BaubleBar: Case of the Mondays TV Ad

Here’s the final draft of my shooting script for BaubleBar. I took it in a similar-but-different direction from last week. What do you think?

Video Audio
1. Wide Shot (WS) to Medium Shot (MS) to Close Up (CU): Start with a wide shot (as if looking through a surveillance telescope lens) of the outside of apartment building. Then zoom in to a medium shot of a bedroom window on the 12th floor. Finally, a close-up inside the window to show a girl sleeping with an eye mask on. Alarm sounds. Girl smacks the snooze button, groaning, rolls over and puts her pillow over her head. She then drifts back to sleep. Sounds of birds chirping at dawn. Annoying buzzing of alarm clock followed by a loud slap.

Girl [Mumbles while she is half asleep]: “Ugh, Monday, I hate you. Is it Friday yet?”


Light snoring sounds.

2. MS: SWAT team comes busting through the bedroom door. The SWAT team is a group of three women dress in stylish black leather outfits and bejeweled with trendy baubles. They all have shiny shields that Say SWAT: Service With Accessorizing Talent on them in hot pink letters.

CU of Girl from the SWAT teams point of view (POV). The girl is startled and screaming with messy bed-head hair and an eye mask half on her face. She can only see out of one eye because the mask is covering the other.

CU of the SWAT team from the girl’s POV. All three agents are looking startled, screaming.

Girl [startled from sound sleep] screams.


The SWAT team screams because they are startled by the girl’s scream.

3. CU of SWAT Agent 1 SWAT Agent 1: Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays. Cuff her!
4. Medium shot of SWAT Agent 2 and SWAT Agent 3 running to the bed where the girl is sitting, half tucked in. SWAT Agent 2 is standing by the girl’s left, alongside the bed. SWAT Agent 3 is standing by the girl’s right, alongside of the bed. Both agents put down their shields and reach over at the same time, grab the girl’s arms and swiftly place beautiful jewelry cuffs on her wrists. They are shiny and sparkle in the darkish room.

Girl looks confused.

Sounds of feet scurrying.
5. CU of girl looking confused while admiring her wrist attire. Girl: Who are you? What’s going on?
6. WS of all three SWAT Agents and the girl. SWAT Agent 1 comes walking over to SWAT Agent 2, who is still standing on the girl’s left, alongside the bed. SWAT Agent 3 is still on the right. SWAT Agent 2: We’re from BaubleBar’s Service With Accessorizing Talent and we’re here to…

All three SWAT Agents [singing in unison]: GLAM YOU UP!

7. CU of SWAT Agent 3, picking up her shield and flips it around to reveal a collection of beautiful, colorful necklaces, shiny bracelets and sparkling earrings. SWAT Agent 3: You see you should always dress for the day you want to have. Monday might not be as exciting as Friday, but that’s an easy fix. Just spice-up your look with some unique baubles and BOOM – you’ve added flair to any day of the week!
8. CU of girl looking dejected. Girl: But I can’t afford to add that kind of flair to my wardrobe!
9. CU of SWAT Agent 1, who has also turned her shield around to reveal a collection of beautiful baubles. SWAT Agent 1: Nonsense. Don’t let the high shine and quality craftsmanship fool you — most pieces are $50 or less. Shipping is free, too!
10. WS: Girl looking at all the SWAT Agents and their bling-yielding shields in a trance-like awe. SWAT Agent 2: Remember, accessorizing is all about expressing who YOU are and want to be. Don’t let the day make you, make your day!

SWAT Agent 3: And your bed.

11. Fade to black screen. Come into a blurred MS of bedroom to focus on girl asleep in the bed. She wakes due to the alarm and jolts straight up in bed. She looks around the room. She is alone and confused. Girl [whispering to herself]: It was just a dream…
12. WS of bedroom. It is getting lighter in the room as the sun is rising. Girl removes the covers and gets out of bed, almost stepping on a bright pink box on the floor. She picks up the box and opens it revealing the gorgeous wrist cuffs from the dream. Girl smiles and takes them out of the box. Girl [smirking to herself and looking at the bracelets]: Today is going to be a great Monday.
13. Black screen with the words BaubleBar and in hot pink letters. Voiceover: BaubleBar. Define your look; define your day.


