Earlier this year, our company was getting ready for its annual sales rallies. Due to the challenging economy, morale was low. We wanted to do something to raise spirits and remind everyone that, in times like these, the PennySaver is more important and helpful to people than ever. We also wanted it to be lighthearted and fun.
Our company's internal slogan was "Now is Our Time." This made me think of “Saver Time,” but I remember saying it just like MC Hammer said “Hammer Time”. I have always been a fan of M.C. Hammer's. I liked his rapping and his dancing...and I liked that he had good, positive messages in his music. It hit me…I needed to write a song about how well we work (and how important the PennySaver is) during these tough times, sung to the tune of "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.
No....for a number of years, I've usually done some kind of music video for our sales rallies. I'd prefer that those tapes stay hidden deep in our company's vaults! However, this year, I felt that the message was too important. It couldn't appear “homemade.” This needed to have a professional look and feel to it.
I wrote the lyrics. For the choreography, in my desire to save money, I went to my niece, Tamara Carter (who was in her senior year at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, CA and is in dance), and asked her to watch "U Can't Touch This," get some friends to volunteer to be my backup dancers, and teach them (and me) the dance moves from the music video.
For everything else, I purposely went to local businesses. For the sound recording of the song, I contacted Ray Brown, a local recording artist / sound engineer who has his own recording studio in El Dorado, CA. He did a tremendous job. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do the song justice, but with his coaching and experience, it turned out fantastic. For the filming, I turned to Judd Rackham and Ryan Southwell of SpiceRack Productions, in Citrus Heights, CA. I had seen their work before and was very impressed. The two of them did the whole thing from the filming and directing to the editing.
Most were employees of our company. Pete Gorman (my boss and the President of Harte-Hanks Shoppers) and Mike Paulsin (President of our print company) were the two “gardeners” who mowed my lawn. Those really were members of the PennySaver Senior Management team dancing. Bob Falk, an EVP of Sales, was our postal carrier. My assistant, Shauna Meyer, was a PennySaver reader and friends of mine (Phil and Shawn Borup) were last minute fill-ins as the “rich, snobby couple” when an employee and her husband couldn't do it. My youngest daughter, Jenna, and her dog, “Buddy” had a brief cameo.
The question I get most often has been “Where did you get your dancers?” They were my niece, Tamara Carter, my daughter, Aubrey, my niece's friend, Danielle Holley, and my assistant's sister, Emily Coyne. With almost no practice, they did a super job…and kept it modest (the PennySaver is very “family-friendly”)!
I got all of my costumes except the actual Hammer Pants from Cheap Thrills Costume and Party shop in Sacramento. I had looked online and visited several places in the area, but just couldn't find what I was looking for. Cheap Thrills, though, was like stumbling on the mother lode, but NOBODY had Hammer Pants in my size. I finally went to a good friend of ours, Becky Gibson, in Cameron Park, CA who can make anything when it comes to clothes. I showed her the music video and asked her to make me three different pairs of Hammer Pants in three different colors. She had never seen Hammer Pants and didn't even have a design to follow. She just made them from looking at the video and did an amazing job. The pants are hanging up in my closet at home.
We hope as the public watches the video that, first and foremost, they will enjoy it -- and that they will tell their friends to watch it, as well. However, what I really want to get across is just how well the PennySaver works. The very first PennySaver was born during the tough economic times of a couple of generations ago. Although our publication and website work well for people during the "good times," we are especially helpful during tough times. When people are looking to save, we are the ones to use! And hopefully with all that's happened over the last couple of years, more people will make saving a long-term habit.
Finally, I hope that this song will give people a "fresh" feeling about the PennySaver and convey that while our reputation is very solid and has been for decades, we are also as modern and relevant now as ever. We have made some recent changes to our weekly shopping guides and my team and I are working hard to update the image of the PennySaver online. We plan on becoming your online resource for everything savings-related, especially at the local level, and we want saving money to be fun.
It has been very rewarding to not only bring great values to our readers and site visitors on a regular basis, but, to also help struggling businesses become successful by taking full advantage of what the PennySaver has to offer. Most businesspeople are very good at the skill or trade that they do, but not necessarily in marketing and promoting their business. This is our specialty. When small business owners partner with us, we become their FREE consultant in helping them grow. The PennySaver makes sick businesses healthy and healthy businesses better, still! Our mission is to bring buyers and sellers together at a local level, in whatever way they want. Originally, we did this through our print products, delivered to homes via USPS. Now, we also bring them together online through our website and the custom websites (Power Sites) that we build for our customers. Additionally, we are beginning to offer other online services for small businesses and launch other innovative ways to bring buyers and sellers together.
Do I think about ditching all this for Hollywood? How could I ever leave the PennySaver? We get paid to help businesses become successful and, at the same time, to bring important value to the end consumer. We play a vital role for a whole lot of people. I love what we do! Besides, MC Hammer is already making a comeback of his own and there's not room for both of us, is there??
It's probably best if my lips remain sealed on that question, but we did have a lot of fun putting this one together. I can promise continued improvements to our small business offerings and fun and interesting new features added to our network of consumer sites and our print mailer. Come back often and give us your feedback, too. Help us make PennySaver better. Regarding another music video...let's just say that we like to have fun at the PennySaver and we hope that we can help you keep having fun while you save with us, because after all...It's SAVER TIME!
If you'd like more information about the resources we used to make the video, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!