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Say Hello To… Laraine Lamicella!

Say hello to… Laraine Lamicella! Our Chief Financial Officer and Concepts TV’s favorite mom!

 

 

  1. What is your favorite part of your job?

“My favorite part of my job is working with a fun creative team and never knowing what each day will bring.”

 

  1. In your own words, what is the Concepts TV philosophy?

“Concepts TV philosophy on a business level is always to deliver the best product no matter what it takes.

Concepts TV philosophy on an employee level is a lot about family. In the office we are like a family and the Concepts team is always willing to support any ups and downs that we may have within our own families.”

 

  1. Do you have any advice for future CFO?

“As the CFO for Concepts for over 13 years, all I can say is that you need to be prepared to wear a lot of hats!  CFO duties can sometimes be mundane but not at Concepts. Be prepared to change roles from CFO to Facilities Manager to Human Resources in minutes.”

 

  1. If you weren’t a CFO what would you be?

“I would like to work for a non-profit organization or spend time volunteering with children.”

 

  1. What is your favorite hobby?

“I love to read a good book, take long walks, listen to music and do lots of word games.” **

 

  1. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

“Don’t know if these are on Netflix but I am currently alternating between Shameless & Ozark and looking forward to the return of Stranger Things and perhaps a Season 2 for Sharp Objects. Breaking Bad is one of my all-time favorites! I also like to binge-watch Riverdale to see how they recreate the characters from my childhood comic strip.”

 

  1. What is something people don’t know about you?

“I may seem like the calm quiet type but there is a party-animal inside always trying to break-out. Ha!”

 

  1. What is your favorite place to visit?

“I love to visit the island of St. Thomas and walk on the beautiful beaches.”

 

  1. Any last words?

“Hmmmm…. It’s been a good ride here since I started out part-time in 2006. Concepts has evolved in many ways and I’ve gained experience in so many areas, personally and professionally.”

 

**If you would like a word game challenge, and I mean CHALLENGE, then play Laraine on Words with Friends. I can personally guarantee that she’ll win!

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Concepts TV Productions Promotes Sky Hanstein to Director of Production

FAIRFIELD, NJ ‚Äì (August 2nd, 2016) ‚Äì Concepts TV Productions, the NJ based Direct Response commercial Production Company has announced Sky Hanstein’s promotion to Director of Production. Hanstein will be responsible for spearheading the team’s production processes from inception to completion, in addition to introducing Satellite Media Tours to Concepts TV and its new medical division ‚Äì Concepts TV Productions.

Prior to joining Concepts, Hanstein had over 10+ years of experience in Broadcast PR and production management. Hanstein worked at Sony Pictures Television, served as Media Director at Synaptic Digital, and as VP at Vidicom in New York City.

‚“Sky’s new position brings excitement to the team and our clients as he introduces Satellite Media Tours to both Concepts TV and Concepts TV,” said Collette Liantonio, President and Creative Director of Concepts TV Productions. ‚“We are expanding to service the pharmaceutical sector. His knowledge of the production realm and media tours will strengthen the team's capabilities in both DRTV and the medical field.”

‚“As Director of Production, I am eager to oversee and deliver impactful messages to consumers and healthcare professionals through a variety of multi-media channels including broadcast via Satellite Media Tours,” said Hanstein. ‚“With cutting edge technology and Concepts’ new state of the art facility opening in winter of 2016, Concepts TV will deliver video content to medical industries in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Concepts TV Productions, currently based in Fairfield, N.J., is one of the world’s most experienced producers of DRTV commercials and infomercials. Concepts TV Productions has worked with Novartis, Whitehall Labs, Bard Parker, Prestige Brands and medical agencies such as Harrison and Star.

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Opening a New Door for Concepts TV!

 

Written By : Laraine Lamicella

With 10 years plus at Concepts TV, the growth I have witnessed is remarkable! I have seen the company grow from 9 employees in 2006 to the current 15.  Of course the number one goal in any business is to grow the client base but the domino effect that takes place is endless.  When I joined Concepts TV, we occupied the 2 upper levels of a charming Victorian home, with a swimming pool in the backyard which we utilized for shoots and an occasional afternoon swim. With the staff growing not only did we need more office space but parking was a nightmare! There went the swimming pool! Filling in the pool to accommodate additional parking spots became a necessity. And incorporating the 1st level into our office space was a huge help.

