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Kabbage’s Two-Day Brush with the Living Dead

“Kabbage Life”: A “Thriller” Parody

When your CEO has an innovative idea, you usually get behind it. When that idea involves making a parody video for Halloween, you count yourself lucky.

Kabbage has released its own parody videos since 2012. From “Call Me Maybe” to “Uptown Funk,” we’ve raised the stakes (and production) with each project. This year, CEO Rob Frohwein issued a challenge to film a video featuring all office locations and complete with Kabbage-themed lyrics.

After choosing “Thriller” for its Halloween theme and timeless appeal, we uncovered hidden talents and passions throughout the company – from experience with special effects makeup to theatre backgrounds and breakdancing skills. In Atlanta, our copywriter developed an original script; an ultra-talented singer from Customer Service recorded the track in a marketing team member’s home studio; and a member of the Creative team directed and produced the video.

Team members across our offices collaborated to make the video happen. “We had a trio of people from different teams – whose paths seldom cross otherwise – come together to coordinate everything for the Bangalore office,” said Kaushik Das. “Each person went beyond expectations to organize the choreography, makeup and filming.”

A casting call was sent for the video’s key roles and dancers while the team scoured eBay for the perfect costumes. Our San Francisco and Bangalore offices received packages of makeup to ensure the video footage worked seamlessly, and each office had dance rehearsals and hosted sessions to “zombify” the cast’s costumes.

“When we were creating our costumes, most of us stuck to red paint, but some ventured out to Sriracha, blueberries and beet juice,” said Amy Lim from the San Francisco office. “The smell was pungent but perfect for ‘method acting’ and getting into the mindset of being zombies.”

In the spirit of upping the ante for this year’s video, we enlisted the help of local videographers and makeup artists and got to work securing smoke machines and spooky décor to transform our technology company to the set of “Thriller.”

During filming, smoke filled the office, cobwebs hung from computers and cast members took turns getting transformed into the living dead. Despite a full, two-day filming schedule, the teams – fueled by plenty of pizza and beer – kept energy high and dance moves sharp.

“It was really great to see people from every floor and every department come together and just have a good time,” said Amanda Florentine. “After each cut during filming, everyone would start laughing about how crazy – and awesome – it was to be a part of the video.”

After just a few weeks of preparation, the video came together thanks to collaboration across teams, offices and time zones. “Everyone in our Bangalore offices had seen Kabbage’s other videos,” said Pankaj Prasad. “This was the first time the Bangalore team participated, and it was a great way to bring folks from all the offices together to create something as one team.”


Kabbage Team

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