Recently, I received a storyboard from David Farmer, of Ad Giants, who I’ve known and collaborated with for years. The project was for the City of Mansfield, to stimulate economic development. The script was using reverse psychology by telling people not to move there. After looking at it I said, “No way,” but he insisted that the campaign was sold and the city manager had signed off on it. So, I said, “I’m in.”
Farmer engaged Stuart Hill as the writer and called his friends at ASA Productions out of Atlanta, to write the music. The client liked the musical concept so you will notice Broadway similarities, kind of like “The Music Man”.
We scouted the City of Mansfield and although we had grandiose plans for the shoot like marching bands in the street and stuff like that, the budget just wouldn’t allow for it.
So, we decided that most of the choreography could be shot within a one block area on Main Street using an improve group. We had used this improve team before on a Frito-Lay project with Garth Brooks and they’d done an amazing job.
We wanted it to be very sketch comedy, so we gave the actors the parameters on each script and then just let them do their thing while covering it with three cameras.
After filming, Mark Hoffmeister was selected to edit it. His timing was impeccable. When David and team showed it to the clients, they loved it, including the part when the actress adlibbed a line about using her naked husband to keep people away from Mansfield. I thought no way was that going to fly, but it did.
A week or so after we delivered, I heard that someone on the school board said, “But what do you mean? We WANT students to come here.” They didn’t get it. It escalated and someone on the City Council complained to another city official, and then it spiraled downhill from there. David and the client presented it to different council members at different meetings. They sold hard, we thought, our ally, another city official was going to lose his job. David was lobbying so hard that he stood up at a City Council meeting and asked, “Why would you spend all this money and not use this campaign? “
We are still waiting on the final word as to if it will actually see the light of day.
Evidently other municipalities have also used the whole reverse psychology thing and been quite successful.
We did get permission to show it so at least we can all enjoy it here.
It was a blast making the project come to life and we do believe that ultimately it will be a very successful campaign for the city of Mansfield. How will local politicians vote on it?? Only time will tell.