Brands need to start embracing branded video before they get left behind. We are here to help.
September 29, 2019 / Lucy Davey
Brands need to start embracing branded video before they get left behind. We are here to help.
1. Don't be Salesy
2. Be Consistent
3. Invest In Distribution
4. Cross-Promote Content On All Platforms
5. Produce Online Videos With Captions
6. Create Compelling Content
7. Shorter Is Better
8. OTT Advertising Is Key
9. Always Think Mobile-First
10. Develop A Relationship With Your Creatives
Tania Sarra & The Secret Sauce
Tania Sarra has been making waves as a top executive in the film industry for over a decade. Her vast media background began in PR and eventually grew to senior roles across the film industry working in international rights sales and acquisitions for feature films. She is now the Founder of Hot Sauce - consulting firm specializing in Producing, Executive Production and Creative Direction for major film and television projects. Creative Humans sat down with Tania to learn more about her perspective on today's ever changing film industry and the secret sauce to success.
As far as distribution and film business experts are concerned, Tania's name most definitely resides on the top of that list. As a former Director at MGM Studios, Tania spearheaded and oversaw all the buying and distribution for MGM’s acquisitions across Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has also held leading roles on sales teams for UK based Indies, running the operations of global sales divisions and overseeing the development of original projects for production. Recognizing the complexities of the film industry and lack of shared knowledge, Tania saw an opportunity to help educate people on where to start with a project, what to say, and where to go with it. Her main goal: to use her years of experience to give everyone access to the inner workings of the film business and equip them with the knowledge and power to feel confident to express their ideas. By creating HotSauce, Tania is making access to information easier, allowing more voices to be heard and stronger ideas to rise.
Becoming The Master Of HotSauce
Tania is leveraging Hot Sauce to help guide film projects in the right direction - sharing her secret sauce to bringing great ideas to fruition on the big screen. Hot Sauce offers consulting services on all aspects from marketing and distribution, structuring finance and handling negotiations. By helping to mange all of these moving parts and creating a strategy, Tania helps to ensure creative goals are aligned with the pragmatics of the industry.
Tania's Hot Sauce Masterclass teaches the film industry from the film executive’s perspective, from the perspective of the business behind the film business, and how to use this knowledge to leverage creative ideas to build out a successful career in film. Tania describes the workshop as a place where "creative pragmatics can nerd out on box office figures, industry stats and good looking spreadsheets just as much as a strong story hook in a badass script.”
Tania's master class also teaches the different distribution options, (streamers, studios, and independents) what those look like in our current reality, how distributors exploit a film, and what rights they are looking for. Tania gives valuable insight on the elements that need to be attached to a project to enhance opportunities within all different stages of development. She helps to navigate what used to be a straight forward legacy model of revenue streams - theatrical, home entertainment, and paid TV windows that eventually went to a VOD platform - all of which were flipped on their heads due to Covid-19.
During the pandemic, the theatrical window of revenue was forced to take a back seat, putting priority on sending a lot of films straight to streaming. Companies started creating their own platforms, being proprietary about their own content, and keeping it all within one space.
Navigating The Post Pandemic Theatrical Window
Tania explained that companies like FOX recently reopened a sales arm in order to exploit different rights outside of the streaming platform. "The theatrical window is still very important to the industry," Tania says, "It brings exposure to the title, because once a filmmaker sells their content to a streamer - not only is there a high chance that content will get lost in a sea of content, but that is also the end of the road for the revenue stream as opposed to seeing returns over a films lifetime." Overall, the bar is a lot higher, especially for independent films, because people have gown accustomed to watching films from the comfort of their own home. From Tania's perspective, it seems like the dust hasn't settled yet on how to capture an audience, and entice them to want to see a film now rather than wait and see it on their monthly subscription.
There's a good chance these things will remain uncertain in the film industry for a while, so there is no better time to learn the recipe for that "secret sauce". Check out everything Tania and Hot Sauce have to offer, from online workshops to consulting services, so you can nail that next pitch, land that finance deal, secure the best distribution and never compromise your ideas or creative merit.