BaubleBar: Creative Approach and Shooting Script (First Draft Style).

Creative Approach:

The 60-second spot will be ideal for web and TV viewing. It will showcase the monotonous life of a young professional named Jane. A hard worker, Jane is constantly being ignored at work because she is lacks the confidence in her appearance to get noticed. The spot will profile a typical Monday and show how no one in Jane’s daily routine seems to notice her — it’s as if she is invisible to the world. Then, during lunch all her coworkers go out without her — like they do everyday — and lonely Jane seems destined to eat her lunch all alone at her desk. Just then, a mysterious email appears in her work inbox. She clicks on it and POOF! Three SWAT team stylists arrive in her cube amongst a cloud of glittery smoke. The “Stylish SWAT Sisters” magically bedazzle Jane in fashionable jewelry so she is plain no more. When her coworkers get back from lunch, a few stop to compliment Jane on her baubles. For the rest of the spot, Jane walks around the office with confidence in her new-found chic and affordable look, turning heads and getting noticed.


Shooting Script for the 60-second BaubleBar spot, Colorful Confidence.


  Video Audio
1.       Black & White (B&W) Wide Shot (WS): Dark bedroom with alarm clock flashing 6:00. “Jane” is in bed with an eye mask at an angle so it’s only covering one eye. She hits the alarm clock to turn it off and struggles to get out of the tangled sheets.


Alarm buzzing to start scene.

Jane (groaning): Monday, again?


2.       B&W WS: A disheveled Jane running down a somewhat busy city street flailing arms trying to catch a bus. The bus doesn’t wait for her and drives off. She misses it by only a second.


Sounds of diesel bus pulling up to and driving off from a stop.

Jane (yelling frantically): Wait, I’m right here! Wait!

3.       B&W Medium Shot (MS): A tired, wind-blown and even more disheveled Jane walks into an office building and scurries to an elevator full of her coworkers. She waves “hi” and frantically hustles to the elevator door only to have no one hold it for her and the doors close in front of her — as if no one even saw her.


Elevator ding and noise of elevator doors opening, followed by office noises — phones, people whisper talking, printers, etc.


4.       B&W Close Up of wall clock striking noon. Sounds of ticking clock.
5.       B&W WS: Jane stands up from her desk and steps out of her cube, looking around the suddenly empty and desolate office. See looks over by the elevator to see all her coworkers onboard, going to lunch without her. Sound of elevator doors followed by crickets.

Jane: Anyone want to go eat lunch…


6.       B&W CU: Jane grabs a paper lunch bag out of her work bag on the floor under her desk and plops it near the keyboard. She sits down in a defeated manner and gets back to work on her desktop computer. Audible sigh from Jane. Crinkling of paper lunch bag followed by typing.

Jane: Typical. Why would today be any different? Guess it’s a working lunch for me… again.


7.       CU of computer screen from Jane’s POV. She gets an email sent to her work account with a subject line reading “Jane, feeling invisible?” Mouse arrow clicks to open email and POOF! A huge puff of smoke with colorful glitter fills Jane’s cubicle. Everything is black and white except for the glitter in the smoke.


Mouse click noise. Popping noise and magical, bling sounds (chimes).
8.       WS of Jane’s cube. She is sitting, back facing her computer, with mouth open, astounded expression on her face. Three gorgeously accessorized ladies dressed in black, white, hot pink and yellow (BaubleBar’s main colors) with SWAT printed on their shirts. Aside from the colors on the ladies, everything else in the shot is still black and white.


Fading magical bling (chime-like) noises.

Jane: “Who are you?”


9.       CU of SWAT Sister 1. SWAT Sister 1: We’re your Fairy SWAT Sisters.


10.    CU of SWAT Sister 2. SWAT Sister 2: @: That’s Service With Accessorizing Talent.
11.     CU of SWAT Sister 3. SWAT Sister 3: And we’re here to…

All three in unison (with excitement): BAUBLE YOU UP!


