Friday, October 26, 2007

Fantastic "The Office" Promotions Parody

I had to share this... very funny. If you've ever written a topical - this is for you!

Funny spot

Today's post has nothing to do with news promotion. Although if you think about it - maybe it does. This is a Geico commercial - selling freakin' car insurance - and the spot really draws you in. Geico does great spots. This is one of the new ones and a fav of mine. I'm not saying news promoiton should go to this extreme - but should we all take a page from this kind of "unexpected" marketing?

I'm not a fan of humor in news promotion as it could hurt your credibility - but is there a way we could get more interesting with our spots? That's the thought of the day. Enjoy the spot and comment below about what you think about the state of news promotion today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Turning an email into an award-winning spot

In February, tornadoes tore through Central Florida late at night. Our new chief meteorologist Tony Mainolfi was on and kept viewers informed throughout the night.

Almost immediately, we began receiving "great job" emails. That same day, our senior producer and myself jumped into the car and went and interviewed one of those people. Turned a spot right away. To me, that's how aggressive you have to be in this promotion world of ours. Jump on each and every opportunity.

The spot below came from yet another email. I called and interviewed this woman and since she didn't seem like a nut - we scheduled time to come out and interview her. She was fantastic. Her entire family was fantastic. It was great to meet them and she is someone who I still correspond with.

We went through dozens of emails and chose her. Somehow it just worked out. She spoke with such passion and was great on camera. Taking the passion a viewer has for your product and turning into a promo can be very powerful. Check out what we did:

This spot won Best of Show in the Hearst Argyle Promo Cup Awards. Earlier in my blog you will find the other in-home testimonial we did. It takes a little extra effort - but I think it pays off in the end.

I also want to point out this was a true team effort. Matt Helf and Kip Christine did a fantastic job of shooting and editing. My hat is off to these guys.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



A week's worth of secrets and fun revelations - that can help you in your work.

MONDAY: My favorite places to find promos on the web. Want some inspiration? Check out this collection of websites for some great promos. If you like seeing great work - this is the place!

TUESDAY: How to shoot film quality time lapse, for less than $1000. This is impressive, folks. The new way to jazz up your promos for very little money.

WEDNESDAY: Looking for a new job? I'll show you the best places to search online.

Just in time for sweeps. The best sweeps stories I've ever seen. Simple ones, you can do in your market.

The biggest mistake most stations, no matter how smart, are probably making right now. This one is controversial(at least where I've worked) but I believe I'm right on this one!

I look forward to sharing this stuff with you. I hope you'll check out my blog and send comments, emails and ideas of your own. I'd love to share great ideas from other promo professionals out there.

Favorite Technique

I've worked in 2 markets where serial killers were big stories. In Houston, it was Coral Eugene Watts. In Orlando, Danny Rolling.

That's a good thing... because I was able to reuse my idea in Houston here in Orlando! Its perfect for serial killer stories or any investigation-type promo.

I HATE just using news footage and calling it a day. I always like to find a way to make the piece more organic. More visually stimulating.

So what I do is print out pictures of the serial killer, the crime scene, the victims, etc. -- type up a few words and cut them out (ex. CORAL EUGENE WATTS) and tack them to a cork board. Then, we do wild rack focus shots, close ups of the pics and words. It makes for a nice, jumpy, CSI-type spot. Check out the one we did for one crazy mo-fo... Danny Rolling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Take 12! The Ellen DeGeneres promo

Since Ellen DeGeneres has been in the news so much - I thought I'd post a spot we did earlier this year.

Ellen brings her show to Orlando every year. Her people are always great(especially James Pettit - the director of marketing and station relations)... This year she cut a promo with our main anchor Martha Sugalski.

Ellen, unfortunately, couldn't quite get the lines right. (Maybe she was thinking about adopting a dog about this time...) So instead of ditching the footage - we added a few slates and made it into a fun spot. Check it out:

Monday, October 22, 2007

3-2-1 Blast Off!

One of the most exciting things about living in Central Florida is watching the space shuttle launch. Tomorrow - if all goes as planned - Discovery will take flight.

We can see the shuttle take off from our building - but on a few occassions, I've been able to go out to NASA and see the launch from the media setup. Its as close as you can get as a civilian. And its pretty cool!

The shuttle launch always captures everyone's attention. I put together this spot to run every time the shuttle goes up. Its a nice message that's evergreen. Let me know what you think!