InCycle – Ellersick Case Study

If you haven’t heard of InCycle Cups, rest assured you will hear plenty in the coming years – they’ve been growing by leaps and bounds since we first began working with them. InCycle makes an eco-friendly, 100% recyclable, single-use cup, and they make it out of old water bottles. This is one of those mold-breaking products that crosses a lot of demographic boundaries, which means they have a lot of bases to cover with their marketing.


InCycle has really embraced video as part of this and has been exploring video’s potential in a few different ways. The video library on their website runs the gamut between high-value, professionally produced pieces, and house-made videos using inexpensive, online tools like videoscribe. Combining these two practices makes for a great variety in their collection, as well as allowing them to get a lot of bang for their marketing buck.

When we first met with InCycle, they were still focusing on the end-user for their marketing efforts. Since then, they’ve shifted their focus higher, to airlines and coffee empires, as well as other large volume purchasers. While the simple benefit of an eco-friendly, cost-efficient cup is a great selling point for anyone, anywhere, they decided it was time to branch out with their messaging.

InCycle saw their next step being a case-study showing their cups in a restaurant environment. We have quite a bit of experience with case studies (and, of course, we’re a joy to work with), so they came to us. Through our project meeting, it became clear that InCycle didn’t want a standard, run-of-the-mill case study. As it was pitched to us, they wanted to create something of a love-letter to one of their early customers – a local micro-brewery called Ellersick Ales.


Although they had much larger clients, like RedHook and Alaska Airlines, they really wanted to spotlight a local small-business who had been a part of their early success.

So the question for us was; how could we make a “fun” case-study that focused on a small customer but would still work over time for the quickly growing company that is InCycle Cups?

Our solution was to make the video a relationship story – a romance, if you will. We told the story of how the two businesses met, and how the relationship grew.


We threw in a challenge (branded printing), because every great love-story needs a challenge, and because that illustrates a value-adding capability of InCycle.



We threw in an ex (a little red cup you might know). We ended with happily ever after. If you don’t live in our writer’s head, you might not catch the romance vibe, but having the skeleton of a familiar plot embedded in the script gives the finished video a working arc that feels satisfyingly complete. As importantly, the relationship arc plays into a theme of excellent customer service, which is a quality that appeals to large businesses and end-users alike.

Including a nod at the end to the bright and expanding future of InCycle helps this video work for investors as well, which we understood could be an important bonus. It also gave us the opportunity to show a bustling production line hard at work.


Through interviews, b-roll, and music, we’ve created a winning relationship between the fun, upbeat world of a microbrew and the somewhat dryer business of creating a disposable cup. InCycle wanted a fun video case-study to thank an early customer for their business. We gave them a video that does just that, while still working as marketing collateral for a few other verticals as well.


We’d call that a success. Cheers!


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I'm a filmmaker, entrepreneur, mom taught home chef, maker,and adventure motorcyclist living in the Pacific Northwest.