As the Finance/ HR Director, for me having a door on my office was unquestionably a must but somehow never possible! My first office, in the reception area had ZERO privacy, always needing to whisper or go to a different office should a sensitive issue arise.  My 2nd home at Concepts was the 1st level living room. Although much larger, still no door!  With the kitchen neighboring my new space, lunch time or kitchen shoots made confidential conversations quite challenging. So last year when Concepts TV realized a lifelong dream of building a 10,000 square foot new office with our very own studio, I thought finally a door!

We are currently under construction building our state-of-the-art studio and offices where we hope to bring our number of staff members to an all-time high and bring our business to a whole new level. Launching Concepts TV medical marketing division earlier this year is just one of the many areas where we plan to grow and reach out to new clients. With our new home scheduled for completion in the fall, we look forward to opening many new doors including Mine!

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Lights, Camera, SOCIAL MEDIA!

Written by Catarina Neto

We may be masterminds in Direct Response Television, but using social media takes a whole different skill set. Concepts TV can help your brand reach its greatest potential simply by knowing the ‚“best times to post” across select platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn). According to HubSpot, the best times to post for Facebook are as follows:

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The best times to post on Twitter:

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The best times to post on Instagram:

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The best times to post on LinkedIn:

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Knowing the appropriate times to post for optimal viewership is the first step in gaining brand recognition. The second step is to know how often to post before it gets ‚“annoying”. ¬†Don’t waste your time thinking, ‚“the more, the better”. I recommend sticking to a few posts that contain impactful content. According to eClincher, the ideal amount to post on Facebook is a minimum of 5 per week (one per day) and no more than 10 per week, while limiting it to one per day on the weekend.

Twitter is a different story. Tweets tend to get lost and overthrown by others tweeting, so tweet like there’s no tomorrow! The lifespan of posts on Twitter are significantly shorter than on Facebook. If 2 hours have gone by, your post will be long gone into the abyss. Due to the large range of frequencies and time zones, the appropriate amount to tweet on Twitter according to eClincher is 4-15 times per day (including retweets). Sharing similar content multiple times per day allows your followers to view it before it vanishes.

Instagram is easy to use and intriguing to scroll through. Since Instagram is more about visually appealing content, be sure to share ‚“behind the scenes” photos and/or videos of what happens within a business. According to a Union Metrics study, brands post an average of 1.5 times a day, but don’t be afraid to exceed that ‚Äì it all depends on the brand. Union Metrics states, ‚“Stick to a regular posting schedule, but generally don’t post more than a few times a day. One or two great posts a day is better than 10 mediocre posts.”

LinkedIn is sought to be the ‚“back up” social platform of choice, but think again. According to Buffer Social, LinkedIn is just as important as Facebook and posting a total of 20 times per month is key (once per weekday), but avoid weekends. Business professionals tend to favor LinkedIn over other networks in order to cater to a more professional audience for the ideal engagement.

Moving on to topics of interest ‚Äì how can a target audience find your brand? By using ‚ÄòHashtags’. According to Dictionary.com, a hashtag is, ‚“a word or phrase (on social media websites) preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.”¬† In plain terms, a hashtag helps viewers find photos, videos, and information pertaining to topics of interest. When posting across social media, be sure to use multiple ‚Äò#hashtags’ as a tool, so that potential followers can find your brands’ content more easily.

Don’t have time to post every single day? Hate having to juggle all your social networking platforms individually? Using Hootsuite, a helpful social media managing tool, allows users to schedule posts in weeks ‚Äì even months ‚Äì in advance. It also provides analytical reports for each social platform and access to engage with audiences all in one place. With the busy schedule of productions here at Concepts TV, using Hootsuite at least once a week has definitely helped plan posts for weeks ahead.

