Facebook Advertising for Filmmakers: Finding the right audience setting

I’ve been trying to crack the code on how to advertise my niche documentary via social media. Specifically, how to earn more money than expended on the ads. I am in the TVOD window, and am trying to generate rentals and purchases to recoup the cost of making the movie.

I recently tried the FB conversion funnel using my small social media following, and it didn’t work well. I used the same funnel with a larger audience for my work, and generated a 20% increase in attendance for an event. So the funnel works, but my audience was too small.

So I decided to run some experimental ads. Not full funnels, but trying audiences groupings to see what worked. My plan was to run a few days of brand awareness and then a few days of video interactions, and see what happens.

I tried 2 sets of audiences. I spent just $10 per ad set, so total buy was $40. Small, experiment.

My content was a specifically targeted video ad for the brand awareness, followed by a generic trailer for the video interaction week.

The first set was a super tiny, very targeted audience. About 1000 or so potential members.

Brand awareness ad had a reach of 429 with a frequency of 1.89, resulting in 809 impressions, and estimated ad recall of 40. 5 people clicked the link to my website.

Facebook can also track how much attention viewers pay during brand awareness campaigns. I saw 21.88% Attention Impressions, meaning 1 out of 5 people paused when scrolling by my ad. So, I’m hitting the right group. But is it big enough?

The next ad set for video interactions with the same, tiny audience saw a reach of 384, with 123 video view, and a frequency of 2.99, which means I had 1147 impressions. 15 people clicked the link to my website. I again had an estimated ad recall of 40 people, or 10.42%.

Seems like a good target, but the frequency of 2.99 for just a $10 buy is worrisome. A larger buy would see a higher frequency. Audience felt a bit small.

For the 2nd ad experiment, I used detailed targeting to select people who liked or interacted with 10 popular homeschooling websites. This provided an audience of about 370,000.

The percentages were about the same. Very similar in ad recall. Frequency was lower because it’s a larger audience pool. But the number of people factored into a much better reach.

For brand awareness as the goal, cost per impressions was half for the larger audience. For video views the cost was 25% of the smaller audience. Same trailer, the small audience played through 123 times, but for the larger audience, it played through 624 times.

Video view reach for the small audience was 384. Reach for the larger one was 1983. Both had the same budget. Both had same ad recall lift of about 10%. But because the audience was larger, the ad recall lift of 10% means 200 people recalled my trailer instead of just 40.

So, what does this mean?

I’ve been struggling to find the right sized audience to target. FB’s funnel is set up thinking you have a good sized audience to funnel people from brand awareness to interaction to sale. But my established FB/IG pages do not have that reach.

So I have been looking for an additional targeting measure. The first audience was too small. But this second one with 370,000 members seems like it is the right size. And every interaction was positive, with organic shares and recommendations to other people.

My next move is to run a special via Vimeo On Demand and shoot for traffic to the Vimeo page. (Since Vimeo isn’t my page cannot track actual conversions so it confuses the ad algorithms to try that).

So I’m spending $10 again but trying for conversions. In this case, leads generated by people clicking through my website to places they can buy or rent the film.

I am trying to find an audience pool large enough and reachable enough to generate sales greater than cost of advertising. I want to reach that awareness tipping point where enough people know about the film that it can organically see sales. We did not achieve that at launch. Frustrating when you know a film is well received by its target audience, but a big part of the target audience isn’t aware of it.


Youtube, Copyright, DMCA and AdRev

CopyrightThis morning I got a copyright claim notice from Youtube about a video I created using a song from a Digital Juice library.

That sounds worse than it is. First, I used the content legally. I purchased the right to use it in this fashion. So the claim will eventually be dismissed.

Second, even if I did “steal” the song, Youtube won’t pull it, they just place advertisements on the idea and give the money to the people who own the rights to it.

It’s annoying because I didn’t use it without having the right to do so. And now, for a while at least, I won’t get the revenue (however small) from any advertising on that video. It’s also annoying because the claim came through a very slimy company called AdRev. And a concern because Youtube takes copyright violations very seriously from it’s partner channels.

