Tag Archives: corporate events

Launching New Ventures With Marketing Videos

Posted on August 28th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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I’ve been a big fan of Half Price Books for a while. I used to buy a lot of books there (pre-Kindle), and recently Mrs. G and I have sold a TON of books to them. I caught one of their marketing videos the other day and it spurred a couple of thoughts.

Getting attention for something new

First, video is a great way to launch a new product or in this case… a new store location. Half Price Books posted this video in July about its new Austin, TX location and it has over 1,100 views. Now, in an age when everyone is looking for the next million-view viral video, that might not seem like much. However, I challenge you to think about it from a more realistic perspective.

That’s more than 1,000 people they enticed to sit and watch a video about the new location. Think those people will check it out? I can only imagine the video moved them in that direction. Now think about the last thing you launched. How would you like a 1,000 person head start letting people know about it? That’s what producing a quality video can do.

Half-Price BooksMulti-purpose marketing videos

Second, this could also be used as a multi-purpose video. It features a short voice-over at the beginning about the new Austin store, but the bulk of the story really features testimonials about why people like the company. That testimonial core could be used again as a stand-alone marketing video for the entire company, or if they open another store, all that’s needed is a new open with the new store information.

Producing a launch video is a great way to generate some enthusiasm for your new venture and, in the right circumstance, it might even be a good value for your marketing dollars.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Top 3 Reasons Businesses Need A Website Video

Posted on July 31st, 2013 | Leave a Comment
website video

Do you have a website without a website video?

I’ve been meeting a lot of small business owners lately who have websites… but no website video. There are a few reasons why I think they’re missing a huge opportunity. Here are a few reasons you need an About Us video.


There’s no way around it. When a website features a video, visitors watch them, and there’s no better way to create a good first impression than with a quality video. A company can have the most beautiful website on the planet, but at the end of the day it’s unlikely the site going to stir any emotion in visitors.

A video on the other hand is all about eliciting emotion. I’m not talking about making people laugh or cry. What businesses can achieve with a quality video is inspiring confidence in the brand, and putting the company in a good light so that it’s likable. And we all know we buy from people we like.


It’s not as expense as they think. Business owners hear “video” and think money pit. Huge production teams eating up big budgets.

Well, I’m not going to lie… that can happen. The thing is if they pick the right producer, they’ll come in on budget and deliver a terrific story. Heck, we offer a nice package for less than $1,000. You can get quality storytelling on a budget.


These business owners without website videos aren’t alone. That means the ones who choose to produce videos will have a leg-up on their competition. We’re all doing our best to set ourselves apart from the pack. A quality video is a sure way to do it.

We’re at a point where small business owners are going to have to take the next step. Ten years ago many were still in denial that they needed a website. Ten years from today a website video will just be considered an essential website component.

Which side of the trend is your business on?

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Smart Start To Getting Video Production Costs

Posted on July 8th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

moneyThe decision has been made… let’s do a video! Everyone’s excited, it’s a great marketing tool, it sounds like a lot of fun… then it happens. Someone asks, “How much do you think it’s going to cost?” Blank stares… because video production costs aren’t something many people are familiar with.

I mean, why should they be? Start surfing around to production company websites and you’ll have a tough time getting any sort of a rough idea (present company excluded).

I get it. It’s hard to gauge. When someone calls us for a quote, there’s a bunch of factors…

  • how many shoots will be needed?
  • how many cameras?
  • how many interviews?
  • how time is needed to create a script?
  • how many days to edit?

These are all questions we’re asking ourselves as we listen to what the client needs. Once we have all the answers, then we can give an accurate quote.

You know what though… we’re happy to give ballpark estimates. As a matter of fact, clients who have been with us a while call for them all the time, and here’s why that’s a good thing.

Video production costs and an accurate budget

The problem a lot of people run into while producing a video is they usually fail to create a realistic budget. That budget gets set, then they scramble to find someone to create the video they want for that budgeted amount. This means a lot of times they have to settle for a producer they might not like, but it’s the one they can afford based on the budget.

What many of our clients do is call us before the budget is set so they have a better idea of what to ask for from the beginning. We give them a ballpark estimate, then they take that to the decision maker.

It creates a situation where there aren’t any surprises. It’s one thing for the manager or CEO to know in advance the project will cost about $5,000. It’s another thing when the budget is set for $2,000 and the team comes back later and says, oops, it’s actually going to cost $3,000 more.

Getting a ballpark quote is a great way to start a video project before it even gets rolling.

–Tony Gnau

 Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Video Strategy Lesson Courtesy cars.com

Posted on May 15th, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Courtesy: cars.com

Courtesy: cars.com

One of the things I love about being a ChicagoAMA sponsor is getting to meet the amazing professionals who share their time and knowledge with the members. T60 produces preview videos for many of the organization’s events. That means I get to meet the keynote speakers weeks before their presentations, and that one-on-one time has been priceless to learn about their video strategy.

