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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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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

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