Content Designed for Small-Screen Viewing

Jim Courtright, of Big Thinking by the Hour, has been producing promotional and marketing content for more than 10 years and his clients have always told him his approach was effective for them.


But when he started watching the available content on his smartphone, most of what he saw was TV ads that were just shrunk to fit on the phone’s small screen.


He knew good filmmakers could do better if the content was produced specifically for the smartphone screen and would be more effective than pre-roll ads.


His one-person crusade has helped both well-established firms as well as start-ups build awareness, interest and sales.



Phone Mate – Filmmaker Jim Courtright, of Big Thinking by the Hour, carved out a content production niche for himself several years ago; producing short, made-for-phone videos.


Last year, Jim set out on a one-man crusade to change marketing’s thinking. He redesigned his website to show how brands could get in sync with the audience’s viewing habits.


He helped one of his earliest clients, Alexis Reiff, to successfully attract retailers and consumers for her Heel Swaps.


“When you produce an informational or educational piece for the screen everyone carries with them, you have to catch their interest quickly, educate/inform them and close quickly,” he explained.


“It’s a challenge to get your message across in 6 to 10 seconds,” he noted, “but if you don’t get them involved with the complete message quickly, Gen Zers and Millennials will leave in the blink of an eye.”


A number of leading advertisers have already moved to the six-second ad in YouTube and are finding them to be extremely effective.  At Cannes, guests said the six-second rule was becoming the standard because it matches with younger folks’ attention span.



Portfolio – Courtright always has his filmwork portfolio with him on his 240GB Envoy Pro Mini. 


What Courtright likes about the niche he’s carved out in the Chicago area is that the approach works for people with both big and small budgets.


Done on a minimal budget, the fast-forward fashion video has attracted tens of thousands of views on Ms. Reiff’s social media site and opened retail outlets across the country.


Since then, Courtwright has produced thousands of brand videos for firms.


“The content not only works for firms,” he added, “but when people want to see work, I can simply plug in my 240GB OWC Envoy Pro Mini and show them videos that are similar to the project they want produced.


“Ask me what I do,” he grinned, “and if there’s a USB slot handy, I can entertain you for hours.”

Andy is Owner and President of Marken Communications Inc. a Marketing and Communications Consultant, located in the San Francisco area in August 1977 to Present.Marken Communications is a full-service agency that concentrates on business/market planning, positioning, development, and communications. The 30 year agency has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Experience includes strategic and market planning and execution with communications and Internet firms including AT&T and CERFnet as well as in storage, storage management and video solutions with firms including Philips, InterVideo, Ulead, OWC, NewerTech, Sonic, Corel, Matsushita, Pinnacle, Dazzle, Cyberlink, Mountain Computer, Nikon, Plasmon, NTI, ADS Tech, Verbatim, Mitsubishi and Panasonic.
Andy Marken
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource