In the hey-day of traditional marketing, advertising was as easy as putting a simple message in front of consumers with the sole intent of driving them to make purchases and have brand awareness. Today is a different story and the relationship between brands and consumers has changed. A brand now needs to ride shotgun alongside consumers and grow with them, rather than for them. Market research is no longer about staging several focus groups to produce a television spot: it is critical to have conversations with consumers at every touch-point in product and brand development.

The new paradigm for marketing and creating effective ads is about bridging the gap between the strategic thinking and creative output through intense deep-dives utilizing techniques like video journaling, blogging, and ethnography. We are about discrete mining and insight documentation through personal interaction with consumers. Each connection with consumers produces real life stories and tangible experiences that can be accepted and digested by the creative talent of a brand's ad agency. This collaboration results in effective marketing, which successfully reaches consumers.

There is intense pressure for brands to stay connected to their consumers, transitioning across all varieties of media. A brand which aims for singular status and public mindset must not only be armed with the latest information from the street, but it must also be connected via the latest channels to the street. As consumer exposure to information continues to change, every detail counts. Consumers are quickly adopting brands which hit the scene with relevant, timely content and they promptly discard brands which cannot maintain the pace.

Our mission is to connect companies and brands with their transitioning consumers directly. This brand-consumer-connection is forged through ethnography, innovation sessions, and proactive consumer-direct blogs. In our future, we will evolve and expand this process to create communities of brand advocates who will engage in ongoing dialogues with companies, allowing them the ability to constantly keep pace and evolve with their consumers.

Curiousity is a core attribute at Burnt Peaks and we are concerned with authenticity, honesty, and reality. We know that, in many cases, a proactive consumer will tell you more about a brand than the people managing the brand. We love to work with brands that are comfortable in their own skin and which have the freedom and willingness to challenge the future with us.


Burnt Peaks' road trip began in 1992 when James Mairs started JAM Video Productions, a NYC-based boutique videography company which produced a variety of study tapes for advertising agencies including Chiat/Day, MNH, FCB, and The Ryan Partnership.

In 1994, he co-founded Burly Bear, a college cable television network once considered the nation's premier college marketing and TV company. James' irreverent attitude and creative programming attracted the interest of SNL's Lorne Michaels, who purchased a majority interest in Burly Bear in 1997. James produced more than 125 episodes of Half-Baked, the #1 college television program from 1996-2002. Ready for the creative freedom of a smaller shop, James formed Burnt Peaks Productions in February 2000. Today Burnt Peaks has grown to become a giant worldwide conglomerate totaling 5 full-time employees housed in a state-of-the-art 900 square foot facility.

We know that information gathering is a challenging enterprise; we're experts at infiltrating a targeted demo, observing and recording valuable insights, and creating a final presentation that will make you look good. Most importantly, we provide television production value at industrial video prices- "a Cadillac ride with Pinto sticker shock."

Our experience within the advertising community is what sets us apart. We don't just place a camera on a tripod and hit record, we make your subjects come alive in a light that makes them more personable, entertaining, and convincing. We have a creative and customized solution for all your advertising research and production needs-whether it's producing a video for a new business pitch or a long-term qualitative study. Our specialties include fly-on-the-wall ethnography films, man-on-the-street interviews, in-home focus groups, and documentaries. One of our newest and most promising products is called Ethnographic Gaming where we add the element of competition blended with documentary style to create entertaining, insightful qualitative results. Over many years we helped land accounts like Sony Playstation, AOL, Starter, Charles Schwab, Jaguar, Ritz, Exxon Mobil,and many others. One of our most creative projects was for Sony Electronics, where we developed surveillance and monitoring techniques that tracked people's relationships with their gadgets.

Burnt Peaks' signature style has been an important asset for many leading agencies such as TBWA/Chiat/Day, Euro RSCG, UM, McCann Erickson, Ogilvy, JWT, MPG, TAXI, Sandbox, Faith Popcorn, Eat Big Fish, Skyelab, and Strawberry Frog.