Bert Healy from Annie: “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”

My son and I were in Annie over the weekend, and I played Bert Healy, the host of the Oxydent Hour of Smiles. He sings “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” Yeah I bought a Barber Shop hat (Skimmer) but the director wanted me in this little baseball hat.

The video is annotated to hopefully help others who are cast as Bert Healy. I found a ton of YouTube videos with great singers, but few that helped identify quirks to give the character.

Here’s the video that wifeofnalts took. ūüôā

Here are the lyrics and dialogue…

Continue reading “Bert Healy from Annie: “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile””

How to Create Killer Online Video for Marketing

Here’s an infographic from Entrepreneur magazine, in an article titled “7 Ways to Create a Killer Marketing Video” authored by Emily Conglin.¬†¬†I have some additional thoughts, as a marketer (currently leading strategy for an Omnicom agency) and as an author of Beyond Viral,” which was written for marketers seeking to capitalize on video online. The book is now ancient in online terms, but still has some tips that have stood the test of time.

One of my key messages in Beyond Viral is that advertisers should not “over produce” videos. Go for volume of efficiently produced video rather than creating one or two expensive ones.¬† I still see a lot of that violation in advertising, where creatives want to shoot one single video and spend tens of thousands of dollars. As I still say, of my thousands of videos on YouTube as Nalts, I never knew which one would gain traction. For me, it turned out to be “I Are Cute Kitten,” a video seen 47 million times as of this writing.

So volume helps… especially since marketers can use online-video for a variety of stages in the consideration-to-purchase funnel.

The infographic urges marketers to begin by identifying the target market and the video’s business objectives. The intersection of those customer needs and business needs is the right way to begin.

Another temptation for marketers is to sell, sell, sell before providing value to the target customer. As the infographic points out, most viewers abandon a video in those precious early moments. We once did a sponsored video for Kodak, and the agency insisted that we open with a promotional slate. As a result, the viewers were basically told “this is going to be an ad” before they ever got to the story. I encourage marketers to resist the urge to force a business objective on the audience before providing them value.

What ya think? Comment below and check out the infographic. Any infographic with an orange monster must have some important information.

To see full infographic, click and visit Entrepreneur magazine


Online-Video Spending and Insights

Since I was dangerously close to having a “dark blog” here, I thought I’d share some recent online-video information that’s worth knowing.

Online-video ad spending continues to grow (May 2017)

Online-video ad spending continues to grow, with 2017 looking to be passing $9 billion this year (it was $6.8 Billion in 2016). That’s according to recent research by the¬†Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as reported in “Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study.” Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 358 US agency (47%) and marketing (53%) professionals¬†to inform projections.

Secondly, Think With Google offers an infographic about some recent YouTube trends…

Top 10 Stats About Online-Video Usage and Advertising for 2016 and Beyond

What do you need to know about online video for 2016? Here‚Äôs a convenient ‚Äúround up‚ÄĚ for your viewing pleasure.

Here's a guy looking at mobile video. It's trending.
Here’s a guy looking at mobile video. It’s trending.
  1. Mobilization. Mobile advertising is growing 66% and desktop is just 5 percent. What’s interesting to me is that 36% of our time is spent on TV, and 39% of the ad spending is there. But we’re spending 25% of our self on mobile, while only 12% of ad spending is on mobile. Implication: watch for way more advertising in your apps, on mobile-enabled site, and perhaps even while you text. (KPCB Internet Trends, June 1, 2016)
  2. Mobile vs desktop tie. By 2020, online-video advertising will be about 50% mobile and 50% desktop.
  3. Pay TV is stuggling. About 86% US Internet users think pay TV is too expensive. Some forecast a decline (source: TVFreedom, : SNL Kagan as cited in Video Advertising Bureau, 2015).
  4. TV ain‚Äôt dead. According to eMarketer ‚ÄúTV will continue to grow and remain the top video advertising format through 2020.‚ÄĚ That said, our time with digital video (versus TV) changed in 2012 and the gap has widened, with digital outpacing TV (Nielsen, eMarketer).
  5. Netflix is rocking it for time. The streaming time of Netflix is growing insanely. 600M hours in 2009 and 42 billion hours in 2015. And originals are the reason (Netflix and Cowen & Company, 2016)
  6. Digital Video Ad Spending is Growing But Slowing. We’re seeing about 30 percent growth in digital video ad spending this year, but in the next few years the growth will slow somewhat…. Down to 20 percent next year and about 10% by 2020. Still growing, just not as radically.
  7. Watch out. We're gonna block that online-video ad on mobile.
    Watch out. We’re gonna block that online-video ad on mobile.