12.    Jane spins in chair and emerges in vibrant colors, glowing with beauty from her statement baubles. Full color is now used. SWAT Sister 1 whips out a mirror to reveal the new, confident Jane, to Jane. Jane touches necklace, earrings, bracelet in excitement and awe.


Jane (in awe of quality of her new bling — she’s touching it): But I don’t make enough money to accessorize with quality pieces like this!

SWAT Sister 1: Think again! This is affordable bling from BaubleBar!
Jane: But it’s so shiny, stylish and well made!

SWAT Sister 3 (in a happy sing-song tone): Don’t forget unique!
SWAT Sister 2:
Trust us, Jane; the only thing you can’t afford here is to be ignored.


13.    In another poof of glittery smoke, the SWAT Sisters are gone. Jane is left in her cube, bejeweled in style.


Popping sounds and magical bling (chime-like) noises.
14.    People start coming back from lunch. They say “hi” to Jane and stop by her cube to compliment her on her baubles.


Coworker 1: Hi, Jane. Cute necklace!

Coworker 2: I LOVE those earrings!


15.    Later that day, Jane grabs some files to deliver to a department on another floor and heads towards the elevator. The door begins to close but someone inside catches a gleam from Jane’s gorgeous bling and stops them from closing. Inside the elevator are several other coworkers, both male and female. Jane hears them whispering in the back of the elevator, stands up tall and smirks to herself.


Coworker 1(whispering): Who’s the new girl?

Coworker 2 (whispering): She’s not new, that’s Plain Jane from accounting.

Coworker 1(whispering): There’s certainly nothing plain about her…


16.    CU of Jane in the front of the elevator, facing out. The man to her right, in front of the buttons asks her a question.


Coworker 3 (regular voice, to Jane): Going up?

Jane (smirking): You bet I am!


17.    CU of silver elevator doors closing. in big hot pink letters appears on them.


Voiceover: A statement you can afford to make. Get styled by our SWAT Team today at


Be All That You Can Be in A Script: An Army Training Video

This week my fellow classmates and I were tasked with creating a paper-edit script based off of an interview with the lovely Captains Y and Z. The guidelines stated that it had to be between 2-3 minutes in length and touch upon the following content points:

  1. Soldiers often pride themselves on their ability to take care of problems on their own. But it doesn’t always work.
  2. That’s when the leader needs to step in. Being a leader means caring for other soldiers, being aware of the stresses they’re under, and doing something about it.
  3. Families are a soldier’s best support. But when there’s a problem in the family, the soldier’s work is going to suffer, and the unit may suffer as a result.
  4. An Army unit is a very special thing. It’s like a family.

This was quite the challenge as this week did not lend well to creative thinking. Below is the script I created. Tell me what you think in the comments below!

Video                   Audio
1. CU of soldier buttoning uniform and lacing his boots, as if to head off to battle. [Faint chants]
Captain Y Voiceover: Once you put this uniform on, you’re part of a family. It’s taking care of each other, leaving no man behind.
2. WS of Captains Y and Z outside, in front of a rope wall that two soldiers are climbing side-by-side during an obstacle course at PT. Soldier One is succeeding; Solider Two is struggling and looks distracted. When Solider One gets to the top, he offers a hand but Solider Two will not accept it. He continues to struggle with and closes his eyes. Screen goes to black.

All are in combat uniform.

[Grunting, sounds of a group running]

Captain Z: And that saying, leave no man behind, doesn’t just refer to the battlefield. It’s just as much when you’re at home station and your soldier needs help. You just don’t leave him out there on his own. You bring him in and take care of him.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done.


Captain Z: There’s a stereotype that if you’re in the Army, you don’t ask for help.

