Brinkmann Constructors was in need of a new safety video.
Safety is a key component of everything that Brinkmann Constructors does. This employee-owned construction company, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Kansas City and Denver knows how important safety is every day, at every job site, with every worker – especially since many of those workers are contracted. So with every new project, there’s the potential to have a whole new crew of workers – and it’s vitally important to assure that these workers know all of the safety measures that need to be taken to assure each one of them goes home at night.
So they wanted a safety video that wasn’t your normal safety video – one that told a powerful story and that wouldn’t be ignored two minutes into the overview.
Like many projects that I work on, it was a true collaborative effort. In this case, I was called in by Jeff Fuelling, president of Pickett Productions (In the past year, Pickett was bought and is now known as CG Studios.) Jeff was the project lead and had also brought in Mike Martin and Michelle Anselmo of Mike Martin Media as part of the team.
I would be the copywriter/Creative Director on the project, Pickett Productions would supply the graphics and post production and Mike Martin Media would handle the shooting, casting, voiceover recording and the initial edit.
At our first meeting, we met with Tim Myatt, Safety Director at Brinkmann along with Miranda Hill, Preconstruction Coordinator and Ted Hoog, Brinkmann’s Vice President of Operations. They provided an overview of the Brinkmann safety process and emphasized the need to do something different with this video that would keep the viewer engaged from start to finish.
One of the items Tim mentioned were two related poems that he would read at the beginning of each safety orientation overview and at the end. The first was titled, “I could have saved a life that day”. The second was, “I know I saved a life that day”.
The poems deliver the exact same scenario at a construction site – the only difference being the actions taken by a construction worker. Rather than stand idly by when they see something going on that they believe is not quite right, they take action. And by taking action, they help prevent what could have been a life-altering accident.
Tim mentioned that everyone always seemed to pay attention during those parts of the presentation. The meeting wrapped, and we had our assignment. Create a video that would grab and hold the viewer’s attention from start to finish.
We were bidding against two or three other production companies. All had essentially been given the same download. Our task was to deliver a concept that would win us the job.
The creative process began. I researched other safety videos. I researched safety statistics regarding the construction industry. Initially, I had about five approaches that I then narrowed down to three. One followed a worker from the start of his day through the end, telling the safety story from a first-hand experience while still delivering all the key info that had to be covered. The second approach was very graphics driven, with key facts and statistics being emphasized as well as a range of different workers shot in off-site situations providing their particular reasons why they work safe each day – because there’s a lot of ball games still to see, graduations to attend, meals to enjoy, etc.
We were fairly confident going in that the third approach would be the winner. The idea was simple. Take the two poems, and deliver them throughout the video, interspersed with key safety facts and figures. The viewer wouldn’t just be read the poem, they would see the poem brought to life – seeing the fatal consequences of not acting and the positive consequences of taking action.
Our production team worked out some budget parameters and developed a rough timeline. We made our presentation.
A few days later we received the news. “I could have saved a life that day” was a go.
Then the real work began.
This is the first of three blogs regarding this project. BloodLines Creative works in partnership with a variety of creative resources. If you’re looking to tell a story via video, or have any other marketing communications needs, we can assemble the team ideally suited to get the job done – on time, on budget and with big idea thinking delivered in an impactful way.
I Could Have Saved A Life That Day was written by Don Merrell
I Know I Saved A Life That Day was written by Jim Morgan
Early in my career, about 60% of the work I created was broadcast advertising.
At Kenrick Advertising, we were always working on some new TV commercial or radio spot. Budgets were solid and radio and TV were by far the best way to make an impact on an audience.
Oh, those were the days. The older I’ve gotten, the less broadcast I’ve had the chance to work on and when you have your own company and you’re dedicated principally to serving the communications needs of smaller clientele, broadcast advertising generally just isn’t in the picture.
That’s okay. I have always loved the creative process and whether I’m working on a new website, or blogging for a client or creating a small space digital ad, there’s still the challenge to creatively solve a problem, tell a story and hopefully, make an impression that ultimately leads to more business for your client.
But when the chance to work on some broadcast concepts comes along, I’m all in.
