Packard Brothers prep for long-haul laughs
Jack and Nick Packard have already made their mark on the comedy world with viral video hits "Bowling Trick Shots," "Hey, Pass Me A Beer" and others on the popular comedy website Funny or Die.
However, the brothers, who are from Milwaukee, will step up their game Nov. 13 when they release five new videos on Funny or Die, taking over the main page for two days in celebration of National Bowling Month.
The pair of funnymen recently took some time to talk more about their newly minted commemorative month – not to mention their brand-new website, upcoming projects and ambivalence toward marketing jargon – with OnMilwaukee.com.
OnMilwaukee.com: So, tell me about your new videos.
Nick Packard: We've created a fake month called "National Bowling Month." We really thought this would exist already, but apparently it doesn't. So, our big ode to bowling is creating a month where we've got five separate bowling videos all coming out on the same day.
We've done a total of three prior bowling videos. We had the idea to do more bowling videos, (but) we didn't want to put all this content onto one, so our idea was to split it up into four separate videos and then add in a behind-the-scenes video again.
Jack Packard: The original idea was to post one video a week, like every Monday of the month a new video would come out. As we were talking with Funny or Die about it, and just talking between ourselves, we didn't think people's attention span would last a month, and so that's when we thought, "Oh, we'll just take over the main page for a day."
NP: The idea behind it is we want people to click on each video to watch all of them. We were trying to find the best way to make sure each video was watched as equally as possible.
OMC: I'm sure you're proud of all of them, but is there one in particular you think will be the next "Angry Birds" or "Bowling Shots?"
NP: We have an all-star trick-shot bowling one that we really love, and that's because we got a lot of celebrities to take part in it. We have I think a dozen celebrities in it of varying accolades and popularity. The fact that they loved the idea was a huge win for us, but how it turned out is just amazing.
OMC: Is this the first time you or Funny or Die has released videos in a group like this?
JP: Funny or Die has done stuff like this. Usually for April Fool's Day they'll do a whole-page thing. I think last April Fool's Day Justin Bieber took over the site, and so every single video was a Justin Bieber thing. The year before that was my favorite, where every video on the main page was a Reba McIntyre music video. So, they've done some things like this before with kind of varied success. It'll be a really fun experiment.
OMC: A lot of your videos highlight Milwaukee. Is that something you included in this most recent set?
NP: The L.A. one was all shot in L.A., and then the other ones were just done at local bowling alleys or places around town. However, we did have the song of the L.A. one done by local hip-hop group Logic & Raze. We work with them a lot doing their videos and things, and we just really enjoy their creativity. And they're just awesome guys, so to me it just made sense.
OMC: Jack, you talked to JC Poppe earlier this year and mentioned your management company. How is that going?
JP: For all the spectacularness, it's just me and Nick. We'll land this huge deal, and when they know that it's just us they're like, "Well, who does your writing?" And we're like, "We do." "Well, who does your camera work?" "Well, Jack does." "Well, who does your marketing?" "Well, Nick does." And it's like, "Oh, weird." But, for reasons unbeknownst to me, people keep liking our stuff.
NP: We do have a new website. We're kind of rebranding ourselves now that we're getting to be kind of a big deal. It's a nice place to send potential clients and just any fans we may have in general.
JP: I would like to say, I cringed a little when Nick just said we're "rebranding" ourselves. Nick takes care of the marketing stuff. I'm just like, "I don't care that we're 'rebranding.'"
NP: That's why we do work so well together because we are really opposites. He does the creative end of things, I do the business side of things, and then we kind of combine our special powers into ultimate awesomeness. We're the Wonder Irish Twins.
OMC: If (or when) these videos do well, are you going to plan on doing other "fake months" or making Bowling Month an annual thing?
NP: We make a lot of silly videos in general, so the sky's the limit. We got a couple things in the works. We had a lot of success with the Old Milwaukee "Pass Me a Beer" video that came out earlier this year, so we're actually in talks right now to do another video with Pabst and Old Milwaukee. That one was actually really cool, it got over six million combined views. That was the most successful video in Pabst history.
We've got this really funny idea for an anti-smoking video. A client approached us looking to be a crazy advertiser for this tobacco-less cigarette, and he said, "I want to come up with a crazy message to get people on board with smoking these instead of the bad ones." He asked us to cross the line by 100 feet, and we crossed it by about 500 feet. But, that's what we do.
JP: All I can tell you is it features a very naked me.
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