“The results of All Devices (Part II) have been worth it, and the response online has been incredible,” said Erik Candiani, about WWBT’s latest news promo. “Yes, it took a long time. Yes, it was a pain in the butt to pull off, but, people notice. And that’s our job as marketers, right? Get people to notice.”
“The results of All Devices (Part II) have been worth it, and the response online has been incredible,” says Erik Candiani, about WWBT’s latest news promo.
“Yes, it took a long time. Yes, it was a pain in the butt to pull off, but, people notice. And that’s our job as marketers, right? Get people to notice.”
Candiani’s right about getting people’s notice. And he should know. His station won a 2019 Promax Award for the prequel to this spot. Another news promo that took some time to produce but paid dividends in the end.
And Candiani’s marketing staff at WWBT, Gray’s NBC affiliate in Richmond, Va. (DMA 54), and frankly, probably the news talent there, too, should be used to this.
“It was insanity for 30 seconds — for about 90-100 takes over two separate days to get the ‘right’ one. The first day was rehearsal and timing checks, and the second evening was for real. Again, not easy.”
As hard as it was to produce this spot, Candiani added another element to the degree of difficulty. The spot was shot on Candiani’s phone.
“To ramp up the difficulty level to 11, we decided, since this was a ‘mobile’ spot anyway, to actually shoot the entire thing on a mobile device. It just made sense this time, since that’s what we were selling anyway. My iPhone 11 Pro Max finally has the camera, space (we are talking about 50+ takes in full 4k) and ability to actually pull this off. So, we threw it on a DJI Osmo 3 and went for it.”
If Candiani sounds like a Hollywood movie-maker, you may remember I described him as one in an earlier column titled, If Hollywood Made News Promos By WWBT. He did work for George Lucas, after all, and has more than 7,000 Blu-Ray movies at home.
I’ll let Candiani take it from here.
This one was more complex for several reasons. We wanted to challenge ourselves and do this one out in the wild at a place people may recognize and where they actually use their devices versus in our safe, lit and controlled studio environment.
So, we scored a wonderful specialty coffee house in Richmond called Ironclad Coffee Roasters. (They even have a cup of coffee with bacon on it!) The price for a free location was that the doors were open for business when we started shooting, so it was a pretty uncontrolled location in that respect — the customers played nicely, and sat in the upstairs area while we produced this craziness by the front entrance area. This spot is a deceivingly complex and difficult spot. All of the devices were synced so the content and actions all have to play in order at the correct time. That is harder than it looks!
There is no way something like this can happen without a dedicated marketing team and talent willing to ‘play’ over and over until we got it right. Not only did they ‘act’ in it, they were also part of the crew since every set of hands had multiple functions, from moving furniture within seconds, to holding a phone at precisely the right place and height.
This was an all hands production for my department, and we had to work together like clockwork to pull it off. However, one person stands out as the conductor for this crazy idea I assigned: Tina Rodriguez. When I first pitched the concept for our first “All Devices” spot to her back in 2018, she accepted it with wide-eyed confusion but, finally found her footing and nailed it. This second spot is her swan song since her final day with our station is quickly approaching. After 14 years at WWBT, she’s heading off to focus on her photography and family. So, will there ever be a Part III to this campaign? Time will tell.
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