Such has been the case with a recent round of work where I’m partnering with an agency to develop a new TV, radio and ultimately an online campaign for a new product.
Unfortunately, at this time, that’s as much info as I can reveal. But it’s been a blast and a true partnership where everyone involved has added to the core concepts. And when we presented to the client, the client had their own significant contributions which will plus the work in the long run.
We’re still in the developmental stages but it has been a very welcome blast from my past. And I can’t wait to see these concepts turned into reality.
If your business, service or organization could benefit from some big idea thinking, we should talk. Because I guarantee, I can help.
I’ve had the privilege the past two years of working on an account that’s in the business of building pools. They do awesome work and I am continually impressed at the end result of their efforts.
Similar to advertising and marketing, it’s a process. First and foremost, you have to be invited to pitch the business. Then you need to convince the buyer that what you offer is going to be the ideal solution for them. Once you’re awarded the job, you’re expected to deliver and it takes a lot of hard work along the way to get the job done right.
This past week, I went to visit one of their current clients where work is in progress. It was a cold, dank day. The wind was blowing and rain or sleet was expected later in the afternoon. Still, there was a story waiting to be told.
This pool was going to be built on the side of a hill, ultimately resulting in a gorgeous view overlooking the valley below. But in order to do that, about 600 tons of rock needed to be moved in order to flatten out the hill and build a base.
That’s truly laying the groundwork for a pool.
During my visit to the site, I took a few moments to ponder my surroundings. Here I was, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. All was quiet. No birds chirping and nobody in sight as far as the eye could see.
Just me, taking a few photos of a bunch of rocks that had been spray painted to outline the perimeter of the pool. There was a solitude to it all and for a brief moment, I took in the view and felt a sense of gratefulness.
A few days before, I didn’t even know this project existed. But there I was, documenting the work that had been done to date. It’s going to be a magnificent pool when it’s all said and done.
But there’s still a lot of work to do.
For them, and for me.
Want compelling copy and cut through creative with your advertising and marketing communications? Want it for a fraction of what you’d pay compared to if you hired a full-service agency? Call BloodLines Creative today. You’ll be glad you did.
#successfulresults #greatcreative #creativecopywriting #stlouiswriter #getresults #poolbuilder
I’ve never taken a course in social media marketing and I guess that’s extremely evident from the number of views I get with this blog.
Then again, when your number of postings dwindles from weekly to monthly to #onceinabluemoon (the name of one of my paintings) you basically deserve to lose a lot of your audience.
But 2019 marks a major crossroads for me. I need to ramp up new business efforts for BloodLines Creative and that’s going to require on-going communications, pushed out to a variety of different social media platforms. It’s also going to demand that I get a much stronger handle on social media marketing techniques.
Part of that begins with my use of hashtags.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have never embraced hashtags and really didn’t have much of a handle (pardon the play on words) on the value of using #hashtagsinsocialmedia – primarily on twitter and Instagram.
But I am learning and I’m seeking to learn more – which ultimately is going to benefit the clients I serve as well as my own self interests.
Here are some generic reasons for using hashtags:
I have recently experienced firsthand the value of using hashtags via my own instagram account promoting my art – #tomblood_art
A few weeks ago, I sat in on a webinar designed to help artists better market their work. Being a marketer myself, you would think I’d be a natural at promoting my artwork. Turns out, I could have been doing so much better – not just via hashtags but also via my use of key words to describe the paintings I’ve done on my two websites: http://tom-blood.pixels.com and https://bloodlinesart.com
What works for promoting art will also work for promoting my gifts as a talented #greatcopywriter as well as my skills as a #marketingcommunicationsspecialist
I learned that any time I make a post on Instagram, it should have a minimum of eight hashtags that are pertinent to the work I am featuring. How many is too many? I’m not sure but when your hashtags are twice as long as your message, it does seem a bit much.
Still, those hashtags are driving eyeballs to my Instagram account. In the past two weeks, my number of followers has increased dramatically and now continues to rise daily. And they’re beginning to draw even more eyeballs to the many clients I serve when I post information for them.
Yes, I’m a bit of an old dog. But I’m learning new tricks.
