This agency is closing out 2021 with 'Ted Lasso'-inspired optimism

Swift went through its share of trials but ends year on an upbeat note, taking a page from Emmy-winning series

Published On
Dec 23, 2021

Editor's Pick

Like many agencies over the last 18+ months of the pandemic, Portland, Oregon-based Swift went through its shares of ups and downs. But the team wanted to end 2021 on a positive note and took a page (or maybe a tad more than that ) from the playbook of ever-optimistic soccer coach Ted Lasso.

The shop's year-end film looks back on Swift’s past twelve months as if its own staffers were characters from the Emmy-winning Apple TV+ series starring Jason Sudeikis in the title role of the lovable, folksy leader.

The video, titled “Swift Lasso,” is the brainchild of the agency’s chief production officer, Marni Beardsley. She was tasked by Swift's president, Taleah Mona-Lusky, to create a piece that looked back on the agency’s journey over the last year.

“Similar to pretty much every ad agency, Swift has faced the great resignation, never-ending Covid, new leadership—the list goes on,” Beardsley said. The goal, for her, was “to create something in our new working model that puts the spotlight on those who are working remotely from all corners of the country so they feel seen.”

As for the “Ted Lasso” angle, “I couldn’t help but to see all the parallels,” she said. “A new team getting to remotely know each other, new leadership and handling all this adversity through humor, empathy, curiosity and kindness.”

Read: 'Ted Lasso' ad creator tells origin story of the Emmy-winning character

Beardsley herself plays Lasso with plenty of spunk, and she then “convinced my colleagues to suit up with their best and worst accents—-and ‘Swift Lasso’ was born.”

She previously proved her performance and production chops on another ambitious side project. Prior to Swift, she served for more than two decades at Wieden+Kennedy Portland and last year created alongside the agency’s late co-founder David Kennedy, a fun farewell film to her former colleague Jeff Selis. In it, she rallied an all-star cast that included Kennedy, Dan Wieden, many other top creative vets as well as Nike’s Mark Parker and various Hollywood A-Listers including directors Cary Fukunaga and David Fincher. 

Here, however, it’s all the Swift team, save for a fun cameo via Cameo from “Ted Lasso” recurring star Annette Badland, who plays Mae on the show. 

In casting her colleagues, Beardsley said there were plenty of fun parallels. “Our head of accounts, Jaime ‘hard as shit on the outside, soft in the middle’ Komitor was the perfect Roy Kent. Brittni Busch, new business director, known for her optimistic wisdom and smarts, made for the perfect Keeley [Jones]. Our head of finance, Becky Hogan, the centered yin to my crazy yang, played Coach Beard.”

Finally, Mona-Lusky, “as Swift’s new fierce, fearless leader made for the perfect brilliant boss bitch’ Rebecca,” she said. “Every last person who participated and put up with my crazy direction deserves a fucking medal.” 

Ultimately, making the film was a boon for morale as well. “We haven’t laughed this hard in a long time and were reminded of the joy of all being together and having some fucking fun,” Beardsley said. “Here’s to hoping Jason Sudeikis doesn't kill me for ruining his brilliant character.”

The film ends with the line, “A Jason Sudeikis please don’t sue us production.”

 

Credits

Date
Dec 23, 2021
Agency :
Swift
Chief Production Officer :
Marni Beardsley
Editor :
Codi Liesinger
Director of Photography :
Tomás Valladares

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors