Homegrown commercials don’t have to suck.

Posted on September 6, 2011


We’ve all seen those late night, local business homegrown commercials where some car dealer in a bad poly-double knit suit, often with bad poly-double knit hair stands in front of flags that flap in the breeze louder than his own words as he/she tries to extoll the virtues of the deals you’ll get at their dealership. Those ads usually end with the dealers kids or grand kids smiling blankly and waving mechanically like waxen faced children of the corn. That doesn’t need to be YOUR reality.

My friend, Chef Teri Gooden of In Good Taste LA, wanted to create a couple of “commercials” to put on her Facebook page. With no budget, no actors, and no idea where to start, I suggested that we use my old Kodak digital camera, and then edit what we shoot in iMovie at home. That part was easy. The hard part was what do we shoot?

Commercials or promos are all about telling a story. The best stories are those that are closest to what you already know. In this case, Teri knows she wants to make a commercial, she knows lots about catering, and nothing about making a commercial. Here is what I was able to do with that:

*for this, I did some research, collected logos for some of her actual clients and created the titles at the beginning, I recorded the voice over myself at home and assembled it in iMovie.

After that one, I was inspired to try something new…Teri had planned a photo shoot (with the wonderful LA nightlife photographer Brian Putnam) I thought it might be a good idea to do a video shoot of the photo shoot in progress and then use a combination of the stills and the video somehow. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way we wanted, there wasn’t nearly enough usable video footage…so I went back to my old Kodak digital camera, gathered some friends around the pool area at my apartment and staged the story I wanted to tell. The story is: Crew meals frequently suck, but they don’t have to if you hire In Good Taste LA. Here is what we came up with:

So you see, as long as you know what the story is, even the most limited budgets can create something that conveys your message.
While I am mentioning it, I am available to produce your commerical(s) too LOL.

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