3. CU of Captain Y outside with a unit of soldiers marching behind him. [Crescendo heartbeat meshing with marching]

Captain Y: Soldiers are the heartbeat; they’re the pulse and the tempo of that unit. And if that tends to skip a beat it’s going to show. Keeping that team healthy is most important.

4. CU of Captain Z outside with a unit of soldiers marching behind him. [Sounds of marching]

Captain Z: You’ve got to keep them both mentally and physically healthy. And the physical part is usually the easiest. It’s the mental part — breaking through that barrier of, “I’m a man. I’m in the Army. I don’t need help,” that’s the toughest.

5. WS: Solider Two is falling behind in a different obstacle on the outside course during PT, causing his team to fall behind. He is once again not able to focus. [Grunting, sounds crawling, cheering]

Captain Y: If one soldier is hurting, his friends are going to know about it. His friends are going to suffer from it. It’s going to bring down morale. So you want to open up all avenues to help every soldier possible.

6. WS: Soldier Two approaches Captains Y and Z after PT with a serious, somewhat scared/ashamed expression. Captain Y pats him on the back and walks away from the unit to get some privacy under at tree in the distance. [Sounds of soldiers high-fiving, finishing obstacle course/PT]
Captain Z: You’ve got to keep communication open. You don’t always have to talk to them from a Commander to a subordinate standpoint. Talk to them man-to-man, you learn a lot from your soldiers when you do that.
7. CU of Captain Y talking with Soldier Two. Both begin to smile. Captain Y: Soldiers need to see that you’re human. I may be a Commander but I’m a man, I’m a husband, I’m a father and I’ve made my share of mistakes and shortcomings. Somebody was always there to help me.
8. MS of Captains Y and Z outside in front of PT obstacle course.

In the background blurred soldiers are doing cool-down exercises together, helping each other do sit-ups, etc.

Captain Z: As Commanders, it’s important that we recognize soldiers that need help and let them know it’s okay to come forward and ask for the help that the Army can provide them.

Captain Y: As Captains in the U.S. Army, you have to know what your charge is, you don’t just feed, you don’t just listen; you nurture. You’re going to nurture the philosophy of helping each other. You’re going to nurture the philosophy of teamwork.

9. CU Captain Z outside in front of PT obstacle course. Captain Z: Our unit is a family. And when one of them is in trouble, we all come to their aid. That’s how we make sure everybody is taken care of. I’ve never seen a unit come together more than when a soldier or a soldier’s family needs help.


10. CU Captain Y outside in front of PT obstacle course. [Faint sound of rustling leavings, birds chirping]

Captain Y: Not everybody has a problem, but everybody can always use some help, whether it’s personal, professional. It’s only going to make you that much better as a leader.


11. Black Screen with Army Logo. Voiceover: Army slogan: “Be all that you can be”

Scripts: They’re What Commercials Are Made Of.

This week in IMC 634: Digital Storytelling, we’ve been learning about all aspects of script writing, from camera direction to audio.

What’s the best way to learn how to craft a stellar commercial script? Why, you must dissect a stellar commercial! I promise this is nothing like biology class in high school. Dissecting a commercial does not involve formaldehyde or sharp objects — just time and the ability to look differently at what we see every day. So here it goes — my attempt at recreating the scripts of two popular thirty-second ads:

Script One: AT&T Cutest Kid TV Commercial

Video Audio
1. Wide shot (WS) of four kids and one man. We see one girl and one boy seated on each side of the man at a child-sized table in an elementary school classroom. Kids are looking at the man. Man: Why is it better to get what you want now instead of later?
2. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Girl [with lisp]: Because you don’t want to wait to eat your raisins.
3. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at girl to his left. Man: You don’t want to wait to eat your raisins?
4. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Both kids are looking at the man. Girl 1: No!
5. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at Girl to his left. Man: Why not?
6. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Both kids are looking at the man Girl [with lisp]: Because they’ll turn into grapes.
7. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at Girl to his left. Man: Not sure that’s the way it works.
8. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Girl is smiling and looking at man; boy is staring off to the right with his hands folded on the table. Girl [with lisp]: Yeeesss!
9. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at Girl to his left. Man: Are you competing for cutest kid right now?
10. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Girl is smiling and looking at man; boy is looking at girl. Girl [with lisp]: Yes.
11. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at Girl to his left. Man: And what place are you in?
12. Medium shot (MS) of boy and girl to the man’s left. Girl is smiling and looking at man; boy is looking at girl. Girl [with lisp]: Kindergarten.
13. WS of four kids and one man. Man is looking at Girl to his left. Man: Thaat’s adorable.
VO: It’s not complicated.
14. Light gray screen with font: “Now is better.” Happy AT&T jingle plays.

