E45 – Fred Ashman / Producer, Director and Writer

Advertising is the lifeblood of a company. Whether it’s a Google ad, a billboard, or just word of mouth, getting your brand in front of the right audience is key to business growth. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Instead of throwing money at a campaign or blasting it to as many people as possible, director and producer Fred Ashman shares his One Big Tip for making each message as impactful as possible.

Intellectual and Emotional Connections

Fred Ashman worked his way from a 17-year-old professional musician at Disneyland to the owner of a multimillion-dollar production company by the time he was 30. What he learned during that time and the successful decades that followed was that many people in marketing tend to approach every new project or campaign through the numbers, which can lead them to leave a crucial element behind: the audience.

Being a writer and producer outside of the Hollywood scene led Fred to work with some of the biggest brands in the country, bringing him into contact with top executives of Fortune 500 companies. What he realized was that ideas tend to get batted around in board meetings without consideration for who is being reached.

Always Consider Your Audience

“It's a business.” Fred says, “It's not just the creative. So you got to have your right brain and your left brain engaged a lot.”

This means putting the numbers aside at some point in the process and walk in the emotional shoes of the audience. Is this something that the target individual would enjoy, like, or otherwise benefit from? Everything might work out on paper, but if you can’t establish that emotional connection, you risk your efforts being ineffective.

“In a corporate world and in a business world,” Fred summarizes, “touching people emotionally as well as intellectually at the same time is so much more effective.”

Fred recounts a time when he was brought into a meeting to pitch a video for a live event that a large airline was going to use. When he saw the overly expensive reel, he saw an opportunity to redirect them to their audience. They didn’t need to spend so much money on a high-production video for a live event, and the target audience was relatively new to the brand. What they needed was something simpler, and fortunately for the airline, less expensive.

Ultimately, most companies have numerical, monetary goals. What they often fail to take into consideration is the impact that intangible effects can have on a company’s bottom line. By satisfying the client or customer and establishing that emotional connection, you are emphasizing the real value in each campaign.

To get in touch with Fred and to check out his book Advocate for the Audience, you can reach him via Linkedin or visit his website fredashman.com.