Chase Zreet thought he could score a new job by submitting a music video featuring himself instead submitting a conventional cover letter. His instincts paid off.
The copywriter at Firehouse in Dallas had strong ambitions to work for a Sprite campaign at Wieden + Kennedy New York, so he made a three-minute rap video in which he worships the beverage. The impressive production value, witty lyrics, and his potential for creativity displayed in his variation on the cover letter nabbed him the job.
Jeremy Bartel from the award-winning production company charlieuniformtango based in Dallas directed the zany video featuring the ambitious applicant decked out in alternating yellow and green sport jackets and gliding on a hover board.
Zreek collaborated with the director, who he referred to as a "gift from the gods."
He single-handedly turned this thing from sort of OK to the kind of thing capable of getting the attention that it has.
He also got me, a first-time actor, to not look (I hope) like a complete turd in front of camera.
During his rapping romp around town, he remains hilariously on brand with a lemon gold chain while extolling the virtues of the fizzy lemon and lime soda.
Zreek got the job, and deservedly so.
He impressed W+K NY creative director Jimm Lasser, who appreciated Zreek's passion. Lasser told Adfreak:
There's too much emphasis put on portfolios, and not enough on the creative enthusiasm of a candidate. We like it when candidates want to be at W+K for a variety of reasons, even beyond our work. All the better when they use their unique talents to demonstrate this. Chase made a great ad about himself. He persuaded us to invest in him. He won us over.
Adfreak asked W+F's new hire how he got the inspiration for his rap video. A copywriter friend who formerly worked at W+F planted the seed when he suggested Zreek put "something together for the Sprite team."
"In the weeks following, the idea for the rap came and was just one of those things that wouldn't shut up, and I thought that making a video would have a better chance of landing," Zreek said.
After mulling it over for a bit, I wrote the thing in a couple days. Once it was written, the recording was done within a week and I had a shoot date not long after that.
It was a "one-shot" deal for Zreek, and he didn't spend much time mulling over his music video idea for fear of second-guessing his initial instinct.
He went though several iterations for the character he wanted to portray, and settled on the charming, yet ostentatious spokesperson for Sprite.
The overall concept, tone and flow was something I spent a long time fretting over. I knew I had to make something that wasn't corny or cringe-inducing, and that was a hard thing to try to crack when your subject matter is writing advertising. I tried a few voices, and this graciously arrogant persona that's coming through in the video (at least that was the attempt) ended up feeling the best. And once I decided on that, I sort of just wrote about writing using words that character would say.
All of a sudden, he's become a hot commodity.
He's set a standard that would be difficult to top.