In this episode, Stacy sits down with filmmaker and director, Justin Purser of Olio Creative. The two discuss Justin’s tremendous background in writing music video treatments and what it has taught him about making successful brand integrations with music videos and influencers.
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Stacy Jones: 00:00
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of influencer marketing and branded content agency, Hollywood Branded.
Stacy Jones: 00:07
This podcast provides brand marketers a learning platform for topics first 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 tragedy 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.
Speaker 2: 00:30
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). Here is your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: 00:35
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 want to give a very warm welcome to filmmaker and director, Justin Purser of Olio Creative.
Stacy Jones: 00:44
Justin has a tremendous background in writing music video treatments for such artist as Beyonce, Shakira and Pink, and has also directed music videos for major record labels, including Interscope, Warner Brothers, Capitol, Apple Music and Sony, amongst so many others, for a wide range of A list talent.
Stacy Jones: 01:00
Justin was one of the original creators and directors of Maker Studios that pioneered the multi channel network YouTube-centric companies of today. Where he helped create the model of how brands advertise, utilizing YouTube and influencers.
Stacy Jones: 01:12
One of his brand sponsored videos with Cosmopolitan Magazine and Media, took number one on the ad age viral charts, beating out top brands such as Nike, Pepsi and Toyota. Recently he directed the feature documentary, And Two If By Sea, narrated by Daniel Tosh.
Stacy Jones: 01:27
Today, we’re going to talk about successful brand integrations with music videos and influencers. We’ll learn what has worked in Justin’s experience, what could be avoided and where other brands and filmmakers are missing the mark. Justin, welcome.
Stacy Jones: 01:39
Thank you, again. You did a great job. The reason I wanted to have you on this podcast is because now it’s just you.
Justin Purser: 01:45
Yeah, just me.
Stacy Jones: 01:46
You don’t have to share it. It’s all you.
Justin Purser: 01:49
I could talk about myself as much as I want.
Stacy Jones: 01:51
You can. Yes. You have much as you’d like to talk about yourself.
Justin Purser: 01:58
Stacy Jones: 01:58
Okay, and is that yours or do you work there or is that-?
Justin Purser: 02:01
That’s funny because Olio, I own a part of it. I’m a part or a piece of it.
Stacy Jones: 02:02
Justin Purser: 02:06
It’s a post house we started about over a year ago with a friend of mine. A colorist who, Marshall Plan, who’s colored all my work. I’ve known him forever since he was an assistant with [inaudible 00:02:17] at the syndicate. So he wanted to start his own company, so he reached out to me about helping him do some social marketing and trolling and stuff like that. Then I just called him back about an hour later and was, “You know what? Instead of just helping you why don’t I’d like to own a piece of it.” Because I feel we’re in a renaissance period right now where whereas 10 years ago you were pigeon held.
Justin Purser: 02:42
You were a director, you are a writer, you were a stylist, you were you did the effects. You could only do these things and you couldn’t do anything else, or people thought it was weird. Like if you were a director, you couldn’t be a photographer too. You could do that, but you couldn’t do, there’s certain things you couldn’t cross over into. But now not even just in entertainment, I feel like across the board of everything.
Justin Purser: 03:06
You’re seeing people do things that they’re not ever in their field and having success in it, and no one thinks it’s weird. I always use Jessica Alba as an example, if you would’ve said 15 years ago that she would own this company that makes, natural diapers and like shampoos and stuff like that. Be this almost billion dollar company, and she would be like the one of the owners, one of the people that started it. People would have been like, she’s an actress who’s in sin city, no, but she does.
Justin Purser: 03:37
Yet she could still go at too, and no one ever questions back and forth. So, for me with Olio, I was like, yeah, it’s might be weird for a director to own part of a post house because obviously that’s for other directors are coming in. It could be a conflict of interest, but I got to the point where I don’t really have an ego, I don’t care, I’m happy when other directors make good stuff. When we opened Olio, I reached out to every director friend I know and was like, hey, bring your work here, we’ll make it work, we’ll make it work, you know, for color, for post, whatever.
Justin Purser: 04:07
So, that’s, and it was sort of like my maker studios redemption because we feel like the post world’s gotten so, especially colored color grade. Color grade went from, oh you had to go tell us any … then everything went digital. Everyone’s like, you don’t even need a color artist, you can just do yourself and premiere. You can do it in final cut. You don’t really need to go do it now. But everyone finally realized, wait, those three … slapping a filter on it does not work.
Justin Purser: 04:32
You need not only necessarily the equipment, but you need the talent, you need the artist. So Marshall’s great amazing talent. But we feel like the business itself got kind of stagnant, especially in commercials and music videos like the model and the environment in which you work in.
Justin Purser: 04:50
It’s like these very modern Ikea furniture places, whatever. My idea was, let’s kind of reinvent, recreate how the post world works a little bit, especially in the color model. Let’s, have some fun, let’s be disruptive. That’s such the keyword du jour nowadays. But I was like, let’s, you know, I feel like it’s an easy target, I feel like we could do it. So that’s kind of where we opened. That’s where we started, and that’s what we’ve been focused on the whole time.
Stacy Jones: 05:22
That’s awesome. So how did you get involved Justin in production? Was this your passion? I know, I think I read that you were doing a lot of surfing videos when you were growing up.
Justin Purser: 05:35
Yeah, I grew up in Florida and, I grew up surfing as a child, as a kid. Then my friends who I worked with ended up becoming some of the greatest surfers in the world. Even one of them that I was older … a little bit older than me that I grew up around is pretty much the greatest surfer of all time. What happened was is my parents bought a video … went to Japan and my dad on a business trip. He bought this Sony Handycam and at the time, like nobody, um, had video cameras, so it was this camera wasn’t in America or whatever. So I just, I was like, oh, that’s cool. I like it. So I started just filming my friends surfing and at the time, this was way before iPhone and everything, you know, like, so there wasn’t a lot of cameras.
Justin Purser: 06:17
So the fact that I could do that, and we could go watch it blew people’s minds, and it was like the quality that it was, we could just turn it on, plug it in to the T.V. so I started just doing that. I started do that more and more and more, and then as my friends got really really good and started becoming these amazing surfers, that’s what I started doing. I just loved filming them, and I fell in love with it. And I never, obviously, could even reach the level that they were at, so it was like this just makes sense, so I started doing that really young and started making surf movies, and then I started traveling with them, and shooting them, and around the world, and then I started that really young and then I went to film school in Orlando, and then graduated and came back right to making more surf movies. I interned on the Stephen Spielberg show and for this MTV show a bit, but I just went back to what I knew, I just had more knowledge I guess.
