Analysis Of Two Radically Different Styles
Soft vs Hard
The two extremes of sales technique can be categorized as hard and soft, the Yin and Yang of advertising.  Like with any technique, they both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Consider the difference between a sale made by a fitting room attendant who complements the customer on her looks, as opposed to the pitch of a used car salesperson.  Both get results.  The way you go should depend on the type of business you own and who your customers are.  In our demos below, we illustrate two totally different kinds of small businesses and analyze the reasoning behind each style.

When conceptualizing a commercial spot, the first thing to consider is your target audience.  Who are you trying to reach?  What is your demographic target like in terms of taste and style?  What age group are you dealing with?  What gender?  Is your audience a niche group, or do you market to everyone?  All these things, and more, are to be considered when planning your message.  The four examples below illustrate speaking to four totally different demographic types.  These spots represent what are on-going advertising campaigns for two local small businesses.  The first two are for a local jewelry store chain, representing the soft-sell.  The second two are for a local Internet Radio company featuring streaming sports-talk radio and video, and are so hard they're almost off the charts.  Watch the video, then read the analysis under each.
Jewelry Store #1 - Target: Economy Minded Males
Jewelry stores are an eventuality waiting to happen.  We all end up spending time and money in them.  Generally speaking, men buy jewelry for women, and women receive jewelry from men (don't blame me, it wasn't my idea).  This spot plays to the logic that it is inevitable that this will happen to all of us from time to time. Starting on a humorous note with a graphic parody of the local newspaper, the headline and the voice-over hits us with a common slang term (one we all use when not within earshot of Mom) that helps to grab the attention and establish a friendly, down-to-earth tone.  The music kicks in and we witness attractive couples having intimate moments involving jewelry.  The dialog leads us to the logical conclusion that you, too, can "celebrate your life for less money".  More aggressive than the Jewelry Store #2 spot, yet simple, elegant and to the point.  Topped off with a special visual treatment for the logo, as the music swells.  These jewelry spots are designed for local broadcast and cable placement where the demographic is broad and general.  A cable channel or tier that caters to men or women might work even better.
Jewelry Store #2 Target:
Wishful
Thinking
Females
Jewelry Store # 1 Target:
Economy
Minded
Males
Note:  Both of the jewelry store spots were made entirely from Stock Footage from our library.  Both are made from almost the same clips, but with different purposes.  They were very inexpensive to produce.

Both of the Internet Radio spots required shooting original acquisition of four different Radio Shows at different locations and times, and were much more labor-intensive and time consuming.
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Jewelry Store #1
Jewelry Store #2
Sports Talk #1
Sports Talk #2
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Jewelry Store #1
Jewelry Store #2
Sports Talk #1
Sports Talk #2


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Jewelry Store #1
Jewelry Store #2
Sports Talk #1
Sports Talk #2


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Jewelry Store #1
Jewelry Store #2
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Jewelry Store #1
Jewelry Store #2
Sports Talk #1
Sports Talk #2


Sports Talk #1 Target:
Die-hard
Cleveland Browns
Football Fans
Sports Talk #2 Target:
General Sports
Youth Market
Jewelry Store #2 - Target:  Wishful Thinking Women
This spot is totally non-agressive.  It's designed to appeal to woman who are tired of being bombarded with loud, hard-sell spots all day long.  Just a series of pretty pictures of pretty couples, accompanied by pretty music and pretty text graphics.  Not even a voice over. This one could be mistaken for the opening of a Soap.  The music was selected for it's soothing, almost hypnotic quality.  Making the connection between "jewelry" and "romance" (a lot of kissing going on) plays to the dream-like style of this spot.  Many women wish their significant-other were more romantic, and might be willing to suggest (demand) to him where to go to get her what she wants.  It also provides a possible business slogan  with the final message, "The Romance Experts"  Holiday-specific, this one is, simply and elegantly, a Valentine from the store owner to the viewer.  It could easily be expanded into a campaign to reflect any holiday or season appropriate for selling jewelry by changing just one graphic element.  A campaign on a shoestring.
Sports Talk #1 - Target: Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Football Fans
This spot is so busy as to be confusing, at first viewing.  The client asked us to promote four different Talk Shows within the 30 sec. we had to work with.  And, of course, the client is always right.  We fit it all into 20 sec. with 10 sec. left over for a special treatment with their logo.  This commercial is so loaded with visual, graphical and aureal information that you have to watch and listen several times to comprehend it all.  And that's really the idea.  If you fit the target demographic type, the effect is that you will automatically be interested in the topic of the spot (Cleveland Browns Football), be hooked by the humorous sound bites, realize that you missed most of the visual info the first time you see it, then be on the watch for it the next time you hear the intro so you can re-watch it to catch all the info you missed the first time around.  This technique can actually encourage repeated views from the same viewers.  Because of the humor elements and the quick-cut, fast-action editing style, these types of spots are particularly appealing to the youth market, that 16 to 40 age group, so coveted by advertisers.
Sports Talk #2 - Target: General Sports Youth Market
Humor, outrageous, controversial and topical dialog, plus vulgarity; all elements guaranteed to capture the attention of the young sports fan.  Like Sports Talk #1,  this one, too, is crammed with info, and the same viewer-effect applies.  What may initially be perceived by some as being over-the-line for broadcast and cable commercials, the bleeped dialog in this spot is no different than the many bleeps we hear all day long on news and talk shows.  FYI, of the three sound-bites used for each of the three sports teams, only the football clip was real, spontaneously spoken dialog.  And the speaker is not actually saying what you think he's saying.  It's merely an illusion created by the simple use of the "bleep". The other two team sound-bites were scripted and performed in voice-over, and are not being spoken by the men depicted in the clips.  In all, there are seven different voice characterizations performed by four different people.  If played in the right places (local and national sports channels and the Internet) no one need be offended.  High-impact orchestral musical beats accent the graphics for emphasis.  This spot captures the essence of the over-the-top rebellious spirit of Internet Talk Radio.
In Conclusion:
Soft, hard or a million permutations in between, the different ways to express your message is limited only by our imaginations and your Production Team's creative ability to make it all happen on screen.  With the right Production Team, there are no limits.
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