Check out this high-end jewelry store TV commercial I conceived, wrote and co-produced.  One of the goals of this video was to remind people that a lot of the jewelry from Riddle’s Jewelry was made in America, that they were a family business, and that they actually care about their customers.  That’s a lot to express in 30 seconds!

Build and reinforce the brand

It’s no secret, companies who have enough money to spend on advertising cannot afford to experiment with unclear, fuzzy, unfocused messaging.  Advertising is an integral part of marketing and the messaging must be clear and reinforce to the public your company’s image, while achieving the goal of persuading viewers to remember and act based on the marketing message.  In this case, this ad ran alongside other more specific calls to action.  This was a brand reinforcement campaign that was meant to reinforce the Midwestern loyalty to American-owned companies while differentiating Riddle’s from the competition, especially those jewelers like Kay’s and Zale’s that don’t manufacture jewelry in the U.S. or are even owned outright by Americans.

I was also the managing director that lead the launch of their Magento E-commerce site, which this company is still using along with its original theme, concept and layouts.  This site was launched with a lot of technical help from another developer, Kevin Kumpf, who I cannot praise enough as an excellent web ninja on so many levels!  One reason I recommended to move to Magento, besides it was much more SEO friendly at the time, was my insistence in using a theme that would accommodate mobile devices seamlessly.  At the time, according to Google Analytics, 38% of all visitors were on smart phones and the trend was steadily increasing.  I suspect now it’s more than 60% and they sell almost as much on their site to smart phone users as desktops.  Imagine where this jewelry retailer would be with web sales and steadily increasing competition had I not moved them to this platform back in 2012?

Perhaps your company or organization is looking for someone with over 25 years of marketing, media production, and business-building experience?   I am currently available for freelance but only for video production and 3D animation services.  Are you ready for a fresh perspective, someone who can challenge the status quo in a positive, team environment?

When it comes to finding a Marketing Director, who else can better understand your company’s data than the person who designed the system with future-proofing and your company’s profitability and scalability always in mind?

Someone who has negotiated and placed over $100 million in digital and broadcast advertising with schedules based on the best data and accurate ROI calculations from data and systems, including custom ERPs and business systems that I designed and programmed and also migrated to the cloud?

ring in the rain thumbnail

I have created hundreds of 3D jewelry animation scenes of jewelry designed by a 16-store retail jewelry chain along the east coast.  They simply supplied the 3D models from their jewelry design department in Rhino 3D or Autodesk Maya as OBJ or STD files.  I then had to speak with their marketing department about the use and context of the jewelry — something dramatized and unique for their jewelry TV commercials.  Using at the time Autodesk 3D Studio Max, I converted the files from their 3D models and put them in scenes timed to the spots for everything including loops inside the retails stores, website product videos, and broadcast TV.

Multi-use 3D models save time in photography and video production fees

Some jewelers have a full-time photographer or two on staff who can spend a full day shooting just a few pieces of jewelry.  Then they would pay extra for a video production company to shoot the video on a turn table.  Oh yes, the ever exciting and always predictable shot of jewelry pieces spinning on a turntable in one direction or another.  Ho-hum.

Since 2010, I’ve helped jewelry companies like Riddle’s Jewelry and smaller stores similar to Jacksonville’s Underwood’s Jewelry to showcase their jewelry in unique ways.  Yes, the turntable shots are useful for people to get a feel for the look and dimensions of the jewelry piece from every straight-on angle, but in 3D we can make the camera fly over, through and around it.

There are more exciting options and ways to make a splash and to show off your jewelry lines in more unique, eye-catching ways.  In less than a day, they got samples of these scenes – they wanted the camera to show off the jewelry in unique angles so I put the ring on a watery surface and made it rain around it, giving it a sexy style that went with their “walking in the rain” advertising campaign.

I can’t show you the final results due to contract restrictions, but you get the gist.

Show off the products on air and online and boost your jewelry sales with 3D animation

Selling jewelry is an act of visual stimulation.  The better you show your jewelry, the more sales you will make online AND in-store.  The two aren’t exclusive.  If you get more traffic to your site showing interest in one jewelry piece but sales lag online for that piece, that does not mean your website is failing, especially if the cost of the jewelry is over $300.

