Creative Audio Branding with Push Button Productions

Integrated marketing agency Bigeye explores creative audio with sonic branding experts Jon Rhuff and Yeosh Bendayan of Push Button Productions in Orlando.

IN CLEAR FOCUS this week: Audio branding experts Jon Rhuff and Yeosh Bendayan of Push Button Productions in Orlando invite us to be the first to record a show in their new, dedicated podcast studio. Jon and Yeosh discuss how they work with clients and share some case studies. We learn the neuroscience of why jingles are so memorable and how COVID-19 inspired Push Button’s innovative “Studio in a Box.” Plus, Jon and Yeosh offer tips for agencies to ensure successful, creative audio projects.

In Clear Focus: Creative Audio with Push Button Productions

In Clear Focus this week: Audio branding experts Jon Rhuff and Yeosh Bendayan of Push Button Productions in Orlando invite us to be the first to record a show in their new, dedicated podcast studio. Jon and Yeosh discuss how they work with clients and share some case studies.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on the business of advertising, produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. The amount of time consumers are listening to audio streamed by services like Apple music, Spotify, and Pandora has increased by almost one third since the beginning of 2020. Today, more than half of all US adults listening to their favorite music talk shows and podcasts are doing so on these streaming platforms. Unlike traditional AM/FM radio stations, thanks to technological innovations, digital audio provides connectivity, accessibility, and personalization options. As we’ve discussed previously on IN CLEAR FOCUS, the devices and applications we use to access music and spoken word audio are themselves creating new opportunities. Think of the sound your computer makes when you switch it on, the distinctive Netflix audio identity, or a notification alert on your smart speaker. These are all examples of sonic branding, as carefully and thoughtfully designed as any corporate logo. To talk about how brands can use audio creatively and persuasively, I’m at the studios of Push Button Productions in Orlando owned by Jon Rhuff and Yeosh Bendayan. Jon and Yeosh oversee a team of audio brand strategists that help clients develop distinctive messaging used for jingles, audio crafted for radio and television, sonic logos, on-hold messaging, podcasts, and more. Jon and Yeosh, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS. 

Jon Ruhff: Thanks for having us.

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah, absolutely. 

Adrian Tennant: First of all, thank you for inviting me to record this episode with you here in your new studio today.

Jon Ruhff: Nope, thanks for coming. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah, this’ll be the first official anything podcast-related in our new podcast studio. So it’s nice to have you here. We’ve been working on it for a while. 

Adrian Tennant: Well, thank you for having me. Now, you’re co-owners of Push Button Productions. How did you guys first meet?

Jon Ruhff: There’s a radio station in Gainesville, Florida called WRUF. It’s actually the oldest-running FM station in the state of Florida. The state of Florida owns it and it is fully funded by ad dollars. And it’s got a full-time staff of salespeople, a full-time program director, full-time station manager, but it’s run by students. So students get to learn how to be DJs, students get to learn how to write copy, students get to learn how to produce radio commercials. It was a really fantastic hands-on opportunity. We got paid for it, which was nice. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Right, right. 

Jon Ruhff: So that’s where we cut our teeth and figured out how to learn what we do today. And so what’s happening is most students would just produce on their own and then have a commercial and then it airs. But when Yeosh and I got together to start producing spots, it just elevated to a whole new level that I had not even considered before. And we started winning Addy awards. Local brands started wanting more productions that we were doing, and we looked at each other and it was like, “This is a no-brainer, let’s start a company!” 

Yeosh Bendayan: It’s interesting. ‘Cause that station it’s unlike any other college station. I mean, it’s kind of a college station in that it’s on a campus. But it was generating multi-million dollars in ad revenue annually, even though there was largely student staff running it. But the professionals were so good at engaging and working with the kids and making us feel and look professional that it was good, but the real story of the specific day that we met though…

Jon Ruhff: No, you’re not going there right now, man..?

Yeosh Bendayan: Well sorry. I have a vague memory of it, ‘cause he had just been hired as the – where were you? 

Jon Ruhff: The Creative Services Director… 

Yeosh Bendayan: … Creative Services Director. And I was just coming in to do the mid-day shifts. And so I walked in and I made a dumb joke. I don’t even remember what it was. And he immediately was like, “No, I’m not working with this guy.” And it was awkward. And I think we probably spent the better part of the next three months just working around each other. Yeah. Just working around each other, not really working together because we were just – it wasn’t a good start. 