Developing great creative and compelling copy has always been a strong trait of mine. Now, it’s time to pound the # signal even more.
Want compelling copy and cut through creative with your advertising and marketing communications. Want it for a fraction of what you’d pay compared to if you hired a full-service agency? Call BloodLines Creative today. You’ll be glad you did.
#successfulresults #greatcreative #creativecopywriting #stlouiswriter #getresults
As I look back on this painting, technique-wise I think it’s one of the finest ones I’ve done this year. It’s such an unusual painting – (especially for me) and I’m hoping that there’s built in-story appeal to the visual.
Previously, I had done a grand total of four paintings featuring females.
I’ve always thought of myself as something of a hack when it comes to painting or drawing females, going back to a drawing class I took at Mizzou where we had live female models. My drawings always did them a great disservice.
Yet I was excited about the prospects of painting this surrealistic image. The idea behind this one came from a variety of sources, as many of my paintings do. I was paging through one of my Rene Magritte books and ran across one of his coolest paintings called, “The Tomb of the Wrestlers”. It features a giant red rose, overwhelming an empty room. The rose is almost the height of the room itself, boxed in by two blank walls while the third wall features a window, draped by some red curtains. So I decided I wanted to do something with a rose. But what? I have no desire to copy Magritte, I merely like to emulate him.
So I kept searching. Many of my paintings have some water aspect to them and the sea at night seemed interesting. So I began searching for images of ocean scapes at night – which led me to several photos featuring the moon. That’s when it hit me – I would show a blue moon only in its place, I would feature a rose. I knew there were blue roses, just like there are blue moons.
Once I had that core idea in mind, I thought of having the man in the bowler hat staring out at the moon but that seemed slightly out of whack. So I decided it should be a young girl. Then I decided that not only should she be staring out at the blue moon, but she should be holding a bouquet of flowers in her hands as well.
Were they given to her? Were they from someone who had gone away on a voyage and left her behind?
My initial working title for the painting was “Flower Girl”.
When I was just about done, the name of the painting came to me in my sleep. “Once In A Blue Moon“.
The actual painting had its own challenges – trying to paint a glowing blue rose in the night and giving the entire painting a night time feel. I struggled with the sky and the reflection on the water. I added a few large rocks to the shore but at one point, there were considerably more. I painted over all of them, keeping just a few rocks, bleeding off the edges of the painting.
The young girl went through considerable changes and most, were for the better. I wanted her hands to be delicate and I wanted the bouquet of flowers to stand out. I was pretty happy with both as well as the multi-colors of her dress that echoed the color palette of the rest of the painting.
The size of this painting is 30″ x 40”. It’s quite striking when you see it up close and would look great in a frame and on someone’s wall.
You can order prints at my other web site: http://tom-blood.pixels.com
You can also order the image on a variety of items – tote bags look pretty cool, notebook covers, iPhone covers, even yoga mats.
It was a joy to paint, even though it had its moments … they all do!
In addition to creating advertising and marketing communications by day, I also paint by night and have established quite a following of the artwork I create. If you know someone who might enjoy reading more about my process and getting updates on what I’ve been up to, please invite them to sign up for my newsletter at http://tblood.faso.com/email-newsletter
Any time I sell a painting, I’m both amazed, happy and a bit sad, as well.
Sales of my paintings have never really been prolific – especially on my bloodlinesart.com website – in fact, my total sales to date have amounted to the null set.
But maybe that is beginning to change. A recent instagram post promoting my work on my website attracted hundreds of new followers. That was fun to watch.
The other day, I received an inquiry via my website from an art curator in New Mexico. It turns out a collector right here in St. Louis – who just so happens to be one of the largest collectors of modern art in the Midwest, visited my website, liked what he saw and asked about purchasing ten of my paintings.
I actually met this collector through a new business presentation I was attending and I told him about my art. I followed up with an email inviting him to take a look and lo and behold, he did.
For now, I have sold four paintings, each of which has its own unique story:
Agents Orange was done back in 1994. I still have some t-shirts featuring that painting that were sold as part of one of my Creative Gallery Shows. The original thought behind that was that instead of cacti in the desert, I would instead have men dressed in black. It has been hanging in the Blood household for many years. I hope it finds a good new place to hang!
