PremiumBeat / Todd Blaine


The tale of a fan-video takeover

Our creative team spends a lot of time in the studio: sorting through raw footage, rearranging, polishing, editing, tweaking, and generally trying to get each pixel and sound bite to conform to our final vision. It’s a meticulous process with a distinctively Mr. Miyagi-wax-on-wax-off style of devotion. During those many hours, one of our critical tasks is choosing the right voiceovers and sound effects to accompany each story, that’s where PremiumBeat comes in.

PremiumBeat is a household name to anyone who spends time working behind the scenes in video editing. It is the go-to source for royalty free music and sound effects and 99% of the videos in our repertoire have a PremiumBeat soundtrack tucked inside. In fact, most of our projects, at one point or another, send us to sift through their massive library of digital tracks so that we can capture the right sound bites for whatever bit of video we’re crafting at the moment.

But here’s the catch: PremiumBeat allows users to download an audio file and try it out in a video before officially buying the track. These trial tracks come with a kind of “watermark,” in this case: a male voiceover reading “PremiumBeat dot com” every few seconds.

Imagine four years spent working in the video editing studio, playing and replaying each segment to make sure everything is in order and listening to the dulcet tones of a mystery man reading “PremiumBeat dot com” hundreds of times a day…those voiceover watermarks begin to add up. And suddenly we found ourselves wondering about this mystery man we spent so much time with…who is the voice of PremiumBeat? What was his story?

So, an idea was born.

The Spark of Inspiration

One day, our team was on set and I remember saying ‘imagine if there was a guy that was live, in a studio, recording every single track live and listening to himself. Everyone laughed and we all looked at each other like – “hell yeah, let’s make this thing!” And we did.

After a lightning fast writing round, the script was finalized, and a handful of employees were recruited to step into a starring role. We rented a studio for a day, filmed it and edited it within about a week. Then it was time to take it to the airways.

Video Upload Makes Ripples Across the Airwaves

Armed with what we humbly believed to be a video of sheer genius, we posted the video on and then took to Twitter to share our impromptu commercial with the unsuspecting team over at PremiumBeat.

pb-tweet1We posted the video, tweeted it to PremiumBeat and an hour later they re-posted it and blogged about it on their site. We even received a call from their marketing director claiming that the CEO loved it and wanted to send our team some PremiumBeats swag in return for our work. But it wasn’t just PremiumBeat that was paying attention to our video, it was all the video brethren that had harbored the same curiosity for the mystery man voiceover that we did. It felt as though we’d tapped into an inside joke in a very niche community and now when our team travels to any commercial video seminar, we can literally introduce ourselves as the team that made the PremiumBeat guy video – it has become our calling card among video producers.

pb-tweet2Fast forward to a few weeks later and we get another call from the marketing manager: “The CEO won’t stop talking about the video, we want you guys to make us some promotional videos.” A couple months later, they hired us to make three paid videos that would help distinguish their services from other competitors, and – to a large extent – it was the free spec video that got us in the door.

Relishing the Unexpected Impact

Creative agencies – from graphic designers and advertisers to copywriters and programmers – are used to working on spec projects, putting in unpaid man-hours in order to pitch an idea in hopes of landing a valuable account. But that’s not what went down in this case. After all, the client had no idea what we were up to – and, truth be told, wasn’t even a client at all.

pb-blogOther than processing our regular purchases off their e-commerce site, we’d never had a conversation with their team, talked about video marketing, or inquired about the mysterious voice that haunted our working hours. Nothing. No email chain, no request for proposal, no justifiable reason to pursue this quirky idea other than our passion for what we do with our passion for the product they put out into the world.

Certainly, the project could have flopped – but it didn’t. It struck a chord with the client and with their most loyal customers. But, why? Because it came from an authentic creative spark that we kept alive through every part of production. It was an inspired idea that came out during our team’s lunch break and one that we had the gumption to follow through on because we are unyielding in our passion for what we do.

The business wasn’t the reason to do this. Doing this was the reason to do this. We felt that the idea was too good to pass up – it’s like when people ask climbers why they climb Everest and they answer: because it’s there. That kind of genuine creative edge – it can’t be faked. And in the case of PremiumBeat, it paid off big time.

Today, among industry insiders and the occasional gathering of video producers, the PremiumBeat video has become our studio’s calling card.


Looking back on our PremiumBeat big idea, it was an unexpected, unintended win-win-win and one that made our project well worth the effort:

  • Online viewers win by connecting to a video that speaks to a shared experience
  • PremiumBeat wins a dose of free promotion and a video asset with cult following
  • Guy Bauer wins because our team got to flex their creative muscles, try out new roles, and add a piece of polished work to our portfolio

Want to learn how to apply a similar technique to your business?
Check out our article on the best marketing that money can’t buy.