AdRev is a company that exists for the sole purpose of generating advertising revenue from Youtube content. Their selling point is that they can help content creators to monetize use of their content on “unauthorized, unofficial, and fan videos using your music.”  For a cut of the revenue, their computers scour the massive content on Youtube for music that matches their client’s library. Then they exercise their Digital Millennium Copyright Act  (DMCA) muscle and inform Youtube that a copyright infringement has occurred, and they would like to collect the money from any advertising on that content.

They do not contact the Youtube channel first, they just hijack the ad revenue, forcing the channel owner to prove they did not steal the content. In this (civil) case, guilty until you can prove your innocence. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this same company file claim (erroneously) on a video. Every time I have been able to get the claim removed. But it’s a hassle.

While legally they do not have to contact me before filing a claim, ethically, they should. It’s a slime-ball maneuver to steal my ad revenue this way. It’s not like I’m taking radio hits and using them as music beds. These are royalty-free, buy-out music tracks that are designed expressly for use in projects and videos like this one. It is highly likely that anyone using them will have the license to do so, because they are created and sold for this purpose.

I have mixed feelings about the DMCA in that, as a content creator, I’m glad that I can easily dispute the use of my copyrighted work. I do not like that without a hearing of any kind, companies like Youtube will immediately divert the ad revenue from a given video to the people claiming to own it. In my case, we’re talking pennies. But this is big enough business that companies like AdRev exist. They make enough from this sort of thing to keep on doing it.

A larger concern for me is that I am a Youtube Partner, and in order to maintain that status (and access to higher dollar ad sharing, etc…) I have to stay in good standing with Youtube. Part of that means no copyright violations. I don’t make the huge money from Youtube video ad revenue. This video won’t pay out a whole $1 in the month this dispute will last. But it’s still something from the effort involved in creating the content.

I know I didn’t violate copyright. But now I have to send proof that I can use this music track the way I did.

Youtube always initially sides with the people making the claim. They will immediately divert any revenue, or place advertisements on any content with DMCA disputes. They do not want to get sued by content creators, music studios, movie studios, etc… The last thing Youtube wants is to be thought of as place where people can violate copyright law. They are super strict, and err on the side of “don’t sue us”. That’s great if you have had your content stolen. Bad if someone makes an invalid claim against your content.

How do I get the claim removed?

This time was a bit different than previous claims, since the company I bought the music license from has undergone some changes in recent years. Previously, the simplest way to get the claim removed was to contact the rep for the music company, and they contacted AdRev to get the claim cleared. Since Digital Juice has switched to a subscription model, I am not sure how much action they will take on “legacy” customer’s behalf. I decided to attack this from 3 directions.

I gathered the details of the purchase (dates, order ID, etc…). I emailed Digital Juice’s customer service, filed a dispute with Youtube over the claim, and emailed AdRev directly. In all three instances I outlined the facts, and provided details about when I purchased the license for the track and copied the end user agreement for the content which says I can use it this way.

So, this can play out 3 ways. Digital Juice may contact AdRev and get them to remove the claim. AdRev may process my complaint and remove the claim. Or, after 30 days, Youtube should resolve the dispute in my favor.

UPDATE: That was quick.

Email from AdRev saying the claim was released. And an email from Digital Juice saying that the claim from Ad Rev is not from them, and they provided me with documents proving they own the song, and that I can use it.

It all sounds very fishy to me. The claim was removed.

I sent this reply to AdRev:

“Just so you know, Digital Juice provided me with information proving they own this copyright, and no one else. And they were not the ones who hired you. Someone is using your company to file fraudulent and inaccurate infringement claims. You guys should look into that. “

AdRev responded with “the claim is now removed” again.

Did Your Pastor Advertise for a Movie on Facebook?

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of these ads on my news feed.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.45.27 AM

Pretty inventive. Using Facebook’s targeting for advertising, the sponsor set the ad to show to people who like First Baptist Orlando, the pastor there is Dr. David Uth. Then they used the actual name of the pastor in the ad. It did get my attention, if for no other reason than to see if he was actually involved some how. He is not.

Another ad claims that many from First Orlando are going to the film. That one isn’t as cool as the one that uses the name. They did just a bit of research, personalized the ad, and made me look twice. In that regard it worked.

