Indulge me while I run through my M/C/C bucket list. Let’s see…
Create a stop-motion production using Post-its and office supplies? Check.
Build a 4,287-piece Lego set? Check.
Work with my 5-year-old on an award-winning project? Check.
Reimagine a scene from “The Shawshank Redemption”? Check.
Film a comedy-slash-horror spoof with Santa Claus as the unexpected antagonist?
At M/C/C, our mantra is “Living the Unexpected.” It’s a phrase embedded in our agency culture. We’re the fish swimming upstream. We eat snow cones in December. We wear white after Labor Day. And, on occasion, we turn Santa into a not-so-jolly soul hell-bent on righting the injustices of being obnoxiously nice. We call our annual holiday greeting “Santa Sleigher.”
I’m not going to sugarcoat this Christmas cookie for you. Santa Sleigher is polarizing. Some will love it, while others will sharpen their pitchforks and light their torches. But before you storm the M/C/C castle, know this: for a three-week production window, laughter filled these halls. We laughed as Todd Brashear ran around the office in full Claus regalia. We laughed as our old friend Peter Nutovsky returned for a small cannibalistic cameo. We laughed as we lowered our tree on top of sweet Ellen. And we all laughed at our not-quite-average acting ability.
“Santa Sleigher” isn’t for everyone (especially not my 5-year-old), but it’s definitely for us. Warmest wishes from everyone at M/C/C!
With the adoption of laptops, tablets and smartphones, we’re now able to consume content, especially video, whenever and wherever we want. Video content has become a driving force for the Web. In November of last year, comScore reported that 87.1 percent of all Internet users in the U.S. watched an online video. It’s no surprise that many of these views took place on YouTube, with its wide video selection and more than one billion unique monthly visitors. Whether it’s your favorite sitcom or movie, coverage from your preferred news source or a hobbyist sharing his or her latest work on YouTube or Vimeo, online video is quite the advertising vehicle for marketers to reach and connect with customers.
There are three types of video ads for advertisers to consider.
In-stream video ad – Most are familiar with the pre-roll, where the ad runs before the video content in the same video player. There are also mid-roll and post-roll video ads, which run just like they sound, during and after the video.
In-banner video ads – These ads feature video content inside a standard banner ad unit. You’ll often hear in-banner video ads referred to as a rich media treatment.
Branded video content – These videos blur the lines between advertising and entertainment, seeking to both entertain and move viewers to action.
While video ad spending growth continues (it’s expected to become an almost $6 billion industry this year in the U.S.), its place among the rest of the digital landscape is more modest. A Forbes article noted that the top 100 advertising brands allocated an average of 1.5 percent of their media spending to online video last year.
It’s all high fives and hand shakes once the annual M/C/C holiday video goes out. This year’s “The Gift Exchange” received much of the same. Great job, everyone…Wow, that was incredible…My grandma loved it. Yep. Those rave reviews are the scrumptious rewards for two weeks spent peeling white lint off black fabric; two hours spent moving five pieces of yarn an inch every minute; and just over two minutes of the most delicious video eye-candy M/C/C has ever produced.
When I’m wearing my consumer hat, I take my shopping experience very seriously. I’m not the kinda guy who runs out and purchases a new product unless I know something about it — except for cereal and chips. I’m a sucker for cheap prizes and buffalo-ranch flavoring, so I steer clear of those grocery aisles. Minus my vices, I consider myself an informed shopper. I read online reviews. I ask friends if they’ve ever tried the product. I search hashtags. I watch demo videos of the product in use. I use all the resources available so that I can avoid buyer’s remorse. Fortunately, the product manufacturers supply you with the majority of those resources on their websites, social media or media placements throughout the world wide webisphere.
Surprisingly, my consumer hat and business hat look pretty similar. At heart, I’m a consumer. When it comes to purchasing products and services for video production, I do my research, ask around and watch demo videos about the particular service or item that peaks my interest. I’m fortunate that the video production industry understands my buying habit better than most. There are plenty of video demos from manufacturers and users that help supply me with the info I need. That’s not always the case in B2B. Customers are often left feeling unsatisfied.
B2B marketing is often really boring, and its videos share that same fate. For starters, a lot of B2B companies specialize in service, and that’s hard to concept for video. I mean, what does service look like in the corporate spectrum? Guys shaking hands. Woman on a headset talking. Guy using the computer. Line graphs being drawn out. It’s not exactly riveting. I can’t see immersing myself in a video full of stiffs. When was the last time you went to the movie theater to watch executives in a conference room pointing at charts and waving financial reports?
That’s why B2B marketers and video professionals have to think outside the box. Time to toot the ol’ agency horn a little bit. M/C/C just finished an anthem video for our new website. M/C/C falls into the B2B category, even though much of our clientele falls into both the B2B and B2C categories. With more than 27 years in marketing communications, M/C/C, more than most, has a better idea of what triggers the audience’s attention across the spectrum. Our new website captures that sentiment:
Online video marketing can be crucial for brands in today’s technology-savy world. It allows businesses to educate, instruct and provide useful information to fans and consumers in a medium that is highly accepted and engaging.