Jon Ruhff: And to this day we still work around that awkwardness. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Central tenet of the company. 

Adrian Tennant: Could you tell me a little bit more about the different types of projects that you undertake here at Push Button Productions? 

Jon Ruhff: Well, it’s not never a dull day, which is great for our attention spans. Make no mistake, a large amount of what we do here is we write creative for radio. We cast for talent. We produce the spots for radio. We produce custom music for brands across the country. That makes up a majority of what we do. But some days, we’re creating a soundscape for a three-minute video. Some days we’re editing Nintendo music for a game show that’s going to air on the Today show. Some days we’re just simply doing a voiceover session. So there’s just a variety of things that we do. Lately, it’s been a lot of podcasting. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah. I think people are generally confused about what we do and especially in this market, because I think – well, the majority of our work is out of market. And very out of market. Like if, even if you just look on our list today, it’s just like who we’re working on after this podcast, it’s like a client in Bermuda, client in Idaho, client in Hawaii, California, Louisiana. And we’re working on OUC right now on some stuff. 

Jon Ruhff: Actually, there’s two or three projects going on in Central Florida, which is rare for us.

Yeosh Bendayan: Super unusual. Like it’s nice to have some going that are like, “Oh, somebody that we actually know and can kind of go meet for lunch.”  

Adrian Tennant: You’re co-owners of the business. Do you each have very defined roles or is there some overlap? 

Yeosh Bendayan: Okay. So you have to remember, we were very young when we started this business so I was 22 and John was 25 – ? 

Jon Ruhff: Something like that, yeah. 

Yeosh Bendayan: We’d never had a real job in our lives. I mean, to be fair, like we worked at this radio station. I had had a bunch of internships. John had worked at Publix and stuff, and so we knew how to be professional, but we did not know how an advertising agency operated or a production company operated. Neither of us had had that experience. So the way it started was kind of like, “Where are our strengths?” And “What can we do?” And everybody, like, we just kind of like filled in the gaps where something needed to be done. And then over time we’re like, “Okay, well, this isn’t really working,” and then we started to do, like where we were two independent silos where John had his clients and I had my clients and it’s like, “Okay, we’re gonna let each other know when we need help on our list of clients and we’ll collaborate.” But then eventually a few years ago it became more where I’m leading on the sales side and Jon is in charge of all the creative and production. So, I set the tee ball up and he knocks it out of the park. 

Adrian Tennant: Nice! Jingles have been around since the advent of commercial radio in the early 1920s. I imagine everyone listening can probably immediately recall at least one or two jingles that they heard growing up, watching TV or listening to the radio. So what is it about commercial jingles that make them so memorable? Jon?

Jon Ruhff: So we’ve given a lot of presentations on the history of the jingle, the effectiveness of the jingle, and there’s actually a lot of science behind it. So the thing about music in general, when you listen to music, so you’ve got parts of your brain that are in charge of your language and in charge of your movement. And they’re just very specific parts of the brain. Well, there’s no specific part of the brain that actually helps you take in music. So you’ve got one part of the brain that helps you work around the melody. You’ve got one part of the brain that helps you work around the rhythm. And you’ve got the other part of the brain that processes the guitar and things like that. So when you listen to music, if you’re under a scan, your brain is lighting up like a Christmas tree, because it takes all parts of your brain to process music. You have no choice but to be present when you’re listening to music. And that’s why you can always remember where you were when you heard your favorite song for the first time, because you’re present and aware when you’re listening to music. And so brands have taken advantage of that for decades. And you know, the golden age of the jingle was anywhere from the Fifties through the Eighties. As a matter of fact, Yeosh sent me a Cadillac jingle from 1989 the other day. That was just – it was so awesome. It made me want to go upstairs and get my GI Joes out! 

Yeosh Bendayan: The Cadillac Katara…

Jon Ruhff: Oh Cadillac style.” 

Yeosh Bendayan: It was the “Cadillac of Cadillacs.” Yeah. 

Jon Ruhff: So we always say for jingles, it’s the short, repetitive nature of the melody is that – that’s what gets stuck in people’s heads.

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah – what is it? The reptilian brain. 

Jon Ruhff: Yes. 

Yeosh Bendayan: It’s like the part of the brain that’s almost not directly controllable by us. Right? It’s your base instinct, which is why it’s so hard to get out. 

