During the Covid-19 crisis, and what we hope will be a relatively short trial in human history, advertisers are evaluating what kind of radio and TV campaigns they will be doing. From personal experience, some business looks like it will be down. Many car dealers are closed and at the time of this writing we’re not sure when they will re-open. Car dealers in states that remain open have been turning their focus to their websites and home delivery of vehicles for test drives or purchase.
Other business appears to be up so far, such as Direct Response Radio commercials. For those not in the DR Radio industry, this includes all the products and services sold through call centers or online. It entails everything from lead generation for insurance, home security, financial services, health and wellness. You name it, just about anything can be sold through a simple phone call.
Regardless of the product or service, whether offline or online, retail or branding, radio, TV or YouTube commercials – SpotWorks Radio Creative and Production has always operated in this virtual world serving the offline world. We don’t compete directly with brick and mortar advertising agencies. We serve a clientele who “Google It!” Although when we first launched online is was “Lycos” or “AltaVista It!” We don’t offer media buying like the big agencies do, although we can offer advise and point our clients in the right direction to help set up their campaign. We continue to focus on effect radio commercials. A good media buy without a commercial that works is a waste of money.
We are a home-based advertising agency for individual clients, as well as a home recording studio operating as a production house for other ad agencies. We have a network of voice talents who also have been working out of their home studios for years. When I started SpotWorks back in 1997, my home studio didn’t look much different than it does now. My website was a lot simpler. It was ugly, in fact. A domain name was $130 USD per year. One of my first clients was a countdown radio show in Italy, but my main service was radio copywriting, voiceovers and radio commercial production.
That focus and expertise continues to this day. The main change has been a much larger network of quality male and female voice talents working from home studios. Back then, I did all the voicing myself. There were literally only a couple of voice talents who had websites promoting home recording studios. I know this only from hind site because back then, I didn’t even think of searching for them.
Today, SpotWorks also offers services related to anything and everything audio. Mixing, editing, narration, phone message on hold and audio for Television commercials. So, it’s business as usual for our company. But I am fully aware that it’s not business as usual for many. There will be businesses that are greatly affected by the human distancing in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. This crisis will hurt businesses even if they survive it. It will end some businesses not prepared to weather the storm, as well as new businesses that are just getting started. While all of this is happening, there will be those involved in online sales that will thrive and grow.
Employees of businesses will bare the brunt of the suffering as they lose their livelihood. Even if for a short time, at the very least, this will hurt. And for others it will be financially devastating. I won’t even talk about the financial markets, as I am no expert. Those who I do listen to as “experts” say “the market always recovers”. Of course, talk of the economic repercussions must also be coupled with the true human toll of the ones who will lose their lives.
For me personally this has been a time of great reflection. My day to day business at home in the studio is somewhat unchanged. But the “new normal” of home life includes a house of family. Some are taking online school and others are working remotely. We have experienced the loss of jobs for others who have been laid off or in employment limbo.
Staying at home in isolation with limited trips out for the necessities has forced us all to take stock of our lives. Throughout the adjustment of “getting along and making room for each other or go crazy” there have been many positives for sure. It has given us the gift of family time, more movie and game nights, more walks outside and more just sitting around and talking.
This quote I saw on LinkedIn this morning summed it all up for me personally. Lowell Christensen