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May 15, 2012
New Rules for Creating a Commercial
Here at sTeVe Productions, we're specialists at creating up-to-the-present-moment television commercials for clients short, tall, grande, or venti. We use state-of-the-art proprietary Klokworx Orange™ analysis involving media researchers whom — with their eyes taped open — view countless hours of commercials to identify visual, aural, and content trends. sTeVe Productions then appropriates these approaches and offers them to our clients for use in their own commercial productions. These identified trends have proven themselves time and time again. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's how to milk an idea. (Men in Black III?) If it worked once, it'll work again…and again and again.
Hand-Held Camera Work. Although this visual technique is nothing new to film, we at sTeVe Productions take it to new lows. Low angles, that is! We've perfected a system for camera attachment to dogs, which allows for a more natural lens-height, especially for commercials involving children or other animals. The quadruped stabilization system provides just enough camera shake and eliminates the need for expensive union camera operators and grips. The visual possibilities are endless and doggy treats are all that's required. However, if clients need the traditional human touch, our film crews are appropriately caffeinated and nervous to begin with, providing the right amount of odd angles, vibrating frames, and out-of focus images editing software cannot duplicate.
Made-up or Overused Words. Our writers can incorporate the word "ginormous" an awesome amount of times into any script. Their eloquaciousness is fantabulous and über-trendy. We're also experts at overusing catchy lingo until the words are beaten to death; i.e. an actor says the word "awkward" to resolve a situation where another character in the commercial — usually male — has been made into a complete ass. Viewers will exclaim OMG-LOL!, which is a sub-trend of speaking in initials. WCDTT! (We can do that too!)
Unintelligible Narrators. sTeVe Productions identified a trend toward using voice-over talents with thick foreign accents. Clients can be a part of that trend too, with our ginormous resource of Australian and Cockney-British actors. Whatever well-crafted message an advertiser is trying to convey, these narrators will render it moot. But it will sound hip! Why not emulate the success of Geico, Pledge, and the Outback Restaurants, mate? (Because of their theme, Outback can be forgiven. Their food cannot.)
3D Danglers. What do Toyota, Capital One, and Uncle Ben's Rice have in common? They all incorporate the visual trend of dangling three-dimensional words or graphic elements via fishing line within a shot frame. The more visible the fishing line, the better to help create that handmade, artsy-craftsy image. sTeVe Productions' model shop can fabricate any design a client can conceive of. One of our long-term current projects involves building suspended type for the disclaimer at the end of a drug commercial.
Multiple Actors. One of the more popular commercial visual techniques is to employ as many on-screen actors as budget will allow and have them read the 50-word script while cutting from actor to actor. This… is… especially… effective… when… the… actors… have… almost… no… talent. sTeVe Productions has a complete casting department full of unskilled actors to draw from. Many advertisers decide to use employees, relatives, or vendors they owe favors to in their commercials. Either way, this strategy always gives the message an authentic "real people" feel with the added bonus of fewer retakes for flubbed lines. Each subject only has to say one or two words.
Costumes. Why imply the sun in your commercial when — like Kellogg's — you can dress up a hapless actor in an embarrassing sun costume? Or in the case of Fruit of the Loom, an apple or grapes? sTeVe Productions has a complete wardrobe and costume service at our clients' disposal staffed with craftspeople that will create the perfect mascot outfit destined to end a commercial thespian's career before it's even started. Your audience will think it's all "too cute" and rush out to buy whatever it is you're selling.
Overdone Visuals. sTeVe Productions spared no expense when we built our virtual reality CGE department. Our clients have access to the latest technology and experts in computer game playing and design in the event that their commercial concept calls for the overly complex imagery deemed necessary to convey a simple message. Think how ineffective commercials for Farmer's Insurance (Insurance Institute campaign), Michelin Tires (Transformers campaign), and 5 Gum would have been without complicated and expensive visual effects. A viewer would need to watch the commercial only once or twice to understand the message instead of the more numerous times it now takes. In TV, frequency is everything!
sTeVe Productions clients have the option of using any of our identified trends for their commercials and some clients have used them all! As mentioned above, these are a few of the commercial trends sTeVe Productions has identified, but there are sure to be more. You can bet your Nielsen that we'll will be on top of them, because at sTeVe Productions, we put the "No" in InNOvation!

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Steve James owned and creative directed an advertising and design studio in Buffalo, NY with the un-snappy name of SteveJamesDesign, Inc. Steve and his family now live in Indianapolis where he worked as a Creative Director and he is currently in transition, flux, metamorphosis, segue, or whatever looking for work is now called.

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