In this episode, Stacy sits down with Courtney Jackson, the integration and trade out producer of the Emmy Award winning Steve Harvey Show. The two discuss Courtney’s career in brand integration and how brands can make the most out of talk show partnerships.
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Stacy Jones: (00:01)
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for top experts to share their insights and knowledge on topics which make a direct impact on your business today. While it is impossible to be well-versed on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom-line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy, or money, whether you’re doing a DIY approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: (00:36)
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I wanted to give a very warm welcome to Courtney Jacksonackson of the Emmy award-winning Steve Harvey Show. Courtney’s been the show’s integration and trade out producer, which means she’s responsible for all brand partnerships on the show since its premiere back in 2012. She’s handled hundreds of brand integrations resulting in millions of dollars of brand partnership deals.
Stacy Jones: (00:59)
Today, we’re going to talk about how brands can best partner with a talk show. We’ll learn what’s worked from Courtney’s experience, what maybe could be avoided, and where people are missing the mark. Courtney, welcome.
Courtney Jackson.: (01:10)
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here on this podcast with you.
Stacy Jones: (01:18)
I am so happy to have you here as well because, for our listeners who don’t know, I love working with Courtney. She is fantastic. We’ve worked together for years.
Courtney Jackson.: (01:27)
And I love working with Stacy. Yes.
Stacy Jones: (01:30)
She is really a go-getter and knows how to protect brands on shows, which is really nice. Because when you’re working with someone on a talk show, to have you actually have someone on your brand’s side and who understands the brand’s messaging points and the talking points that are needed and how to really visualize and get a story across, it doesn’t always happen on every show, and she’s really good at that.
Stacy Jones: (01:58)
What I’d like to do, Courtney, is have you start off and tell all of our listeners today a little bit about your background and what got you to where you are sitting here on our podcast.
Courtney Jackson.: (02:09)
Okay. Well, I honestly think that for my entire life, I have been training for this position and for this branded entertainment world. Since I was very little, I have a dad who’s in sales, and I have a mother who had dinner parties every week and is that outgoing one not afraid to talk to anyone. Literally, we’d be like, “No, mom. No, no, no, no!” But, it has all rubbed off on me in all the good ways.
Courtney Jackson.: (02:42)
How I got into this is I kind of fell into it. I moved to Chicago. I was in a tough place in my life. I started my career off in fashion PR, and I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to make a lot of money there. Also, I didn’t have the money to buy all the cool clothes that I felt like I needed to wear, so it was like, “Let’s not do this. Let’s go into sales.” Because, as my dad said, there are two professions in this world. You can be a doctor, or you can be in sales, and I said, “Well, I am not going to school for that long, so I’m going to be in sales.”
Courtney Jackson.: (03:19)
So, I worked at a magazine for a while selling ads, and when I moved to Chicago, I had started off as the assistant to one of the executive producers on the Rosie Show. Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to do in TV. I didn’t even know that that was something I wanted to do, and I just knew that whatever I was going to do next, I was going to work my ass off and be good at every small detail there was. If my boss needed coffee, I would get her coffee in two seconds. I knew exactly what she wanted in her coffee. I knew what she wanted to eat before she even knew she wanted to eat it, and I got really good at that.
Courtney Jackson.: (04:03)
Then, as an assistant, you get the opportunity to really see all the different departments in a TV show. As I’m looking around, I saw that there was an integration producer. This integration producer worked with such cool brands, General Mills, Sony, huge brands, and she had all this cool product in her office. I’m like, “That’s what I want to do. I want to get all the cool shit.”
Courtney Jackson.: (04:33)
I was thinking up one night of how I could ask my boss if I could maybe help out her a little bit, the integration producer, if I could help her. And, the next day, my boss calls me into her office, and she was like, “Hey, Courtney.” I was like, “Yes?” She was like, “I know that you have a marketing and sales background, and the integration producer needs some help. Would you be willing to help her?” I was like, “Shut up! You have no idea I was going to come into you today, and I was going to ask you if I could help her. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!”
Courtney Jackson.: (05:12)
That’s how it started. Two months later, I got promoted to integration coordinator, and unfortunately, that show finished really quickly. Luckily, the Harvey Show came to town in Chicago, and I started off there as the integration associate producer, and I worked my way up ever since. So, that’s how I got into this position.
Stacy Jones: (05:38)
Awesome. For our brands who are listening and agencies, how does it all work? I know. I know that when we’re representing a brand, we dial you up and we say, “Hey, Courtney, we were thinking that brand X, Y, Z would be perfect. Let’s explore. Let’s talk. Let’s go a little bit deeper into this.” But, from a production side, when you either have a brand come to you, or you’ve gone out and you’ve sourced and found a brand for the show because it fits a storyline that you have, how does that side on the production work? How do you go through your approvals? How do you all decide if a brand’s the right fit, and how do you stairstep it to work with the brands?
Courtney Jackson.: (06:23)
Great question. To start it off, a lot of people will assume when you work with a major celebrity like Steve Harvey that you have a ton of money, but that is just not the case. The shows are broke for the most part, and we need a position like me to offset those costs, right? From the trade out perspective, we will often work with brands, like you said, that fit the story.
Courtney Jackson.: (06:56)
How it works is we have about six producing teams who each produce a show each week. They will come to me with a particular story, and I’ll take a look at it and read through it. I’ll say, “Okay, you know what? I think here, in particular, this couple really needs a vacation. They’ve been giving back to everybody else. They take care of their 10 kids let’s just say, and they don’t ever go on vacation by themselves.” So, I’ll reach out to a company like Sandals Resorts, and I’ll say, “Hey, can we do a vacation, let’s say, four nights, five days, airfare included … ” That’s very important because, again, shows are broke. We need the airfare partnership. “And, here’s the exposure that I can offer you in exchange.”
Courtney Jackson.: (07:54)
After that point is I usually will take this and bring it to my executive producers, and I’ll say, “Okay, Sandals wants to be involved in this. Here’s what they’re willing to give, and here’s the property.” They’ll say yay or nay. So, if they say yes, then it’s a go, but if they say no, then it’s back to the drawing board. Different executive producers are … Everybody’s different, right? Some are like, “No, I want something way bigger. Let’s have first class everything, and I want to make sure that they’re in the penthouse suite.” That’s when I just go back to the brand and see what we can do there. If they don’t work, then I call on somebody else that may.
Stacy Jones: (08:37)
You have that happen with a producer, and let’s say Sandals is like, “Oh, but … ” Okay, it didn’t work for this show, but would you then pitch Sandals to one of the other five remaining producers on another show segment, or would you basically say, “Nope. It’s not going to work?”
Courtney Jackson.: (08:54)
I would say, “It’s not going to work for this time. However, if I can keep this in my back pocket, I’ll let you know when the next opportunity becomes available.” Then we can work on the next opportunity because that happens all the time where the producer’s like, “Actually, we don’t need a giveaway for this, so let’s just kill this one.”
Courtney Jackson.: (09:21)
How it would work after that is I’ll let different producers know I have this great trip, but typically how it’s like is they come to me and say, “What do you have in your back pocket?” If you’re a seasoned producer and you have these great relationships, chances are that I do have quite a bit in my back pocket or I know who to call on who would be able to help with a particular giveaway. That’s how it would work. I would just keep that brand in mind for the next opportunity that becomes available.
Stacy Jones: (09:53)
Okay. Then, if a brand comes knocking on your door, either through an agency like ours or brand direct, and they say, “Hey, we have this idea,” how do you go and approach that?
Courtney Jackson.: (10:07)
It depends on who the brand is, right? Let’s say it’s a company that … Let’s do a whitening company because that at-home whitening’s getting really big, right? They come to me, and they say, “We really want to be on Steve Harvey. Here’s what we would like to do.” And, I’ll say, “Okay, this looks more like a paid integration. Do you have a budget?” I feel like that’s something that everybody has to go back to their boss or their advertising agency to see if they actually do have a budget.
Courtney Jackson.: (10:48)
If they do, they come back to men say, “Okay, we have a budget.” I say, “Here’s our fee. Here’s the exposure you would get with that integration, and let me go pitch it to my executive producers.” That’s when I would go take this to our show EPs and say, “Okay, we have this company who would love to work with us. They’re willing to pay for an integration. Here’s the fee that we agreed upon. Here’s the exposure.
Courtney Jackson.: (11:16)
They’d like to air sometime in late January, let’s say.” The EPs will say, “Okay, we can do this day or this day,” and we come up with two to three possible air dates that I would bring back to the brand and say, “Here’s what we can do.” Then, we’ll decide on a date that we can do it.
Courtney Jackson.: (11:38)
If it’s a trade out, if it’s a company that doesn’t have the dollars, they’re just starting up, or they really have some great product they want to give away … Just a note to the brands and agencies out there. Every show is going to want the coolest product. If you don’t have a budget to give away, you need to come to the table with a great product, right? Because that will turn heads.
Courtney Jackson.: (12:04)
Everybody wants the Beats by Dre. Everybody wants the Kitchenaid. Everybody wants a TV. Know that if you’re coming to the table, and you’re asking me for a trade, you can’t do a bundle deal of soaps and throw in a whitening tooth. It can’t be all these different brands. It has to be a value of $100 or more because, again, this is an exchange of products for our services, for the exposure on our show. What’s really great to help you decide what that value is is by asking the integration producer what is the media value for a 30-second slot on your show?
Courtney Jackson.: (12:51)
If I were to buy advertising for 30 seconds, what is that? For me, I would say that’s $35,000 for 30-seconds on our show. So, we need to have a trade value that equals that. If it doesn’t equal that … Let’s say with the audience give away, we have 215 people in our audience, and it comes out to 25,000, but it’s a really cool product. Let’s say it’s like a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, and it’s $115 value. We’re going to do it because it’s a great brand that we know that the audience is going to be like, “Yeah!” They go nuts over a toothbrush.
Courtney Jackson.: (13:33)
Really, I think my biggest tip there is come to the table with something that you know people are going to love. If it’s a brand that is … If it’s not as cool, right? It’s a lower-end valued product. Let’s just put together a charcoal toothpaste, for example. We would say, “That doesn’t work for an audience giveaway,” but if we have other opportunities … Let’s say we need a big check for something, which Stacy and I worked on something like this with a great brand of hers.