    Video ads need help. Many Online video ads are ineffective. About 80% of us mute video ads, and the majority (62%) are annoyed with pre-rolls. And 93% consider using ad-blocking software (Unruly Future Video Survey, July 2015). Given mobile use behavior, online videos are going to have to adapt.

  8. Block You. You know that thing about mobile users being annoyed by ads? The growth of mobile ad blocking is happening radically faster than desktop (as cited by the KPCB report, PageFair & Priori Data 2016 Adblocking Report.).
  9. What works in mobile video ads? Keep it less than 10 seconds, shoot it for mobile, and try for full-screen delivery. (Snapchat and other sources).
  10. What makes for good video ads? Unruly’s recommendations: be authentic, entertain, evoke emotion, go personal/relatable, be useful, give viewers control… and work with sound off and in non-interruptive ad format.

See more at eMarketer. Or KPCB for internet trends. Or Invisia for more.

How to find the missing file you opened via Outlook on a Mac

Can’t find that file you saved from a Microsoft Outlook attachment on your Mac? I run into this problem every couple months¬†and it takes me 15-30 minutes to find the solution. And it’s usually when I have a deadline, so end up starting the document all over again.

Here’s that familiar scenario:¬†you double-click a email attachment on in Outlook on a Mac. You make changes to the file and (because you’re really smart) you rename it.¬†

Oh no where did my file go? I've lost it forever in the bowels of Outlook in some cache temporary folder. Or DID I?
Oh no where did my file go? I’ve lost it forever in the bowels of Outlook in some cache temporary folder. Or DID I?

But WHOOPs you forgot to save it to a specific folder! Now you‚Äôre SCREWED. It‚Äôs VANISHED forever. Google results will tell you to look inside a cache temporary folder (Library>Caches>Temporary), but you won‚Äôt find that folder ‚ÄĒ much less the damned document. You can even see the document name in other Microsoft “save as” paths, but it won’t¬†let you find or open it again. Is it lost forever? NO!

The top-secret 911¬†solution that Microsoft and Outlook don’t want you to know:

  1. Open the finder (the smiley face on the bottom left of your menu). Or double click any folder or the hard drive on desktop)
  2. Select GO menu (forth one on top of screen), then choose the last option called ‚Äúgo to folder‚ÄĚ
  3. Paste this in window: 
  4. ~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems
  5. Sort by date. There it is. There’s that sweet file.
  6. Send me a thank you
Your Outlook email attachment file didn't vanish forever. You just have to know where to find it on the Mac inside a secret temporary folder
Your Outlook email attachment file didn’t vanish forever. You just have to know where to find it on the Mac inside a secret temporary folder


YouTube Prankster, Edbassmaster, Debuts Television Show

Another YouTuber is moving to mainstream with¬†“The Ed Bassmaster Show”¬†premiering on Country Music Television (CMT)¬†this Thursday, April 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Bassmaster is a YouTube comedian and prankster from Philadelphia, and has garnered a half-billion YouTube views featuring his alter egos like¬†Skippy (the¬†lovable yet annoying nerd who oversteps boundaries), Mumbles (unintelligible accent) and Teste (his low-IQ Philly cross-eyed dude).

Skippy is one of the dozens of freakishy funny characters played by Ed Bassmaster
Skippy is one of the dozens of freakishly funny characters played by Ed Bassmaster

Click to see the very funny trailer for the new Viacom show, which is produced by the folks¬†who launched¬†MTV hits like “Teen Wolf,” “Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life” and “The Andy Milonakis Show.”

This is one funny bastard and one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in the YouTube community. Nalts¬†met the fellow prankster¬†back in 2007, soon after¬†he parodied me in a video. He later¬†joined me in the YouTube Presidency as my VP¬†running mate (or I might have ditched him for Winekone; I can’t be sure). And while shooting a documentary with Shaycarl at my house, we¬†pranked him¬†and watched him eat a worm. But few things amuse me more than the video he made of us called “Nalts Likes Dogs.” Feel free to sing along.

