These Wry Vignettes From a Commercial Set Will Remind You Making Ads Is Fun

See p3's charming self-promo campaign

A lot of energy has been sucked out of the advertising business over the past eight months. But p3, a creative video agency in Portland, Maine, is here to remind you that making things on set is still better than most any other job.

A quartet of lighthearted self-promo pieces perform a neat double duty for the company—efficiently hinting at its range of abilities while, just as important, showing they're a down-to-earth group who like what they do and bring a fun, collaborative energy to the set.

Check out the four spots below, focusing on client collaborations, creative casting, difficult shots and safety in Covid times.

Executives at p3, which has been around for nearly a decade, say they've always taken the work seriously, but have tried not to take themselves too seriously.

"That's really the core sentiment of these spots," says principal and executive producer CJ Lampman (who happens to be the star of the casting spot). "We knew we wanted to create some short pieces that show how we work, but we didn't want them to be overly serious or earnest. They needed to show how we do what's needed to get the job done, how we find creative solutions, and how we elevate the work—while also showing that the journey to get there is pretty damn fun."

To get ideas for the vignettes, the company enlisted a couple of freelance friends to take a look at p3 from the outside in. The resulting wry glimpses behind-the-scenes are fairly true to life—the spots feature many of p3's local production friends, vendors, and even their actual blueberry client—with the comedy just turned up a notch.

"When they pitched us their ideas, we kept gravitating toward the docu-style stuff because we knew this would allow us to be true to ourselves while also allowing us to be playful. Eventually we zero'd in on this idea of showing all the cool stuff that happens behind the camera," says Lampman.

The work was shot on Election Day, giving everyone a chance to distract themselves from the anxiety of the moment (overcoming anxiety, by the way, being another p3 specialty).

"Our 'call sheet' email to everyone made it clear that there would be no news-checking allowed on set. This would be a bubble of fun, and there would be drinks and music at the end," Lampman says. "What made it all so cool was that this vibe that existed on set—a vibe we're always striving for—is evident in the final spots. At least we hope it is!"


Director: Brian Chin
Director of Photography: Morgan Myer
Producer: CJ Lampman
Editor: Morgan Myer
Animator (and guy in the green suit): Vinnie Zullo
CDs/writers: Bobby Pfeiffenberger and Buck Deluxe (pseudonym)

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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