Benton Crane: CEO of Harmon Brothers – Ep. 22

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Ep. 22 – Benton Crane Show Highlights

1:47 – “We think that success actually comes in a much more sustainable way when you’re not relying on virality.”

4:35 – “Jeffrey Harmon made this two and a half minute long ad for Orabrush, which at the time was an unheard of length for an ad. You either had your typical 30 second, 60 second TV spots or you had your infomercial spots, which were like 15, 20, 30 minutes, but two and a half minutes? That was just like this odd duck length. And so he makes this video and then he starts showing it to people. And everyone, myself included, was like ‘this is not going to work’.”

“And he was like: ‘no, I need two and a half minutes to properly communicate what needs to be communicated and to properly sell this product’. And so he actually reached out to YouTube and he goes, ‘can you guys give me a skip button so that the people who want to watch this ad can watch it?’

“I don’t think YouTube or Jeff had any idea at that point in time like how impactful that would be to the whole industry. But now, looking back over a decade later, I’m pretty convinced that that one tiny little innovation probably did more to change the advertising industry than almost anything else that I can think of.”

10:32 – “If my memory serves me correctly, it was 83% of our clients who have done the Harmon Brothers Hero campaign, they at least double their revenue and then 40% at least 10x their revenue. And so in the venture capital world, those 10xers… those are what they call their home runs.” (editado) 

14:48 – “When you’re just coming up with a concept, you’re iterating, you’re testing – iterate, test, iterate, test. Then you write a script, iterate, test, iterate, test. Then you do storyboards, iterate, test, iterate, test. Then you do an animatic (which is storyboards combined with voiceover) once again, iterate, test, iterate, test.”

22:16 – “When you look at the history of advertising and when you look at the industry as a whole, you’ll find the industry is kind of broken into two camps: On one side of the industry, you have the whole direct response, performance marketing. That’s where your infomercial people live. It’s where your pay-per-click people live. It’s the ‘click now while supplies last’ or ‘hurry to get this offer’, it’s that world. And then on the other side of the industry, you have the traditional branding world.”

28:06 – “You have to think about that process to give the right thing to the right client at the right time, meaning a startup is not going to sign up for a big half-million-dollar big budget campaign and nor should they. They need to work their way up to that and get to the point where they’re thinking about, ‘OK, how do we make our brand memorable?’ ‘How do we make it sticky?’ ‘How do we make it stand the test of time?'”

33:43 – “We’ve developed several different creative directors and so each project gets its own creative director. And that creative director is – they are in charge of all the critical creative decisions for that project.”

38:32 – “I just kept replacing myself over and over and over again and kept encouraging the team members who we brought in to do the same thing – to build your sphere and then replace yourself so that you can get really focused on the key areas.”

43:12 – “I would say to the marketers and to the entrepreneurs who look at our work and think, ‘oh, I need to incorporate humor into into my advertising’, I would say go find the people who have dedicated their lives to becoming funny and and who are putting in the reps and all the hard work and collaborate with them.”

47:36 – “If I always look to the person who is above me and focus on making them successful, [my grandpa] said, I’ll never have to worry about being successful myself.”

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