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Author Archives: Clive Duncan

About Clive Duncan

Clive has spent all his working life in the film and television industry and was invited to join the TrinityP3 team as their TV production senior consultant. Clive has the unique advantage of having hands on experience at almost every level of TVC production and understands the complex relationships required to produce creative and cost effective TVCs. View Clive's full bio here

Addressing the ‘alternative facts’ of advertising production

Living in a post truth world full of alternative facts and fake news may seem like a recent occurrence to some. But a real fact is that in advertising broadcast production there have been alternative facts for many years that survive the test of time and are perpetuated from one generation of agency producer to the next. These alternative facts assist the agency from having to address the issues that plague the production category and alleviate the advertiser from ever having to worry about taking action to close the loopholes these alternative facts obscure. Loop holes that allow the agency and production house to operate without accountability and at an increased margin at the advertisers expense. Here are a couple of these alternative facts and their implications from the many that shroud the advertising production category. Continue reading

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Corrupt and illegal advertising production practices in advertising agencies?

It was with great interest that I read an article in The Wall Street Journal (Dec 6 2016) detailing how the US Department of Justice is investigating advertising agencies in the US for manipulating the tender process especially for the production of TV commercials. The concept of the agency acting as the production company is not a new one and has been an effective way to produce television commercials in the past. What is of concern is the way the agency and their holding companies manipulate the bidding process to circumvent the competitive process and maximise the profits from their clients. Continue reading

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How to attend the shoot or edit without leaving the office

When you hear about technology and innovation in television production it is usually focused on what new whizz-bang visual effect can be achieved with the latest piece of expensive computer effects equipment. And every director will want to find that next television commercial production to try it out on. But there are also many technology innovations that actually reduce the costs associated with television production. While these will not necessarily make the headlines of the media or even the production trade media, they are creating a quiet revolution in the 21st century approach to production. Continue reading

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How using a facilitation company for that overseas TVC production is costing you money

A few years ago I wrote a post on the issues associated with shooting overseas. At the time the strong Australian dollar meant that shooting offshore was an attractive opportunity for advertisers and their agencies. My how much has changed in a couple of years and with the vagaries of the foreign exchange rate.Today the Australian dollar makes shooting domestically more attractive, yet there are still many overseas markets that represent great value for advertisers, especially in a global production market hit by the low growth economic conditions. Continue reading

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How consumer goods brands can turn the talent casting process on its head and save.

While the headline particularly points out consumer goods brands this approach is applicable to all brands with well-developed strategies and disciplined implementation.This could apply to all types of categories, but is probably not as applicable to services industries. The reason being it requires taking advantage of longer term planning as a way of optimising the cost and contracting of talent be it actors or voice over actors for the production of broadcast video and content. What is required is to effectively turn the current process on its head and use longer term processes to negotiate the right talent at the best possible but reasonable cost across a multitude of channels and markets. Continue reading

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There are great production deals, but here’s why you the advertiser are not seeing them

If you believe some of the headlines there is no one advertising on television and yet the 13 and a half minutes of advertising every hour on commercial television appears to be full of commercials. The trade media are busy showcasing the latest campaigns from the major brands with the latest 60 second of 90 second director’s cut of television commercial on YouTube as the headline visual for the story. So clearly television commercial production is still happening, but perhaps not at the volume seen in the golden years of advertising and not with as many multi-million dollar budgets. Continue reading

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Where do those props you paid for end up after the television shoot?

There is a couple I have known for many years that work in the production industry. She is a stylist and he is an art director. They have a lovely house in the country and they often brag it is totally furnished and decorated from the props and wardrobe from commercial production shoots. This is not unusual actually, as the practice is quite common and most people in the industry know about it. However, in this case they took it to a whole new level. Basically, various advertisers have funded their whole holiday home furnishing and decorating. How does this happen? Continue reading

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How do you get the right production value for your advertising?

Now the following is true and I was a party to the events as they unfolded. The moving media (television or video production) involved an actor talking direct to camera. The agency art director thought that the actor needed to wear a suit to give him an air of authority and conservative values. The agency art director also wanted the actor to wear an Armani suit as the cut and drape of the garment would also give the actor a presence of sartorial elegance and personal wealth (both good traits that would wash-off onto the product). Now the suit was black so it was very difficult to see the cut and drape at all. But this was only discovered after the set and actor were lit at the studio on the shoot day. So there is some argument that the production value of a designer suit was misguided. Continue reading

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The Oscars, advertising and movie production budgets

Well the OSCARS are done for another year and controversy surrounding the nominated actor’s racial ratio is all “the-buzz”. Personally I am more interested in another ratio.I am interested in the shooting ratio (see table below). Here we have a range of films including three films nominated in the Best Picture at this years Academy Awards. The shoot ratio is the number of hours and minutes shot during production compared to the actual hours and minutes that makes it onto the screen. So why am I interested in this? Because the lower the shoot ratio the lower the cost of production. Do I have your attention? Take Primer for instance. This futuristic time travel film was reportedly made on a budget of $7,000. Continue reading

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Helen Mirren, Budweiser and commercial production budgets

If you haven’t seen the Budweiser ad with Helen Mirren that played at this years Super Bowl you need to seriously consider your place in the advertising and marketing industry. Now this commercial is interesting for several reasons. This year it cost US$5 million for a 30 second spot at the Super Bowl, so the Budweiser spot a 60 second TVC, would have cost US$10 million to air just once. It is claimed that 114 million people watch the Super Bowl game live, so if everybody is watching (and not taking a pee or cooking pop corn) then the figures don’t look that bad. But my interest in this particular ad is not the media cost but the production cost. Continue reading

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Managing an over budget TVC production concept – Case study

An Alcoholic Beverage client sent a TV commercial production budget to TrinityP3 for assessment. When the documentation, including creative, agency and production-company quote along with the director’s treatment and production schedule arrived it was immediately obvious that the budget as presented was over the clients target production budget by more than 30%. Continue reading

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2 good reasons to shoot your TVC offshore

We have all heard the term, ‘the copywriter just wrote him or her self an all expenses paid holiday’. These scripts usually open with the line, “We see a couple hand in hand on a tropical beach”. Now if the agency is in Sydney, New York or London we know this will be an expensive exercise. A degree of cynicism begins to creep into the whole exercise from those at the agency or in the clients marketing department that will not be going to the tropical beach. Envy is part of human nature, but I will put all this aside and focus on some very good reasons to shoot off shore. Continue reading

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Why are there no cost reductions in TVC production since going digital?

When did we stop using film? Not many of us really know as there has been no change to the on-air image quality of our TVCs since we all switched to digital movie cameras.
So the passing of the 35mm film camera has come and gone without a major disruption to the industry or the way we work on set or in post-production. What has happened is that the digital film camera and filmless post-production has brought change to the production process, but it would seem no cost reductions. Why is this so? Continue reading

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Why storyboards are the building blocks of production

Share57 Tweet +113 Share6Shares 76This post is by Clive Duncan a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. As a Director and DOP he has an appreciation for the value of great creative and outstanding production values, while also recognising the importance of delivering value for money … Continue reading

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Are advertisers paying for all the production bells and whistles?

Share60 Tweet +112 Share16Shares 88This post is by Clive Duncan a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. As a Director and DOP he has an appreciation for the value of great creative and outstanding production values, while also recognising the importance of delivering value for money … Continue reading

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