‘Commercial Kings:’ Just a pair of local yokels

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings stars (left to right) Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal on set.

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are lifelong besties with a very peculiar passion. While you may groan and flip the channel when those poorly produced local commercials appear on the TV (we’re looking at you, Ms. Cleo), these guys consider them to be works of art.

“Some of the greatest commercials are full of what most people would call mistakes but we consider them brush strokes of an artist,” Neal explains. “When there’s an editing mistake or when the acting is horrible, those are the things that we love to see and the things that we emulate in our commercials. It’s a point of inspiration.”

The North Carolina natives love those spots so much that they developed a popular web series called “I Love Local Commercials” which then birthed IFC’s new show “Commercial Kings” in which the guys track down a small business in need of public outreach and produce an ad for them that adheres to the lo-fi aesthetic of a no-frills, no-budget but with loads of humor and eccentricity.

Take for example the ad they did for the Holiday Hotel for Cats, in which company owner Margaret speaks in “cat” to her potential residents, or the Heavy Hill Trash Service, which, in the Rhett and Link commercial, collects rural clients’ trash by riding a “trashicorn” – which is owner Hill’s pet mule Jack with a horn stuck on his head. Not only do the guys produce strange and amusing ads, they seek out companies with an equally idiosyncratic goal.

“It’s not like we’re going to go to a car dealership that‘s already has a bunch of its own local ads,” McLaughlin explains. “We’re going to go to a business like a trash hauler, like a hot yoga studio or a hair salon. We go in exploring, but it’s nice to have a business that presents a world for us to explore – something that we can learn and that we can latch on to.”

The boys find inspiration from the lack of resources and manage to pull off some memorable moments that, from the show alone, have already brought many companies more business.

“Our budgets are almost always zero for these commercials,” says McLaughlin. “We use the resources that are around us. The main mistake people make on the local level is that they’re trying to emulate something that was done with a very large budget. We’re embracing those limitations and that’s what brings about this sort of homegrown, endearing feeling that our commercials have.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.