Adrian Tennant: So Jon, what does the process of creating a commercial jingle look or sound like?

Jon Ruhff: So most people don’t think in terms of musical genres or styles and things like that or terms. So it’s our job to get that out of the clients who come to us for a jingle. So what we do is, we have a 20-, 25-minute brief call where we really get to know the brand, we get to know the target demo, we get to know the personality of everyone involved. We get to know the stations that it’s going to be aired on. And then what we do then is we gather stock music tracks or popular tracks, depending on which way we’re going to go for this particular project. And we send that over to the client for feedback. And what we do is we’re getting out of them, the things that they probably have never considered before, like, “You know, I actually do like the way that acoustic guitar sounds,” and “I actually never considered how much I hate the banjo” and “I know I absolutely do not want banjo in this piece, but I liked the way track five made me feel. I don’t know why, but I liked the way track five made me feel.” So we take all of that feedback and compile it. And that’s where we lay the foundation for the custom music that we bring out for brands. 

Adrian Tennant: So this is a little bit like creating an audio mood board as you would with a visual identity?

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah. That’s exactly right. Yeah. And it’s just like you would, with a visual mood board, the goal of all of that upfront research is to start pulling at common threads. And for us it’s like, “Okay, well the client liked this track, this track, and this track – well, let’s look at the beats per minute and let’s look at what keys it’s written in, and let’s look at the different instrumentation stacks that they’re using.” And then we can sort of say like, “Oh, okay, well, like, this is the general vibe that the focus group or that the client seems to like.”

Adrian Tennant: What have been some of your favorite jingle projects – and what makes them special? 

Yeosh Bendayan: So I will start by saying this: we are not unaware of the fact that jingles are cheesy, okay? And I think it’s funny that a lot of people assume that we’re unaware of that, like that we don’t realize that this is a means to an end, we’re creating something to drive product awareness or brand awareness. Right? So we’re not unaware of the fact that they tend to be on the cheesy side, even some of the ones that we’ve done. Okay. So we’ll start with that. I will say we have worked on a lot of regional and national pieces that are fantastic, that I know Jon’s probably going to reference. For me, the best jingles that we’ve done have been for very small businesses and businesses that, maybe felt like – we’ll get businesses will call us and say, “Oh, you know, I need something for radio. I don’t like what the radio station is doing for me. I, I just need something.” But we take that and we do something really spectacular and, you know, it’s totally unexpected for them and they feel so pleased with the end product. Like that for me is the most satisfying. I mean, I don’t know if speaking specifically to jingles that I like, I mean, I think I like everything we do, even if it’s cheesy. I don’t know, Jon, do you want to reference any specifics? 

Jon Ruhff: So when we were just getting the company off the ground, a national restaurant chain came to us and said, “We’re paying too much for stock music and we want to do a custom piece that we can run for a while.” And so they said, “We just kind of want something with acoustic and blah, blah, blah.” So we got to know a lot more about the brand and found out that Genghis Khan was their brand ambassador. And so… 

Yeosh Bendayan: … well I don’t know that I would equate Genghis Khan with a lot of fun.

Jon Ruhff: Well… 

Yeosh Bendayan: They did. 

Jon Ruhff: Yeah. It’s amazing what a couple hundred years can do, you know? 

Yeosh Bendayan: Right, yeah. 

Jon Ruhff: It’s the [HuHot Mongolian Grill] hibachi chain of restaurants. So what we did is we were able to incorporate a lot of the sounds and then sizzles that you would experience when you go to the chain. We incorporated that into the music and we were also able to make it aggressive, but something that wouldn’t frighten small children, and they rolled it out and they ran with it for a long, long time. And we won an Addy award with it. 

Adrian Tennant: Let’s listen to that.

[HuHot Mongolian Grill music]

Yeosh Bendayan: Our national pieces are definitely nicer and more fun because they have the budget to be nicer and more fun. But the piece we did for Pyrex, I just love. I think it’s so cool. 

Jon Ruhff: Well, when they came to us, they had pretty much everything ready to go and we had to sign like a thousand NDAs, right? It was a new product that was coming out. 

