Schupp Company Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Television’

Are You Addicted to the Internet?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013



Mother, a British ad agency, decided to perform an experiment with several of its employees: it asked them to go without the Internet for a week. You can read a description of the project here and watch a video of the participants here.

 When I started in the TV business nearly 40 years ago, technology was all around me at the television station where I worked, but not integrated into my personal life. Editing on 2” video tape, borrowing a new wiz-bang gizmo (a handheld calculator) for my FCC test, and my future husband using a stick to push the TV buttons as a remote were as sophisticated as it got.  The phone bill was about $20 (before long distance charges); five local TV channels were free.

But I read books. I spent hours talking with my friends. I felt like I had spaces of time in my days. I was never bored and I always had something to do, but I didn’t feel rushed or scattered. The extent of my multi-tasking was making sweaters in front of the TV.

Fast forward to 2013. Technology is integrated so much into work and personal life that it can no longer be differentiated. We wake up to a smartphone (weather) and tablet (email). There are more than 400 TV channels one can peruse with the remote control. We get “notifications” on our devices regarding Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, and heaven knows what else. Although some of us still read newspapers (stories are relatively short and don’t require much attention or focus), most of us get much of the news from the Internet. The phone, cable, internet and cell phone bills for a household can total $500 or more. People engage us on our personal devices, as do companies and brands. We are inundated by all the channels afforded by today’s technology.

So I ponder, has technology “improved” my life? In economic terms, the opportunity cost is a huge chunk of the monthly budget. I often feel scattered, unfocused, and rushed. There is no question that I am attached – addicted – to technology. I get bored more easily, or should I say, I don’t tolerate having nothing to occupy my attention nearly every waking moment very well. I grab a device and check email, Facebook, etc., even while watching TV.

And so I may try an experiment over the holidays (so it can’t affect my employment): go without the Internet for several days, and maybe all technology. I’m thinking it won’t be easy. Some of you can’t remember a time without the Internet. Could you go without it for a few days? What about technology in general?  If you try it, report back the results on our Facebook page.


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Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

An advertising agency is not like a manufacturing or retail business; the best of its assets walk out the door every night. It depends on the talent and judgment of people in many different disciplines, each having developed those talents and skills through education and experience. The craft of advertising and the production associated with it is a true art.

The tools of the trade, however, are computers, software and cameras. In the past few years, the advent of digital equipment and the development of computers has made these tools ubiquitous. Everyone is a writer, a photographer, a filmmaker: an “expert.” This was brought home to me this week when a link to this page was pasted on Facebook by a friend who is also in the business:


“Never ‘work’ another day in your life! Serious income! Fun lifestyle!”

Having worked in the business for forty years (from broadcast TV and cable to commercial production and advertising), I can tell you that it is an interesting and stimulating environment. No day is the same. But it can be real work and you have to know what you’re doing. Serious income? If you’re on the production side, there are feast and famine times, the latter sometimes lasting years. On the agency side? Clients are won and lost, and you can be a phone call away from shutting your doors.

This site offends me to my core. When we produce TV, whether for commercials, the web or conventions, we work with truly talented people who understand what we’re trying to accomplish and do their best to help us achieve it. This extends to so many artisans in the trade: editors, sound engineers, producers, still photographers, illustrators, writers, art directors, graphic designers, talent, set designers, wardrobe and makeup  – the list goes on. This site is trying to convert disgruntled workers by offering an opportunity to “work at home with no experience necessary,” and “low investment.” Professional equipment and software are not cheap. As one Facebook comment noted, “What’s next? Doctors R Us?”

I remember trying to produce hundreds of individual low-budget commercials for a client that required shooting “real people” in locations all over the country, mostly in small towns. For the majority, we were able to find and vet qualified companies to produce the needed footage for our budget, but every once in awhile we would unknowingly hire someone who truly was trying to produce video out of their house. One woman put the talent in her home foyer and had her girlfriend push the chandelier over to adjust the lighting as she shot the footage. Do I have to tell you how it looked? The idea that you can buy the equipment and “Voila! You are a professional!” is no doubt intoxicating – and deeply disturbing. An experience like that makes one truly appreciate what it takes to be a real professional.