An Exclusive Conversation With Bob Pittman
There are few people in the entertainment industry, or even the world, that can compete with the impact that Bob Pittman has made on media throughout his groundbreaking career. Widely known for his role as co-founder and former CEO of MTV Networks, Bob has led some of the most iconic transformations in television, music, internet and audio.
Today, Bob serves as Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in America, which garners over a quarter billion monthly listeners and has a greater reach than any other media company in the US. After decades of history-making career moments as a marketing and programming visionary, Bob is peeling back the curtain to share some of the greatest stories from the frontiers of marketing on his podcast “Math & Magic”.
Math & Magic: Stories From The Frontiers Of Marketing
Creative Humans sat down with Bob to talk about his inspiration for the podcast. “I have talked about ‘Math & Magic’ throughout my entire career”, Bob explained, “When we go after something as a marketer or a programmer, we always have the math - we have to figure out who people are, what are their interests, what do they look like. But once we get them, how do we convince them to do something? That’s the magic.”
Now in Season 3, “Math & Magic” takes us behind the scenes of Bob’s conversations with his close friends and colleagues, who happen to be some of the most successful and influential leaders in their industries. On this season, Bob chats with Susie Dearing, CMO of Ford Motor Company, who discusses the industry’s movement toward electrification of automobiles and how it parallels her past experience with Verizon as they moved from a wired line company to a mobile company. Bob also takes a deep dive into the psychology behind marketing with Stanford Professor and Neuroscientist David Engleman, the author of what Bob refers to as “the best marketing book you will ever read”, “Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain”. Other fascinating conversations include the likes of Steve Cooper, long time CEO of Warner Music, and Jeff Bewkes - the last CEO of Time Warner, among many others.
The Ultimate Secret To Marketing Success
When asked what common thread runs throughout these conversations, without hesitation, Bob answered, “Don’t listen to the conventional wisdom, that is a sure path to do nothing.” From episode to episode, “Math & Magic” proves that in order to be a successful marketing leader, you have to be brave enough to do things differently than they are "supposed” to be done.
How Did Bob Make Radio Cool Again?
Bob himself is a shining example of paving a rebellious path to success. Although radio has remained strong, many in media have had the wrong perception of the health and power of radio. Some would say Bob made radio cool again, but he has a different view; “The truth is that radio never went through a dip in America, iHeartRadio reaches 90% of Americans. Radio has always been there. The problem is that we all bring our personal bias and historical bias to evaluating something like radio,” Bob explained, “Too many people kill themselves in marketing when they say things like ‘I feel this or that’...We have to trust the facts, not what we feel. Did I make radio cool again? No. But I began to explain to people what was going on in radio. We are in the business of keeping people company, not playing music. 25% of our stations play no music at all. But what is common about all of our stations is people are hanging out with us.”
Bob Predicts The Future Of Cable Television
We couldn’t leave a conversation with one of the most brilliant media minds of our time without challenging him to predict the future of cable television, especially after the recent onslaught of layoffs and downsizing happening at TV networks. “What we did with cable was a poor man’s On-Demand—24-hour news channel, 24-hour kids channel, 24-hour music channel…” Bob explains, “Then On-Demand came and in many ways has gutted the power of the linear channels.” Bob went on to explain that consumers have deconstructed the experience for their purpose—to get exactly what they want, when they want it. Today, the cable television industry resembles the days when a consumer had to purchase a full album just to hear their favorite song. Those days are long gone, and Bob predicts that linear channels will only remain as a promotional tool as the real value to today’s consumer lies with On-Demand content.
You can check out “Math & Magic” Seasons 1, 2, and 3 anywhere you get your podcasts, but we think it's safe to say that Bob’s top recommendation is the iHeartRadio app.
Meet The Namer
Have you ever wondered “How did this get its name?”
Nike. Peacock. Apple. Google. Kleenex.
We have all unknowingly developed an association and experience of these brand names that have become synonymous with the sounds of that brand. We literally, "Google it”.
