You remember "Camp Gyno," the 2013 viral video for tampon subscription service Hello Flo in which the first girl to get her period at summer camp becomes a tyrant, dispensing products and advice like she's dealing drugs.
The star of the ad, Macy McGrail, was a big part of its success. (It has almost 10 million YouTube views to date.) She had just the right mix of adorableness and menace, and made the character hilarious and memorable.
Well, now McGrail is back in another interesting ad—an almost three-minute, impressively cinematic trailer for a book called Surviving Middle School, which her father, Dave McGrail, has published as a kind of entertaining guide book for 4th to 7th grade girls.
Watch the trailer below. It's quite well done—decent trailers for books are still pretty rare, after all—and features McGrail playing future versions of herself after she's gone down the wrong path, apparently beginning with poor decisions in middle school.
Dave McGrail tells AdFreak the idea for the trailer came from Tommy Henvey, an executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in New York and a relative of his wife's, at a Christmas party last year. Henvey enlisted other talent, including Tim Wilson at Friendshop!, who served as director and editor. "I was drawn to the idea not just to sell the book but also as something fun that Macy and I could do together," McGrail says of the trailer.
A cast and crew of about 30 filmed in five locations in Brooklyn in September. All of the actors, including Macy, are SAG-AFTRA, with one exception—Dave himself makes a cameo as the father in one of the final scenes.
The book itself "evolved from a journal I was keeping for Macy, some writing just for fun, and the fact that I wanted to convey the important message that choices matter," McGrail says. "It is about the empowerment that comes with making tough decisions."
The book is "interactive," much like the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, with choices that lead in different directions (e.g., "Turn to page 43" or "Turn to page 45"). The book addresses real-world issues, including a number of technology-based subjects—like Instagram, phones/privacy and online plagiarism.
"Though some of the issues—bullying, dieting, cheating—are serious, the narrative is light, with a good dose of humor," says McGrail. "I hope the unique tone and format of the book captivate young readers and spark discussion on how to navigate tricky middle school issues."
Credits for the trailer are below.
Director, Editor: Tim Wilson, Friendshop!
Writer: Tommy Henvey
Producer: Patti McConnell
Directors of Photography: Joe Victorine, Graham Willoughby
Executive Producers: Eli Heitin, SuiteSpot; Melissa Mapes, Friendshop!
Producers: Garrett Crabb, Friendshop!; Gaye Lirot, SuiteSpot
Telecine: Mikey Rossiter, The Mill
Producer: Clairellen Wallin
Music: Able Baker
Mixer: Elizabeth McClanahan, Heard City