Let’s say you’re a credit union…and you have lots of super-duper products. But it’s not really about that, is it?

In today’s market, it’s about your culture, your social conscience, and your connection to your members and your community. So, Ascentra Credit Union challenged us to make something that highlighted exactly that…but in a music video!

Things had to look good, but not “too good”, and locally produced, but not “too local”.

Homework = lots of video watching.

We had our marching orders and had some homework to do. So in the video world, that means one thing: watching lots of singing and financial institution YouTube videos. Yes, lots of them! Some were good, and some we’re still drinking to forget. The biggest challenge: how do we pull this off in a fun and exciting way, but not be perceived as cheesy or lame? The completed video had to look good, but not “too good”, and look locally produced, but not “too local”. We also wanted to feature a local Quad Cities musical artist who could write a custom set of lyric and a custom track. So we scoured the market and did lots of research to find the right talent and the right fit. After searching through a competitive pool of musicians, rappers, and entertainers, we found our man: TC Boyd.

The right talent.

Finding the right musical artist for a video project can be challenging. Sometimes it’s their style, sometimes it’s their persona, and sometimes it has nothing to do with music at all. As companies become more aware of who they associate with, it’s imperative that you find someone who represents and mirrors your company’s core values exactly. Any missteps can turn a well-planned campaign into a PR nightmare! In TC’s case, his past involved things that he’s certainly not proud of. Rather than try to sweep this under the rug, TC has embraced it, shared it, and used it as a means to propel his career forward and bring positive messaging and unity to our community.

With an artist selected it was on to our next challenge: location scouting. But we had a problem…the building was only halfway through construction and we weren’t certain how it would look the day of filming. So, to simplify things for ourselves we went floor-by-floor to explore every option we would have for each scene. Matching each of them up on our script and putting a lot of trust in the construction team that the areas would look as good as we were told they would. Fingers were crossed.


Months went by, and things got pushed back…but boy did they deliver. The building was finally completed! And it was all hands were on deck for filming – both from dphilms and Ascentra Credit Union. They had a whole army of people waiting and ready to get their grove on. So, let’s roll.

The day was awesome! It ran like a well-oiled machine. We did some camera stunts, had some great outtakes, and had a whole lot of fun! Even when we got ready for our “big ending shot” at sunset, we still had a full cast and crew. They were going strong, dancing, and smiling all the way!

To top it all off, Ascentra was so pleased, they entered our work into the 2020 CUNA awards, and it received a Diamond Award! How awesome is that?! Plus, you can even listen to the track on Spotify.


Check back for more dphilms stories! From awards, to behind the scenes and advice, we’ll have you covered. Want to see more amazing work? Check us out on YouTube, Facebook, or our work.