So who are the masterminds behind the words that we don't even think twice about because they just…make sense. The words that become the product. These are the words that grab our attention. They convince us of a product's value and purpose. They earn our trust and ultimately, our money. It’s done so efficiently and effectively that the complexities behind the process of naming things existing everywhere in the world around us are rarely questioned.
Creative Humans sat down with professional namer Christian Turner, founder of The Naming and Verbal Branding Agency to discuss his creative process and inspiration behind all things "naming".
"Naming a product or company bleeds directly into language strategy and brand architecture,” Christian explained. “A Namers job is to create words that can be widely interpreted and understood, while simultaneously using compact language that can be easily consumed to make the biggest impact."
With a background in Agency work, Christian’s naming career started by submitting creative lists of names to Ad Agencies as a freelancer. "Naming involves a lot of jumping tracks, making odd connections, and sometimes going to the dark side of the moon to find something that is unique enough to make an impact while staying relevant to the product or brand.”
Christian broke down the concept of what may be the world's most widely known name: Amazon.
The first time you heard Amazon you might have thought of the river in South America, then you began to triangulate that meaning to Amazon the brand. “I can imagine being in a naming meeting and hearing objections to the name like 'That doesn’t sound sophisticated. It's not consistent with technology. Why South America?...Dangerous fish!” Christian laughs, “There are alot of reasons to appeal to it, but it's actually a really simple vessel for everything that has happened with their growth.” Christian went on to explain that if Amazon would have gone with a more constraining name like “Big Book Store '' they would have been confined to being just that, a big book store.
So what about Hollywood? What about the names of your favorite movies, TV shows or Production Companies?
For instance, The Matrix. A name that was successful for a myriad of reasons. “The way the movie was visually presented was different. It was a really different idea at the time, a different kind of script, and a really different name.” Essentially, the movie became the name and the name became the movie, and sometimes names really do make or break a project. “In Naming, it’s about finding the right moment to break the pattern because the things that are repeatedly familiar to us we pay less attention to."
Naming Production Companies, however, comes along with a lot more freedom. Christian explained that while it’s freeing to know that production companies can be named literally anything, most of the names of successful companies are sending a similar signal - We are creative, autonomous, and distinct. We are a culture. “Letterman’s company, which was incredibly successful, was named Worldwide Pants - it was a joke so it suited him. It's frivolous and fun. There was no downside to choosing that name, and in turn there was a lot of upside to being particular and unique”.
Naming is ever present - we can't talk about anything without naming it. And thanks to Namers like Christian, names have become brands, brands have become lifestyles, and all around the world we can understand and consume the same names, even if we don’t speak the same language.
How to Make the Most of Your Animation Budget
Animation has many perks. Animation is incredibly flexible, making it easy to create videos that reflect your brand’s style and your audience’s interests effectively. Animation can be used for everything from explainer videos to brand videos, making it a great option for businesses that value versatility.
But how much does animation cost and how can you make the most out of your animation budget? Read on to find the answer and learn how you can make the most of your animation budget.
Animation costs can vary significantly depending on several factors, including animation style, project length, who you hire to produce your video, and more. The cost for animation can range from as low as $3,000 per minute to as much as $100,000+ per minute depending on several factors, including:
The more you invest in your animated video, the higher quality it’s generally going to be. Though, this doesn’t mean you can’t produce a high-quality animated video while on a tight budget — you just need to know how to optimize your budget for the best results.
Getting the most out of your animation budget requires understanding what factors impact the cost of animation and making strategic production choices to maximize the quality of your video without overspending.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you get the most out of your animation budget.
The animation style you choose will have a significant impact on the final cost of your video. To get the most out of your budget, you need to consider which animation style is the most effective while still being affordable.
There are several popular styles of animation, including 2D animation, 3D animation, motion graphics, illustration, stop motion animation, and more.
Generally, 2D animation will be the most affordable style of animation as it’s less time-consuming and labor-intensive than 3D animation or stop motion animation.