This article in the Guardian provides plenty more examples of how YouTubers are moving beyond the video-sharing site into television and film. It’s nice to see it happening to a humble and hysterical guy.

My new blog with fascinating lists with 7 items every time

So I realize that sometimes I use this blog (historically focused on the topic of online-video creation, marketing and profitability).

So against every rule of conventional wisdom I’m doing a spinoff blog.¬†It’s called “Sevenofthe,” or “Seven of the…” and the idea is for quirky, interesting and informative lists of 7 random things. You’re supposed to add yours and if they’re awesome additions I’ll add them as “extras from commenters.”

Common by!

Nalts 2015-12-07 at 6.02.36 AM

The “Engrish Owner’s Manual” for Self-Balancing Scooters

hoverboard 2015
Don’t let the child contact with animal cells

Last week I wrote about our new hoverboard and gave you some tips to find the best one for the least money. Now that I’ve had a chance to acclimate myself to it, I thought it would be a good chance to read the owner’s manual. Typically I don’t notice owner’s manuals until I find them in a closet and realize I’ve long since discarded the thing it describes.

“Charging mouth moist, don’t charge”

Well this one has some fun Engrish happening. I like to imagine that there’s this little boutique translation firm in China that represents itself as conversant in English, and nobody at these Chinese manufacturers has any reason to doubt its proficiency. Then this boutique, absent anyone who speaks or writes English, uses Google translate and hopes for the best.

Top 10 Engrish instructions in owner’s manual of Main MianShu drifting scooter

  1. WARNING: More than make you are in danger of falling weight
  2. When the Speed is greater than the specified speed, drifting scooter up, cock to limit speed within the safe speed.
  3. Using intelligent ticket I car security related matters need attention.
  4. You can learn driving in different terrain must slow down in case of unfamiliar terrain. Any time can’t let drifting scooter off the ground [WVFF note: that kinda sucks because I bought the hover board to fly over lakes to escape Biff).
  5. Has a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and lack ego to protect consciousness of the old man hands the inconvenience banned driving.
  6. Do not allow the wet in the rain road, long distance driving backwards, high-speed, high-speed decay, speeding drifting scooter turn back.
  7. Design, test, or is not present in the personal transport related proof method and equipment for the medical safety, so the user must use drifting scooter without external force.
  8. Don’t let the child contact with animal cells.
  9. If you insist on driving at this time, damage is very easy to fall down, at the same time also can affect the service life of batteries.
  10. Charging mouth moist, don’t charge
Engrish warnings in the Chinese owner's manual for hoverboard electronic self-balancing scooters
Engrish warnings in the Chinese owner’s manual for hoverboard electronic self-balancing scooters

Nalts 2015-09-16 at 5.48.44 AM

Review of Self-Balancing Electric Scooters 2015-2016: Everything You Need to Know

which self balancing electric scooter should you buy
hoverboard 2015
Charlie is 11 and is handling the self-balancing scooter well, but I’d be careful about kids under 14. As of this writing, Charlie’s hover board has not caught the house on fire.

January 2016 update: This blog post reviewing¬†hover boards apparently filled a void: traffic to this “everything you need to know about hover boards” article has been insane! But a lot has changed in the past 45 days…

The bad news: in min December Amazon discontinued most models of the hover boards due to manufacturing problems causing batteries to overheat and even catch on fire. So buyer beware. This killed our US access to a lot of the low-cost models, and hover boards are not sold yet by traditional US distributors like Walmart, Kmart, Target, ToysRUs,

The good news: some manufacturers have convinced Amazon they are selling safe models. Here is one called “3rd Generation Smart Balance Intelligent Personal Mobility Device.” Here is another but only in white. Also some good long-term news¬†Razor scooters bought the US patent so that company¬†may eventually have a quasi monopoly¬†on these, and¬†that means higher prices. I can’t recommend a Razor yet because of the poor reviews.


Okay nowwww back to the original post with those edits:

The hot seller for Christmas 2015 was the new self-balancing 2-wheel electric scooters (also called incorrectly a hands-free Segway, razor skooters or hoverboard).

