Growing up, I never ate out very much—only on special occasions (birthdays) or en route to a vacation. And when on vacation, it seemed as if we invariably had two choices driving through West Virginia: Tudor’s Biscuit World or Denny’s. My Dad always chose Denny’s because of the buffet. They always had those really hot plates in the buffet line, which was awesome for the hot food but tended to wreak havoc with the Jello and cottage cheese. So most of my run-ins with Denny’s were when I was younger, but I recently had the distinct pleasure of watching a web series for Denny’s called Always Open with Dave Koechner (Champ from Anchorman). [...] Read >MORE
I spent an earlier part of my career as a video editor/motion designer at Abercrombie & Fitch (Zoolander face). It was 2001, and at the time, A&F had a small internal production team dedicated to creating a variety of lifestyle video content for the brand. For three years, I helped create a series of monthly webisodes for a campaign called A&FTV.
The concept involved taking brand reps (the amazing-looking kids folding clothes in the stores) and pairing them with pro athletes and aspirational types—sort of a day-in-the-life-of-someone-doing-something-cool. As a video editor, it was a dream job. Hot people doing cool things in exotic locations set to great music. What wasn’t to like? [...] Read >MORE
Since the birth of cinema, filmmakers have been using projectors to share their stories and content with audiences large and small. More often than not, these artists point their projectors at large, flat screens (i.e., the modern movie theater). However, as early as 1900, content creators were experimenting with projecting their motion pictures onto irregular surfaces to achieve optical effects that would otherwise not be possible on a standard flat screen or surface. [...] Read >MORE
In October, I introduced a three-part series of posts about brands’ growing use of user-generated video content and talked in-depth about a specific type of UGC—video ratings and reviews. In part two, I touched on another category of UGC video that brands are using with success: crowdsourced video production. In this post, I’ll wrap up this series with a third and final type of UGC video content that I will call lifestyle endorsement videos.
Lifestyle endorsement videos depict a person or group of people using a brand’s products in ways that are likely to build affinity amongst consumers for that brand or product. These videos often appeal to a very specific niche of consumers. Red Bull is particularly good at producing this type of content, as evidenced by their nearly half-a-billion views on YouTube and 34 million Facebook Likes. [...] Read >MORE
Last month, I introduced a three-part series of posts about brands’ growing use of user-generated video content and talked in-depth about a specific type of UGC–video ratings and reviews. Here in part two, I’d like to touch on another category of UGC video that brands are using with success.
The second category of UCG video content is crowdsourced video production, in which consumers and hobbyists submit ideas, pitches, or even fully produced video clips directly to brands for their use online and in broadcast. Such crowdsourcing most often occurs in the form of a contest, in which brands incentivize participants with rewards for the winner(s) such as cash and industry exposure. Perhaps the most notable example of this approach is Frito Lay’s annual contest soliciting submissions of complete :30 Doritos spots for the chance to be aired during the Super Bowl. As in ShoeDazzle’s use of UCG video reviews, Doritos has had notable success with the crowdsourced production approach, including the top-rated commercial in the 2009 Super Bowl. Read >MORE
In my last post, I restated the case for video as the delivery format best suited to satiating consumers’ desires for visual content and narrative messages. While many brands have already embraced video as a format, there’s still plenty of evidence—in the form of thousands of uninspiring corporate videos—that crafting such content into an engaging message is a much more difficult and specialized proposition than simply “making a video.” In an August article for Fast Company, Kerrin Sheldon notes, “In an attempt to push the brand, marketing videos often forego authenticity in favor of an over-markety [sic] tone. This disengages the viewer and separates them from the brand. [They] don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged.” With that in mind, the whole notion of story deserves deeper examination. [...] Read >MORE
In April, Resource CEO Kelly Mooney wrote about The Rise of the Visual Web and pointed to the rapid adoption of Instagram and Pinterest as an indicator of consumers’ increasing penchant for engaging with visual content. Whether you personally embrace this momentum shift to visual modes of communication or lament it as an indicator of our culture’s declining desire to read and write, the overwhelming consensus of marketers acknowledges that brands must tap into and leverage this trend to stay relevant in consumers’ lives and minds moving forward.
Parallel, but possibly less obvious, to this rise in visual culture and communication, has been an increased awareness in the value of story in the human experience. Experts from literature, psychology, and marketing, among other disciplines, continue to research and uncover evidence supporting the notion that individuals use narratives to interpret life and engage with the world around them. In his book, A Whole New Mind, noted author Daniel Pink states, “We share our stories. [...] Read >MORE