Yeosh Bendayan: You know what Pyrex is, right? It’s a baking dish and I appreciate when a brand really loves its products – and they do, and they’re wonderful to work with – but I will say they made us sign a whole lot of NDAs for this new product, that we thought, “Man, Pyrex is really getting ready. They’re going to zag. They’re going to go hard. They’re going to start making cars or something…” 

Jon Rhuff: … they’re going to change the world. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Wow! That’s something big is about to happen. And I mean, this was a few years ago, so the product’s out now, but it is that baking dish that, you know – it’s a little deeper. So you can now have an extra layer of lasagna. Like that was the, that was it! And so, when we did this audio logo for them and… 

Jon Ruhff: A ten second piece…  

Yeosh Bendayan: I mean, look, maybe if you’re a cook, this is a big deal for you. I’m not a cook. 

Jon Ruhff: Well, it’s a heritage brand that they haven’t really changed much over the years, you know? 

Yeosh Bendayan: It’s a pretty quick ten-second piece and I’m sure you’ll play it. It’s so cool. They kind of let us run wild with it. They’d let us do whatever we wanted within the confines of the brand. And we came up with this really cool thing. And now, it’s probably the most referenced thing that we get when people call us and they say, “Hey, I heard this piece on your website,” or “I recognize this piece,” or whatever. And that’s oftentimes they’ll want to, do something in that style because they’re so happy with it. 

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a listen to that.

[Pyrex music] 

Yeosh Bendayan: We’ve probably written 500 jingles in the time we’ve been in business. Most of America probably knows one of our pieces.

Jon Ruhff: Yeah, one of our singers was taking a road trip and was driving through Georgia and heard themselves on a Honda commercial. And they’re like, “Oh yeah, I forgot we were on a Honda commercial in Georgia.” 

Yeosh Bendayan: You know, I think the weirdest of all is finding tribute pages on Facebook and like it’s sometimes if we hear a piece is doing really well, we’ll go search for it on YouTube to see if anybody’s uploading and read the comments, which you’re not supposed to do. But it’s just weird. It’s weird whether they love it or they hate it, I get a kick out of it. Just very interesting to see that somebody has invested time in, like, uploading something that you made and then people will comment on it. It’s very strange. 

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after this message. 

Lauren Fore: Hi, I’m Lauren Fore on Bigeye’s operations team. Property development and management present their own unique sets of challenges. Growing a powerful, lasting brand takes industry expertise, strategy, and insight. Bigeye’s portfolio of property clients reflects our award-winning, extensive experience in all aspects of creative marketing – for multifamily and mixed-use developments as well as student housing, senior living, and real estate. To see case studies and learn more about Bigeye’s creative and media solutions tailored to property development and management, please visit BigeyeProperties.com.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with John Ruff and Yeosh Bendayan, co-owners of Push Button Productions in Orlando. I mentioned in the introduction that mobile devices, smart speakers, and apps present creative opportunities for audio branding. How do you approach these kinds of projects? How similar or different are they from other creative challenges? 

Yeosh Bendayan: I do a lot of presenting on audio branding, all around the country and it’s a question that gets brought up a lot. And the first thing that we ask and just like, I’m sure most ad agencies will do, is why? You know, we’ll get the, “Oh, we’re thinking about running digital ads, for Pandora, Spotify,” or “We’re thinking about doing something with Alexa, a skill,” or whatever. The first question that we typically ask is, “What are you trying to get the audience to do? What sort of behavior or, what are you trying to drive home by doing it this way?” And then working within the confines of the application is often a little challenging for us. I think a lot of people don’t realize the limitations that many audio applications have. When we’re designing a commercial for car stereos, it’s a very different process, especially when you’re talking about mixing than if we’re doing something that’s going to be consumed digital because we have to assume that people have laptop speakers. Right? They’re not great quality. And the same when you’re talking about Google Home, like those aren’t necessarily the best speakers, so it can limit some of the things that we try to do. And we have to make sure that the way that those speakers process, what we’re doing, isn’t flattening the sound and creating a problem, right? Creating something unintended. So the process – in getting specific to your question – it’s not really that different creatively because we’re still ultimately trying to solve a problem. And now it’s just happening on a new platform. It’s more of the technical execution. So it’s the stuff that clients are usually unaware of is all the things that we’re doing on our end creatively, as we’re developing the creative, where we are coming up with ideas and going, “Yeah, but is that going to work on this platform?” And particularly, I think the biggest challenge for us is time constraints. Like, you know, yesterday we were facing a challenge with a digital pre-roll, six-second ad. And it’s like, not just us – it’s everybody in advertising is facing this challenge. How do you attack this problem in six seconds? You know? That’s probably the biggest challenge. 