Justin Purser: 07:16
But anyways, after a while it just, as I got older it just didn’t feel that creative anymore and I wanted to do something different so I’ll never forget, I was sitting in my living room in Florida. I’d just got back from this, I’d gone on this surfing magazine trip to Barbados and I hated it, I just was like, so sick of lugging camera gear in and out of foreign countries an then, if you’re the guy filming, you’re on the beach when it’s like, it’s really hot, you’re not out in the water, it’s like, you’re sweating, and everyone else is out getting really good waves and you’re just standing there filming them, and I remember thinking “I’ve got to do something different, I can’t do this anymore, I’m burnt out, I want to try something different”.
Justin Purser: 07:53
And I’ll never forget Brittany Spears, Baby One More Time came on MTV, and I just was like, I was eating my breakfast, my cereal, and I just like stared at it and I was like, I don’t know what this is, I don’t know how it works, or how you do it, but that’s what I want to do. So I just had like an epiphany and then from there just sold my stuff, moved out to California, stayed with people I knew down in Newport Beach, and then came up to L.A. everyday and just like went to production companies and handed my resume out and just like basically started from the bottom again, like how do I get in this world, I don’t know what it is, or how it works, but I know these are the companies I’ve researched online that do music videos, and these are the ones that, so I just basically went there, and then I, what ended up happening was there was an organization called the MVPA which was the Music Video Production Association. Sort of like the AICP of music videos.
Justin Purser: 08:49
So, I emailed them and told them, “hey”, and what I wanted to do, and one of the ladies there emailed me back and let me come in a meet with her, really nice. She was wearing a Hurley shirt and I was like “Oh, do you like Hurley?” She’s like “Oh, I love it”, so I left and I went and called Bob Hurley and I was like “Hey Bob, can I come get some women’s clothes and give it to this person?”, Bob let me come to his warehouse, because I’ve known him since I was a kid, he used to pay for me to travel for surf videos, so I got a box of clothes and I brought them to her. She was so happy and she helped me, she introduced me to executive producers, like “Oh, you should hire this guy”, and so I started off at the bottom, I PA’d one video and then I became an executive assistant and then I just sort of got to learn what a music video was, how it works, what’s the dynamic, like who does what, what does a producer do, what does a director do, what does the DP do, what do all these people do on these music videos? How does it work with a record label? How does it work with an artist? How does this all happen?
Justin Purser: 09:52
So, from the prospective I was at, I got to see it all, and I thought I wanted to be a director but I wasn’t totally sure that I could even do it, I’m like, I don’t even know if I can do this, how does this work? But luckily I got to be on set and learn from some of the greatest music video directors ever, and be around them, and the more I got to learn, and the more I got to watch, and the more I got to understand, I was like okay, yeah, I think I can do this.
Justin Purser: 10:14
And my role grew, and my position grew, and I started working with directors and started writing treatments for a lot of them, which being a part of that process was interesting because you learn how what has to fit into a budget, like what you can do for this amount of money, and also takes artists ides, but also then, I think when I started writing treatments is kind of right when branding in videos started to come into play, like Motorola, and like a lot of like you know, some of the like you know, like P. Diddy’s Vodka and people like that, brands started putting money up to be in music videos. So then it was like, “Okay, we can do this video, but you have to ride a car into it, because Jeep is offering and extra fifty K towards the budget if there’s a Jeep somewhere in it. But if the artist doesn’t want to drive the Jeep, so how do we put the Jeep in? So, then it becomes tetras.
Justin Purser: 11:07
But that’s how I got started and then from there I went on and became a director myself.
Stacy Jones: 11:18
Justin Purser: 11:18
Stacy Jones: 11:19
And you have done some phenomenal music videos including one with Beyonce, that you were instrumental in I believe for making it happen?
Justin Purser: 11:28
Yeah. I didn’t direct that. That was Jake Nava. That was Single Ladies. That was when I was writing treatments for Jake, with Jake, [inaudible 00:11:44] a bunch of Beyonce videos. The brief came in that there was two videos, If I Were A Boy, and Single Ladies. And Single Ladies was like the throw in video, they wanted to shoot them back to back, both black and white, and it was sort of like, “Let’s just get Single Ladies knocked out too because it will be easy because she’s available and we’ll just knock it out at the same time”. But Beyonce just wants a simple dance video, that’s all she wants to do is dance, but Jake of course, being an artist and a director, he wanted to do something a little different and not just film her on a stage dancing.
Justin Purser: 12:15
So he was telling me “I don’t know what to do, what can we come up with?”. I had showed him this video a couple weeks ago about [inaudible 00:12:25] and it was this hip/hop song called Walk It Out, and someone had taken a Bob Fosse dance routine and they had put the Bob Fosse from the sixties dance routine with the girls with the bee hive hair and they put this hip/hop song Walk It Out, they’d put it under the girls dancing, and it worked. It honestly looked like Bob Fosse choreographed these women to the song. So, I showed Jake that, and he was like, “What was that video you showed me?”, and I was like “Oh, yeah”. Then I pulled it up again and I watched it around the phone and I’m like, oh yeah, this is perfect. And he was like “Here, send it to me”. So I sent it to him, he sent it to Beyonce, so it’s like, let’s do this. And then, the next thing you know she did it, she basically recreated that video, the Bob Fosse, even the little, there was a little ramp on the side and you could see her go up and down it and to the T that was the Bob Fosse.
Justin Purser: 13:16
And then that video just went up, obviously went on to just be like probably one of the first viral phenomenon videos that just like took off out of nowhere. Nobody, especially from the time of it being shot, everyone, they’d look at a great video, but no one ever thought this things going to be what it became, it just went massive. And that being the throw in video, and then it just became iconic. That’s kind of led me to be a director because I felt like okay this is my chance to jump because a lot of the people at the record labels got word that “Oh, you know, this is a video that Justin had found and then they kind of just recreated it”. And it also became kind of like my interest in YouTube because it was like, Wow, the reason that video took off in the beginning is people recognized that that was the Bob Fosse mash it up video that had been on YouTube. People recognized that. So they…
Stacy Jones: 14:13
You have a cat.
Justin Purser: 14:15
Yeah. So yeah…
Stacy Jones: 14:17
Just wait, my dog may like bark back at your cat.
Justin Purser: 14:19
Okay. Yeah, so anyway, so long story short, that video started to take off because people were in the comments were like “Oh, this is the Walk It Out video that she remade or whatever”. So that kind of gave it its first initial push, and then once it got that push then it just took off. So yeah.
Stacy Jones: 14:36
And so, you mentioned a minute ago, part of what you were learning and you were watching when you were learning all about music videos, and how they were created, is watching how brands got involved in them. And that artists don’t necessarily always want to deal with the brand that’s there to help pay for the music video…
Justin Purser: 14:55
Stacy Jones: 14:55
Shockingly, surprised right there.
Justin Purser: 14:57
Stacy Jones: 14:58
And that y’all have to do tetras and be really creative. Are there certain brands that you think lend themselves better to music videos than other types of brands?
