Thursday, December 15, 2011

Create or Else

I love Ogilvy's site, Create or Else - mainly because I just love the name.
It's a worldwide youtube channel "founded and curated by Ogilvy" as a creative outlet for those of us who just have to, well...
create or else.

And in the spirit of the concept, I'd like to share with you an example of one of the more innovative expressions of creativity.

It's a video on the Create or Else site from Motion Theory Media that demonstrates that even data is art. In fact, not only is it art, it's becoming the hottest new trend in art.

Here's what went into creating this art:

And here's the finished piece:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Catvent Calendar

Yet another marriage of video with social media: Big Fuel, a social media agency in New York, has partnered with the Humane Society of New York to create this unique and festive calendar.

There is a video for each day of the season, and each video features an adoptable animal (or animals) in a  themed setting.

Great use of both video & social media! AdAge thinks so, too: they are one of today's Creativity Online spotlights. Click the image below to visit the calendar.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Value of a Single Second

MontBlanc is hosting a contest, in honor of the 190th anniversary of the invention of the chronograph.

I'm not sure what this has to do with pens, except for the fact that chronograph literally means "time-writer," nevertheless, the contest is in full swing.

This contest fascinates me because in order to enter, you must submit a film of your own making...
but it can't last more than a second in length.

24 lousy frames, 29.97 at best.  What can you capture in that single, perfect, moment in time? And is it even enough to register on one's consciousness when viewed?

Entitled "The Beauty of a Second," the contest is being presented by renowned filmmaker Wim Wenders. Here is MontBlanc's film promoting the contest.

What would your perfect second be?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fodder for ideation

Here are this year's Emmy nominees for Best Commercial. Which one would you choose?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thinking outside the bucket

A few years back, Fallon, Minneapolis created a spot for PBS that I fell in love with.

Yes, it had loads of rich textures and great locations. There are some interesting camera angles, and the casting was superb.  But it was the storytelling that was the star.

Of course, those who know me know I'm a sucker for "outside the box" -- or, in this case, bucket -- thinking.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just For Fun

Remember the hugely successful IKEA cats spot, "Happy Inside"? The one where they released, like, a gazillion cats onto an IKEA showroom floor?

Well now they're created an IKEA CAT-alogue. Sorry, I know it's not video/film, but still. It's fun stuff.

And, it's cats.

Click on the Cat-alogue cover below to launch.

Check it out: this kitchen spread has a tag line, "Easy wipe laminate surfaces make messy mouse-work a thing of the past." (okay so I'm easily amused.)

Friday, August 5, 2011

An Immersive Experience

Today, video/film is used as an element of a marketing experience rather than the standalone advertising piece it once was. And often it's the smaller boutique agencies that are setting the creative pace.

Take [wire]stone for example. They excel in creating immersive experiences for some of the biggest names in the industry. And they do it impressively.

They were recently contracted to market Boeing's new fleet of 737s, creating a 17 gigapixel multidimensional photo of the plane by seamlessly integrating over 20,000 images. Then they made it interactive through Kinect so users can view from rivet to blue sky via body gestures.

Their reel is impressive.

Ans once on their site, you gotta check out their mashup of Saturday Night Live and Beyond the Comics. It's a new media property that Fred Wolf, former head writer for SNL, asked [wire]stone to help develop.  Think 21st century Sunday funnies with an edge.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not a traditional post for this blog

...but it's for a good cause, takes only one minute of your time, and can help to save the lives of hundreds of animals.

A Capella University alumnus I know has an opportunity to win a $10,000 grant for Wayside Waifs, Missouri's largest No Kill animal shelter. But in order to win, we need your help.

Winners will be chosen first by popular vote on youtube. Only the top candidates will be reviewed by Capella before awarding the grant money.

Please go vote - daily!

Here's what to look for:

Once on the site, scroll down to the "Community Submissions" section. We're one of 18 videos entered into the competition.

Ours looks like this:

And here's the link:

And...THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Going Dutch with Multimedia Creativity

I know this might be stretching the concept of multimedia a bit, but this was too fun not to share. Dutch Standard Prices Company, one of Holland's oldest and most ubiquitous retail chains (think CVS or 7-Eleven) has an online store.

Click the photo below to launch, and then do nothing. Don't click anything, just watch and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fun use of CGI, integrated into a live shot

Not too long ago, Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy S II in France. To promote the smartphone's release, they brought in JayFunk, whose rep for internet finger-tutting has gone global.

