The Next BIG Thing …

•March 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Actually, as it relates to DRTV, or Direct Response Television as it is known in the industry, it is usually the next little thing that makes a millionaire out of an entrepreneur.

The ever present infomercial, usually seen either after midnight, on one of the home shopping channels or Sunday morning TV are as much a part of successful marketing today as the Super Bowl.

With annual sales revenue generated by DRTV exceeding 200 billion dollars, an entrepreneur with a gadget or product to pitch to the masses that does not consider DRTV, would be like Anheuser-Busch giving Super Sunday the cold shoulder.

But wait, there more.  As it turns out, it’s not just widgets, gadgets and blankets you wear that are turning to direct response. Any product or service that can be sold by utilizing a call to action, either shipped as a result of online or telephone ordering or sold at retail, fits the bill. Coke, long an image only advertiser began using DRTV a few years ago with a “drive-to-web” strategy designed to create customer loyalty and continued use of its products.

This mainstream advertiser rush to utilize the medium has the DRTV segment surging while regular television ad spending is flat or down. Buyers and sellers cite several reasons for the upswing in DRTV advertising, including cost, measurability, accountability and higher engagement. They also note the growing number of response platforms beyond the traditional 1-800 number call center, including websites, social media and mobile sites.

DRTV rates on average cost less than traditional spots and with digital technology providing consumers more control over their media usage, more marketers are directing consumers to respond via mobile short codes via text message.

An interesting twist to all the curiosity surrounding direct response is the new option of direct-to-web. “Here at Foundation Media Solutions, we are regularly asked to produce spots planned not for TV, but for blogs, websites and YouTube,” says Cecil Cearcy, Foundation’s President.

Foundation Media Solutions is a film and video production and viral marketing company specializing in online video, DRTV and emerging technologies that provide unique opportunities for audience engagement. They partner with agencies and brands to produce and execute user-driven direct response campaigns that leverage social networks to drive viral dissemination, lead generation, and brand exposure.


Consumer Packaged Goods Taps Into Online Video Sector

•February 8, 2010 • 4 Comments

Regardless of what industry or category you are in, marketers, and yourcompetitors are jumping through hoops to take advantage of the huge surge in popularity of online video. Why? Consumers continue t0 increase their engagement with this medium.  One of the fastest growing sectors is the consumer products segment.

Atkins Nutritionals, Coca-Cola Co., ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Sara Lee Corp. and Unilever are just a few consumer product giants embracing online video as a tent pole of their digital marketing strategies. Digital video content, whether delivered through a computer, mobile phone, handheld device or TV monitor, has the potential to ignite two-way conversations between consumers and brands. Marketers of notoriously low-involvement consumer packaged goods-food, household, personal care items-will increasingly leverage video content to strengthen brand loyalty, generate viral buzz that ties their brands to pop culture, encourage trial and drive sales.

Consumer Product Goods Online ad spending

Just as with all social media platforms, your customers are looking to engage and provide feedback about your company and your products.  Looking for a cost effective online video partner? Contact us today! We have multiple years experience in delivering online video solutions.

Written by: Cecil Searcy   Cecil Searcy is the President and COO and of Foundation Media Solutions, a film and video production company located in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Art District, a community of creativity, inventiveness and inspiration. He can be reached at

*Data sourced from

The Results Are In … CBS Top 10 Super Bowl Ads of the Past Decade

•February 4, 2010 • 2 Comments

In preparation to increase viewership for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIV (44), which will be aired on CBS, Lara Spencer, host of “The Insider” co-hosted CBS’s interactive show, “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials 2010.”  Lara’s co-host was Jim Nantz, the 2008 National Sportscaster of the year, a veteran of the CBS network has covered virtually every sport since joining CBS in 1985.  The special show featured some of the best Super Bowl commercials of the decade.

Lara Spencer appeared this morning on the “Early Show” to provide a sneak peek for tonight’s hour long feature on CBS. Spencer and “Early Show” co-anchors Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith discussed some of the top 10 Super Bowl commercials, including the Doritos “Power Crunch” (2009), E-Trade’s “Baby Burp Up” (2008), Tide “To Go Interview” (2008), Budweiser “Rock Paper Scissors” (2007) and Budweiser “Super Fan” (2006).

Super Bowl ads are among the most sought after slots in the corporate world, despite their increasing cost. The 30 second spots in the first Super Bowl back in 1967 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers were a meager $37,500. Today, a 30 second spot requires a big brand budget to the tune of $3 million. Aside from the hilarious, surprising and shocking creative, what sets apart a Super Bowl ad from an ad aired any day of the year, is that Super Bowl ads are often targets of search engine results and viral videos for the remainder of the year that catapult a brand into stardom.

