Thursday, January 26, 2006


I hope that headline got your attention. It's meant in jest... well, sort of.

Recently, I produced a TV spot for a new client. He was on the phone directing the session, and within a half hour, I had the audio track produced and sent off to his e-mailbox. After awhile he called to inform me that it had not showed up. Stuck somewhere in cyberspace. So, while I had him on the phone, I called up my web host and upoaded the spot to a private directory, gave him the password and stayed on the phone while he downloaded it on his end.

See, it's not about how much you pay. It's not about how well-known you are. It's about going beyond the expectations. Some folks just call it Customer Service.

Ask the folks for whom I've produced imaging for their podcast. They get an ultra-low rate, but the same attention I give to national agencies, or multi-national corporations. Why? Because it's MY product.

My sympathies go out to the client of one particular agency. It seems the agency wrote horrible copy. It was trite, it was not compelling, and worst of all, it did not address the major problem for the client's business. When asked to revise the copy, the agency instead added a four word phrase. Their attitude - "It's only radio." That sound you heard was the agency shooting themselves in the foot.

--- Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I almost forgot. The Miss America Pageant is this weekend. Remember, last year the show was dropped by the networks, and it since has moved to Las Vegas and to TNN. I was reminded of the pageant, even the date and time, by TNN's direct competition: Great American Country. GAC is running a radio campaign touting their counter-programming to Miss America. They even go so far as to say that if you're a country music fan, something is wrong if you have any interest in the Miss America Pageant.

To some, I suppose pageants are passe', but I think Miss America is one of those constants that we look for, especially in uncertain times. After all, Miss America was actually the first Reality TV show. Basically, 50 contestants vie to become famous for one year. Oh, and there's a college scholorship thrown in too - but that's no small potatoes, have you checked the price of tuition lately? And despite it's critics, Miss America is not as blatent as "Are You Hot Or Not", "The Swan", or even "Extreme Makeover".

So is it wise to mention your competitors in your commercials? I would advise against it. Use your time and energy to tell the benefits of YOUR product. The only exception is Coke and Pepsi, whose consumers are so loyal and so divided, they can play "war" with each other and may the best spot win.

So, thanks, GAC. I'll make a mental note to watch TNN this Saturday.

--Thanks for reading
Ron Harper

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I got caught up in the spin. I noticed the headline, "Kelly Clarkson Won't Let Idol Use Songs", and I went for it.

In case you're not familiar with American Idol, Kelly Clarkson was the first winner in 2002. Yeah, I watch the show. It's fun to see them progress through the experience. Besides, the audition segments are like passing an accident scene: you can't help but look.

Anyway, the facts are that Kelly is not licensing her songs to ANYONE. But THAT wouldn't be a story. Unfortunately, many folks can't see past the spin. Now, for anyone who reads the story, Kelly will probably have a prima donna image in their mind whether or not that's true.

Where does the emphasis lie? Beware of the spin.

Sometimes people get elected to high office that way.

--Thanks for reading
Ron Harper

(update: Kelly said she will license her songs for this season's Idol...It still doesn't change the spin)