(okay, for those of you who don't know what finger tutting is:
"Tutting is a contemporary abstract interpretive street dance style modeled after Egyptian hieroglyphics.")

It starts out deceptively. Hang with it if you aren't into the straight tutting style. Once the graphics begin, it'll be  worth it! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Data is the new Sexy?

Since when did delivering statistics graduate from dry and boring to innovative and sexy?
Since a company in Stockholm made it their new "project." 

Talk about your Extreme Makeovers. Take a look:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Producing Outside the Box

I love it when I see someone taking a traditional icon, a hackneyed phrase or an all-too-familiar scenario - and turning it on its ear. The unexpected is attention-getting. And getting your audience's attention is Rule #1 in getting your message across.

C'mon, what's more trite than that shot of the cop pulling the guy over for speeding? Try a cop who thinks you're SuperCool....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Impressive feat of compositing

Okay, so I'm a sucker for kitties. So when The Moving Picture Company, a post-production house based in Soho, London, posted its work on a new ad campaign for a UK dairy company, I had to check into it.

Wow. The first Cravendale ad packs a whole lot of artistry and creative genius into what you as the viewer don't see.  They make the kitties in this spot look pretty darn realistic. And without a single computer generated effect.

Since the spot was composited entirely from live-action plates, I can't begin to imagine the herculean feat required for pre-production.  Hats off to you, guys. Impressive!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When worlds collide

Nike's most recent 10k race, held in Buenos Ares, had a unique feature: a one-of-a-kind ad campaign that integrated its advertising for the event with their online presence on twitter and the actual race itself. 

It was the first marathon to take place in both the real and virtual worlds. To promote the brand - and the race - Nike hired BBDO's Argentine office to write an app that combined the real-life race with an online race in an innovative way. 

I love how they engaged their consumers by canvassing their campaign through the digital space.  The treatment's not too bad, either.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Hey, we're changing our ad campaign!"

One of the things that's become increasingly clear is the need to make sure your presence permeates the digital ecosystem.  It's not enough to have a presence in one aspect of digital space (TV ads on broadcast, cable, hulu). Companies need to connect with their consumers and follow them where they go. That means social sites, check-in sites, even through apps they commonly use. To do this effectively, you really have to know your consumer.

Old Navy's new ad campaign is a great example of this. Their new music-centric campaign delivers its message through original lyrics in a pop tune that's searchable with the Shazam app. When consumers use Shazam to identify any of the songs, they'll also see current deals, new looks and styling tips pop up on their screens.

In a clever twist, they used the campaign switch as a way to connect with consumers by "leaking" the "audition tapes" of the previous campaign's principle characters, the Old Navy Mannequins on youtube.

I love that they turned something as basic as a new ad campaign into an opportunity to promote themselves.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Transmedia Storytelling

You have a company that's been around for a long time. Its consumer is aging and the company wants to reach out to a younger demographic. How to do this?

In this particular instance it's a Dutch public broadcast station whose median viewing age is 55.  Its solution is to reach out into spaces where today's younger audiences are connecting. It did so by using a rule-bending format the director refers to as Transmedia Storytelling. 

The resulting experience goes beyond a standard single media stream. Instead, it integrates the content you'd traditionally expect - talking head interviews - with interactive maps, gaming, animation and a fictional story line to get its point across.

What I find compelling about this as a producer is that it makes me think. Who is the audience I am being paid to reach? How might I best do that? What I've always done before may not be the best solution going forward.

Our clients are constantly telling us they want something fresh and different. Granted, it has to be delivered within budget and on time, which can dictate exactly how "fresh and different" we can be. The old adage of "good-fast-cheap, pick two" is still very much in play.

But I think it's incumbent on us to be ever-exploring, to foster an attitude that borders on dissatisfaction with where we exist creatively now, as opposed to where we could be

Take a look at this company's solution and let me know if it causes you to think about your next project differently.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amazing what you find if you look hard enough

My big find of the week - and all I did was a little googling.  What's not to love about 100 free After Effects tutorials? (And some free plug-ins that help you achieve these effects?)

All Bets Are Off is a NYC based post-production house that has recently begun to offer products, services and advice for people in the multimedia industry.

You can check out some of their work here (click on logo to click through to their site):

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby needs a new pair of mukluks

A few weeks ago I was in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show - the world's largest tech trade show - and was utterly shocked to run into people from the ad agency where I used to work. What are the odds?

That run-in brought back some great memories, including what I think is one of the best all-time print ads. Ever. And it was done to promote ourselves.

In the body copy, it spoke about the importance of making your viewer - your consumer - think. That's the first step in getting them to take the action you want, whether it's to buy your product, to support a cause, to educate or to train.

In order to do that, first you have to engage them.  There are countless ways to do that, but often the most effective are the ones that surprise and intrigue.

Which brings me to the title of my post.

Because, you see, the ad featured this headline:

"C'mon seven!  Baby needs a new pair of mukluks."   

The concept was clever - crashing together two hackneyed American concepts.  The body copy went on to state: "You can sell ice cubes to Eskimos. Just etch dots on the sides and call them disposable dice."

I keep this ad on my wall in my office to remind me how important it is to capture your audience's attention - and there's no better way to do this than by delivering the unexpected. I love it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What can I say? It's cats.

I can't begin to imagine the cost of this production - forget herding cats, what about rounding up their owners to participate? Then there's the IR camera, plus the gazillion-member crew. But *sigh* it's SO worth it.

How to Visualize an Intangible

I'm currently working on preproduction for an IT communication. Talk about your intangibles. How do you communicate things like "end-to-end processes," "value realization" and - my personal fave - "PCI Compliance" through a visual medium not noted for delivering on the details?

You can probably guess the type of creative ideas I've been studying lately - how to express those more amorphous ideas through video/film.  Here's one ad campaign that has delivered a single intangible idea successfully: Allstate's Mayhem campaign.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What kind of film does Ebert think should be nominated for an Oscar?

You probably recall the blizzard that hit New York around the holidays. Well, someone with a Canon 5D filmed its progress, then edited and posted it to youtube - all within 24 hours.

Roger Ebert thinks it should be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short. What do you think?

Friday, January 7, 2011

CES, Day 2

What to share, out of all the mind-blowing sensory overload? Here's one thing for starters. Qualcomm is giving away $200k to any developer who can use its Augmented Reality Software Developer's Kit to create applications like this one:

As I'm employed by one of the companies that has been on the cutting edge of AR product development in communication and entertainment, I thought this worth posting. What's the future of AR? Will it become increasingly integrated into our lifestyles? Maybe we'd better add this technology to our Ideation Buckets when thinking of how to deliver the best multimedia solutions for our clients.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ideation of the Day

Want to see the top 5 commercials of 2010? These are the ones the folks in charge of handing out Emmys considered worth an Outstanding Commercial nomination. Great ideas are fodder for more great ideas.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project iRiS

And speaking of interactivity.... This was just TOO cool not to share.  Does it have practical uses in the world of multimedia as a communication tool? Um, possibly not, as shown here. But c'mon, ya gotta admit, this is WAY cool.

How do you integrate interactivity into your creative process?

Granted, not all projects will lend themselves to interactivity, but the world is becoming more interactive, not less. It’s worth adding that to your decision-making model as you approach each new project.

Here’s how one company did it: 

Thinking outside the box: A Cardboard Christmas Carol

Over the holidays I stumbled upon a clever and fun rendition of a classic tale.

Okay, so it’s in Dutch. Still, the creative concept transcends the language barrier. I love the lo-tech counterpoint way they tell how the story would unfold in the hi-tech world of social media. But I’ve always been a sucker for quirky counterpoint. Especially when it adds context to the tale, like it does here.

From -

"Staff at Rhinofly, an interactive agency from The Netherlands, spent some time in the lead up to Christmas wondering how Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol character Scrooge would behave in social media. How would the story evolve if it was taking place in new media? They’ve retold the story (in Dutch) using new and social media, using old fashioned techniques."

Jump-start your next breakthrough idea

Mitch Ditkoff offers up 14 methods he recommends to jump-start your next breakthrough idea.

Here's what he has to say about it:

"There’s a lot of talk these days—especially in business circles—about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now. Innovation, they reason, is the competitive edge. What sparks innovation? People. What sparks people? Inspired ideas that meet a need—whether expressed or unexpressed—ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support.Is there anything a person can do—beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings—to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas? Yes, there is. And it begins with the awareness of where ideas come from in the first place." 

His manifesto is downloadable by following this link:

The Problem of Viewership

See? In the time it took you to click through to this blog and scan down just this far, I've already lost, what? 30% of my viewers? Grabbing - and then keeping - the attention of your viewers is The Holy Grail sought after by most people who make a living in multimedia.

TED's blog this week talked about how this crisis is affecting marketing and advertising. And while my professional world does not revolve around these two industries per se, what I saw felt pretty darn applicable to my industry too.  Click the link below to watch their video blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

TED's Ads Worth Spreading Challenge