For this opportunity, we were contacted by an agency representing an unnamed client for a project with highly vague details. They were looking for some kind of baseball bat (possibly imprinted, possibly not) with some kind of additional element (an attached streamer was the example provided). Abstract beginnings like this are far from unusual, especially in developments with our entertainment clients and agencies who understand all too well that it's quite common for project details to be shrouded until the direction becomes a bit more concrete. It is always a challenge, but a positive one that we aggressively welcome and love to handle (pun intended).
A week of silence finally gave a breakthrough, and we were offered the official details of the project. We were to recreate the Lucille bat from AMC’s The Walking Dead as a VIP influencer mailer gift, complete with barbed wire wrapping. Our instructions were to create as true a replica as possible, with complimentary custom packaging. Knowing that an actual barbed wire-wrapped bat could create a bevy of legal troubles down the line, we set out looking for the best safe analog possible. We sampled fake barbed wires made of yarn, plastic, and all sorts of safe materials until we discovered the manufacturer of nearly all movie prop barbed wire and razor wire. Add in some unfinished blemished bats and wood stain, and our material list was complete.
With this breakthrough, we were able to task our building partners with creating a sample for the client. We had a blank bat shipped to the builder, along with the barbed wire, and collaboratively developed a plan: stain the bats, rough them up so to look worn and old, and use heavy gauge staples to wrap the fake barbed wire. They also constructed a small custom wooden crate for shipping and eventual display.
AMC was ecstatic about the sample, and the order proceeded, along with a calendar of precise production and shipping timelines, ultimately culminating in delivery to high-profile YouTubers, Instagrammers, and influencers from all media. Immediately, the campaign hashtag #MeetLucille went viral, and a Google image search will reveal our creations as the top results. The project was so successful, the agency felt compelled to share a number of posts, images, and videos from the enthusiastic recipients. The project was so successful that 3 additional reorders occurred, for envious and excited AMC employees, Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick and more. In total, 190 replicas were created.