VO: Now is better.

15. Light gray screen with font: AT&T is the nation’s FASTEST and now MOST RELIABLE 4G LTE network. (Orange graphic of the United States with light-gray legal disclaimer text that is hard to read). Happy AT&T jingle plays.

VO: AT&T is the nation’s fastest and now most reliable 4G LTE network.

16. Light gray screen with AT&T logo and text reading AT&T changes to Rethink Possible with underneath. End of AT&T jingle plays.

Script Two: Geico: Ickey Shuffle — Did you know.


Video Audio
1. Wide shot (WS): Dentist working on male patient lying in a dental chair. Dentist is not paying attention to what he is doing; instead he is looking up and to his left. Patient has his eyes closed. Light sounds of dental instruments such as water and spit vacuum.


Dentist: Huh.

2. Close up (CU): TV mounted on dental office wall. TV is displaying the Geico gecko reads “15 minutes could save you 15%” Light sounds of dental instruments such as water and spit vacuum.

Dentist: 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.

3. CU: Patient with dentist’s gloved hands working in his mouth with dental instruments. Patient is staring up at the TV not in the shot. Light sounds of dental instruments such as water and spit vacuum.

Patient [garbled]: Everybody knows that.

4. Medium shot (MS): Dentist and patient. Dentist is looking blankly at camera and then shifts his gaze to patient. Patient looks up at dentist with confused look. Light sounds of dental instruments such as water and spit vacuum.

Dentist [matter-of-fact voice]: Well did you know that former pro football player Ickey Woods will celebrate almost anything?

Patient [Garbled whisper, as if in somewhat in pain]: Uh-uh

5. CU: Older male deli clerk behind a grocery store delicatessen counter in a grocery store. Shot begins with him looking over his right shoulder at a digital, light-up sign behind him is displaying the number 44. Buzzer going off.

Deli Clerk [loud voice, not yelling]: Number forty-four.

6. WS: Supermarket deli aisle. Ickey Woods is standing in front of the deli counter with a shopping cart. Raises his left arm with a piece of paper (deli number) in his left hand. Two women in line at the deli counter and another woman shopping the cooler case are looking at Ickey. Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [excited shouting]: WOOOO! Forty-four, that’s ME!

7. WS: Ickey Woods does the Ickey Shuffle in the deli aisle. Three women and deli clerk stare at him. Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [chants while shuffling]: Get some cold cuts, get some cold cuts get some cold cuts.

8. WS: Ickey Woods spikes a package of food (looks like deli meat) onto the ground with his right hand like it’s a football Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [excited screaming]: WOOOO!

9. MS: Two women at deli counter. One lady is staring at Ickey with a half-smile. The other lady is looking at the deli clerk with a “he’s crazy” expression on her face. Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [excited shouting]: Gonna get some cold cuts today!

10. WS: Ickey walks over and high-fives deli clerk and jumps.

White “Geico” logo comes across screen. Beneath it reads, “Share the shuffle at”

Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [celebratory shout after high-five, before jump]: Wooo!

VO: Geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.

11. WS: Ickey walks away from the deli counter, still holding his deli number in his left hand. He jumps around and does a few shuffle steps. The two ladies at deli counter and deli clerk are watching him. Elevator music lightly playing in background.

Ickey Woods [excited shouting]: Forty-four ladies, that’s me! WOOO! Gonna get some cold cuts today!

