite in the U.S and Europe: selling a product by creating a link, an idea, a catchprase that brings together the content of an specific TV show/series/movie/programming slot with the client’s product. That means sponsored content going beyond the usual “this is brought to you by…(insert famous brand/product here)“. I’ll be posting some examples of this type of spots on this blog, but for now, I want to share the bright side of this creative process: when you take a different approach to something worn out.
The History Channel (Latinamerica) wanted to attract high profile perfume clients through their programming. A rather difficult task, when all your shows are getting more and more focused on not so classy venues: people searching collectors items on junkyards, buying/selling pop culture antiques in a pawnshop, aliens… (you all know where I’m going to with this).
So, there was this show called Bonnie & Clyde, back in 2013, a mini series starring Emile Hirsch as Clyde Barrow and Holliday Grainger as Bonnie Parker. Obviously, the show was rather dark and violent, given the nature of this two famous robbers. They asked me to make a demo with this show, a really short sales video to convince them that this mini series was perfect for them (and their money). After seeing the whole series, I found little to nothing to work with. So I thought: no voice over (what could I say in this particular case that wasn’t goint to sound obvious or cheesy?), no graphics (perfumes commercials always love over the top special effects or dreamy lansdcapes, we all know they go for the feelings and atmosphere) and no original audios (remember they were psychopath killers, right?). But then… the soundtrack. The song for the series was this amazing version of Bang Bang (My baby shot me down) originally by Cher (more famous for the sinister and gloomy Nacy Sinatra’s version used in Kill Bill), and I say amazing because Nico Vega made it visceral, raw, violent, as you can hear here:
So I edited the song, salvaged the most refined/classy/erotic pictures I could, and made this video to show to potential clients. As a copywriter and editor, we ussually make things and know little afterwards, focusing on the next project, but apparently they loved it. Nothing is impossible, one of the most notorious robbers and murderers in a violent TV show can be sponsored by a prestige perfume, why not? Just focus on romance, a few kisses there and there, no guns, beautiful scenery and… The money shot: the breafly seen image of perfume spraying on Bonnie’s letter.
Here’s the demo:
For more promos please check CineSinLata’s Youtube channel
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