Courtney Jackson.: (14:09)
Toothpaste is probably about 10 bucks. That’s probably high, right?
Stacy Jones: (14:14)
A little high.
Courtney Jackson.: (14:16)
It’s probably like 10. Yeah, maybe like 8.99. That’s not enough for us to giveaway. However, let’s say we have a story that really needs money to it. We have a very deserving person who has done X, Y, and Z, and we want to give them some cash. I would then go to Stacy and be like, “Hey, I have this opportunity. We’re looking for $5,000 in exchange for the following exposure.” That’s a really great way for brands that come to the table. If you can’t afford to do an audience giveaway, what can you afford?
Courtney Jackson.: (14:53)
Because here’s a really great insider tip. Talk shows in particular always want to do a money giveaway. They always are going to want to do it, so if you came to the table and you picked up the phone, and you called me, and you said, “Hey, Courtney. We have $10,000. We would love exposure on your show. We’re willing to give that to you in exchange for exposure, so if you have two opportunities that you want to give to a nonprofit, we’d love to work with you then.” If you come to the table with dollars, and you come to the table as something that you know that production is going to need, chances are you’re going to be able to get your brand on that show.
Courtney Jackson.: (15:35)
It’s a really good inside tip of come to the table with something that you know is really going to turn heads.
Stacy Jones: (15:44)
That is an excellent, excellent tip. Just so our listeners know, Courtney had mentioned a value minimum of $100. Some of your ears may have perked up. She does mean for every single person in that audience. Steve has over 200 people on the show, and Ellen has over 400 people on the show. Some talk shows have 100, 150. It’s all over the place really, and so we’re looking at having to do an audience gift for everyone in the studio audience, and then sometimes for people at home too for a select number so that you can do an online giveaway.
Stacy Jones: (16:21)
That’s a fantastic way to go because you get some digital.
Courtney Jackson.: (16:24)
What you want is you want that exposure.
Stacy Jones: (16:25)
Yeah, exactly. It allows the show to actually be able to do a social media post sometimes or a direct link out from their website. So, it adds on quite a bit.
Courtney Jackson.: (16:36)
Beautiful. Exactly. Here’s another thing. I get quite a few brands that are like, “Well, we can give to a couple people in the audience.” It’s never going to work because think about this from a creative standpoint. I feel like everybody I work with is very creative. You’re in this industry for a reason because you have a creative mind. Think about the reaction of people, right?
Courtney Jackson.: (17:02)
If you were giving to one person in the audience, it’s going to kind of be a ripple. It’s going to be like a, “Oh.” If you’re like, “Okay, we’re going to give away one product.” Everybody’s like, “Oh, that’s just a … I mean, what are the chances? There’s 200 of us. How I am I going to make it?” Just know that from a show’s standpoint, our goal is to make that audience go buck wild. We want them crying, screaming, out of their seats. So, what can you offer that will provoke that type of reaction that we’re really looking for?
Courtney Jackson.: (17:38)
Come to the table with something cool because if you can’t do an audience giveaway, then what can you do for one single person that’s big enough that they themselves, if they’re on set and they’re telling their story, are going to cry. Because the goal in life for a production is we want to see tears. It’s very sad to say, but we do. We want to see people cry because we love-
Stacy Jones: (18:01)
Courtney Jackson.: (18:03)
Stacy Jones: (18:03)
We want to see happy tears.
Courtney Jackson.: (18:04)
Happy tears because we love seeing that emotion. Because chances are, if somebody’s crying, everybody at home is probably crying too, right? Because they are invested in that content. They’re invested in that story, and they want to see them succeed.
Courtney Jackson.: (18:21)
So, think about how you can really be the hero in a show because that really is what you’re doing when you come to the table with $5,000, $10,000. To us, it’s not much, but to somebody doesn’t have a lot of money and gives all of their time and energy to everyone else, that is going to change their life. That is a story that you can use for the best PR after the show.
Courtney Jackson.: (18:52)
It brings me into when you are doing these types of trades on a show or an integration on a show, the show can only do so much for you, right? We can only give you so much exposure. After that, it’s up to the brand and the agency to really fly with it and give it wings and use that for your good PR. If you are lucky to be involved in a story that is emotional and powerful and impactful, use that to your best advantage so that your brand can look like this hero because that’s what you are. You’re a hero when you’re donating to these stories that really need it, and I mean really need it.
Courtney Jackson.: (19:38)
You’re changing lives. That’s something that everybody wants to be a part of. That’s when you have just made advertising a integration, a branded moment that somebody at home is not looking at this as like, “Oh, man. I’m watching another Cheerios commercial.” They’re like, “Oh, my God. Cheerios did that for that guest? Wow. I’m going to go out and buy some Cheerios.” That’s the goal. You want to make that organic and beautiful placement so that you’re changing lives.
Stacy Jones: (20:11)
Yeah, and you really do. I will say from our side of it, when we do partnerships, we build an integration, and we do this big audience giveaway, and we get the messaging. We’re like, “Oh, home run! This is great. Awesome moment of brand integration.” When we do something that actually helps someone, and then if the production’s good, they craft an awesome story like a back story to it. They inflate it. They built it out. They tease it along.