When I watched the trailer, I decided against going to the film itself. But I did watch the trailer. Could a similar ad work for you?

New Facebook Page Post Reach is Horrible- How Bad is It?

Recently an Ad Age article said Facebook has now admitted that the organic views of fan pages are dropping. Significantly. In fact, Facebook suggests that the best way to “maximize” delivery of your content is to pay them. Fan pages, to them, are not communities of people who like and want content from a brand. They are ways for businesses to advertise more cheaply and effectively through Facebook in a “social context” format.

For small businesses, non profits, and generally anyone who has a fan page that isn’t specifically about selling something, this is bad news. Previously you could assume that people who became a fan of your page had a decent shot at seeing the content they signed up for. Now, only a small percentage of people see the content.

The only way to bypass the Facebook imposed limitations is to post something that your fans engage with so much that their behavior through likes and shares and comments causes the post to propagate beyond the limitations. Of course, it will be seen through those networks, not by the people who have already signed up. So, while it’s great if you have a post that generates huge engagement, the people who do the engaging and see the post through those social feeds may not be your current fans.

I wanted to see just how bad it was. My largest fans page is for my show Peculiar. I currently have 697 fans. (Crossed 700 during this experiment) Before these changes, I would normally see 60-75% of fans through organic views. That is, I’d post something and 65% or so of my fans would see it in their timeline. How bad are the new algorithms?

My page is a fan page for a TV show, with 700 fans. Many of the posts are video links to the show’s Youtube page.

For the experiment I used an event I ran during the holidays. We had the #10daysofPeculiar event on Peculiar’s FB fan page, where we brought back episodes of the show, posting one per day. With other extras posted in the afternoons. Half the videos we posted are not normally available online. I was aware of the new post reach issues, and wanted to help make sure fans didn’t miss the chance to see the episodes. So I boosted a few posts. I only spent $5 per boost, but with under 700 fans, that more than covered them. I selected showing the post to people who like the show and are friends of people who like the show. Here are the results. Number of views per day across all posts:

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 11.08.36 AM

Guess which days got “boosted posts” and which days didn’t. You can see more detailed list of each post at the bottom of the post. I spent a total of $25 during the multi day event. Total organic views hit 956 over 12 days while views I paid for hit 7040, (over only 5 days of “boosted posts).

OK, I know, I did this over the holidays. I tried not to be too concerned with the views on Christmas Eve and Christmas. But the huge disparity between “boosted” posts and organic post is revealing. Even so, post engagement via likes and shares wasn’t that different. (That says more about my content than Facebook’s policies.)

The frustrating thing for many fan pages is that their fans have NO IDEA this is happening. Normally, once someone clicks like on your page, they don’t come back. They expect your content to show up in their new feed. If they see less, they just assume that your are posting less.

Then there is the issue of balance, where your are not supposed to post just ads. You need to engage your audience. Ask questions, give them value and content for free. So that when you do advertise or make an “ask” they will be engaged enough to respond. I am not the best at this. But these new algorithms mess that up badly. If you only “boost” posts that have advertisements in them, then the only posts that most fans see are the ones asking for money. Less than 25% see the other engagement posts. So you won’t see the same number of fans response when you sell something, or ask them to do something.

That stinks.

Facebook users probably don’t know, and if they did know… on the surface at least, they would likely think this was a great idea. Less ads, more content I want. They may not realize that this new system is set up to either pepper their feeds with sponsored posts, or reduce the content they want drastically. And Facebook? They are just trying to stay profitable. They have shareholders to think about now. Larger brands with big budgets won’t notice much.

In the mean time, people like me are looking for other ways to reach our fans on a consistent basis.

I am launching an email newsletter for Pup Tent Media, my production company. I will have the content for my various FB pages there (Peculiar, Flawed, and any new ventures…), send it out once a month. At least then, I know people who signed up for the content will see the email, even if they don’t open it. They at least have the chance.

To make sure you never miss the information about Pup Tent Media’s projects, sign up now!

Details of the #10DaysofPeculiar Posts:

Dec 20: Text post received 158 organic views, 6 page likes.

Dec 20: New Event, 19 organic views, 1 like, 11 people from those invited “attending”

Dec 21: New Cover Photo, 3 likes, 6 people saw it.