Justin Purser: 15:07
I think now a days it could almost be any brand. But, depending on the artist and what the artist is willing to do. I mean, you could tailor the video to the brand and make it, you know. Because the rules of music videos, I mean they’re still there, but you know, people do some things now that aren’t really even what traditional music video would be. So there’s all kinds of things you could do. I think it just depends on how creative you are, how creative you can get, and how willing the artist is to be open to it.
Justin Purser: 15:36
But it is, it’s always, I mean I’ve, I remember even, my own, as a director, like Pepsi’s going to put in X amount of money, the artist doesn’t like what Pepsi wants to do, but Pepsi wants them to do this, and then you just spend hours racking your brain, and then you pitch these ideas, and they are like “No, she won’t do that, she won’t do that”. Then Pepsi’s like “Well”, “But she will do this”, then Pepsi’s like “no that’s not good enough for us for this money”. And then sometimes it’s just, it’s almost like a hostage negotiation, it just goes…. and the money gets taken off. It’s like, okay, now we have less money, but now we have the same idea, we just don’t have the extra element. So, now what do we do? Because now we can’t make it work.
Justin Purser: 16:23
I don’t know, I think it’s obviously, there’s been some organic brands, of course, obviously like in hip / hop if there’s some sort of vodka, not vodka, but alcohol brand, it can work, if that’s what they want, they want a club scene which is pretty standard. Like obviously high end cars do well in videos, but then again, now a days with indie artists and stuff, I don’t know, it’s like everything’s become so real, everything’s…
Justin Purser: 16:54
It’s funny, YouTube came in and these people, these real life people who just were regular people, they influenced the whole Zeitgeist where now it’s like, you know, they drove a Toyota Prius and now some music artists are like, “I don’t care if it’s a Toyota Prius, I drive that anyways, I’m not trying to look like I’m rich and famous, I’m just trying to be like everybody else”.
Justin Purser: 17:16
And honestly, that’s what we learned during that period was that’s more appealing in a way. A lot of people will, it’s more relatable. They’re like “Oh, wait, the person in this video is driving a Toyota Prius, that’s what I drive, I like them”.
Stacy Jones: 17:33
Versus a Bentley or Ferrari, or Maserati which everyone for so many years wanted.
Justin Purser: 17:39
Yeah, yeah, you want it, but, I don’t know. So I think the music videos especially, it really just depends. Artist, song, and then brand. But obviously headphones, or if there’s a guitar brand, obviously stuff like that’s easy. But, as far as you’re off brands like a Pepsi or like, I don’t even know, like milk or something, I don’t know. You get some strange, I’m sure you know, there’s sometimes there’s some strange brands that want to get in the mix and you’re like “This is going to be really hard because it’s such a off, it’s not an easy fit, it’s not just like “Yeah, we can throw headphones on this guy”.
Stacy Jones: 18:24
Yeah, there’s like, apps, a lot of apps are interested in music videos, especially those trying to hit that tween / teen / millennial. That comes in a lot.
Justin Purser: 18:33
Stacy Jones: 18:34
You see clothing. You know clothing can be great if it’s branded.
Justin Purser: 18:38
Stacy Jones: 18:38
If it’s not branded, it’s really hard to tell what it is. Eye wear.
Justin Purser: 18:43
Yeah. Well, clothing is tough because logos are not supposed to be shown. That rule has obviously changed since MTV’s not in power anymore.
Stacy Jones: 18:53
Well, no. Vevo still has the limitation. They don’t want more than four to six continuous seconds of a logo shot.
Justin Purser: 19:00
Oh yeah? Well yeah, at least they let them. MTV was like, “No logos”.
Stacy Jones: 19:06
Justin Purser: 19:06
The video would get rejected, so, yeah, at least they do that, but yeah, of course they still have some rules because then at that point, and I get the rule, because that point you’re just making a commercial for a clothing company and then they are putting it up on their platform basically almost for free since you’re getting rev share off of it. Yeah.
Stacy Jones: 19:24
So, do you think, before we move on to other things, because there’s lots of things you’ve done in your career that are fantastic, but with music videos, do you think there’s a best way that brands should be approaching music videos and to look at partnerships with them?
Justin Purser: 19:40
Yeah. I mean, I think they should start a list of artists that they specifically feel like they want their brand in front of, and then go from there. Find out what label they are on and then go approach the label and I think the most important thing for a brand is they have to be pretty open to what the artist is going to want to do if they really want to be a part of it. So, yeah. I think you work that way and just find they type of music, the type of artists, the artists that you like, a wish list, like this is the top wish list and then there’s the amount of music artists out there now is incredible, it’s like massive.
Justin Purser: 20:21
Even if you can’t get that artist you want, there’s probably another similar artist that you necessarily might not know, the record label would want your brand in. And sometimes you focus on the big artists of course because you figure that’s the home run, but, for me, I always look at things like don’t always try to get the home run. Just try to maybe make some bases at the beginning. Even as a director, when I music videos, it was like, you get these artists that want to, it’s their first video and they have these grandiose ideas and even the pop star artists, the young females, she wants to pretty much be naked in the video, and I always say “No”, I’d be like “You do that, what do you have left?”.
Stacy Jones: 21:06
Right. You’ve jumped the shark.
Justin Purser: 21:07
Yeah, if you’re giving it all away in your first video, don’t look at it like this is going to be my first and last video, look at it like I’m going to put this one out, it’s going to lead to a lot more. But if I give it all away today, then what do you have tomorrow? You’ve got to look for a longer story, not just, everyone just tries to make that home run so I feel like brands try to do that too, they try to like, “We’re going to put everything we’ve got into this one artist’s video”, maybe put a little bit into a few different artists. It’s almost like, maybe look at it like playing roulette.
Stacy Jones: 21:36
Yeah, that makes sense. And then I think also with a lot of brands, there’s not a lot of control that you can have. You can ask for, you can make suggestions, but this is so driven by the artists, and the director, and you have to make sure that it looks organic, because if it looks staged, people are just going to revolt from the music video, and then everyone gets negativity.
Justin Purser: 22:00
Yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah, and like on the panel, the difference is these videos now live online on Vevo / YouTube and not only do you, you couldn’t hear the person yelling at the t.v. in their house telling, saying how bad they hate that commercial that plays [inaudible 00:22:15]. Now, you can read in the comments how bad things are going with the brand.
Justin Purser: 22:21
You’re talking about doing apps, that’s cutting to an app, having to try to explain an app in a music video? It’s almost impossible to be organic. Because people have gotten so savvy too, they’re going to not automatically know why this app is being displayed. Now he’s swiping over here and he’s clicking here and as a director when you get those treatments and the label has this money from the app and you’ve got to include this app, that’s a real puzzle piece because then you’ve got to think how do I do this and it not be cheesy. Because, I don’t want to make a cheesy video, the artist doesn’t want to make a cheesy video, and the brand doesn’t want to make a cheesy video, but how do we do it?
