Just When You Though it Was Safe to Broadcast… You Want WHAT?!
It happens to virtually every producer of DRTV and TV ads. You’re days away from broadcasting a painstakingly-crafted TV ad or infomercial. You and your client are in complete agreement. All systems are go. The brand is set to soar. And then it happens – the fateful phone call or email that throws everything into a grinding halt. Somebody on the client’s staff has shared the DRTV production with a higher-ranking decision maker in their organization. And surprise — this decision maker doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with the rest of you. In fact, this person wants a few changes – perhaps major changes.
Everyone concerned can feel the surge of panic. Days away from broadcast, and you’re doing an overhaul. Along with alarm, this untimely decision likely will generate higher production costs and a delayed delivery of your TV ad or infomercial. Your basic nightmare.
While there are many reasons for last-second changes, one of the most common is multiple decision makers. Fine when all are in sync. But when each player has an individual viewpoint and sticks to it like glue, confusion and chaos rumble from the earth like thunder.
Such an explosive situation is not all that unusual when the players include an end client, agency, video production company, and other important entities. Occasionally, there’s even more than one video producer in the mix. All are determined to have their say. Converting all that chaos into something sensible is a monumental feat.
Dealing with the Last-Second Decision – An Ounce of Prevention
As with countless other problems, the last-second decision can be minimized and even eliminated with a practical approach that gets all ducks in a row good and early. In order to pull this off, DRTV producers, agents, end clients, and all other involved entities must participate in a system of managed input. A united front that clearly establishes parameters and expectations long before broadcast time.
Invariably, a system of managed input depends on one person taking the reins and assuming the leadership role. The chosen leader may be from the video production company, the ad agency, or the end client’s camp. This select individual not only would have ultimate decision-making power; he or she also would be the sole contact point. In such a role, the leader would act as a funnel and antenna, pulling in opinions and consolidating them into a single strategy. Not easy. But it can be done…must be done. It’s the only insurance against the chaos generated by last-second decisions.
DRTV companies and other responsible parties can facilitate a smooth managed input system by establishing production ground rules from the get go. By adhering to these rules, clients can greatly minimize the chances of last minute surprises.
The Ground Rules
- Limit the number of review edits. This prevents ballooning budgets and frazzled nerves.
- Brief key decision makers early in the production process.
- Keep input to the point. No vague notions – these create time-consuming chaos, confusion, and delays.
- Align input with campaign objectives. Misaligned input sets the stage for late changes and panic in the ranks.
- Time input to each production phase. Concept changes shouldn’t take place during a shoot. Likewise, lighting decisions should be finalized on the set not in post. Careful planning eliminates these mistimed decisions.
- Strive for peace. Given the quantity of players involved, divergent opinions are to be expected. Unchecked, this mishmash of ideas can lead to chaos and even infighting. The ideal input leader is a master tactician capable of resolving disagreements and crafting a single-minded strategy embraced by one and all.
Would you like to learn more about managed input for your DRTV production, or about any other video topic? Reach out to IDR for additional information and answers to all your questions. You’ll discover why we’re Orange County’s premier producer of TV commercials, infomercials, and online videos for a wide range of businesses, organizations, and brands.