Dec 21: Video link, boosted post, $5 budget. 26 organic views, 760 paid. 6 likes

Dec 22: Video link, boosted post. $5 budget. 33 organic views, 1110 paid views. 3 likes

Dec 22: Video link, 37 organic views, 3 likes

Dec 23: Video link, boosted post, $5 budget, 34 organic views, 1391 paid views, 7 likes

Dec 23: Video link, 37 organic views, 3 likes.

Dec 24; Video link, 46 organic views, 3 likes

Dec 24, Text post, 95 organic videos, 4 likes

Dec 24, Video link, 53 organic views, 3 likes

Dec 25, Text post, 83 organic views, 4 likes

Dec 25, Video link, 31 organic views, 2 likes

Dec 26, Video link, 61 organic views, 4 likes

Dec 27, Video link, 41 organic views, 2 likes

Dec 27, Text post, 50 organic views

dec 28, Video Link, 81 organic views, 5 likes

Dec 28, Video link, 114 organic views, 7 likes, 1 comment

Dec 29, Video link, boosted post, $5 budget, 26 organic, 1935 paid views, 6 likes, 1 comment

Dec 29, Text post, 121 organic views, 4 likes

Dec 30, Video link, 54 organic views, 4 likes

Dec 30, Video link, 42 organic views, 4 likes

Dec 31, Video link, boosted post, $5 budget, 20 organic views, 1844 paid views, 6 likes

I Need Your Help

help imageI posted a way that you can help me with my show.

Here’s part of that post:

Peculiar doesn’t ask for money. In fact, pretty much the only way we will see any money for the show is if people buy the DVD. Peculiar is a relatively unknown show with unknown actors and an unknown director. A lot of people don’t even know it exists. People you know don’t know it exists.

That’s how you can help. You can tell them about it.

I will make it super easy for you. Below are some sample posts you can use on twitter, Facebook and send out via email. You can write your own, or just copy and paste these. Send them out to your friends, family and acquaintances.

Why am I asking this? Simple, if we sell enough DVDs, we can make more shows like Peculiar. You can help make sure that happens.

Sample Posts:


Option 1: Check out this Christian sitcom called @Peculiarshow: http://goo.gl/GfGljo

Option 2: Here’s a new show I really like called @Peculiarshow: http://goo.gl/GfGljo

Option 3: You should buy a DVD of this new show called @Peculiarshow: http://goo.gl/GfGljo


Option1: Check out this Christian sitcom called Peculiar. It’s a show about a college kid whose life is different: http://goo.gl/GfGljo

Option2: This show I like, Peculiar, has a DVD available: http://goo.gl/GfGljo

Option 3: If you’re looking for a way to support independent Christian TV, check out a DVD of Peculiar: http://goo.gl/GfGljo


Hey, you should check out this new show, Peculiar. It’s a Christian sitcom about a college kid whose life is different. The first 6 episodes are available on DVD. They even come with Bible study questions. It’s an independent show, so they are selling DVDs to raise mony to make more shows like this. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/GfGljo

That’s it. Just copy and paste those and send them to the people you know. Or write your own. Buy you can be a huge help, just getting the word out.


Scott Link

Saying “No” to the Good, Waiting for the Great

Today I said, “No.”

It was a good opportunity. But it just wasn’t the right time.

I have been producing a Christian sitcom, and working on getting it placed in various outlets. And working on how to generate revenue from it so we can afford to do more.

I had called a few advertising agencies, but this isn’t what they do. So I acted as my own agent and called a couple of local channels. Looking for local insertion, paid time, that would let me sell spots inside my own show. I found one. Decent channel. They agreed to let me do what I wanted, at a decent, but not amazing price in a decent but not amazing time slot.

Based on my estimates, assuming I could sell the ads slots, I would clear between $2000-2600 for the broadcast. Not a small amount, but less than what I had raised to do the first episodes. Definitely not enough to hire some one to sell the time, so I would be the sales guy… and the main post guy.

I really wanted to make this work. I wanted to be able to point to this as an example of how the model could work in other markets. I still think it’s a possibility, but not right now. I spent a lot of time praying and thinking on this, and never got comfortable with the cost versus amount of work. Never got comfortable with the timing.

