News / Calgary

Calgary company's satirical video on 'generic branding' goes viral

Start with video footage of a baby in a bear suit, lab beakers and a bullet train.

Mix in an upbeat score, gravel-voiced narrator and sprinkle in text overlays of buzzwords like "paradigms" and "go forwardness."

Finally, cobble together clips of folks representing diverse races, ages and lifestyles.

Voila! You've got yourself a generic brand video.

At least that's according to the folks at Calgary-based stock footage provider Dissolve, who attempted to playfully jab at the advertising flubs committed by countless organizations without an actual product such as a car to advertise.

Creative director Sheldon Popiel, who developed the video alongside colleague Drew Ng, conceded some of Dissolve's clients may even be guilty of branding crimes the video pokes fun at.

"It was just to get into the minds of the agencies and the film production houses . . . we get their challenges when it comes to producing things like this but, yeah, up the game a little bit," he said.

Dissolve's video, published this week, quickly received international attention and, as of Wednesday, had already been viewed nearly 500,000 times on YouTube and Vimeo.

The video is a visual representation of a satirical poem written by Kendra Eash, Popiel explained. It aims to portray half-hearted attempts by corporations to cover off their commitment to people, the environment, the global economy and much more in a segment unlikely to span longer than two minutes.

"See how this guy in a lab coat holds up a beaker? That means we do research," the narrator wryly explains during one portion of the video.

He later adds, "Equality, innovation, honesty and advancement . . . are all words we chose from a list."

Popiel said he's been inundated with inquiries about the video in recent days — the Al-Jazeera network is even planning a piece that is due to air Monday.

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