A new branded content web viral video called “Daytona Roadtrip,” edited by Anthony Marinelli of the creative production/post house ShootersNYC – currently seen on the Pepsi Max website and its Facebook and YouTube pages – teams NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon with “Max,” the Pepsi Max truck driver on a series of humorous vignettes as they drive the Pepsi Max truck to Daytona Beach, Florida, site of the Daytona 500. The nearly three-minute long piece was created by agency TracyLocke, Wilton, CT, and directed by Matt Pittroff of New York-based production company Twist.
“The chemistry between Jeff and “Max” was very natural,” Marinelli saia. “For me editorially this is no different than a traditional ad – my focus was on making it as funny as I could and telling a great story. It was nice to have more than 30 seconds to work with, but the challenge, as with any ad, was finding the best bits, and the perfect timing and pace to make those bits work.”
In the short, which has been seen by nearly 150,000 YouTube visitors so far, begins with mock-spaghetti western-style confrontation between Max and Gordon over who is going to drive the Pepsi Max truck. They compromise with both in the drivers’ seat each with one hand on the wheel. From there we see a series of set-ups each representing another day on the road to Daytona. Some of the scenes include Gordon, in humorous fashion, revealing he can’t change a tire; a debate over what to name the hula-girl on the dash; and Gordon doing donuts in the parking lot resulting in a clearly shaken Max hyperventilating into a paper bag.
Marinelli noted there were a lot of funny bits that unfortunately didn’t make it into the final piece. “There was a lot of great stuff that we had to leave out because the piece needed to be under three minutes long,” Marinelli adds. “But I think the best stuff made it in.”
Jeff Beckerman, ShootersNYC managing director/executive producer noted that web virals like “Daytona Roadtrip” are more often becoming major parts of agency budgets, as well as a significant part of the Shooters workload. The company has produced recent branded content assignments for clients such as Anthropologie and Boys and Girls Clubs, to name a few.
“More and more agencies are looking at the Internet and social media as almost like a big broadcast network that they can create engaging original content for and drive customer engagement on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,” Beckerman said. “The trick is to create content consumers want to watch, and with this project Anthony, the agency and the director achieved that.”