They sold like Heelys in the early 2000s. It takes maybe¬†5 minutes to learn if you’re mildly coordinated (so it took me 10). My four kids picked it up WAY more quickly than my coworkers.

Here’s what’s fascinating. These Segway-like handle-bar free scooters are¬†getting tons of news coverage because celebrities and YouTubers are cruising around on them. But journalists are missing a vital piece of the story… they’re all made by¬†the same dang Chinese manufacturer¬†yet they have¬†various brand/labels¬†and range in price from about $300 to $1000.¬†

I’m writing this post because it’s really hard to find accurate, comprehensive review information or where to buy the best one¬†for the best price. So in this post¬†you’ll find:

Review of self balancing electric scooter and where to buy least expensive best one
Which self balancing electric scooter should you buy? Regardless of the brand name, they are all the same. So buy via trusted seller (like Amazon), and choose based on the price and shipping time (as well as Amazon ratings)

Now, dear reader, here are the 9 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) I would have liked answered before I purchased one:
Which to buy.

  1. Which self balancing electric scooter brand should I buy?

Good news. It doesn’t matter! Here is one I found on Amazon but they’re really hard to find right now.¬†They’re almost all still¬†from the exact same manufacturer in China (wholesale prices vary by the lot, but I’ve seen them for¬†around $200). Look at the images and you’ll see they’re all the same except for the names splattered on them like eRover,¬†PhunkeeDuck, IO Hawk, Oxboard, Cyboard, Scoot, Future Foot, Monorover, Airboard, Freego, Esway, Airwheel, iEZWay, Overoad. I don’t think Razor makes one and they’re not Segway brands even though people think they are.¬†So buy on price, shipping speed and from a seller you trust. A lot of them are on backorder and can take a month to arrive. I see some are buying from Ali baba or express or whatever, but I’m nervous about that.
Where to Get Deal.

2. Where can I buy the scooter for the lowest price?

Per above,¬†Amazon¬†has a lot and¬†here are the most popular self-balancing scooters they sell. Unfortunately, toy or major retailers (Walmart, Target, ToysRus, Kmart) don’t seem to have them yet. And even when they do they’re likely to mark it up significantly. For instance, if they purchased from wholesale at $200, they’d likely retail it for $400. You’d be getting the same thing (but you would be able to return it to the store, which would be convenient). Again- you can try Ali Express but I don’t know them. Here is the only one I could find on Amazon as of April 2015.

3. Tips if you decide to buy via on Amazon:

  1. Don’t be deceived by the price and Prime shipping. Sometimes the seller will provide a nice starting price and a range, where only one color will be low priced and Prime.
  2. I would hesitate buying one that doesn’t have a lot of ratings yet. If you’re really cautious, then you find one that has good shipping and price, and sort comments by¬†four-star ratings (If someone’s faking positive reviews they usually rate 5, and 4-stars tend to be more objective).
  3. But here’s what’s important- Ignore any product-specific comments unless they’re many product problems since they’re all the same products. Instead look for notes about shipping or service or refunds.
  4. Consider¬†the extra protection warrantee from a separate seller (I got the SquareTrade 2-year protection plan¬†but I’ve never used them…. I just liked the idea of¬†not having a hassle on replacements (and hopefully they don’t first force me to deal with the¬†manufacturer).

4. Will it break? Will it have money back warrantee ?

Most online reviews are positive, but I’ve seen a number of¬†reports that suggest the Chinese quality-control leaves something to be desired. Some comments¬†indicate they do¬†break, batteries die, and sometimes the battery burns. For less than $25 I bought a Square Trade protection plan that covers up to $349.99, and I hope that’s my backup if it fails. You buy this protection plan separately not from the manufacturer and to active it, you send the receipt to them via email. I expect to use it so I’ll update this post if I have problems. I do not recommend trusting the seller to take a return or honor any manufacturer warrantee.

5. How do I learn to use it? Is it safe?

Here’s a nice tutorial video on how to learn¬†it. Here are the basics:

  1. You  step on it one foot at a time, but quickly (using a wall for support).
  2. Then you lean forward as if you’re going to fall over and you need to trust it.
  3. If you start to compensate your balance¬†as you instinctively will you’ll get unstable… because it’s doing the same thing.
  4. Don’t tilt your feet forward like you’re pressing a pedal. Lean forward like you want to drop to a pushup. The more you do this, the faster you go.
  5. Turning is totally intuitive,  and you can spin around almost effortlessly.

