Would You Spend $20,000 on Burlingame?

Is $20,000 to much to spend on a promotional video?

If it were up to you, how would you market Burlingame? Recently in town, talk has been revolving around a pitch from television series “Today in America” to make a five-minute promotional video on Burlingame featuring former NFL star Terry Bradshaw for $20,000.

The price tag initially sent up a red flag for some residents and members of the City Council when they discussed the video in a meeting last week.

“I would respectfully suggest that we decline this invitation,” said Councilmember Michael Brownrigg. “I do think $20,000 is more money than needs to be spent.” He said since there are local resources for making a similar type of promotional video for cheaper, he would rather keep the money in Burlingame.

Councilwoman Cathy Baylock agreed, saying there were ways to locally produce such a video. However, she was glad this brought the issue of marketing Burlingame to the forefront.

“We’ve been talking about doing some sort of promotion…I think for a couple of terms,” she said during the meeting. She said putting this topic on the agenda brought forth local production companies, and she wanted to continue exploring opportunities.

What do you think? Is $20,000 too much? Would you be in favor of finding a cheaper option locally? Does Burlingame even need a promotional video?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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Alex Kent August 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Residents of Burlingame: I would highly encourage that a promotional video be made for Burlingame. $20K is a drop in the bucket compared to the long term value that stronger awareness of Burlingame's benefits could create for every resident. Consider what fuels the strength of our schools and the value of your property and the vibrancy of our shopping and the financial stability of the town's government... Hundreds of times per year, tourist who may be considering a Burlingame hotel might watch the video from a hotel website, which encourages their stay or the booking of their convention, which creates tax revenues for Burlingame. Hundreds of times per year, the VP Corporate Real Estate at a thriving tech company is shopping the market for office or warehouse space and might be inspired to sign a long term lease because of the amenities the area offers. Hundreds of times per year, executives who are relocating to the Bay Area, click on the video from a Coldwell Banker website and discover Burlingame's beauty and excellent schools and convenient location vs. San Francisco or Mill Valley or Palo Alto. However, I would recommend that we explore two alternatives: 1) consider hiring a Burlingame-based video production company, and 2) consider a different spokesperson besides Terry. Isn't he overexposed promoting everything else? Shouldn't we consider someone who's more connected to the brand of the Bay Area or even Burlingame? How about the founder of Stella & Dot, etc?
Andrew Peceimer August 29, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Alex, how about paying a lot less and having an college studen do it for their class project?
Alex Kent August 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Andrew, it could be cool to include a few Burlingame high school or area college students as production assistants to learn how to shoot a promotional video, alongside professional writers, videographers, producers, and editers. Production economics usually justify higher quality and more expensive production, the bigger the audience (part of what makes American productions so high quality). This video would have a large and important audience to our town. The $20K is cheap. I've produced several national advertisements while at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising - NYC. $600,000 for a 30 second commercial is cheap. Andrew, as you know, it's an ROI opportunity.
Andrew Peceimer August 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Alex, What will the ROI be in your estimation?
Alex Kent August 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I don't have time to work our an Excel spreadsheet on it right now, but the payback could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the city and the local economy over time. A local business could even pay for it 100% in return for subtle "product placement", like their restaurant sign or company sign in 1-2 shots or whatever. Specific businesses will already be featured, so if they are indeed highlights anyway, perhaps have them sponsor it, with no blatant ad, except perhaps in the credits and via good will from the community. Just one way to do it. Or, just go 100% no sponsorship. Something to discuss.
Valerie Tucker August 29, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Alot of these former athletes have these video services for sale. They pander to the star struck instead of fitting into a strategic marketing plan. They become the tail wagging the dog. Where's the plan?
Andrew Peceimer August 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Bravo Valerie!
Alex Kent August 29, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Valerie, good point. The best place to start.


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