We’ve all made them. We make them everyday. Snap decisions are the impulsive and immediate choices that happen at a moment’s notice. When our buddies at GSD&M came to us with this fun and relatable creative for Capital One, we didn’t have to think twice about working with one of our favorite ad agencies on these three social spots. We immediately recognized the chance to play with some subtle visual humor in different ways for each scenario, and were excited to help bring them to life.
Our goal was to really bring out the grounded and relatable tone of the commercial scripts, and to carry that approach across the casting, cinematography, and art direction. We wanted the audience to immediately see themselves in these funny moments to highlight how Capital One’s app can easily and seamlessly fit into daily life.
The grounded tone and empathetic cast in our spots needed to be reinforced by the naturalistic look of each situation. Our settings and cast should be considered and tasteful, but our audience should instantly recognize their world. Efficient storytelling and relatable humor would build a world our audience will recognize in a snap.
Revelator director Matt Muir worked to build a comfy and lived-in everyday world, starting with the cast. We conducted virtual auditions via Zoom to hunt for people who could bring the comedy with naturalism and distinct, relatable personality. The humanity and authenticity of each performance was key to creating the balance of humor in each ad.
Once we had our cast set, the next task was to ground them in a comfortable and approachable modern setting. The location scout in Austin, Texas, included a wide sweep of homes to helps us find just the right balance of on-trend architecture, but also relatable and comfortable homes. (Not to mention a cute, but contained doggy day care!)
The production design was also essential. We created on-location lives for our characters that looked naturalistic on camera, but still felt relatable with personal touches and casual arrangements to make spaces feel lived-in and grounded. We used earthy, cool, and muted tones throughout the wardrobe and art direction to work with the natural lighting and grounded visual style.
Since we wanted to convey the feeling of everyday people living their daily lives, we chose comfortable wardrobes to complement each character. The grounded visual humor would really land if we conveyed a believable and relatable situation. We didn’t want to telegraph the comedic tone, but rather have a subtle and natural reveal for each comedic set up.
Storyboarding was also essential to the storytelling process, since we wanted the spots to exist over different digital platforms. This meant shots were pre-planned for streamlined visualization at several different aspect ratios for digital and social. We knew the quick timing of our :10 second and :06 second spots required direct storytelling. Whether it’s a :30 commercial or a short social cut-down, we always plan out how each frame will work in the timing of our desired edit. That meant that each shot in this campaign allows for social media aspect ratios for each edit. They were framed to keep the storytelling centered in the composition and really direct the viewer’s eye to the visually comedic moments of each scene. And whether it was 9×16, 1×1, or even these 16×9 director cuts, we made sure the same light, comedic moments where told across each platform.
We had a blast working on these fun social spots. As a creative production company, working on comedic spots with fun and unique agency folks are some of our favorite projects to work on. This one was especially exciting, because come on, it’s not every day you get to work with a skateboarding dog!