The Deconstructed Brief
fyre stock.jpg



Brand: Shutterstock


How do you capitalize positively on something that is trending worldwide in a negative light — especially when your company offers an easily accessible solution to the problem, available to anyone at a relatively low cost?

One thought

Do you really need a million bucks to make a video that looks like a million bucks?

The idea:

In theory, it should have been amazing — world-class musicians, a private island in the Bahamas, luxury accommodation — yet 2017’s Fyre Festival went off the rails, fast.

Two recent documentaries, “Fyre” and “Fyre Fraud,” have put the ill-fated music festival back in the spotlight. But let’s put aside the failed event’s fallout for a second. There’s one thing that caught consumers’ and agencies’ attention above all else: the festival’s slick (and costly) promo video.

The video struck a chord with Shutterstock. The company knew that promo videos don’t need to cost the world. The festival organizers could have saved a lot of money by using footage from Shutterstock and royalty-free music from PremiumBeat.

To prove the point, the brand crafted its own lighthearted mock promo video entirely out of stock footage. The video, “Fyrestock,” took only one day to make, with just 18 different Shutterstock clips.

The total cost for making this video was less than $5,000 USD, including footage licensing for 18 clips ($2,062 USD), music licensing on PremiumBeat ($199 USD for a premium license, $65 for a standard one), plus post-production costs.

Shutterstock has plans to put some paid media behind the video on its social channels. This is the first video released as part of the company’s “It’s Not Stock” campaign.

What they said:

According to Shutterstock global CMO Lou Weiss: “We thought it would be a great way to show marketers and creative teams that you can truly create anything you want from our 12 million video clips and tens of thousands of music tracks in our library, at an amazing value compared to shooting original footage or creating your own music.”

Lessons to be learned:

  • Remember that there could always be another way. — It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to take the same approach to completing projects, tasks and sometimes festival planning due to comfort and familiarity with the process. By looking into alternative solutions, a more efficient way of completing the work can sometimes easily be found. An industry expert estimated that producing the “Fyrestock” video from scratch would have cost more than $160,000. With a different (this) approach, Fyre could have saved 97 percent of its projected budget — a lesson we all certainly could learn from.

  • Be timely. — Shutterstock jumped at the opportunity that arose, due to the popularity of the documentaries on both Netflix and Hulu. Had it taken the appropriate amount of time to produce this, it would have missed its opportunity. Like the Herr’s Super Bowl posts, there are huge dividends to be earned by being able to react quickly.

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  • Stretch dollars further. — $155,000 was saved, with virtually the same result. If only those funds could have been used to more quickly get the infrastructure in place in time for the actual festival.