How to Make Your TV Commercials Look Epic, Even on Zero Budget

iStock by Getty Images has the solution

How can marketers with modest budgets—local home renovators and heating-system installers, for example—create "epic" advertising without going broke? Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO suggests tapping into the royalty-free video and image library of iStock by Getty Images. And it offers three amusing and effective spots to illustrate its point.

Almost everything about the mock ads below—for faux clients Lewis & Sons Heating Installations, Miracle Mike Contractors and Cosmo Cable and Satellite Services—is loathsome, from the cheesy, throbbing music cues to cheap-jack logos and annoyingly pulsating phone numbers.

In each case, however, the iStock visuals—of a tornado destroying a house, a snow-capped mountain range and a satellite orbiting the earth—are, well, epic.

"Creativity and visual accomplishment doesn't have to come with a heavy price tag," notes Andy Saunders, svp of content at Getty. Saunders says the campaign is designed to communicate the "quality, diversity and strength" of imagery available to advertisers at affordable prices through iStock.

Indeed, the images are so compelling, it may take a few beats before the commercials' less-impressive aspects—and the fact that they are parodies—even register. (Though the absence of breathless testimonials from client CEOs is a dead giveaway.)

Getty's stock has risen with AlmapBBDO before, notably in "85 Seconds" (which used 105 archived clips to tell a decades-spanning love story) and "From Love to Bingo" (conveying the saga of a single life using disparate 873 stills). Also, for Getty's 20th birthday, agency and client showed famous faces aging through the years to demonstrate that great visuals are timeless.