Sep 19, 2014

Archive for the ‘Inbound Marketing’ Category

Blue Marble Video Production Wins Gold at New York International Television and Film Festival

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

2014 New York Festivals

Last week in Las Vegas, Blue Marble Media principals Ben and Cara Barineau were awarded a Gold World Medal for the company’s video and motion graphics production, The Supply Chain Revolution.  Created for client Manhattan Associates, the corporate image video combines original footage shot in New York City with motion graphics that track with the action in each scene.

This year’s New York International Television and Film Festival had entries from more than 50 countries.  Other winners included ESPN, HBO, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ChannelNews Asia, FOX International, Fuji Television Network, 101 East for Al Jazeera English and many others for around the world.

Blue Marble was also recently  honored with  a Visionary Award from the Summit Emerging Media Awards for The Supply Chain Revolution.  The Visionary Award is the top honor for each category of the competition.

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Is video production value still relevant? Glad you asked!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Yesterday I was perusing one of my thrice daily emails from HARO (Help A Reporter Out) which lists all kinds of queries from reporters looking for sources for stories they’re working on. One that I found particularly intriguing was a reporter asking for opinions on what is acceptable when it comes to the production value of online video.

Here was my response:

I’ve been in the advertising/marketing industry for nearly 30 years. For the last 15 of those, I’ve owned a video production and web site design firm that services a wide variety of corporate clients.

Don’t let my resume fool you though — I actually DON’T think all online video has to meet the same levels of production value. For instance, some of the best viral videos have worked partly because their production values were so low. Often low production value adds a level of credibility to a video that purports to be “bystander video” of an actual event caught in the moment. For spoofs, low-brow comedy and even promotional videos and web-ads where it’s hip to be grungy — low production value can be cool.

However, audiences today are more sophisticated than ever about the quality of what they see on screen — regardless of whether that screen is attached to a computer, mobile phone or their home entertainment system. Even kids know good lighting, editing and acting when they see it — or more to the point — when they DON’T see it. They may not have the vocabulary to express it — but they definitely notice and make a judgment call.

To me, the best way to decide how much production value is required for your video is to start by thinking about who your desired audience is. If it’s hipsters and 20-somethings looking for something fun — that requires one kind of approach. If, on the other hand, you’re hoping to sell thousands of dollars of software to medium-size businesses — that’s a completely different message that needs to be presented in a very different way.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of someone who successfully used low production value video. His goal? Grow business for his parents’ wine store. His target (and this is what made his approach make sense) was younger audiences who knew nothing about wine — and maybe even felt a little intimidated by snobby “wine culture.” Gary’s personal style is irreverent, fun, and “in your face”. Yet, he really does know wine. He’s just not afraid to be enthusiastic, profane, rough edged, etc., in his wine reviews. I’ve heard him tell his audience that a particular wine is so bad its aroma reminds him of the smell of a county fair men’s room. His Wine Library videos were massively popular with exactly the crowd he was aiming for. His parents’ business sky rocketed.

But Gary will also tell you that he knows his style of presentation is a complete turn-off to older, more conservative audiences who have money to spend and are interested in wine. That bothers him, but not enough to compromise his focus on the young, hip market that connects with him.

What plagues me is all the discussion going on in chat rooms and on blog postings about how no business should ever have to worry about production value. Don’t hire that expensive production company — just set up your camera and go for it. Really? It’s one thing for hipsters to be drawn to a hand-held Flip video production about a new brand of jeans. It’s a completely different story for the CIO of a corporation to watch your cheaply produced, rambling video and decide to spend $10,000 on a software license with your company.

The point is, the audience makes the decision. There are just some things that I want to buy from a professional, solid-looking company. No passes for being on-line. On-line is your business’ number one way of connecting with me. That’s where you get to make your first, best and in many cases, ONLY impression. If your video looks amateurish — guess what? That’s now the impression I have of your company.

Think about it. Haven’t you ever seen one of those awful, locally produced TV spots for say, a tire company or furniture store and thought — “I will NEVER shop there. That Mom and Pop operation can’t even make a good commercial.”

The same thing applies to web sites. You know you’ve landed on a site that was so poorly designed that you thought “these people have to be working out of their basement”.

I could go on and on — and maybe I already have. Thanks for exploring this topic — it’s important.

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Do-It-Yourself Video

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Well it happened again. I ran across another online discussion — this time on Hubspot, one of my very favorite SEO blogs and was dismayed to read the following:

“Gone are the days when you have to spend $10,000+ on a video by acquiring a crew, hiring a director, booking a studio, etc. Creating online video doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to look amateurish. If you follow these few basic steps, you can — quickly and easily — create a video yourself that shines…”

If you follow that line of thinking — it should be no problem using your own snapshots of the company executives in your next annual report, right? I mean, look at the great digital cameras that are available today. And iPhoto makes retouching so easy!

Here was my response to their blog:

Don’t ever forget that your brand is judged everyday by the quality of the messages and images you put in front of your audiences.

It may not be fair, but if your web site, printed materials or video look amateurish — that’s EXACTLLY the impression your prospects will now have about your organization. Amateurish. Unsophisticated. Unprofessional. Small. Not a major player.

You know you’ve thought the same thing about other companies’ sites when you’ve been online.

So, it’s true — the low cost of HD video cameras and laptop or even web based editing software is making video production much more accessible to everyone.

And, for video testimonials and simple short messages from executives — most companies can and should be able to create good video on their own.

But before you take on a video project with no outside professional help, remember some of the tough lessons companies had to learn back in the 90s when Desktop Publishing was all the rage.

I actually worked with a company that purchased Corel Draw and a color printer and told the RECEPTIONIST to learn how to use both so that they could “spice up” their proposals. Care to guess how that all worked out?

OK, so the point is this: just because you CAN layout a brochure — or point a video camera in the general direction of your CEO — doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

It sounds trite, but it’s true — you only get one chance to make a first impression.

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