Grammarly: Future You Thanks You

Strategy & Concepting / Video Production
A back to school video campaign for Grammarly that featured two :90 commercials targeted towards the Gen-Z audience to drive downloads of the Grammarly product.
Grammarly: Future You Thanks You

Overview

In the summer of 2022, Ghost Note concepted, scripted and produced two YouTube commercials for Grammarly’s campaign titled “Future You Thanks You”. We were tasked to bring a fresh lens to Grammarly’s visual storytelling, utilizing deep consumer research and Gen-Z humor to create compelling and un-skippable videos. Ghost Note developed a fun, humorous and captivating pair of commercials that to-date have been viewed more than 40 million times.

Challenge

Grammarly wanted to expand their visual storytelling language – centering humor to drive Gen-Z adoption of the Grammarly product. Through deep research done in partnership with Google, Ghost Note began the journey to develop two distinct, yet connected commercials in support of the Back to School video campaign. We designed two compelling narratives for our lead characters – Brent and Sarai – highlighting the power of Grammarly, while simultaneously remaining lighthearted, fun and engaging. Ultimately our work aimed to drive downloads and use of Grammarly to improve their student grades.

For Brent’s video, we wanted to not only represent Gen-Z’s aspirations to climb the the corporate ladder but also their entrepreneurial values as well. This was shown with one of Brent’s versions interning at one of the top marketing agencies and another owning his own agency.

With Sarai, we knew we wanted to exemplify Gen-z’s desire to change the world around them. We brought this to life with her interest in saving declining bee populations and included a nod to her relationship with Brent.

 

Alongside compelling imagery and authentic storytelling, properly displaying Grammarly’s powerful user interface was one of our top considerations. Through our post-production process, we animated and brought these product examples to life, which helped to cement the reasons why millions of students believe in using Grammarly.

FUTURE YOU THANKS YOU

Careful consideration went into building the set in-studio to allow for multiple cameras, a variety of angles, and humorous unexecpted entrances by the characters. The set walls, beds, and vents were all custom built over a course of weeks. There was a major focus on the tone, structure, and pacing of the video cuts during storyboarding and while creating the shot list to ensure we were creating an effective and entertaining ad.

Grammarly was looking for a bolder, more unconventional ad for their 2022 campaign. When choosing lighting and gear, we chose to avoid Grammarly’s typical brightly lit approach. Instead we pushed to create a more high-key video.

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VFX was a large part of this campaign, as we were using the same actors as different versions of themselves in one scene. To accomplish this, we had our VFX supervisor on set who was rotoscoping the additional Brent’s and Sarai’s into frame as we were filming to ensure we had correct placement and lighting.

In post, we focused on the tone, structure, and pacing of the video cuts similarly to in pre-production to guarantee that we were setting ourselves apart from previous Grammarly campaigns.

VFX and color were essential to making these characters come to life on screen. Additional rotoscoping was implemented as well as additional animation such as bees and the scene of Sarai falling through the ceiling.

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As of September 2022, the ads have resulted in

40M views collectively on Grammarly's Youtube channel
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