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The #GlobalPOV Project Viral Video

The #GlobalPOV Project Viral Video

The #GlobalPOV Project Viral Video for UC Berkeley

This eye-opening project has been ongoing for over a year and has recently been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post and Upworthy.  The piece was produced for The #GlobalPOV Project at the Blum Center for Developing Economics at the University of California, Berkley.  It’s turned into a viral video while making it’s rounds via Facebook – and for good reason.  The video has been shared throughout social networks and has received recognition for the content and artful storytelling.  The viral video uses unique storytelling tools to combine critical social theory, improvised art and digital media to explore innovative ways of thinking about poverty, inequality and undertaking poverty action. It’s a great way to learn about these issues while also enjoying an entertaining viral video.

There are a total of eight episodes with number eight in post and an intro in the works. I asked Daniel Lafrentz, the director, about his relationship with the project and he said, “Now that I know so much about the inequality, I cant shut my eyes to it. I really believe in it. Working with such eye opening content was interesting and figuring out how to artfully represent it was just as exciting. ”

It was a challenge to figure out different ways to represent the ideas besides just drawings. In “Is Privilege Poverty” a game called Bagatelle was built to demonstrate global poverty. Fortune cookies were made to tell why some programs don’t work in “Who is Dependent on Welfare.” In “Are Slums the Global Urban Future” a magic eight ball was used to answer questions before being turned into a wrecking ball for inequality.

Check out the other six episodes below and stay tuned for #8!

1. Can We Shop To End Poverty

2. Who Profits From Poverty

3. Are Slums The Global Urban Future

4. Is Privilege Poverty?

5. Will Hope End Inequality?

6.Who Is Dependent on Welfare? 

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seafood watch animated video

 

Animated Video for Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Our oceans are in trouble because of unsustainable fishing practices. Close to 85% of the world’s fisheries are being over fished. For almost 15 years, Seafood Watch has helped to sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems.  Seafood Watch has made it easier for us to make better choices while shopping for fish. It’s as easy as downloading an app. Watch this animated video we produced in San Francisco to get a better idea of how you can help maintain an abundance of ocean critters.

Animated Video

Animated Video

Video Marketing Stats

Video marketing stats are continuing to see explosive growth in 2014. Part of Google’s algorithm for search rankings is assessed by the amount of time a visitor spends on your page, which is why a video is key to your marketing success.

If you were interested enough to click and watch our video for Seafood Watch, you retained roughly 50% of the information Seafood Watch wanted you to have.  If you had skimmed through the text, you would have retained 10%. We’ve taken the guess work out of explaining their concept and have given you the basic understanding through our animated video.
                         

10 Must Know Stats for Video Marketing

1. 89 million people in the US are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today.

2. Online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016.

3. Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and up to 69% of traffic on certain networks.

4. Globally, online video traffic will be 55% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016.

5. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

6. Mobile and tablet shoppers are 3x as likely to view a video as computer users.

7. Mobile video ads that include social media buttons drive 36% higher engagement.

8. 76% of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration.

9. 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. 

10. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos.

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We just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC.  We can’t tall you what we were filming for yet, but here is a sneak peak photo from us on the streets of Brooklyn NY.  We were filming on the new RED Scarlet cameras.Image

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In all fairness, the role of a TV advert is to attempt to change the way viewers feel, think or act by capturing the audience’s undivided attention. Moreover, its purpose is to leave a mark in the viewer’s mind and not to be erased by the next TV ad that pops on the screen. Even though people watch TV on a daily basis and hence, see hundreds of adverts, the truth is that most don’t remember much about them.

However, every now and then, television is “blessed” with one commercial that is able to achieve its goals and even more so, it later on becomes part of the social landscape. Let’s find out how TV ads can break through the clutter to become a phenomenon.

  1.  It provides the solution to a common problem

In order to provide a solution to a problem in a manner that will appeal to your audience, first you need to understand the difference between a feature and a benefit. While the feature refers to something palpable, describing the characteristics of the product, the benefit is associated with the item’s value and the way it can improve the viewers’ lives. This is why it’s important to focus on the product’s benefits and use its features to support your claims.