Stacy Jones: 23:02
Right. It’s a catch twenty two because there’s just not enough money from labels anymore to make music videos for artists.
Justin Purser: 23:09
Yeah. It’s true. What happened was, a lot of people don’t realize this. So what happened was is the music video went from one hundred percent promotional piece. It was a commercial. It came out of marketing budgets. That’s where the money came from. It still sort of does, in a sense, but, what happened was is when YouTube and especially when Vevo, now the music video’s part of the business plan. Because they make money. The artists make money on these videos. I can look at their view count and kind of guesstimate how much they’ve made and go wow, oh that was the budget and then this is what they made.
Justin Purser: 23:44
And what’s funny is when that happens, when it goes from marketing to the business revenue model is the idea is spend as little money as you can so you can make the most money. So, instead of budgets going up, they went down, partly because the record labels lost a lot of money, but also because they needed to make money on these videos, because they’re not making enough money on the music as much anymore. So they’ve go to like 360 it, like touring. So, the music video is now a part of that revenue stream for an artist. And so that’s when you know like, now, yeah, if they can supplement it with some in kind funds from a brand and that money doesn’t have to be paid back and they can make the video look better, of course they’re going to try to do it. But it’s always quite difficult.
Stacy Jones: 24:28
Well moving away from music videos. You ended up playing a massive role and really had a lot of influencers, especially with YouTube to brand deals. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? And how you got involved in that whole world that is now everyone looks at and is like you’re an influencer, this is a crazy business model.
Justin Purser: 24:51
Yeah. That was pretty crazy because that was, that was right when music videos, the budgets really went down. That’s almost right when I got into it as a director. They started really tanking, and I’d spent eight years trying to get into this party, and I finally made it in the party, and I always tell people this, I’m like I’ve made it in the party, it’s been eight years outside looking at it, seeing inside, I knew everybody inside, they’re all having a good time, and I’m like, I want to be in that party, I want in that party. And I feel like I made the leap, I became a director, and as soon as I did it, they were like “Party’s over, everybody out”.
Justin Purser: 25:31
The budgets, they went down ninety percent like the average budget, and it became something, it wasn’t what I’d signed up for, and it was sort of very difficult to wrap your head around, especially having written treatments for these directors for these five hundred thousand dollar videos, million dollar videos, six hundred fifty thousand dollar video, and then trying to wrap your head around, how do I write for a twenty thousand dollar video? How do you do that? And you can do it a few times, I did it, because I had a lot of favors I could call in. But you can only call in favors for so long and then people won’t do the favors anymore.
Justin Purser: 26:06
Again, I was trying to think what else was out there, I didn’t really know what I would do, I was like, this is what I moved out here for, this is what I want to do, I’m just going to keep doing it. But I don’t know how long this is going to last, and I don’t know what the future looks like for this business, but, companies were closing, record labels, video commissioners were getting laid off, and their assistants getting hired, and it was such a crazy time. You’d start a treatment and then they’d be like “Oh, that person’s not even here anymore, so so and so’s going to look at it for the moment”, and you’re like “I don’t even know who that is”. At least I knew the other person and they knew me, so I had a better chance.
Justin Purser: 26:40
Anyways, I just kind of stumbled upon it was actually a receptionist that, the last company I worked on staff was Anonymous Content, and the receptionist there, Denise Cass, she had started uploading videos of herself talking to YouTube. We were Facebook friends and I’m obviously friends with her from Anonymous and I would see her post them and I really just didn’t understand what she was doing or why, but she was doing it. And so one day she reached out to me and she was like “Hey, I’m going to write this spoof video with this Akon and David Goetta, it was called Sexy Bitch, and she’s like “I’m going to call it Bearded Bitch”, or “Bearded Guy”, or something like that, I can’t remember now, it was a while ago. But she’s like, “Yeah, and I have this friend he does a lot of stuff on YouTube and he’s got a big beard so he’s going to play the girl, he’s going to play the sexy, it’s going to be funny”, so she’s like “Would you want to direct it?”, and I was…
Stacy Jones: 27:38
You’re like “Oh yeah!”
Justin Purser: 27:42
Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t doing anything, I was at home writing treatments and trying to book music videos and living off unemployment. So, I’m like “sure”. It was on a Tuesday or something, she’s like “Here’s the address in the valley”, I just had to show up and she’s like “Yes, there’ll be a like a guy there with a camera, you can just help us make it, you be the director”. I’m like “Okay, that will be, whatever, I have nothing else to do”. So I show up and it’s this kid’s house, and he’s like maybe eighteen, and he owns the house, and his name is Shane Dawson and she’s like “Yeah, his name’s Shane, he does YouTube stuff, and this is Justine, her name’s iJustine on YouTube, she does video stuff, and this is Shay Carl”. And then I recognized the one, the guy who’d done the Obama video, he’d played Obama, he was there, and I was like “Oh, I know who that guy is, why’s he here?”. These are all big YouTube people. I’m like “cool, what ever that means”, I have no idea what that means, but awesome, let’s do this.
Justin Purser: 28:35
So, we did it and it was funny and they were like very socially awkward but it was really fun, they were really cool, and they were fun and they were so like normal people.
Stacy Jones: 28:43
Justin Purser: 28:43
I’m just like “It was fun”. So we did it and then a couple weeks later she was like “Oh, do you want to come by and see the edit?”, and I was like “Sure”. So I came by and I saw it and I was like “Oh, it came out pretty funny”. It was obviously low five, I was like, “Oh, I can’t put this on my reel, but it’s funny whatever yeah”. She’s like “Do you want your name on it?” and I’m like “Yeah, okay, whatever, put my name on it”. So a few days later I check on YouTube to see after they’ve uploaded it and I think at the time it had almost a million views when this was like 2011 when videos didn’t get that kind of view. There wasn’t that many people using YouTube.
Justin Purser: 29:17
I was like “Whoa! What’s going on here? How is this working?”. So, I call her and I’m like “What’s going on? How do you, what are you doing? How are you getting views? Everyone’s trying to get views now. How did you do this on this spoof?” And she’s like “Everyone in that is a huge YouTube star and they all pushed from their channels to this video”. And I’m like “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’m kind of interested. What do these people do?” Like Shay Carl, the guy with the beard who’s the main guy, I looked at his channel and it’s like him and his four kids and he has a house in Venice that he’s renting and all day long he’s just making videos, everyday of himself, fifteen minutes long him talking to the camera like “Hey guys, here I am at the store. I’m buying more diapers because so and so ran out of diapers”, and I’m just like “Wow, what is this? And how does it have three hundred and fifty thousand views in two days and so I asked, how does he support his family? And she’s like “Oh, YouTube”. I’m like “What do you mean?”. She’s like “He’s making like three hundred thousand dollars a year right now.” And I’m like “Wait.. what?” I’m trying to live off unemployment [inaudible 00:30:14] thousand dollar music video so I can make almost maybe two grand if I’m lucky, and this guy is making this kind of money with a flip camera and iMovie and I was like, well if you can’t beat them, join them.
