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How Does a Marketing Strategy Become a TV Ad Campaign? Here’s How Landlord Loans Just Did It.

If you’re like most brand marketers and entrepreneurs, the process of creating a TV ad campaign starts in-house. You know all there is to know about your company, your products and your competition.

Even more importantly, you know your customers—who they are, what they’re looking for, and what product features and benefits are important to them.

So how does all that knowledge get turned into TV commercials? Who writes the scripts? Who draws the storyboards, or shoots the footage?

That part, you’re probably not as comfortable with doing in-house. Maybe you work with an agency, or hire a production company.

Or, if you’re LendingOne, you collaborate with  Your Home Digital and Content Puppy Productions.

Your Home Digital is a premier OTT-streaming media and advertising company, and of course, Content Puppy provides a wealth of marketing, script writing and production experience. 

Alfred Hitchcock practically invented the rules of visual storytelling

Launching a Brand

LendingOne is a mortgage company focused on the unique needs of real estate investors. Unlike traditional banks and mortgage lenders, they understand the frustrations of buying rental property.

To address this niche, they launched a new brand—Landlord Loans—and began working with Your Home Digital to create a new TV ad campaign to stream on OTT media channels.

Their strategy: differentiate Landlord Loans from traditionanl banks by explaining the details. Everything from getting a loan as an LLC to faster closing dates, fewer documents required and an easier application process.

That’s when Content Puppy got involved. A few Zoom meetings and creative presentations later, we had an approved campaign concept—and a series of funny stories about a wannabe landlord trying to get a loan.

The commercials were set inside of a typical bank, either at a teller window or  in a bank manager’s office.

Fake Competition

Of course, this presented a minor legal problem. We needed to avoid any confusion between our bank and any existing bank or lending institution brand.

So we created a fake bank brand—a parody mortgage lender called Stuffy Bank & Trust.

Part of the campaign concept was creating a fake bank brand—Stuffy Bank & Trust.

This included designing a bank logo, and point-of-sale signage to decorate our bank interior.

A minor detail, perhaps, but the signage definitely added to the realism of our story setting.

Of course, the branding was only part of the problem. We also needed a bank location.

Normally, this would involve working with a location scout, or searching the Georgia Film Commission’s online database. Unfortunately, the normal process didn’t yield useable results.

We spent weeks scouring commercial property websites and contacting dozens of realtors and property owners.

But the hard work paid off. We ended up finding a great location—a former Bank of America building currently for sale in Suwanee, Ga.

One of Hitchcock's best rules of visual storytelling was about how to frame each shot

Casting the Actors

We also took an unconventional approach to finding the actors. We worked with a local actor’s group and posted the project on their Facebook page.

Dozens of Atlanta actors sent in auditions, and five were ultimately selected.

Next, we finalized the scripts and storyboarded the concepts. Everything was ready for shoot day.

Shooting a TV Ad Campaign

To stay on budget, all five commercials were shot in a single day. That required prepping and propping the location in advance, to minimize downtime on shoot day.

We shot in a non-linear fashion, setting up different camera angles, and switching out actors to cover different lines. It was the most efficient approach, from a time management perspective.

The result was five different commercials, each focused on a separate benefit and customer insight.

Thank you to the actors for their hard work and wonderful performances. Also, a big thanks to Sean Stockell, CEO at Your Home Digital, and Robert Burgess, CMO and eCommerce Advisor for recommending Content Puppy in the first place.

And of course, thanks to Matt Neisser and Erica Hackmyer at LendingOne for trusting us with this important launch project. Can’t wait to do more!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions. Before starting his business, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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