  1. It prompts the audience to act

In spite of the fact that you caught and maintained the attention of the audience, you still have to determine them to take action as otherwise it will negatively reflect on your sales numbers. Irrespective of whether you provide them with your phone number, invite them to your store or direct them to your website, make sure to let your viewers know what they should do next.

  1. It is unique and original

If you want people to remember your company and your product, then you need to stay away from those old and boring clichés. Frankly, everyone is tired of the ads featuring the latest brand of automobiles driven at high speeds up a lush green hill or over the winding road. Differentiate yourself from your competition by stating what sets you apart from them and highlighting these aspects.

  1. It targets the right audience

Even though your goal is to get your advert exposure and to make it seen by as many viewers as possible, buying airtime during the busiest hours of the day is not always the best approach. In fact, all you’ll manage to achieve is spend a lot of your hard-earned cash. In turn, you’ll receive suboptimal sales. Consequentially, you should map your target audience and identify the best media source to reach viewers who are actually interested in what you have to offer.

  1. It produces an element of trust

As any marketing professional knows, any type of publicity – positive or negative – is still publicity. Once the people catch a glimpse of a product, they involuntarily want to take a closer look. If a person is exposed to a commercial regularly, then they will be able to recognize the product easier, while the manufacturer becomes more familiar to them. Both recognition and familiarity breed trust. Consequentially, it boosts sales too if you have managed the trust factor to perfection!

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If you are regularly watching videos on YouTube, then chances are that by now you’ve come across at least ten clips with one million views or more. These films are viral videos and represent the Holy Grail of marketing, regardless of brand and line of business. Unfortunately, for most companies, simply uploading a clip on YouTube that they consider amazing doesn’t automatically imply that it will draw the public’s attention.  Let’s find out the crucial elements that come together to create a viral video.

  1. Come up with an amazing title

In order to convince viewers to share your video with their family and friends, you don’t only need to come up with an amazing title, but also to make it relevant to the content they are about to see. In order to achieve this goal, you need to browse YouTube and create a list of phrases – leaked video, exclusive, behind the scenes – included in the most watched videos. On a side note, it would be a good idea to optimize the thumbnails and description as well.

  1. Pair entertainment with your message

It is important to note that the ability of generating strong emotions is directly proportional with the video’s chances of becoming viral. Regardless of how much useful information you are offering your viewers, the truth is that nothing is going to happen until you draw their attention. Besides tweaking the title and thumbnails, it is equally important to determine a positive emotional response in your users. The best approach in this case implies making people laugh and only afterwards delivering your message. No matter how you look at it, a message is always best received when it’s presented in a humorous and playful manner.

  1. Keep it short

Since people nowadays are quite busy and can’t afford to waste time, you should make sure your clip doesn’t exceed two minutes tops. While you do want to transmit a message to your viewers, do not forget that most people are looking for something light and funny they want to share with their colleagues during a busy workday. In spite of the fact that ideally your video should not last more than two minutes, it is necessary to mention that the length usually varies from case to case (think big brand viral videos).

  1. Get the video on “most viewed” pages

Viewers can’t share a video they don’t know exists or can’t find. This is why it is highly recommended that you upload the clip on as many popular websites as possible. To put it simply, besides YouTube consider sharing your video on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, forums, blogs and friends’ pages.

  1. Understand what drives people to share a video

More often than not, people choose to share a clip because they find the information valuable, its content has the potential to spark a discussion and because the video reflects their identity and/or the way they want to be perceived by others. In the event that you’re unsure about the success of your video, then think about whether you have any doubts about sharing it. If you do, then you probably didn’t do a good job putting it together.

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It is said that you can’t escape the things you fear the most and marketing industry is living proof of that. In fact, it’s no secret to anyone that after being constantly bombarded with hundreds of commercials on a daily basis, the average American viewer has become an advert savvy.

A recent survey carried by the reputable InsightsOne has established that more than half the viewers watching TV regularly perceive the commercials the most offensive aired programs. Interestingly enough, people aren’t actually fed up with the advertisements themselves, but rather with the fact that the commercials they watch are not relevant to them, as individuals.