A Tale of Two Creative Briefs: Davis Drug & BaubleBar

Creative Brief #1:
Client: Davis Drug
Type: 60-90 second digital spot


Focus: Davis Drug wants to tell a story about their unique drug compounding services. The small, local drug store hopes to get this message across with a branding video that does not exceed 90 seconds in length. Davis Drug wants to show the audience that medications should not be a one-size-fits-all product. Instead, compounding personalized prescriptions tailored to each individual’s specific health needs is a more effective way to improve quality of life and treat illness with medication.

Issues: When it comes to Davis Drug and medication compounding, there are a few issues that need to be addressed — and overcome — by its brand story. These issues are as follows:

  • A lot of people are unfamiliar with drug compounding.
  • Compounded drugs aren’t FDA-approved. This makes the safety and effectiveness of such medications questionable.
  • The idea that Davis Drug is not as convenient as big-box drugstores because there is only one location in the Hampton Roads area and hours of operation are limited.

Audience: The audience for this message will focus on families and senior citizens living in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. This will include males and females ages 25-75, both military personnel and civilians, living or working within the delivery limits for the pharmacy.

Content Points:

  • According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug compounding is when a licensed pharmacist combines, mixes or alters the ingredients of a drug to create a medication tailored to the specific needs of an individual patient. This is helpful when trying to avoid certain ingredients and dyes that may trigger an allergic reaction, when a unique dosage size is needed or when drugs are best administered outside of pill or liquid form (e.g. lollipops, lozenges, topical creams and more).
  • The FDA states that, “Compounded drugs made using poor quality practices may be sub- or super‑potent, contaminated, or otherwise adulterated.” Davis Drug is locally owned and operated by a pharmacist who is expertly trained in drug compounding and continues to attend post-graduate training on the latest compounding techniques. Likewise, Davis Drug only uses state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality, FDA-approved ingredients when compounding medications. As a result, they can fill customized prescriptions for each individual member of the community — from little ones to seniors and even four-legged family members!
  • Davis Drug offers a free prescription delivery service to office and residential locations throughout Hampton Roads. This makes filling your prescriptions at the local pharmacy easy and convenient, especially if you don not live nearby or cannot drive to the store during operating hours. In emergencies, the owner  has been known to come in and fill prescriptions outside of regular business hours.

Brand: No two patients are alike, that’s why Davis Drug focuses on the individual by safely and expertly compounding medications to fit your specific needs. Davis Drug is more than just a pharmacy — it’s your pharmacy.

Creative Brief #2:
Client: BaubleBar
Type: 60-second digital spot


Focus: Many retailers think of costume jewelry as an afterthought, creating a brand void in fashion jewelry. BaubleBar, a fairly new e-commerce company is working hard fill that empty space by positioning itself as the brand for affordable bling. The company operates on a business strategy that utilizes a consolidated supply chain to offer an extensive collection of chic, on-trend fashion jewelry at varying price points. Utilizing a 60-second digital spot, BaubleBar wants to make sure that every woman’s wardrobe can be uniquely accessorized with quality pieces that are budget-friendly.

Issues: The biggest issue that BaubleBar needs to address is the fact that buying jewelry is very personal. The fact that a shopper cannot try on a piece to see how it looks on her is a huge negative for the brand. As an e-commerce store, the BaubleBar needs to find a way to take the hesitation out of buying necklaces, earrings and bracelets online.

Audience: This message will target women ages 20 to 40 in the United States. This demographic is the most likely to accessorize their wardrobes using the latest trends in fashion and jewelry.

