I Made a $0 Budget Coffee Ad Using Only Stock Footage

By PierreL | Content For Creators | 12 Mar 2021

It had been too long since I last posted on my Youtube channel. As a video editor with no client work on the table for a couple days, I decided to try my hand at something relatively new for me: ads. Since I had this thought while drinking coffee, I naturally leaned towards a coffee ad.

The main challenges I set myself were:

  • I didn't want to film anything, so I had use already existing footage,
  • I wanted to work on sound design, to make the viewer feel like they could almost smell the coffee,
  • I wanted to tell a story you could easily relate to and that felt like it could be a real ad,
  • I didn't want to spend any money.


To tackle the last point, I went straight to my favorite free platforms:

  • Pexels, for free 4K stock footage
  • ZapSplat, for free sound effects
  • Uppbeat, for free quality music (I am planning on writing a dedicated article on Uppbeat soon so stay tuned if you want to learn more in getting amazing music for your videos, for free)


Story-wise, I went with what I could find on Pexels, and let me tell you something: if you're ever looking for coffee footage for whatever reason, look no further, there are more than enough super varied coffee related shots there! The story kind of wrote itself as I was finding interesting clips: a woman is hanging out in a coffee shop, takes a sip of coffee, and gets transported into this journey retracing the story of what she's drinking, from the coffee beans being harvested to the barista preparing her cup. For the tagline, I went with what came to my mind (I'm no marketing expert, duh). So, "Stock Coffee" as the brand for obvious reasons, and "A taste of adventure" as the tagline to be consistent with the overall storytelling.


For sound design, I went into my SFX library that I've been building for years, and looked for what I was missing on ZapSplat, as I already mentioned. Sound design is essential to filmmaking, to give the footage more dimension and make everything feel more real and make you feel like what you're watching is actually happening in front of/around you.

Below is a screenshot of my timeline in Da Vinci Resolve (the best free video editor you can find out there). The green rectangles represent audio files. As you can see, there isn't a second of video without any sound, and barely a second without any sound effect (the first track "A1" being the music). I looked for sounds representing (almost) everything I could see, from the atmosphere in the coffee shop at the beginning and the end to the sound of coffee beans being handled by machinery.


Fun fact: all the sound I used for beans are actually gravel sounds, but that's what foley is all about. And if you don't know what it's about, I will be posting an article and possibly a video about homemade sound design and foley.


So, without further ado, here's the final result:


Let me know what you think of it!

Until next time, stay creative! See you!



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French video editor, wildlife photographer, amateur space junkie, sports and history buff and crypto enthusiast.

Content For Creators
Content For Creators

I share tips, tricks and resources with creative people on a budget. Tutorials, free softwares and online tools for creators and freelancers alike. Stay creative!

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