Christina Yu joins Ostrich, and makes ‘Something from Nothing’ for Fiverr

Who: Fiverr, with Ostrich Studios for creative, strategy and production, directed by Patrick Scissons and Christina Yu (who just joined Ostrich, more below), with Saints Editorial and Eggplant Collective.

What: “Something from Nothing,” a new global brand campaign for the Fiverr platform, which connects people and businesses with skilled freelance talent.

When & Where: The campaign launched internationally today (Oct. 27), with Ostrich creating more than 50 different assets in multiple languages running across TV, online video, and outdoor.

Why: The goal is to help business owners and other potential users understand the platform’s power to connect people to a range of skilled freelance talent, said Scissons, who is Ostrich founder and creative. “[It’s showing] what Fiverr can do to help people realize their ideas or dreams from a business transformation standpoint.”

Turning business dreams into reality has become particularly relevant during the pandemic, according to Fiverr. To launch the campaign, it released findings from a study conducted with YouGov showing that 25% of respondents had a business idea in the last 18 months, with most never pursuing that idea because they lacked resources—which Fiverr is designed to provide.

“This new campaign is hyper-focused on the businesses, products, or services not yet created but are still just an idea,” said Gali Arnon, chief marketing officer at Fiverr. “Thousands of incredible businesses have come to life with the support of expert freelancers on Fiverr, and we’re looking forward to seeing thousands more grow into world-class companies.”

How: The campaign is anchored by a 60-second spot that shows how Fiverr can metaphorically make something from nothing by literally showing nothing turned into something. The ad opens on an empty pedestal, with people excitedly crowding around and snapping photos of… nothing.

The rest of the spot extends the slightly absurd but playful idea to the creation of a brand voice, user interface, SEO, and merchandise for “nothing,” all thanks to the talent on Fiverr. Nothing eventually catches on: “Let me get this straight, now I gotta buy nothing,” says one confused and slightly annoyed older man.

“The big insight was all about helping people realize that inaction doesn’t lead anywhere, that you’ve got to take that step and put that foot in the water, and that’s where the whole analogy of turning nothing into something—both literally and figuratively—came from,” said Scissons.

“The idea was sell nothing,” said Yu. “We’re trying to prove a point that nothing is actually something, so we actually had to design the word nothing. We had to make nothing something, and that’s how we briefed people. We were like ‘Can you make this word nothing, but make it beautiful?'”

They could have done a campaign showing examples of the work made using Fiverr, said Scissons. But they wanted something that spoke to Fiverr’s potential for other users. “Nothing is essentially a placeholder for the viewer’s idea,” he said. “So it’s ‘Your idea here.’… if Fiverr can create something out of nothing, then just imagine what it can do for your business.”

Using Fiverr to sell Fiverr: “One of the things [Fiverrr] wanted to showcase was the talent pool they have,” said Scissons. Scissons and Yu got very familiar with the Fiverr experience by finding talent to contribute in a number of ways—including design, merchandise design, and motion graphics. “They were our extended creative department,” he said.

“While our last few campaigns showcased real businesses, this is focused on how Fiverr freelancers can support any business to grow, innovate, and succeed. All you need is to do something,” said Duncan Bird, vice-president of brand marketing and digital at Fiverr. “We wanted to show more of the breadth and skill that freelancers on the platform can offer to take new ideas and make them a reality.”

Yu on joining Ostrich: Yu, one of the most respected and well-known creatives in the industry for more than a decade, said she talked to a lot of companies over the last year, but none of the opportunities really excited her. “It all felt the same again,” she said. “It felt uninspiring; it didn’t feel like it was about the work.” Joining Ostrich meant being part of a small team connected to the global organization by The Network (which was how Ostrich got invited to pitch for the Tel Aviv-based Fiverr business), while also being directly involved on the work.

“You become a creative director and you’re just directing creatives,” said Yu. “For me it was, I want to be a leader but I still want to create.”

Yu on being a creative and director: Ostrich is unique for being a creative/production company hybrid, with Scissons and Yu directing this new work a good example of how it operates. “We’ve both been asked ‘Hey, do you want to direct?’ And I think we both basically said we want to direct, but we want to direct our own work,” said Yu. “We both love creative still. We love coming up with the idea. We also love directing. So what is this new model that we can come up with where we’re able to create and execute.”

David Brown