Next time you think about posting across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn ‚Äì keep in mind when to post, how often, and the helpful tools for successful social outreach.¬† Get noticed and make a difference with the content you share without being irritating. Be sure to check out Concepts TV’s social platforms:

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Top 5 Products You Need to Get the Summer Body You Crave

BY Lauren Fahey-

Summer is around the corner and there is no time to wait to get your body right for the warm weather. If you have a wedding in 130 days (but who’s counting), a vacation, family reunion or you just want to feel good about yourself than keep reading‚Ķ this blog is for you!

Here are some products that I have had the opportunity to use at Concepts TV Productions. I know they will make you feel refreshed and ready for some sunny days!

  1. no!no!  

Wouldn’t it be nice to be hair and care free for the summer? Don’t do what I’ve done and waste hundreds of dollars at a professional lasers treatment center. They are painful, costly, take forever and they do not guarantee the client will see results. ¬†no!no! is fast pain free and promises immediate lasting results. One of my favorite things about no!no! is that I can easily carry it with me every day and use it wherever, whenever! Say goodbye to that peach fuzz and hello to the undeniably smooth, hair free skin you deserve!

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  1. Maxi Climber

For those of you interested in toning all of your muscle groups on just one simple machine, this one’s for you! Maxi Climber works your entire body - combining weight resistance, muscle toning and aerobic exercise. Climb your way to that summer body you’ve always wanted! Maxi Climber will help tone, shapely arms, rock-hard abs, sexy six packs, and help to get leaner, shapelier legs.

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  1. Veggetti

We all know that healthy diets and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to losing weight. But did you know with Veggetti you do not have to compromise with the foods you love? Veggetti is the vegetable cutter that makes healthy "pasta" out of veggies. You can prepare a delicious, low carb meal out of zucchini, squash, carrots, cucumbers and more! Perfect combination with MaxiClimber to get the lean, mean body you have always desired.

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  1. Ped Egg                                  

Oldie but for sure a goodie! ‚“What sexy dry feet you have!” said NO ONE EVER!

Before you even think about putting sandal on or going barefoot to the beach please make sure your feet are groomed!

In just seconds you can go from dry and cracked skin to smooth and sexy skin! Simply rub Ped Egg across the surface of your soles to reveal younger, smoother, softer skin. The dead skin is neatly collected in the egg so there is no mess to clean up after. Show off your summer soles with the help of Ped Egg.

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  1. AB Archer

Nothing screams ‚“SEXY” louder than chiseled abs. If you want awesome abs without killing your back doing crunches you’ll love AB Bow! It’s the safe and most effective way to get the results you want. It’s like having your own personal trainer right in the comfort of your home. Does it get any better than that? There are different resistant levels so you can start today at the beginner level and find yourself at the advanced level in no time!

Now you know what products to use to be hair free, fit, hygienically groomed and eating healthy. These will help bring out the best version of you there is.

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Act Now... Don’t Wait!

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The Magic of Post Production

BY: Steve Miller

As the Visual Effects Director at Concepts TV, the best compliment I can get is when you don’t notice my work. Blemish removal, object removal, color swapping, chroma keying, and on rare occasions adding a completely new product into an already existing scene in post production.

Case in point: If your talent comes in for a shoot riddled with sunburn, and with no chance of rescheduling. What do you do? You need an expert compositor to isolate the skin tone, and manipulate the hue and color. The work I do can save thousands of dollars, and eliminate headaches.

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When it comes to commercial content, we approach everything with a ‚“mute” button in mind. For example, if a consumer isn’t hearing what a product can offer. The visuals need to tell a complete story. By isolating the small of someones back, and adding a glow effect. You’re reinforcing the pain in that area. Add your talents movements to the mix, and you’re in need of motion tracking and rotoscoping to really sell the idea that they are in pain.

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Long Form Infomercial vs. Short Form Commercial

 

By:  Dana Conklin

Which is right for your product? Here’s 2 questions to ask yourself before starting production:

Does your product need an explanation or does the demo speak for itself?

Shooting and airing a 2 minute commercial may be more affordable than a half hour infomercial, but will it be effective?  Is that enough time to get your message across? If the demo demonstration or a candid testimonial can instantly explain what the product does – a short form may be right for you.

