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Depending on the format of your project, you can have anywhere from 15 seconds to an hour to get your message across through video. Let’s assume for this post that we’re talking about your typical commercial. You only have 15, 30 or 60 seconds to make an impact, change perception, convince and influence your audience. Basically, how can you effectively change someone’s life or convince them to change their life in 60 seconds?

Poignant videos are possible

It’s a daunting task, but it can be done. You have to look at your message and figure out what makes it different from everyone else’s message, what makes it worth someone’s time and how to share it as succinctly and poignantly as possible. It can seem like you’re throwing away valuable and necessary parts of your message as you disassemble it and rebuild it with less and less parts. This isn’t the case. Less is more.

What’s the definition of poignant? Deeply affecting, touching, designed to make an impression, pleasurably stimulating and to the point. This word is the perfect definition for what your message should be. Find the most touching and stimulating part of your message and share it. Leave the fluff behind you.

Super Bowl

Okay, every year, for some strange reason, the one thing that seems to irritate everyone becomes the one thing everyone wants to see. Fans and non-fans alike gather around the TV, go to viewing parties and flock to YouTube to relive every commercial. As you can imagine, a lot of folks ask us what we thought were the “Best” and “Worst” commercials from the Super Bowl. This is always tough for me to judge because marketing really doesn’t work this way. The question I always ask is “What was the best commercial from last year’s Super Bowl?” For $5,000,000 I hope you can name at least one or two!




This year was particularly tough. Some ads were very memorable; Audi’s “Commander” and Jeep’s “Portraits” were excellent examples of the power of tying emotion with advertising, which give you an overall great feeling about the product.

Some ads you’ll never forget, especially when you wake up screaming at 2am because ‘Puppy-Monkey-Baby’ is trying to kill you in your sleep. For the life of me, I don’t know if they were trying to convince me get a Mountain Dew or a Concealed Carry permit. Most of them, however, left me asking, “What the hell was that?” Quicken’s “Rocket Mortgage” ad started out interestingly enough with their new app, then completely lost me as they were trying to convince me that either their new app was going to change the world or recreate the housing bubble bust (because the last one was so much fun). “Meet the ketchups” was a total head-scratcher.

The Dorito’s “Ultra-sound” started out mildly amusing and then ended not so amusing.

Honda made me laugh though, with the “Singing Sheep” commercial since they spent over 10 million bucks on a completely pointless commercial to showcase a completely pointless feature on the new Ridgeline.


Overall, I think the Super Bowl ads were a bust and if your marketing people try and convince you to put an ad in the game, either locally or nationally, think twice. Lots of money, lots of competition, and, in all sincerity, NO consumers, just a bunch of people expecting to be entertained at your company’s expense.

When we think of advertising, many of us immediately revert to cheesy TV commercials or that annoying jingle you hear on the radio every morning.  However, media is ever-changing, and traditional broadcast channels provide us with only a fraction of the messages we face every day.  Advertisers use several types of media to grab our attention, some of which we don’t consciously notice.  Paid media, like that TV commercial I mentioned, or that ad for an awesome pair of JustFab boots that pops up next to your Facebook news feed- it’s all paid for by the company it’s representing.  Pretty cut-and-dry, right?  

Owned media is another way to reach audiences, but through channels that aren’t paid for.  In this age, most companies, big and small, have a Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram accounts.  They own this stuff, and they create their own content to engage with you and me and other consumers all over the world.  

The third, and probably least recognized type of media is called earned media.  Think about all the things you share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter to show your friends and family.  Whether it’s a Most Interesting Man in the World meme or a hilarious new commercial for your favorite soda, whoever produced it is earning your attention.  Earned media is the buzz that content creates and the conversations we have with one another about it.  Advertisers mix paid and owned media into a bowl, and what comes out of the oven is a rich, chocolate cake of earned media.  

Now, we all enjoy a hearty slice of chocolate cake, but the cake wouldn’t be what it is without the flour, eggs, sugar, etc. The best way to market a brand is not by using exclusively one category of media, but a combination of all three, depending on its needs.  Some desserts require more sugar, while others call for a longer baking time. At Transformation, we don’t mind getting our aprons dirty to figure out what the best media recipe entails for our clients.  We offer services that are categorized into both paid and owned media which will get your audience talking about and paying attention to your brand.  We’re experts in hand-crafting content for our clients in order to maximize exposure and ultimately bake the most delicious and decadent of all cakes.  Enjoy!

“Marketing.”  “Advertising.”  Say them out loud.  What do you think about?  If you’re just about any given person in this world, they’re probably synonymous in your brain.  You know, TV commercials and coupons in the Sunday paper, stuff like that.  If that’s what you thought about, you’re not wrong, but you’re also missing some key information when it comes to spreading awareness about your brand and, ultimately, increasing your profits.

Marketing is the broader of the two terms at hand.  It’s the all-encompassing process of delivering information that may have value to customers, companies, clients, and society as a whole.  Think of it as all the things that are communicated between buyer and seller.  Marketing includes things like defining a target audience for your brand, designing a logo to represent you, or even operating a customer support line.  Some would say marketing includes the “business” operations, not just the creative.

So what’s advertising, then?  Advertising is a means of calling attention to a brand’s product or services, generally through creative execution.  Advertising is the production and placing of advertisements (gasp), which include things like billboards or promoted posts on social media.  Still kind of fuzzy?  Let’s look at Laurie who works in Business Development here at Transformation.  Part of Laurie’s job is sales, meaning she builds relationships and motivates clients to work with us.  Laurie is a marketer- she initiates the marketing process by finding clients who need our help.  Unless Laurie hops into the production studio and helps our videographer film a commercial he’s working on, she cannot be considered an advertiser.  Make sense?

To sum it up, advertising is a part of marketing, not it’s equivalent.  For this reason, elements of advertising are included in the breadth of marketing, which is why many of us are unable to distinguish one from the other.  Transformation is a full-service marketing agency, so yes, we do it all.  Not only do we create advertisements that grab the attention of an audience, we work to enhance and ultimately grow your business as a whole. In the scope of things, the marketing vs. advertising debate is relatively unimportant (unless you’re doing something like a picking a major in college).  What is important is that you leave it to the professionals, like those of us at Transformation, to make the right decisions in both fields to help you reach your goals.