Tag Archives: howard hughes

Money TV, WEB

If the Price is Right: Reality TV’s effect on local businesses

An appearance on reality TV can be an effective marketing tool for any business. However, it sometimes comes at a price. There are many considerations for a business to make before exposing itself to public curiosity and scrutiny.

Arizona has seen many of its businesses take the risk of appearing on TV, whether its Amy’s Baking Co. making its now-infamous appearance on Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” or the bright-eyed youngsters of MistoBox who successfully pitched their business to Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank.”

While the experiences vary, there is a general consensus that the marketing power of reality TV is unparalleled, as not only does it often offer further reach than at the disposal of most small to medium sized companies, it is also completely free.

“Even if you look bad, you still get exposure,” said Connor Riley, co-founder of MistoBox, a company that distributes a variety of artisan coffees to monthly subscribers.

Riley’s experience with reality TV is unique.  His business, which he co-founded with Samantha Meis, was started as a project for the University of Arizona’s entrepreneurship program. They were offered the opportunity to pitch their business to the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a show where startups can pitch their ideas to celebrity investors Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary.
Given that the show offers an opportunity to gain much needed capital, there was much more at stake than just marketing for Riley and Meis.  Nevertheless, he said that the marketing has proven to be significantly more crucial to the company’s success than Mark Cuban’s investment.

According to Riley, when the episode first aired his website crashed after having 100,000 unique visitors, 5 percent of which converted into sales.

“Our business grew 300 percent in a week,” he said.  “We’ve had pretty steady growth since and we haven’t had to spend a ton of money on exposure and advertising.”

Riley said, based on his experience, he would recommend any business to give reality TV a shot.

“You have nothing to lose,” he said.

Some would argue on the contrary, however.  One factor that seems to change the experience of the business appearing on a reality TV show is the nature of the program itself.

Howard Hughes, owner or Stand-Up Scottsdale, had a markedly different experience than Riley.

“It was ridiculous to see what story was told,” he said.  “It was just bogus.”

While he agreed that the exposure was beneficial, he said that there are other factors of a TV appearance that often get overlooked.

Last year Hughes appeared on “Bar Rescue,” a show that renovates struggling bars across the country. While he acknowledged the show did bring the bar exposure, he thinks that the actual changes to his bar might have caused more harm than good.

According to Hughes, the show made a lot of thoughtless alterations, including removing chairs and a grill that had to be replaced.

“We still get five to 10 people who come in each week because they saw the show,” he said.  “But, without fail, every single person who has come in, when I give them a tour of the place, they’re dumbfounded by the reality of the changes.”

He speculated that a lot of the changes made were for TV aesthetics, without concern for the actual benefit of the bar.

“They have a story they want to tell, and they’re going to tell that story,” he said.  “Had they aired my disappointment in the reveal, people would have got a totally different story.”

TV personality Zane Lamprey is on the other side of things.

Host of shows such as “Three Sheets” and “Drinking Made Easy,” he has acted as the medium of exposure for many small bars across the country.

While filming for “Drinking Made Easy,” he visited several bars in Arizona including Four Peaks Brewery, Aunt Chilada’s, and Chuey’s Mini Bar.

When shooting for any of his shows, Lamprey recognizes the unspoken negotiation between the show and the business.  In the ideal “win-win” scenario, the show gets free content and the business gets free exposure.
“We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t beneficial to them,” he said.

There is a third party involved in this negotiation, however.  While the bar would like the show to highlight it’s amenities as much as possible, the program cannot not do so at expense to the audiences enjoyment.

“Our objective is to feature the brewery, but also have fun,” he said.  “The TV show has to be entertaining.”

Lamprey said that he avoids scenarios like the one faced by Hughes on “Bar Rescue” by being as convenient as possible for the bar.  He makes sure that he only films during off peak hours and does not enter with any kind of agenda.

He said that experiences like the one Hughes faced are frequent with other programs.

“If someone says they don’t want to appear on my show it’ almost always after a bad experience with another show,” he said.  “We make sure we’re the easiest show that could ever some through these places.”

Although Hughes said he wouldn’t go on “Bar Rescue” again, he still acknowledged that the free marketing that correlates with a TV appearance is powerful.

“I wouldn’t do a show where they come in and run things how they want again, but I’d do one that just offers the exposure,” he said, adding that despite the annoyance of fixing the damage caused by Bar Rescue’s renovations, Stand-Up Scottsdale still “benefited a little bit.”

The effect a reality TV appearance can have on a business depends greatly on the nature of the show and the business itself.  The rewards can be massive though, particularly for a startup that lacks the funds to subsidize a serious marketing effort.

