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5 Tips to Creating an Unforgettable Local Commercial From Rhett & Link

5 Tips to Creating an Unforgettable Local Commercial From Rhett & Link (photo)

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The local commercial is an American institution. We’ve been inspired by these low-budget masterpieces for years, and it’s a privilege to make them week in and week out on “Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings”. You might be tempted to think that unforgettable local commercials are simply beautiful accidents; some kind of collision between misguided concepts and amateur acting. We, however, are firm believers that there is a method behind the madness, and that a truly legendary local commercial is a refined form of art. A book could be written about the keys to making memorable spots, but we’ll keep it at five tips.

Concept is King

It may seem obvious, but too many commercials leave out this most important piece: a good idea. Local commercials are, well, local. You’re not dealing with a big budget. You can’t pay for a big-time actor. You can’t afford flashy special effects. You need a concept that grabs and holds the audience’s attention.

Tell the Truth

The truth is stranger (and better) than fiction. Our local commercials are rooted in whatever we learn about the business and business owner. When we discovered that Bill, a 70 year old hot yoga instructor, was a decorated war hero and automatic weapons expert in Vietnam, we knew that we had to capitalize on that authentic irony. It was better than anything we could have fabricated.

Use What you Find

Again, local commercial don’t carry big budgets. You’re not in a position to hire a stuntman or get that money shot from a helicopter. But, you might be surprised if you look right under your nose. When we met Heavy Hill, a private trash hauler in Asheville, NC, we also met his beloved pet mule, Jack. By simply giving Jack a single horn made of a paper towel roll and aluminum foil, we created the Trashicorn, a flying unicorn perfect for a trash man.

Have a Strong Point of View

A commercial slot allows only a few precious seconds to communicate your message, and that message better be clear and memorable. Troy, the owner of an African-American hair salon, asked us to create a commercial for him to reach outside of his usual demographic. When Troy states in his commercial that he wants to serve all women, including “non-black” ladies, we doubt many people will turn the channel before seeing the commercial through.

Sing It

The most unforgettable local commercials have a jingle that sticks in your ear like that worm from The Wrath of Khan. When someone wishes that they could forget the jingle from your commercial, you’ve succeeded. And that doesn’t mean it has to be good. Rather, it has to be memorable, and that just might mean that it’s annoying.

Now, all you have to do is find a local business owner willing to take a chance with you as you follow these steps. Then, create your commercial and maybe that mom ‘n pop entrepreneur will become a local celebrity (and hopefully get some business, too).

New episodes of “Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings” air on IFC on Fridays at 10 p.m. ET

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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