In this stunt for ESPN, four fans lived on a billboard together during the College Football Playoff for a shot at going to the National Championship game. We live-streamed the entire thing for 282 straight hours — that's just short of 2 weeks — making this one of the most challenging projects I've ever worked on.
The stunt was covered by over 500 media outlets, including The Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC News and Sports Illustrated. I was the ACD on the project, from concept to completion.
“This might be the greatest thing ever done at ESPN. Other than hiring me. ” — Marcus Spears, ESPN Personality
B is for Baller
"B is for Baller" is a children's alphabet book all about basketball. I took player nicknames or simple words for every letter and my friend Matthew Shipley did the illustrations.
Drafting off the buzz and sudden popularity of HQ trivia, we created Steph IQ. It was a custom-built, real-time trivia game where players who survived split a pot of money and could win Steph’s newest sneakers.
Each game went live after Steph hit a 3 in the playoffs, marrying the physical and digital experience of watching a sporting event.
We had to be prepared for every series to go the distance, so I was writing trivia questions and scripts for our host Bdot as fast as I could.
Under Armour wanted us to drop the new Curry 4s in a new way. So we did it with drones.
We sailed a yacht into the middle of the Bay, attached signed sneakers to drones, and flew them to hidden "drop zones" in San Francisco and Oakland.
Whoever got there first got the shoes.
Old and bold.
I wanted to learn about growing a YouTube community. And my grandpa needed something to do. So Mr. Forthright was born. I wrote, shot, and edited the videos, and my late grandfather did some of the best acting you'll ever see from a 90-year-old with compromised short-term memory and zero experience.
The videos gained quite a following. Mr. Forthright was on the front page of reddit, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Digg, amassed over 70,000 social media followers and millions of views.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty
How to Get Ripped
How to Be a Gangsta
How to Escape from a Nursing Home
Pocket Like It's Hot
The idea: Parody Snoop Dogg's song "Drop it Like it's Hot" into a more Hot Pockets-friendly "Pocket Like It's Hot." And it actually happened. With Snoop and everything. As the copywriter on the project, I can now claim that I wrote rap lyrics for the Doggfather himself.
Our video lit up the internet and quickly scored millions of views. It got tons of press, convinced the brand to go for round 2 the next year, and was ranked the 12th most watched ad of the entire year on YouTube.
People even took to Rap Genius to analyze the lyrics. And, perhaps most impressively, the campaign was a question on Jeopardy!
Pocket Like It's Hot
Different Kind of Cup
The assignment: Make something that would stop a thumb scrolling through a Facebook feed.
The solution: Laser Cats.
We worked with Facebook to create these short videos that would quickly grab a user's attention (even when muted) and communicate that Butterfinger had taken the peanut butter cup to another level of awesome. Fun and fast, the clips had four million views.
Jack Russell Unicorn
Limited Edition Infomercial
Every year, Hot Pockets introduces new "Limited Edition" flavors. Since these sandwiches were destined to die young, an infomercial felt like the perfect fit.
This video made the AdAge Top Ten Viral Video chart for a few weeks and had over 5 million views. Plus, thousands of people called that phone number (yes, it was real) and left a message (see the last video in the gallery to listen to some of them).
I was copywriter on the video, and all the other web content.
100s called our 1-800 number and left a message
ESPN College Football Playoff
After a down year, ESPN was looking to boost ratings for its College Football Playoff.
Driven by the insight that many fans stopped watching as soon as "their" team was out of the race, we created content that would give fans a reason to root for someone else by surfacing compelling storylines for the schools still in it.
One of the challenges with this project is that the teams in contention were changing every weekend, leaving us very little time to adapt. As a result, I had to research and write scripts for multiple teams in a matter of hours in order to get them approved and created in time.
In all, we made over a dozen :15s, plus social media content.
We highlighted dynamic players, interesting storylines, or a team's quirks -- like Clemson's penchant for dancing -- to make them more likeable to casual fans.
In addition to video, we created team-specific social for the squads in contention.
Once the final four had been picked by the committee, we made match-up specific videos from each team's perspective to rally viewers to pick a side and tune in.
The star of Netflix's first realty show "Ultimate Beastmaster" was The Beast - an obstacle course built to break athletes. So we created a video that "broke" Facebook's interface.
Such trickery is no longer allowed by the Facebook police, and I like to think I had a small role in that.
I'm not a naturally comfortable performer, and for a few years I did stand-up comedy as a form of self torture. But along the way of enduring some terrible gigs in front of sparse crowds, I became a much, much better writer.
Feel free to check out some of my not worst performances right here.
Flame Retardant Pajamas
Why does the pizza man need my number?
The Problem with Prison Escapes
Romancing the Product
Look, I'm not too cool to just sit down and describe some consumer packaged goods, okay? And to prove it, you can check out some of these product descriptions I did for Nestea.
Muscle Milk Intranet
Tasked with revitalizing Muscle Milk's College Ambassador Program, which hires student reps to spread the brand on campuses across the country, we created a tool that would get unengaged reps to elevate their game.
Our intranet hub provided a place for reps to learn, collaborate, and report progress. And to make sure the hub made an actual impact, we game-ified the experience - awarding points and badges to the reps who performed the best. By tracking the points on the leaderboard, we we were able to tap into their competitive juices and boost performance.
I was a driving force behind the site's conceptualization, in addition to handling the copywriting.
The hub provided a place for far-flung reps to recap their efforts on campus.
Reps could instantly see where they ranked that month, school-year, and all-time.
Reps earn badges by meeting benchmarks. The badges and points correspond with specific actions on MuscleMilkCollege.com, all of which are automatically tracked to make supervisors' jobs that much simpler.
As the Pocket Turns
Lean Pockets wanted us to leverage the start of a new year, when consumers, particularly women, were actively looking to make positive changes.
The solve was an interactive soap opera featuring a woman caught in a love triangle; like most love triangles she's torn between her handsome boyfriend, a wealthy suitor, and a Lean Pocket. At the end of the spot, viewers decided who the protagonist should choose by clicking on the desired ending.
The campaign saw high engagement across social, where fans downloaded coupons and shared their own New Year's resolutions.
As the Pocket Turns
Social integration encouraged people to share their own resolutions
Nestle Pure Life
This series of :30s promoted the launch of Nestlé Pure Life Water's new "Drink Better. Live Better." loyalty program.
The assignment was to appeal to moms, highlight what you could earn, and promote the brand's platform of healthy family hydration.
I was the copywriter on these spots, which were also made in Spanish.