The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Funny In Bed | The Adventure Challenge

Finalist in Video Ad


For several years, our in-house media team had been tasked with one job: making commercials that show beautiful couples enjoying, discussing, and recommending our products. 

And for years, these commercials were successful enough… 

…until they weren’t. 

Suddenly, the advertising landscape changed, and our ads weren’t standing out like they used to. They weren’t finding the right audience, and when they did, the acquisition cost was far too high. 

We needed something new. Something disruptive. Something BIG. 

We thought: “What if we made one of those really funny ads people love to watch and share? Then we’d get the benefits of our brand going “viral” AND selling lots of our product. 

Our CEO consulted with several high-end agencies that specialized in making big-production comedic ads, but they were all too expensive for our small business. 

Then we had a crazy thought: what if we tried to make one ourselves? 

Would it be possible for our under-sized team of seven to produce something that held its own against the “big boys” of video advertising? 

It might have been desperation, delusion, or just good old-fashioned dreaming, but for better or worse, our CEO asked his scratch-off book company’s media team to make an ad people would enjoy so much that not only would they buy the product, they’d also share the ad itself. 

Marching orders in hand, we set out to produce an engaging, funny, and BIG ad that would go viral, make millions of dollars, and maybe win an award or two… 

Strategy and Execution

From the very first moment of pre-production, we were fighting an uphill battle.

The product we were advertising was a scratch-off adventure book that helps couples in committed relationships experience new things together in the bedroom.

Sounds wholesome enough, right? Who wouldn’t get behind a therapist-endorsed product that helps people enjoy their romantic relationships more?

Facebook. Facebook wouldn’t get behind it.

No matter how “PG” we made our ads, they were getting flagged and taken off our Facebook and Instagram ad accounts.
But, if we dialed back our messaging, it made the product seem weirdly vague and we’d lose engagement.

Facebook wasn’t happy with our “steamy” ads…
People weren’t clicking on our “family friendly” ones.
And now we were about to spend our entire media budget on a high-risk video that could also just get flagged and forgotten.

We’d have to do something out-of-the-box.

The strategy we landed on was making an ad that informed the viewer right away that there were fifteen sex jokes in the ad. In our estimation, this would do a few things for viewers:
-Get their attention (the teenager in all of us loves cheeky bedroom humor)
-Qualify them as leads (you’ll be watching an ad about something sexual in nature, feel free to scroll away)
-Keep them watching (it’s a game… you want to catch all fifteen jokes)

We also knew we’d want to make the ad longer than usual, so we’d need to find creative ways to keep a viewer’s attention.

We tried to accomplish this with a few tricks:
-Make the ad appear to be much shorter than it actually is by presenting it as an organic meme (we’re trained to see memes as a quick hit of dopamine, so we’ll stay to watch…“just for moment”)
-Make every scene start with its own “hook.” We all know how important it is to grab people’s attention for a 30 second ad, and we needed to do it over and over again to keep them watching for six and a half minutes. The mantra was “re-win their attention every ten seconds.”
-Make it funny. If the jokes didn’t land, people would scroll away. We did multiple group readings and “joke passes” to ensure the script was as funny as possible.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle we had to overcome was striking the balance between “funny” and “informative.” We worked hard to ensure viewers weren’t just getting a laugh, they were getting a message: This product will help you and your partner come together in new ways (so to speak).

If we were too juvenile with our humor, viewers would think the product itself wasn’t thoughtful enough to offer real connection and improvement in their love lives.
We solved this by constantly revising our script, getting diverse feedback, and copious caffeinated brainstorm sessions.

We finally finished after seven long months, and on Black Friday weekend, we hit “upload” on our ad made up of roughly 10,080 work hours and even more panic attacks.


We kept waiting for it to stop. 

The positive comments, the views, the shares and…the SALES! 

It felt too good to be true. 

Viewers responded exactly how we had hoped, saying things like “this is the longest ad I’ve ever watched, and I loved every minute of it.” 

While the ad has surpassed 10 MILLION views across all platforms with over $3 million in attributed revenue, one of the most satisfying metrics for our team was the amount of times the ad was shared (1,000+ to date). The idea that viewers enjoyed our ad so much they passed it on to their friends and followers was a sign we’d made something worth feeling proud of. 

We had found a way to sell our book in a fun, light-hearted, and scalable way. 

To us, the success of this project transcends the money and metrics. 

It’s a testament to our team. We feel so grateful we got the opportunity to showcase our talent, grit, and trust in each other. 

We went from seeing ourselves as a scratch-off book company’s media team, to a group of professionals that can perform at a high level - regardless of the bucks or the Zucks.   

Whatever comes our way in the future, we’ll never forget the time our small and scrappy team set out to produce an engaging, funny, and BIG ad that would go viral, make millions, and win awards.

And as fate would have it, we’ve done two of those things so far ;)      


Video for Funny In Bed | The Adventure Challenge

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Adventure Challenge


Entry Credits