So, today I let them know I wouldn’t be buying the time right now. It is good to know it is possible. But if I moved forward right now it would be through sheer force of will and charisma. I could make it sort of work, I’m sure. But it wouldn’t be what God has waiting for us down the road.

So I said no to something good, and will wait on something great.

New Old Funding Model for Christian TV

I’ve been producing a show for the past several months. we are smack in the middle of a crazy production schedule, and expect episodes to start dropping the week of October 15th.

The interesting thing about making a TV show without network backing is that things cost money. You don’t actually make any money. And Christian stations don’t/won’t buy the show. So at best you get airtime for free. But on educational license stations, for-profit shows cannot even sell dvd copies of their program. I was stuck trying to figure out how to create a revenue stream.

Not because I want to get rich making TV. I need to have positive cash flow so that we can afford to keep making more episodes. And yes, at some point I would like to be able to do this for a living. Up until now the only revenue stream I will have is through youtube views.

Today I was talking to a friend who owns several Christian TV stations. He recounted a story from back when he was working for a major network affiliate where he traded a religious program air time. The station didn’t buy the show, but rather gave the producer 3:00 minutes worth of ad time. They could sell the spots, and pocket the ad revenue. The station sold the remaining spots.

That got me to thinking. Why couldn’t we do the same thing now?

I get an ad agency to negotiate a 30:00 slot on a weekend for a few commercial stations. They get 3:00 and I get 3:00. I sell six :30 spots in that market (or later as we grow, sell regional spots to larger companies). The sponsors write a check to the ad agency. They take their commission and send the rest of the money on to me.

Let’s say we can sell the spots for $100 each (Just a round number. This is probably too high.) So the episode bills out $600 for one week of play. The ad agency takes 10% and we see $520 come in. Obviously, if we grow this too much it gets out of control. So we hire someone to sell ads for 10%. So we see $480 come in. Per stations, every week. That’s a best case scenario.

Expand to 10 stations and we are tracking $4800 per week. Suddenly we can pay people to be a part of the show. Even at $50 per spot, we would be at $2400. Those are numbers we can work with. I’d take $25 a spot… $1200 per week.

There are still a lot of details to work out, but if this could work… we could do this for real, for the forseeable future.

UPDATE: Of course, finding a station that feels the same way is not that easy. So I have been figuring out, anyway.

Chick Fil A supports Traditional Marriage, Amazon Doesn’t, and Why That Won’t Change My Behavior

Today I, like hundreds of thousands of others, ate at a Chick Fil A restaurant. I didn’t do it because I support traditional marriage, or because Dan Cathy does. I ate there because I was annoyed about the double standard present in the media over this area, concerned about the public statements of elected officials threatening to discriminate against a business which actually doesn’t discriminate, and a small part of me felt good to jump on the bandwagon today. Plus, I like Chick Fil A sandwiches and sweet tea.

But before I explain myself, let’s look at the controversy.

What Cathy Actually Said

First, this wasnt just some news release the company’s CEO put out. The man was asked a question, and he answered transparently in an interview with Baptist Press:

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.

Some have twisted this. For example, CNN reported:

But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire. “Guilty as charged,”, Cathy said when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

Cathy never mentioned same sex marriage in the interview.

Frankly, in that interview, he made a more direct reference to divorce than same sex marriage. That took more guts than anything about gay rights. Christians seem to have forgotten that God hates divorce. Many churches don’t preach “against” it much. And half the people in our pews have had one. But that is a topic for another post.

In the wake of this controversy, another interview was dug up. Cathy was talking about raising children, according to a post by Denny Burk which outlines these two interviews in greater detail:

And in that interview, Ken Coleman wanted Cathy to talk about fatherhood and family. So Cathy made some wide-ranging remarks about the family in general and about his own father in particular—remarks which had no reference to homosexuality.

Cathy also emphasized how crucial it is for children to be raised by both a mother and father. As an aside, he mentions that that’s why he believes it’s arrogant to try and redefine marriage. It’s bad for children and invites God’s judgment.

