Year: 2018

Showcasing the sensible and the spontaneous in our TV ad for Trussle

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

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We’re thrilled to introduce the new brand response TV ad campaign for Trussle, the online mortgage broker which launched this weekend.

The new creative, by Happy Hour, calls on home owners to do the sensible thing: switch and save on their mortgage.

It opens with Jenny and James, a thoroughly sensible couple who have saved £4,000 a year by using Trussle to switch and monitor their mortgage. Flush from their recent saving, Jenny and James splurge on a rococo style painting of themselves – in thrilling and spontaneous defiance of their usual sensible selves.

The campaign is aimed at home owners, encouraging them to switch and save on their mortgage. By sparing two minutes and signing up to Trussle’s free mortgage monitoring service, borrowers can check if they’re on the right mortgage product and relax knowing that their mortgage is being proactively monitored.. Trussle will alert home owners and guide them through the switching process when the time is right.

The ad was filmed in Bristol, directed by Michael Wright with all production and post-production handled in-house.

Nicola Tyler, Managing Partner at Happy Hour, said, “From first meeting the Trussle team, it was immediately apparent what an innovative, forward-thinking brand they are and we are delighted to be working on the new TV advertising creative.

For Happy Hour the challenge was clear: as an agency specialising in brand response TV, it was our job to balance the personality of the brand itself with a clear focus on customer acquisition.

Getting stuck into the brief, we recognised that getting a mortgage or remortgaging can feel like a dark art, often laborious and difficult to navigate. Trussle provides the antidote to this, the better way, the more sensible way, and so the idea for the “sensible” campaign was born.”

Ishaan Malhi, CEO and Founder of Trussle, added, “There’s still too much complexity across the industry which doesn’t make it easy for home owners to understand how and when to switch their mortgage. The traditional process is outdated and millions of people are losing out financially, and emotionally as a result.

There are over 2 million borrowers who could be saving today by switching to a better deal. We’re on a mission to make the switching process transparent and simple, removing the barriers that have previously existed and helping people save money in the process.

Our TV ad shows just that. Switching with Trussle is the sensible thing to do with your mortgage. Every home owner should do it.”

If you’d like to learn more about how response TV advertising could boost your brand, and how we might be able to help, get in touch today.

Elephants sometimes forget – our latest DRTV commercial goes live

Posted in: DRTV, TV Adverts

Communicating your brand values and the key features of your products in an engaging way can be a difficult task to achieve in just 30 seconds of airtime, but a Direct Response TV campaign could be the answer. Happy Hour are one of the UK’s leading DRTV commercial production companies and creating brand-boosting campaigns is one of the things we do best. One of our latest ads, for thinkmoney is airing now.

Thinkmoney wanted to promote their thinkmoney Credit Card to a wider UK audience, so they partnered with us to create a commercial which would drive prospects to their website and generate huge responses.

They wanted the ad to be approachable and relatable, like a normal conversation between two friends. We took this concept and flipped it on its head, introducing Pete and Bob to test the theory ‘elephants never forget’.

To ensure their personality shines through and the ad stands out on TV we used traditional Claymation animation. It’s a time consuming, meticulous process but it added such charm to the commercial and was a great way to bring our characters to life.

Michael Wright directed the ad which was animated by Darren Thompson and filmed in our own in-house studio. Michael explained “I’ve worked with some challenging actors regarding performance, but in terms of challenges you really can’t beat trying to get a lovable and amusing performance out of two lumps of hard, cold plasticine, in the shape of our two thinkmoney elephants.  But at least if your stars are clay elephants they never storm off set and hide in their trailers. 

Getting the ball rolling, we knew we had some great characters designed, but it was a pleasure to collaborate again with the amazing talents of Darren Thompson, our animator, who really brought charm and humour to the characters over a tricky three week shoot that required the clay models to be hand-sculpted for each frame in the finished film.

This old fashioned bit of craftspersonship, for an up to the minute product like Think Money, adds a lot of warmth and engagement and makes the ad really stand out on TV screens.”

We have a huge roster of talent that covers all types of animation from Claymation like Thinkmoney to 3D and 2D or hand drawn cell animation (like Disney) it’s a great way to add personality to your videos as well as ensuring they stand out. If you’ve got a video brief you think we can add some magic to then just get in touch.

A lot of Love(ie) for our ‘Life After 50’ social video series

Posted in: Awards

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We’re thrilled to announce that the ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ social video series we’ve created for SunLife has been shortlisted for Best Social Video Series at the 8th Annual Lovie Awards.

