S3E7: Rick Cesari, Video Marketing Expert (#36)

Storytelling with Marketing Expert and Video Marketing Authority, Rick Cesari

In this episode, we hear from video marketing expert Rick Cesari. Rick has actually helped major brands like GoPro and George Foreman build billion dollar brands through Brand Response advertising and strategic video marketing. His book Building Billion Dollar Brands aims to put valuable knowledge of the big brands into the hands of inventors, small business owners, entrepreneurs, Amazon sellers and others to help create innovative, successful marketing campaigns. A bestselling author – Buy Now and now Building Billion Dollar Brands, speaker, consultant, and marketing & brand strategy guru, Rick is bringing his expertise to us today to talk branding, marketing and storytelling with video.

Before his current focus on internet based video, Rick mastered direct to consumer marketing, including traditional television talk shows. He booked his partner on a show in New York, where they promoted a juicer, offering recipes if you sent in a self-addressed envelope with a dollar in it. About a week later, a mail truck pulled up to their office. 

"... a mailman gets out. He has a 3-foot high canvas sack over his shoulder like Santa Claus. He drops it off, goes back to his truck and gets another. In all he brought 4 sacks in. We had 18,000 responses." - Rick Cesari

Rick says about half of those people sent a dollar in each letter, so they went down to the local printer and printed up a dozen juice recipes for each person. They also put an order form on the back, then mailed it out to the 18,000 people. Enough people ordered juicers from that initial mailing that they were able to start the business Juiceman.

Video has evolved from TV and infomercials to the YouTube Generation

When Rick started in marketing and advertising, a major tool for brands was television commercials, TV interviews and 30-minute infomercials. Over the years, different video distribution channels have helped video storytelling to evolve. 

It's a double-edged sword. On one hand, shorter attention spans can hurt storytelling. On the other hand, a short video can drive consumers of media to your website with longer-form stories, including longer videos. 

"[Today] the formats are shorter and people just don't have the attention level to stay tuned in. But I think the basic elements that capture peoples' attention are still used. You just have to do it more quickly." - Rick Cesari on modern video storytelling

How GoPro built a billion dollar business on the back of video

One of Rick's most well-known adventures is working wit GoPro. Around 2010 Rick met Nick Woodman at a trade show, where Nick was selling his camera out of the back of a van. They connected, Rick invited him to Seattle where they talked about Nick's vision for the company.

Nick wanted to take his company, launched because he wanted to mount a camera on his surfboard, from a hobby to a major brand. Rick says their shared vision of user-generated content, which went viral on the internet, is what turned that dream into a reality.

"We got involved because we were able to make 30-second commercials from that user-generated footage. Where the direct-response aspect came in, was we had a tag at the end of each commercial that said 'Go to our website and someone will win one of everything we make every single day.' They went public and Nick became a billionaire." - Rick Cesari on the power of story

Connect with Rick:

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