I'm a lucky guy!
I have a job that allows me to work with interesting, talented people, own & operate high definition cameras (Panasonic AG-HVX 200 & Nikon) and edit & distribute using the best computers & software in the world. I have a job that allows me to create things that never before existed; video & stills that inform, make people feel and, ultimately, persuade them to buy my clients' products & services. I get paid to do it and there's plenty of work. I love my job.
I'm lucky in another respect. I know the single, determining event that brought me to this point. When Rennie Davis, one of the infamous Chicago Seven, orchestrated a protest march at my suburban Washington, D.C. high school, I cut class (For the very first time. No, really!) to shoot pictures for the high school paper. Captured in the hallway by Dr. Marshall, Springbrook High School's deeply agitated principal that day, I persuaded him that it was in the best interests of the students and the school that I be allowed to cover the event. The success of that argument brought an epiphany. Photographers get to do all kinds of things other people don't get to do. The pictures were published and I joined the newspaper staff. I was on the fast track to cool.
With an honors degree in journalism from Ohio University, I've worked as a newspaper photographer, television news reporter, ad agency copywriter, commercial photographer and television commercial producer. The news business taught me to deal with all kinds of people, fairly and honestly and I kept those values when I moved to advertising, telling my clients' stories without deception. Well-written ad copy is, above all, truthful. I've earned press awards and advertising awards. I've been able to stay current with technology because I'm a lifelong learner, and one of the things I've learned is technology alone does not create persuasive communication.
Emotion, realism, honesty and a good story work together to deliver the message and create a positive outcome for clients and their customers. I don't mean to sound pretentious. There's still plenty of reasons for simple, informational advertising. The point is, the idea, the writing & the execution has to be different, unusual in some way so the message is seen and better yet, remembered & talked about. There's a lot of competition for consumer attention. Penetration of digital video recorders, for example, has reached 25% in some markets. That means people are buying equipment so they don't have to watch your ads. What are we going to do about that?
Target. Target. Target.
Not too many years ago, the general interest magazine ad showed the happy housewife, so proud of her new washer. For x dollars the publisher would place it next to an article on, say, a famous actor's new home. Hopefully, the photography and the writing was interesting so that people would seek out the article and be drawn to your ad. But the fact is, you were paying big bucks to advertise to people who had no interest in your product. For a great deal more money, your ad could be on the back cover where many, many more people who had no interest in washing machines would see it.
Broadcast television is essentially the same shotgun approach. It's expensive, and while there may be a lot of people watching a very popular show, well, you get the idea. Bresnan Communications cable advertising and speciality magazines greatly improve your chances of success. If you place your 30 second washer commercial on a popular Home & Garden Network show, or your full page washer ad in a home improvement magazine, you are much more likely to reach people interested in purchasing your product. You are reaching fewer people but the people you reach are much more likely to buy and the cost per potential customer is much, much less. As Joyce Davison of Bresnan Communications says, "Maybe it's time you stop counting the people you reach and start reaching the people who count."
Sell the sizzle, then the steak
There is an old saying in the ad biz: Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Those 30 second spots are all sizzle. They are intended to grab attention, announce something or just remind people that your doors are still open. You advertised on targeted networks and now you've reached those serious customers. They're predisposed to buy. What are you going to do with them?
My Dad was a smart guy. And patient. For a whole lot of reasons, the world would be a better place if there were more people like my Dad. But there is one personality trait I believe he shared with many: his reluctance to buy anything costing more than a few dollars until he read the product review in Consumer Reports. That gave him choices and a scorecard to really begin his research. He wanted information and he was willing to wait for the brochure.
That was then. Serious customers seeing the sizzle today are not going to wait for your brochure. They want it now. They want to buy online. They want to see the FEDEX truck pulling into the driveway. Today, how do you persuade those customers to buy from you? The sizzle brought them to the table. Now they want the steak.
Video on Demand
Digital Video on Demand offered by Bresnan Communications is changing the way products are sold and deals are made. Think of it as an extended commercial, an information video that resides on the cable company's servers and on your website. The length is determined by the content. It could be two minutes or thirty. Let's say you own a travel agency and you have a 30 second spot advertising your special-rate cruise of the Caribbean. It's early evening and a family watching the Travel Channel sees the commercial and is interested. The commercial points them to the Video on Demand.
A couple of remote control buttons later and they're experiencing the sights and sounds, the fun and excitement of a trip that will expand their horizons and bring them closer together as a family. Dates, destinations, prices, celebrity entertainment, are woven together into a persuasive audiovisual information packet. Not a lot of hype and flash, but clean and informative and interesting. They see it while they're all together, and interested. Right then, they visit your website and book the trip.
Bresnan's Video on Demand can offer your business an immediate and persuasive advertising venue, always available when your customers are ready to buy. I can help you create the message. My strength is my ability to communicate, cooperate and collaborate with people from all social classes and occupations. I can work with your marketing department or sales manager to create a plan, write a script and build a final product that will help you reach your marketing goals. I can also work with your agency to build their vision. I get along with everyone. Call me. I'm ready to work for you!