Promo Workshop


The explanations to terms and phrases you’ll come across in this website


The name given to any negative or critical managerial feedback, typically via e-Mail, that supplants in-person contact.

e-Mauls are a very inefficient method of feedback; as, like e-Mails, they take longer to compose than face-to-face communication.

In spite of this, their popularity is apparently on the increase, as they allow managers to avoid having to (possibly publicly) explain why they don’t like something; and worse still, what they think a better idea might be.

As well as communicating a particular given grumble, e-mauls also allow managers to get other, unrelated gripes off their chest in a delightfully under-handed, passive/aggressive way.

e-Mauls can also be delivered via Post-It™ note.

french waiter

Any promo, ad, or communication that asks the audience for its trust, to invest time and attention in the message; only to reveal a disappointing outcome.

For more see here.


Any production-line TV tune-in spot, especially clip based, that follows the voiceover/soundbite/voiceover/soundbite format. Typical is declarations of notions like premiere, event, all new; and the emphasis of day/time/channel information.

Like their fast food namesake, McPromos are the same all over the world… you know what to expect with a McPromo. They’re cheap and fast to produce. The formulaic production means they can be made by younger/cheaper/less experienced personnel. Their simple form makes for approval by younger/cheaper/less experienced clients and/or their assistants.

McPromos are, to paraphrase John Harding:

"…a cross between a hectoring piece of propaganda and a sales training film which demonstrate a lack of confidence in the medium and contempt for the viewer. A wham-bang style of commercial whose effectiveness is evaluated on the basis of the number of supers in the 30 seconds and the volume of the voices and music."

from The Craft Of TV Copywriting, 1988 Allison & Busby


In theory, anything that makes a person want to watch a TV show or movie.

In practice, a TV advertisement for a TV show or movie, typically attempting to generate interest in programming on the same channel that screens the promo.

So called cross channel promos advertise programming on related channels.

The vast majority of promos made around the world are what's known as clip-based promos which feature excerpts from a pre-recorded programme; and are integrated with standardised graphics packages to create a uniform look across the channel's suite of promoted shows.

Anachronistic example follows, proving:
• promos haven't changed much that much over the years
• promos really need to change

Promos range in duration; usually in 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60 & 90 second increments. However with increasing business pressure to extract more paid revenue from a given ad break, promos are being produced at increasingly shorter durations making their effectiveness increasingly limited.

Promos are part of what's known as "interruption media" and are most effective with so-called linear viewers who watch contiguous chunks of programming. The high take-up of personal video recorders, with their ad-spooling capabilities; coupled with the ever increasing viewing of internet delivered programming (both legal and otherwise) is resulting in a sharp drop in the numbers of linear viewers; in turn making the effectiveness of the promo, you guessed it, increasingly limited.


Portmanteau referring to the movement which aims to remove and replace the Promo due to Promoverkill.


A segment of a television programme or movie; chiefly dialog; which is selected for inclusion in a TV promo. Interacts with Voiceover.


Acronym of: That’s What Everyone Else Does.
For examples go to the Promo Workshop Tweed page here


The written portion of a TV promo that is written by a promo producer but is read (or voiced) by a professional voice artist. Interacts with Soundbites.


Charley Holland is a content creator with 30 years experience in the TV industry. He is reasonably underwhelmed by social media, which is why you can find him on Facebook; LinkedIn; Twitter; Google+

©2013 The Charley Holland Agency