Did you know?
Globally, online video traffic will be 55 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016. (Cisco)
52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Invodo)
92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others. (Invodo)
There are many online tools for developing videos as well as hosting sites to store them. For the purposes of this post, I’ve focused on three video development tools and two video hosting sites — Animoto, Vine, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo.
Settle in and let me read you, “The Parable of the Food Truck.” After all, everyone loves a good food truck story.
Gary Torres and Teena Nguyen own one of the most popular food trucks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Nammi Truck. Maybe you’ve tried it? You should. It’s a regular stop on the M/C/C lunch tour. Anyhow, Gary and Teena did an amazing job establishing their brand before the food truck wave truly captured North Texas. They were pioneers in a new market, and for that, they were rewarded with a loyal following, the best parking spots and a profitable return on their investment. Their outbound marketing was simple: website and social media. It was all they needed, or so they thought.
Photo by Phillip Barnhard
While business was going well, the Nammi twosome—like any entrepreneur or small business owner—wanted to see more growth and gain additional exposure in an increasingly crowded market. Everyone that stops by the truck and meets the two falls in love with their infectious, laid-back personality and Vietnamese cuisine. Unfortunately, the food—which is great, by the way—usually gets top billing in pictures and tweets. The two had a sweet story to tell, but had not yet established the avenue to tell it.
Video was the secret ingredient missing from their marketing sandwich. They found a friend willing to capture their personality and business profile in a nice, three-minute video. While the video’s resting place was YouTube and the Nammi website, the true value came from what Nammi did with the video once it was made. Gary and Teena shared the video via their Facebook and Twitter pages, which is a marketing no-brainer. Of course, that got shared around their social network of 10,000-plus. Also, the video continues to get lots of love from the two most popular search engines in the world—Google and YouTube—even though one MCCer feels Google doesn’t love anything. Kidding aside, you certainly want to rank high on both those engines, which Nammi does.
Visit M/C/C for the first time, and there’s a better-than-average chance your touring party will make its way toward the “House That YouTube Built.” You will wander by the Think Tank, make your way down the west hallway and journey through a few more doorways before reaching the magical dead end, filled with lights, cameras and plenty of action. Welcome to the M/C/C Video Production Suite. What most video suite guests don’t realize is had they made that journey just three years earlier, they would be visiting an electronic burial ground where kids used to play. Yep, M/C/C video production has come a long way. It all started back in 2010…
You had to look past the pile of beige CRT monitors. Block out the two 1980s IBM printers. The baby crib. The empty filing cabinets. The stacks of boxes containing client brochures from previous decades. Like these obscure objects, Todd Brashear and Phillip Barnhard stood still in the forgotten wasteland, hidden deep within M/C/C. No agency tour would come within breathing distance of this hollow place.
In a previous life, the office space was used as a creative think tank and a nursery for children of employees. Over the last decade, the 425 square feet had matured into a dumping ground for old electronics and furniture. A cathedral of crap. As Todd and Phillip examined the area, they literally waded through the possibilities of such a space. You could put a window here. What if we knocked down this wall? Maybe some red curtains here. Can this door be removed? . You see, M/C/C had advertising, public relations, marketing, internet marketing and social media on lockdown, but to market its video production capabilities, the agency wanted something unique. It needed a showpiece.
Twitter raged an all-out war on the long-winded, and frankly I can’t decide which flag to wave. On the Twitter hand, I love consuming lots of thoughts, headlines and jokes in a short amount of time – allowing people to be the gatekeeper of social media consumption. That’s the beauty of Twitter. Short and concise. But that same hand often gets slapped while typing a thought longer than 140 characters. Please? Just a few more letters to complete this mind-blowing opinion?!?
As video producer at M/C/C, I’ve sustained my long-winded creative enlightenment through forgiving platforms like YouTube and Facebook where brevity – though encouraged and appreciated – is not mandatory. Well along came Twitter swinging its big stick again. This time, the Baron of Brief ripped apart my video world like a fleet of bulldozers tearing through Ferngully. In late January, Twitter launched Vine, a standalone video social network to complement its parent consisting of short, looped videos. How short? Try six seconds. Shorter than the time it’s taking you to read this sentence that I’m currently trying to extend out to the six-second timeframe and stop. Yeah, that short.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been keeping it for some time because I didn’t want to create an online riot that sucks all of the bandwidth from your employers. So I offer my condolences to your IT department now, for what I’m about to tell you is the culmination of a near decade of research filled with countless nights studying my most trusted sources: YouTube, Yahoo! Video, Vimeo, Hulu and Facebook. So here it goes: