• Ask Big Questions

    When you witness a story that’s so extraordinary… you know it. It’s a feeling you experience, and you can’t quite explain it. The story moves beyond any boundary or limitation set upon it and breaks into the coveted upper-crust of becoming an instant classic — a treasure to our story-craving culture.

    That’s what happened to me when I saw the first Shrek film.

    In all seriousness, a branded piece, by Harry’s Razors in partnership with The Representation Project titled A Man Like You, asks big questions in terms of how their product relates to its target audience’s emotions. It aspires to explore something deeper — venturing beyond just a run-in-the-mill ad. I wanted to break down and discuss why this short film works on so many levels: narrative, theme, and incorporation of branding. Before continuing any further, watch A Man Like You below:

    read more

  • Video Content Targeting is King

    It feels like I can finally tread water after all of those case studies that we’ve released over the weeks. If you haven’t taken a gander at them, yet, head over to the ‘Dailies’ main page here to educate yourself.

    In the wake of all of the scrutiny aimed towards Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, there has been a discussion about data, privacy, and how they relate to ads. I mean, you look up nightstands one time and then you’re inundated with sponsored ads featuring — wait for it — nightstands. Ridiculous.

    read more

  • Immersion & Theme: How We Establish Voice with Brands

    One of the hardest questions in this new race for branded content is how to stand out. How do you connect with your audience and establish a trusted rapport via video content? Brands can’t get by only selling a product — you must tell us why and new consumers are wary of brands that won’t — for lack of a better term — talk with us. In an article for AdWeek, writer Bronwyn van der Merwe discusses the importance of voice and tone when it comes to how brands communicate with their consumers. It led me to think about how brands must create their voice and tone in video content, as well.

    read more

  • Understanding Black Panther’s Power

    Wakanda Forever. It’s not only a rallying cry for a great movie — it’s a proud proclamation of inclusion, heritage, and a hope for a better tomorrow for all peoples. Black Panther is the number one movie in the world, and, frankly, deserves to be there. read more

  • At the Turn of the Tide… Ad

    The Big Game is over and the post-hot wings and beer antacids are all eaten up. Because that’s America. The biggest sporting event in the country also comes with the most anticipated commercials of the year––some of them land, some of them flop. Afterwards, there are the endless lists of ‘Best Super Bowl Ads 2018.’

    Today, we’re doing something a little different. There was one ad campaign that stood above the rest because of its inventiveness and self-awareness. It’s the Tide ads. David Harbour, of Stranger Things fame, starred in four spots––one in each quarter––that totaled 90-seconds of air-time. Let’s dissect why the ads worked and what we can learn from Tide.

    read more

  • Mergers and Mega-hit Independent Films

    In late 2017, it was announced that Disney would buy 20th Century Fox, including all of the beloved properties such as X-men, Fantastic Four, and… I guess, The Simpsons? The studio system continues to shrink down to a smaller number of big studios. Whether or not that portends doom for the industry or not (I tend to think not), remains to be seen.  read more

  • Instagram, Video, and the Millennials Who Watch

    It’s no secret that millennials stare at screens for a collective hours a day. Truth is, there’s tons of interesting stuff in the world captured by artistically minded folks on Instagram. However, I do subscribe to the notion that we can all put our phones down once in a while. Maybe we don’t have to take a picture of every boutique coffee we drink.

    Some advertisers know where millennials’ eyeballs are, and they make sure to be there, as well. According to a recent study done by Bustle and reported by Adweek, 40% of millennial women prefer ads via Instagram. What is it about the visual social media app that draws such a preference from a large consumer pool? How have we collaborated with brands to reach and ignite these consumers’ interests?

    read more

  • Scary Good Content for Halloween

    I’m not sure who you are, or what your life is, but I’ve already had to go back to Kroger to buy candy a second time for the trick-or-treaters because I ate the bag I had. If you’re one of those people who can buy a bag of candy and save it for Halloween night, send me your address so I can send you a trophy with a personalized note.

    That brings me to my topic for the day: candy brands, and how they break ahead of the pack in time for one of the three biggest holidays for candy. (Wait, there are at least three holidays centered around candy…?! Guys, we need to reflect on who are as a people.) read more

  • Enter Player Two! Facebook Unveils ‘Watch’

    It’s happened. Late last Wednesday night, Mark Zuckerberg, himself, took to Facebook to announce Facebook Watch, their original video content service. The Watch tab to be featured on the Facebook website interface will feature original scripted and unscripted content from a wide range of genres. Today, we’ll be running down a number of the logistics of Facebook Watch (what set’s it apart, who’s a part of it, etc). We’ll also give some thoughts on the complete implications of a new player in the streaming services lineup. read more

  • Transitioning to Cinematic: the Commercial Evolution

    I remember seeing commercials when I was a kid growing up in the 90s. They all looked similar; upbeat music bed, high-key lighting, cheesy product shots, lots of flying graphic text. There was always two boys of different ethnicities saying “WOW!” at the latest and greatest toy. Then, one of their moms would come in, tilt her head slightly, and ask “What are you kids up to?” Then, (presumably) her son would say, “Aw gee whiz, Mom, we’re battling Galactor!” (Galactor is a villain in my space opera I’m writing. Watch out, James Gunn.) Now, I see ads on TV that utilize sweeping, panoramic drone shots. I see wonderful, nuanced lighting that highlights the emotionality of brand’s story. The new generation of marketing content could be bonafide short films. When did this transition from sappy to spectacle happen? Where does the video marketing world go from here? Today, we’ll explore those topics.

    read more