Carmex – Half-Court Hero

1024 683 Michael Kraabel

I was the creative lead on a campaign that ultimately resulted in a “Viral Video for the Year Award” and a “My Sportcenter Moment” commercial.


Lebron James Half-Court Hero Contest

Carmex + Lebron James Half-Court Hero Campaign

This campaign was part of a larger outreach program to reach deep into the Carmex fan base. We developed an online promotion to build the Carmex database and expand their social media following.

As we didn’t have the money to be an official Lebron James sponsor, we opted to sponsor the new website – at a fraction of the cost.

Creative Brand Sponsorhips

As part of this sponsorship, we were responsible for developing content and promotions that would not only be on brand for Carmex, but also Lebron James.

The centerpiece of this campaign was an online sweepstakes where the winner would get a chance to win $75,000 grand prize if they made a half-court shot.  We negotiated the opportunity to have this half-court shot take place during a break in a Miami Heat game.  Our selected contest winner, Michael Drysch, made a miracle half court hook shot and the rest is viral history.

Media Tour

After Michael Drysch made the historic half-court hook shot, media calls started rolling in.  Within hours, we were booked on Good morning Miami, CNN, Inside Edition, Good Morning America, and had countless radio and media interviews.  The resulting media impressions were worth millions and Carmex saw an immediate up-tick in sales.

Media Impressions

The moment was captured live on TV and was immediately picked up  by Sportcenter and became an immediate international sensation. The Lebron Tackles Fan is the ESPN YouTube channel’s top-watched video of all time. Additionally:

Instant viral.
Top of Reddit.
#1 Play On SportsCenter.
3-day PR Tour on National TV in New York.
500 Million Impressions.
$7M worth of brand exposure.
30% Sales lift for two weeks during peak season.
Viral Video of the Year.


1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Wrote, Produced, and Directed a series of TV spots for the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

When it comes to finding the perfect home, REALTORS act as matchmakers, helping guide you through the process and giving helpful advice along the way to steer you away from the ones that “just aren’t the one.”

The collaborative relationship helped us produce an amazing creative concept that is designed to appeal not only to first-time home buyers, but also every generation ahead of them.  Special thanks goes to Studio 2 Cafe and Wine bar in South Minneapolis for allowing us to film in their beautiful location and didn’t mind our continuous announcements of “quiet on the set.”

Stratasys Medical

1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Developed a comprehensive marketing program for Stratasys to showcase their work across the medical field.


Stratasys faces the significant challenge of showcasing its pioneering use of 3D printing and additive manufacturing in the medical field. The key difficulty lies in effectively communicating the complex and technical nature of their innovations to a diverse audience, including medical professionals, healthcare institutions, investors, and the general public. Stratasys needs to demonstrate the practical benefits and applications of their technology, such as patient-specific models and surgical tools, while distinguishing themselves in a competitive and rapidly evolving market.


To address these challenges, Stratasys can implement a multi-faceted strategy. Developing engaging case studies and success stories will illustrate the real-world impact of their technology in medicine, making the information more relatable and accessible. Hosting webinars and workshops with medical experts can further elucidate the benefits and future potential of 3D printing in healthcare. Embracing digital marketing, especially through social media, using visual and interactive content, can simplify complex concepts and reach a broader audience. Collaborations with medical institutions for joint research projects, and highlighting these endeavors through various media channels, will not only showcase Stratasys’ technology but also reinforce their position as a leader in integrating advanced 3D printing technology with medical science.

Minneapolis Glass

1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Behind the scenes at Minneapolis Glass—a local glass fabricator with a large footprint.


Marketing for Minneapolis Glass, a family-owned regional glass fabricator, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. As a local business with deep roots in the community, Minneapolis Glass has a story that resonates with family values, craftsmanship, and personalized service. However, the challenge lies in effectively conveying the quality and uniqueness of their glass products to a broader audience.


Glass fabrication is a highly specialized field, and the beauty and functionality of custom glasswork might not be immediately apparent to the average consumer. The marketing strategy needs to not only highlight the superior quality and craftsmanship of their glass products but also to showcase the practical and aesthetic enhancements they bring to homes and businesses. Additionally, there’s a need to communicate the benefits of supporting a local, family-owned business in a market often dominated by larger, impersonal corporations. This requires a creative approach that combines storytelling with visual impact, making the intangible attributes of skill, tradition, and community connection tangible to the target audience.

