Powered by Storyhunter: Stanley Commercial Spot
We chatted with Storyhunter freelancer Ricardo Betancourt who directed and filmed a commercial spot for Stanley.
Who is the brand?
You may have seen Stanley’s products out on hiking trails or an adventure base camp. They are a Seattle-based company that sells quality food and beverage gear.
What is the video about?
Stanley wanted to make a short commercial targeting millennials and Gen Z. They created a posting on Storyhunter looking for a talented freelancer who could lead a production team in New Orleans. Specifically, they wanted a director who could capture the spirit of New Orleans while promoting their packable mug and thermal bottle in a natural way. The brand teamed up with New Orleans rapper, producer and songwriter Pell. And they tied the release of the video with that of the musician’s new album to create more buzz.
Who is the freelancer?
Born in Venezuela and raised in New Orleans, Ricardo Betancourt is a commercial producer, director, and editor (he also co-owns Channel Vivid, a studio soundstage). He’s worked on many commercials in the past, but this was his first time directing one. He told us it wouldn’t have been possible without Storyhunter connecting him with the brand.
Before taking on a new brand project, Ricardo does a little digging into the company: What is the brand’s values? Who is their target audience? Why are they reaching out to me? “If I don’t necessarily feel like I fit in it, then the story isn’t going to fit in it,” he said.
“If you want to talk about New Orleans, let’s grab people who are from here, grew up here, and have made a career living here. That’s when I thought about Pell.” — Ricardo Betancourt, Storyhunter freelancer
What was the creative process?
Ricardo provided invaluable input, shaping the video from start to finish. He wanted to show the day and life of musician Pell. More specifically: How did New Orleans shape Pell into the artist he is today? So, the commercial spot shows Pell meditating, writing, heading to a video shoot, and hanging out with friends to create music. “I wanted to grab all that and jam-pack it into one little ad. And just having Stanley along for the ride, because he needs to drink water, he needs to drink coffee. Why not have Stanley with him at all times?” He added: “I tried to make it as natural as possible, how a person might carry themselves with that bottle.”
Stanley and Ricardo used the Storyhunter platform to communicate by sharing project briefs and ideas. Stanley also used Storyhunter to securely and efficiently pay Ricardo for the project.
What was the production workflow?
Given the pandemic, this was hybrid remote video production. Ricardo managed a skeleton crew of six people on set following COVID safety protocols. Plus, the footage from the camera was running directly into a feed, from which the Stanley team in Seattle could watch the production live.
“These one-minute ads are very humanistic and can connect everyone in some way. I tried to cater to New Orleans in this way and give a huge shout out to the city.”
How was the video received?
The brand was “blown away” by the final result. “I believe it’s one of the first videos that they posted that broke the 10,000 views on YouTube,” Ricardo told us.
He also explained why brands need to use video marketing in their strategy. “These one-minute ads are very humanistic and can connect everyone in some way. I tried to cater to New Orleans in this way and give a huge shout out to the city,” he said. “I think that in itself speaks to the brand, being able to diversify and give a shout out to places that are misunderstood. So, using video helps brands connect more with communities that they usually wouldn’t connect with.”
Ready to use video in your marketing strategy? Hire a production company or freelancer.
By Shivan Sarna, Head of Stories