Are TV Commercials Still Effective?

TV ads. I have a love/hate relationship here. Sure, they can be hilarious as well as emotional, but they can also be interrupting and annoying at times. With that said, I feel I have a pretty unique perspective about this beast. You see, I grew up around advertising. No, I don’t mean growing up watching TV spots like “where’s the beef” or “time to make the donuts” – I mean I grew up in an ad agency. My parents ran a successful Advertising & Public Relations firm in Atlanta for almost 30 years. I can remember the excitement as a kid running around the crazy environment of their office. Print ads being pieced together. Storyboards being drawn. Ideas all over the walls. And of course, funny, quirky people that all gave me different nicknames. It was pretty cool thing to witness at a young age – especially since my folks were the bosses. 🙂

Nowadays, I also work in “the biz” – so to speak. I don’t own a typical or traditional ad agency, but since we write and produce TV spots (and other forms of video content), I figured I’d talk about commercials for a second.

Commercials are expensive. As you know, commercials not only take a ton of time and money to produce, they can take a huge amount of dollars to air on TV. So, with companies spending anywhere from $100k to over a million to advertise their product, my question is, “Is it working?” I mean, are TV spots still effective like they used to be in the world we live in today? My answer is…maybe.

With YouTube still holding the #2 spot for web searches, there’s no doubt that people are watching online videos more and more every day, which would make me believe that TV is almost out the door. But believe it or not according to, the best way for advertisers to reach Baby Boomers is still TELEVISION. In fact TV ranks at 59% of total media platforms like; social, print, digital, etc. for the Boomers. I believe that my generation, Gen X, is probably still influenced by TV as well, as the average adult ages 35 and up watches an average of 33 hours of television a week.

Now, for sheer entertainment, maybe TV commercials are effective to the newer generations, but I think advertisers need to realize that if they’re going to make the most out of their television advertising bucks, they need to rethink the market that they are targeting and really consider the data out there. And from what I’ve seen, most commercials these days are not speaking to their most valuable demographic. Just saying.

If you’re a brand seeking to build awareness that creates action through video content, we’d love the opportunity to talk with you.

What’s Under the Hood?

I watched/listened to a video blog this morning that had such a great and simple analogy, I just had to write about it. The guy that does the vlog is in the same business as us and I enjoy listening to his subject matters and experiences because mine are so similar. Anyway, just to setup the scene, he did his vlog while he was working or I should say restoring a vintage car. He said that he had been restoring that old car for quite a while and has been so focused on things like the grill and the chrome around the headlights, but he hasn’t put much time or effort into the engine. That’s kinda funny right? I mean you can make the car look pretty and sparkle, but if it doesn’t run, what good is it?

Which leads me to my next point (his next point). In business, or as a business owner, we all want our stuff to look really, good right? I mean our brand, collateral pieces, website, videos, social media, etc. But what’s driving your business? Sure, your website may get you some business, but let’s be honest without SALES your dead in the water or in this case sitting in the garage. If we’re not putting forth most of our efforts into what’s under the hood and keep this thing moving, we’re out of business! So why do we do this? What makes us want to spend so much time on the stuff that doesn’t matter that much? Here’s a quick list of perhaps the reasons:

  1. It’s Fun(ner). It’s more fun to work on stuff for yourself than spending time trying to find business. With every hour you spend on yourself you can be reaching out to a handful of folks via email, LinkedIn, or…that’s right…phone call. Don’t let fear or laziness keep you from success!
  2. It’s Easier. It’s easier, when you think it’s fun. But hey, being in business ain’t easy! Again, don’t be lazy and don’t fall into this trap.
  3. You feel productive. Sure, you have to have a website. I know. And of course when you’re working on some that you have to have you feel productive and satisfied at the end of a days labor. But try this – Try just getting something up and out there and know that you can tweak it along the way. Or dedicate 10-20% of your day to your stuff and the other 80% to reaching out or meeting people.

Look, we’ve all been there. Even my dad would make fun of me because we changed our website at least 3 times in the first year in a half of being in business! He would say, “It’s just fun to work on your own stuff.” He was right! But I’m telling you, I’m telling you…you MUST have sales if you’re going to keep your business running and moving forward. So, take a moment today, look how pretty everything looks or could look, and then start working on your engine!


Back to School

Unfortunately, I’m not going to talk today about the 1980’s comedy classic with Rodney Dangerfield. I know, I know… you’re disappointed. (The Triple Lindy!) BUT can you believe that it’s that time of year again?! If you’re like me and have little ones, then you know this can be a happy/sad time. Happy to get them out of the house (haha) but sad because Summer is winding down and it just means they’re (we’re) getting older.