Content Points:

  • SWAT Team: BaubleBar utilizes the Internet to provide top-notch customer service. Its SWAT (Service With Accessorizing Talent) team is ready and willing to help, either via online chat or they’ll even call you if you if you want — all within 24 hours or less of your initial request. Consumers can ask SWAT stylists for help with everything from product and fashion advice to technical support.
  • Third-Party Associations: BaubleBar offers hundreds of different styles of necklaces, bracelets and earrings, including exclusive designs from celebrity guest “Bar Tenders.” Currently, the brand features a collection by supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. BaubleBar also set out to increase its offline exposure through partnerships with retailers like Nordstrom and Anthropologie.
  • Vault Points: BaubleBar’s customer loyalty program adds to its brand resonance by instilling a sense of community for consumers while helping to create attitudinal attachments to the brand and generating behavioral loyalty. By giving customers a way to get more value out of their purchases, the Vault Points program helps to guarantee customers make repeat purchases. Likewise, it reinforces a sense of value and affordability between the consumer and the brand.
  • Shipping and Packaging: BaubleBar offers free shipping on all orders and returns with no minimum purchase required. BaubleBar’s unique packaging helps to build the brand’s image of being creative, fashionable and fun. It also instills a sense of quality as each piece comes with a storage bag similar to expensive jewelry brands such as Tiffany’s.

Brand: is where one can always find unique, high-quality fashion jewelry and accessories that are on trend and reasonably priced.

TV Advertainment: A creative approach to commercials

If I were in charge of choosing the winners for the best, out-of-the-box TV commercials — the kind of ads that choose creativity over literal interpretation — I  would have a very hard time.

Why? More brands are thinking outside the box in terms of TV advertising than ever before thanks to new media and changing audiences. Today, it is so easy to avoid ads on television thanks to streaming services like Netflix and DVR devices. Plus, today’s millennial audience — a very large consumer demographic — is an aware and engaged group of consumers that does not respond well to the in-your-face marketing methods of TV’s past.This has led to a plethora of TV advertainment — that is entertaining advertisements on TV.

Below are three ads that would win awards, at least in my book, for choosing to entertain audiences with a creative story, as opposed to blatantly selling a product.

Third place would go to BMW for its clever new twist on the typical TV ad for an automobile— the BMW X5 commercial featuring the crazy, backseat-driving grandma.

The ad begins with a shot of a car driving down the street and the crazy-haired grandma — who you can barely see in the third-row backseat — telling her son to make a left at the drugstore. He responds that he is already aware this turn because the car’s head up display is providing him with directions. This then sparks the grandma to tell a story of how her mother used to shout, “heads up when she spotted a twister coming across the plains.” The crazy grandma then screams “heads up” and everyone in the car jumps, including the two children in the second-row backseat. Her son tells her that was loud and she explains how that how they did it on the plains because their plains people. Her son reminds her she’s from Queens. The commercial ends by showing another outside view of the car driving down the street and the words “Optional third row seating for back-backseat drivers” appear across the screen. Other than the shot of the car, there is no mention of BMW, making this ad subtle, humorous and easily relatable. After all, don’t we all know at least one annoying backseat driver that we’d love to banish to the third row?

Brand positioning statement: For back-backseat drivers.

Second place would go to Volkswagen for yet another clever rendition of a car commercial featuring humor and old women.

A part of the brand’s Old Wives’ Tales series, the ad “Old Wives Tale #4: Stinky — Three Old Wives Smelt It” features the cantankerous trio of older ladies driving down the street when Mary, the lady in the backseat, yells, “Something stinks!” Josie, the lady in the passenger seat, exclaims that the diesel must be the cause of this unpleasant odor. Terri, the driver, insists it’s not the diesel saying, “the new diesels don’t smell bad.” After some bickering Mary realizes the smell, which she describes as “marinated camel crap,” is Tuna, the famous Internet rescue dog with an under bite. The ad ends with them pulling into the parking lot of a pet groomer to get Tuna a bath and Mary saying, “Hash tag Tuna melts my heart, whatever that means.” In general, this commercial sets out to debunk the Old Wives’ Tale that diesel smells, and does so with a memorable, humorous and entertaining story.

Brand positioning statement: New diesels don’t stink.

Finally, first place, the grandest, most creatively abstract commercial of them all would be awarded to Friskies for Dear Kitten: Regarding the Big Game.

