Handy, apparently, is a branded content series via Comedy Central. In this episode, sponsored by Sabra hummus, hand model extraordinaire Erik Thomas Layne perfects the sweep and scoop (not dip and scoop) for Sabra hummus.
It's more or less a very realistic depiction of what it's like to be on the set of a food commercial for those who don't know, straight down to the director who is phoning it in. What this isn't a realistic depiction of however, is something funny. Not even remotely. This is trying so hard to be a mockumentary but it feels like they for got the mock part. They just have a somewhat dopey character who eats a lot of hummus and never shuts up.
I could perhaps have seen this working if there were better jokes and if it was shorter, but at more than three minutes long it's interminable.
Perhaps the worst criticism of this branded content is that it feels more like a straight ahead spot the client would have made in-house than branded content. But I suspect that's why they liked it. After all, we mentioned the brand name three times, four if you count the logo. Also, we're staring at the packaging for 80% of the time.
Like most branded content from channels that specialize in comedy, I expected it to be somewhat of a let down. First, because the client almost always buys into this idea but then gets cold feet. Clients compartmentalize humor. It's one thing if Stephen "C**kholster" Colbert makes a homophobic joke during a late night monologue. But they won't risk him doing something similar in their spot, with very few exceptions. All you need to do is see how toothless the sponsored stories from The Onion are to know this. And Spoiler Alert: even though the logo says Comedy Central, sorry kids, they aren't putting the Daily Show writers on your branded content. They're not going to waste the top talent on it, so you're getting the b or c listers. Or interns for all I know.
The silver lining in all of this? For those of us who still work in advertising agencies, our jobs are still safe for a few more years.
Production Company: Kids At Play, Los Angeles (in association with Humongous Productions, Los Angeles)
Director/Writer: Josh Miller
Co-Executive Producers: Josh Miller, Erich Lane
DP: Pat Notaro III
Producer: Amy Lasslet, Sarah Dignan
Editorial/Post Company: Union Editorial, Los Angeles
Editor: Daniel Luna
Assistant Editor: Kimberly Landry