An enthusiastic group of MCAI members gathered at Video Pro Matrix (formerly Sound Matrix) for the monthly meeting and presentation. MCAI member, Tom Duncan, opened the meeting, welcomed everyone and reminded all of the value of being an MCAI member. He expressed an extra thanks to Electric Pictures for being a food sponsor for the event. Tom encouraged membership and noted the two websites, mcai.org for the international organization and socalmediapros.org for Orange County. Tom spotlighted the Find-a-Pro feature on the international site, in which members can list their skills and services. Tom noted that the national meeting in Milwaukee was coming up in August. Locally, there is an MCAI-OC get together at Gary Stone’s on Aug. 19th and the annual mixer party at The Waters in Irvine on Sept. 17th.


Tom introduced Gabriel Zavala, one of the co-owners of the new Video Pro Matrix facility. Gabriel thanked the attendees and noted that in addition to their audio facilities that include 8 rehearsal and recording rooms, they have added two soundstages including one dedicated to video along with editing facilities. The Grand Opening for the facility will be on August 25th and will feature music from the legendary English Beat. RSVPs can be made at 714-437-9595. Gabriel discussed rental cost on the music and video side of things (which were quite reasonable) and took attendees on a short tour of the facility. Everyone was very excited with the possibilities of the new soundstages and video commitment.  

Tom Duncan returned and introduced MCAI-OC President, Tina Wilson. Scott, visiting from Ventura who is helping start a media company was introduced, as well as Charles who was an old ITVA member and in production for 30years.  

Tina Wilson introduced the main presenter for this meeting, Kelly Burke, CEO/Executive Producer for Innovative Direct Response. Her company writes and produces infomercials (direct response advertising), which by her own definition are any ads directing viewers to an 800 number or a website. Ms. Burke gave a fascinating talk about her industry.

Infomercials tend to be short (2-5 min.) or long form (30 min.). Large companies have become more attracted to direct response advertising in recent years. She noted that short form advertising products don’t usually exceed $19.95. She also noted that the industry needed a 5-1 ratio in price-to-cost for products because of the large media costs. She emphasized the extremely targeted nature of the advertising and that it fell into hard (priced) or soft (no price) offers. All media buys (mostly cable) are closely tracked and performance is known immediately.

The range of production costs vary greatly and Ms. Burke felt that a huge budget wasn’t normally necessary. She noted that most products break even on initial sales and make their profit on backend sales. She felt the key to writing and producing successful direct response media was to point out a problem and provide the solution. Ms. Burke was presented with a certificate of appreciation and door prizes were distributed.