These days it’s rare that employees are happy with the healthcare coverage provided by their company. But when a good-natured boss selects ‘My Plan’ from Medica for his staff, they’re so thrilled that they show their gratitude with an over-the-top party. That’s the scenario of ‘Thank You,’ a :30 spot created by LEVEL, the Minneapolis-based brand and advertising agency – and woven together into an outrageous comedic vignette by CRASH+SUES’ editorial and color correction team.
The spot features a group of enthusiastic employees throwing a thank you party for the boss and presenting him with stacks of gifts - from a pyramid of ‘Best Boss’ coffee mugs to an enormous cake adorned with sparklers. To top off the festivities, one employee marches in with the party gift that the child in everybody longs for: a pony. The cast of comedic actors, outrageous set-ups and rapid-fire gags makes the spot an explosion of good times.
LEVEL’s creative director, Gregg Byers and senior copywriter, Craig Roads, put together a top-notch team for this project, including producer Wendy Johnson. Director Grady Cooper, best known for directing episodes of the award-winning television series, “The Office” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ as well as feature films and documentaries, purposefully overshot the action, providing CRASH+SUES with an abundance of footage to choose from.
“Greg's humor and sarcasm always brightens up my dark room,” says SUE, CRASH+SUES’ senior colorist. “For this spot we went for color with a natural look, took down the saturation on some of the brightly color objects, while leaving the skin tones healthy. We also did a few windows to help out dark areas. The footage was very sharp, but the biggest challenge working with the moiré from the office blinds. It looked great in HD but in SD it was a bit buzzy. So I used the DVO tools from my Digital Vision Nucoda FilmMaster to roll off the high frequency's and calm things down for SD.”
CRASH+SUES began collaborating with LEVEL early in the creative process, when Byers and Cooper were considering various storyline elements and ways the employees could show their thanks that packed the most comedic punch. Cooper let the cameras roll as a dead-on team of actors improvised and came up with a number of off-the-wall plot situations that provided a wealth of great options during the editing process. Driven by the absurdity of each unfolding ‘thank you’ from the company’s grateful staff, the humor is heightened by keeping the boss a humble and likable guy who is totally surprised by all the adulation. Director Grady Cooper shot a series of whip pans that were key to maximizing the climactic pony reveal.
CRASH+SUES’ Ryan Wheeler on-lined the spot in Smoke, Carrie Shanahan was editors. Kent Militzer of Uproar came on board for audio post and music, recording a trombone riff to get the right feel and end the spot on the perfect note.
CRASH+SUES is a seamlessly integrated animation, FX, motion design, creative editorial, color correction, DI, conform, finishing and multi-media company. Its collaborative team of talent is dedicated to providing advertising agencies, brands and filmmakers with fresh, innovate and cost-effective creative content. For additional information about CRASH+SUES, contact director of business development Erik Therwanger at 612.338.7947, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.crashandsues.com.
LEVEL is a global brand strategy and advertising firm headquartered in Minneapolis. We help our clients build world-class brands and reputations that inspire stakeholder loyalty, increase revenue and drive sustained profitable growth. LEVEL provides a variety of services and proprietary tools for fully integrated communications strategy and implementation. For further information about LEVEL visit www.levelbrand.com or call (612) 338-8000.
Category: Broadcast Spot
Title & length: “Thank You,” :30
Ad agency: Level/Minneapolis
Producer: Wendy Johnson
Art director/CD: Gregg Byers
Senior copywriter: Craig Roads
Production company: Twist/Minneapolis
Director: Grady Cooper
DP: Steve Speers
Producer: Dave Bellmont
Executive producer: Sven Shelgren
Editorial company: CRASH+SUES/Minneapolis
Editor: Carrie Shanahan
Online editor: Ryan Wheeler
Online assistant: Matthew Kroese
Audio post and music: Uproar/Minneapolis
Mixer: Kent Militzer