ND weekly helps chamber create TV ad

Dec 7, 2016

By Stanley Schwartz
Managing Editor | Publishers’ Auxiliary

CROSBY, ND—The Crosby Journal took to the streets to help its Chamber of Commerce produce a commercial that promotes its downtown businesses.

Cecile Wehrman, publisher and owner of the Journal, said the Crosby Chamber of Commerce received a grant to help get the word out that a local construction project was finally completed, and the stores in downtown Crosby were “Open For Business.”

Wehrman, who is also vice president of the Crosby Chamber of Commerce, noted that the chamber members wanted a promotion that could be shown on local TV and online.

“The grant was for $1,000 and there are two TV stations, but we had no production budget,” she said. Wehrman was also not thrilled with the quality of commercials produced locally.

“My newest hire has TV production experience,” she said about hiring Brad Nygaard. Wehrman is no stranger to TV production herself, having worked at TV stations, too, doing production.

Wehrman said they used the office camera to shoot the commercial. It’s a Canon Rebel T5S, with an onboard mic.

“We shot it in native HD,” she said, “with no external lighting.”

Wehrman wrote the script, and she and Nygaard edited in Adobe Cloud’s Priemer video-editing software.

On the day of the shoot, Wehrman said she contacted the chamber members whose businesses they would be visiting to prepare the employees. They walked into the stores along the street and asked the employees to say a line. Then, they edited them all together. They ended up with about nine people with speaking parts in the commercial.

Once the commercial was done, Wehrman said she previewed it for the chamber and then posted it on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

“From there, it just went viral,” she said, or viral for our neck of the woods. People began liking and sharing the video quickly. Even people from out of town, expats, were logging on and liking the video.

The video was so popular that it received 15,000 views before TV time was booked.

Wehrman said she did the video for no cost to the chamber and the grant paid for the local spots on TV—about $20 each for the 30-second video.

Wehrman said she has mixed feelings about Facebook.

“It’s a love-hate relationship,” she said. She wants people to read the newspaper, but knows that sometimes you have to go where their eyeballs are.

They have been doing more video to go along with some of their articles, she said, and now advertisers knew they can make commercials, too.