For me, knowing that Fall is coming is always exciting! I feel like it’s my 2nd New Years in some respects. A time to start over. A time to evaluate my business. It’s also a great time to talk to businesses about helping their business because many companies start their planning for the following year around this time.

Just like going back to school, we all need to prepare and have everything in place for the upcoming year. Whether you’re planning for January or you’re hoping to be in someone’s plan come January. So how do you as a service provider become apart of that plan?

Well, we’ve heard timing is everything. I think typically when we here that  expression we think about being at the right place, at the right time. But it’s so much more than that. Timing is patience, but timing is also not waiting. It’s a strange thing this “time.” For example, we just finished a major video campaign that took almost a year to get started on. You say “a year? That’s seems like forever.” Maybe, but here again it wouldn’t of happened if we hadn’t gone ahead and reached out at the right time, and also if we hadn’t been patient with the company as they put their internal pieces into place. You see our initial “cold email” (I hate this term) or let’s say “reach out” was in September. Then our Discovery call was in December. After that our first face to face meeting was in mid February. After that more emails and phone calls as the client continued to work out their plan for the upcoming year. Then finally in May we were asked to bring something to the table. This gave us a month and in June we pitched the video campaign to the client and was well received! Yay! After this there was more time involved with figuring out which major brand (that they sold) was going to be involved with the campaign. After this decision was made, we had to pitch the campaign to that major brand. Needless to say they loved the idea and we started the pre-production process that coming December…A year after our first Discovery Call! Yep a Year.

Was it worth the wait? Well, without getting into too much detail, the commercial spot we produced that kicked off the campaign won us an award and gave us an opening into an industry we hadn’t worked in before. For me, anytime I’m involved with something I love, something I’m good at, and something that’s bigger than me (or us) is worth the wait. When you can impact others lives and well as help someone’s business grow, that’s always worth the wait.

So, what will you be doing in this back to school season? Reaching out to potentials with expectations? Preparing for the wait? I hope both.


Are You Likable?

Are you likable?

Seriously? You ask.


Over the years, the one thing that I’ve seen that might be the factor that beats out talent is Likability. I can’t explain it, but if people like you, they tend to trust you – and if they trust you, you usually end up with their business. This may be the ONE thing that leads you to all the business you ever wanted. So are you likable?

I don’t want this to read like it’s some quick way to manipulate your potential clients at all. That’s not what this is about. My purpose of this article is that all of us, as humans, would take a look at ourselves, our morals, our beliefs, etc. and see if what we really believe about ourselves is reflected out in the “business world.”

Is it true sometimes we just need someone to come in and do the job? Sure. I heard a sermon one time where the pastor said, “Just because you’re a Christian Plumbing Company, doesn’t mean I want you to fix my pipes. I want the guy that can come in get the job done and go.” I get that (in some respects), BUT I do feel that if you are building a relationship with a person or business there needs to be a little bit more than the “I can get the job done” persuasion. There are hundreds of folks that can probably solve that businesses problem(s), but what separates you from them is they aren’t YOU. You are unique and so make them realize that.

“Some people are just likable,” you say? I would agree with that statement. But why don’t you think you are? Is it you’re not a people person? Well, I hate to say it, but you’re not being hired by a wall, you’re being hired by a human. So become a people person. Even when it feels weird to be nice, be nice and see what happens. Show your passion for what you do. If you lack in that area, then you probably don’t believe in what you’re selling. And if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, then you’re probably in the wrong business. Just saying.

I feel that there is something in all of us that wants to embrace people more, but we’re a little scared to show our true selves. Let me say, you can still be yourself and act as a professional simultaneously. People want authenticity more than you think.

So, If you’re into handwriting thank you cards after an introduction, DO IT! If you’re the type that calls instead of emails DO IT! If you like to have a good laugh to break the ice, DO IT! If you like to tell people “God Bless You,” DO IT! Whatever the case be respectful, be professional, be genuine, be YOU, but more than that…be a LIKABLE YOU.

Why Newness Creates Momentum

Years ago I was at a conference where Andy Stanley was speaking. Most people in my neck of the woods know who Andy is, but in case you don’t, he’s the lead pastor of North Point Community Church and speaks a ton on leadership. His whole message, in this particular session, was about how NEWNESS spawns MOMENTUM. At the time, I thought it was a pretty good talk and all. I mean I enjoyed how he communicated and I left with feeling like I learned something that could be applied at our church plant. Now years later, I came across the same talk on YouTube and let me tell you… it kind of blew my mind. First off, I’m a business owner of 5 years now. So, this message, although he was speaking mainly to church leaders, had a ton of validity and was very applicable to my own business.

MOMENTUM has many synonyms. Energy, Force, Power, Strength, Thrust, Speed, Velocity just to name a few. Not only are most of these positive words, but Andy gives momentum this  definition: “Forward motion fueled by a series of wins.” I really love that.