Click on the video below to see a clip from the new advertisements, including’s first-class babies, Audi’s “Green Police,” and’s National Lampoon experience. Exclusive Super Bowl 2010 Ad Sneak Peek AdWeek has also been revealing various snippets throughout the week and featuring various content about former Super Bowls. See their previews here: Sneak Peek from AdWeek

Here are some of the other favorites featured on CBS tonight that didn’t make the top 10 list and were deemed “The Best of the Rest.”

1980 Coca Cola 1980 Have a coke and smile with Mean Joe Green Remains at the top of “Best Superbowl Ads” lists. Fun and heartwarming. A Classic.

1995 Pepsi Super Bowl Classic The classic Super Bowl commercial from 1995, directed by Simon West. A young boy on the beach loves Pepsi so much that he sucks himself into the bottle after plenty of sucking and puckering.

2000 Mountain Dew Bad Cheetah Cyclist chases a cheetah in Africa and tackles him – reaches down his throat to get his can of Mountain Dew. Nice special effects…

2000 E Trade We Just Wasted $2 Million E*Trade Super Bowl ad of a monkey and two idiots – “Well, we just wasted two million bucks…”

2002 Pepsi Cindy Crawford Pepsi uses another celebrity to showcase their new look, Cindy Crawford, scantily clad in a white tank top and daisy dukes.

2002 Bud light Satin Sheets A combination of the lengths women go to in order to tear the men in their lives away from football and the reason why satin sheets are a bit of a cliché.

2003 Budweiser Instant Replay This ad spot features a new take on the game, the players, and those guys in stripes. A zebra fills in.

2004 Budweiser “Born a donkey” Clydesdale’s recruit a new type of teammate.  A donkey. This feels a little bit like the Rudolph story with the small donkey leading the pack.

2005 Careerbuilder Monkeys If it wasn’t a classic rule of advertising before, it should be now: you can’t go wrong with monkeys in business attire.

2006 Fed Ex Stick The spot opens with a caveman dressed in animal skins tying a stick to a Pterodactyl’s leg. As the Pterodactyl takes off into flight it is attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex and the stick falls to the ground. The caveman, saddened by the event, enters his boss’s cave to tell him the bad news. The boss responds by firing him for not using FedEx. The caveman pleads with the boss explaining, that “FedEx doesn’t exist yet,” but the boss does not seem to care. Frustrated, the caveman storms out of the cave and kicks a baby dinosaur that is crossing his path. As if his day is not bad enough, the spot ends with him being stepped on by a huge Brontosaurus foot. The moral of the story is then disclosed in the end frame, “Next time, use FedEx.”

2007 Kevin Federline Nationwide Ad Nationwide’s parody of Kevin Federline’s Rollin’ VIP.  Starring Kevin Federline.

2007 T-Mobile Fave 5 Who’s in your 5? Charles Barkley Dwyane Wade. “T-Mobile stick together” Super Bowl Commercial 2007

2007 Budweiser King Crabs Invasion of the King Crabs. Apparently all life forms will travel to all ends of the earth for Budweiser.

2008 Budweiser Rocky Clydesdale This 2008 super bowl commercial is about a Budweiser horse who has to train in order to become one of the main Budweiser horses. In this 2008 super bowl ad you will see the horse get trained by a dalmatian dog.

2008 Bud Light Fire Breather The guy in this Super Bowl 42 commercial is trying to make a good impression on the lady and without knowing the great taste of and the on Fire effect that Bud Light has in this Super Bowl commercial, every time he opens his mouth fire shoots out and catches everything on fire. The date was a disaster and house almost burned down.

2008 Bridgestone For drivers who want to get the most out of their cars. In this 2008 Super Bowl Commercial you will find a quiet mountain top like atmosphere. A squirrel going out in the middle of the street to get a nut. In this commercial a car comes down the street, the squirrel screams as does every other animal in the woods that are in this super bowl ad. The lady, who looks like one of the animals screams in rythem with the animals. The point to this Super Bowl ad is the sweetness of the Bridgstone Tires. The Bridgstone tires where able to just miss the squirrel and he could go on his way.

2009 Snowglobe Doritos Free Doritos at the office today? 2008 Doritos Crash the Super Bowl submission Wrong way to get that promotion you’ve been looking for. Interesting way to get free Doritos.

2009 Castrol Grease Monkeys Introducing Castrol EDGE, the Ultimate in Wear Protection with 8x better wear protection than Mobil 1.

2009 Need a new job? We can help Taking advantage of the economic situation, unemployment and a new perspective on the job search.

10 Tide to go 2008:  The Talking Stain

9 Careerbuilder 2009 Need a new Job?

8 Doritos 2009 Doritos 2009 … POWER OF THE CRUNCH

7 Budlight 2007 5 of 8 (Monkey) #superbowlads

6 Pepsi Max 2009

5 Budweiser 2007 Rock, paper, scissors

4 Budwesier 2009 Horse Fetch

3 Pedigree 2009 Get a Dog

2 E Trade 2008 Baby Burp Up #superbowlads

1 2006 Super Bowl: Budweiser “Super Fan”

Other top 10 from 2010 …

More about the feature on CBS:

Don’t care for CBS’s top picks? Here are some other lists we found!

