Ugly Grouper

Or How We Wrote and Produced a Viral Video on a budget

The Ugly Grouper (teaser)


The Yes Men do it. Dollar Shave Club did it. Even Chuck Testa Taxidermist did it. And Wren Studio did it for only $1600.  What did they do?

Create a viral video on a budget.

Is it easy? Not necessarily. Can anyone do it? Well, not anyone. But with the right strategy, idea and execution you too could be on your way to viral stardom.  


According to the six qualities to make your video go viral are:

Be short and sweet

Be upbeat

Be timely

Be involved

Be informative

Be inspiring


We say, “Nope”.

With all due respect to the folks at, we at Kestum Bilt call out &^%!

We have found that creating a video on a budget that resonates and gets people clicking is about more than just being “upbeat”.

We believe we’re living in the age of sharing knowledge. To that end, here’s what we did for our client, Ugly Grouper. And by the way, their food is fantastic you should check them out if you’re near Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Client: Ugly Grouper


A new seafood restaurant in sea of seafood restaurants. How do they differentiate their brand and quickly get the word out about their offering with:

  • Minimal budget

  • Extreme time constraints

  • A brand that is unknown locally

What we did:

“Deliberate Differentiation”. The great designer, author, podcaster and educator Debbie Millan coined the term, and we love it. Creating a viral video is not just about coming up with a ‘viral’ idea, it’s positioning – smart, strategic and well executed positioning that makes the difference.

The Kestum Bilt team keyed in on their core message/brand and leveraged the giant metal “Ugly Grouper” sculpture.

UGLY Grouper Full Video

How did we produce this on set and in post?

  1. 1-Day Shoot with a drone and the Sony FS7.

  2. Remove and Replace the morning sky with a giant "King Kong Sun"

  3. Remove the boat trailer that carried the grouper out of the water.

  4. Added helicopter shadows to the ground and streets.

  5. Added the helicopter to the sky above the grouper.

  6. Created the News Package motion graphics.

  7. Scripting writing for original reporter VOs.

  8. Sound design, mix and mastering.


The Results:

As of this blog post, over 35,000 locally targeted views and counting during the first week. Client raves. Social and viral buzz. Ugly Grouper is enjoying an exciting and profitable opening.


Bottom Line:

Being clever and strategic doesn't need to break your brand or organization’s bank. Carefully thought out and pointed execution can win the day and also win you oodles of eyeballs and customers.

Need a viral video on the cheap or perhaps your budget is bigger ten times bigger than Chuck Testa – Taxidermist. Whatever your budget is, we’re here to help.

Email or call us. And happy fishing.

The Kestum Bilt Team