The Lovie Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is a prestigious honour in Europe for excellence across websites, online advertising, internet video, mobile & apps and social. The mission of The Lovie Awards is to recognise the unique and resonant nature of the European internet community—from Europeʼs top digital and creative agencies and content publishers to cultural and political organisations and individual creators.

“‘Welcome to Life After 50’ has excelled in its category, showing fantastic prowess in digital innovation and creativity,” said Nicolas Roope, Executive Chair of IADAS. “This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”

Nicola Tyler, Managing Partner at Happy Hour said “This year the awards received 1,500 submissions from 33 countries, and with only 17% being shortlisted or put through to the final, we’re really proud to have made the cut. It’s lovely work for a great client.”

The ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ video series showcases inspirational over 50 year olds, telling their story in short films, which SunLife uses on their website and social media. The videos are clearly hitting the mark, with a recent story about tandem cyclists going viral with over 13 million views and 224 thousand shares. SunLife have found the series to be a great way to boost engagement with the brand, build long-term favourability and widen their audience.

If your brand could benefit from some engaging video content then drop us a line, we’d love to help.

Lovie Awards 2018 Shortlist


Twelve million views for our tandem twosome

Posted in: Video Marketing

Tags: ,

It’s great to see work we’ve created being enjoyed by the viewers, especially when it’s being shared and engaged with worldwide. Which is exactly what’s happening with SunLife’s latest viral online video.

The latest in that series introduces the adorable tandem cyclists Graeme (86) and Betty (91) and it’s certainly struck a chord with viewers, racking up over 12 million views and over 200 thousand shares in just a couple of weeks.

We’ve been collaborating with SunLife for years now, not just on their successful DRTV commercial campaigns, but also on videos for their social channels. The ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ suite of videos showcases inspirational stories of people over 50 that really resonate with SunLife’s audience.

SunLife use the video series to tell inspirational stories to their viewers. Stories that they know their customer base, who are searching for over 50s life insurance, will enjoy. The series fits with SunLife’s ethos of living life well at any age.

A series of videos for your website and social media channels are a great way to engage your existing audience whilst reaching new ones. Using emotive or inspirational storytelling encourages engagement and sharing which helps spread your message even further.

At Happy Hour we’ve got an experienced team of directors and producers who can concept, script and produce a whole suite of videos for you or produce a video based on your existing script. If you’d like to chat about how we can help you use online video to boost engagement with your brand then get in touch.

A personality-filled online video for Barcan+Kirby

Posted in: Video Marketing

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Barcan+Kirby are a high street law firm based in Bristol. They cover most legal services from Wills, to Conveyancing, to Family Law and more recently they’ve been focusing on building their Commercial team for sole traders to SMEs. They wanted a new video to use on their website which would not only tell the story of who they are and what they do, but also give the audience a bit of an insight into their unique ethos.

Tiffany Donnelly, the producer of this video explains, “Barcan+Kirby wanted a video to give prospective customers an overview of the company and the services they provide as well as a feel for the company culture. Barcan+Kirby pride themselves on being different to other solicitors. They take a holistic approach and many of their customers stay with them on their journey through life, using a whole variety of their services. After meeting us and being impressed with the quality of our work, they trusted that their brief was in safe hands with Happy Hour.”

The two minute video introduces real Barcan+Kirby staff who all have different specialisms, and features candid shots of their team at work. The video has a hand-held informal style that captures the spirit of the business. They pride themselves on being ethical solicitors with a range of inclusive practices and are actively involved in the local community.  

We shot it in various locations across Bristol, showcasing areas where some of Barcan+Kirby’s 6 offices are located as well as some of Bristol’s iconic landmarks. The aerial footage of a residential area was actually drone footage we’d filmed for a previous TV campaign.

With films like this it’s important to convey authority and trust whilst also showing the brands personality. The beautiful visuals of Bristol certainly help show off the fact that this is a proudly local company.

If your website could benefit from some fresh video content, be it an introduction to your services, customer testimonials or staff interviews, then why not get in touch and see how we can help.

Creating winning conference films? Child’s play

Posted in: Video Marketing

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Exhibiting at conferences is all about standing out from the crowd, drawing attendees to your pitch and leaving a lasting impression that makes sure your leads get in touch. This is where a great conference film can help.

For the third year in a row Anana partnered with us to create a fun, memorable video for the product demo competition at the Genesys CX18 conference in Nashville.