Most animated video projects are priced by the second, or occasionally, by the minute. In either case, the shorter your video is, the more budget-friendly it will be.
Shorter videos aren’t just cost-effective — they are also often better for engagement as viewers are more likely to watch your entire video.
After writing your video script, make sure to read it out loud and time it to determine how long your video is. Make sure to review your script to find portions that can be cut without sacrificing your core message.
The more complex your project is, the more it’s going to cost. This refers to aspects of your video such as the number of characters, scenes, and unique motions or transitions.
If you need to keep costs as low as possible, try to stick to one or two characters and use other tools, like text, graphics, and iconographies to get your message across without using too many characters.
You should also try to limit the number of unique scenes as much as possible as additional scenes require new illustrations, environments, and transitions — all of which are going to impact the price of your video.
Creative Humans is home to countless video production and animation professionals that can help you produce high-quality animated videos that fit your budget.
Here are a few examples of professional animation from the specialists at Creative Humans.
This budget-friendly animated explainer video does a great job of explaining the financial services and products that the client offers to people across the United States. To keep costs low, this explainer video uses simple illustrations, transitions, and typography rather than complex characters and scenes.
Project Day Rate: $800 - $1,200
This explainer video for Symantec Endpoint Security combines 3D animation with live-action to create a short yet engaging and informative video.
Project Day Rate: $1,500 - $5,000
This simple yet effective PSA video uses 2D animation to create a colorful and engaging scene that draws viewers in and gets them to listen to the video’s message. This video keeps costs low by sticking to a single scene and one speaking character.
Project Budget: $2,400 - $6,000
How To Pitch Your Spot to an Agency: Everything You Need To Know
To create a successful pitch, it’s important to consider who your client is, what they’re looking for, and how you can fulfill their needs. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t do you any favors. Remember, your pitch should be tailored to the needs of your client so that they feel engaged and confident in your abilities.
Here’s what you need to know about crafting a winning pitch.
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Your brief is your go-to resource when pitching to an agency. Winning a pitch requires building trust with a client, asking the right questions, and demonstrating that you understand their needs. Your brief should include important information like who your client is, the target audience, the company’s goal with advertising, their products, and more. It may also include notes on your team members who are delivering the pitch, potential questions you have for the client, and any other information that can help you tailor your pitch to the client’s needs.
Keep in mind that your brief won’t prepare you for every possibility during a pitch. While your brief is an important resource that can help set you up for success, you avoid being overly reliant on it.
After several years of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many agencies have grown accustomed to using video conferencing apps like Zoom. To make a winning pitch, it’s important to use these platforms to your advantage.
When pitching via video, remember to dress professionally, pitch from a work-appropriate space, and be mindful of your body language. Speak clearly and ensure your space has appropriate lighting. You should also practice handing the conversation off appropriately to avoid long pauses or silences.
When pitching to an agency, bring team members from different departments so that the client understands who will be handling different aspects of the project. This helps the client feel more confident that they’re in good hands and ensures that you can answer any questions that arise.
Your team should feel unified, and every person should have a speaking role during the pitch.
Building trust with the client is one of the most important aspects of winning a pitch and developing long-lasting client relationships.
You must help the client feel confident in your abilities. During your pitch, demonstrate that you understand your client’s needs and explain how you can fulfill those needs. Establish your credentials and show the client what makes you unique from competitors.
When planning your pitch, it’s important to conduct extensive research on your client and avoid asking obvious questions that make it seem like you haven’t done your due diligence. Ask questions that build on what you already know, and show the client that you’re interested in learning more.
No matter how good your pitch is, you need quality work to back it up. The video production professionals at Creative Humans can help you create high-quality video advertisements and commercials that help you land your next pitch. Learn more below!
This commercial for the Hallmark Channel plays on a common trope in Hallmark movies to promote the channel and brand. By using a trope often found in the channel’s movies, the creative director behind this commercial demonstrates a clear understanding of Hallmark's brand and audience.
This advertisement was created to promote an online series about food photography. The commercial blends behind-the-scenes footage with the final photographs to demonstrate how students will learn to take high-quality pictures of food.