Courtney Jackson.: (20:39)
And they want to. They want to make that big. They want to make that huge moment. Yeah.
Stacy Jones: (20:46)
Then, you get that wham moment, and you are just like, “Oh, my God. I did this.”
Courtney Jackson.: (20:51)
You’re high. It’s like a drug.
Stacy Jones: (20:55)
Courtney Jackson.: (20:55)
[inaudible 00:20:55] is like a drug. I have so many brands who I have turned into addicts because let’s say they never did TV before, and then all of a sudden, they do something with us. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh! That was incredible. When can we do this again?” I’ll tell you, if you are somebody that’s willing to do more and wants to do more, you’re going to build a really great relationship with that producer.
Courtney Jackson.: (21:25)
Think of somebody in a producing position, an integration producer, as your new best friend because that person is a product of you. They are representing you as a brand, and the better that you guys work together, the more that that integration producer is going to want to go above and beyond for you. I know for me that the brands that are like … I’m calling Stacy last minute, and I’m like, “Stacy I need something by tomorrow. I need $5,000. What do you got?” And, she’s like, “Let me ask some brands. I have some in mind. Let me call them. I’ll get back to you.”
Courtney Jackson.: (22:02)
She’ll call the brand, and she’ll be like, “Okay, I have somebody interested.” I’m like, “Oh, my God!” Chances are I’ll probably throw in something that wasn’t in that exposure because we need it. If we need it, and you’re so easy to work with, and you’re like, “I got you. Let me just make a few phone calls. I’ll call you back,” I want to reward that. So, think of that integration producer as your best friend because if you go above and beyond for them, they’re going to go way above and beyond for you.
Stacy Jones: (22:30)
Yeah. No, it’s true. It’s really, it’s making those magic moments happen on TV, and that’s one of the places that that 100% occurs.
Courtney Jackson.: (22:40)
It’s just the best.
Stacy Jones: (22:42)
In the history of all these years that you’ve worked on Steve Harvey, and then before that with Rosie-
Courtney Jackson.: (22:48)
Don’t age me. Don’t age me.
Stacy Jones: (22:51)
You’re super young. Don’t worry. You’ve got years before you’re aged.
Courtney Jackson.: (22:54)
Going on 40. No, I’m just kidding.
Stacy Jones: (22:55)
You’re just experienced.
Courtney Jackson.: (22:55)
I’m 34. Yeah. Very. Okay.
Stacy Jones: (22:59)
What are some of the favorite brand deals you’ve done that you think that they just really did a great job with it, the show did a great job with it, and you remember it as being this was great stuff?
Courtney Jackson.: (23:13)
Yes. I have quite a lot of them.
Stacy Jones: (23:17)
I’m shocked. Totally shocked.
Courtney Jackson.: (23:19)
I know, right? One that I just did, which was one of our last shows that we taped, was with this company Haggar, Haggar Clothing Co. They do the famous golden jackets for the Hall of Famers in the … Gosh, I’m terrible at sports. In the … Help me. Basketball. What is-
Stacy Jones: (23:45)
NBA. They are doing NBA.
Courtney Jackson.: (23:45)
Wow! Thank you. [crosstalk 00:23:47].
Stacy Jones: (23:46)
Courtney Jackson.: (23:50)
In the NBA and for the NFL, they do those great yellow jackets, right? So, Haggar came up with this brilliant idea last year. They wanted to nominate the Haggar Hall of Fame for Dads. They did a really great promotion where they searched around America for the best dad out there, and families submitted their dad and why they’re great.
Courtney Jackson.: (24:20)
So, she sent me a note one day, and I was reading over what this was. It really resonated with me because I’m like, “This is Steve Harvey in a nutshell.” Steve loves to represent great people doing extraordinary things, especially fathers, because he mentors a lot of kids who don’t have dads, right? So those dads out there that are going above and beyond, and not just a great father to their birth children, but great fathers to their football teams and their soccer teams and their principle.
Courtney Jackson.: (24:59)
So, I said, “Why don’t we do a two-part integration where, at first, we start off with a introduction of our partnership, and we tell the world that Steve Harvey’s teaming up with Haggar Clothing Co. looking for the Hall of Fame of Dads,” right? We did a call to action to submit your father. We showed who the winner was last time, and we said, “In June, we’re going to bring back the top three dads, and we are going to pick the Haggar Hall of Famer for the dads.”
Courtney Jackson.: (25:42)
So, we did just that, and there were incredible stories. We had them all submit their stories to Haggar, and Haggar said it was the best submission of stories that they have received. They said that it was so hard to choose who they were going to go with, and they wanted to pick one dad per state. So, they picked three dads, and we flew them in with their families. We had a Hall of Famer there as well, and Terrell … Oh, gosh. Now, I’m going to forget his name. Terrell … I’m great at sports as you can tell.
