Case Study: ThermBot

Written by Merry Fidler

There is a shocking lack of senior citizen HypeBeast thermometer salespeople in the world. How do we figure? Because our beastly grandparents helped ThermBot fund over $300,000 on their Kickstarter campaign, fully funding their 18k goal in just 7 hours. The final product came together so well; we still laugh watching it even though we now know it by heart. But don’t let that fool you! The production of this video was a COVID-19-induced sprint from start to finish. 

Our fine friends at ThermBot approached us with an amazing product that was timely and incredibly time-sensitive. Not only did the video need to be finished in just about two weeks’ time, but the prototypes still needed to get to DJM HQ all the way from China. No sweat… ThermBot is a great product: incredibly small, accurate, contactless, fast, and battery-free. We also knew these guys were pros at what they do both product and marketing-wise. So, we made a very rare exception to our usual timeline, cutting it to about a third of the length. Off to the 100 meter hurdle race we went!

Hurdle one: though thermometers are a timely and necessary product in 2020, it was very important that there was no hint of fear-mongering; even the mention of or allusion to a character being sick wasn’t ideal. Another catch was that a regular explainer with voice over wasn’t going to cut it for our client. But what are characters chatting about thermometers when no one has use of one? Our clients threw out a good start of an idea: signify the new era of thermometers by having some kids tell their grandparents about why ThermBot is so much better than the old styles. We took that idea and suggested a twist: flip it. Voila! HypeBeast grandparents who are more hip than their grandkids. The absurd humor makes the need for an explanation about why they’re having an in-depth discussion about thermometers irrelevant. These grandparents are dope as hell, even when they’re taking temperatures. No questions asked.

Hurdle two: Time. Casting and logistics can be a tricky thing to coordinate regardless of timeline, but having less than a week to do it is an extra special feat. Luckily, our Production Manager Ally sprinkles deadlines on her Malt-o-Meal and eats them for breakfast. She’s a freak. As far as casting, we share the same dedication to diversity that our client does, so we got to work on finding a diverse cast with comedic chops and last-minute availability. We’d like to particularly thank Jonathan Herbert, a theater professor at OTC, as well as Chris Louzader from Opfer who were both a huge help in connecting us with our incredible cast members. 

Hurdle three: Props in the time of corona. Props and costumes have already been a little more difficult than usual with stores not being fully stocked and shipping being delayed. HypeBeast fashion has a little nuance to it as well, so we had to lean on our CEO Ben, a student of HypeBeast culture, for fashion tips. Ben also happened to own one piece of essential HB style: a rockin’ beanie. In the video, Gerald is sporting Ben’s classic black Teddy Fresh beanie from the YouTube legends behind H3H3. What is more difficult than finding costumes during a pandemic though? Finding THERMOMETERS. Note to self, when everyone has a fever, the stores will be sold out. 

Hurdle four: Prototypes. Ours were so delayed that they didn’t show up until the day before the shoot. We don’t really want to talk about it. 

Finish line: Editing under the wire, Megan Our Stallion spliced up the video faster than you can say “low-grade fever.” The ThermBot team provided some wonderful 2D animation and screen replacement. And folks, that makes for a photo finish, but a win nonetheless. ThermBot went on to raise over 15x their goal. I guess you could say their “Hella pockets” are a-jinglin’.  Now go on, get you some milk and cookies from your HypeBeast Nana, and enjoy our director’s cut of the ThermBot Kickstarter video (above).

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