By Michael Brueggemeyer
When I was asked if I was interested in bidding on a spot for Evans Tire, I was already worried. Why would an agency ask if I was interested? Why wouldn’t I, or anyone, be interested in bidding on work! Well, the main issue was cost. The budget was low.
Creative is a wonderful thing, and good creative can make a company successful. But a small budget can be extremely limiting on creative. How do you make something remarkable when your choices are limited?
FIRST, TAKE A LOOK AT THE END RESULT:
For me, step one is to figure out my assets, and where those assets coincide with the client. In this case, the writing process began with the consideration of what a tire expert looks like. Who knows a lot about tires? The folks at Evans Tire do, but we’ve seen that commercial too many times. (This is an example of ‘Throw away the first idea.’)
I thought about who go through tires – truckers, police, race car drivers. I have a friend who is a stunt driver, and she would come paint my house if I asked – yes, she’s that awesome – and she has a stunt vehicle which looks like a Police car, so I thought about dressing her up as a Police Officer and writing the script around what an officer might say, when it hit me:
Stunt driver. She can burn through tires in a day. She can do crazy stuff a Police Officer never would.
We can shoot her inside the car doing her job, and we don’t have to worry about getting something wrong from the police perspective. And since she is so fun and energetic, I just wrote the dialogue based on who she really is, and it was fun. On paper.
She agreed to a price, which included her car and a new set of tires at the end of the day. I found a closed road I could rent, and I borrowed a GoPro – okay, three GoPros – And we did the shoot.
Everything went perfectly until the last shot, which was the last shot because her transmission seal broke and drained completely. So I tried to fix it, failed miserably, and she called the tow truck. I turned the footage over to my editor, he worked his usual brilliance, and the spot is wonderful.
Tire skid marks from the shoot day.
GoPro mounted on car.
ONE LAST NOTE
To give you an idea of how low the budget was, picture this – My friend and I were the only people at the shoot. The driver and I. No lighting people (although we certainly did lighting), no sound person (although we certainly did sound), no makeup person (and yes, we did makeup.) Sometimes the budget requires creative budgeting of assets – in this case, I knew the budget, and if I did a bunch of jobs, I could make it happen. I spent money where it was needed, and saved money where I could, and the commercial looks like so much more than the money invested in it.