CEFCU "Growing Together" Proposal
In the spirit of "growing together," we're grateful for this opportunity, and are excited to help CEFCU and 88 Brand Partners grow with your new client, Citizens Equity First Credit Union! In the proposal below we've put together some visual examples, a tabletop specific reel, some Director's treatment thoughts, and finally a bid for the project.
Based on the storyboards and creative needs, we think Lifestyle Director Jeremy Pinckert will be the perfect director for this project. His most recent campaign was "Making Things Happen", a national ad for OKRP and Home Chef shot on ARRI Alexa with Cooke lensing.
He has extensive Credit Union-specific production experience, with close to twenty :30 commercial campaigns for large regional credit unions. His Lifestyle directing experience and aesthetic creative sensibilities are a perfect fit for this creative. We've also included his directing work on Lifestyle / Tabletop projects for Groupon, Home Chef and Keystone Light, which were planned, produced and shot through Explore Media, and in the case of the Keystone Light projects, also completely finished by our full-service capabilities as well.
In addition, our producer Seth Deahl has over 12 years in the industry working in the highly detailed world of top-tier tabletop commercial production through Big Deahl Productions. He has over 100 tabletop shoots under his belt, working on everything from a super-shoestring-budget music video to multi-million dollar global campaigns. He has the experience to meet any studio, green screen, or on-location production need, and as a top freelance producer has most likely worked on a few of the other projects you've seen from other bidders.
Jeremy Pinckert - Lifestyle / Tabletop Director
The concepts you’ve decided upon work so well because of their focused creative, but they also work because they reveal an intricacy of performance, visual aesthetic, and post-production sound design which when expertly combined in post, will establish a campaign for CEFCU that will be effective, and can be built upon for many commercials and service lines to come.
For the Brand spot, we start on a kitchen island and have people adding to the savings by dropping coins into the jar. Camera movement can start by tilting up to see more than the edge of the surface of a granite-style countertop. The focus will be on matching the age, gender, and action of the hands with the voiceover. "For a car" can be one set of hands, "For a house" can be another, "College" is yet another hand.
As we get to the "more than 300,000 times" we star to treat the jar in different locations with different backgrounds. On a parent's dresser, in a child's room against a brightly colored background, on an office desk, on a kitchen buffet counter, in a den, etc. The idea is to not make this feel like one house and one family. This changing background aesthetic can help the spot have more visual appeal and depth. We can achieve this idea by either shooting organically in different locations, or we can bring green screen into play.
Finally, when we get to the end of the spot, we come back to the original location, where a little girl grabs the jar. We can approach this scene in a couple ways. If we use a dolly to reveal more of the background (in effect zooming out in a much more creative way) as she walks out of the scene. Another idea would be to use a younger-aged girl who, when grabbing the jar, is shorter so she has to be on her tippy-toes. We see her cute face looking through the glass as she takes it down from the counter. Finally, we could use a cut to a slightly wider shot of her coming in, grabbing the jar and walking away maybe even with the guidance of an adult who we may or may not want to see.
Regardless if we use green screen or organic locations, there are opportunities to take the brand spot in a slightly different direction than the service line spots by using the montage effect of multiple locations, but keeping the aesthetic qualities consistent so we establish this is a CEFCU spot from the same campaign.
For the Checking Spot, we would use a simple diner featuring one customer, customer extras, and an occasional waitress. We can set the table in the middle of the diner and use more depth of tables behind the glass of iced tea. One potential pitfall with that scenario is the viewer might think we're featuring a drink brand or featuring the restaurant because we'll need to light the iced tea in a way to separate it from the depth of the background.
Another way to treat this would be setting the scene at a table or booth against a window. This choice allows us to not only isolate the importance of the glass of tea, but to use sunlight, reflections, and the outside aesthetic to sell the creative. We budgeted for extras who we can use to cross in front of camera, and also outside walking on the pavement...where we might even see their reflections in the window at times.
Choreographing the scene to work over the course of :30 as a lock down will be a fun achievement in performance, and we'll also shoot this scene as several different cuts, so we can have more options in post if you want to use cuts to show more dramatic differences in the levels of the iced tea in the glass.
Overall, starting the scene with a slight pedestal move up where the edge of the table provides a bit of foreground interest will work nicely to give us some cinematic camera movement. For the potential of adding a scene at the end featuring our talent getting up from the table and paying, there are a couple ideas for how to treat this: If we do one choreographed take, then a dolly move at the end where we pull back to reveal him leaving a tip and walking out would be an interesting, creative treatment. If we do cuts, another idea would be to cut to a shot of him slightly wider (zoomed back) as he gets up, grabs his key chain from the table and says "Thank-you" to the waitress as he passes her. Finally, we could cut to a shot similar to the Brand spot, where we dolly back to reveal the customer leaving a tip as he grabs keys and then tilt-up to his face as he leaves. All options would work, and we can choose which idea we like best as we get more clarity on whether the last scene will feature the talent's face.
