DTC Deodorant Brand Lume Just Made Its Own Version of a Hallmark Christmas Movie

Viral creators the Harmon Brothers spin a seasonal tale of surprise love

Can a small-town underdog teach a 'Big Deodorant' exec the error of his ways?Lume

A buttoned-up executive for a corporate behemoth sweeps into a quaint, mountain town with plans to shutter and demolish a family-owned store.

But this C-suite hunk named Stephen didn’t count on meeting Katie, a fresh-faced beauty who runs the business. And it’s Christmas. And they’re both single.

Do you know where this is going? Of course you do, especially if you’ve ever watched Hallmark Channel at this time of year, when cheesy, cliche-riddled movies run on a continuous, sappy loop.

The cable network’s holly-infused subgenre, catnip to certain audiences, is ripe for parody. TikTokers, YouTubers and SNL sketch writers have had a field day with it in the past, and now startup brand Lume takes its turn in skewering the predictable format.

“A Deodorant Day Prince,” from Utah’s viral video mavens, the Harmon Brothers, follows Stephen’s overnight transformation from hard-nosed titan to natural-product convert. How could he help but fall for Lume, after spending time with adorkable Katie and hearing her pitch about the brand’s 72-hour aluminum-free, full-body odor protection?

The 6-minute video, which also features a requisite sassy best friend and a children’s choir singing a hilariously reworded version of “Good King Wenceslas,” was a risk for the young brand because it steps outside the standard DTC commercial route. 

“There’s a super soft focus on sales,” said Dr. Shannon Klingman, the gynecologist-turned-entrepreneur who debuted Lume in 2017. “I was a little nervous at first, but I love that it tells a great story. I’d actually like to see the sequel.”

Would that also involve a pit-smelling contest in the snowy town square? Maybe that’s a question for another day.

The mini-movie, with its pitch-perfect cast and idyllic setting, has landed north of 1 million views so far. It’s the brainchild of Harmon Brothers writer Kelly Vrooman and the indie agency’s creative director Jonny Vance.

Vrooman, a comedian and actress, had been itching to do a Hallmark satire ever since she posted a video of her father’s spot-on synopsis of the flicks last year. (In less than four minutes, the guy absolutely, and lovingly, nails countless Hallmark tropes.) The response was huge: Combined social media views reached 7.9 million.

That’s not the only Hallmark connection for “A Deodorant Day Prince.” Harmon Brothers wanted to closely mirror the look and feel of the channel’s movies, so the ad was shot in Bountiful, Utah, the backdrop for many Hallmark projects. And the creators scouted local crew members—wardrobe, makeup, art directors and others—who had Hallmark movies on their CVs. (Vance jokingly called them “the A team of B films.”)

And as for shilling, Vance and team took a self-aware approach to the call-to-action in the faux romantic storyline, shoving in mentions of Lume at every opportunity.

“It’s the opposite of a Trojan horse,” he said.

The longform spot is the latest in the Harmon Brothers’ work for Lume, which made its first advertising splash in late 2018 with a 4-minute Broadway-style musical production. That video snagged more than 1 million views in its first week and helped propel the brand to a 10-times sales jump, Klingman said.

Since then, the partners have built “a library of content” around Lume, which Klingman says has “elevated the brand.” The company, self-financed by Klingman, is on track to pull in $50 million in sales in 2020, with projections nearing $100 million for 2021, even without retail distribution.

Lume, which tapped into what Klingman calls a “gap in the market” for whole-body deodorant, sells via its own digital channels and Amazon. The “female-forward” product, technically unisex, plans to expand with lines aimed at men, teens and other demos.

CREDITS: Client: Lumē Deodorant Ceo/Inventor: Dr. Shannon Klingman Agency: Harmon Brothers Chief Creative Officer | Daniel Harmon Director | Jonny Vance Co-Lead Writer | Kelly Vrooman Co-Lead Writer | Dave Vance Writer | Jessica Rigby Producer | Joshua Stofferahn Unit Production Manager | Tiffani Barth 1st Ad | Sohrab Mirmont 2nd Ad | Keith Grover Key Pa | Jeff Morrain Script Supervisor | Jake Christensen Public Health Supervisor | Adriele Fugal Director Of Photography | Tyler Stevens Assistant Camera | Jonathan Judeen Dit | Blake Brust Gaffer | Travis Babcock Grip | Jonathan Nelson Grip | Leon Clayton Sound Mixer | Chris Burton Art Director | Melissa Mae Set Decorator | Drew Welch Art Assistant | Danny Kuehl Hair/Makeup | Rachel Clark Hair/Makeup | Ariel Lafontaine Wardrobe | Tayler Swensen Craft Services | Hannah Bates Location Manager | Adam Bohl On-Set Vfx Supervisor | Nick Ritter Post Production Supervisor | John Newton Lead Editor | Nick Ritter Asst Edit | John Newton Graphics Lead | Mike Henderson Sound Design | Stephen Henderson Client Success | Kurt Horn Press | Matthew Faraci Cast Katie | Jetta Juriansz Stephen | Wes Tolman Vanessa | Cari Stewart Mom | Julie Townsend Choir Girl 1 | Monoela Harmon Choir Girl 2 | Eva Harmon Choir Girl 3 | Zion Harmon Choir Boy 1 | Kyle Crane Choir Boy 2 | Matthew Harmon Choir Boy 3 | Bruce Wayne Gallacher Sassy Best Friend | Shae Mccombs Orphan Timmy | Jack Sorensen Mayor | Brandon Cummings Stinky Butt Lady | Bessie Thronton Stinky Pits Lady | Felicia Merrill Stinky Crotch Guy | Randy Mundy Contestant 1: Carol Cruz Contestant 2: Tayler Swensen Santa | Ross Medley

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