Previously we’ve created videos using a miniature set and a cast of toys but this time Anana wanted to step things up a gear with a live action shoot – child’s play!

The brief for the video was simple; it needed to be fun, attention grabbing, clearly showcase what Anana’s Customer Experience solutions can do, and be something that would get the conference goers talking after they’d seen it. We think this certainly fulfilled the brief. 😉

The video came second in the competition in Nashville and when the team at Anana used it at a recent event in London it “went down a storm” generating loads of interest and fantastic leads.

Our previous Anana videos were shot in-house in our own studio but as this one featured real Anana staff we filmed it at their HQ, just outside Bristol. A shoot involving children and slime might sound like a recipe for disaster but luckily we’ve got nearly 15 years’ experience that covers everything from underwater filming to persuading pets to perform on camera.

The Director Michael Wright explains “we wanted to take viewers on a great Anana adventure that was both funny and epic in an ‘X Men’ meets ‘Thunderbirds’ kind of a way, but still communicate what Anana is all about in terms of streamlining customer experience. The Anana staff did a great job taking part in the film and their performances and their kids’ performances really bring the story to life. The trickiest moment was when the Anana kids crashed the first three planes before they learned to fly it properly, with hindsight it might have been better to use specials effects for this rather than actually have them flying the plane…”

If you think a personality-filled, memorable corporate film could help your brand stand out then get in touch, we’d love to help.

Instagram launches IGTV, will you be tuning in?

Posted in: Video Marketing

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Instagram launches IGTV will you be tuning inInstagram, the social media giant with over 800 million users, has launched a new feature that will no doubt be causing its rivals to worry about how to hold on to their users. After making a serious dent in the fortunes of Snapchat it now seems they have their sights set on YouTube with their launch of InstagramTV.

Unlike Instagram Stories, their current video offering, IGTV is exclusively for pre-recorded long-form content. Although they may expand to include live videos later. Users can post videos from 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length, whilst popular influencers and verified accounts can post up to an hour of video content. Users can like, comment on and send the videos to each other via direct message and some Twitter users are already pointing out that their videos are getting more views and engagement than those hosted on YouTube, although this could be due to there being far less content on IGTV at the moment.

It exists both as a dedicated section within the Instagram app and also as a stand-alone app. Users are able to search and scroll through videos recommended for them, as well as ones from people they follow and popular videos. Whilst there’s currently no paid advertising option for IGTV brands can add ‘swipe up’ CTAs on their videos, and given the premium of full-screen mobile real estate it’s likely that an ad package or opportunities for sponsored content will be introduced soon. When you open the app the videos just start playing, like TV and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom thinks this ‘lean back’ mode could make IGTV a powerful place for Instagram to put ads.

However, experts including Neil Waller of influencer marketing agency Whaler warned that IGTV requires careful planning by brands, “it should not be a place where users simply post their stories, unless Instagram’s end goal is for IGTV to become a replacement for Stories.” This seems unlikely, given that Stories focuses on short, snappy, in the moment updates that encourages spontaneous creativity as opposed to the careful, thought out approach of pre-recorded and edited IGTV videos. It’s essential that brands think carefully about the kind of content they want to put on IGTV so that it’s an extension of their video marketing not a repetition. The videos are only shown vertically and full screen so that may means brands need to change up or experiment with their filming equipment.

We think this is an exciting development to social media and video marketing and we’re interested to see the innovative ways brands use this new channel.

Are you thinking of experimenting with IGTV, or video content on social media in general? Why not get in touch and pick our brains about how we might be able to help. Our Facebook video series for SunLife is already seeing incredible engagement and we’d love to help more companies use video to boost their brand.

6 things to include in your video brief

Posted in: TV Adverts, Video Marketing

So you’ve decided to commission a piece of film, great! Launching a video campaign is exciting, but it can also be quite daunting. You may be envisioning casting calls, location shooting and the glitz and glamour of a film set, but you might also be feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to begin when trying to get your idea onto the screen. Luckily, that’s where we come in.

As a creative production agency we get a variety of video briefs, from short social media videos to multi-national TV advertising campaigns, so we know how to go about delivering a piece of video content, from script to screen. Here’s some common questions we ask people when they get in touch about a video, these are good starting points to include in a video brief to make sure you and your production company are on the same page from the get go.

Happy Hour Productions clapperboard on TV commercial shoot
  1. Where is the video being used?

