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Advertising agencies???

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joel jackson
Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:10:45 am

Hey everyone,

Best forum ever for business advice! I recently lost a cash cow to the cheaper version of myself and have some questions on generating leads.

We have a great reel with many fortune 500 clients. But they can be hit or miss depending upon what they need. My company is in Denver and 90% of my clients are out of state (Redken NYC, L'Or


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Bruce Bennett
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 2:22:33 pm

Joel,

From my experience, with companies that have the


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:19:08 pm

Hi Joel...

I'm in a similar situation, or at least we are in the situation that you sound like you are trying to get yourself into....

We do mostly local/regional broadcast commercials... and while some of them are created directly for the advertisers, the vast VAST majority of them are done for agencies.

I would say pick your targets carefully... I'd say the medium-to-smallish agencies are the ones to hit. We work for about 10 agencies, I guess... most of them have about 5 to 15 employees, handling mostly local and some regional accounts (no BBDO by any stretch). We're talking clients like area hospitals, banks, attorneys, plastic surgery groups... and yes, car dealers (fortunately one of our agency clients produces fairly nice higher-end car spots... not "screamers and dealers").

In a smaller agency that size it might not be that tough to just pick up the phone and make an appointment to see the exact person you need.... which will probably be the agency's Creative Director. At a giant agency you would have a hard time getting to that guy or gal... but in a smaller one it's likely possible. Try making an appointment and show your reel... or ask if you can take them to lunch or out for a drink after work. Most ad guys won't turn down a free meal :)


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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joel jackson
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:32:25 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm trying to see where to lead this ship right now. A lot of my clients are out of state and this requires many hours on planes away from my family and the local scene. This is why the ad agency idea came up.

I like the idea of hitting up the smaller ones first. I'm gonna give it a try. Would you suggest sending them to the web to see samples of work or would it be better to try and get a meeting and bring stuff to them?

Having demo material on the web is sometimes a hindrance when all you want to do is get a meeting to sell your company in person. They may get online and say to each other, "wow great work, call our guy and see if he can do that."

If you never get to meet them you'll never get the work right?

By the way, I see you're in Huntsville, my daughter lives there.

Thanks,

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:39:38 pm

[joel jackson] "Would you suggest sending them to the web to see samples of work"

Not if you want them to call you. :) Well, they might (there's a reason we all have websites), but if you can get a face-to-face with a person they are much more likely to see your work, give it the "Let's throw the reel in and see what you've been doing" treatment. Just my opinion.

[joel jackson] "By the way, I see you're in Huntsville, my daughter lives there."

Yup, Rocket City, USA. She wouldn't be an actress, by any chance?... we are always casting.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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joel jackson
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:46:20 pm

yeah she'd be great if you need a 13 year old girl with braces!

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 6:47:53 pm

[joel jackson] "yeah she'd be great if you need a 13 year old girl with braces!"

Oh we've got those coming out of our ears... dang stage mothers!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Tom Dunn
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 7:18:13 pm

Joel, I know that in many cities, there are ad clubs that many agency personnel belong to, or at least frequent their meetings occasionally. This would be a great place to get to know them in an environment that may not feel like you are trying to sell to them. Remember, people like doing work with people they know, so if you can develop relationships first, that would be a great start.

Here is something that worked for me, completely accidentally. A couple of years ago I moved to another county and demographic market. There is an AE that I knew at an agency in my old town, but whom I had never done any work for. She landed a client in my new town but had no production contacts and didn't want to use her regular production company because she felt the distance would not be beneficial to the working relationship. Needless to say, I became her production company in my area. So you may also want to pitch your services to any agencies in surrounding demographic areas. IE: if you ever come to Denver, I am your man, etc. I would imagine this is more of a long term attempt, but you never know where your next job will come from.

Tom



It's ALL ball bearings these days.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 3:00:54 am

[joel jackson] "she'd be great if you need a 13 year old girl with braces!"

I'm looking for one of those right now and the braces are a must. However, you may want to work on your promotional materials, like "She's 13, beautiful, and... she has braces!"





Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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joel jackson
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 3:07:40 am

Attitude has a lot to do with beauty and right now 13 doesn't alway look so pretty to me!

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


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Steve Wargo
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 11:08:41 pm

[joel jackson] "right now 13 doesn't alway look so pretty to me!"

Of course it doesn't, Dad. Just wait till 16.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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joel jackson
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 11:30:55 pm

Steve,

I notice by your signature that you're fairly well invested in HD. I do a ton of HD GFX that I deliver via FTP, hard drive, or DVD. However, I never get the edits because I don't have an HD cam deck (to master HD for broadcast) I want the edits as well as the GFX but I don't have 50-70k to put down on a deck.

What's the solution here? Anyone?

peace,

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


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Steve Wargo
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 18, 2008 at 6:25:43 am

Because we do have a deck, we get a number of people who have us digitize their footage and lay it to a portable storage of some type. Then, they take it wherever and possibly transfer it to a faster, heavier duty unit. Some bring X-Serve raids, others have SATA or even a Maxtor for the really small stuff.

I'm not so sure that I would buy a deck at this time. A lot of deliverables are Sony HDCAM. Panasonic is selling a LOT of cameras, both in tape and P-2. We just bought two Sony EX-1 HD cameras. I am writing this as I'm transferring a days footage to hard drive.

Quite frankly, the solid state recording thing just scares the hell out of me.

