The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum commissioned a campaign from creative agency Imaginary Forces to celebrate its renovation. They somehow got Will Ferrell to help them out, and from there, it's pretty clear they didn't know what to do. They got access to one of the funniest men in America, someone who could have catapulted their campaign to instant Internet hilarity and stardom. And they wasted him.
In the series of what will eventually be nine videos, Ferrell takes questions from kids and ad libs funny answers. It should be funny. It should be great. There's even some great lines and a few great shots of kids giving Ferrell sassy eyes. But the production, lack of editing and even the constant drone of the freeway left in there by the (possibly non-existent) sound editor just kills it.
I mean, if you're going to get what I assume was free talent at the caliber of Will Ferrell to help out your nonprofit, please do the responsible thing and pay for some top-level production and editing. Or go the opposite route! Make it so bottom-barrel badly produced and horribly train-wreck-tastic that we can't look away and we all have to share it.
There's no excuse for stale jokes and mediocrity that could have been so much better with an editor with better timing or, maybe I dunno, multiple takes? Maybe let Will go on for like 10 minutes until he devolves into absurdity and cut down to the best bits? As a copywriter, I would kill, metaphorically, to have a half-hour of Will Ferrell ad-libbing. Whoever made this had that, along with a gaggle of kids—who are naturally hilarious by the way—and somehow … it falls flat.
They also got artists Gary Baseman and Mark Bradford and science communicator Cara Santa Maria to join the campaign, and they also filmed some mediocre videos of them with horrendous sound. But let's focus back on Will Ferrell. It just makes me so rage-filled.
They've got a lot more celebs committed to the campaign: Laura and Kate Mulleavy of RODARTE, artist Catherine Opie, author D.J. Waldie, landscape architect Mia Lehrer, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez. And all of them are going to talk about how much they love the tar pits. Please, for the love of all that is advertising, produce the rest of them right.
And would it kill you to hire a sound guy?