Lululemon is a fitness and lifestyle brand that focuses on healthy living. This commercial emphasizes these values by showcasing a professional dancer’s expressive movement and emotion.
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We hope this guide helps set you up for success in winning your next pitch! When you’re ready to take your career to the next level, Creative Humans can help.
The Art of Film and TV Networking
The film and television industry is all about connections. Building and maintaining strong relationships with others in the media industry is one of the best and most effective ways to achieve steady career growth.
Networking can be a daunting task, though, leading many in the industry to avoid putting as much time and effort into it as they should. But by mastering networking, you can develop strong industry connections that help you achieve your long-term career goals.
Here’s what you need to know about how to master the art of Film and TV networking.
The media industry is highly competitive, making it all the more important to take networking seriously. Making meaningful connections in the industry will help you build your reputation and accomplish your career goals.
Having a strong network of media professionals also makes it easier to gain access to new opportunities as people are more likely to take a chance on someone they know—especially if you have a reputation for delivering high-quality work.
When networking, you should be looking to form mutually-beneficial relationships. Moreover, you should be looking to build lasting connections that can benefit you in the long run—not just connections that benefit you now.
By focusing on building and maintaining a large film network, you can maximize your opportunities and set yourself up for long-term success.
So how do you go about building and maintaining relationships in the film and TV industry?
Networking can be difficult, and there is no one right way to do it. To build a strong network, you need to know where to look and how to capitalize on opportunities.
To help you master the skill of film and tv networking, here are a few key ways to build and maintain relationships in the film industry.
For individuals new to the advertising and marketing industry, attending award shows is one of the best ways to meet other professionals in the industry and build meaningful connections.
For those looking into the film industry, film festivals bring in experienced filmmakers from all over the country. Post-screening Q&As, local happy hours, and other social events that take place at these festivals make it easy to make connections.
If you’re more focused on television advertising and marketing, award shows are where you want to be. Award shows you should consider attending (and schmoozing at) are the AICP Awards, the Emmys, Cannes Lions Festival, the Ad Age A-List Awards, to name a few.
Whether you have a project debuting or not, attending events such as this can grant you access to new and exciting opportunities. Your goal should be to meet with as many industry professionals as possible. Don’t forget to exchange contact information so that you can stay in touch.
Speaking at conferences is also a great way to get yourself in front of all the people you want to do business with. It gives you the opportunity to be a thought leader in the industry and also build your profile and professional network.
Linkedin is an indispensable tool for media professionals looking to build their networks. Social media allows you to showcase your work and professional interest to other industry professionals.
Linkedin is also a great tool for maintaining relationships and following up on new connections. You can use all different social platforms to build your personal relationships with others in the industry, which in turn, can strengthen your professional connections. Linkedin is a great resource for building your professional network, showcase your achievements, and make connections with leaders in the industry.
You should connect with and follow accounts geared towards the media landscape to stay up-to-date with industry news and opportunities.
When working on new projects, you might consider creating social media accounts for specific projects to market them and raise awareness.
Not only does school help you to learn about your craft, but it also helps you build out your network and form relationships with others that might one day be able to help them accomplish your goals.
Your classmates will likely share the same goals and aspirations, and by forming relationships with them, you can help one another as you pursue your career goals.
You can also build connections with professors and other faculty members that already have careers in the media industry. Faculty members often have valuable industry connections, and by forming relationships with them, they may introduce you to their personal networks.
Lastly, many high-profile advertising and film schools have extensive alumni networks that students can use to build their film and TV networks. Alumni are often able and willing to work with students to help them achieve their goals.
Finding the perfect creative partner for any project is all about who you know. At Creative Humans we pride ourselves on having a large network of vetted talented professionals who can help you achieve your creative goals.
The video production professionals and filmmakers at Creative Humans have extensive experience working with clients across a variety of industries to create high-quality, impactful advertisements and other marketing assets.
Take a look at these examples that showcase the talent found with Creative Humans.