So, how do we get started into this “series of wins?” In the area of business, it may sound simple but create something NEW. Andy goes on to say, “Momentum is never triggered by tweaking something old, it’s triggered by introducing something new. New, Improved, Improving (He states throughout his message) BUT It must be a noticeable improvement over the old.” He states, “New does not guarantee sustained momentum but it is essential to trigger it.”

Have you ever noticed why so many brands create new products and packaging with “New Formula” or “New and improved ___” on it. It’s great marketing that gets the consumer to try their new product(s). They want you to know “We’ve been working on it to make it better!” or “We’re so committed to making sure that you will keep coming back to buy our products, we are every once in a while going to add products or change it up and make it better.”

So what’s the point? The point is, if your organization is lacking momentum and you can’t figure out why, do something NEW and DRASTICALLY different. Even if it’s you going away for a while and being a little silent and then reintroducing yourself to the world as better or newer…do it! What do you have to lose?….except your momentum!

Budget Busting

Do you have a hard time getting a budget from potential clients? It just might be the most frustrating part of business no matter what industry you work in. Let me give you an example of a typical “prospect” phone call:

Caller: “Hi! We’ve got a brand new product we want to bring to the market place and we need all sorts of marketing to get this thing off the ground!”

You: “Great! What are your needs?”

Caller: “Well, first we need to get some branding done with a logo. Then we need to create the packaging for the product. We’ll definitely need to get some product photography taken for the website and collateral pieces. OH! And we’d love to shoot a video for the launch of the product! Can you help?!”

You: “ Of course we can! What kind of budget do you have?”

Silence for a few seconds.

Caller: “Well…We’re not sure at this point. We don’t want to break the bank because we’re just starting out, but we have some funding. Can you send us a quote?”

You: “Sure thing. I’ll get you one by the end of the day.”

Caller: “Great thanks! I look forward to it!”

You send quote as promised and 5 days go by and you haven’t heard back. So you email or call the Prospect. 

You: “Hey there Mr. Prospect, I just wanted to reach out because I haven’t heard from you since I sent you the quote.”

Caller: “Yeah, that was a lot more than we wanted to spend, but thanks anyways!”


Ouch. You’ve just spent probably a couple of hours of time, that you’ll never get back – talking on the phone doing “discovery”, and then budgeting… for nothing. Why? All because the prospect wouldn’t give you a number they were comfortable being in. Let me just say, IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS WAY. Time is way too precious! So let me offer a quick piece of advice that someone once gave me that they called “Budget Busting.”

Let’s have a “redo” of the previous fake call. 🙂

Caller: “Hi! We’ve got a brand new product we want to bring to the market place and we need all sorts of marketing to get this thing off the ground!”

You: “Great! What are your needs?”

Caller: “Well, first we need to get some branding with a logo. Then create the packaging for the product. We’ll definitely need to get some product photography taken for the website and collateral. OH! And we’d love to shoot a video for the launch of the product! Can you help?!”

You: “ Of course we can! What kind of budget did you have in mind? Because there’s all sorts of very cool things we can do to get you to your goals.”

Caller: “Oh really? Well, we’re really not sure, but we have some financial backing.”

You: “Ok, so are you thinking like a couple of hundred thousand dollars, because we could really go BIG with a budget like that.”

Caller: “Oh gosh no!”

You: “Haha…Just kidding! No, seriously is it around $100,000, because we’ve done some pretty outstanding product launches for this budget range.”

Caller: “No that’s way too much”

You: “Oh ok, are you more around $50-75,000 range? This is still a very good budget for a project like yours…

Caller: (interrupts) “We’re thinking around $30,000 for the whole thing.

Ding, Ding!

You: “Ok, great! Now let me tell you what amazing things we can do for you with that budget.”

Do you get it? Everyone has a budget in mind. No matter what they say. 

*Also, if there’s a particular service you sell like web design for example, tell them right off the bat “Our website’s start at $_____.00” That way you can filter out anyone that can’t afford your service(s). You don’t waste their time nor yours.

So, next time you’re trying to size up a potential client, follow this simple formula called “Budget Busting.” It may take some practice, but once you get it….you’ll get them!

Groundhogs aren’t funny

Groundhogs aren't funny

In the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a weatherman named Phil, who finds himself living the same day over and over again which happens to be.. well…Groundhog Day. At first he uses his dilemma for selfish gain, but in the end he sees how he can change people’s lives with acts of kindness which transforms him forever. Good moral. Now, this might not be my favorite Bill Murray movie, but there’s not much I don’t like that Bill Murray has done. He’s a brilliant actor in my book and has great comedic timing. So what’s my point?