PRNewsFoto/InsightsOne

Credit: PRNewsFoto/InsightsOne

The immediate solution

Considering that viewers don’t mind hearing about new products and services and prefer knowing why and how those products will benefit them, correcting this issue doesn’t seem too difficult at first. To put it simply, marketing professionals can help ads rise up to the viewers’ reasonable expectations by:

  • Coming up with commercials that are able to resonate with various different groups.
  • Re-targeting the old adverts to different groups and measuring the impact.

But, there’s always a “but”…

In spite of the fact that nowadays marketers can address commercial skipping relatively quickly, it is important to note that the aforementioned solutions will not work if you got your main audience demos wrong from the start. What makes matters worse is that various reports indicate that the viewers’ demographics are changing rather rapidly, thanks to the advancements in the digital industry. Because most people in the US own a HDTV, it is only natural that they seek out information that is both culturally and digitally relevant to them.

Culturally: It’s time to rethink the program grid

The United States long-term demographic trends and particularly the fact that multicultural segments of the population will see a significant growth in the next decade is a well-known aspect for any respectable TV station. Therefore, if they want to keep the pace with their viewers’ preferences, the stations have to re-evaluate their current programs and make the necessary changes towards becoming appealing to a multicultural audience.

Granted, adapting and even changing your entire program grid so that it can span across a broad spectrum of audiences is not easy. However, it also not impossible either, especially if TV stations work with reputable video production houses and start building suitable promotions and ads at local level.

Digitally: Reaching out to viewers via the right media channel

Not surprising at all, the cinematic-like TV displays and the tablet/smartphone screens are the top two favorite media channels among American viewers. Innovative, versatile and keeping up with the latest media technologies, the modern HDTV is predicted to be a stable and dominant presence in the home of the average viewer, as long as they receive content that is up to the date with the tech (the 1.4 HDMI interface).

As far as the tablet and smartphone screens are concerned, experts claim they are trickier and are going to present more challenges, especially for TV stations that will need to figure out a new way to package their data so it can reach the desired audience.

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In spite of the fact you can’t produce quality videos and films without high end equipment, the truth is that you don’t really need to have an astronomical budget in order to achieve this goal. However, the video production process is not exactly easy mainly because you will be faced with several problems on the set once you start shooting the video. While you can’t avoid all of these issues – think what will happen if the main actor gets sick for instance – most problems can be averted if you are farsighted. Let’s explore the most common problems that may arise and what you can do to fix them.

video production

  1. The video exceeds 1:30 minutes

As a rule of thumb, the longer the video, the less inclined the viewer wants to watch it. Frankly, you can’t blame them since most videos that exceed their designated time frame are filled with superfluous comments and irrelevant content. Fixing this implies creating a list of the facts that you want in your video and leave it to the production company to edit them properly.

  1. Mediocre cutaways

Although you’re trying to provide your viewers with as much info as necessary in a short period of time, abrupt leaps from text with music to graphics with a voice-over will ultimately result in a chaotic and difficult to follow video. Not to mention that there’s also the risk of slipping some unwanted sounds or pictures in your capture. This is why you should always tape several extra footages, so you have something efficient to patch up the aforementioned errors.

  1. Confusing storyline

The fact that you know all the ins and outs of your product doesn’t automatically mean your audience is familiar with them as well. Jumping from concept to concept or using acronyms nobody has heard of are surefire ways to determine viewers to skip your video. This is why the importance of coming up with a clear, concise and comprehensive storyline before entering the actual production phase cannot be stressed enough.

  1. Inappropriate lighting

In the event that you don’t have the appropriate amount of lighting on the set, then chances are that the computer will interpret different colors as similar during the post-production phase. The worst part is that this problem can’t really be addressed during the editing phase, even if you add more light to the picture. Luckily, this predicament can be resolved by attaching an extra light to the camera. However, keep in mind that this solution only applies to close-up shooting (up to 6 feet away from the lens).

