The team at boutique production house Sandwich were Slack’s first ad stars, grudgingly trying out the startup service in 2014 and reporting on their experience.
The resulting, relatable ads tallied 5 million views on YouTube, helping introduce the now-mainstream collaborative platform, and the clips have continued to draw traffic ever since.
Today, Slack launched a sequel of sorts, with Los Angeles-based Sandwich starring in another ad—this time filmed from the team’s homes under quarantine. Sandwich’s staff pitched the job themselves this time, working without a brief and producing a short film remotely from seven different locations.
The spot is a meta piece of creative that shows how dependent the company has become on Slack, especially when it comes to running their business under lockdown.
“It’s homegrown and homemade in the best way,” says Jonathan Prince, Slack’s vp of communications. “The agency itself is part of the story, and their personality shines through, which is cool and different.”
Also, flossing (the dance) is involved.
Below is the original spot from 2014, followed by the work-from-home follow-up that went live today:
Clocking in at just under three minutes, the new spot stars Sandwich founder Adam Lisagor and members of his team, with pets, children, significant others, bathrobes, mood lighting and musical instruments as key secondary players. It’s laced with the kind of deadpan delivery and self-deprecating wit that’s become the agency’s hallmark.
Shot on “real production gear, not iPhones,” Lisagor says, the ad comes as the business communication service is locked in heated battle with competitor Microsoft Teams.
A bit of background on this relationship: Slack’s founder Stewart Butterfield asked Lisagor to create a video for his “new thing,” in 2014. At the time, Sandwich was using email and Dropbox exclusively and without a hitch. But Lisagor, planning to grow his company, accepted the gig and tested the platform.
That video, “So yeah, we tried Slack,” walks viewers through the service’s features, explaining how it had won over the Sandwich team.
The agency has been a Slack devotee ever since. When the public health crisis hit in March, Sandwich closed its doors and put all shoots on hold.
“I realized we’d be relying on Slack even more to continue to do the work we could do,” Lisagor says. “And it struck me that it could be an interesting story on its own.”
He sent a direct message to Butterfield, who gave the green light.
Sandwich has made a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary on the logistics and heavy lifting around “Slack WFH.” And the agency has taken what it learned and created a new production model, dubbed Lunchbox, that Lisagor is now offering to brands. With two projects already in progress, he sees it as a template for future work.
The independent agency, creator of the popular HP-sponsored satire Computer Show, has specialized for years in a kind of explanatory advertising, breaking down technical concepts and brands for non-geeks.
Sandwich’s clients include a mix of tech, DTC and challenger brands like Rothy’s, Lyft, Quip and Square. Videos for True Car and others on the roster often star Lisagor, who’s earned the rep of being “that bearded hipster” in all the tech ads.