Stacy Jones: (26:27)
Courtney Jackson.: (26:28)
Anyway, yes, a Hall of Famer. It was incredible. It was right up Steve’s alley. It was this perfect synergy, and the families were just crying when they were talking about their dads. The dads were just so honored to be there, and we ended up giving the two runner-ups $5,000. Then, the winning dad got $10,000 and a full paid trip to the Haggar Hall of Fame for Dads.
Courtney Jackson.: (27:04)
It’s the actual Haggar Hall of Fame ceremony, and they are inducted into this just like the sports guys.
Stacy Jones: (27:13)
Courtney Jackson.: (27:14)
Yeah, it was really cool and moving, and it what this perfect synergy. We weren’t having Steve read copy that he’s reading about a hairbrush, let’s say. He’s like, “Yeah, because that totally goes with my hair.” [inaudible 00:27:30]. It was just a perfect synergy, and that was a beautiful one.
Courtney Jackson.: (27:35)
Another one that really spoke volumes to me was with Sandals resorts actually. We’d been working with them for years, and we really wanted to do something bigger. Steve Harvey’s known as the Chief Love Officer, so what a better way to partner with a romantic resort that just exudes love and reconnecting with your partner.
Courtney Jackson.: (28:03)
So, we did a week of integrations, and our segment called Harvey’s Hundreds where someone got a chance to play for $1,000, but then we surprised them because they matched their two logos. If they matched the two Sandals logos, they got a special bonus prize. That’s when we opened up the caster walls, and you saw Emily Kaufman, the Travel Mom, there in this huge, beautiful, tropical Sandals set that just made you feel like you wanted to be in Jamaica right now.
Courtney Jackson.: (28:40)
Emily had a little bit of talking points. Steve had a little bit of talking points. The guest is like losing their mind because they just won’t this incredible $15,000 trip. It was just awesome. It felt good, and it felt organic. That’s really the goal is how can you create a segment that is both fun or touching and organic at the same time? Those are two great ones for me.
Stacy Jones: (29:10)
Those are both great ones. Then, without revealing brand names, you can talk about category maybe, where have some brands crossed the lines or pushed the bar and the segment’s not worked out so well because of that?
Courtney Jackson.: (29:26)
Great question. I feel like when it’s the hardest piece of the puzzle that’s just not fitting is when you have a brand that hasn’t done integrations before, and they want everything. They want a website to go full screen and showing how you type in a promo code so that people at home know how to type in the promo code. You don’t need to do that. It ruins actually the segment because you just took a very great segment to a paid promotion where people at home know that this is clearly an integration, and it turns them off.
Courtney Jackson.: (30:16)
A lot of times, we have brands that come in, and they want to micromanage everything, and they want it their way. Trust me. I get it. Because, at the end of the day, you need to see an ROI from this. You need results. It’s why you’re asking for more because you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. However, know that we know that, and we want you to get the biggest bang for your buck because we want you to come back. We want you to spend more money with us. We want to create a long-term relationship that works for both of us. Because if you’re making money, we’re making money.
Courtney Jackson.: (30:56)
So, my suggestion is trust your producers. Know that they know what they’re talking anyone. There are sometimes that maybe they don’t know what they’re talking about, and maybe your suggestion does really help, and it really does move that needle, but, nine times out of 10, producers know how to make an organic … If you’re at a great show that is a Steve Harvey, an Ellen, they have hired the best of the best. They did not cheap out on a producer. They have hired the best, so know that you’re going to them for a reason because what they’re doing is working, and you want to be a part of that.
Courtney Jackson.: (31:35)
Trust your producers a little bit more. That integration producer’s going to work with you. They’re going to make sure that you get your messaging in there, but they’re also going to make sure that you don’t over cloud your segment with all this branding that then you lose your audience. Because we know when people tune out, and that’s not what you want. You want people to stay tuned in for your segment. You don’t want them to think it’s a commercial because, hello, that’s why commercials are going away. That’s why you can buy ad-free on Hulu. It’s why people want to skip forward.
Courtney Jackson.: (32:09)
I don’t want to watch a commercial, so in my line of work, I work with brands. My job is to make sure that you get the best promotion out of this possible, but I want to make sure that it resonates with people at home that they want to then go around and buy your product. So, I would say that I get that people want to get more into their segment, but you don’t need to pack so much into your segment to get an ROI. The more organic, the better.
Stacy Jones: (32:43)
Courtney Jackson.: (32:44)
Stacy Jones: (32:47)
What are some brand missteps besides going too in your face that you’ve seen them make over the years?
Courtney Jackson.: (32:56)
What do you mean by missteps?
Stacy Jones: (33:00)
A brand approaching you, besides having well-defined points, but asking just the impossible, brands making assumptions, brands coming up with ideas that are just off-the-wall nutso and crazy.
Courtney Jackson.: (33:20)
I would say that I don’t have any particular instances that I recall besides that website or some unnecessary lower thirds that you want in there. I would say that even with things like a logo, right? A logo is so important to keep simple and not overdo it, right? Because a lot of times, people want to make this crazy logo so people will see it and be like, “Oh, that’s this product.” But, a lot of times, the simpler, the better.
Courtney Jackson.: (34:07)
You really just want to simplify things because people don’t … There’s so much in everybody’s face every day. Things are constantly moving. You want to give them something to remember, but that is that they can remember, right? So, I would just say, simplify.