The higher the jewelry’s price, the higher the chance a buyer will pre-shop and find out details about your product online but still want to go into a store and see, touch, hold, wear and compare.

Jewelry stores, websites, and product visuals are all necessary and symbiotic

Your bring and mortar jewelry stores will not survive without a mobile-friendly, fast, and the largest selection of all of your jewelry products.  You will sell more products if you showcase your jewelry in interesting ways and informative angles.  They all depend on each other and help each other getting traffic to your website and to your retail stores.  It sounds so logical, yet so many jewelry marketers stumble and live in a pre-internet world, they take maybe two flat photos of their products and perhaps the jewelry piece goes on their website but it’s not a priority.  This is pure plain idiocy.

If someone goes on your jewelry e-commerce site and doesn’t find what they are looking for, do you think they’re still going to waste their time driving to your store?  You just lost them to a competitor who had what they are looking for, it’s that simple… and obvious.

This is where your website helps your retail store more than any other form of advertising — think about it, a radio or TV commercial is one direction, the web is interactive so people can explore, spend more time learning and looking about your products and services.

Of the jewelry stores we made their sites mobile-friendly and increased the quality of their product offerings while improving their site performance and SEO, we saw a dramatic spike in sales in jewelry stores online and in their stores within months.

I know, there are jewelers out their not interested in making money, they’re happy operating in the 20th century and ignore the internet and the mobile device revolution.  They ignore the fact 3D animations of their existing jewelry designs could highlight and showcase their products and boost sales while cutting costs in photographing and video production.  They’re happy being the status quo and they’re ignoring the fact their competitors are increasing their sales, standing out from them online while simultaneously decreasing their expenses.  Eventually, their complacency towards the web and media production regarding their products, their insistence that they don’t need to put all their offerings online which hampers their in-store traffic substantially, will reflect in lower web retail sales, a decrease in mall traffic which will force them to eventually contract because they refuse to modernize and compete.  Denial and big know-it-all egos can destroy a company, can’t say they weren’t warned.

UPDATE 8/8/2015:  This plug-in was recently updated to version 1.3.  New features include the ability to declare “json_vals_string” with a JSON array that will pass the array values back to your script via $json_vals_arr.  You may also use “strings” instead of “vals” to pass on a GET URL encoded string of values like “variable1=value1&variable2=value2”.  You can pass on a “section” and “save_db” value specific for your scripts as well.

Insert Script WordPress Plugin ScreenshotHave you ever wanted just a simple way to pull external scripts and dynamic PHP data into part or all of a WordPress page?  This is a very simple WordPress web development tool time saver we’ve been using for years.

If you need a quick and reliable WordPress shortcode to pull in external content, execute scripts or pull in other external code, such as a custom Javascript library, you can now do that easily through a plug-in we’ve developed that makes this process very easy.  We took the extra steps to make this plug-in available to anyone who uses WordPress, just simply go to your WordPress admin section, go to “Plugins” and “Add New” then type “insert script” into the prompt.

You can also search for this plug-in under the author’s name, “Aaron Belchamber”.  I hope you find this small plug-in useful integrating external systems, code and data into a WordPress page, post or even a widget without a lot of hassle!

Here’s a sample of how to use this plug-in.  Wherever you need to call external scripts, embed the insert script shortcode like this:

If you prefer to download the WordPress plug-in as a ZIP file, please click here.  If you like it, please rate it in the WordPress community so others can benefit using it.  It has saved a lot of development time on projects in the past.  This is a very powerful plug-in that extends the  capabilities of your WordPress site — use with caution!

We will continue releasing more plug-ins that aren’t unique or sensitive to our existing clients as a way to give back to the awesome WordPress community.  If your company is looking to improve or further customize its website presence, if you need a custom WordPress plug-in, WordPress site, PHP Symfony system, Drupal site, or are in need to modernize your current business systems and architecture, please visit our Free Web Code and Tools site for more tips, code and resources!

– Aaron Belchamber