Are you wanting to freshen up your website with some video content? Perhaps you want a fun short film for your social media, or maybe you’re after a big, shiny TV advertising campaign. Where you want the video to be seen matters. It could affect the purpose of the video, its intended audience and even the video style. So have a think about what you want the film to achieve and then where you think the best channel for it would be.

  1. What’s the purpose of the video?

Aside from being used as a marketing tool, is there a specific purpose for your video? Are you launching a new product, trying to encourage people to come to an event, creating a customer testimonial about a product or service, or showing off your brand to new audiences? The purpose of your video has an impact on the messaging you’ll want it to contain, where you’ll want to show it, and could also affect the style of film. For example a shiny brand campaign aimed at getting your name or product more widely known is probably better on TV or social media whereas a customer testimonial might be more suited to living on your website.

Happy Hour Productions filming online video content
  1. What style of video?

Snappy stop-motion, to-camera interviews, CGI masterpieces or studio shoots, how do you want your final video to look? You know your brand and audience inside out so you know what will work best. For instance, animation or CGI can be good if you want to convey lots of information or demonstrate technical aspects of products or services, whilst live-action films are great for telling stories.

  1. Do you have a script?

This is to the give the agency an idea of the scope of the work, which they can quote for accordingly. If you have a script worked up, great! If not, it’s no problem. Many agencies and production companies can collaborate with you to craft a script that’s just right. Experienced production agencies will also be able to advise you on messaging to include in your film to get the best results.

Happy Hour Productions train statio nlocatoin filming for QuickQuid
  1. Budget?

This is a big one. How much does a video cost is a bit like ‘how long’s a piece of string’, depending on things like length, style and where it’s being filmed costs can very hugely. If you include an idea of budget, no matter how rough, in your brief you can rest assured that you and your production agency are on the same page from the start, and reduce the likelihood of unexpected costs popping up later.

  1. Other videos/styles you like

It’s always handy to give your agency an idea of other videos you’ve liked, which can help them get a feel for the style you’re after. Put together a list of films you’ve seen which you feel could work for your brand and purpose, this could be a video your competitor put out, a tv advert you’ve always admired or even a clip you saw floating around on social media.

Including these 6 things is a great way to beef up your brief and give your agency or production company a really clear idea of the kind of video you’re after so they can crack on with creating the perfect video for you from the get go.

If you’re working up a brief for video why not send it our way? We’re now in our 15th year of creating video marketing for a huge variety of brands and we’d love to help you too.

Happy Hour productions crew behind the camera on shoot

Harness the happy: social media video for April Fools’ Day

Posted in: Video Marketing


Social media ‘holidays’ are a great way for brands to showcase their personality and start conversations with their audience. Whilst there’s a ‘Twitter holiday’ seemingly every day, Talk Like a Pirate Day anyone? (September 19th if you’re interested) some are certainly more important from a marketing perspective.

April Fools’ Day has become an annual competition between brands to see who can come up with the most inventive, convincing or hilarious way to fool their audience and customers. We highly recommend grabbing a cuppa and taking a look at some of these roundups of cracking campaigns from 2016 and 2017 for some inspiration.

As well as being a great way to inject some fun into your digital marketing campaigns, social media videos are often an opportunity to generate PR, every year the industry and marketing press is full of round-ups of the best April Fools’ Day campaigns, like the ones above.

It’s important to prepare these campaigns so they’re believable and will fool people without being insulting or (too) controversial. Setting up fake product pages, sending out press releases and investing in making the prank seem genuine are likely to ensure your prank gets shared, giving your brand visibility and boosting engagement.

No one knows your customers like you do, so trust your gut as to what they would find funny and relevant, the best pranks tie into the brand and products in a convincing way.

We’ve been working with SunLife for a few years now to produce some of their most successful video pranks. They’ve seen great reach from these campaigns, which brought in new audiences and got them free press coverage.

Beard Insurance was viewed on their website 105k times in one day, with web traffic increased by 400%. This campaign even won 2 awards at the Financial Services Forum Awards as well as being featured in The Telegraph and Look.

 Courtesy Pet Cover had 528k views, 1.2k shares and was featured in The Drum.

 While last years’ Guaranteed Sun Insurance brought in 381k views, 78 shares and was also featured in The Drum.

Are you thinking of using video to prank your audience? As specialists in creating quick-turnaround, entertaining social media videos we might be able to help. If you’ve already got an idea, we can help you to bring it to life, or we can come up with something to get people talking. Get in touch to find out more.