Stacy Jones: (34:23)
I’m looking up to see if I can find it right now, but there was just a study that is coming out to be more so published later on this month, but it put an emphasis on how having a verbal mention is actually just so incredibly powerful psychologically to people. Because you just hear it, and you absorb it. It’s interesting because we actually have this conversation a lot in our office. Is it better to have a verbal mention and no branding? Or, is it better to have branding and no verbal mention? The study says that it’s actually better to have a verbal mention. Obviously, the ideal is both, but that is something to think about.
Courtney Jackson.: (35:05)
Yes, and thank you for bringing that up because it actually brings me back to your question of mishaps. A lot of brands try to throw in so much language. They want a full paragraph for Steve to say, but you have to remember that when you’re on air, reading copy can get very long. I have so many brands that want to throw in everything because we got this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, and they want it to be said in their voice. But, at the end of the day, you want it to be said in Steve’s voice because Steve is the one selling your product, and you want people at home to know that Steve is actually endorsing this brand.
Courtney Jackson.: (35:50)
If Steve is giving a verbal mention to a brand and he starts saying things that you know he would never say, you just lost people. Because they’re like, “Steve would never say that shit. Let’s be honest.” Again, trust your producer because I know that everybody wants to get all of their messaging in there and all of their talking points, and all of the details of their business, but that’s not always in the best interest of your brand because you want to make sure that people at home clearly hear what you have to offer. Sometimes it’s as simple as one sentence, right?
Courtney Jackson.: (36:30)
You want to make it so clear that people at home can remember it. People at home cannot remember a full paragraph. Even if they had that paragraph in front of them, they wouldn’t be able to remember everything that was said in there. So, I would say, a lot of times read it out loud before you send it over to producers who are going to push back because that’s just the bottom line. We can’t have that because you’re going to want to send me 30 seconds of copy to get everything out of this opportunity, but it’s not in the best interest of you or the show.
Courtney Jackson.: (37:03)
Chances are you’re going to lose that opportunity if you try to push for more because an executive producer’s going to be like, “Nope. It’s ruining my creative. I don’t want this giveaway then.” So, it’s really a fine line. Read that out loud to yourself, and hear yourself saying this. If you’re starting to feel yourself running out of breath, chances are you wrote something way too long.
Courtney Jackson.: (37:23)
So definitely, I’d say, mishaps are too many brands try to put in so much copy, and they want to get all of their talking points in there. Remember you need to simplify. You need to make that really short and efficient and concise, and you want to just hit a home run. You don’t want Steve to be like, “And, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And … ” then, people are like, “Oh, I’m tuned out. I just don’t even know what he’s saying anymore.” You don’t want that. You want people to remember what your brand messaging is.
Courtney Jackson.: (38:00)
Work with your integration producer to make it organic to that host because that host is your chance at selling the most product. It’s the reason why people have come back to me for the past seven years. I have had so much repeat business because Steve Harvey can sell the shit out of a brand, but if he doesn’t like it, it’s not going to work. Because if it’s too much, and you’re giving him talking points that he would never say a big word. We all saw Miss Universe. He can’t get a lot of the names right, so simplify and make sure that your host really … It’s in their voice so that you have that celebrity touch on it.
Courtney Jackson.: (38:42)
Because let me tell you, you are going to get a bigger bang out of your buck by going to a TV show. Let’s say you’re paying $100,000 versus going directly to a celebrity where you’re going to then have to spend millions of dollars for that paid spokesmanship. This is a great opportunity to get that celebrity endorsement without paying that very high price tag.
Stacy Jones: (39:06)
Yep. 100%. Every talk show has a different voice. If you’re on The Doctors or Dr. Oz, your messaging’s going to be different than if you’re on The Real or Steve Harvey or The Talk or The View. It’s going to be very different. Even amongst those, they’re going to be different from one another too. When we approach it for brands, what we try to do is we bullet out what are the most important messaging points.
Courtney Jackson.: (39:33)
Right. [crosstalk 00:39:33].
Stacy Jones: (39:33)
I’m not saying sentences, the points.
Courtney Jackson.: (39:36)
Stacy Jones: (39:36)
Courtney Jackson.: (39:37)
Little talking points. What is the most important part of your brand? What do you want people to take away from this?
Stacy Jones: (39:44)
Then, you create that into a sentence or two sentences. You also let the production know what is the priority because they’re going to chop. You know they’re going to chop.
Courtney Jackson.: (39:54)
What needs to stay? What is the absolute … You have to get this out there. You want people to know that you’re affordable. Affordable’s important. Okay, great. Bold that. Let them know I need that affordable in there because I want viewers at home to know that even though it is a designer brand, it’s affordable by going to our site.
Stacy Jones: (40:16)
Yep. When you’re sitting there, and you’re working on this, you’re going to realize that all of this extra stuff that’s copy, that in your advertising or on your website, is kind of just filler. You can get it to be pretty quick to the point, and you want it to roll off the host’s tongue. Because if they stumble, as Courtney was talking about, you are up a creek, and the whole this is going to get torn apart.
