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Starbucks and Instant Crowd

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Todd Terry
Starbucks and Instant Crowd
on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:58:45 pm

I'm not advocating Starbucks (in fact, I kinda can't stand 'em... although I am not a coffee drinker and as an outsider I find the ordering process to be only slightly less complicated than re-financing a house). But... they were pretty helpful on a shoot we did earlier this week.

Thought I'd pass this along as a tip for anyone needing an "instant crowd"...

For a series of commercials for a University, the ending shot is a drone flyover of their quad. Obviously we wanted lots of kids there, students milling about, walking here and there, general scurrying around, etc. Unfortunately though, the actual quad is usually pretty vacant.

We were also getting zero traction and cooperation with anyone at the University or the ad agency about gathering extras for us.

So, we thought we'd just try something, and it worked.

When arriving at the shoot, fortunately there was at least a small handful of students. But when they saw we were armed with a big stack of Starbucks gift cards, the furious texting started and within 10 minutes we had the extras we needed.

It cost us almost nothing... a few hundred dollars worth of $5 gift cards, and worked almost instantly.

Ah, the power of texting+coffee. Kids today....


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Greg Ball
Re: Starbucks and Instant Crowd
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:39:13 pm

Great idea Terry!

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.

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Ned Miller
Re: Starbucks and Instant Crowd
on Apr 1, 2016 at 2:34:10 am
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:43:51 am

I've done the exact same thing with lottery tickets that have six chances of winning and they would receive the ticket as soon as their scene was completed. Depending on the Lotto jackpot that weekend I'd approach and say, "I'd like to offer you $92 million dollars." They'd respond positively and then I would rephrase it, "Rather, the chance to win this weekend's lottery jackpot of $92,000,000 if you could be a background extra for 15 minutes or so."

Everyone loves lottery tickets! But the real bonus is I may have a dozen or so left over tickets that I did not tell the client about and it's quite exciting to watch the Saturday night drawing with the wife. Like "Waking Ned Devine". But as you can surmise, we haven't won yet!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer

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