Justin Purser: 30:32
First I was defiantly angry, because I was defiantly angry at these people, but then I was like, again, if you can’t beat them, join them, so I kind of, I was like, I want to meet all these people, I want to talk to them, I want to find out what this is going on here. And the more I looked, and the more I looked, and the more I just kept understanding and looking at what they were doing, I was like “Oh, they’re going to take over Hollywood, they’re going to influence the [inaudible 00:30:47] because they have an audience and at the time, people still had this manor of like “Oh, you have to make this amazing, wonderful, gigantic, content for people to watch it. That’s what everybody wants to watch. They want to watch the biggest, brightest piece of content they can watch”. All the bells and whistles; everything.
Justin Purser: 31:10
But these guys are just doing nothing. They’re in their living room with a flip camera. And I was like, “Okay, you can say everything you want, but obviously the power of the people is speaking. This is what they want, and they want the realness. They don’t want to be a fan. They want to be a friend.” They want to feel like these people are their friends, and they do. They feel like they know these people. They feel like if this person walked into a restaurant, they could walk right up to them and say their name and they would know exactly who they are. So, I was like, this is going to change everything.
Justin Purser: 31:38
So, I met with Danny Zappa and Lisa Nova and her brother [inaudible 00:31:44], there was about four or five of them and we were working out of this office in Venice and they brought me in and I was sort of like the Hollywood person because I was the only one that had done anything. I think Lisa had been on Mad TV for a couple of things, but as far as a director/creator like I was the only person who had any kind of experience. They had some kids there with some cameras who were doing stuff and then we just kept building it, and it grew so fast and I think we all have these moments in life where you don’t realize when you’re in it what’s happening until after it’s over and then you look back and go like “Wow, that was insane! That was crazy! I don’t even know what happened! What happened? That was insane!”.
Justin Purser: 32:29
Everything kept growing and growing, the numbers were growing, they were signing more talent, I was bringing in talent, people to sign and it just kept growing and growing and then we kept moving offices and moving in to bigger offices and big agents[inaudible 00:32:45] would email the website and they’d be like “Do you know who this agent is?”, and they be like “Yeah, I know who that is.”, and they’d be like “Should I respond?”, and I’m like “No, don’t respond, let’s keep it us, let’s keep building the frenzy, keep building the frenzy”. Because everyone wanted to know “how are you doing this? How is this happening?”
Justin Purser: 33:02
But on the other hand, a lot of people didn’t care. I would go out to Hollywood functions or parties and people would like “What are you up to?” and I’d be like “Oh, I’m still directing music videos, but I’m also part of this company we started, it’s called Maker Studios.” And they were like “What is that?” and I’m like “Oh it’s like YouTube, we have like YouTube celebrities”, and they’d write it off, they didn’t care. They’d be like “Oh, whatever. That’s guys with flip cameras talking to the camera” they didn’t care. They didn’t think it was anything.
Justin Purser: 33:29
But then anytime you get an audience like that in those numbers, of course now brands want to get in front of every audience they can. If there’s an audience they want to get in front of it because that’s what you want to do as a brand. So I started sort of just testing the waters a little bit. I had a friend who worked at, Andrea, who worked at Planet Hollywood, who I had met and I’d talked to her about what I was doing, and she had seen some of it and she got it. She was one of the first people that got it. She was like “Wow”. And as a hotel in Las Vegas, if I can get these people to do something for this hotel, this could be huge.
Justin Purser: 34:06
It was like 2010 I think maybe eleven. We had this idea to do a flash mob in their casino. And that was on Flash Mobs. Everyone was doing flash mobs, it was before the point where everyone just got to the point where it’s like, nobody wants to see anymore flash mobs. But, it hadn’t been too saturated yet so we did this flash mob, I actually had these grammy nominated producers make a song in three days about the hotel, and we staged it to look like the hotel had nothing to do with it, and we just did a flash mob with like ten of the biggest YouTube celebrities at the time, and then everyone we invited, we had a like a hundred and something people in the middle of their casino, which is pretty taboo to do. So we made it look like they staged it and it went nuts. It was insane. At the time, the hotel was for sale and Robert Earl who owned the hotel, he actually, the value went up because everyone wanted to go stay there. The song was called Phamous, P-H Phamous, for Planet Hollywood and the song became a hit.
Justin Purser: 35:10
We ended up shooting a music video for the song that the hotel paid for, it ended up being on MTV. It had Chenyl Westcoast sang on the song, the producers knew her and they had her come sing the hook, and it became it’s own thing, it was crazy. Shay Carl was one of the guys, he was the main guy we made look like he staged it, they gave us all suites when we went there to shoot it, he went in his room with his flip camera and was like filming the whole suite and was like “Oh my God, this is amazing, I’ve never stayed in a room like this before”, and I think, I don’t know, maybe to the day, maybe it’s gone now, but I know up until a year or two ago if you googled best hotel room in Vegas, his YouTube video was the first thing that came up.
Stacy Jones: 35:50
Wow. It just had so many views it got pushed up.
Justin Purser: 35:52
Yeah. And so anytime anyone around the world was going to Las Vegas and googled best hotel room in Las Vegas, that room came up, his video, which was like, I mean you [inaudible 00:36:01] a business, as a brand, like…
Stacy Jones: 36:03
You couldn’t buy that.
Justin Purser: 36:04
You can’t buy that, and it was total organic. And I’ll never forget, this is one of the craziest things ever that made it all very surreal was I’ll never forget but I would go to the hotel a lot afterwards because they gave me I can go whenever I want and stay for free, so I went, and I was there one weekend, I think it was like three or four months later, and I got in the hotel, I mean I got in the elevator, and these two British guys were talking about that video, the best hotel room in Vegas, they were like “We got it, we got the best hotel room in Vegas”, they were like high-fiving, and they pulled up the video on their phone in the elevator. I was like I thought I was being like punked, I was like is this real? This is real? And they’re like “Let’s do the flash mob in the casino”, and I was like “Wow”. And that’s when it really like all kind of came together like, these guys have a lot of power.
Stacy Jones: 36:47
11:40 AM 7/1/2019]Yeah.
Justin Purser: 36:48
And there’s an audience, and there’s a lot of brands in power that are going to want to get in front of it. And then it went from there to like, we started getting all kinds of brands and I did the video for Cosmo magazine, which we actually shot at Planet Hollywood. Same thing. It’s so funny how brands want to do exactly what another brand did.