Courtney Jackson.: (40:42)
Right. You want it to be organic because you want people at home to be like, “Wow! I want to be a part of that,” or, “I want to buy that now.” The more that you can work with your producer, and you tell them, “Okay, here’s the things that are essential for us. How can we meet in the middle?” Chances are you’re going to have a kick-ass segment because that producer knows their host, and you know your brand. So, if you can come together and create something that works for both of you, you’ve got a home run, and you’re going to want to come back for more. Because if that host can sell it for you, chances are you’re going to make great money.
Stacy Jones: (41:28)
There you go.
Courtney Jackson.: (41:28)
Stacy Jones: (41:30)
Then, with add-ons, so how often do you guys plus up an add-on? You have the end-show integration, but let’s say a brand wants to do a contest overlay like you mentioned, and add in a digital extension, or add in social media. What are the options, and what have you done with brands in the past?
Courtney Jackson.: (41:51)
With any add-ons, chances are that the show already has an idea of the value that you’re bringing to the table, and what that value permits social or website-wise, right? It really just ranges honestly, and it kind of goes back to those last-minute opportunities where I’m calling Stacy with my head cut off being like, “Have you got anything for tomorrow? I need something.” Where I’ll be like, “Hey, I will add on a Facebook post and an Instagram post because I know that if I give that agency or brand rep a little bit more to take back to their brand or their boss, that chances are they’re going to be able to get a yes faster.
Courtney Jackson.: (42:45)
I’d rather come to the table with exactly what we can do that can make a quick decision rather than having this negotiation. Can we do this? Can we do that? Well, always ask. I’m in the business of asking, so I always love when people ask me too. Because if you don’t ask, you’re never going to know if you could have gotten it, right? The worst somebody can say is, “No, sorry. We can’t do that.” Okay, and then it’s up to you. Do we want to do this without social media? Will it still be worth it for us? Yes, it will. Still, do it, but you know what I’m saying?
Courtney Jackson.: (43:23)
I would say ask for what you want, and then come to the happy medium of what the show can do. The more you bring to the table, the greater that package is that you’re providing to someone or to a show, they’re going to want to make you happy. So, they’re going to want to include that social media, a dedicated webpage where that … Hey, here’s a good piece of advice. If you want more copy, and you’re like, “Okay, but we can’t put that all on air,” ask them if you can put it online because that’s gentler. That’s where the show’s willing to give you a bit more, right? Because then it’s not making Steve read all this copy that it’s just not organic to him.
Courtney Jackson.: (44:10)
Online, we have a little bit more control. So, I would say, “Okay, if I can’t have all this on air, can we put this online?” That’s where you can really get in some more talking points, and then you can get that click-through link to your website to drive more traffic there. So, that’s what I would say.
Stacy Jones: (44:27)
Courtney Jackson.: (44:28)
Add-ons are always a great way to negotiate getting more, right? But, you have to make sure that you’re giving the show something that deserves more because a lot of the times, we have brands that come to the table with something that’s like, “I’ll give you one verbal mention for this, but this doesn’t warrant social media.” Because it’s just not a big enough package. It just doesn’t provide the same value.
Courtney Jackson.: (44:55)
Remember it goes back to that 30 seconds. What is that media rate for that show because that’s what they’re basing this opportunity off of. That’s what they base their exposure off of.
Stacy Jones: (45:05)
Right. Then, as far as timing of the year … We’re often working with brands, and they’re like, “Oh, I can’t wait to do something for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines, holiday, Halloween.” Every production is different, but with your schedule, how far out were you all shooting these segments typically? When was it too late?
Courtney Jackson.: (45:30)
Too late was always too late. I would say that, for example, our Father’s Day gift guide, obviously, Father’s Day is not until June 12th. However, we taped our Father’s Day gift guide in January. That’s when it’s just [crosstalk 00:45:47].
Stacy Jones: (45:47)
That’s crazy! January.
Courtney Jackson.: (45:49)
Crazy, but it happens all the time because we tape a lot of evergreen shows that will air later on in the season. I would say, just like what you guys do with your budgets in putting together those budgets, make sure that you allocate, whether it’s you want to do trade, or you want to do a paid promotion, make sure that you allocate that at the beginning of the year, whenever you’re doing your budget. Set aside X amount of product. Set aside X amount of dollars.
Courtney Jackson.: (46:21)
Get in contact with your integration producer at the beginning of the season. Here are our sweet spots. We’d love to do something in Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas is a big time for us, or back-to-school. If it’s back-to-school, hit them up at the end of the season prior because then they can keep you in mind for when those producers start talking about what their creative is going to be for the next season. They can keep you top of mind and be like, “Hey, we have this big giveaway, let’s say, with Crayola. They want to do a $200 gift card, Visa gift card, to everybody in the audience, and they want to support some back-to-school promotion.”
Courtney Jackson.: (47:03)
Let’s say it’s a teacher who did something extraordinary, went above and beyond. We want to give her $10,000 to her classroom, right? So, think about it in advance. Just like you’re planning your budgets, plan your in-show opportunities as well, and make sure just to stay on top of those producers of like, “Hey, when are you guys taping this? When are you taping that?” Because if you have that lined up, then you’re going to be in good shape.
