As co-owner of Gamma Blast, Liz Denning is producing consumer-centric videos that live in a place between advertising and programming. It allows her firm to produce web series like the Nashville Predators “Beneath the Ice” that brings 50,000-75,000 people to the Predator’s website to get to know their players better. She is helping brands like HGTV and the Food Network understand how to appeal to consumers passions in a totally authentic and engaging way. We asked Liz to tell us a little about her views on video.
1. How are advertisers using video content to enhance their brand and what results they are seeing?
Smart brands have pivoted to understand that the customer is now in the driver’s seat when it comes to whether to consume media. These companies are creating media that starts with the interests and passions of the consumer and then figures out how the company’s message can fit into the consumer’s world in an authentic way. Red Bull, GE and, of course, Lego are masters of authentic, branded content.
We produce regular content for HGTV and Food Network, who are keeping viewers interested when programming ends because it focuses on people’s interests, not a sales message. Another example is our web series with the Nashville Predators, “Beneath the Ice”. It includes sponsor integration and is bringing 50,000-75,000 people to the Preds’ site for every episode.
2. You often say that you are in the storytelling business. How do you help brands find their story?
We use time-tested storytelling techniques to keep people interested because people are more distracted than ever. To help companies find their story, we ask them a lot of questions about their brand and their audience in our creative briefing process and, if needed, conduct informal focus groups. For brands who need a lot of help and additional research, we partner with smart folks like you, Jamie!
3. Give us an idea of how video content is growing online and why it should be part of a brand’s marketing.
With YouTube ranking as the second largest search engine and video viewership making up one-third of online activity (according to Digital Sherpa), these are just two of the many indicators to show online video has exploded. Brands can’t ignore people’s interest in video when it comes to marketing.
4. How does video impact social media today?
Every brand wants to be shared. The social media content that is most often shared makes people laugh, smile, feel joy or gives a sense of awe (according to Buzzsumo). Video’s combination of sight and sound taps into these emotions like nothing else.
5. What are some of the important things brands need to keep in mind about video production?
- It’s about the viewer.
- Only the new and different ideas break through.
- There are ways to create consistent video content for your brand that is high quality and reasonably priced.
6. Where do you go for new ideas and learning?
NAMA (Nashville American Marketing Association)
Content Marketing Institute
Smart folks in and out of town
8. What are your passions outside of work?
Besides my husband and two boys, one of my big causes is arts education for kids. Being a Board Member of the Nashville Children’s Theatre, I’m continually amazed at the production quality and education they’re able to provide, on a shoestring budget, for children at all socio-economic levels.
Liz Denning is Co-Owner and Marketing Director for Gamma Blast, a firm that specializes in creating entertaining and compelling branded entertainment, programming, commercials and web and social content. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Gamma Blast serves national clients from mid-size to Fortune 100 companies such as Nissan, The Grand Ole Opry, the Nashville Predators NHL hockey team and HGTV.