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By Andrew Burnett, Video Producer

“How much does a video cost?” is the most common question we get. So, we’ve asked video creators to identify a video they like & let us know what they thought it would cost to produce. The only catch: IT’S NOT THEIR VIDEO (so all posts are merely an estimate by each video creator on what they thought a similar video might cost). Enjoy the series!  

So, how much did that video cost?

Quick – name the first three sports apparel companies that come to mind. Nike, Adidas and…. Under Armour? You probably hesitated for a moment before thinking of it, but I find it impressive that a company that had little brand recognition no more than 10 years ago is now identifiable as a juggernaut in the highly competitive sports apparel industry.

Nike and Adidas have long set the standard in regards to the concept and creativity for athletic apparel videos, and have utilized endorsements and sponsorships to their fullest potential. Eventually, these brands recognized that their appeal expanded beyond the sports world, and introduced pop culture icons into their campaigns to target wider markets.

You’ve heard the expression that it takes 10 year to become an overnight success, and this philosophy is not foreign to Under Armour, or the athletes and pop culture icons the endorse, as you’ll see in the video above.

Firstly, let me say this. I’m not a Gisele fanboy – in fact she’s not even in my top 5 all-time favorite Victoria’s Secret models. And I’m a Packers fan with a disdain for Tom Brady, so forget about drawing that conclusion.

UA’s identity is built on the ideal of challenge, being unproven, and doubted. The work ethic that goes into bettering yourself is the key theme for much of their branding. In their latest campaign, they’ve chosen to use a celebrity instead of an athlete. When I first watched the ad, my initial reaction within the first 5 seconds was skepticism. I did not believe that the protagonist was an appropriate representation for the brand. But at the 7-second mark, when the first projection appears, the message became apparent, and I was hooked to see the ad play out – and as any marketer will tell you, grabbing the audience within the first few seconds is the key to any successful campaign.

They’ve taken their mantra, “I WILL”, and applied to an environment where it can be interpreted. Forget over-used grungy gyms or yoga studios. I love this location setting.  A raw and empty white room, exposed pipes and wires, natural sunlight glistening in – it sets the tone. This isn’t the Gisele you have come to know. She doesn’t give a damn about what you think. The pampered and luxurious lifestyle is not who she is at heart. She works to maintain her look and be successful, and she WILL work her ass off to keep it. The one-take factor, a moving, handheld camera going from medium shot to wide-shot to close up without missing a mark, is extremely well positioned and timed to coincide with the projections.

And as for the projections, I won’t discuss the content of the tweets – those are self-explanatory, but the ideology of using them as motivating factors is well executed. At first, I thought they were VFX titles added in post, with matching sound effects added for authenticity. After a second viewing, I determined they are real, and I love how they conform to Gisele when she passes through them. They could have been created as VFX, but that would have increased the budget, and quite frankly, it works much better as a natural effect.

Here is my breakdown, not including cost of talent (Gisele is endorsed and likely has a few commercials included in her contract). I estimate Under Armour produced this for around $40 000 but they are likely using an agency, hiring top-end production crews, and generally going on a higher-end production scale. If you are working with a tighter budget, replace the most recognizable model on the planet for a different actor, hire an experienced boutique production company, and this can be done for $10 000 – $15 000 dollars.

Most cinematographers / Sound Artists will provide their own equipment with a daily rental rate. I’ve included that as part of their total cost (Roughly 15%)

LOCATION– $1000

Day 1- Rehearsal with stand-in / Projector setup

Day 2 – 4-6 hour shoot day

CREW

Director – $3500

Cinematographer (using Canon C300/Sony F7 or Red Epic/Alexa – $2500 / $4000

Sound Recorder/Boom Operator – $1500

Video Playback Technicien / Data Wrangler – $1000

2 x Grips/PA’s (Projector Operator) – $500

Hair/Makeup/Wardrobe – $500

Editor / Color Grader – $1750

*Your director or cinematographer may choose to edit as well, and you can ask for a packaged rate.

EQUIPMENT + MISCELLANEOUS

Craft Food – $500

Basic 3-point lighting rental (2 days) – $750

Printing + Projector – $300

Punching Bag + Set Decoration – $500

TOTAL – $13 300

If you manage to land Gisele for your next ad, feel free to hire me so I can

A) Meet a Victoria’s Secret model and take some Insta pics

B) Add someone famous to my reel

C) Get paid well, because you have a significant budget

Learn more about Andrew Burnett on his website

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