Stairway to Heaven was a surprise purchase. It’s an odd painting and the men in black are somewhat cartoonish. Still, there’s something about the characters that has a storyline in it – it’s almost as if they’re resigned to beginning the climb. In one way or another, we’re all climbing, each day.
Bridge to Nowhere was a simplistic, minimalist thought that popped into my head one evening while I was sleeping. The painting that resulted is almost an exact replica of what I thought, right on down to the missing planks in the bridge. I am still working to become a better painter of clouds. To me, Magritte is the best painter of clouds I have ever seen. I continue to work on getting better at skies and believe that is happening – though in a different manner than Magritte portrayed them.
The Pier was a fun painting to create with the sky reflecting in the water. It’s always interesting when I take my man in his bowler hat and put him among the elements, oftentimes, dwarfed by all around him.
The collector is interested in purchasing more. The curator, after viewing my website, is promoting it to a few of her other clients. Word is beginning to spread.
In the meantime, I will continue to try and get better with each new painting I undertake. I just unveiled my latest painting on my BloodLinesArt and http:tom-blood.pixels.website
Initial reaction has been very positive but I’ve already begun the next painting, trying to stay on a painting per month timeline. I am trying to do a better job of marketing my art. In the meantime, I have been ramping up new efforts for BloodLines Creative. I have been fortunate to continue to get new business without having to actively pursue too much. That is no way to run a business.
One must always be on the hunt, always in pursuit of what’s next. Sometimes, things do fall into your lap. But the old adage is true: the harder I try, the luckier I get.
Stay tuned, because there’s lots of new news on the horizon!
Portions of the above recently appeared in my bloodlinesart e-newsletter. I figured I might as well push out as a blog as well since readership of both my e-newsletter as well as this blog could use a few more eyeballs. Thanks for feasting yours on this piece!
The other day, I picked up one of my three print portfolios, opened it up and took a look.
What a fun blast from the past, looking at print ads, outdoor boards, direct mail pieces and company image brochures that I’ve created through the years.
It got me thinking about how fortunate I’ve been to be able to continue to pursue my passion for creating advertising and marketing communications for such a wide and diverse array of clients.
I literally have hundreds of samples. So many, that I can no longer fit them into three different portfolios. So there are also boxes of print and collateral work, along with award programs, award certificates, DVDs of TV commercials and various videos, CDs of radio spots and other reminders that I sure have written a boatload of communications.
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to create work for some major brand names that just about everyone in St. Louis and a lot of the world has heard of before. Mix in work for some much smaller clients that are in a variety of industries, along with some pro bono work for a charitable organization that I’ve been involved with for a few years as well as creating the invite and reminders for the annual Ad Club Fall Golf Classic and it’s been a very enjoyable juggling act the past few months.The only thing that doesn’t keep growing is this blog. I’ve put it on the back shelf, along with updating my website with some more current work.
These days, you rarely get print samples – if you get to do any print work at all. So many things transpire in the digital world and I simply don’t bother to update my client list or work samples. Nor do I blog too much about the daily trials and tribulations I go through trying to get work, create work, and then get more work.
Most times, that process simply doesn’t seem interesting enough to merit any mention. The work always does a strong job of delivering the client’s brand personality in a compelling and very focused way and I really should promote it more. But I’m often hesitant to reveal current clients, fearing that some bigger agency will come in and try and swoop it up. And when the day is done and evening rolls around, most times, I’m done with writing for the day and much prefer pursuing my other passion – painting.
That needs its own separate marketing effort, further putting my blogging into a secondary or even tertiary role.
That’s why there simply isn’t a regular flow of blog articles coming out of BloodLines Creative. A writer’s gotta write. Unfortunately, most times, it simply isn’t for this blog.
Thanks for reading anyway!
It’s been more than a year since I had my solo art show at 1900 Park. Since that time, I have created nine new paintings and will soon be wrapping up my tenth. If I were painting for a living, I would truly define the term ‘starving artist’.
But I don’t paint for a living. I paint because I can. Somewhere in me is a God-given talent that I feel as if I actually owe it to myself to keep on painting and keep trying to get better at what I do. I owe so much of this renewed commitment to my son, Tom, Jr.
