It’s a Bloody Big Deal

I usually don’t watch any TV.  Or more accurately, I rarely watch live programming.   But when I do, I am not one to fast forward past the commercials which was how I got to discover this gem:

Title: It’s a Bloody Big Deal
Agency: Sid Lee
Client: Toronto FC

I think it’s bloody genius – the anticipation of the news, the music, the typical and expected British characters… all put together to create this witty little commercial spot.  Seeing as soccer (or football, rather) does not generate the same level of hype as hockey or basketball in this country, this spot was able to drum up a bit of excitement for this bit of soccer news.

Not sure how well it fared across the pond though. ;)

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What You Don’t Show is Just as Important

When I write, I tend to get very wordy (Probably a skill I picked up while in university, writing papers that had a length requirement :D)  Now a days when I write, I always try to remind myself to be more concise.  Whether I am writing for an email campaign, a mailer or an ad, the challenge for me is figuring how to say more, with less.

With the amount of advertising ‘noise’ consumers are bombarded with on a daily basis, it is more important now than ever before to use short but impactful messaging.  You may only have a few seconds to catch their attention and to get your message across.  Consumers’ attention spans have shortened and it is our job as marketers, to present better content (whether it is more entertaining, meaningful, funny, or educational etc.) in a more concise and succinct manner without compromising on the quality.

I saw these YouTube ads for divorce lawyers the other day – and I must say, they do a brilliant job of saying a lot with very little.  This just goes to show that sometimes, what you don’t show or say can be just as effective in getting the message across.  I will have to remember this for my next email campaign – maybe I should learn to leave more to the imagination!

*Also, when you are watching these videos – just let them play! Don’t believe it when they tell you the video’s been removed :)

Agency: Wing
Advertiser: Esteban Gergely Law



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Apple is Defining its Own Verse

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This latest spot from Apple is just beautiful.  With this one spot, Apple returns to the characteristics that they are known for – poetry, beauty, romance, love and most of all passion.   What’s unusual about this spot is that it features a voice and verse that we are all familiar with – the beautiful and powerful speech spoken by Robin Williams in the Dead Poets Society about the value of poetry and being a contributor to your own ‘powerful play’.


Google+ and its Latest Makeover

In the world of online marketing, nothing ever stays the same. Today, we saw the launch of a newly designed (and drastically different) Google+.  First YouTube and now this?  C’mon Google, I need some time to breathe! The focus of the new Google+ design is clear – there is an even greater emphasis on content and each update is meant to encourage sharing and social engagement.  Here are the changes I’ve noticed:

  • New Column Layout: the new design seems to be responsive. Depending on the size of the screen you’re viewing from, you will see either one, two or three columns.
  • Chat becomes Hangout: my chat was enabled and I see that it has been changed to make Hangouts within circles much easier.
  • Much (MUCH) Bigger Visuals: we all know visuals drive engagement and Google has taken this fact to heart by using big visuals. Not only are the pictures bigger, cover photos for both profiles and business pages have both increased.
  • #Hashtag for Content Exploration: my favourite feature! It looks like hashtags are automatically added to your posts and clicking on them will allow you to browse and explore related posts and relevant content.

Overall, I don’t mind this new design although it does feel very Pinterest-y to me. Visual content is huge because I did not see a single post with no picture or video attached.   Scrolling through my feed, I see that certain posts are featured and made bigger than others.  Although shares and engagement do seem to be higher on those posts, not all high engagement posts are featured – I wonder what goes into the algorithm calculations?  I also do like the trending topics and community suggestions as you scroll through the feed, done very tastefully and subtle. From a marketer’s standpoint, the takeaway seems to be this: here is another argument for content marketing with an even higher focus on visual content. Since the objective is to drive content exploration, your updates should have clear messaging that can be easily hashtagged. Google+ just got a whole lot more interesting!

This is Water – Wisdom from David Foster Wallace

I didn’t know about this commencement address by the late author David Foster Wallace until I read about it in an Adweek article.  Even though the video was only posted 4 days ago on May 6th, it has already gotten over 2.9 million views.  The success of this video can be attributed equal parts to stunning visuals and a powerful message – the perfect formula for going viral!  The production team perfectly executed this video to not only draw you in… but to keep you thirsting for more.  Because really, when was the last time you willingly watched a 10 minute video? That is the difference between a video that pulls you in – and one that pushes information at you.

Beyond that, DFW’s words just rang true to my ears.  There is something to be said about making the right choices day in, day out – when routine and frustrations can rule the day.  It takes much more effort to see through the bad to find the good. This video definitely had me thinking… and re-examining my own point of view.



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YouTube’s Push Towards Responsive Design

YouTube recently announced the launch of YouTube One Channel – a new design platform that aims to create a more cohesive viewing experience for people, no matter the type of device they are on.  This new layout is responsive – so whether you’re on your TV, desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile, your viewing experience will be consistent.  So what else is new?

  • No more background image: instead, YouTube has replaced the background image with a header banner that looks a little different across all devices.
  • Trailer Video: Situated at the top of your channel, this is a feature video that introduces viewers (and non-subscribers) to what your channel is about.
  • Organize Your Videos and Create Playlists: There are now more options to customize and present a unique image/lifestyle for your brand and channel.
  • Prominent Social Media Links: links to your social media accounts are more prominent than ever, promoting a more social experience.

So what does this all mean? YouTube is expanding beyond just hosting videos and committing to improving the viewer experience and how they interact with brands while they are on the site.  You can see how all these changes encourage one thing – for viewers to subscribe to a channel!  Which makes a lot of sense, now that YouTube is talking about launching paid channels.  The average worth of a subscription is sure to go up.

I’ve switched over a few of my clients’ accounts to the new layout – and I can tell you that the transition was painful; mostly because the new template layout is so difficult to satisfy.  Given most viewers will only see the 1280 x 350 pixel logo safe area, the template still requires you to select an image that is as big as 2120 x 1192 pixels to meet the TV requirements.  Personally, it was difficult to find an image with the main subject within the logo safe area but yet big enough to fit the TV requirements.  More experimentation will be required – that’s for sure!