Behind the Scenes of a Tech Company (.Me) Making a Commercial: What We Learned ft. T.J. Miller


The .ME Team is always looking for ways we can bring .ME domains to more people. We’ve done commercials and advertising in the past, but we felt it was time to go even bigger. So what do you get when you find the right agency, the right comedian and some time to do it all? Thoughts of the Muppet Show came to mind – to be honest!

We knew that to reach the largest number of people, we needed to work with an advertising agency. Our task was to find a partner who really “got” us. We needed an agency that understood that .Me is the best domain extension for personalization and reputation management, but could also capture the spirit of the .Me team. The people behind .Me are adventurous and creative, but we also mean business. We knew we needed a partner who could telegraph all of that and also tackle the job of helping us educate a public that doesn’t necessarily know much about domain names. To succeed, we suspected we would need a partner who thinks like we do.

.ME Meets RadioFace

We met Bridget Platten of New York based ad agency RadioFace at Tech Crunch Disrupt. When she told us that the RadioFace staff was made up half of comedians (including former Saturday Night Live writers) and half advertisers; we immediately wanted to know more. A boutique agency that has won multiple awards, RadioFace specializes in funny, poignant, memorable TV, web, radio and print commercials.  As humor is the language and currency of the contemporary Internet we knew that was how we wanted our message communicated.

We had several meetings with RadioFace and explained to them the situation in the domain industry and what we are about. After a week they came back to us with a commercial and ad campaign proposal that was funny, unusual and right to the point. We knew we had found the right partners.

When we spoke again they presented us with a script that blew us away. The message of the campaign was to focus on the idea that extensions are specialized, and that while .com is for companies, .ME is for people. RadioFace had come up with a great concept for a commercial and a hilarious script, now we just needed to find the right actor to get our message across.

T.J. Miller

After a wide search, the agency cast up and coming comedian T.J. Miller as the “face” of our .ME campaign. Miller has several comedic indie film credits including Our Idiot Brother (2011) and Mike Judge’s Extract (2009). We watched T.J.’s previous work and immediately knew he was right for the part. Funny, loveable and self-deprecating, Miller also telegraphs a warmth that we knew was right for .ME.

Day of the Shoot

We headed to Los Angeles on August 13, 2012 to shoot the first ever .ME live action commercial. We arrived on a set guarded by huge production trucks with lighting rigs, soundboards, people, and monitors covering every available space. Wardrobe people ran back and forth with racks of brightly colored clothes. There was a certain The Muppet Show vibe in the frenzied activity of the crew.

When it came time to begin shooting, we sat behind the monitors with Tony Mennuto and Floyd Russ of RadioFace and watched the first scene transmitted live. It was immediately clear that the perfect casting choice had been made. The energy that Miller brought to the shoot infected everybody on set. Working off the hilarious script produced by RadioFace, Miller, his partner Nick Swordson and fellow actors made each take funnier than the last. Everyone on set laughed until they cried.

At the end of the day, the director passed on a hard drive full of the day’s footage to RadioFace’s producer, Floyd Russ to be taken back to NY to be edited and mixed by RadioFace’s expert team.

Final Product

A week later we were shown a rough cut of the commercial and were blown away by what RadioFace and the production team had created. The commercial was then further tweaked, reedited, sound mixed and sent through several rounds of approval.  When we received the final product we knew we had something really special on our hands. We weren’t the only people who love it. The ad has been recognized by several agency publications, including Best Ad of the day on AdForum.com, as has received 2,313 hits thus far.

What We Learned

At the end of the process, not only did we learn how to make a fantastic commercial spot but we also confirmed that choosing an agency that fit our company’s “personality” was one of the main ingredients to success. The RadioFace team has great ideas and a killer collective sense of humor but most importantly they really listened to us and kept a constant dialog open.

When creating a campaign like this communication and flexibility are the key to getting the most out of the creative partnership but we also found that it helped tremendously to have partners who shared our sensibility. While we have had great luck with everyone we’ve worked with, partnering with RadioFace really cemented for us, the importance of choosing the right people to help get your message out to the public.

 

Author:

Kelly Hardy

Kelly Hardy is the Business Development and Registrar Relations consultant for .ME in North America. A domain industry veteran based in Los Angeles, you will find Kelly at all of the .ME U.S. domain and tech events. Kelly holds a degree in comic books, has a background in music journalism and is a self-described adventuress. Kelly is passionate about personal branding online and like a mad scientist is always experimenting with new ways to use .ME domains.

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