Carmex Half-Court Academy

1000 667 Michael Kraabel

I developed the concept for the Carmex Half-Court Academy film series to be used in coordination with a social media partnership with Lebron James.


It was less than a challenge, but more of an opportunity.  As part of our sponsorship with and his social media properties, we were allowed a certain number of posts and promotions each year.  As we were winding down a Half-Court Hero Online Sweepstakes, we need some extra ammunition to promote the contest. It was weeks away from the end, going into the holiday season when we got the challenge.


I quickly write up a script treatment for a multi-part Half-Court Academy Training Series that could be promoted on and his social media properties. We had a rough outline of a script and dialog, but got approval to run with the idea.  We rented out a local university gym and converted it to the set of our Half-Court Academy.  It was Christmas Even when we were filming, so the 18 hour day was a little exhausting.  We even passed on “wrap beers” that day.

Behind The Scenes

Stratasys Anthem

1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Wrote, Directed, and Edited a new anthem spot to introduce the newly launched Stratasys brand to the world.

The 3D Printing Solutions Company


Stratasys, the leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, had recently undergone a significant global rebranding to unify its diverse divisions. This pivotal moment calls for a compelling narrative that reflects our new, cohesive identity and resonates with our market. The company needed to craft a story that captures the spirit of Stratasys’ transformation, showcasing the innovation and connecting with their audience as they embarked on this new chapter.


In addressing Stratasys’ global rebranding, we developed a script that intricately wove together the unique stories of each division, illustrating their collaborative efforts in advancing the industry and fostering innovation. This script was brought to life through an anthem video, crafted from diverse footage gathered during the brand anthropology and Distil workshop sessions. This approach successfully showcased the unified strength of Stratasys’ divisions, creating a compelling and inspiring narrative that resonated deeply with our audience and solidified Stratasys’ position as a leader in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.

Carmex – Extreme Conditions

1024 683 Michael Kraabel

Produced and Directed the first television spot in the 75 year history of the iconic Carmex brand.


Extreme Conditions Brand Campaign

“Extreme Conditions” – :30

Crafting and directing a TV commercial for the iconic Carmex brand was a creative bucket list item. The campaign’s heartbeat revolved around capturing the brand’s playful essence while showcasing the product’s stellar performance. My approach danced on the tightrope between emphasizing its extreme efficacy and everyday use, creating a magnetic pull for both long-term devotees and newcomers.

Fun With Carmex

From the drawing board to the director’s chair, I wrote a story-line that not only showcased the product’s effectiveness but also radiated the fun and lively spirit of Carmex. Balancing the need to demonstrate performance without losing the playful brand essence was the challenge I eagerly embraced, resulting in a vibrant, memorable, and effective commercial spot – that showed a measurable result to the bottom line of the company’s sales.

D-Link – Cloud Cameras

1024 765 Michael Kraabel

Produced and Directed a launch campaign for D-Link’s new line of cloud-based security cameras.


Cloud Security Camera Launch Campaign

The Challenge

I worked closely with the D-Link internal brand team to write, produce, and direct content for their new cloud camera product launch.  D-Link had previously been known primarily for technical networking tools, making the new consumer focused product one of their first in the company’s history.

The Solution

We developed a series of scripts focused on using the new D-Link security cameras as a way for parents to check in on their little ones, while they were away (or even in the next room).  Not having access to a working nursery, I ended up building one in the second  bedroom of my own home.

Ultradeck – by Menards

1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Wrote, Directed, and Produced a series of television spots used to launch the new line of Ultradeck products at Mendards.


New Product Launch Campaign

The Challenge

We were challenged to come up with a unique concept that highlighted the new Ultradeck product from Menards. The new composite decking product  was a major evolution in quality and performance from their previous products. The challenge was that the product was early in production … in the middle of the winter.

The Solution

We had the product engineers build us a 12×12 decking platform in our in-house studio, where we were able to mount a stationary overhead camera and re-set the stage to highlight all the unique ways the decking product could be used, and the durability of the product.

Honeywell – WiFi Thermostats

1024 576 Michael Kraabel

Produced and Directed the first television spot in the 75 year history of the iconic Carmex brand.


Wi-Fi Thermostats Launch Campaign

Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat Launch

This campaign was developed as part of the launch of the new Honeywell Wi-Fi Connected Thermostat.

I wrote and directed a series of long-form films and shorter cut-down spots for broadcast and online platforms. These videos were designed to highlight what made this thermostat such a game-changer in terms of home comfort and energy efficiency – with the new wi-fi control.

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