Four Father’s Day’s ago, he gave me two small canvasses and some paint and challenged me to resume what I had set aside for more than 17 years. After much trepidation and fear of I don’t know what, I jumped back in and I’ve basically had a canvas in the works ever since. I have two websites. One, I don’t promote at all and nobody visits. It’s http://bloodlinesart.com
The other site, I’ve been trying to promote more regularly and on occasion, I do get a sale or two of items featuring my artwork. (http://tom-blood.pixels.com)
Actual sales of my paintings continue to be somewhat of a rarity. I know I choose rather unusual subject matter. So much of today’s art is a mishmash of colors and shapes. I prefer to paint ideas and really enjoy painting what is seemingly impossible. A staircase that winds its way above the clouds. A girl holding a giant, floating boulder. A symphony conductor standing atop a giant wave, conducting the elements.
So it was a pleasant surprise when I received a Facebook Messenger inquiry asking about purchasing one of my more recent paintings titled “A View from Above“. I was more than happy to oblige and after a few back and forths, we arranged a time and place to drop off the painting.
I was sorry to see it go as it was going to occupy a nice spot in our new home, but I was actually quite thrilled that somebody was willing to take that leap of faith and buy the painting, get it framed and hang it proudly in his office.
He told me that the painting really grabbed his attention and how he identified with it. In fact, he told me that he created a bit of prose to go along with the painting and when I asked if I could share it, he said, “Absolutely.”
Here’s what it says …
When I look to the sky
To a place where there is no night
What do I see, when clouds opt
Not to block my sight at the place
Where the sun holds reign over the moon
How do I fit into this orb’s cycle of life?
The struggle of one so minimal,
To the other billions’ strife
So small I feel when looking
To distances far away,
Into galaxies unreachable in tens
Of thousands of unending days
How do I reconcile these feelings
Of those things that seem important
Although they are not
To be a part of this small world,
On an almost insignificant dot
I do have one simple and clear thought –
Rejoice in the journey –
not just the view from the top
To me, it’s an honor to sell a painting of mine and I hope it sparks many a conversation. It’s even cooler when I know that something that I’ve done has struck an emotional chord in someone.
Magritte loved to create mystery with his paintings – to make you think and wonder why. I love to do that as well. I love to paint the impossible and make it seem at least somewhat probable.
I am finding my own voice as a painter. I believe that I am continuing to get better. And I believe it’s simply a matter of time before more sales start rolling in. But even if they don’t …
I shall continue.
Most of Tom’s artwork can be found on http://tom-blood.pixels.com On that site, you can purchase original paintings or buy a variety of prints of his art in a variety of sizes. You can also purchase items like iPhone covers, battery chargers, coffee cups, pillow throws, shower curtains, tote bags and even greeting cards all featuring the artwork of Tom Blood – at very affordable prices. When he’s not painting by night, Tom creates attention-getting, brand-building advertising and marketing communications via BloodLines Creative, now in its eighth year.
Blogging. Video scripting. Website content creation. Speech writing. Print ads. Email marketing. Pay-per-click ads. Direct marketing. All for different clients and all tied back to delivering the brand.
What’s missing? Well, I sure would welcome the opportunity to create some cut-through radio ads and develop some local TV commercials that would truly stand out amidst the sea of mediocrity that litters our airwaves.
But I’m not complaining. I love to write. And I love to write just about anything as I am insatiably curious and love to find creative solutions to whatever marketing or advertising challenge I may face.
All of this requires an inherent ability to ramp up quickly on a subject so that i can quickly grasp the key messaging that needs to be delivered and then deliver it – in an unexpected, surprising and memorable way.
I don’t always hit home runs. And I certainly don’t accomplish everything on my own as I continue to be blessed by working with a talented team of designers, developers, editors, account people and best of all – clients.
BloodLines Creative is now in its seventh year. We’ve been staying quite busy. But there’s plenty of room for more.
If your business would benefit from big idea thinking, BloodLines Creative can be the communications partner you thought you couldn’t afford. Put us to the test. You will not be disappointed.