Here’s me trying it out at work yesterday

In about 10 minutes I was cruising confidently in the hallway of my office...
In about 10 minutes I was cruising confidently in the hallway of my office…

But BE WARNED. It’s deceptively dangerous, so take precaution and use helmets. One of sons took a major spill while I was typing this, and he’s down on the ground with ice on his back.

Update January 2015: The discounted models referenced in this report apparently are not safe, so I’ve stripped out the links.¬†I still own my two and we only charge it while monitoring them. But there have been reports of fires, and this has crushed the¬†entire Chinese market for cheap ones that may violate patents.¬†I’m quite confident the news has been overplayed by business interests, but it’s still a major “buyers beware.”

6. How long does it take to charge and how long will it last?

The online reports say it charges in an hour or two, and can go about 10-15 miles on a single charge.

7. How fast does it go?

It will go 4-6 miles per hour and it beeps when it’s maxed. That’s about the speed of a normal jog… it moves quick so ride carefully especially when stopping abruptly, turning or hitting bumps.

8. How heavy and big is the scooter?

It’s about 25 pounds, so it’s heavier than it looks. The length is 23 inches and the width about 8 inches. The stability means that it can carry up to 220 pounds.

It's about 25 pounds. And the length is 23 inches with a width of 8 inches
It’s about 25 pounds. And the length is 23 inches with a width of 8 inches

9. On what surfaces can I ride it?

It works great indoors or on carpet, but it can handle well paved driveways, streets or sidewalks. Watch out for bumps or curbs!

Here’s a nice review video that summarizes a lot of this.

Which electric scooter should you buy for the best deal?
Which self balancing electric scooter should you buy? The cheap one!

Specifications on mine: It’s about¬†25 pounds and can allegedly run up to 10-15 miles per hour. The wheels are rubber so they won’t go flat. The¬†¬†charger voltage: 100-240v.¬†Battery: 36V 4 4Ah Lithium Battery Dimension: 584 186 178 mm (23 inches by 8 inches).


Free Royalty-Free Children’s Musical Script

We just performed¬†“Land of the Lost Stories,” a one-hour children’s musical I wrote and my wife Jo¬†directs. Part of the reason I write the annual children’s’ production for Philips Mill Community Center (New Hope, PA) is the cost of licensing children’s plays can be cost-prohibitive for community theater. ¬†So I’m posting this script¬†for people to use for free – without royalties¬†(not music/characters per below).

The story is about technology preventing kids from reading classic children’s stories, so the story characters are discarded onto an island where they long to return to the “hearts and minds” of kids.

Charlie Nalty was Harold (from Harold the Purple Crayon). Here's Dorothy, Glinda, Harold, Fozzie, Flat Stanley and (uncostumed) Humpty Dumpty
Charlie Nalty was Harold (from Harold the Purple Crayon). Here’s Dorothy, Glinda, Harold, Fozzie, Flat Stanley and (uncostumed) Humpty Dumpty

The music is from other broadway shows and pop songs, and some lyrics are adapted. Note: I don’t have rights to these songs, but the instrumentals/karaoke songs can be found online.¬†While many of the characters are public domain (because their rights have expired) some may be protected.

The plot is designed to give each actor in the cast a chance to play a well-known characters like: Goldilocks, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Humpty Dumpty, Flat Stanley, Mother Goose, Princess Andapee (Princess and the Pea), Harold (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Fozzie Bear, Tinkerbell, Dorothy and Glinda (Wizard of Oz), and Jack (Jack and the Beanstalk),

Grant Nalty (my son) as Winnie the Pooh with Jada Reichwein as Red Riding Hood
Grant Nalty (my son) as Winnie the Pooh with Jada Reichwein as Red Riding Hoo Prince Charming, Pinocchio, Little Bo Peep.

There’s a twist at the end, where we discover that the jailers of the island are actually Winnie the Pooh and Tiger in disguise.

So the story, not music or characters, are available via the¬†Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.” Here’s a link to the script…¬†I hope schools and community theater decide to use it because I’d love to see it! Let me know!