Basically, I get to pick their brains. A lot it centers on the topic they’ll be covering, but no surprise I also ask them questions about how they’re using video. You can imagine how excited I was when I met with the cars.com Chief Marketing Officer,Linda Bartman, and saw a sheet hanging above her desk entitled, The Video Factor.

It was an infographic the company produced in 2011 to highlight how many people are watching online videos. You don’t need me to tell you… it’s like a gazillion. Here’s what I love though… it’s terrific justification for producing video content.

What’s coming at the event

Which leads me into the upcoming event (SEE VIDEO BELOW | REGISTER). Linda will be speaking about some of the challenges they face that might sound familiar to many marketers. One of them is having to explain some of their content decisions. In the case of cars.com, they have to explain it to their clients… the companies and dealerships that advertise with them.

The case for video

The info-graphic does a great job of explaining the reason for producing video content. 178-million Americans watching online video… 30% watching on mobile devices… and then the nitty-gritty for them.

  • 68% of people watching online automotive videos found them important
  • 55% of car buyers watch an online video before making their purchase
  • Shoppers who watch dealer videos on cars.com spend nearly twice as much time on the site as people who don’t watch videos

Good stuff. That’s coming from a company that crunches the numbers and understands the power of video.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

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Just Doing Event Videos Isn’t Enough

Posted on May 6th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

cdw facebookYou know me… I love event videos. Previews that encourage people to attend, and videos shot during the event to share afterwards. I think they’re a great way to get people excited about the event, and a way for the event to live on even after it’s over.

Having said that… you still need to deliver a quality video and tell a good story. Just producing a video isn’t good enough. Case in point… CDW.

The technology retailer launched a new campaign last week and bought some space on Facebook. One of their ads popped-up in my news feed, and while I typically sail over them this one caught my attention.

It featured a video, See the fun people had at Technoliner reveal day (video below). Sounded like a good example of an event video, so I decided to see what they cooked up. It turned out to be a major letdown.

CDW apparently is driving a bus across the country featuring new technology, and they’re promoting the tour hoping people will check out the bus if it stops in their town. Sounds like a good opportunity for a video, right? Well, it is but the story stinks.

It’s all about CDW. Look at our launch party. We had Charles Barkley there. We grilled out. There’s all sorts of technology on-board. In short… they’re totally full of themselves. 

Look… if all your event video is doing is capturing the scene to give people sense of what happened that’s all fine, but that isn’t the goal for this video. I think the goal is to get us to want to see the Technoliner. So here I am… Joe Viewer… thinking… who cares? How does this technology impact me? Why would I make an effort to see the bus? What’s the point?

I don’t have an answer for any of those questions because CDW is too busy patting themselves on the back.

On top of that… they want me to check out the bus, but they don’t say which cities it’ll hit. Okay, maybe it’s too many to list, but give me a call-to-action saying something like, “Check the website for when the Technoliner will be in your neighborhood.”

Just because you’re holding an event and you’re excited about it doesn’t mean the rest of the world will be as well. The video still needs to be focused on audience members and their needs.

That’s the foundation for a good video.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

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Medinah “Masters” Event Videos

Posted on April 15th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 9.29.19 AMThe Masters wrapped up yesterday. I can’t help watching a major golf tournament without thinking about one of our biggest projects ever. In 2006, we produced a DVD for Medinah Country Club that was the mother or all event videos T60 has ever produced.

For those of you not into golf, Medinah Country Club is Chicago’s championship golf club. It has hosted three U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and last year… the Ryder Cup. You can be anywhere in the world and say, “Medinah,” and golf fans know what you’re talking about. As a golf fan, you can imagine how honored I was to work on this project.


Club leaders wanted a keepsake they could give to members after hosting the 2006 PGA Championship. Putting on one of golf’s major championships is a huge undertaking. Hundreds of members volunteer a lot of time and effort to make sure every detail is covered. The club leadership wanted to give every member a gift as a thank you.

It’s common at many tournaments for members to get a video… all the highlights, interviews with the golfers, things like that. What the club’s leaders wanted in this case was something different. They essentially proposed producing a 30-minute special on all the efforts to put on the tournament. So while Tiger Woods won the 2006 PGA Championship, he wasn’t the focus of the video… the members were.

See… they understood their audience. GIve the members a highlight video, some may watch, some may not. Give them a video featuring themselves and all their friends… everyone will watch. At the very least, they’ll want to see who made it into the video. It was a great idea, and it was a huge success.