Courtney Jackson.: (47:30)
I would also say, prepare for the unexpected because there’s a lot of times that we’re going to book a last-minute story that is extraordinary. It’s going to move mountains. It is above and beyond. We had this, for example, this kid who walked 16 hours to his job because his car broke down, and he had to get to work. He walked 16 hours to his job. So, what did we do? We gave him a brand new car, right? That’s something that a lot of times people think that producers are crazy because they’re asking for this really big something for their story, so what I would say is plan for the unexpected. Have something set aside for that great opportunity that you don’t want to miss.
Courtney Jackson.: (48:24)
A lot of times bigger brands will be like, “Oh, there’s too many approvals we have to get. We have to go through all this stuff.” Listen, everything is possible. Everything can happen if you make it happen. I hate hearing excuses about things because I know that if you can’t do it, I’m going to go to another brand that can. What you don’t want to happen is like, “Shit, we could have had that opportunity. We could have had it, but we thought it was too late at night, and we couldn’t get this approval.” Then you have this boss that’s like, “Wait, why didn’t we do that?”
Courtney Jackson.: (48:57)
Well, that’s because you missed the mark. So, plan for the unexpected, and make sure that you can activate something quickly. Make sure that you get approvals ahead of time because there are so many last-minute opportunities that brands miss out on because there are too many approvals they have to go through. So, get that approval in advance, and then you’ll be in good shape.
Stacy Jones: (49:20)
Yeah, and have a little slush fund set aside too-
Courtney Jackson.: (49:22)
Slush fund, yes.
Stacy Jones: (49:23)
… because so many brands don’t have little buckets, and they miss such amazing things in our world of talk shows and product placement and integrations. Because this is a last-minute world that we’re living in. Content is created so quickly that you just miss out.
Courtney Jackson.: (49:42)
[crosstalk 00:49:42] all those new shows out there. Especially if you’re in the talk show realm. A lot of this is based on current events. Our shows that we tape in advance, like, for example, Father’s Day, we know Father’s Day is going to come up in June, right? But, what we don’t know is about the big story where this kid is walking 16 hours to work that just made national headlines that we want to get this guy on our show now. So, that’s why you have to act quickly and plan for the unexpected because there are going to be those phenomenal moments that you can either be a part of it, or you can miss that train.
Courtney Jackson.: (50:22)
As Stacy said, content is created so quickly nowadays. Think about your Netflix and Hulu. You see new shows pop up all the time. We are in this new world of we want it now. We want it right now, now, now, now because we’re binge-watching. I binge-watch so I know this, and we’re like, “Okay, what’s next? What’s next?” You have to think in the same way that your consumer’s thinking. Your consumer wants what they want now, so give them what they want now, right?
Stacy Jones: (50:56)
What if any of our listeners want now to reach out and learn more about you or say hi? How can they do that Courtney?
Courtney Jackson.: (51:07)
You can email me at [email protected], and reach out to me about opportunities. That’s I-N-T-E-F-A-S-T.com. Or, you can follow me on social media. On Instagram I’m @courtneyalise, and that’s A-L-I-S-E. My mom got real creative with the Alise. So, @courtneyalise, or I’m on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Stacy Jones: (51:32)
LinkedIn would be awesome. What is your LinkedIn?
Courtney Jackson.: (51:36)
Good question. What is my LinkedIn?
Stacy Jones: (51:38)
So, listeners, it will be in the show notes. We will have her contact information in the show notes so that you can reach out and say hi. Although, you cannot reach out to her, unfortunately, to talk about Steve opportunities because this was the last season of the show.
Courtney Jackson.: (51:54)
Very sad, but it’s life. But I got some exciting things in the works, so get in touch with me. I’m always here to mentor if you have to run something by me. If you want to just pick my brain about something, I’m more than happy to do that. I have people like Stacy, who I go to all the time. She is my mentor, and I would love to pay it forward, so feel free to get at me. I’m happy to help.
Stacy Jones: (52:26)
Perfect. Any last words of advice for our listeners today?
Courtney Jackson.: (52:31)
I would just say have fun. Get yourself on those shows because shows really, really work. The more organic you can make your integration or your trade out, the more you’re going to receive great results. So, get into those shows, and if you’re just kind of getting your feet wet in integrations and you’re curious about doing it more, hire Hollywood Branded. Let them source opportunities for you because they know what you’re wanting, and they have the connections to everything.
Courtney Jackson.: (53:10)
Make sure you hire a Hollywood Branded or whatever it is for you, but get somebody who knows integrations and knows how to work with productions because it’s a language. It is a particular language, and it takes a very specific person who knows how to work with a brand and a show at the same time. Make sure you have somebody that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to brand entertainment.
Stacy Jones: (53:36)
Well, thank you for that plug. Always appreciated, Courtney.
Courtney Jackson.: (53:39)
Yes, my pleasure. It was such a pleasure being on here, Stacy. Thank you so much for having me.
Stacy Jones: (53:44)
Of course. Courtney, thank you again, and to our listeners, thank you for tuning in to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. I look forward to chatting with you on our next podcast.
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