Why Beaver Cola?,

Okay, we’ve had a couple of questions about the subject of our commercial, Beaver Cola, for the DVD, “Anatomy of a 30-second Short.”

Some people look at the name and assume we’re doing it as a double-entendre gag. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Since the software I am using Toon Boom Animate is marketed for professionals, IMHO I felt we could go a little more risque with subject and script, aka “You bet my sweet ass it’s good”. If we were using Toon Boom Studio, which sometimes has a much younger audience, I would have gone more age appropriate.

The original idea for our 30-second short was to develop a commercial about two guys in a bar arguing that Sean Connery could easily replace Samuel L. Jackson in any of Jackson’s movies. We would then cut to parody movie scenes inspired by “Pulp Fiction,” “Snakes on a Plane”, etc., with our satirical versions . . . “Connery Fiction,” “Connery on a Plane,” and so on.

So, why Beaver Cola?

When we came across an article in Men’s Health Magazine (Rodale Publishing), “The 15 Grossest Things You’re Eating,” #7 immediately caught our attention and changed the entire direction of our campaign. It was castoreum, the juice from a male beaver’s anal gland. For the past 80 years it’s been used as an additive in cigarettes, perfumes and, yes, food and beverage items. In a good many vanilla and raspberry flavored products, it’s hidden under the catch-all category commonly referred to as “natural flavoring.

In conducting further research to identify a more comprehensive listing of food items in which it is used, over and over we found companies saying pretty much the same thing: “We don’t use it, but it is safe for consumption.” So we thought about how funny it would it be if we created a pseudo company that bragged about its use of castoreum! The search was on for available domain names, and much to our surprise and joy BeaverCola.com was available!

We bought the domain and moved forward with script writing, logo design, etc. At the same time, we were looking to create a mock company that our future tonyteach.com students could use for their projects. As a college instructor, I often would assign projects to my students that one might say were “less than desirable.” For example: Create a logo for “Bubba’s Bait & Rib Shack, ” or create a logo and CD cover for the country rap star Cowboy Troy (BTW, he’s real). So the Beaver Cola project was perfect.

So there you have it – Beaver Cola, it’s not what you think, it’s actually worse.