“The opportunity to get the 6 million or 7 million live viewers is something we’d have to spend millions of dollars to duplicate,” he said.

Date Night: Scottsdale Living Magazine

Date Night: Elan Style, Jo Paris Salon, Posh And More

Date Night: 10 hot tips to create the perfect night out

Getting dressed

Date Night: Winter 2012Elan Style offers a sophisticated mix of contemporary clothing and accessories for every budget, all in a comfortable setting for shopping and socializing. Easily find that great outfit for a night out with the girls, the perfect sexy dress for that hot date or a fun accessory to complete your look.
15147 N. Scottsdale Rd., #H-103, Scottsdale
(480) 941-5575

The perfect shoes

Date Night: Winter 2012Whether you want to make a fashion statement on your dinner date or need the proper shoes for an active date, E & J’s Designer Shoe Outlet carries your favorite designers. Whether you are looking for that Cinderella glass-slipper or something to keep your tootsies in comfort on a hike, you will find an abundance of styles and colors to choose from. To complement shoe choices, top quality handbags are also available.
8666 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
(480) 607-0170

Primp and circumstance

Date Night: Winter 2012When you think of fashion, you think of Paris. That is why Jo from Jo Paris Salon & Spa is the perfect person to turn to before a date for cutting-edge and up-to-the moment hair styling, colors, French balayages, Brazilian blowouts, nail services or extensions. Jo developed his signature style and technique by learning from the masters in Paris before opening his Scottsdale salon.
14202 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
(480) 663-8994

Relax before the big night

Date Night: Winter 2012Based on the Native American belief that turquoise is a color of protection and good energy, the Turquoise Wrap Golden Door Spa at The Boulders Resort includes an invigorating body exfoliation, a warm turquoise clay wrap, an application of moisturizing honey butter and a harmonizing rain-stick ritual, the perfect treatment to relax you before your date.
N. Tom Darlington Dr., Carefree
(480) 595-3500

Last-chance workout

Date Night: Winter 2012What better way to prepare for the Valentine’s dating season than with yoga classes to make you feel good about yourself and your health? Blissful Yoga, with a new location in the Scottsdale Quarter, is the perfect place to get your mind, body and soul right before date night. Yoga not only helps for relaxation and health purposes, but it also results in more energy, a happier mood and better focus, among other beneficial things.
15037 N. Scottsdale Rd., #155, Scottsdale
(480) 636-7661

Fun and food

Date Night: Winter 2012POSH is an improvisational, no-menu restaurant in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale operated by Chef Joshua Hebert. It’s fine dining, but has a relaxed atmosphere with an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs in action. The improvisational component — Posh offers a list of main ingredients, requesting you to cross off which items you dislike, then its creative chefs surprise you with the remaining selections — offers an alternative to traditional restaurants and is definitely a good place to impress your date.
7167 E. Rancho Vista Dr., #111, Scottsdale
(480) 663-7674

Smile, you’re on a date

Date Night: Winter 2012Laughter can be both the best medicine and the best date. Stand-up, Scottsdale! — the brainchild of ASU grad Howard Hughes — brings some of the most edgy and popular comedians from shows such as “Chelsea Lately” and Comedy Central for evenings filled with high-octane laughs. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
6820 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale
(480) 882-0730

Join the club

Date Night: Winter 2012Cream Stereo Lounge is a high-intensity entertainment club with Dynacord sound and an eight-foot Roman bathtub inside the venue that displays tasteful, yet enticing visual entertainment to complement the extraordinary sound system and CO2 dance floor.
4252 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
(480) 717-6000

Drink and dessert

Date Night: Winter 2012There are two great ways to end a perfect date: either with dessert or a nightcap. Lee’s Cream Liqueur Ice Cream Parlor in Old Town Scottsdale lets you do both with alcohol-infused ice cream. Featured among the flavors of adults-only ice cream is margarita, appletini, chocolate swirl, strawberry daiquiri, limoncello, Long Island tea, piña colada and champagne. They’re priced at $3.75 for one scoop, $5 for two.
7137 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 429-5337

Get home safe

Date Night: Winter 2012Thinking of enjoying date night with a few drinks or too many scoops of Lee’s Cream Liqueur Ice Cream? Clean Air Cab is the smart and sustainable option for getting you and your date home safe and sound!
(480) 777-9777

Scottsdale Winter Magazine Winter 2012


Q&A With Howard Hughes, Owner Of Stand-Up, Scottsdale!