Here you have a good story idea, with a funny script, but let’s say that the lead was Tom Selleck instead of Bill Murray?…Now you’ve got a completely different movie but the same script. I mean Three men and a baby was cute (I guess), but let’s let the man do what he does best, solving mysteries and driving a Ferrari in Hawaii. This is why it is so important when choosing the right talent for your video.

Good talent ain’t cheap, but it’s more about who is right for the job than who is the most expensive. Here’s just a few tips to help when booking talent for your video project:

  1. Use both talent agencies and your network when searching. Talent agencies will have some of the best professional talent out there, but remember you can also post jobs via social media networks and sometimes it will play to your advantage. Plus, it can give you a little exposure for your upcoming project. Don’t forget agencies take or add a % to booked talent.
  2. Get auditions. You might be able to see someones photo or even watch their reel, but you’ll never know if that person is right for the job unless he/she reads your script on video. Most talent agencies will do this or you can get the talent to do a “self-audition” via smartphone or camcorder. It will save you time and money for sure!
  3. Don’t go with the first person you see or hear. There is a sea of great talent and I know from my own personal experience that I thought we had the right person right off the bat, but really the perfect talent for the job was the last person we saw.
  4. Be open to interpretations. You may be the writer or director, but sometimes it’s the talent’s interpretation of a line or script that makes it really sing.
  5. Set a budget. Obviously if you don’t have a budget for talent, you’re not going to get what you want (most likely). Be realistic with your budget. Remember that the talent carries the idea so you may need to put more money towards this than another line item.

Remember these are just some some simple steps to take next time you’re hiring talent for your video project. Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Why Dollar Shave Club got it right!

When it comes to shareable or “Viral” type videos, most of us have one or two faves in mind. You know those that leave some kind of lasting impression on you…for at least a day or two. Whether good or bad, funny or sad, some kind of emotion is triggered and you want to share what you’ve seen with your social peeps. Personally, I tend to lean towards the humorous ones, and one of my all time favorites is the Dollar Shave Club spot. Unless you live under a rock and don’t own a computer, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I know…why am I’m writing about something that went viral a few years ago? Well, because when it comes to going from script to production and on a tight budget, these guys got it right!

So why did Dollar Shave Club get it right? First off, founders Michael Dubin and Mark Levine saw a need and created a solution. I don’t want to get caught up with why this is so important when developing a product, and then taking it to market – but still it’s an important fact. So let’s really dive into everything from script to final product. With savvy marketing wit, Dubin created a script that is humorous and fluid from beginning to end. With a budget of only $4500 (from our findings), Dubin had to be creative in the “how, where, and who” of the overall production budget.

1. When you are producing a video you always have to consider the creative or idea which becomes a script. This can cost thousands of dollars from an ad agency or creative production company. In this case here’s a guy that could already write comedy. Lots of money saved right of the bat!

2. Taking script to video means you need a production company or at least a good videographer to film it. Not only someone to shoot, but also someone to direct is just as important. Finding the two in one will save you some $$ for sure! If you’re not experienced behind a camera…do not attempt. There’s a reason why Dollar Shave Club’s spot looks professional. Dubin hired a friend named Lucia Aniello, who he had studied improv comedy with in New York, to direct. She did it for next to nothing Dubin says in an interview with Fortune. More money saved.

3. Making himself the talent was huge when it came to getting it right for this video. Not only was Dubin trained in improv comedy, his confident character and tone proved to be perfect for the script and in the end saved them hundreds if not a couple of thousand dollars in talent costs.

4. Location was extremely smart and strategic in this case. Some people may not think about this, but having multiple locations (especially anything outside) can make or break a budget. Why? It’s not necessarily the rental costs involved – however this is true, but just moving from one location to another and setting up takes a lot of unexpected time. Sometimes a one day shoot turns into two or three because of multiple locations. With DSC, they staged everything in a warehouse. Brilliant! You don’t have to worry about the weather and everything can be controlled in this type of environment. Plus it gave a “home” image to where your razors are coming from.

5. The last point I’m going to make is attention to details. When I watch this video, there are so many small things going on in the background that makes this hilarious! I’d say it’s things like seeing a toddler shaving a man’s head while Mike says “It’s so gentle a toddler can use it.” Or even the opening scene where Mike has all the random crappy products in packages on the wall behind him. In this controlled environment Dubin could add in humor by reinforcing it with an object(s) on the wall or background. Genius.

So am I telling you for only $4500 you can create a video that will launch your product to a whole new level and make you a millionaire? Chances are…no. Sorry. BUT if you take tips from the Dollar Shave Club you might be able produce a marketing video that ends up doing you and your business a lot more good than bad and shaves you in dollars!

If you have interest in creating your own product video, drop me an email at