‘Walter Mitty’ Advertising Budget Used for Disaster Relief Video

Fox marketing/advertising funds used for Philippines typhoon relief

Filmmaker Casey Neistat was supposed to make a promotional video for the upcoming Ben Stiller movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” but the result isn’t what most people would expect.

Twentieth Century Fox enlisted Neistat to make a video based on the theme of “live your dreams.” The studio wanted it to inspire and motivate viewers to try something they’ve never done before. Instead of creating a video featuring Stiller, Neistat sought approval to spend the entire budget on disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Fox agreed.

The result is a nearly six-and-a-half minute YouTube video following Neistat’s journey to the Philippines.

Neistat and his crew travelled multiple days before arriving in the city of Cebu, their first stop and the place where they would purchase all their supplies. They bought everything from Spam to coffee, but the journey didn’t end there. Neistat and company took their two large coach buses – trucks weren’t available – and traveled by ferry to their ultimate destination, Tacloban.

As the buses drove through the night the destruction was evident. Thousands of people showed up to receive the supplies causing Neistat to say,  “I don’t think we’ve bought enough food.”

The supplies they brought, however, were able to provide more than 10,000 meals, tools to 35 villages and basic medicine to local organizations. So Neistat’s video did fit the bill of “living your dreams.”

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  1. joey says:

    i still have tears in my eyes while typing this. very inspiring. great job casey and to your team!

  2. Rhonell says:

    Casey,you are The Man of the Year.

  3. Maxine says:

    I will make sure I see this movie at the cinema, now that I have seen this fantastic “promotional” video

  4. Gabriela says:

    People can change…after what someone will see in the aftermath of the typhoon..nobody will remain the same…all traces of selfishness will be gone..hearts will open to the plight of the suffering people..no houses,no more loved ones..no more livehood..no nothing. We thank many people from all over the world who have shown compassion..shared with whatever they could give to these people who are still coping..picking up the pieces of their lives…make their Christmas truly happy.God bless you all.

  5. Gabriela says:

    Thanks,Casey..you really lived your dreams and the dreams of a lot of people to have food in their tummies…day by day…

  6. Teresa says:

    Great job Casey.

  7. LILO says:

    Will watch this movie for sure:-)

  8. Rizalina Madkin says:

    Just for that, I will see the film and encourage others to do so.

    • LOL says:

      Donate the money you were going to spend on a ticket and send it to the Philippines disaster fund instead. The whole point of this altruistic vignette is to get people focussing on the relief efforts, not wasting money on seeing an expensive vanity gig made by Ben Stiller.

  9. che says:

    Thank you very much Casey Neistat and Twentieth Century Fox for opening up your heart in helping my fellow Filipino’s in the Philippines. God bless you more! -Che-

  10. che says:

    Thank you very much Casey Neistat and Twentieth Century Fox for opening up your in helping my fellow Filipino’s in the Philippines. God bless you more! -Che-

  11. carie says:

    thank you, mabuhay ka kaibigan

  12. Colin says:

    I went to School with the Neistat’s. It ‘s nice to see that they have been doing so many good humanitarian efforts. Makes me proud to be from Southeastern CT. Keep up the good work Casey!!!!!

  13. zacharies says:

    wow I, very proud you walter, your’s very, very best, your helf philippines typhoon relief,thank’s you, walter, God bless you

  14. Phillip Catalino Regis says:


  15. gjergji says:

    Neistat is a great filmaker but above all a good guy. God bless you Casei

  16. Good Job! Maraming Salamat Po!


    Maybe “get Real” doesn’t know who Casey is…People are STILL recovering. People are STILL suffering there. Don’t be such a cynical assclown.

    In the world of advertising, video, photography, creative people; he seems to understand that it’s not ALL about numbers. To ask/ HAVE THE BALLS TO ASK a company like 20th Century Fox to use this money in this way he has is enough to speak of his character.

    For 20th Century Fox to allow him to do so, although risky while trying to promote a movie they have poured MILLIONS of dollars into; also speaks well of them and their trust of Casey. Casey brought food, water, and help to people in need. Not people he knew. Not people that knew him. Just people. In need.

    He did the video (which truly has nothing to do with the movie, except the premise of the movie – which btw I’ll sare STILL recovering. People are STILL suffering there. Don’t be such a cynical assclown. Good people still exist. Casey is definitely one of them.

  18. Get real says:

    Guy is clearly an egomaniac. How about donating that money to an actual relief org instead of making self-serving photo op out of peoples real misfortune?

    • J says:

      You’re clearly not an artist and also don’t understand how business works. This wasn’t HIS money, this was the studio marketing budget for the film. Since the film involves a lot of global traveling and Walter living out his dream, Casey obviously felt that this could be a great way to promote the film and also help the people out. Just donating would not work because he was contracted to make a promotional VIDEO for the studio. Moron.

    • YOU Get Real says:

      He had to make a video with the budget. He decided to use the opportunity to help people. If you watch his other videos, he’s about as far from an egomaniac as you can get. Stop being a cynical idiot.

    • Job says:

      How is what he did not actual relief? Did you sacrifice any time or money to the cause?

    • Are you serious? Do you know how much attention this is going to raise for donations, other fundraising activity for the area, et al, etc.? A major blockbuster motion picture invested both an early portion of their advertising budget and will be promoting this endeavor in conjunction with their other marketing avenues toward driving relief aid to these people, and your response is to call a man who actually went over there and served while shining a light on what these people are going through an “egomaniac,” through an anonymous name to boot.

      Get real, “Get real.”

  19. 3deep33 says:

    emailed Casey a couple times out of the blue and responded, hes a good dude.

    • Ricardo says:

      I’ve tried the same – e-mailed him, contact him via facebook, etc – with no avail. But the dude is busy and from what we see here, he is doing great things with his time.

  20. Tomek Tajer says:

    After watching nearly all I could that came out of his hands (including youtube videos multiple times) I can honestly say that Casey Neistat is the coolest and most inspiring person I’m aware of. RESPECT.

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