Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas DVD Marketing Project!

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known as Black Friday, but it can be a Gold Friday for you with a little planning. Here is a video marketing idea to make your December and Christmas profitable as well as get your video production company much needed exposure!

Create a Christmas DVD of all the best decorated homes in your town!

Here is how to do it. From now till Christmas drive to the homes of those in your town who have really put time into their outdoor Christmas display. Be bold and knock on their door, camcorder in hand and ask them if you can feature their home in a DVD you are producing of Christmas lights in your town.

Offer them a FREE DVD if they participate! Be sure to get their name, address and phone number. Then take a few minutes to shoot their home. Shoot several shots, wides, closeups and very close. {Be sure to mention the home you are shooting on the audio of the tape so you don't get footage mixed up.}

Now, do this to about 15 or 20 homes! Most people would love to have their home featured, they put a lot of time, money and effort into decorating and this is recognition for them! Plus they do it every year!

Take the footage you shot and compile a DVD of Christmas music with scenes from your hometown!

Timing and planning is the key if you want to have the DVD out for this Christmas. You will need to shoot from the day after Thanksgiving each night and get as many homes you can record. Then spend a day editing and have the DVD ready for delivery at least a week before Christmas.

If you don't think you can do it all and get it produced by this Christmas then shoot up to Christmas and tell the home owners the DVD will be out next year. This way you can work on it longer. With this plan you have almost a whole year to make the DVD so don't rush.

Be sure and plan to do the same each year & put out a new volume every Christmas Season!

So decide now if you want to push hard and get a DVD out this year or start a long term project of doing the shooting this season and releasing the DVD next year. Now is the time to get going!

Either way you will make money with this project. Either this year or next. {Or both!} And if you do it every year, December will be one of your most profitable months!

You can get Christmas music from royalty free music companies like and others. Then when Christmas season starts put out some fliers at local convenient stores, video rental places and anywhere you can, offering a beautiful DVD of Christmas lights from right in your home town!

They will sell like hotcakes! Start right after Halloween and begin marketing the disc each year. As years go by you can market the previous years DVD as well! If you are starting out for the first time this year you can be marketing and shooting simultaneously.

Promote It Heavily!!

Put up a web site too and have an email address customers can contact you, or even a place to order online! A phone number is good. But be sure to get the word out to townsfolk as well. An ad in your town newspaper and anywhere there is a public bulletin board are good places to post a flier for your DVD.
All those folks that let you shoot their homes? Send them the first batch and their word of mouth advertising will help you, plus they get a DVD with their Christmas display featured!

Here's how to edit the DVD:

Create a nice graphic greeting for the beginning with titles, something like "Holiday Greetings" or, "Christmas in Sometown, USA!"
Then fade to black and back up and mix about 3 to 4 minutes of each home. Be sure to title under the footage the owners of the home and address. This way folks who view the DVD will be able to go see the homes themselves and people love to drive out to watch Christmas lights.

Feature each home for about 3 to 4 minutes with a song or instrumental music underneath. Cut out the audio on the tape and just use music. (Royalty free of course) Then dissolve from home to home. You want to fill up about an hour. Each home should get three to four minutes, or the length of a music track so shoot plenty of footage of each home. When you master the DVD, set the menu to replay so if a viewer plays the DVD it will auto repeat. This makes it a great background to be playing during a holiday party or family get-together!

End it with some credits about producing it and who helped, then thank all the families who let you shoot their lawn!


Each year when you advertise it you can;

Include a map with each home so drivers can find them easily! Even add "GPS" coordinates to the home!
Be sure to emphasize that these are homes in your hometown!
If you want to do it again, put a disclaimer in the credits, "To be featured in next years DVD please contact..."
Ask local stores if you can put some out for sale on their counter!
Visit your local TV station early and get interviewed about the project, then show some of the footage. Your local TV station will be looking for local holiday programming. This may be a blurb on your local news or an actual sit down interview.
If your town has a Christmas fair or festival, ask if you can get a booth then sell copies.
Advertise that the DVD is a great holiday program for family visits, parties and company parties.
It is also a perfect gift for shut-ins or people who cannot get out to see the lights!
Also mention that it makes a great gift for anyone who is living out of town or may miss their hometown including military folks overseas during the holidays! It will be a little bit of their home town for them to cherish and remember!
Make a few extra copies and keep them with you. When you are out and about shooting for the next season give one to the new family that agreed to let you shoot their home. It is a good way to get folks interested. Of course you will want to send a few to your friends and family too!
Pre-sell the DVD during the fall, put an ad in the newspaper inviting persons who plan to decorate to sign up for inclusion in the DVD!

This is a guaranteed way to get exposure for your video company. As each season comes your town will look forward to the new DVD of lights and your company will get exposure for being the company that "makes the Christmas DVD!"

Christmas lights are everywhere and people are proud of the display they set out each year. Some people spend thousands on lights, ornaments and other display items. Most will be happy to have a free DVD and bragging rights that their home was featured in a show!

So get in gear and start planning now! Figure on shooting as often as possible from the Friday after Thanksgiving - the day most begin displaying their lights - till about a week before Christmas. Since most of your DVD sales will be local you can promise delivery via mail up to about 3 days before Christmas Eve.

Plan time for shooting, editing and duplication of the DVD's. If you have help put one person on marketing, one on shooting and all on delivery. You can shoot too and do the editing. When it's done, duplicate like crazy! You may want to consider using Kunaki or another DVD duplication house with fast turnaround too. This may make the mass production even easier freeing you up to shoot later and edit.

You will have about three weeks to get it all done and start mailing them out. You want the customer to get it before Christmas so delivery will have to be assured before December 24th, the last day the postal service can deliver it. Every year you can start delivery/ marketing of the previous year DVD as soon as after Halloween!

Also, if demand is high you can offer mail delivery before December 21st and have a location they can pick the DVD up between December 22-23rd, if they ordered late. Perhaps a local store or office? Just be sure your customers are satisfied. Set your price per disc, perhaps between $14.95 to $19.95, or cheaper if you wish. And offer a pre-order each year.

As word spreads your town will look forward to the newest "Christmas Lights DVD" every year, and you will have a fun & profitable project for December!

Merry Christmas!

Watch this video and more within the In The Viewfinder Community!


Jay Michael said...

To expound on this idea....

You can set up the menu of the DVD so each home is its own chapter. The viewer can select a specific home to watch. This will be useful also for the home owner to brag about their home and show it to friends.

Each "home" will be it's own music video featured to a song, make each one special and blend them together, one after the other, so they flow well as a complete DVD program. ;-)


Bear in mind that as you do this each year in time you can produce a "Best Of" Lights in your hometown! Keep and back up your footage and files! If after a few years you find you are featuring the same homes, skip a year and put the "Best Of" DVD out. Production will be much easier and you still have a DVD for Christmas that year!


As you progress each year you may even want to add a "bonus section" with interviews of the families that participated. Ask them about costs, why they do it, how it's received, who started their elaborate display, etc..."
Many homes have their own tradition of lights and how they started. Some become local landmarks! Keep this in mind as you develop your own Christmas Lights DVD collection!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jay, our company is brand new in the city, not to mention we are new in the country! Of course we are struggling in getting customers so we will try your idea out! We'll keep you posted on the results....

Make it a great day,

Jay (LOL)