This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is a music video…but one with a cause. It is “Neda” by the Airborne Toxic Event. They wrote this song in remembrance of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was shot and killed on the streets of Tehran by a government militia group a year ago during a peaceful protest of the disputed Iranian presidential election.
I think the band’s use of animation using “courtroom style” illustrations is incredibly effective. Particularly in visually telling the horrible story of Neda’s death and the video taken by someone with a cell phone video camera who uploaded it to the internet (if you want to watch that video here is the link but be warned that the content is graphic).
This original video of Neda’s murder has shifted the power of broadcasting typically controlled by governments and corporations (such as Iranian state-run television), to the hands of the people. It’s one of the first examples showing how we have entered a new era of citizen journalism and with that the power of one voice, one photo or one video has the ability to reach millions and ignite change.
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Maruxa Murphy for the Video Marketing Telesummit. It was a lot of fun talking about the usage of animation for online marketing applications and having a great discussion on the topic.
Here’s the description of my session for the event.
“How To Grab Your Customers By The Eyeballs And Keep Them Glued To The Screen Through Fun And Effective Animated Videos For Your Business”
Eric Guerin has over 15 years experience in the visual communications field working for marketing firms in and around Boston MA. Eric started his own company, Adelie Studios, in 1999 with the mission of providing an integrated solution to customer’s print and web design needs.
Here’s what you’ll discover in this presentation…
Discover the 2 types of video animation that is often overlooked in video marketing today
The easiest and most unique way to position your products in your video marketing strategy
The #1 way you can grab your audience’s attention in the first 5 seconds of your video
Why 53% of your current viewers are NOT watching your entire video (and how you can immediately change these stats to your favor!)
3 superstar tips to getting your videos viewed by your intended audience again and again
How to create high-converting videos without your talking head in the video
The single most powerful way to get more views to your videos
How Google Site Maps can get your videos dominating Google searches within hours
3 major reasons your audience will want to pass on your animated video
The fastest way to get your audience to see your animated videos through your email marketing campaigns
This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is in honor of the World Cup kicking off later this week. It’s a 3 minute film by Nike Football featuring some of the world’s greatest players (Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and more) to inspire football lovers and sports fans around the world. Uploaded May 17th it already has nearly 14 million views. What makes it so successful is you don’t even have to be a football fan to enjoy it.
Buzzworthy Wednesday’s have been resurrected! In an effort to keep them simple and easier for me to stay up to date with a weekly post I will be keeping my comments and background on whatever the Buzzworthy Wednesday content is quick and to the point.
This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is “Space Chimp” with a sad but poignant environmental message. The video was a collaboration between the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF…not the wrestling organization), ad agency Leo Burnett which has one of my favorite interactive websites ever designed and singer / songwriter Ben Lee for his track, “Song for the Divine Mother of the Universe”.
The people have spoken! Many through Facebook or Twitter, some by email and a handful on the blog in the comments. Crowd sourcing the design was definitely a great idea and I got a lot of ideas and feedback that I wouldn’t have gone to on my own.
#6 was the overwhelming favorite however a number of people liked elements from #7, particularly the ink blot rather than the traditional circle for the play button because of how that ink blot related to the style relative to the animated work I do. I felt it also gave it less of a “corporate” design studio look and what I do is definitely not traditional messaging as I tend to make branding more interesting and entertaining. So there had to be a fun element to the design too. So… a la peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…I combined the two elements into one logo.
I also decided to play around with the colors a bit, I felt like the dark burgundy (or PMS #1815 to those geeky designers out there) was too strong and would function better on the website in small quantities used to stress links, thin rules and such. So after playing around for a bit I came up with the following.
I bring you the new and improved logo for Adelie Studios.
It was has been almost 10 years ago since Adelie Studios was started as predominantly a graphic and web design company and a lot has changed since then. Now I am doing mostly online marketing animation and animated tutorial videos…not so much graphic or web design. So because of this shift in my design focus and the fact that it’s been neglected for so long…it’s time for Adelie Studios to have a make over.
Originally Adelie Studios was named after my dog but I decided to play around with the branding a bit and look at other elements like the penguin (which I got the name for the dog from) and the meaning of Adelie which is “noble” in both French and German.
So now is where I am looking for your help. I am so used to taking other people’s concepts and running with a creative message that it becomes difficult for me to be objective with my own stuff when I am the only voice. So I’d like to crowd source some feedback from my creative friends and connections.
I have posted a few of my most recent logo design concepts here. Please vote for which one you like below in the comments, on Facebook or you can tweet me your favorite on Twitter. I look forward to all of your feedback!
Liberty Mutual has been using the “good karma” branding message for a number of years now. This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is a recently created animated addition to their Responsibility Project. It’s not often that you see a company take the marketing strategy to create change and to be authentic about it. I think this message was successful in grabbing the viewer to show the impact a simple action can have in the lives of others but comes across seeming disingenuous in others.
The animation is very well done and their pay it forward puts an emotional touch on their brand to communicate meaningfully with consumers.
Where I think it fails in some ways is in the use of the office building…let’s be honest most large office buildings are occupied by large corporations, financial and insurance companies and Liberty Mutual is no exception. Is this a reach? A sort of pessimism on my viewing part? I don’t know. It may be I’m seeing some symbolism that Liberty Mutual hadn’t considered when working on the project. It’s also a little long at a little over 4 minutes so part of the reason it may have gotten so few views is the fact that many online viewers have a shorter attention span than this video requires to unfold.
Either way, it’s definitely very well crafted by French animator Jérémy Clapin, the director of Skhizein. Clapin’s visual voice is incredibly strong and make this brilliant piece a pleasure to watch regardless of whether or not I am reading into the crowd in the office building symbolism too much. I guess if you remove Liberty Mutual and its marketing message from the equation I find it much more enjoyable and captivating short to watch. What about you? Am I crazy here?
A recent post by Chad Northrup at Chatterbox about LinkedIn being the “No Fun Social Network” recently got me thinking about many of the companies I have worked with that are clinging to the old school methodology of marketing by constantly staying on message and not seeing what is going on right now in the online world.
Years ago, staying on message was how you branded your business. So whether someone saw your newspaper ad, brochure, radio ad, TV spot, etc. it all had the same look, feel and message. Recognition through replication.
Now however things are changing. Branding through certain visual markers like colors, fonts, logo, etc. is still equally important but the message is different because people online want to engage and interact with your brand. They don’t want to get your mission statement delivered to them, they want to know about what interesting projects you are working on or how your product is going to help them personally. You need to have a conversation with your potential audience not deliver a soliloquy.
Given this seismic shift, you also need to change how you brand yourself and your business because the people behind the brand are taking center stage now. Your voice is now equally as important to your branding as your logo. Don’t handcuff your employee brand advocates – let your companies personalities shine!
Another pitfall companies fall into is being bland.I can’t tell you how many businesses I have met with and all they want to do is plug their same boring sales message into video format. Why? Do something wildly creative! Solve one of your most frequently asked questions or problems in a creative story. In every blog post, in every video or podcast you create there’s got to be emotion or opinion to trigger an action of some kind. Make interesting content that people want to read/view and if it’s REALLY interesting share with their network. No one is going to share your mission statement unless maybe you make it into a rap or something entertaining.
Creative thinking and authentic engagement will be what makes some brands more noticeable in the coming years…not how much money they dumped into traditional advertising. Small companies like Blendtec will be the household names of tomorrow because they are creating online content that people like to consume and be entertained by.
What about you? What do you think the future holds for branding?