Posted May 2, 2017
Daniel Collins, a junior advertising major, and an account executive at the J-school's The Carolina Agency, had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when he traveled with his client, The General’s Hot Sauce, to Louisiana to create an informational video history of the company.
With sponsorships from the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications and his client, Collins and his team contributed to the company’s video creation by shooting short vignettes on location, thereby providing customers an inside look at the company and the sauce making process.
During the photo shoot, Collins worked with professional photographer Michael Altobello, capturing the footage needed to finish the video. Collins’ main roles were establishing sets, shooting video, and directing talent.
“It was an eye-opening experience for me,” said Collins. “Being able to work with a professional, in a place I’d never been, was a true learning experience.”
On the trip, Collins met the farmers responsible for growing the peppers used in the General’s Hot Sauce. He also met with members of the Louisiana State University AgCenter team responsible for the agricultural and food science part of the product.
“I didn’t realize the science that was involved in finding the right way to preserve food products,” Collins said. “It was very interesting to see a side of the food industry that you would never think about.”
Other members of The Carolina Agency team working for the General’s Hot Sauce during the spring semester included seniors Jimmy Lowery Jr., Anna Peterson and Hayley Ridgeway, as well as juniors Alex Bolhous and Jenna Eustace.
In addition to the video, the team also helped the company launch a new flavor of the sauce via a social media countdown. Not your average condiment, The General’s Hot Sauce products include three premium flavors entitled: Marine Green, Dead Red, and Shock and Awe. On May 1, with the help of The Carolina Agency, the company launched a new, limited edition hot sauce entitled Red Shock via a vibrant social media campaign.
A veteran-owned company based in Columbia, with peppers farmed exclusively in the Pelican State, The General’s Hot Sauce is run by CEO and founder Dan Ballister. The General’s Hot Sauce is a Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C), meaning it exists for a “significant purpose” other than making a profit. Monies earned through sauce sales are distributed by the company to veterans and their families via charitable organization partnerships.
Two major non-profits that the General’s Hot Sauce partners with are Paws4Vets and the Boot Campaign. Paws4Vets places service dogs with veterans in need and the Boot Campaign sells combat boots and other merchandise to support veteran rehabilitation and treatment.
The General’s Hot Sauce was conceived in 2012 at the Army–Navy tailgate, where four Navy veterans founded the idea for the company, inspired by a current Marine Corps General who loves to cook wings for others. This selfless service is something The General’s Hot Sauce prides themselves on, with a company tagline: “A great sauce for the greater good.”
Similarly as The General’s Hot Sauce is something exceptional, The Carolina Agency is not your average class at the University of South Carolina. The student-run firm works with real clients in Columbia and elsewhere. The agency’s existence is founded on real work for real clients. More than 85 organizations have benefited from the agency’s attention since its inception in 2005.
One of The Carolina Agency’s biggest fans is Ballister. “The General’s Hot Sauce partnership with the Carolina Agency has been a fundamental part of our early success as a start-up. They have become a part of our team and have created assets we’ll continue to use long after the team’s semester ends and they all move on,” he said.
One of The General’s Hot Sauce’s biggest fan is Collins. “From a young age, I’ve been obsessed with hot sauce and other spicy foods,” Collins said. “When I found out that the General’s Hot Sauce was an agency client, I knew it would be the perfect match for me.”
Although the semester is over, the members of the General’s Hot Sauce team are looking forward to seeing the final video product after all of the hard work they’ve put in this semester which should be available by the end of May.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity The General’s Hot Sauce and the Journalism and Mass Communications School gave me to attend this shoot,” Collins added. “The Carolina Agency gave me real work experience that will definitely help me down the road.”
Meanwhile, Ballister is excited about continuing with The Carolina Agency this summer. “If your business is looking for a strategic and operational partner that brings energy, ideas, and the willingness to work hard to bring those ideas to life, I strongly recommend you explore a partnership with the Carolina Agency,” he said.