Adrian Tennant: 2020 has seen a really significant increase in podcast listening and Spotify in particular has been investing heavily in talent, content production, and digital ad serving technology. Have you guys seen an uptake in podcast related work here at Push Button Productions? 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah, funny you say that – we have noticed that as well. Here at Push Button, we were in the middle of doing the architecture and design work on this space and we had approved the plans and between when the architecture plans drawings were done and when we started construction, there was such a dramatic shift in that demand that we went back to the architects and said, “We need a podcast space.” Like, “We have to redesign our studios now because we need a room that’s going to be able to accommodate people, coming in to do podcasts.” And also for the amount brands that we anticipated were going to be wanting this sort of thing. So it actually affected immediately our plans because originally these were going to be two separate voiceover spaces. And in that amount of time, within the last two years, the amount of podcasting work has gone up significantly. Now, bear in mind, we specifically work with advertising and brands, so we make jingles, but we don’t work with bands. Like, don’t come to us because you want to record an album – because that’s not what we do. You know what I mean? Like, so with podcasting, it was like, “We want to take brands and help them get into that podcasting space.” But we are not producing some comedian’s podcast here. Like that’s not at all what we’re intending to do. So probably about two years ago I started presenting on podcasting for brands because it was kind of a topic. So I’m involved with the Advertising Federation all around the country. And I would say it’s really weird because we have had products for the last 15 years that have had very low levels of passion from people. “What do you do?” “Well, we do jingles.” “Cool, whatever.” “Oh, we do radio ads.” “Oh, why?” Like it, like, what do we still need production companies for radio? I mean, thankfully we do, this. Podcasting is the first time that we have a product now that people are so passionate about. And almost every single time I bring it up in conversation there’s always that moment of, “We were just talking about this in our marketing meeting last week that we want to start a podcast” And it’s just such a bizarre thing that they now want to speak to us. So like within the last six months, especially since the pandemic, I’ve probably done 25 or 30 speaking engagements all over the country, mostly through Zoom, obviously. But all about just brands that are trying to get into the podcast space, there’s such a high demand and nobody knows A) how to do it, right? Because ultimately everybody says it, even in terms of content, they think, “Oh, I’m just going to take what I do and put it on a podcast.”  

Jon Ruhff: I think they underestimate how much work goes into it. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Even just, pre-interviews like, there’s an insane amount of things. And then the technical side of it, which most people are not technically-savvy,  that’s why you hire a production company, but there are a lot of rings close to this that I don’t think people totally understand and they get into the process. And sometimes the calls that we get are, “I tried to start a podcast. We did two episodes. People got really sick of it.” It’s very similar to how blogging was 10 years ago. It was like, “We’re going to start a marketing blog.” Or “The whole company is going to be writing white papers.” And it lasted four or five months. And then it was exhausting and figuring out topics is hard work and figuring out who you’re going to interview is hard work. And, with audio, there’s a whole other layer of technology that you have to know about or it just goes sideways. 

Jon Ruhff: What we’ve noticed is that a lot of CEOs who were having to quarantine and they’ve always wanted to do a podcast, they never had the time to do a podcast, were now pushing to do podcasts. And so we were getting contacted by marketing agencies and saying, you know, “How can we do this? Can we just do a Zoom and we’ll record it?” And we’re like, “No, because, you know, he’s the CEO of a Fortune…” 

Yeosh Bendayan: …“100 company.”

Jon Ruhff: Yeah. And so “Let’s, let’s make him sound like a rock star,” so … 

Yeosh Bendayan: Right. And you know, this is now middle pandemic and we have just spent a lot of money buying a building, and then building out a studio. So we’re like, “Cool, this is awesome for us.” And it wasn’t just, you know, Fortune 100 companies. This is just random people saying like, “Oh, you know, we’re going now and we’re pulling these long-term marketing projects that we can do from home.” And Jon’s right. They wanted to Zoom and we’re like, “Well, you called a production company. So we’re not going to advise that you record a Zoom call. Why would you call us if that’s what you were looking for?” So we pivoted really very quickly into something that we didn’t even realize was possible, technologically, which was, we created a virtual studio. So we worked with one of our suppliers and we put together – essentially it’s four pieces of equipment in a Pelican case that gets shipped. And this box, it’s like everything that you need for virtual studios. So everything’s already connected and all they have to do is open it, prop the mic up, and turn it on. And we handle everything from here. So, and I think that, that’s the thing that gets people is like, they think, “Oh, well you send me equipment and then I have to record it and send the bag.” It’s like, “No, no, no, we send it to you. You open it. Everything is done through remote login, even the physical hardware, we have the ability to manipulate it on our end.