Most successful projects are the product of many creative minds who excel in niche areas working together towards a common goal. While we are putting forward ways we can treat your creative idea, we also believe in the flexibility and trust inherent in collaboration, realizing at the end of the day, what works best for CEFCU is what works best for this project. Here are some examples of how we've produced some credit union projects from the creative outlined in storyboards!
Simply put, location matters for so many reasons, and we partner with location scouts who can help us find the perfect spot where have options to fit any of the aesthetic options you choose. To counter the potential of a diner being too large a part of the budget, we have opened the possibility of shooting during a Monday when a diner could be closed. For the Brand spot, we can either find one house which will fit either creative...one single plain surface in a central location like an open-floor plan kitchen or multiple areas of the house, or based on your final creative need, for the same budget we can find a community-type public area where the jar could be located.
While the actual face-time of talent in these spots is intentionally less, the actions of our talent are no less important. We'll work with a casting agent to choose the on-camera actors: two main characters, a waitress, as well as three sets of hands who we will need to direct for the Brand spot. We'll also use a talent agency who specializes specifically in extras to fill out foreground and background talent.
Art & Prop Design
This campaign is built upon the focus of the viewer on singular items: a glass of iced tea and a jar filled with coins. Our Art Department partners are experts in options...we'll send over every option possible for the shape of jar and thickness of glass, size of tea glasses, color of iced tea, even the size & shape of ice cubes. In addition to these main prop characters, adding contextual props and set design will be just as important, and one area we feel will be just as critical in selling the believability and making the campaign more effective. Everything from the finish of table surface to the type of sugar container (soda fountain-style) to the type of items surrounding the money jar will be chosen and planned.
When creative for a television commercial features mainly hands and torsos, accentuating and distinguishing between characters like a waitress and a customer, a husband and a wife, and a teenage boy from a young girl, will rely heavily on the wardrobe department. Our professional commercial wardrobe artist will send over style boards to choose tone, color and textures with plenty of time to lock in your choices, so making the purchases and having enough options when we get to set will make us more effective. To maximize our OCP hands for the Brand spot, we will have wardrobe bring additional clothing options so each pair of hands can play as 2 or 3 more pairs of hands on camera if needed.
Music & Sound Design
When a television campaign has the potential to grow into more spots using similar creative threads, the decision to go with a music composer, sound designer, and audio mixer who can customize the sound to bring fullness, richness, and timing is essential. Our audio partners at Noise Floor have not only composed most of the music in the credit union spots above, they also have sound designed most of our commercials, and have mixed music, sound effects, and voiceover for all of them. These spots will need diner ambience, iced tea spoon stirring, ice settling, footsteps padding and many other sounds for the Checking spot. For the Brand commercial, depending on final location we can add coins clinking, football on a TV, distant lawns being mowed, muted birds outside chirping, and even the ambience of refrigerator hums to give the spots what audio specialists argue is "2/3rds of the picture."
Once we lock in the right tone and character for a voice, we'll conduct a custom voice search based on the right age, gender and accent. We'll narrow down the choices into a "best of" group and send over options for your team to find your favorite. Next, an overlooked part of the process is where we excel: Director Jeremy Pinckert will conduct a session with the voice actor where he works with them to pull the nuances of their performance, and then will work in editing to choose which words and phrases can be combined to make the absolute best narration. All of the Credit Union spots plus Keystone Light in the reel above were recorded and edited in this exact manner, take a listen and hear the difference! Our quote does not include the narrator's fee for radio spots, but has the headroom for you to work with them on that fee.
The editor for these spots will be one of our best staff cutters: Garret Brubaker. He brings award-winning editing and visual fx experience to this project, recently winning an award for the green screen compositing he did for United Federal Credit Union in their Auto Loan spot, "Enjoy the Ride." His work also includes spots for Keystone Light, Diurex, Martins Supermarkets and Go RVing.
As you can see in the following examples, our post-production capabilities include expert color correction enhancement from our partners at Nolo Digital Film. For this "Growing Together" campaign, establishing a color strategy will be important; using a more evenly-lit and level saturation technique will help these spots fit in seamlessly with the contemporary look of national ads. We capture all of our images in a Raw 4K format, giving the colorist maximum latitude to achieve beautiful final images.