The commercial, which stems from the brand’s clever series of online short films, made its first television debut during the this year’s Super Bowl. Riddled with humor, the ad features the voice of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures’ president, Ze Frank, and centers around two adorable animals — namely a gray, grumpy old cat and an adorable orange kitten. Throughout the 1-minute, four-second commercial, the older gray cat explains game day wisdom on the newest furry member of the house, the kitten.

The film plays humorously on well-known game day stereotypes from a cat perspective, with the elder cat explaining the various parts of the Super Bowl party — costumes (jerseys) wet food (tailgate snacks) and so forth. He also tells the kitten that they have their own game to play, advising him not to hide but to “be aggressive” and jump on the table, run across laps and, in true feline fashion, to knock things over. Finally, the gray cat exposes his secret plan — to block the TV — in order to get a “custom ride to the wet food,” which he believes is the only thing worth competing for. Overall, this example of a commercial that is not literal by creative choice is truly the cat’s meow (pun intended).

Brand positioning statement: Kitty gets what he wants.

Fast Tracking: What are you doing to protect your digital footprint?

Think that your online activity is just between you and your computer? Think again. Between tracking software and social media, your digital footprint is larger than you know. In fact, your every move on the World Wide Web is likely being watched — from the websites you visit to the topics you search and the items you buy online. All of this information is likely gathered without your knowledge and consent, and it’s being used to build a detailed online profile about you.

Creeped out yet?

What is this information used for?
Mostly marketing purposes. Ever noticed how that pair of shoes you Googled the other day is now showing up as an ad on the side of your Facebook page? How about those unsuspecting ads on the top of your Gmail inbox that just happen to be for something you emailed your mom about yesterday?

Known as behavioral tracking, it refers to “the practice of tracking web users (and mobile apps users) on the Internet. Browsing histories, email interactions and website visitors’ behaviors are tracked, collected and stored for marketing and advertising purposes.”

How does this even happen? Cookies — and I’m not talking the Girl Scout variety — on just about every website allow your digital life to be tracked without you even realizing it. Below is an info-graphic that illustrates the results of an in-depth analysis on the prevalence of behavioral tracking.


What does this mean for consumers?
Behavioral tracking is used mainly for marketing purposes, but poses a serious threat to everyone. Financial institutions, employers, landlords, criminals and so forth can potentially obtain this information and use it against you. Why? Because there are currently no limits in place to control what is collected, how it is stores and with whom it can be shared.

How to keep your digital footprint in check.
There are several things consumers can do to protect their information online. If you are diligent and maintain the following, you are less apt to be victimized in digital world.

  1. Maintain good password hygiene. This means pick unique passwords (think letters, numbers, symbols, etc.) for every online account — do not use the same password over and over! Yes, it may be harder to remember multiple passwords, but they are also hard for hackers to figure out. Also, change your passwords often — at least once every six months.
  2. Install a security/anti-virus program on your computer and use it!
  3. Pay attention to security upgrades. Virus protection isn’t enough, as sophisticated hackers are always creating new ways to get around popular security software, so installing updates — preferably as soon as they are sent to you — is ideal.
  4. Don’t be stupid! If you get an email from someone you don’t recognize, don’t open it. Also, don’t click on mysterious links or download attachments from those you don’t know. Likewise, never share your personal information, such as bank accounts and passwords — trust me, that form in your inbox requesting this information isn’t from your bank! Also, As in real life, the virtual world is filled with good and bad neighborhoods. Stick to the good and avoid the bad, such as gaming and porn websites.

And, when it comes to social media…
Consumers need to heed the Federal Trade Commission’s advice and not over-share (I know, this can be difficult for some). Posting too much on social networking sites can allow hackers to figure out the answers to password-protected online accounts, which means they can potentially gain access to valuable information such as bank accounts.

Likewise, share as little information as possible about yourself and your family to keep others from knowing too much about you. That means think twice before sharing that video of your little ones or utilizing location services on your mobile device and checking into a place on Facebook and other social sites. After all, you don’t what predators knowing where you live (or where you are at any given moment), places you visit frequently and when you’re not home, do you?