So you don’t need to know anything about anything except how to turn a computer on and connect to the internet. And we’ll take care of it.” It’s really been cool. Like, I didn’t even think that was possible. And so now we’re using that application for lots of things. It’s been really cool, like, I did not expect 12 months ago that that’s where we would be doing.

Jon Ruhff: Yeah, if you would have said 12 months ago that we were buying equipment and shipping it out to clients across the country, out of it, I’d have been like, “Oh, that’s interesting!”

Yeosh Bendayan: We’ve bought more equipment in the last five months than I thought we would ever need. And it’s all just floating. It’s all this it’s all out there. It’s just scattered around the country. 

Adrian Tennant: How do you typically work with marketing communications agencies? How early in the process do they typically reach out to you?

Yeosh Bendayan: Well, it’s never too soon is my answer to that. It’s important to recognize that you don’t know what you don’t know. And for us, the biggest challenges are when we’re brought in and they say, “We promised the client this…” And now we have to deal with it. Right? Whereas if they had just brought us into the process sooner, we could have nipped that little problem right away. Right? As it was sort of being thought of.

Jon Ruhff: Like, maybe promising that they could rip off a current pop song. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Correct. That’s a big one and that’s a major, major one.

Jon Ruhff: That’s a no-no.

Yeosh Bendayan: Right – and I would say that that’s a conversation we have twice a week with different brands and agencies and, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. I would say 15 years ago, the majority of the clients and agencies that we were getting were pretty savvy about broadcast. And they were people who maybe didn’t understand digital so well. And they were coming to us and saying like, “Okay, like, yeah, I’ve produced a ton of radio spots.” Now what we get is the opposite. And I would say [for] the majority of our clients, we become an extension of the team because we have the broadcast experience that their team usually doesn’t have any more.

Jon Ruhff: Not to mention the podcast experience, because again – so you’ve got people who have not dealt with broadcast, and you’ve got people who have not dealt with podcasts, and we’ve dealt with both of them. So now we’re that resource. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Right. 

Adrian Tennant: Jon, what are some best practices you can share for a successful agency- audio production partnership?

Jon Ruhff: So I think we’ve touched on a lot of it so far. So bringing us in as early as possible so that we can help set those expectations as far as what to expect and more importantly, when to expect it. Because there are times where we can deliver very, very quickly. And there are times like right now it’s our busy season. So help with deadlines is really, really helpful. And coming to us with a brief is great. You know, that way we can see what’s already been answered, maybe some things that we hadn’t thought about, and then we can also deliver any additional questions that we have by looking at the brief that’s already been done. I guess not over-promising to the client before reaching out to your audio production partner. 

Yeosh Bendayan: I’m glad you brought up the brief. Like, ‘cause when clients say, “Run with it, just do whatever,” that’s the most frustrating thing ever. Give me a very well-defined brief and we’ll work within the confines of that to do something spectacular. 

Jon Ruhff: So it’s funny, you mentioned that because, kind of going back to what you asked earlier about how you produce a jingle. So, thirty years ago we had these guys called “Jingle Gypsies.” And they would come into town to your radio station and the radio station salespeople would gather the local accountant and the local plumber. And they would put them in the sales office and the Jingle Gypsy would say, “What do you think you’d like?” And they’d say, “I don’t know. I like Country.” “Give me five minutes.” He goes in the other room, plays a piece, they buy it, and they run with it. We have a much more sophisticated process these days as to how we do something. And granted, you know, jingles from the Eighties and the early Nineties, they all have a special place in our heart. Don’t get us wrong. But we produce things that sound like something you hear on the radio today. It sounds like a modern piece. And a lot of it is due to the way we do our research. The way we go into depth with our clients,  as well as the producers and singers that we use. We use a lot of talent that’s out of Nashville right now, which is a hotspot. And our producers are younger and they’re also trained in advertising because we’ve been working with them for a decade. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah. We’ve been, you know, we take people who are really great, technical musicians and we’re the advertising professionals that are coming in and working with them to sort of refine that. But I mean, you brought up the fact that it sounds like pop songs. And the reason for that is because they are writing songs on the radio right now. The jingle writing of 30 years ago was, you know, a husband and wife in the garage. And they were like producing and it’s the same, they’re selling the same piece in, you know, Yakima, Washington to a dentist, and then they’re turning around and selling it in Georgia, and then turning around and selling it again in Canada. And they’re just spitting the same piece out over and over. And we don’t do that. Part of working with us is custom brand audio. We create a piece and we’re working with one brand at a time, we’re coming up with something for them and then it’s theirs. 