The only reason that we own an HDCAM deck is because we shoot and edit our own HDCAM projects. If I were a post house, I would partner with a someone and split the debt someway. I also offer a "lay back" price of $150 if someone just needs to lay a project to tape as well as some other enticing offers.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:06:37 pm

[joel jackson] "I like the idea of hitting up the smaller ones first. I'm gonna give it a try."

I think you're going to be disappointed. Here's why...

Be aware that smaller agencies are usually pitching print.

1. Client has a ad budget of $xxxxx.
2. Agency wants all of it.
3. The agency can mark-up your work - but they would rather mark-up their own and keep their people working.
4. They will not recommend video until their arm is twisted by the client. Really friggin' twisted! Because there goes the budget! And they know it.

The problem is, most video guys are horrible ad-men, but wonderful picture takers. The solution may be to find the right, talented agency and join them as a partner. Improve their quiver sort of thing...






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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:52:16 pm

[Randall Raymond] "Be aware that smaller agencies are usually pitching print."

Hmmm, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Just depends on the agency. About half of the small agencies we deal with are print-heavy. Most of the rest split print/TV/radio. Two of the agencies deal almost exclusively with television and almost nothing else.

Even the print-heavy agencies, at least around here, know the value of television. They can produce tons of print ads, collateral, outdoor... but often their clients don't feel "legitimate" until they see themselves on the boob tube. Maybe we are an anomaly, but arm-twisting has never had to come into play.

For those print-heavy agencies, if you are crafty enough you can actually use their "television ignorance" to your advantage. Those particular clients of mine know absolutely bupkus about television production.... and I like it that way, actually. They will pitch a project to me, and I will give them a projected budget based soley on what I think it will take to do the job. If I think a spot needs better (i.e., higher priced) talent, then I budget it. If I think a spot needs 35mm to be effective, that's the price I give them. Some of them are great ad guys, but being very UN-television-production savvy they generally don't question my decisions or budgets. Do good work for them, give them a great product with a great value... and they will come to trust your rates and your judgment.

As for mark-ups, that varies wildly too. Some mark our work up 10%. Some mark it up 100%. Some just pass it on, as is. One of our agencies actually sometimes just eats the production costs, because their spots are generally low dollar (<$5K) and the production cost is dwarfed by the amount they make on the media buy. It just depends on whom you are dealing with.

I'd say go for it. Sure, you risk disappointment, but that's true in everything. As long as you are not letting any other paying work slide, it won't really cost you any more than the effort to pursue it.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 1:15:32 am

[Todd at Fantastic Plastic] "Even the print-heavy agencies, at least around here, know the value of television. They can produce tons of print ads, collateral, outdoor... but often their clients don't feel "legitimate" until they see themselves on the boob tube. Maybe we are an anomaly, but arm-twisting has never had to come into play."

I guess my point was that if the idea for client video doesn't start with the agency - then look out.

We had one project that took up a good half of a 300k ad budget. In the first meeting with the ad agency - they had daggers coming out of their eyes.

Just letting Joel know of the hornet's nest he could be bumping into...

His real problem is that he will be seen as a competing agent and, trust me, other agencies will not want him in the inner circle. That's why I suggested he partner up with a local agency, probably only for local clients. Seems to me, he's in a great position to write his own deal.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 17, 2008 at 3:21:49 am

Agencies either love us or hate us. It's all about personal relationships. The post above about developing a relationship instead of asking for work will take you farther than anything else you can do. I would start with the local cable company and ask for a meeting with the reps. Offer a step above what the in-house guys (if there are any) provide at a price that they can profit on. I did 250 spots in one year based on the above. I was young, hungry and did them for $500 apiece. That was a boatload of money in the 80s. I could shoot 4 in a day and post up to four in a single day. Even though I was capable of a higher level, I didn't have the salesmanship capabilities to compete with the upper crust. 20 years later, some of those same AEs are still calling.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 19, 2008 at 4:55:31 am

[Steve Wargo] "I was young, hungry and did them for $500 apiece. That was a boatload of money in the 80s."

Well, it ain't now. And it ain't much above that. Cable is a losing proposition in my opinion. There is much more opportunity on the internet.



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Tom Dunn
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 19, 2008 at 5:03:53 am

[Cable is a losing proposition in my opinion. There is much more opportunity on the internet]

Randall, interesting statement. Can you elaborate on your comment? I have seen situations that have gone both ways. Thanks.


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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 19, 2008 at 5:23:32 am

[Tom Dunn] "Randall, interesting statement. Can you elaborate on your comment?"

Sure. Right now, Google is looking for video producers for their Adwords content network. Video ads. Millions of clients. Thousands in every market. This ain't the 80's. If you're chasing cable spots, you need your head examined.


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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 21, 2008 at 8:30:21 pm

[Randall Raymond] "If you're chasing cable spots, you need your head examined."

By the way, I meant 'you' in the rhetorical sense.



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joel jackson
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 21, 2008 at 10:09:52 pm

"Right now, Google is looking for video producers for their Adwords content network. Video ads"

How do I become a content provider for them? I was on the Adwords website and can't figure it out?

Peace,

Joel Jackson
http://www.creativebloc.com/port.html


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Randall Raymond
Re: Advertising agencies???
on Jan 22, 2008 at 3:37:52 pm

[joel jackson] "How do I become a content provider for them?"

Call or write the nearest Google regional office and let them know you are available for Adwords video ad production.



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