Buzzworthy Wednesday: Adventures of Captain Inbound: Episode One

This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is an animated video created by HubSpot for the “Adventures of Captain Inbound: Episode One“.

Full Disclosure: I may be a bit biased here since I was the writer and animator on this project. While I tend to be hyper-critical of my work (is any creative person not?) I am more impressed with the strategy behind the branding video carried out by HubSpot.

They didn’t just create the video and throw  it out to the whims of the internet, they had a plan. In the word’s of the Episode “Guru” of David Meerman Scott “Create exceptional content that people will want to share, and point the world to your virtual doorstep.”

So the video was posted on their blog, they built a custom landing page for the series to reside (oh yes…there will be more), started a fan page on Facebook and launched a Twitter account for Captain Inbound. Practicing what they are preaching. The video was also mentioned as a great example of how “Content Rules” on the  MarketingProfs blog today by Ann Handley. Enjoy!





Buzzworthy Wednesday: Neda by The Airborne Toxic Event

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.

The Airborne Toxic Event wrote & recorded the song with all proceeds from the sale now available for download on iTunes going to Amnesty International.

Buzzworthy Wednesday: Nike – Write The Future

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: Google Chrome

This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is actually a few weeks old (uploaded May 5th) but is a fun “real world” comparison test showing just how fast Google’s Chrome browser is.

The video now has well over 2 million views and they also created a making of the Google Chrome video which itself has over a half million views.

Buzzworthy Wednesday: Space Chimp

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”.

Space Chimp from Sydney on Vimeo.

Buzzworthy Wednesday: Liberty Mutual "Good Vibrations"

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?

Buzzworthy Wednesday: "The Way We Get By" Documentary

So this is a departure for me. Typically for Buzzworthy Wednesday I am profiling different marketing videos, websites or designs that are really unique and I believe worth a look if you haven’t seen them yet. Sometimes the branding is subtle but this week’s is a complete departure and has absolutely nothing to do with marketing on online branding.

This week I am choosing to profile the documentary “The Way We Get By” about the stories of three senior citizens who are dedicated to greeting the troops being deployed and coming home from Iraq and Afganistan at the Bangor Maine Airport. I felt this was particularly poignant especially since last Wednesday was Veteran’s Day and it is truly a moving piece.

The documentary takes a look into the lives of three senior citizens – Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet who have dedicated their lives to greeting these troops to help them deal with the losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Greeting these troops day in and day out has brought a renewed purpose to their lives.

Although this is loosely billed as a documentary about the Iraq War, it stays apolitical. It is more universally a search for purpose as these people confront their own mortality in their waning years. The dynamic between the departing soldiers and the greeters is what makes this film so successful. For the seniors their mortality is something they are confronted with every day as they confront health problems and the passing of loved ones but for the soldiers it’s a more nebulous feeling because as they depart they know that some of the people they are flying out with will not return.

So until December 12, 2009, PBS is making the entire documentary available to view on their website. You can also check their television schedule to see when it will be airing again in your area. Watch it…you’ll be as moved as I was and share your thoughts about it below.


Buzzworthy Wednesday: The Battle for Milkquarious

The Battle for Milkquarious, is a 20-minute online rock opera about a rock icon named White Gold fighting for justice and his girl on the faraway planet of Milkquarious…that description alone is worthy of Buzzworthy Wednesday. This destination website with movie was launched in mid-October by the California Milk Processor Board and agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (the creators of “Got Milk”).

This short film has sort of a Zoolander-ish feel which carefully walks the line between cool and corny. The result is a hilarious piece with frequent and humorous one liner references to milk like “You guys want to sip on my one gallon axe?”.

They’ve also created the “Milkdonkulous Give-a-way” which is a contest to high schools across California to create their own interpretations of scenes from the movie and win $50,000 for your school’s art, music, and drama programs.

The contest is kind of cool, but where they fall short is having the high school kids interpret scenes. Why stop there? Why not have them write new scenes? The winner could have their script used in the further adventures of White Gold. I think expanding upon the intellectual property of Milkquarious rather than just rehashing the material would make far more sense and really let the creativity of these high school students run wild. Then these kids could share their videos on YouTube and Facebook and create a social buzz around Milkquarious. That’s where the payback would be from a marketing perspective.

All in all it’s a pretty funny and great marketing effort, but is this the future of online video advertising? Will more and more online marketing videos be moving to this type of immersive experience? What do you think?


Buzzworthy Wednesday: Martin Williams "Fire the Flu"

This was a really campy fun little video put together by the Martin Williams Ad Agency as a “non-billable, politically acceptable video for the work place”. That’s why it’s the Buzzworthy Wednesday video for this week. It’s basically a tutorial video about the H1N1 and seasonal flu but it’s done in a retro “public service announcement” kind of way.

It only has a few thousand views which I find surprising because it’s so cleverly done with a timely subject matter and so lightly branded at the end that I figured it would have had many more views than it does. Maybe not everyone “gets” the subtle humor in it, judging from the comments I’d say that could be the case. Enjoy and have fun, if you’re not careful you may learn something before it’s done.

(anyone catch the “Fat Albert” with Bill Cosby reference there?)

Buzzworthy Wednesday: Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks" Video

This is an amazing video created by architectural visual artist Gabe Askew, a fan of the band Grizzly Bear for the band’s track “Two Weeks”. This fantasy filled animation is truly breath-taking which is why it’s my choice for this week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday. While not a traditional marketing piece (the artist was not paid to do this) of creativity which is normally what I profile on Buzzworthy Wednesday’s, this is a great piece both for Grizzly Bear and also an outstanding sample of Gabe’s skills as a visual artist. Sometimes this is where the most creative efforts develop from. It’s received over 300,000 views spread across various video sharing sites.

When asked in his interview at VRay what motivated him to create this video, Askew stated that he “I chose the song ‘Two Weeks’ by my favorite band Grizzly Bear because it inspired me. Even though the video is about two men, I connected the lyrics to my own relationship with my wife. The lyrics, to me, told the story of a relationship where one person is uncertain of the others loyalty. You get sucked up into the daily grind and forget to tell the one you love how you feel. They get insecure and worry that you aren’t committed. And the line ‘I told you I would stay’ is like a battle cry for fighting to keep your relationship together when it seems to be on the brink. ” The interview also has some great storyboard and animatic samples from the project.

You don’t get yourself noticed by following the herd and this video got the artist recognized in a big way, (even being twittered about by the lead singer of Grizzly Bear and being picked up on the Creativity Top 5), by working on a project he was passionate about.

Follow your passions and enjoy.