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Promo video primer: 30 first-class examples

Back in 2014, a story from Chris Trimble appeared in the Guardian proclaiming video as the future of content marketing, with this dire warning: “small businesses who ignore it do so at their peril.” Since then, video usage has continued to climb, and more and more people and businesses are trying to engage, entertain and educate us with their on-screen storytelling. Bearing this in mind, I’m very happy to share some of the videos I’ve collected over the past six years working beside some phenomenal storytellers.

For your reference and enlightenment, I have chosen 10 examples apiece for three well-established niches of corporate communications. While most of these videos were designed for business audiences, their creators invested some artistry to try to make them appeal to all of us. Read more

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Giving season: Heroes 2016


Together with my family, I am sending my warmest thoughts to many friends and colleagues worldwide, and feeling a lot of gratitude. I truly appreciate your help in sending daily clicks to http://hungersite.com, where our simple mouseclicks can benefit a number of vital causes each and every day.

I’m also especially thankful to the individuals behind my client companies Cutters Studios, Gentleman Scholar Studios, Leviathan, Sarofsky and Wondersmith for their leadership and help in supporting the following heroic organizations. Read more

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Mark your calendar: Stellar events coming to the USA, Cannes, London, Toronto and Munich

It’s my pleasure to share this update reflecting my commitment to providing thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, creatives, producers and artists with timely information on upcoming, highly valuable and inspirational opportunities. Read more

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2016 Olympic Advertising

Thanks to some Herculean feats by the illustrious organizers of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad – and over 11,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees, including first-time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan – we have witnessed quite a show over the past several days. Haven’t we?

Technically, I was among the first people complaining about the blinding number and frequency of commercials aired during the Opening Ceremony; wow. In the early going, that programming approach stole the show in many ways, from my point of view – but I must admit that we all rely on advertising and sponsorship to a great extent to allow us to experience the Olympics. Since my clients are craftspeople of the highest order producing spectacular commercials and branded content, I can appreciate the value of creative advertising… but I agree with the broadcasters’ latest assessments, which have been forced to acknowledge how much viewers’ tastes have changed.

Synchronized with the broadcast of the Opening Ceremony from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics on Aug. 5, my friend Ann Christine Diaz published this story in Ad Age, highlighting many of the major brands who bought time, so that NBC’s viewers could watch the show for free: Read more

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Giving season: Heroes 2015


Together with my family, I am sending my warmest thoughts to many friends and colleagues worldwide, and feeling a lot of gratitude. I truly appreciate your help in sending daily clicks to http://hungersite.com, where our simple mouseclicks can benefit a number of vital causes each and every day.

I’m also especially thankful to Los Angeles-based imagemaker Tommy Ewasko and the individuals behind my client companies Cap Gun Collective, Cutters Studios, Leviathan, Sarofsky, Valiant Pictures and Wondersmith for their leadership and help in supporting the following heroic organizations. Read more

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Best-case scenario: Kathryn Hempel, Cutters Studios

Generally speaking, on the best days, my job breaks down to a careful balance of art and craft. I’m hoping that this art/craft angle will be an interesting way to talk about some others I admire, and what we’re achieving together. Due to the uncommon success of our joint efforts, I’m choosing Kathryn Hempel and all her colleagues at Cutters Studios as the perfect subjects to explore a new variation on the classic case study, which I’m calling a “Best-Case Scenario.”

With love to director Brad Tucker for putting us all in contact, a lot went into making Cutters Studios a solid fit for me when we joined forces last year. The very first “Cutters” commercial editorial facility had opened in Chicago 34 years earlier, but by January 2014, the parent Cutters Studios group was also operating studios in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Tokyo… spanning all aspects of commercial production, post-production and creative development. Relatively soon after partnering up, I learned about the Always #likeagirl campaign that Kathryn was editing for Leo Burnett and Chelsea Pictures director Lauren Greenfield, and I had a chance to counsel everyone on all the ways we might use PR to promote the work and everyone behind it.

By then, I already had a very good sense of what sets Cutters apart: Read more

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What’s the impact of winning a Cannes Lion?

Happy Friday friends! I hope your work week is wrapping up nicely and that you’ll soon be able to enjoy some well-earned downtime, like a lot of people have been doing all week in Cannes (kidding, of course). Before ending this week, I wanted to share this video I’m embedding here from experience design agency FreeState, and a few more comments about the significance of winning a Cannes Lion award.

As you can hear first-hand from FreeState’s creative director Adam Scott in this video directed by Ilan Metev, FreeState won a Gold Design Lion at Cannes in 2013 after designing the world’s largest kinetic sculptures for Blackpool’s promenade. Under the heading of “Why Winning a Lion Matters – An Agency’s View,” Mr. Scott enlightens us while pedaling his bike around the city: “Sometimes it’s hard to find your way, and especially hard given it’s so darn crowded out here…. How do you stand out,” he asks.

And about the results of winning Cannes Lion Gold, he continues: “I would say people are far more interested in our approach, and that has to be a good thing. And well, if it can happen to us then it can certainly happen to you.”

Isn’t that lovely? Also, to me, it’s a perfect summation to what it means to win a Cannes Lion.

Meanwhile, the image I’m providing here offers a newer angle into this discussion. Taken hours ago Read more

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