Welcome back to ‘Behind the Screens’, a monthly blog series in which we introduce members of our Cox Media team. From coast to coast, there's a lot of collaboration and behind-the-scenes efforts that go into each client relationship and campaign, and every person on our team of experts brings a unique background, perspective, and area of expertise. While we each have different day-to-day roles, we're all working toward the same goal: to help our clients' businesses succeed.

This month, I was joined by Creative Services Supervisor, Sam Seegars, from our Las Vegas market to talk a little bit about our creative services!

Sam Seegar Headshot

Sam Seegars, Creative Services Supervisor

Alright Sam, thanks for taking the time to connect today! Let’s start off with the basics and learn a little bit about you.

I'm Sam Seegars, the Supervisor of Creative Services in Las Vegas. I’ve been in the industry since 1993 with most of those years with Cox. My whole career has been centered mostly all-around video! My very first paying job was in 1985 for Eastman Kodak in their A/V department. I grew up in East Tennessee and worked in a variety of video roles before moving to Las Vegas in 1992 and turned to solely creating TV commercials.

I think it's fair to say that 2020 was probably one of the most active years for businesses updating their creative. Would you agree?

I think people had to adjust a little bit; I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was more active. We were forced to do video projects in different ways. That's how the pandemic really affected our team. We worked without being able to shoot anything original, which is one of the foundations of what we do!

So, we had to re-calculate how to get new creative made. Even so, I wouldn't say that it was more active. It was just different in terms of how we went about it. We've been busy in Vegas every year and we run with a very small team of creators so I couldn't say that it was busier than any other time. It just took some creative thinking to come up with ways to solve without shooting.

That said, I'm guessing a lot more thoughtfulness went into scripting and into storytelling?

Well, just knowing what kind of resources that you could get your hands on to even tell a story. So yeah, it was a little bit of this shift. So instead of thinking, oh, I can go down the street and shoot such and such place, I must go to a stock library and find footage that's going to fit the idea or concept and use what I can get my hands on. It took some of the liberation of capturing scenes as conceive them out of it.

How often do you as a director recommend that clients modify and update their ads?

My official answer is it depends!

I mean, you know automotive stuff tends to change monthly. There are new incentives from the big automotive brands and the dealers want to update their creatives.

How fresh creative should be depends on the frequency it will be seen. If you're running an ad two times a week for a year, you're probably going to be okay with the same message, but if you're running an ad 100 times a week for three months, you should probably change it up. Frequency is the key.

We live in a multiscreen world where digital video is just as big of a part of a campaign as is linear. Do you recommend that those spots be the same? Should the spot you're going to see on your mobile phone vs. what you're going to see on your 60-inch screen be the same?

I think creative should be different depending on where it's being displayed, and I base that answer on what the person that's watching needs to do next.

If it's running in a digital platform where they can click and continue, I think that kind of creative is a little bit different than a creative you see on TV where you might have a call to action to come to our store or go to our website. I think that's a big differentiator for what the creative has inside of it.

Of course, size matters too. Small devices will work better with bold images. Every situation is different, and we consider all of this when creating. The exciting thing now is to master the super short ad. Getting attention and consumer action with a :06 video is tricky.

Do you assist your clients a lot with script writing and storyboarding or do you find that most of your clients already have a concept they want to execute?

I've found that many clients don't know exactly the direction they want to go, and they're looking for professionals like ourselves to guide them in the right way. Scripting out the idea is the starting place with most clients. People get excited when the fun creative stuff about their business or product is presented in script format. After we write, present and get buy-in, the process moves to actual production. I try to find the connections between what they're selling and what I think people will react to. That's how I come up with my ideas. Overall, it’s not only messaging, but hitting their target audience too.

What are some best practices that you share with advertisers when coming up with that new piece of creative?

Don't try to put too much in it. That's the number one rule. A lot of people want to go there because they want to tell you their entire product catalog and everything about themselves and their business in 30 seconds. I divert that and say, hey, let's create a spot with enough information in the content to get curiosity up and to get the next action by the consumer. A lot of times that's how I approach it. I want to tell you just enough in the ad to make you think, “I’d better go look into that”.

If you could tell your clients and prospective clients. One thing anything what would that be?

I have a few! Never stop advertising if you want to stay in business. That's the number one thing, right? Never stop. You must be consistent. A second thing would be to always keep in mind that Cox Media wants to help you be successful. We want to be a good partner for you. Those are two things that I think are super important.

Finally, make buying whatever you're selling super easy for your customer. If you get that done, you’ll do great. No one wants to read anymore. Everybody wants to watch a video, so make a video and, hey, we do that!