Comcast Business takes on office absurdity with help from NBCU and Broadway Video

Comcast Business isn’t known for its funny business, which is why the internet, phone and tech provider looked to its partner NBC Universal (NBCU) and production company Broadway Video to bring a new humorous campaign to life.

Comcast Business is bringing ‘Technology in Real Life’ to the airways with the help of Lorne Michaels' production company, Broadway Video, and its group of talented writers who have been involved with hit shows like 30 Rock and The Office. The campaign takes a look at real-life tech situations through a comedic lens, featuring humorous videos that highlight classic office frustrations – from slow dripping coffee and slower internet speeds, to lengthy conference dial-in codes.

Through a partnership with NBCU, Comcast Business was able to have access to some of the best minds in comedy to make a series of videos that highlight business problems with tech and showing that Comcast Business is the solution.

“Rather than just running our traditional advertising assets, we said we’d work together on coming up with an idea that would really resonate with small business owners,” said Melissa Lapp, senior director of brand marketing at Comcast Business.

The company worked with NBCU Content Studio and thought about how to could speak to the business audience in a different way and came up with the idea of ‘Technology in Real Life’.

In the spots, exaggerated situations of real-life office situations are on display. In one, employees are trying to dial in to a conference call. They are reading a call-in code that looks like a scroll, with complex numbers and letters preventing them from reaching the call. Other scenarios include a really awkward conversation at the very slow coffee maker, and people standing to take a number to be able to access the super slow wifi. In each case, the boss comes in with a Comcast Business solution to solve the problem.

“At Comcast Business, we believe that technology has the power to really help businesses perform better. Everyone can relate to a situation where their internet is not working or a dial-in code that’s longer than a drugstore receipt, or you can’t get on the wifi if you have customers or clients in town. And we thought, how can we put a humorous spin on this and make something really funny? NBCU was able to bring us the creative powers and production expertise of Broadway Video to bring the idea to life,” said Lapp.

Office humor is a universal truth, said Lapp, and the opportunity to work with the creative team at NBCU afforded them to be able to highlight those absurdities of the office, a la The Office and Office Space. The concept started with consumer feedback and insights, which led to internal conversations at Comcast Business, then concepting with the company’s agency partner, Ogilvy. From there it went to NBCU, which had a relationship with Broadway Video, the production company behind Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and other shows and movies.

“We see the power of working with NBCU as being able to connect us to others. They helped us with the final scripting, the casting…we actually filmed the spots at Broadway Video’s office (in New York). I’d say it was a very collaborative process, because we brought a lot of insights about what we know about business owners, what our solutions can do, and they helped bring a lot of the humorous pieces and scripting that really helped us drive the ideas home,” said Lapp.

See the film by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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