Promos is the TV industry term for ads, made by a TV channel, that spruik the channel’s upcoming programming. This video––hosted by yours truly––sets out to explain exactly what the job involves. That’s right… it’s an actual job that you can learn, and hopefully earn a living from!

Get paid $$$ to watch TV… could there be a better job ad ever?
Hmmmm… sounds too good to be true. Let’s see what the job really is about.

As a working Creative Director, you get a lot of inquiries from people wanting to know about training courses. I have training courses available for working promo producers, but there didn’t seem to be anywhere that newbies could go to get the basics. So, I decided to do everyone a favour and make one.

You’re welcome.

When producing any kind of training materials, it’s hard to know exactly how far back to basics one should go. But, because this is online, and free, I just figured to go right back to the start. Even experienced promo producers should stop and take the time every now and then to ask themselves: “What am I doing here again?”

In any case, most people simply have no idea how much work goes on behind the scenes to bring them with just 30 seconds of television. As I have said many times before, this is because by sticking to a very specific format for promos, the TV industry has conditioned the audience to ignore them completely.

When strangers ask me what I do for a living, I end up saying something like this:

“You know when you’re watching a commercial break on TV… and those ads pop up that tell you about other shows on the channel? I make those.”

I never know whether this explanation has worked, or whether people are simply bluffing that they understand what I have just said.

If your friends and family still cant get their head around it, maybe just show them this video.

Notes since this video was produced

My training course for newbies is only concerned with making the format of TV promos as they exist today; which you’ll discover elsewhere in this website, is a format that I think will have to change. The Network TV industry is still shrinking. Streaming services are producing more original, ad-free programming than ever before. The need for people who can connect viewers to programmes is greater then ever.

This video was previously titled Promos 101: Introduction to Promos; formerly hosted at (the now defunct) promoworkshop.com

Posted by Charley Holland

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