Most events don’t need a 30-minute show produced, but they do need a little something. A short video, maybe 1-3 minutes long is just fine. Something to share with people who attended, those who couldn’t make it and anyone else who might be interested.

Why? People like to know they were a part of something special. Putting it on video and sharing it with them, and allowing them to share it with their friends and colleagues makes them feel like they were.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years. 

See one segment of T60’s video for Medinah Country Club…

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Marketing Videos With Focus

Posted on February 13th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

video samplesYou need to focus your marketing videos to what you do best. I know, Captain Obvious reporting for duty!… but I’ve seen plenty of business leaders get sidetracked.

Here’s the thing… you start producing a video and all of sudden everyone has an opinion. We should add this… we should add that… next thing you know you have a 7-minute video nobody will want to watch.

Questions to keep you focused

You really need to focus. What do we want to communicate? Who’s our audience? How do we serve them?

These are the questions you want to ask regardless of the type of video you’re producing. And About Us video… an event video… marketing a brand… you name it. What do we want to communicate? Who’s our audience? How do we serve them?

Staying focused will keep those outside voices at bay.

–Tony Gnau

New Year’s Video Not Shot By News Outlets

Posted on January 7th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Picture 1Holy cow! That was a break. I took two weeks off from blogging and most business activities, but now I’m ready to go.

Hope you had a great New Year’s because we’ll start with an observation I made that night.

If you watched any TV news coverage on New Year’s Eve, you probably saw video of people celebrating around the world. Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai all checking in, but it wasn’t news outlets providing the video.

All three of those cities’ tourism bureaus shot the video, in some cases streaming live feeds, and provided it to news outlets.

This is something more and more businesses and organizations are doing. Shooting their own video and providing it to media, bloggers, etc. It’s a good idea because many of these content creators are looking for… well… content. The better the stuff you provide them, the more likely you’ll get covered.

Enter video… the best kind of contact out there. Why? People watch, that’s why.

Providing quality video is a great way to entice coverage.

–Tony Gnau

Ford Falls Flat At SEMA

Posted on November 15th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

You all know how much I like the idea of a video series. Instead of producing one long video, produce a series of shorter videos. It allows audience members to pick the things they’re interested in, and it allows you to roll out the videos over a longer period of time.


Well, Ford recently produced a whole series of videos while they were at the 2012 SEMA Show. According to the SEMA website, the show is “the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.”

I love that Ford produced a series there. They uploaded over 20 videos from the show. This is a great idea for any company participating in a trade show. It allows your customers and prospects to attend the show, even if they can’t get there in person.

Ford’s lousy execution

The only problem is Ford fell flat. The videos stink. There’s barely any production value at all. The camera work is weak, the lighting is bad, audio on most of the videos is terrible, we get minimal editing and worst of all… zero attempt at storytelling.

Some of the videos feature a woman doing interviews, but they’re totally lame. Again, no creativity or effort put into them at all.

Could have been soooo much better

Now listen… if you’re a smaller company and this is the only type of thing you can afford to do, okay, I get it. But this isn’t just any business… it’s Ford! How many millions of dollars do you think Ford spends on marketing!? How much do you think they spent on participating in this event alone?

I’m not saying they should have thrown money hand over fist at this video series, but for $5,000-$10,000 they could have put together some great content. These videos got thousands of hits. Imagine what viewership could have been if they had made an effort. If they had made videos those viewers wanted to share with friends.

On top of that, let me raise another issue. As a business leader, why would you ever condone putting something out for the world to see that represents your brand if it looks like crap?

The Ford video series was a GREAT idea, but it was poorly executed. I hate that.

If you think a videos series is worth doing, then it should be worth doing it right.

–Tony Gnau

Putting Your Content Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on November 14th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I frequently preach something to clients and prospects and occasionally here as well. Produce video content that serves your audience instead of your ego.

The first video most businesses want to produce is the “about us” video. That’s fine. I think you should do that too, but that’s only a jumping off place. From there, businesses need to produce content that audience members can benefit from. That often means setting aside the instinct to make all your videos about you.

Alternatively, pick subjects you and your audience are passionate about and share your opinion and/or expertise.

Practice what we preach

Easy for me to say, right? Well, I practice what I preach. As a BrandSmart conference sponsor, T60 was permitted to email all the attendees. Instead of sending out a mass sales pitch, I offered links to my blog posts regarding the event, as well as a couple of videos from our “why our clients use video” series.

None of the content was about T60, but all of it afforded us the opportunity to display our expertise and provide conference attendees with information that could benefit them.

While we were all at the same event, I looked at it through my video “lens” and offered a perspective they might not have received. The videos are something else entirely. Two T60 clients offering their thoughts on why and how they use video as part of their marketing strategy.

Content is king.

–Tony Gnau