Pete Marquis and Jamie McCelland — the writing/directing team behind HelloFlo’s “First Moon Party” and “Camp Gyno” — wrote and directed the comical “Theresa the Baristapist” for text/video-chat counseling service In Your Corner.
The ad portrays Theresa, a deluded barista who fancies herself a great unlicensed therapist (thus the term “Baristapist) — or as she puts it “like a Freudian Jesus.” She “can do things real therapists can’t,” like spray a misbehaving child with whipped cream or suggest that you go ahead and kill your boss. The point of the whacky character is to illustrate that “Sometimes the best advice is expert advice.” Theresa is the kind of character who would be terrifying in real life, which makes her work perfectly as a humorous exaggeration of what can go wrong when seeking advice in the wrong places. The spotwas designed with the approach of removing the stigma from therapy with humor.
“The idea came from the insight that people are hesitant to seek actual, professional therapy, but still get it from everywhere—their friends, relatives, their hairstylist, even the barista,” Marquis explained to Adweek. “We wanted to have fun with the idea that she’s giving unlicensed advice with no accountability or concern for anyone’s long-term mental health,” McCelland added.