TV Production Breakthrough: The Canon 5D

January 25, 2012

Just a few years ago, only the big guys could afford to shoot their commercials on 35mm film, while smaller companies had to settle for the harsh, cheap look of video tape.

Not anymore!

The Canon 5D Mark II Digital Camera evens the playing field by delivering stunning, film-like images for 85% less. This Hi-Definition camera does it all from producing shallow depth of field to delivering rich, realistic scenes under low lighting conditions.  The camera is so amazing, so film-like, that the Director of Photography for the award winning TV show “House” shot the entire 7th season on it!

And with the Canon 5D, you can do a lot more with less. Gone are the days of 15 person crews… lugging lights and equipment from scene-to -scene.  A shot that took almost two hours to light for a film shoot, can now be lit to the same exact standards with a two-person crew in less than 45 minutes!

There’s little doubt that the Canon 5D has brought affordable, high-end TV production to the local advertiser.

Here’s hoping it won’t be wasted on the same low-end concepts?

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Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

That’s what Steve Jobs did. Even though he revolutionized the digital era, he did not think much of the internet as a branding medium. While everyone was jumping on the digital bandwagon, Jobs effectively remained “old school.”

In 2010, Apple spent an estimated $420 million on advertising. Over 90% of that budget was allocated to network television, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Less than 10% went toward digital initiatives.

And when Apple did spend online, it was usually an extension of a TV campaign like the iconic Mac vs. PC ads.

Jobs also believed in controlling the message which files in the face of the current wisdom that consumers should tell the brand story via Facebook and Twitter. Upon his death, Apple barely had a presence on either platform.

Throughout his brilliant career, Jobs created products for the masses. And he wisely chose mediums that targeted the masses. In advertising, as in product development, he relied heavily on his convictions and intuition. He did not rely on “likes” or “tweets.” He took a much more pragmatic approach: tell the story of how an amazing product can change a consumer’s life in the best environment possible. And then he was smart enough to understand that the best environment – then and now – is still traditional media.


Live Action versus Animated

December 29, 2010

Which Works Best?

In an analysis of television ads across all product categories, Nielsen found that in general, live action ads were more effective than animated ads.

For all major categories, live action ads scored 22% higher than animated-only ads in Brand Recall — which is the percentage of TV viewers who can recall the commercial and its adverted brand 24 hour after viewing it.

Live action creatives were more effective than animated ads across all major demographics as well. While live action ads resonated equally among both genders, Brand Recall was 27% stronger for females and 17% stronger among males than for animated ads.

Adults 35 to 49 saw a 24% increase in brand recall for ads that used live action vs. animated. The gap did shrink among viewers aged 13-35, who only showed an 11% change between live action and animated creatives.

When looking at consumer packaged goods specifically, ads in the personal care category appeared to struggle the most when using animation. For certain personal care products, brand recall was twice as high among spots using live action vs. an animated theme.

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It’s the Creative Stupid!

April 29, 2010

That’s exactly what I want to tell advertisers who continually complain about how television has lost its effectiveness.

You won’t see Progressive Insurance complaining. The company recently blew away analysts’ expectations with a 27% jump in quarterly profit. They also noted the fifth straight quarter in which their auto policy counts have been up. 

It appears the television commercials featuring “Flo” are winning over more than a few new customers for Progressive. The quirky cashier’s appeal is grabbing market share faster than she can fire off another zinger. 

Now back to the problem with TV advertising?

It’s pretty basic. It always has been. Engage viewers with something compelling, add in a relevant, unique selling message and stay consistent with it. And most of all, keep an open mind.

How many Insurance company executives would have thrown their agency out the front door if they presented them with commercials featuring a talking gecko … or a bunch of cavemen stuck in the ‘80s … or a sarcastic cashier sporting a tricked-out name tag with “Flo” emblazoned on it?

What would your reaction be?  

Remember, pedestrian creative produces pedestrian results. 

TV will continue to deliver excellent ROI, but only for those retailers willing to step out of their comfort zones.

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