Stacy Jones: 37:05
Right. Because if it’s successful, right? And they can’t think outside of that box necessarily.
Justin Purser: 37:10
And they literally were like, they were like, let’s do a flash mob in Planet Hollywood, but for Cosmo magazine and Nivea. And I was like “Okay, I think we need to do something a little different”. So I was able to sell them on an idea of kind of like this growing music video kind of like, it kind of just organically came into a flash mob, but not as staging it to be fake. This was actually going to be fake, we were going to make it fake, on purpose. So, we did that and that took number one on add age and then it was, from then on out it was gangbusters. It was like, thinking every agency took notice. They didn’t know who that was. They were like “Maker Studios? What is Maker Studios? And how did they just beat this add that we spent two million dollars on that has Snoop and a light saber and a Toyota or whatever it was, Pepsi, or, how did they get the views?”. And then it just was like the phones went off the hook, Time Warner invested and then it was on and I feel like that’s the moment the whole Zike Ice changed, because once the money starts pointing your way, now everyone wants to know why the money, especially in Hollywood, anytime money points your way they want to know why that money is pointing your way.
Stacy Jones: 38:18
And they want it. Yes. Everyone wants to jump on.
Justin Purser: 38:22
Yeah. I got all kinds of offers like when Makers sold to Disney I was no longer a part of Makers, I had left, but I woke up to all kinds of offers of like “Can you go out to dinner with this celebrity and tell them how this works?”. I had Opera Winfrey’s right hand guy reach out and want to know about what this was and how it worked and stuff like that. Not just through somebody else that knew him or whatever and I got paid to consult and stuff because it was like, people ignored it, and then when it happened, they were like, I want in.
Stacy Jones: 38:55
Yeah, well because, I’ve done this myself, like, I have sat there and stare for hours at one YouTube channel for one influencer and just tried to wrap my head around what makes this guy magic? Right? Because, it is magic. But, it’s not tangible. You can’t figure it out, it’s just something, and not everyone has it.
Justin Purser: 39:18
Yeah. That’s the funny part, when you tell everybody, and I knew this was going to happen, actually it didn’t happen as bad as I thought, but I’m like, at the time, no one knew these people were making this kind of money. So, I envisioned the world, I envisioned you couldn’t walk down any sidewalk in America without someone talking to themselves because everyone’s going to be like “You can make a half a million dollars a year on YouTube?”
Stacy Jones: 39:39
Justin Purser: 39:40
“I’m in!”. You know. And I’m going to record myself, but yeah. A, it isn’t that easy because it does take a lot of work and it’s quantity over quality, and you have to just push push push, it’s not going to happen overnight, and it might not happen at all because like you just said like some people, it’s just magic, like people just, for whatever reason gravitate towards them. There’s these guys who do these eating videos where they’ll just eat tons and tons of food and it’s like, who’d of ever thought of that? Or like ASMR where people just want to listen to people chewing?
Stacy Jones: 40:12
Right. Chewing because it’s soothing and it triggers different things psychologically for you. Yeah.
Justin Purser: 40:18
[inaudible 00:40:18] if you would have told Disney and Nickelodeon fifteen years ago, stop spending money on all these big shows, just have kids open boxes of toys and talk about them.
Stacy Jones: 40:27
Justin Purser: 40:27
Every kid will want to watch that. They would have laughed you out of the building and told you to leave. So…
Stacy Jones: 40:33
[inaudible 00:40:33] making millions of dollars doing that.
Justin Purser: 40:35
Oh yeah, no I’ve hired some of these kids for campaigns and helped push stuff and I’m like, the money they’re making, I’m curious how this all plays out as they get older, because it’s a strange, this is a strange world that we’re living in that hasn’t played the story yet, we haven’t had the kid who grew up on YouTube turning twenty one yet.
Stacy Jones: 40:53
Now the Kardashians are really kind of the most like this I think because they have been most under the limelight. And it’s going to be really interesting to see because obviously you know it’s the Kardashians but there’s so much of their elements of what they’ve done was social that that you’re seeing, it’s a whole new level of I’m going to say the word royalty, but it’s escalated people into these [inaudible 00:41:18] and kingdoms that are not something that we’ve ever experienced before.
Justin Purser: 41:23
You’re right. Yeah. Yeah. And then you tie that in, again, like brands, they always want to be in front of the biggest audience and so these are the people, like the Kardashians, their brand deals are incredible obviously. I mean they don’t even, I think the Jenner girls, they barely do any because they don’t have to because the ones they do are so lucrative. So, it’s like, they don’t need to be pitching things left and right.
Stacy Jones: 41:49
Well, they’ve realized also that they don’t need to be pitching anything anymore. They just need to pitch their own.
Justin Purser: 41:54
Yeah, oh yeah.
Stacy Jones: 41:55
And, way more valuable to pitch your own thing and make money from it.
Justin Purser: 41:59
Yeah, why pitch L’Oreal when you can make your own lipstick?
Stacy Jones: 42:01
Hey. And that’s the trend I think we’re going to see more and more with these influencers who are all coming in and figuring how they can actually be entrepreneurs and now they can be the face of the campaign, the marketing behind the campaign, the brains of the campaign, and be completely self sustained.
Justin Purser: 42:18
Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah. That’s and the self sustained thing is pretty phenomenal as well, I’ve had some people that’s been pretty big like networks and platforms reach out to me and say “Hey, you know, we want to hire these YouTube people to host shows for us”, and then they’ll send me a list of who they want and like “Do you know them? Or can you help us get to them, speak their language, and could you maybe help facilitate and be a part of making this work?”, and I’m like “They’re not going to do it”, and they’re like “Of course they’re going to do it, we’re so and so”, and I’m like “They don’t care. What are you going to offer them? Money? They have it. An audience? They have it. It’s not like hiring an actor. They don’t need the role. They don’t need it”. They’ve got exactly like you said, they’re self sustained. They don’t need your money, and they don’t need you to put them in front of anyone because they’re getting it already.
Stacy Jones: 43:06
But, with that said, you said something a little bit ago, that I think it’s going to be interesting to see how it continues to play out, you have like Lionsgate, right? And you have some[inaudible 00:43:16] actually creating content specifically staring the influencer, where the whole model now, it’s not “Oh, I need an A lister or a B lister, it’s I need an influencer so they can be my marketing machine. Which is a really interesting thing to actually see as a phenomemon.
Justin Purser: 43:34
It is interesting, and quite difficult. I don’t necessarily think anyone’s, you know, maybe I’m forgetting something, but it’s, I don’t think it’s [inaudible 00:43:44] never that easy, you just can’t hire someone and put them in your film and they’re going…
Stacy Jones: 43:50
Have them act.
Justin Purser: 43:52
Yeah, have them act, yeah. It’s the same thing sort of with the YouTube spaces, like any YouTube person with over I think with the time it was like, I don’t know what it is now, but it was like fifteen thousand subscribers can sign up and use the massive sound stage, like, why?
