A TV commercial campaign developed for Prairie Books & Gifts in Hastings, Nebraska, has garnered a great response from customers and has won a regional Emmy for its music composition. The three, 30-second commercials were developed and produced by Michael Tushaus, son of bookstore co-owners Bernie and Jane Tushaus. The commercials feature the tagline “Prairie Books & Gifts — Enriching Lives since 1976.”
The Heartland Regional Emmy Award for musical composition/arrangement was presented to Michael Tushaus at the 28th annual Heartland Regional Emmy Awards and Silver Circle ceremony on July 12 in Denver, which Bernie, Jane, and some of the friends and family members who starred in the commercials attended. “It was a nice, dress-up gala — red carpet and all,” said Bernie Tushaus. “We had a good time with it.”
As a Christmas gift to his parents, Michael Tushaus, who works for Digisphere Productions in Las Vegas, Nevada, visited Hastings to film the commercials last year. While the development of the commercials came at no cost to the store, Prairie Books & Gifts did contract with a cable company to air the commercials about 100 times per month in April, September, and December for just a few dollars per airing. Those in the area subscribing to the local cable company saw the commercials on channels ranging from Fox News to Discovery to Lifetime.
Having local faces featured in the commercials made them an even bigger hit, said Jane Tushaus, because people called their friends to talk about them. “We didn’t have any professionals, but they did a great job,” she noted.
Customers have made clear their excitement about the commercials. “We really have had a lot of comments, probably because they did recognize some of the people in it,” Tushaus continued. And in terms of business coming from the ads, she noted, “It hasn’t gone down, so I guess that’s a good thing, with all the competition and the different choices there are out there.”
Michael Tushaus is planning to return to Hastings to produce more commercials for the bookstore this fall, and perhaps get in the running for another Emmy. “We would never have been able to do this without Michael and his creativity and abilities,” said Jane Tushaus.
The three commercials from the Prairie Books & Gifts campaign can be viewed here: