Hello, I’m Jeff Butler, an international award winning advertising writer and director. Throughout the course of my career, there aren’t many formats I haven’t covered.
I started in magazine publishing with Key Publishers (Toronto Life, WHERE magazines) and kept on expanding to a variety of media and careers, so I’ve done editorial writing, copywriting, radio direction, song writing, directed music videos, interactive film, written television documentaries, websites, CD-ROMs, DVDs, webisodes, screenwriting…and have even built a few websites, including a full social networking site, from scratch, so I know my way around exciting things like html, php, SEO, Drupal and WordPress.
Having been an Associate Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson, partner in a successful small agency and freelancer I have worked crafting advertising and other communications for hundreds of companies from local shops to international brands like Pepsi International, Kraft, Nabob, Burger King, East Side Mario’s, the Toronto Blue Jays, Foster’s Lager – both here and in Australia – and my advertising has run in Canada, The U.S., Brazil, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Finland.
It would not be exaggerating to say that advertising I have written and or directed has increased sales of the advertisers’ products and services by more than a billion dollars.
I always think this is an odd terminology, but yes, I can write and direct things longer than :30 seconds. I wrote an hour long documentary ‘A Team For Peace’ which ran on CTV and in Norway and the Netherlands, worked on a polishing of a movie script that went on to get Telefilm funding, have Mar Vista working on full financing for a TV movie and also have done episodes for a home improvement show and written the pilot for a show picked up by the Pet Channel.
I have also written, produced and directed dozens of ‘corporate videos’ that require story-editing, writing, directing of both real people and professional announcers and delivery of a product that tells a compelling story in 5 to 10 minutes.
Well, in my estimation all communications are interactive. The whole point of writing and directing something is to put together the right combination of things in the right order and with the right tone so that you get the response you are hoping for from the audience. But yes, I have worked on the development and refinement of dozens of websites, I created and developed a series of 6 sports apps available on the Apple App Store.
Most recently I co-founded and was deeply involved in the development of a mobile app/web shopping software start-up, yroo. I describe it as ‘Expedia for shopping’, that tells you all of the best prices on any one of 10 million items from 5,000+ retailers and manufacturers.
I’ve won top awards for print, radio, television writing and television directing in Canada (Marketing, Toronto Art Director’s Awards, Bessies), England (London Radio Awards), and the U.S. (U.S. International Advertising Festival, Chicago Mobius Awards, New York’s ANDYs, American Interactive Advertising Awards)…and have worked with Paul Hogan, Alex Trebek, Tom Cochrane, Gordie Howe and Zsa Zsa Gabor (among many others) and I was co-writer on a song for the 25th Anniversary Famous People Players show ‘Leave The Porch Light On’…but I am most proud of the fact that my Blue Jays’ work made it to The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
I have worked with budgets that range from $750,000 for a TV commercial to $25,000 for a TV commercial to $500 for some editorial things. Oddly enough, the $25K commercial I’m referring to had more impact and won more awards than the $750K ones. As always, the strength of communications is not in the budget behind the scenes, but in what happens upfront: the clear and compelling communication of a simple idea that people find entertaining or educating (or both) and makes them consider – or reconsider – the proposition put before them.
I’ve also written loads of Business Plans (for my own ventures and others), presentations, email campaigns and songs and have worked on the strategies and branding for extremely well known national and international companies as well as fledgling startups.
If you have anything you think I might be able to help you with…