You may have the tools. You may have ideas. The ability to take those ideas and turn them into well produced, memorable ads/commercials/brochures/etc. is an art that requires talent and an objectivity that comes with education and experience. Hire and trust the professionals. You may be able to take video and edit it with your phone, but hopefully your audience is your friends on Facebook and Vine.

And so I say for professional marketing, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


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Mark Schupp discusses Super Bowl Advertising on KTRS

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

What worked and what didn’t? Hear what Schupp Company President Mark Schupp had to say regarding Super Bowl Advertising with Steve Cochran on KTRS.

Mark Schupp KTRS Radio


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Super Bowl commercials: What worked?

Monday, February 7th, 2011

A 30 second spot during the Super Bowl last night cost $3 million. So was it worth it? Heidi Glaus takes a look at what worked and what didn’t with Mark Schupp from the Schupp Company.


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Schupp Co’s Chris Douglas discusses Political Advertising

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Schupp Company Interactive Creative Director Chris Douglas discusses Political Advertising with CBS Morning news anchor Virginia Kerr.


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Move Over Mad Men … Why Walking Dead Will Take Over AMC’s Top Spot

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I think it’s finally safe to say everyone is addicted to advertising. No, I’m not talking web banners and print ads. I’m talking Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the beloved agency that has somehow managed to seduce its way into the heart of every home in America. Backstabbing, cheating, lying and drinking have never been so in fashion. The series won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama in 2008, 2009, and just capitalized with a few more wins at the 2010 Emmys. Recession? Not in the 1960’s. Advertising, eat your heart out.

Speaking of eating your heart out, I’ve got something more exciting than Mad Men. It’s a new series called Walking Dead. Replace Don Draper’s glass of whiskey with a shotgun. Forget the Brooks Brothers official Mad Men slim fit suit and skinny tie, and throw on a nicely steamed Sheriff uniform. Instead of killing campaigns, they’re killing zombies. Shooting, surviving, bleeding and dying has never been so in fashion. AMC is taking us to a new era, and boy does it look bleak.

According to some recent news articles, we can rest assured that Walking Dead isn’t all about guts and gore. AMC’s current track record (Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Rubicon) has reassured us (at least to this point) that they try their best to stay true to their tagline of “Story Matters Here.” Couple this with the fact that the comic book it’s based on just won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at the San Diego Comic Convention, and we may just be looking at the next big, bloody version of Mad Men.

What really gets me excited is the word-of-mouth going on in a variety of avenues in the blogosphere. One website hypes the series with the following plot synopsis:

“The story, of course, is nothing new. Zombie apocalypse. A handful of survivors. And so on. But it’s so much more than that. The drama and human elements of “The Walking Dead” are so intense that sometimes, the undead take a backseat to the unfolding stories. It’s a story full of tragedy and violence and despair, all told beautifully. Characters die, horribly. Characters you’ll grow to love. Don’t get attached to anyone. ‘The Walking Dead’ is about zombies, but it’s also a story about our humanity, not just about getting your brains eaten.”

How’s that for teaser copy?

Don’t get me wrong, Draper, I do envy the character you’ve created. But in the end, you can only do so much with a pen, paper and a few shots of whisky. I’m looking for action, adventure, satire and suspense. Move over Mad Men. There’s a new series in town. The Walking Dead …will you be watching?

The 90-minute series premiere airs October 31st on AMC. Check out the trailer below.


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YouTube and Vimeo Build HTML 5 Prototype Player

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Online video is constantly evolving. Not only will Vimeo join YouTube in offering 1080p HD video this week, but they have also jumped on the HTML 5 bandwagon. What does this mean for Flash video? Is it dead? Not likely.

There are definitely some limitations at this point. HTML 5 is still in its infancy. HTML 5 does not yet support videos with ads, captions, annotations or full screen video, and the browser support is limited as well.

YouTube HTML 5 Video Player

Last week I was interviewing an Interactive Art Director. When I asked where he was with his Flash skills, his response was that “Flash is dead.” Take note web designers and developers … this is not true. This landscape is not going to change overnight. Clients are going to pay for Flash banner ads and slick, custom Flash sites for the next many years. Don’t let a prototype in technology give you the excuse to keep a toolset out of your toolbox.


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