ACE™ Bandages – Web Content
Concept Dev | Copywriting
Ace™ Bandages are badass. But, at one point, the little clip meant to keep the wrap wrapped kept breaking. Customers were getting frustrated and posting poor reviews online. So ACE™ fixed the clip. We were asked, how could we get the word out with online content while leaning into actual negative reviews?
To do so, I first worked on solving the "physics" of our Arthur character, who had been sold through high-level as a more engaging way to convey that the "clip has been fixed!" On top of this, I felt employing some proper cinematography to hold the viewer's attention was called for since we were being asked to put so much into each spot.
Three 30-second spots, each unfolding as one unbroken tracking shot, which aired as Youtube preroll and lived on both Facebook and the Ace™ website.
Process / Notes
Whiskbrooming Some Whangdoodle
What is a Motivational Sportsgent? Good question. It was a challenge to be handed a conceptual character and some mandatories and be told to go make it work. We needed scripts and a solid idea of how these spots would actually function.
The mood board for the spots had positioned Arthur (said Sportsgent) as a kind of warm, WASPY, well-dressed gent. Of sports. So I pushed on this with the team, and we drilled this down more specifically into the New York knickerbocker trend from around the 1900s. This context gave us some valuable "actuals" to play with, like writing Arthur with a Mid-Atlantic accent and wielding some early 20th century slang. We had to tread a line though, as Arthur was meant to be "out of time" not "old-school."
An Ambitious Move
As mentioned, this was a tight budget for two spots. And a single day to shoot isn't a lot, either. In hindsight, we should have pushed back when the client requested a third spot. Oh, well. (Pain is an excellent teacher.)
UN-DAUNTED, I began to wonder if a smart way to counter-punch our budgetary limitations was to stage each spot with a single, simple, cinematic camera move. I loved how Tarkovskys and Kubricks, Wes and Paul Thomas Andersons would use simple tracking shots to bring scenes to life. The team agreed, we would rob from the riches of cinematography to feed our poor creative ambitions.
To the Sport!
So, we almost killed our Arthur actor (sorry, Sir!). It's good to remember that extended takes require a series of beats that need to be hit perfectly in order. Again. And again. And again. It was a helluva day, but we made it work.
I also learned a good additional lesson in pitching work and setting expectations here. I'm decent at performing a spot for a client in order to get their buy-in on the direction. But our actor, on the day, wasn't able to intonate some of the lines the way I had originally. His performance wasn't wrong. It just wasn't "right" as the client had heard it.
This is a tricky part of selling ideas. A client needs enough to get the idea and hopefully fall in love with it. But too much and the promise of the idea can become the promise of the execution, and you've boxed yourself out of continuing to ideate and iterate down the road.