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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Spot On Media and the Host Commercial

Over the years, we have found a production formula that works very well for our clients who want an effective Direct Response commercial without spending too much on their first outing into TV advertising: The Host Package.

We started making Host Package Commercials in 2009 when a previously unkown company called Beezid approached us to make their first commercial. Back then, the concept of Penny Auction websites was still very new and hard to explain through conventional means, which is why we opted for an ad that would be graphic heavy. But there was still something missing. How could we build a sense of trust for an online company that claimed to give away HDTVs for $5 or a brand new car for $2000? While the system works,
the company would be a hard-sell. This is why we realized we needed a human presence – a charismatic and trust-worthy hostess who would present the concept of penny auctions as an opportunity that actually works!

Take a look at the original Beezid commercial produced by Spot On Media:

Beezid.com (60) from Commercial Production on Vimeo.

Creating a strong Host Commercial starts with a strong script which will act as a blueprint for the entire production. Then comes one of if not the most important phase which is casting. During this process, we interview and audition a slew of actors and choose the one who would be the best representative for the brand. You can see by watching our work that one of our best qualities is a keen eye for hiring the best talent for your ad.

Once we have our host, we film in our state of the art Green Screen studio in Burbank, CA. This process generally takes only one day, even when the client wants to shoot two different versions of the commercial. For instance, some companies will require a Spanish version of the same commercial. To avoid costs for an additional shoot day, we schedule both actors on the same day.

Here, you can watch two versions of a Host TV Ad we created for 1800-Car Title.

1-800-Car-Title Commercial from Commercial Production on Vimeo.

Dinero Pronto from Commercial Production on Vimeo.

Once we have the footage, we then move to editing and graphics. This is a really fun part of the process because we can get really creative with the titles and graphics – use stock videos and stills. As long as we have our footage of the actor, we can get as creative as we want without having to reshoot anything. That’s the beauty of Green Screen.

For more samples of Host Commercials, click WORK > INFOMERCIALS.

PERKS: Free cut-downs to :30 and :15, Free Web and Online versions
TURNAROUND: 2-4 Weeks *Contingent on Client approvals

5 ways to make an Effective TV Commercial

TV Advertising is still king, regardless of what some people say. If they had a disappointing experience with Television, the reason may have been a faulty product or service or  simply a weak commercial! A strong TV Ad has to entice, excite and compel a viewer to take action. All the pieces of the puzzle need to fit perfectly for this to happen.

If the copy is strong, but the quality of the video is poor, the video will not perform. If the picture quality is top notch, but the copy is weak – The campaign won’t have a leg to stand on. This is why we’ve prepared a list of ways to ensure you put your best foot forward with your TV Production. Before you pull the trigger on any Media Buys, be prepared to make your best first impression.

#1 – COPY
The script is the blue print of your TV Commercial. Everyone in the cast and crew will refer back to this “working map” to guide their efforts. Commercial copywriting is a specialty that comes through years of experience in the Ad world. I cannot stress enough the importance of hiring an expert for this task. Your copy is developed through market research, analysis and discovery of your brand. Once all this data is gathered, strong copy
full of compelling imagery and slogans to tell the entire story of your brand in 30 seconds.


Dennis Haysbert (All-State Insurance)

#2 – TALENT
These will be the actors in your TV ad and the faces branding your company. To the audience, you, your employees and your services will all take on the face of the actor you choose. The power of a strong celebrity or talent is an undeniable contributor to an effective commercial. Dennis Haysbert, the face of all-state, has become such an integral part of the company’s brand that we can’t help but think of him when we call to speak to customer service.
Pick the right talent. Not only do your actors have to have charisma, but they have to be
comfortable in front of the camera. An actor who is nervous during the audition, will appear nervous on camera. This will give the viewer an uncomfortable feeling that they will automatically associate with your brand.
BOTTOMLINE: Pick actors who are interesting to look at and are comfortable in front of the camera. Make sure you get performance releases from everyone!

#3 – LOCATION
The expression “Location! Location! Location!” may be as old as Motion Pictures, and that’s because it’s true! hire an art director to enrich the environment and that will increase your production value tenfold. Your location may not require a ton of fluff, but it’s important to take your time and pick a spot that is clean, colorful and can be manipulated to get a lot of footage. On one commercial shoot, we filmed at one house and managed to make it look like 5 entirely different locations!

#4 – VIDEO/AUDIO QUALITY
With the advent of the latest HD cameras, there is no excuse not to deliver the highest quality for your Ad. Your spot echoes your company’s attention to detail and overal quality of service. If your picture quality is grainy, camera movements shaky and editing choppy, this may be an indication that your company is sloppy. You will treat their project as you treat your own commercial. Some examples: Use dolly movements, special lighting, high-end music, Voice-Over and Sound effects.

#5 – STRONG CALL TO ACTION
By the end of your Ad, make sure that your viewer has a clear idea of what you are asking them to feel or do. Ambiguous endings may work for Martin Scorsese, but not for National TV Commercials. If you want your audience to feel sympathy, everything you do from start to finish has to revolve around that axis. If you want your viewer to go to a website, don’t be shy to make it clear and give compelling reasons to do so!

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