That Time I Almost Starred in a Rap Video with Flo Rida at TGI Fridays

A day in the life of Bridget Starkey at Zeno Group

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I’ve done a lot of awesome, crazy, impactful and outlandish things in my career at Zeno to date – can anyone say award-winning underwear? – but filming a rap video is a first in my arsenal of “fabulous life of PR” moments.

It’s true, I led the charge for #teamFlo to launch what I’m predicting to be the 2016 summer party anthem, “Hello Friday.” It’s a tribute to the fun feeling that Fridays bring. And as we all know, TGI Fridays restaurants are the ideal place to get that Friday feeling any day of the week. Too perfect, right?

So here’s how it went down:

As we were driving to the video shoot, my client told me there was a possibility I would be making a cameo in the video. I’d never been so happy to be wearing leather leggings at 6:30 a.m.

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We arrived at the LA Fridays restaurant in the wee hours, met our crew and got down to business setting-up and prepping. Did I mention this project from inception to the morning I set foot in the restaurant came to life in three days? We were doing a lot of “real time” approving on-set, if you know what I mean.

The shoot was set in booths right under the Fridays mantra, making sure “In Here, It’s Always Friday” was visible from all camera angles. You know, strike the delicate balance between just enough and not too overt branding.

The second Flo arrived, it was lights, camera, action! The kitchen had his favorite dishes and drinks at the ready, Flo and his “friends” chatted and snapped selfies. While Flo was doing his thing, we shot exclusive behind-the-scenes “making of the video” photos and b-roll. In case you’re wondering, that’s me in the background “cruise directing” everyone with my clipboard of power.

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I need to take a minute to call-out Flo’s incredible crystal-encrusted emoji loafers!! Move over, boots with the fur…

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To close out the shoot, we had Flo & co. make a grand exit out of the restaurant, naturally on their way to an over-the-top all-out beach party.

Fun behind-the-scenes scoop:

  • The restaurant scenes didn’t include Flo rapping – there was no playback.
  • This selfie shot wasn’t an actual selfie – our photographer staged it to look like one and Flo posted to Instagram.
  • Continuity is key – when re-shooting certain scenes, we had to ask ourselved, “was this glass full?” or “was that plate of ribs there?”

His favorite part of the shoot was the fact that the staff were huge fans, and how it all came full circle, “I grew up eating at Fridays and now I’m shooting my videos in the restaurant!”

Together with Atlantic Records, we debuted the “Hello Friday” video with an exclusive premier on E! Online, who said, “It wouldn’t be a true celebration, without a trip to TGI Fridays.” We also secured Billboard.com, who called it “the new party anthem.”

I want to give a big shout out to the team of folks who made this happen – my Fearless colleagues, our amazing clients, agency partners, Fridays Los Angeles restaurant staff and Flo’s fabulous crew.   

I highly recommend you kick-off your MDW by saying #HelloFriday and checking out the video. We love that TGIF word!

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*Alas, the shoot was fully-staffed, so my dreams of being a back-up dancer will have to wait. 

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