Explore Media told a classic American tale in a fifteen-second spot that took less than a month to go viral.
“The Ultimate Trade-Proof Snack” for GoGo squeeZ — featuring a cast of preteen grade-schoolers and absolutely no dialogue — has racked up 6.7 million views since debuting in mid-July. Together with the corresponding 30-second spot, the total exceeds seven million.
The story is simple: every kid wants a GoGo squeeZ drinkable applesauce pouch at lunchtime, but the only girl whose got one won’t trade it away for anything.
That is, until she meets her match in a surprise twist at the end.
Working off a tight concept and extensive style boards from the Chicago office of Match Marketing Group (formerly Trisect), director Jeremy Pinckert channeled the highest echelon of American literature and film to get it done.
“Some of my inspiration was Tom Sawyer’s white picket fence,” he says. “Another was the shot contest in Raiders of the Lost Arc.”
Indeed. A current of Twainesque mischief energizes the kids who offer popcorn, pretzels and candy in exchange for the snack. The girl who won’t make the deal smirks like she just outdrank a villager in the mountains of Nepal.
Viral energy dominated the project before before production even began. Explore pre-produced, cast and propped both versions in less than a week.
“We partnered with O’Connor casting, and they were great,” says Pinckert.
Looking for “expressiveness in the eyes” and “the ability to send a message with their facial characteristics,” he built a cast that successfully delivered a range of emotions in a matter of seconds.
On set, he recalls that the kids were not only professional, but also collaborative.
“We worked on what each child could do to make their offerings seem better,” he explains. “One had licorice in this long cylinder container. She just rolled it out and had a sassy flair.”
They also got along with one another during downtime, which Pinckert says ultimately helped out the overall performance.
“I would catch snippets of conversations,” he recalls. “They were talking about where they were going for summer and what school they attended.”
The musical score was composed by NoiseFloor Ltd.’s Devin Delaney, who particularly enjoyed collaborating on the wordless script with Explore and Match.
“It was a blast creating a piece that blended indie rock with some sprinklings of the old west,” he says. “Without any voiceover, the track we produced was able to take center stage in helping tell the story.”
Pinckert also helped by doing a little homework of his own.
“I had a story for each character,” he continues. “Small, timid, fashionista, hip, dramatic … One little girl had a lanyard and that’s where she carried her candy. That was my inspiration.”
Perhaps most importantly, the father of two daughters and a son didn’t need any research to learn about the popularity of GoGo squeeZ.
“In my kids’ school, they don’t allow trading of snacks,” he explains. “But if they did, Gogo squeeZ would be trade-proof.”
Agency — Match Marketing Group
Production Co — Explore Media
Jeremy Pinckert, Director
Seth Deahl, Producer
Christopher Rejano, DP
Caton Volk, Propmaster
Casting — O’Connor Casting
Music — NoiseFloor Ltd.
Devin Delaney, Composer
Post Production — Jerry Rig Productions
Laura Madlinski, Editor
Equipment — Daufenbach