AdWeek Super Bowl Ads 2009

Top 10 Super Bowl Ads on YouTube

Top 10 Super Bowl Ads of All Time – MSNBC

At Home Exercise Industry – Wants to Pump You Up / Slim You Down

•January 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Despite recent jabs from the main stream media about home exercise device effectiveness – A Consumer Reports story about how using the diet guidelines enclosed with the product would have users lose weight regardless of whether they used the actual product or not – the exercise at home market continues to explode.

With the economy still tight and gym membership costly, people are turning to home exercise in droves. Several very successful products came to the forefront this year, including the Ab Rocket and the PX90. And a local company is at the forefront of marketing such products to the public.

Foundation Media Solutions is a film and video production company located in the Crossroads Art District in Kansas City. Founder and President Cecil Searcy agrees that the category of home fitness is one of the fastest growing in DRTV. “We just completed shooting the Get Sexy campaign with “America’s Fitness Coach” Michael Carson, and are already working on several more home training gadgets.

We also just shot Vickie Winans’ new exercise DVD commercial. The Grammy nominated, award winning gospel recording artist was in town last week shooting a spot to promote her new ‘Laugh While You Lose’ DVD. Filming took place at our Art District studio”.

The exercise video stars Vickie Winans and trainer Kiersten Lane and offers a full body workout presented with a sense of humor. It was specifically designed to ease some of the strain of working out and make exercising more fun. The program includes step aerobics, abdominal strengthening, and stretching.

“Anything that gets somebody off the couch and into a regimen of exercise is a good thing” says Searcy. “Think about it … if you follow the enclosed diet, burn a few calories,  get your blood pumping and can do it all for four easy payments of $19.95 … it sure beats sitting sedentary.  And doing it at home means no gas burned driving to and from the gym. Who doesn’t want to lower their carbon footprint while also lowering their cholesterol?” he quipped.

Most home exercise gadgets are under $100.00, about a third of an annual gym membership and the “As Seen On TV” industry is fueling the growth of this segment, with a plethora of direct response television spots aimed at the buying public.

From over-the-door banded systems to rollers and crunchers, elliptical trainers and exercise balls. Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar business … that’s billion with a B.

Contact Cecil Searcy directly at

What makes a successful DRTV commercial?

•January 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

There are two separate yet very important elements that meld to create a successful DRTV spot. The first is motion photography.

Simply put, motion photography is the art and practice of making images by exposing film, video or digital medium to subject matter. The emphasis here is on art, because we are not referring to the process of simply exposing a medium to moving images …after all, that is what happens every time someone says “Action!” … The art and practice of motion photography require effective lighting, proper equipment, professional editing and years of experience.

The second element is effectual story telling. Advertising is the practice of convincing people to buy a particular brand or product. Of course advertising seeks to depict these products in the best possible light, so the art of motion photography becomes the crucial component in the production of a commercial advertising campaign. Scripting, directing and editing complete the total package and that becomes the formula for success.

The basic equipment used for film and video photography has changed dramatically in the last few decades. The more recent advent of digital technology has allowed for an even greater freedom, especially as it relates to editing.

Digital video photography is a means of communicating, potentially worldwide to sell product, tell stories, capture memories, evoke passion, fight for causes, make new meanings, and inspire the imagination. Mastering the art is a technical and challenging experience. Even with the best equipment, one must still know how to frame a shot, choose a background, interact with the subject, use light and select the right supplies and tools.

Finally, a creative eye borne of talent and experience provides the capstone. This creativity, applied to the process and mechanics of a television commercial, whether it be humorous, informational, direct response or image making is the ingredient that ensures success.

Finding a production company that can provide the means to produce a film or video that elementally meets all of these requirements can be challenging. But if one looks for a few key pieces, finding that needle-in-a-haystack is not quite as daunting.

  • Look for award winners. An honor bestowed upon an artist by his or her peers is a fairly good indication that they possess a certain level of expertise.
  • Examine past work. A portfolio of varied samples of work can show flexibility, creativity and story telling talent.

And finally, spend some time with your potential new creative team before you actually hire them. You will need to work closely with these people during the production of your film or video. At the very least you will want to make sure you can stand to be in the same room with them.

Charles Kephart is Partner and writer/producer at Foundation Media Solutions, a film and video production company located in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Art District, a community of creativity, inventiveness and inspiration. He can be reached at

January is Heating Up

•January 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The winter in Kansas City is really beating down this year, but the action in our office is just heating up. Next week we will have Grammy Nominated artist Vickie Winans in our studios shooting a commercial for her new workout video, Laugh While You Lose.

Happy New Year from Foundation Media Solutions!!

•December 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Best wishes to everyone. Looking forward to a successful year in 2010!