Hagerty provides car insurance for car enthusiasts. These are people who want the freedom to take the road less traveled in the car that isn’t driven everyday. Classic and vintage cars were once the domain of the retired set. Hagerty knows that group of people is changing and wanted to tap into the next generation of customers. They tapped Revelator to help send the message that classic cars are becoming more and more appealing to younger car buyers. So we worked with Hagerty’s marketing team to develop a creative strategy that uses comedic spots to communicate their messaging. Directed by Revelator’s Matt Muir, this campaign illustrates the calm feeling that an escape in a vintage car provides. The “Escape” TV broadcast campaign portrays three different instances of a classic car helping a driver find a little peace and quiet.
The first step in the creative strategy process was honing the Hagerty team’s spot ideas into finely-tuned scripts that could safely land the story found in each spot. Those stories needed to be crafted for both :15 and :30 second media buys in their campaign strategy. That meant the “voices-in-your-head” comedic concept of the spot, need to happen with two different setups and payoffs, depending on the spot length. The second goal was to conceptualize the setting of each spot to cover the widest demographic for each story. That ultimately meant an office park setting, a home-office setting, and a home yard and garage setting.
We kept the specific script description and blocking open to interpretation during the location scout process. This meant each idea could be fine-tuned to fit the ideal location. If we found a location our director or the client loved, we could still tweak the visual storytelling to fit into a hero location.
The casting process was up next. The casting was an important part of the creative approach for Revelator director Matt Muir. Comedic commercials are all about tone, and finding just the right actor to portray the humor and humanity, while still maintaining the tone of our campaign was Matt’s biggest goal. The pandemic has definitely changed the casting process, so we knew the entire casting call needed to happen remotely. The fact that the actors needed to react to a voice in their head added another wrinkle to the remote casting process. Director Matt Muir solved this problem, by recording voiceover tracks for each comedic track, so actors could play back the audio and perform along to the voiceover track during the audition. This meant the actors could focus on physicality and emotional tone instead of worrying about the timing of their own “imagined” voiceover. The remote auditions were a success. Quickly, we had a gifted group of actors who, not only had a sensitive comedic range, but also a solid understanding of our approach and timing before the final scripts were even locked.
And of course there were the cars: beautiful and unique vintage cars. We combined forces with Hagerty’s team to cast a wide net to find just the right set of vehicles for our classic cars. As a video production company that does our fair share of car beauty, lifestyle, and motor-influenced commercials we had a great community to tap into. These cars had to hit a wide variety of tastes to cater to the Hagerty demographic set. After reviewing hundreds of submissions, we settled on a dream-team of retro cars: a 1984 BMW 325e, a 1971 Ford Bronco, and a 1961 Chevy Belaire lowrider with a custom hydraulic system.
With a complicated production schedule, we created a potential schedule workflow and working timeline for our client. This covered the creation and delivery of all spots (long form and cutdown versions of each) over the course of 8 weeks. Our working outline of this 2+ month partnership between Revelator and Hagerty included the major phases of video production and post-production, as well as mile markers and milestones within each. And as always, we were able to provide updated and more specific schedules as production and clients’ need shifted during pre-production. This way, our plan could reflect each adjustment for easy communication to our internal production and post team.
For these 4 Hagerty spots, we recommended four days of production to give us ample time to film the necessary comedic performances at multiple locations and capture some great-looking driving shots as well. The spots required some additional lift with the number of onscreen talent and the more action-oriented driving shots, so we wanted to make sure to give ourselves plenty of production time to film each piece of that specific spot. We always want to make sure to put the money on screen by finding great talent, interesting locations, and capturing beautiful driving footage. Having a small Hagerty team onsite for the shoot made for quick feedback and review as we fine-tuned comedic timing and visual payoffs on the fly on our production set. From the examples above, you can see we pulled off the final campaign with a sense of fun and enthusiasm that any car lover can recognize, if we do say so ourselves.