I, like Burk, think it’s clear what Cathy thinks about same sex marriage, but am amazed that his simple statements about what he supports have been twisted into some sort of hate filled message. Even Christians are misquoting Cathy.

The last few weeks have been filled with vitriol from the left. News commentators have slammed this company, politicians quickly tried to build support… some suggesting courses of action which may be illegal. (Is it legal to block a restaurant from building a new franchise in your town because you disagree with the CEO about marriage?) Many began calling for a boycott. Many have taken to social media outlets to vent their outrage.

When you press people on it, asking why the news that a Christian CEO does not support same sex marriage surprises them, many I’ve talked to, or read, explain that it’s not really his views, but the fact that he takes money that he makes selling chicken and gives it to political organizations who actively work against making gay marriage legal. So… this is just an opportunity for you then? You thought you would seize on a moment or two of transparency in a polarized political climate and try to get some steam on the whole boycott thing.

Take it from a Southern Baptist who lives in the shadow of Disneyworld. Boycotts don’t work.

The Event

In light of the media controversy, Gov. Mike Huckabee suggested people who support Chick Fil A should eat there on August 1st. And I would be shocked if this wasn’t the most chicken they have ever sold in one day. The reports I’ve seen show lines out the door and around the building. People waited hours for chicken in some places. They are literally running out of food in some stores.

The Protest

In response to the appreciation day, a counter protest sprang up online. The plan was simple: On August 1st, go to Chick Fil A and order and large water, and then leave.

So let me get this straight. In order to show how much you don’t like a restaurant, you are going to the restaurant, ordering something they will gladly give you, and walking out carrying a cup that advertises the restaurant you want to harm. How does this hurt Chick Fil A? You get a positive experience in the store. They do what they always do. Any increase in lost revenue because of the additional cups was more than made up by the increased sales today. Any extra time spent serving you, which is their main function (to serve the customer) didn’t matter to those supporting the chain because they were willing to literally wait hours to get their food. In fact, your presence in the store added to the crowd, and helped give the appearance that there were tons of people who supported the restaurant’s right of free speech. Great idea. I’m sure it was effective.


So in the middle of all of this, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife donated $2.5 million dollars to help make gay marriage legal in Washington state.

Obviously, many supporters of gay marriage think this is great news.

How is this any different than what Cathy did? Both people have an opinion about marriage, and have expressed it, in interviews or emails made public. Both have made donations to political groups who work for an outcome on this issue. But each CEO is on the opposite side of the issue.

And Tango Makes Three

I tried to not talk about this. I tried, mainly because I think it has been blown way out of proportion. If this wasn’t an election year, I don’t think this would be such big news. If the president hadn’t publicly changed his view on gay marriage a few months ago, this wouldn’t be big news. If social media didn’t exist, this would not be nearly as big of a deal.

Know what pushed me over the edge? Coming home to find a children’s book my kids checked out of the local public library about two male penguins that love each other and raise a baby together. You don’t find out the main characters are gay until 10 pages in. A blurb on the back of the book claims the story is “heartwarming proof that mother nature knows best.” How exactly does a zookeeper giving another penguin’s egg to a “gay” penguin couple show that mother nature knows anything? If it was mother nature, they wouldn’t have gotten an egg because male penguins don’t lay eggs.

The book, “And Tango Makes Three” is much more insidious than any political campaign. It’s not called “Heather has Two Mommies” or something similar. It masquerades as a basic kid’s book. It is specifically written to promote homosexual relationships and non traditional families. This is much worse than a group openly spending donations to buy advertising for their political agenda.

So seeing this controversy over public statements and money, I have resisted the urge to comment because it just doesn’t matter in the long run. Come 2nd week of November this whole thing will be long forgotten.

It just won’t matter that much.

But wait, I ate at Chick Fil A today? I participated in Chick Fil A appreciation day. Yes, I did because I support the right of Chick Fil A’s CEO and Amazon’s CEO to say what they want, and use their money as they want in the free market.

But let me be clear. Hearing Dan Cathy state his views on marriage has no real effect on my long term commitment to eat his chicken. It’s not like anything he said was new to me. I have often referred to Chick Fil A as “Jesus Chicken.” If I didn’t like the food, I wouldn’t eat there no matter what the family that owns it thinks. But I would support the right of the family to think and speak as they wish.