Tip: Animation is a very effective tool to quickly demonstrate the ‚Äòinner’ workings of a product. Here are some examples of some winning short form commercials:

If the product needs more explanation, scientific research or a clinical test group, a long form infomercial allows you the necessary time to grab and hook the consumer.  Here are some examples of some winning long form commercials:

What is your price point?

If you can part with your product for $19.99 – short form is right for you! If your product is a high ticket item, you might need the extra selling time to convince the consumer. For example: If you are selling workout equipment, fill the screen with heartfelt testimonials and before & after photos so they can visualize themselves losing the weight. Compare your machine to others and why yours will make them lose more weight in less time. With a high ticket item, the more reinforcement the easier the sell.

 

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Philanthropy Spotlight: India – The Great Before & After

Concepts is in the business of the before & after. We've produced hundreds of commercials and infomercials where we showcase the success stories from our products. Those before & afters tell the personal story of that product. For example, a new mother who lost the baby weight using one of our fitness programs or perhaps how a couple reignited their relationship through weight loss. But what about when the team at Concepts undergoes an entire before & after? Well, that happened when Concepts traveled to India to shoot a pro-bono advertisement for a girls school.

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Concepts is not only in the business of direct marketing, but we are strong believers in education and philanthropy. When we decided to fly a crew of 6 over to India to film an advertisement for The Kripalu School, a girls school in India. During our time in India, we had high hopes of creating change in the world. After all, education The Kripalu School is solely donation-funded and completely free for students to attend, positioning itself as a complete game changer in education in India. While creating video content to fundraise the school, we didn't expect that we would undergo such a strong before & after. We went over to India to change lives, and in turn, our lives were forever changed.

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Jon Calderaro, Senior Producer at Concepts, was grateful for the opportunity to bring light and awareness to such hard working women. He said, "I was very touched by the girls at the school and amazed at the level of commitment from the teachers and those in charge. They are amazing people that are doing their best to make a difference and from what I can see its working. I felt really blessed to have been a part of this project and I hope in some way my involvement will contribute to making a difference."

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Dana Conklin, Director of Production at Concepts, had a very personal experience while on set in India. She said, "one of the wow moments for me was when we were interviewing these young girls & we asked them what their favorite subject was, or what their favorite part of school was. This seemed to stump all of them ‚Äì no one had an answer. It wasn’t until one of the older Indian women told me that these girls don’t understand those types of questions ‚Äì because they do not have choices, and do not know what it is like to have a ‚Äòfavorite’ anything. Coming from a country where dreams come true ‚Äì this was hard to process. I knew when I was younger what my favorite subject was, who my favorite teacher was, what my favorite sports was, what my favorite lunch was, who my favorite classmates were ‚Äì but most importantly, I knew I had choices and that I could be anything I wanted. I had a terrible pit in my stomach when I realized these girls don’t know what it’s like to have a choice. I hope this school not only educates them academically, but educates them worldly - giving them the choices they deserve."

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In the brutal caste system of India, too many children are left uneducated, especially the young girls. All too often, these children don't have a choice of education. For the ones that attend The Kripalu School, they are making history. For once, these children are being educated to be able to make choices for themselves.

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One of the most impactful parts for me was when we watched the school children of The Kripalu School sing together in an assembly. They were all lined up together, united, and empowered. They sang,

"May we all have pure intellect,
May we always desire to be ethical.
May we not be sad and not make others sad,
May we always have love towards all the living beings.
May we show the right direction to the one who is lost,
May we never have hatred towards anyone."

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As the schoolgirls sang in hopes of an education, in hopes of a difference in their lives, in hopes of a better future, they in turn made the greatest impact on our crew. It was a gift to be in the presence of these girls because we know that with an education from The Kripalu School, they will change their lives. We went to India wanting to make a difference and left India having all had great personal change.

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The transformation that we all went through was palpable and will forever stay with us. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about our journey and about The Kripalu School in our upcoming video.