Howard Hughes, Arizona native and owner of Stand-Up Scottsdale!, sat down with us and talked about how he got into the comedy business, who his inspirations are and what Stand-Up, Scottsdale! is really all about. Hughes was refreshingly honest, referring to his club as a “B” club for its capacity (which seemed cozy) and the headliners they receive (a majority of the Chelsea Lately panel and Comedy Central Presents comedians).

How does it feel sharing a name with the former richest man in the world?

It was tough as a kid because all throughout school all the teachers would be taking role, and they’d always laugh when they came to my name.  All the teachers would be in the same room, with no walls, so they’d always come to my name, look at the other teachers and say, “Who? Which one of you is Howard Hughes?” I never knew why they laughed, but now that I’m older, nobody even knows who he is. Everyone thought he was a weatherman until Aviator came out, and it all came back.

Who would you want to play you in a biopic if you had one?

Daniel Radcliffe because he has to be younger — a lot younger.

Who are your biggest comedic inspirations?

Bill Cosby when I was a little kid. When I was in talent shows, I’d reenact his albums. I love Ron White, Lewis Black and Louis C.K. I don’t like the “silliness” comedy where they’re just saying dumb things. I like for people to be engaged and listening. A lot of people think that laughter is the only response to comedy, but it’s not. You can have a whole range of emotions. I was 35 when I ended up in Hollywood and comedy was always something I wanted to do, so I took a class.

So this started late in your life?

Yeah, super late. The classes are all about teaching you how to be funny. There is a way to write a joke if you want to do that, but you can’t teach somebody how to be a great comedian. It’s so individual to you that nobody can teach you how to do that, so if you start speaking or writing the way you’ve developed in some class, people immediately know when it’s fake and that doesn’t sell.

Tell me your best joke.

There’s a specific time, place and opportunity where people are really ready for a joke and that’s the great thing about a comedy club. It’s got to be tight, it’s got to be dark, it’s got to be cold; it’s got to be a little unsafe where people are just sitting next to strangers because then they’re uneasy, and they’re open to anything that’s comforting. I do a lot of comedy about being older but not having anything that people my age generally have. I’m still acting like the 22-year-old kid that didn’t have any responsibilities.

So you’re a bachelor?

Yeah, I’m a bachelor. It’s a lot about things like that — getting married, getting divorced, and drugs and things that everybody’s been through on one level or another but no one ever talks about. If someone in the audience can come up with your punch line, then that’s not comedy worth paying for.

Do you feel like you have a steady crowd that comes here?

Yeah, without a doubt. We haven’t done a whole lot of advertising, but it’s really word of mouth that’s been building us. We just got a new investment group, so we have a large group that is bought in; that will happen this week. The marketing is going to look a lot different, a lot more aggressive.

Do you perform weekly here, too?

Yes, every single week.

What advice would you have for people trying to get into stand up comedy?

Just to go out and do it. You’re never going to be ready, and no matter how much time you put into preparing yourself, everything you do in your first year you’re probably not going to be doing in your second. It’s one of those things where there’s a lot of ego involved.

When a joke bombs, how do you deal with it?

It depends on where you’re at in comedy. A lot of guys who have been doing it for 10 years don’t even acknowledge it because they know the joke works, it just didn’t work right now so — boom – on to the next one.

That’s a good attitude!

It’s a hard attitude; it’s like being a hot chick and having someone not think you’re pretty. At the stage where I’m at, five years in, if something bombs, I generally call it out. It’s a technique in comedy where you don’t pretend like something didn’t happen. Everyone heard the plate break, so it’s a split decision to just roll through it or bring it in to your act.

Do you feel like you do a lot of improv on stage?

Yeah, that’s kind of the stage I’m at now. The problem with improv is to make it fresh, original and relevant every time you do it. A lot of people do improv, and it’s the same “improv” every time they do it. That’s where the integrity in what kind of comedian you are comes in because you instantly have to tell your brain, “Don’t say that again!” Comedy is a lot like being a clown, and I don’t like that, and I don’t let that come here. You have to be a super original clown to be like, “Man, I’m really glad I saw that clown.”

So like a Cirque Du Soleil clown?

A good comedian is more like a matador though, it looks like somebody is just stabbing a bull but that’s not just what’s happening – that’s the least of what’s happening. There’s a whole lot of artistry and tradition that goes in there and until you train your eye to really see it and recognize it you don’t know it, you just perceive it on an under your skin level.

For more information about Howard Hughes and Stand-Up, Scottsdale!, visit standupscottsdale.com.