Our creative team spends a lot of time in the studio: sorting through raw footage, rearranging, polishing, editing, tweaking, and generally trying to get each pixel and sound bite to conform to our final vision. It’s a meticulous process with a distinctively Mr. Miyagi-wax-on-wax-off style of devotion. During those many hours, one of our critical tasks is choosing the right voiceovers and sound effects to accompany each story, which is where PremiumBeat comes in.
PremiumBeat is a household name to anyone who spends time working behind the scenes in video editing. It is the go-to source for royalty-free music and sound effects.
But here’s the catch: though PremiumBeat allows users to download an audio file and try it out in a video before officially buying the track, these trial tracks come with an audio watermark of a male voiceover reading “PremiumBeat dot com” every few seconds.
Imagine years spent working in the video editing studio, playing and replaying each segment to make sure everything is in order and listening to the dulcet tones of a mystery man reading “PremiumBeat dot com” hundreds of times a day… those voiceover watermarks begin to add up. And suddenly we found ourselves wondering about this mystery man we spent so much time with. ho is the voice of PremiumBeat? What was his story?
An idea was born.
Video Upload Makes Ripples Across the Airwaves
Armed with what we humbly believed to be a video of sheer genius, we posted the video on Vimeo.com and then took to Twitter to share our impromptu commercial with the unsuspecting team over at PremiumBeat.
An hour later PremiumBeat re-posted it and blogged about it on their site. We even received a call from their marketing director claiming that the CEO loved it and wanted to send our team some PremiumBeat swag in return for our work. But it wasn’t just PremiumBeat that was paying attention to our video, it was all the video brethren that had harbored the same curiosity for the mystery man voiceover that we did. It felt as though we’d tapped into an inside joke in a very niche community.
Fast forward to a few weeks later and we get another call from PremiumBeat’s marketing manager: “The CEO won’t stop talking about the video. We want you guys to make us some promotional videos.” A couple months later, they hired us to make three paid videos that would help distinguish their services from other competitors, and – to a large extent – it was the free spec video that got us in the door.
Relishing the Unexpected Impact
Creative agencies are used to working on spec projects, putting in unpaid hours in hopes of landing a valuable account. But that’s not what went down in this case. After all, the client had no idea what we were up to – or even who we were.
Other than processing our regular purchases off their e-commerce site, we’d never had a conversation with their team, talked about video marketing, or inquired about the mysterious voice that haunted our working hours. Nothing. No email chain, no request for proposal, no justifiable reason to pursue this quirky idea other than our passion for what we do with our passion for the product they put out into the world.
Certainly, the project could have flopped – but it didn’t. It struck a chord with the client and with their most loyal customers, because it came from an authentic creative spark that we kept alive through every part of production.
The business wasn’t the reason to do this. Doing this was the reason to do this. We felt that the idea was too good to pass up – it’s like when people ask climbers why they climb Everest and they answer, “Because it’s there.” That kind of genuine creative edge can’t be faked. And in the case of PremiumBeat, it paid off big time.
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