Roamaroo travel and photography blogAll photos by Roamaroo.com

 

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Philanthropy Spotlight: Concepts TV Heads to India to Film Pro-Bono Advertisement

Most of us have seen the advertisements on TV with doe-eyed children, staring into the camera, begging for your mercy and your help. Or perhaps you’ve heard the melody of Sarah McLaughlin and the dying breeds of poverty stricken animals around the world. These stories tear at your heart and beckon your soul to make a difference in the world; but two minutes later, you change the channel and go back to your life of normality, forgetting about the less fortunate and getting caught up in your own problems. Your boss emails, your significant other calls you, and you’re back into your own world, forgetting about all of those in the world that are less fortunate.

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Having been born in America was a lucky draw of the straws. We were born with running water, a roof over our heads, access to medical help, a loving family, and most importantly, a public education system that provided free schooling. We grew up being told we could be whatever we wanted when we grew up. For so many in the world, they don’t have that luxury. They don’t even have a chance or a choice. So many young children know a future of slavery, child-marriage, and poverty. As an American, that world seemed so far away to us, until we visited the Kripalu School in Kunda, India. That visit to the Kripalu School changed the way we will look at the world forever.

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We learned of the Kripalu School through work colleagues, who spoke of a school that was changing the way women are educated in India. We put together our television production team to fly to India and film a pro-bono advertisement to raise awareness and funds for this donation-funded school in India. We knew we were going to help a worthy cause, but we didn’t realize just how much this school was changing the future of the entire Indian populations for the better. We saw firsthand that an education and only an education would provide these women the knowledge, the safety, the empowerment, and the strength to end a cycle of submissiveness and despair.

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On our plane ride to India, we were all handed local newspapers. These newspapers were filled with stories of gang rape and other horrible acts committed on women of all ages, but what was most disturbing was that many of these women were very young. Unfortunately for so many women in India, they have no chance at a future. They have no chance at fighting back. Unlike in America, all too often, a woman in India is seen as a burden and a slave. The girls in India are not told they can be anything when they grow up. All they know is that their lives will involve being married off at a young age and becoming the slave to their future in-laws. There is rarely an education, and there is almost never a choice at a future. The women in India are so often place in the position of a victim, but The Kripalu School is changing all of this, educating women to become empowered and emboldened individuals in charge of their own lives.

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The Kripalu School takes girls from the tender age of four and educates them through college at absolutely no cost to the students. Because the school is run completely on donations, students from all caste systems and all parts of rural India can attend the Kripalu School. You don’t have to be blessed from a wealthy family to earn a good education. The Kripalu School is completely free for students, which means this gives them the opportunity to learn, to live, to help themselves, and to help their families. From the core studies of math, science, and language, to vocational studies such as cosmetology and computer science, The Kripalu School provides these girls with the foundation to build a life of their own, a business of their own, and a future they can be proud of. While most girls are sold to another family or married off in their pre-teen years, The Kripalu School is changing the entire presence of women in the country of India.

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An education not only helps the individual students of the Kripalu School, but it helps their families and villages as well. One student said that the education she receives is far better than the paid schools that her brothers attend so she is able to go home and teach her brothers the subjects she learns at school. As these girls learn subjects in school and also learn the ways that women deserve to be treated, they pass along these gifts to their own families and villages. Through this education at the Kripalu School, these girls are changing the lives of future generations to come.

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For the first time, girls have aspirations of growing up to be police officers, teachers, and doctors. These girls understand the gift of education that they have been given and they want to pass it along to future generations. They are the forward change in a backwards system. The students of the Kripalu School are not only changing themselves for the better, but also changing their nation for the better.

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Stay tuned for a full fundraising video we produced on location to learn how you can change the future of India.

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One Tough (Italian) Cookie

So, here I am, Laraine Lamicella. I’ve been with Concepts TV for over 9 years now and this group is still driving me crazy! As Director of Finance, I’m constantly striving to maintain all of our friendly client relations while simultaneously ensuring that all of our finances are in order. I’m proud to admit that I have a reputation around here for being a ‚“tough collector.” (I’m Italian ‚Äì what do they expect?!) Read more

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New Kid on the Block

Graduating from college is scary. Once the final semester comes to an end, everyone immediately tries to figure out what the real world has in store for them and the reality of what comes next starts to sink in – the dreaded job search! Me? I was lucky enough to skip over this tedious process and dive right into my first big girl job as a Production Assistant thanks to Concepts TV! Read more