Jon Ruhff: I’m glad you brought that up.

Adrian Tennant: What are your daily sources of inspiration?

Jon Ruhff: Running your own business. You don’t have a boss to tell you when to get in when things are due, how to do it, the way you’re supposed to act. And so I think that what we do on a daily basis is finding that balance of keeping the motivation to work on the projects that need to get done and keeping things fresh, you know. We’re constantly innovating around here, especially with the “studio in a box,” like you touched on. And just also showing to my kids that you can start a business and you can be successful. It takes time. It takes a lot of work, but it can be done. And even an audio production in Central Florida, you know, who knew? 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah. We get a lot of calls from people who are like, “What’s the secret sauce?” We’re not telling. Something very important to point out – we have never been the kind of business people that pretend things are good when they’re not good. You know what I mean? And business is hard. It’s so hard. And probably once a year, we look at each other and go, “Well,” like, “Should we be doing this? Because it seems really hard.”
 

Jon Ruhff: Ten minutes before you got here!

Yeosh Bendayan: But like winter time, like when things get really busy for us, like our very, very, very busy season is August to about February. And then from like February to August, it’s summer. And we’re just kind of like, sometimes it’s hard. And I think that that’s probably the biggest lesson that I’ve learned as business goes on and on and on. It’s like, “Man, like sometimes it really sucks!” Sometimes being in business is very, very difficult. I don’t think people who haven’t started a business really get that. There’s great highs and the highs way outweigh the lows. But man, when you’re in a lull, like when things just aren’t clicking, when you’ve got a couple projects that you’re not passionate about, and the clients aren’t great, and you know, the money’s not there – there’s just days, even still, even 15 years in the business, there’s still days where you’re like, “Man!” 

Jon Ruhff: Reading helps. I read a lot. I listen to a lot of podcasts. But for me, it’s finding that balance.

Yeosh Bendayan: I don’t read, sorry. I wish I was a better reader. I’m not.

Jon Ruhff: You watch Shark Tank

Yeosh Bendayan: I do watch a lot of Shark Tank. I do love Shark Tank.

Adrian Tennant: If listeners want to learn more about Push Button Productions, where can they find you? 

Yeosh Bendayan: Literally, where can you find us? Like where do we go? We go to Moe’s a lot. We go to Jersey Mike’s a lot. We have a very solid lunch rotation. We don’t play around with it. We don’t falter.

Jon Ruhff: PushButtonProductions.com is our beautiful website. And then we will follow you around once you’re there. So get ready for that. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yes, our retargeting is – our retargeting game is strong.

Jon Ruhff: We both volunteer heavily for the American Advertising Federation. Yeosh is actually just finishing up his term on the national level. So it’s a three-tiered organization, national, district, and local. We’ve both served as Presidents here in Orlando and we’ve both served at the district level for gosh, over …

Yeosh Bendayan: Ten years.

Jon Ruhff: Yeah. So it’s a great organization. I highly recommend being a part of. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Yeah. Especially if you’re a local or – anywhere you listen to this podcast, there’s probably an Advertising Federation near you. And we highly recommend getting involved because for us, in our business, it’s been really great. Yeah. 

Adrian Tennant: Jon and Yeosh, thank you both for being guests on IN CLEAR FOCUS. 

Jon Ruhff: Thanks for having us. 

Yeosh Bendayan: Absolutely. Pleasure to be here – at our own studio! 

Adrian Tennant: Thanks to our guests this week, Jon Rhuff and Yeosh Bendayan, co-owners of Push Button Productions in Orlando. You’ll find links to resources on the IN CLEAR FOCUS Page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player. And remember, if you have an Amazon Echo device, you can use theIN CLEAR FOCUS skill to add the podcast to your Flash Briefing. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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