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SOFTEN THE BLOW
TREATMENT BY
SCOTT KENEALLY!
words, visuals, layout
scott@scottkeneally.com
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Let’s face it, few things are more exciting than
watching things being smashed, crashed,
obliterated and des...
!
!
!
!
!
While this will be in the same language of YouTube destruction videos, our films will be more professional and
p...
! !
!
!
!
!
!
It’s hard to understate the importance of finding the
right HOST. He’s the face of the campaign, the field
c...
!
!
!
As much as I like the idea of a ‘Top Secret Test Facility’, I think that might feel too contrived and lose
some cred...
!
!
It almost goes without saying, but this is the
heart and soul of the campaign. It’s the MAIN
EVENT, so to speak, and i...
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
No matter which way you slice it, this is a super cool
idea. While a catapult has its own medieval appea...
!
!
This one is a no brainer. I love the idea of a Mack
truck smashing into a crate in the middle of a road.
(And so will ...
!
SKEET SHOOTING
We wrap a small porcelain duck figure with a t-shirt and launch it to the sky like a skit. A hunter guns ...
!
I’m really happy you sent this my way. This is exceptional
creative, and the more I think about it the more psyched
I be...
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Commercial Treatment - Hanes

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Destruction videos are all the rage in the digital space. So when Hanes sought to promote its new super soft ComfortBlend line of crews, socks and v-necks, it wanted to tie in this phenomenon to how its ultra-soft apparel can "soften the blow" for most any type of physical destruction.

I created this treatment/presentation for a very successful commercial director. I wrote up his vision for the campaign, pulled the visuals, and laid it all out. And though he *didn't* get the job - WTF?! - we made a pretty good run at it.

Published in: Marketing
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Commercial Treatment - Hanes

