Create & Own Ads for TV, Radio, Social & Web

Is it a spot, an ad or a campaign? When a marketer or business owner decides they are ready to jump start, restart or boost their business, advertising becomes a priority. Coming up with messaging, creative, and an advertising campaign that works is a challenge. Some turn to their advertising agency or digital marketing firm and some have creative in-house. Others count on the TV station or radio station to come up with a commercial. This information presented here is for the individual who wants to go directly to a video production company and create digital assets or media for an advertising campaign.  Larger companies or brands have advertising agencies handle most if not all of the activities or processes outlined in this discussion, but entrepreneurs or marketers taking the do-it-yourself approach frequently turn to a video or media production studio.  Since Jumpstart Video clients frequently encounter the same challenges it makes sense to share information that helps everyone get started. Let’s discuss creating a campaign made up of multiple, changeable TV and radio spots along with versions for digital and social media use.

Why come up with a campaign? One potential way to get more out of your advertising budget is to have all of your commercials, ads or spots have the same message, look and feel across every platform or media outlet. In a campaign, the radio ad sounds like the TV spot.  Same audio track, same voice talent, same message and the same offer.  Then the video or digital ad created for use on social media and website advertising should be created from the same visuals and audio as the TV ad. Frequency or repetition help to drive the audience to take action. Some in the target audience may hear your ad on the radio but then take action when they see and hear it again on YouTube.  If they all sound the same the business and brand get the benefit of the frequency or repetition of the message.

Why not work with a TV station or radio station to create the ad or campaign?  Advertising creatives working at TV stations or radio stations are great at coming up with scripts, messaging and announcement copy for advertisers.  This is mostly because they do it everyday. They also have the benefit of voice talent and production departments at their stations so ideas can be executed quickly and spec spots, or spots made for client consideration without cost, can be created immediately.  The problem some advertisers face in this scenario is that there may be a question of who owns the creative idea if the TV station or radio station came up with it.  Ideas have value. If an advertiser takes a great idea that the TV station came up with and builds their business on it by running that idea on other stations, should the individual that came up with the idea be compensated? Another challenge may be that the business owner or marketer may not be able to use the spot created by one TV station on another TV station or broadcaster.  When a TV station or radio station creates an ad, they may have ownership rights to the voice-over talent who read the copy or even the slogan or messaging itself. If the advertiser takes the voice-over from one station to use in a campaign across multiple stations, should that voice talent be compensated as the spokesperson for the business or brand? In some cases, each TV station or radio station will have their announce read the advertisers’ copy. In this case the benefit of having a campaign may be lost as it may be better to have the commercial sound the same across all media.  There will most likely be a significant issue if the advertiser wants to use the free commercial created by the TV station on YouTube or Facebook.

The marketer or business owner should own the campaign, the messaging, the slogan and the rights to all the on-camera and voice talent in the spots or ads. Then there is no question that the media can be aired by any broadcaster and published or displayed on any digital platform.  This is one of several reasons why some advertisers create the campaign first with a production operation like Jumpstart Video and then buy the media or ad space to run the ad.  Another benefit is that by working out the messaging and advertising campaign before reaching out to media outlets then no time is wasted producing spec spots that won’t be used.  Rather than have every radio station and TV station in a market be working on ideas, come up with the ideas and messaging first, then inquire about advertising placement rates. Some find that there is pressure to commit to an advertising contract once the station comes up with the commercial.  Having a commercial thought out, properly developed and ready to go means the advertiser can shop and compare rates from multiple stations while being in control of the process.  In some cases broadcasters and media outlets may offer better rates to those who are “spot-ready”. Finally, if the advertiser or business owner has a campaign already developed, then changing up the copy with a urgent message or special offer can be done quickly and easily and then sent to multiple stations or media outlets for a short run.  This would be more difficult if multiple stations owned or archived different spots or each station had to produce their own spot for a limited time offer, special sale or promotional event.

The business owner or marketer may find that the process of collaborating with a video production company to create the ads and then buying media and ad space from broadcasters and websites is more efficient, more effective and more pleasant.  The real challenge is finding your voice as a business and a brand. In local advertising on a limited budget creating an advertising campaign that works is a challenge. Some find that coming up with the right look and sound is also a challenge. One way business owners get started is to first think of how to tell the story of their business.  How to describe or communicate the value proposition, the benefits, the reason to come in. Then figure out the personality of the campaign.  Who delivers the message and tells the story?  Embrace this process as a soul-searching fun activity.  Write copy and create ad messages or offers and read them outloud.  Record them and play them back.  Experiment with how many words fills sixty seconds, thirty seconds and even fifteen seconds.  These are typical commercial lengths.  Put together a focus group of friends and family, or better yet a group that would be more objective like a networking group or fellow business owners.  Take feedback and rework as needed.  Write down a list of all of the images and video that could be created to match the messaging.  One great idea is to have a production company create an ad with the script and stock images, just to see how the commercial looks or hear how it sounds.  This is where collaborating with a studio can be a great way to find your voice.

How do you measure success? Like anything a return on investment is critical.  It is imperative to have someone who likes to analyze reports and crunch numbers take a look at ad schedules and compare them to sales numbers. Rarely is the creative and the analyst the same person but business owners are known to wear many hats. One important thing to remember about your ad campaign is that it needs time to show results.  An ad can run once over a weekend and generate nothing, but a campaign moves over time and can have a tremendous impact.  Don’t pull the plug because one part of the campaign didn’t seem to work.  Come up with the campaign, run it and support it by staying the course.   Tweak as needed with different offers and promotions, but give it time.  Remember, frequency, repetition and familiarity are key.  Branding and business building takes years.

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