On the other hand, I still buy Apple products and Oreos. I still shop at Amazon. Yet all these companies “support’ same sex marriage. They have a right to their opinion, and like Cathy, have a right to give money to organizations that try to pass laws that reflect their views. If they make a good product, they will be successful and will continue to have money for their political contributions. At least they aren’t hiding it in a kid’s book.

Both sides will throw millions at their viewpoint. But people don’t suddenly change their views of marriage based on one ad campaign. I’ve never heard anyone ever say, “Well, I was against same sex marriage, but then I heard a radio spot and now I have decided to be for it.” The only people that might be swayed by these are the ones that are in the fence.

Beliefs and attitudes about marriage are some of those that people use to define themselves. Political and religious views are some of the most closely held beliefs. Those are not something that people change on a whim. People are moved a little bit at a time. It takes time to change someone’s self defining beliefs. It takes a long time for them to be in a place where an ad campaign can tip them to the other side.

Want to really change someone’s view on marriage?

Write children’s books about animals that teach kids your viewpoint. Create TV shows that reflect your worldview. Produce movies that show the world as you want it to be. Teach people to think like you want them to. Then eventually, over time, people change their minds.

I don’t think that our society’s biggest problems are restaurant owners and tech company CEOs that give millions to organizations that fund political initiatives. Buying chicken or Kindles won’t matter much in the larger scheme of things. I will buy as much chicken as ever, and buy as many mp3s and books as ever.

Change the world by teaching people to see it from a biblical perspective.

Peculiar T Shirt and Ad Campaign

I really want one of those T Shirts. A big “Peculiar” stamped on the front and the show web site on the back.

They are one of the rewards for the show’s Kickstarter project. Going on now.

In order to get some more attention to the project, I started a couple of ad campaigns on Facebook. Anyone connected with the show’s fan page, or connected to someone connected to the page, can see the ad talking about the shirt. And then see that the shirt is currently only available by pledging $25 or more on the Kickstarting project.

Even Christians Hate Christian TV: What do we do about it?

I saw a post on twitter from Phil Cooke about an article from Christian Newswire. For the last couple of years DoersTV has been surveying their online fans:

Based on the fan’s comments from the Fan Page posts over the last two years, over 90% of the people had a negative comment about Christian TV for the following reasons:

Too much begging for money and fundraising telethons

False prosperity teachers manipulating people for offerings

Boring and lack of quality programming

Lack of integrity of Christian Leaders they broadcast

Sounds like content on a lot of Christian Networks. So, who is this stuff made for?

Obviously, because this was an online survey, it ignores those not online. In America, 91% of 18-34 yr olds are online. (84% watch video online.) Compare to 47% of folks over 65 years of age. By the end of 2011 78.6% of North Americans were online. Leaving over 74 million people in North America who are not online. I don’t know how many of those have access to a TV, and Christian programming, but I’m sure the percentage is pretty high. I believe that the majority of religious programing out there is watched by senior adults.

I know the demographics on our own TV show, 70% of our audience is well over the age of 50. I’ve said this before, but the audience for Christian TV is literally dying off.

This stuff is made for older, aging audiences. Christians networks and program producers have settled into what is familiar, and ignored trends of younger potential viewers. Choosing instead to keep their existing audience, and cater to their viewing preferences. And, that audience faithfully sends their money in, and supports their efforts. But it doesn’t take the gift of prophecy to see that this model is doomed. It’s literally a matter of time. Either Christian networks/program producers change, or they will find themselves with no viewers at all in the next few decades.

We cannot wait five or 10 years. We need to be figuring out a new model of programming that is sustainable and reaches younger viewers. We are already missing whole generations with religious programming, even though these same generations consume media more than any generation before.

I am not saying every Christian TV show and network should immediately stop what they are doing and focus all their efforts on 18-34 year olds. That would ignore the millions who do watch current religious programming. But I am saying that if we rest content with just our current, dwindling audience, we will end up with no one watching at all. And that will come faster than you realize.

If you are a network, actively seek out programming that will appeal to younger audiences. If you are a program producer, produce a program that appeals to younger audiences. I am. You should, too.