  1. 1. ! SOFTEN THE BLOW TREATMENT BY SCOTT KENEALLY! words, visuals, layout scott@scottkeneally.com !
  2. 2. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Let’s face it, few things are more exciting than watching things being smashed, crashed, obliterated and destroyed. No matter how much we “grow up” or how high up the corporate ladder we climb, at the end of the day we all love seeing what an Uzi can do to a pineapple. And herein lies the genius of this campaign. “Soften the Blow” indulges our demolition fantasies in a series of unique experiments, while cleverly positioning Hanes ComfortBlend as the Hero. It’s a very smart construct, and with the addition of our interactive sweepstakes giveaway, this has all the makings of an instant Internet sensation. So I’m totally thrilled by the chance to collaborate with you in bringing this all to life. ! With that said, I’d now like to dive into the various elements of my approach…
  3. 3. ! ! ! ! ! While this will be in the same language of YouTube destruction videos, our films will be more professional and polished. We’ll use great natural lighting, interesting locations and thoughtful compositions to give this campaign a sharp, cinematic edge. This isn’t to say it will be over-the-top. There’s no beauty lighting or dollies, and we’re not using a Phantom camera or 35mm. It should always feel like guerrilla-style point-and-shoot filmmaking. Ultimately, the key is to strike that balance so that it looks fantastic but still feels authentic and true to the tradition. ! As to graphics and titles, I’m just as excited by the possibilities as you are. And I’m thrilled to hear that you have a creative team of designers and copywriters to help out. This element can add a lot of depth and dimension to these films… and humor.
  4. 4. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! It’s hard to understate the importance of finding the right HOST. He’s the face of the campaign, the field correspondent relaying the play-by-play, and he needs to be engaging, credible and instantly likable. And of course, he should be funny without trying too hard... without trying at all, actually. ! The comedy is subtle, and should live in the juxtaposition between his serious, professional demeanor and the sheer absurdity of these demos. And to this end, I think he should be older than the deck suggests. If he’s too young I think we lose some of the power and punch that lies in that contrast. If he’s a little older, like early 40s, his participation in such experiments becomes odder and funnier. I like the idea that he’s a physicist from MIT, able to riff on all the calculus and physics and minutia behind these experiments. He’s an expert on impact. It might also be fun if he was foreign and spoke with a vaguely foreign accent (a la Kyle Myers of FPS Russia fame). Whatever the case, he should have some funny idiosyncrasies and strange quirks that make him both memorable and totally endearing. I kind of envision him as a bit of a lunatic genius, like a younger Werner Herzog. !
  5. 5. ! ! ! As much as I like the idea of a ‘Top Secret Test Facility’, I think that might feel too contrived and lose some cred. Rather, we should capture these experiments in an array of locations that feel texturally different and randomly selected. We’re not making a specific point with the setting. They should have some visual appeal but nothing so striking that it distracts us from the action. And I’d like some of these settings to have at least some hint of humanity. For instance, if we film one in an open field, maybe there are low-end suburban houses in the distance… something that gives us a sense of place and semblance of civilization.
  6. 6. ! ! It almost goes without saying, but this is the heart and soul of the campaign. It’s the MAIN EVENT, so to speak, and is the thing that will get everyone talking. In the next few pages I touch upon your four main scenarios as well as some simple, cheaper alternatives. Given the realities of the budget, I think we’ll have to aim for some combination of these ideas. At this stage I just wanted to throw out as many options as possible and see what excites you. Once I get a sense of what you dig, we can map those scenarios out together and come up with a plan of attack. And without further ado, here we go...
  7. 7. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! No matter which way you slice it, this is a super cool idea. While a catapult has its own medieval appeal, I think a cannon is the way to go with this one. We can reach greater speeds with a cannon, and the gunpowder and fire will add a real theatrical element. There’s a real Evel Knievel cool factor here. One option would be to strap a Hanes-wrapped Xbox to the tip of a mortar and aim it directly into the side of an abandoned factory building or cliff or something. And we can rig it with some simple explosives. More for show than anything else. The flashier the experiment, the better. ! Our crate falls from the sky, hitting terminal velocity before shattering on the ground. It’s a very clever play on the classic Science Fair Egg Drop contest, and is sure to strike a chord with anyone who made it through high school physics. That said, I’d like to suggest we use a small prop plane instead of a helicopter. Something that skydivers would jump out of. We’ll be able to drop it from a much higher altitude, and I like the idea of seeing someone shoving it out. ! Alternately, it might be cool to drop the crate from an extremely tall bridge and have it smash on the surface of the water. I think most people would be surprised to find out just how hard water is when you hit it at those speeds. Plus, it’d be great to see our host racing to the scene in a boat. This is just an idea, and one I’d be happy to explore if it piques your interest.
  8. 8. ! ! This one is a no brainer. I love the idea of a Mack truck smashing into a crate in the middle of a road. (And so will everyone watching.) To heighten the tension and raise the stakes, I suggest the truck be carrying a heavy load. Maybe a bunch of cars? Sure, it might take longer to get up to top speed, but when it crashes into the crate it’ll have that much more force. ! I’ve got to be honest, I’m not crazy about using an elephant for this one. Animals, no matter how well trained they are, just make everything a lot more complicated. Furthermore, an elephant seems a touch too precious for this adrenaline-driven, ultimate destruction world. A military tank on the other hand… THAT would be pretty badass. Of course, I’m open to discussing this further with you, but I think there’s something much more macho about a tank, earthmover or some other heavy machinery.
  9. 9. ! SKEET SHOOTING We wrap a small porcelain duck figure with a t-shirt and launch it to the sky like a skit. A hunter guns it down with a shotgun. ! TRASH COMPACTOR We wrap a tennis racquet in t-shirts and put it through a massive garbage truck compressor.  ! JUNKYARD COMPRESSOR We wrap a Vespa in t-shirts and run it through a junkyard compressor. ! ANGRY GIRLFRIEND We give a very hot, very angry woman a baseball bat and have her smash the hell out of a t-shirt- wrapped guitar or Rolex. ! TNT  We wrap a China set with Hanes and detonate a small charge of TNT (old-school style). ! CASE DROP   We wrap a case of beer with t-shirts and drop them from the top of a roof, twenty stories up.  ! KARATE CHOP We wrap a brick with t-shirts and have a black belt karate dude chop it. Will the brick break? ! SLAPSHOT We wrap an iPhone in a t-shirt and have a hockey player smack it. Or maybe a golfer takes a swing. ! KICK IN THE NUTS A dude puts a nut inside a t-shirt and then stuffs it down his pants. Then he gets kicked in the nuts. Will the nut crack?
  10. 10. ! I’m really happy you sent this my way. This is exceptional creative, and the more I think about it the more psyched I become. I’m looking forward to to make some noise with you. ! Thanks again. ! Let’s chat soon!

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