For decades, Hollywood’s most famous stars have had a public barbecue where their so-called friends take them apart for hours on national television.
These glasses are called a roast and can be a great thing depending on your sense of humor. Not for the “honored guest”, of course, but for the bloodthirsty crowd that has gathered to perform the preparation and for those who watch everything.
Humanaut agency took a page from this iconic cutthroat event by working with stand-up comedians in New York and across the country who have become unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated club closings.
But the subject under your microscope won’t be Kanye West or Dwayne Johnson – it will be your brand. When you have thick enough skin, you’re ready to part with $ 15,000.
A merciless roast
Here’s How It Will Work: There are 10 spots for brands not afraid of being bullied and ridiculed by perhaps the meanest focus group ever put together. Once the comedians let go of their humiliating insults, Humanaut will turn those sick burns into actionable lessons.
Each brand will receive a video highlight role, and Humanaut will encourage attendees to share an approved version with the world.
Humanaut, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has made a name for itself with genre satires and trope-busting like “Save the Bros”, “Welcome to Merryfield” and “Saving the Planet”.
To kick off the program, the indie agency shot a PSA-style video with Founder and Chief Creative Director David Littlejohn that promises that “no one is more brutally honest than stand-up comedians.”
“They’ll mercilessly toast your brand and tear your strategy to pieces,” he says, “all for the price of a bunch of silly banners.”
With so little to laugh about in 2020, maybe brand marketers could sacrifice themselves in the name of the entertaining shadow, throwing the master of improvisation? Anyway, that is the goal in a video that was shot to look like a traditional, focused effort.
Along with Littlejohn’s serious plea – he only breaks the character once – there is a preview of things to come.
A chance for brands to do less shit
One comedian holds a pack of Beyond Meat burgers in his hand and says, “That’ll make Democrats grilling when they want to start a fight.” Another, holding a milk carton from the Bio Valley, says, “It is a sign that you should quit when you lose your job to a nut. “
The agency will turn such gossip into “real honest insights that will help you be more authentic and confident and less completely crappy,” says Littlejohn in the digital short film.
“Honesty is a powerful way for a brand to stand out,” Littlejohn said in a statement. “Not many brands have the stomach to get there, but the ones that almost always win.”
Humanaut is supported by Jeff Greenspan, a veteran Ad Maven and former chief creative officer of BuzzFeed, who is now a stand-up comic. Greenspan, who recently moved to Chattanooga from New York, helped recruit comedians for Brand Roast.
“I’ve worked at BuzzFeed, Facebook, and dozens of advertising agencies. All my livelihood was made up of lies. Now I’m getting up and trying to tell the truth and I can’t make a penny, ”Greenspan said. “I am delighted that the Brand Roasts will offer talented comics a much-needed opportunity and financial rebound in these troubled times.”