Stacy Jones: 44:07
Justin Purser: 44:08
They don’t know why or how, they make videos in their bedroom. They don’t need that stage so it’s like, I’ve seen videos they’ve tried to make on there and they’re horrible. Because it’s like, that’s not what they do. They don’t do that. The hiring the influencer thing in your movies and in your, for this, there’s got to be a strategy to it. I’ve spent a lot of years, especially, when we started Maker, just having success and failure, and learning there’s certain things, and for me, everything starts in the creative. If you’re just going to cast an influencer into a role that already exists, you’re chances are low. If you’re going to actually craft something that has some creativity built in to it that builds around what they do and who they are perhaps, then yeah. And have a specific plan already in place a creative plan of marketing literally, before you start shooting whatever you’re shooting, you stand a better chance. I’ve gotten calls people like “Hey, I put this video on YouTube, can you help me get some views on it?” and I’m like “No, like, you already did it, it’s up. There’s no magic wand. You can buy them and fake it, but you can’t just put something up and then expect someone to get views on it”.
Stacy Jones: 45:21
Justin Purser: 45:21
So I think the influencer thing, it’s going to level out a bit because I feel like there’s been a lot of failure with it, well a lot of success not reaching what they thought they were going to reach. So, for me when our strategy at Maker, we had a strategy and it worked every single time, that I can still see to this day when they do cast influencers in movies and when they do cast them in commercials and stuff, I’m like “Oh, they’re not implementing a strategy like that”, and that’s why it’s not going to work. But, I’m off.
Stacy Jones: 45:54
I think a lot of these influencers are used to playing their own self. They’ve developed their own personas and so when they’re being cast in these roles where it would be a traditional actor’s role.
Justin Purser: 46:04
Stacy Jones: 46:04
They’re not really up to that challenge because that’s not what they’re trained to do.
Justin Purser: 46:07
Stacy Jones: 46:08
While it might be fun, it’s not so much fun to watch.
Justin Purser: 46:11
You know what was a great one. I can’t remember his name, but it was the Netflix series, the mockumentary about drawing dicks on things in school.
Stacy Jones: 46:28
Okay. I’m not sure.
Justin Purser: 46:29
It was great. It was on Netflix. It’s like a mockumentary, it’s about, it’s an investigation of like this high school, someone went out and drew penises on teacher’s cars and so it’s like, the students like, they’re trying to figure out who it is, but the main kid they blame, he’s a YouTube star and he was great. And the reason I thought he was great and the reason I thought he was great was he basically was doing not too dissimilar from what he does on YouTube.
Stacy Jones: 46:54
American, is it, I’m Googling, American Vandal?
Justin Purser: 46:57
American Vandal. Yeah.
Stacy Jones: 46:57
There ya go!
Justin Purser: 47:00
Yeah, it was really really well done and that was, to me that was a successful use of, because everyone’s like “Oh, that’s so and so from YouTube”, and again, it was the perfect role for him.
Stacy Jones: 47:10
Justin Purser: 47:11
And it was a mockumentary, and it was sort of what he does on his channel, so it all sort of like blended quite well and it was successful. The second season…
Stacy Jones: 47:20
But that’s kind of like a Jack Ass right? That’s kind of like that type of content, which parlays really well over to what this influencer probably was in his real life.
Justin Purser: 47:29
Stacy Jones: 47:29
And then now you have it on like MTV style, like punks in your face, Jack Ass, whatever it might be.
Justin Purser: 47:36
Yeah. Yeah. It was a scripted thing, it was very, yeah, it still fit with his brand and what he put on YouTube. And he was great. His acting was great. I think that was a success. But yeah, you can tell they didn’t just like, it felt like they didn’t, maybe I don’t know, but it felt like they didn’t just plug him in, it felt like maybe he was, they wrote it and then thought of him and then sort of tailored it more towards him. So, yeah.
Stacy Jones: 48:04
So, right now, obviously brands are, they’re changing their whole love of influencers to some degree, where it used to be “Oh, I must be with the biggest influence to make the biggest bang”, and they’re kind of dialing it back and now looking for higher engagement and understanding that being with the biggest means spending a whole lot of money to not necessarily actually hit the audience that you’re trying to go after. What do you think are you know, what’s the future of influencer marketing and brand partnerships? Where do you think it’s going to go?
Justin Purser: 48:35
I think it’s exactly what you said. I think there’s more power in the hiring, I mean that, you could go down to a level of people that only have three thousand followers and if you paid a thousand of them some money, you could possibly have more effect then you could if you went to that three million followed influencer. Because to me, the more an influencer or even a celebrity, pitches products, I feel like the more they pitch, the less their value should be.
Stacy Jones: 49:14
Right. Because it’s become a lack of authenticity, a lack of organicness, it’s becoming, you’re just a shell of it basically.
Justin Purser: 49:22
You’re diluted. Yeah. You’re like “here’s this, here’s this, here’s this”, you’re constantly pitching things, so, when I put together campaigns, I always try to find “Oh yeah, that person’s great, but can we find someone else that hasn’t recently pitched ten different things?”. Because, I think brands, they just get excited they’re like “Oh, we got so and so, they have twenty million followers, you know, it’s going to be a home run”, but everything’s a number’s game. Right? Everything in this world is a numbers game. So when you break down the numbers of like, yeah, they have twenty million followers, what’s the percentage of those followers that are actually going to see it? Then, what is the actual percentage of those followers that are actually going to resinate with the product? From then, what’s the percentage of them that’s going to actually buy it? And if you have someone that’s pitching a bunch of stuff, it’s going to be less and less and less because they’re going to be like, this person’s constantly pitching things, scrolling past, scrolling past. I’m subscribed, I’m following, but I don’t even really care anymore because I’m sick of them pitching me stuff. I’m moved on.
Justin Purser: 50:16
I think it’s going to become more distributed, not just the big ones because that doesn’t necessarily always work. And then I also think it’s going to become almost like casting a movie in a sense. You’re going to want to spend a little time and thought into it. The same way you would cast a big feature, you’d want to get the ten head shots in front of you and let’s see, and what if, and figure this out. Because rushing into it, and I think we talked about this in the panel too, the automated thing never works. Here we’ll put this site up and then influencers can pick what they want to do and then read what they want to read and then pitch the product. But to me, that never works. I think we talked about it again and you’ve got to have the middle man, you’ve got to have the person that’s going speak both the languages.
Justin Purser: 51:05
I’ve done a lot of that too, where I’ve been hired to be the middle man, like okay, here’s what the brand wants to do, here’s what [inaudible 00:51:11] wants to do, how do we figure this out and make it work?
Stacy Jones: 51:14
Because it’s still a very in person relationship and you’re not just saying here’s the five bullets go out and do it. It’s a conversation.
