Case Study: Don’t Make Things Harder Than They Need to Be

Written by Merry Fidler

The concept for this video actually started with a mailbox. I’d bought a mailbox for an unrelated shoot, and thanks to our then cramped office space, every day at my desk had started to look like Bring Your Mailbox to Work Day. We were in the middle of brainstorming internal ad ideas, and I had the nuisance of mailboxes on the mind. I said, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if someone lugged around an entire mailbox instead of just grabbing their mail? It’s kind of like how some of our potential clients don’t understand how much harder they’re making their lives by not outsourcing their videos.” 

This idea was tucked away in the vault until this year when we decided it was time for a new retargeting ad for Double Jump. But to raise the stakes a little bit, we decided to go with a version involving a fridge instead of a mailbox. “Let’s produce a video where we make fun of a guy lugging around a fridge for no reason by lugging around a fridge ourselves.” And thus, “Don’t Make things Harder Than They Need to Be: Fridge Edition” was born. We practice what we preach to clients about retargeting ads because they work. Actually, for visiting this website, you’ll likely see this ad sometime in your near future. Fortunately, we care about you and wouldn’t let you be followed by something boring! 

Onto pre-production we went. Marketing Manager Ally had a great idea about our protagonist doing something silly at home, like spinning wool. I love this part of pre-production because it’s where videos start to take on a life of their own, evolving and surprising you when others join in. I quickly realized wool spinning was a little beyond my crafting knowledge. But sometimes, our lives turn out much better when Plan A is thwarted. “Prove it,” you say? We found a masterpiece for our character to paint instead:

I drove 800 million miles to Willard, MO, and paid $20 for this baby painting. I, unfortunately, neglected to pop the baby out of its rusty frame until the morning of the shoot. I discovered at that last minute that it was not a print but a CALENDAR PAGE that someone loved soooo much they FRAMED IT and sold it on Facebook marketplace. This revelation nearly threw a wrench in our whole plan — you can’t paint on a thin calendar page without it wrinkling up immediately. But last-minute problems are where the magic can really happen on set. I knew our character would have to pretend to paint on the picture, so what if we leaned into that? What if our protagonist is just fake painting at home while his CEO partner is at work? It’s bananas, just the way we like it. 

Now for the whole lugging a fridge around bit. If we just found a house with a similar fridge to the one in our office, we wouldn’t have to move our office fridge farther than a few yards. Turns out our fridge is the Gonzo of refrigerators and has no twin in the universe. Plus, Ally had a lovely dining room for us to shoot in and a deep, burning desire to parade her fridge around town. I think it’s safe to say the team didn’t share the same burning desire (because who would?), but I never would have guessed when the lugging day came. The DJM production team has golden retriever energy and is game for anything that gets the crazy idea done. Even our Director of Photography, Ian, though he was green around the gills, couldn’t help but get in on the action. He now only responds to the name “The Fridge Mover.”

Providing the final spice melange was our cast, Nate Black and Sarah Jenkins. Nate and Sarah are comedic legends in Springfield; their improv skills kept the humor ball rolling, turning set into a ridiculous think-tank of “what if this” and “what if that.” I’m always proud of this team and the talent they recruit. Without their skill and exciting energy, our projects wouldn’t have a beating heart, and no one wants to be followed by an ad with no heart. 

If you need a retargeting ad with some heart and soul, forget Hoagy Carmichael! Fill out our contact form to get started!

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