BuzzFeed

In early 2014 BuzzFeed started putting together their Branded Video department which spearheaded a new wave of digital branded advertising on the web. As a lead writer and producer for many of these branded creatives, I helped to create numerous viral videos which deliciously walked the line between entertainment and advertising. One area where I excel in particularly is in interpreting the client’s needs and bringing their unique brand messaging to life — much like a good commercial might!

Here’s just a taste of the variety of work I have written and produced.

lassie-amy-shuster-buzzfeed

I met Lassie!

PURINA.

One of our biggest clients is Purina. And as a HUGE dog lover, I wanted to capture the different relationships we all share with dogs and most importantly, the benefits of having a dog. This is an example of a heartfelt identity driven video all about how dogs make our lives better. If you don’t want a dog after watching this video, you are probably dead inside.

Also, a deaf friend of mine, who happened to have the coolest Hearing Dog Aid also inspired me to include the well-known deaf actors Troy Kotsur and Deanne Bray-Kotsur in one of the scenes which I supervised the filming of.

VH1.

As a 90s kid myself, this project was a lot of fun to produce. To promote VH1′s new 90s-themed scripted show, Hindsight, I wanted to compare how we did things in the 90s VS how we do things today. I also have a cameo in this one as the 90s rollerblader. You might say, I’m too legit to quit!

MINI.

I love MINI Coopers, and it was especially fun to work on this project. This video was part of a much larger collaboration with MINI. I was brought in to assist with writing the many pitch documents and treatments which ultimately helped sell a variety of Buzzfeed/MINI co-branded and white label videos. My team conceived and produced and documented the entirety of the 2014 MINI Takes the States road trip. Naturally, my favorite video (below) is food based.

LIZ CLAIBORNE/ JCPENNEY.

This particular project was a challenge because the Liz Claiborne demographic was a lot older than the typical Buzzfeed audience. After 10+ rewrites from other writers, I was brought in as the lead writer to rework this pitch and save it from being scrapped! The client loved the idea of celebrating real women and the focus on how we reinvent ourselves in our older years. It’s a coming of age of sorts.

I had fun casting; a 50-year-old track and field winning hurdler, an opera singer-turned successful novelist, a photographer/philanthropist, a mom discovering her passions again, and a Jazz singer. I had the pleasure of being inspired by these successful women myself. These ladies make growing up, look cool.

LUVS.

Another big client, I was the lead writer on two Luvs projects and was responsible for casting real parents, vetting parent’s “hacks” and stories and coordinating lots and lots of kids. SOOO many poop stories. I am traumatized for life. Oversaw production and co-directed this one.

Here’s another one.

NESTLE.

As a big foodie, I was most excited to consult on this project for Nestle Tollhouse. I pulled from my network of foodie friends, cooks and bloggers to cast and assist on this project.

And this one.

NON BRANDED TASTE TEST.

I was invited to participate and taste some really weird foods in this video. Not gonna lie. It was gross.

NON BRANDED PUPPY KISSES.

I was invited to see how long I could stand puppy kisses. Not gonna lie. Also gross.

PURINA.

I’ll end with this mega successful Purina video that our team put together with the talented Ze Frank. There are many more, but this is just an example of the hypnotic power that cats have on all of us. Creepy little cuties.

I’ll stop here, but you get the gist. So what’s the secret to a successful video?

Puppies and kittens, babies and food. Always.