Justin Purser: 51:24
Yeah. Yeah. Because one thing people are remember, these self made quote unquote influencer people, the reason people like them is because they know that that person just did it themselves, and they like that fact. They like that the person is like, it could be them. Girls, who look up to Instagram models, you look at them, they emulate it because they’re like “I can post a pretty picture of myself and steal a quote from somewhere and maybe it can happen for me”. They don’t necessarily think of these people as, once they reach a certain level, of course, then it’s like oh my God, they’re so cool celebrity, but, for the most part they still have this mentality of they could be my neighbor. And maybe it is my neighbor.
Stacy Jones: 52:09
Yeah, but the brand’s sitting here and asking these influencers to be the director, the producer, the writer, the actor, the editor, the stylist, the I mean, just add on everything that’s all of those elements to it and that’s all part of what’s going on here. As well as the overall visionary because the brand can’t be the visionary for this, or it won’t impact the audience.
Justin Purser: 52:36
Yeah, exactly yeah. It has to be authentic to them. To the influencer and to their content. You can’t hire someone who does horror type content to pitch something that you want to be fluffy and rainbows or whatever. I mean you could, you’ve just got to be really creative with it.
Stacy Jones: 52:53
Yeah, you throw in the cats and dogs, they’re not going to be pretty cats and dogs in that scene.
Justin Purser: 52:58
Yeah. I’ll never forget one time, it was a Snickers thing, and one of the Maker talent, they wanted to run it over with their car and stuff, and we were just like “No, I don’t think that’s going to work”. But they weren’t trying to be rude or anything, they were just seriously excited about it. They were like…
Stacy Jones: 53:16
Justin Purser: 53:16
“Oh, we’ll throw it out the window and then I drive it over with my car and then I’ll go and eat it off the ground”. I’m like “I don’t think that’s what the brand’s going to really want”. So yeah, that’s a thing, you’re speaking two different languages so you need a translator.
Stacy Jones: 53:31
Yep, and that’s what we all do. That’s what makes it all work so that deals actually go through and look good.
Justin Purser: 53:38
Stacy Jones: 53:39
Well, I know we’re running out of time. Are there any last parting words of advice to our listeners that you would like to share today?
Justin Purser: 53:48
On the subject of?
Stacy Jones: 53:50
Brands. Influencers. Music. Creativity. Anything you’d like.
Justin Purser: 53:55
Okay, well yeah, on that thing I’d like to go back to something I said earlier which is that I think everything starts in the creative, you can’t come in at the production point or post production point and plug things in. If you’re going to do it, and you want to do it, you might as well start at the very beginning and give yourself, I mean I do this in almost everything I do now, all the products I draft, I always think “What’s inside of this project that I can know, that I can count on for at least this much?”. This many people are going to watch it, what’s the audience for this? What’s the audience for this? So that it’s build already in, so that once the product or the content, or movie, music video, whatever is out, you can tap that audience.
Justin Purser: 54:43
Say it was exotic cars, let’s just use that, so if I put an exotic car, I know it’s an exotic car audience out there, so we can put this video out, whatever it is, and then we can go on Facebook, someone can go on Facebook exotic car groups and say “Hey, check this out. Here’s a video with this super exotic car”, things like that. For me, everything always begins in the creative, like you have to start in the process. So, that would be any advice I would give.
Stacy Jones: 55:12
Well that is excellent advice. So, if our listeners want to be able to reach out to you, how can they best find you besides the information that we will put in our show notes, can you share that with us?
Justin Purser: 55:25
Yeah, I mean, I’m everywhere, right?
Stacy Jones: 55:27
Justin Purser: 55:27
I’m on Instagram, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, you can we.[crosstalk 00:55:33]
Stacy Jones: 55:33
And you guys produce commercial content at [inaudible 00:55:40].
Justin Purser: 55:41
Oh yeah, [inaudible 00:55:42] yeah, we don’t produce it, we post production it.
Stacy Jones: 55:45
Post production it. Yes.
Justin Purser: 55:47
Mainly just Marshall is a color artist right now. I’m sort of the creative director of the company. I’m helping with the marketing and the advertising and again, trying to take a different approach to how that model works. We call ourselves, we’re not a post house, we’re a post home.
Stacy Jones: 56:05
Very nice. Well, Justin, I cannot thank you enough for being on today and sharing everything and all of your stories. You have led and are still leading a fascinating life.
Justin Purser: 56:17
Can I plug one thing?
Stacy Jones: 56:18
Justin Purser: 56:19
My feature documentary And Two If By Sea is playing it’s L.A. premiere June 18th at the Cinemark at the Howard Hughes Center at the Silicone Beach Festival. I would love for people to come out because that’s something else I brand money for that, some in kind money and it’s another project that I had full creative control over and I built things into it that I knew we can use to market.
Stacy Jones: 56:47
Yeah, and that was actually interesting because Justin, we didn’t even touch on this, you did something that’s not so easy, you got brands to support a documentary, and so, do you want to share a little bit more about your documentary and what’s it about?
Justin Purser: 57:02
Sure. It’s on a pair of identical twins and it’s kind of their story of their competitiveness between each other and sibling rivalry, because they also happen to be two of the most iconic professional surfers in the sport. I knew them since childhood and they just had a fascinating life of just trying to compete, establish their own identity, but on a world stage where everyone had judged for. So, it’s the friction drove their career, but then ripped their personal life apart. So, it’s a story we tell, Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 narrates as an unreliable narrator, again, something people told me I couldn’t do, they’re like “You can’t have an unreliable narrator in a documentary”, but I was like “I want to try it”, and I did it, and it seems to work, people like it.
Stacy Jones: 57:46
What’s that mean? Like, what is a unreliable?
Justin Purser: 57:49
An unreliable narrator has been a part of literature forever. It’s like Mark Twain did it. Forrest Gump was an unreliable narrator in the movie where he talk, he says things that aren’t necessarily the truth. He tells the story in a manor that is more creative than like, here are the facts. You know, like here’s where they were born, here’s what we did, he takes license to it. So, in my movie, Daniel Tosh, he, since the movie’s about their identity, he’ll mix them up on screen, and then like converse with them, and then he brings, I wanted him to be a character in the film as well, so he brings himself into the character, into the film, it’s not just him, just a voice in the sky. So that’s, I guess if I wanted to pitch something, that’s what I would pitch. So, yeah.
Stacy Jones: 58:32
That is great. Well I am looking forward to watching it. It sounds quite interesting.
Justin Purser: 58:36
You can come out, it’s not far from where you live.
Stacy Jones: 58:36
Okay. Sounds good, sounds good. We’ll chat more about that.
Justin Purser: 58:42
Stacy Jones: 58:42
But all of our listeners thank you so much for tuning in to Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them today. I will chat with you on our next podcast. Thank you.
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