  1. Wobbly imaging

While on the set the video you’re filming might look good, chances are the camera is not steady if you’re holding it in your hands. Even though for the untrained eye things look perfectly normal, the wobbly images will become noticeable when you will sit down to edit the video. Without denying that you can correct the unsteady imaging during the post-production phase, don’t forget that you’ll need a top of the line computer and a lot of patience. This is also why you should seriously consider investing in a tripod.

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If you’re an insomniac who “enjoys” spending most of his night time watching infomercials, then you’ve probably seen it all. From vacuums that make hair cutting at home less messy to toilet paper that can extend your reach and the notorious Poop-Freeze that simplifies cleaning your beloved pet’s droppings, chances are that you are not easily impressed with the latest infomercial products that are guaranteed to simplify your life. Granted there are many strange products out there presented in the most ridiculous and inappropriate ways. Still, not all infomercials are about bad products and failures. Following is a list of the most appreciated ones:

  1. Snuggie, the wearable blanket

Chances are you’ve lived through one of those freezing nights during the cold season when the only thing you want to do is sit under your warm and cozy blanket in front of the TV. What do you do when you need to reach the remote? Simple, you purchase a wearable blanket that allows you to reach for the remote without having to make any compromises. With 26 million sales and counting, Snuggie is by far the most popular infomercial product sold by As Seen On TV in the past 5 years.

  1. PedEgg foot grater

Although we don’t recommended you watch the infomercial if you have a weak stomach, the truth is that the PedEgg foot grater is another popular product that has managed to sell 45 million items in a little over one year. The highlight of the eggs and what we think convinced most people into acquiring it could be the “no mess” part, as the dead skin is securely stored into a special container you can clean later.

  1. The Fridge Locker

If you work in an office with a shared brake room, then chances are you were already visited by your friendly sticky finger coworker at least once. Well, while you can come up with various arguments that this is just an honest mistake, how about you make sure it doesn’t happen again. Introducing the Fridge Locker, the ultimate food security system that will keep all your “food testing experts” from work at bay!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrU-TWUA9Hw

  1. Pillow Pets

Perhaps what we enjoy most about infomercial is their ability to make everything seem so remarkable. The best example here are the popular Pillow Pets, which as their name suggests are pillow and pets combined in a single product concept. Before you discard the idea as completely childish, keep in mind the over 20 million Pillow Pets have already been sold worldwide, all thanks to a short and innovative infomercial.

  1. Total Gym

In the event that you are trying to stay in shape or want to shed some pound, but don’t really want to leave the comfort of your home, then here is the perfect solution for you. Meet Total Gym , the ultimate workout system that is guaranteed to help you achieve your goal without having to go through the hassle of visiting your local gym. Maybe we can blame it on Chuck Norris, but so far this infomercial has managed to bring over $1 billion into its developer’s pockets.

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With the Rewarder.com video, Evolve Media worked closely with the company to write a story that showcased their product in the simplest and most direct way – showing people using it. We agreed that we needed a clean, elegant commercial without any voiceover, and relatable characters engaging with the product in fun and interesting ways.  This might be easy to do with a car commercial, but with Rewarder we needed to introduce a brand new online and app-based product. Here’s an early storyboard from the first scene:
Rewarder.com Scene 1 Draft

The safe route would be to explain it, but who wants to watch that? We had a great product to showcase and a good story. Then all we had to do was connect the dots with our award-winning effects team. Bam! The reward was worth the risk. Watch how it comes to life. Enjoy the real thing!

 

 

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If you sit in marketing meetings at Any Company, USA these days, chances are you have heard the term “viral videos” being batted around by erstwhile colleagues as if it is the new “synergize”.  But if you have spent any time watching the most popular viral videos on the interwebs, you might also be wondering what relevance “Gangnam Style” or a talking cat could possibly have in your company’s marketing strategy. Don’t write them off too soon. Successful web–video advertising, blending both the elements of viral video and your marketing message, can be an excellent way to attract people to your product.
e
But first, what exactly is a viral video?

We’re so glad you asked. The viral phenomenon – the concept of something other than a biological virus being viral – came into vogue just after the internet became widely popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, and this has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. The short answer to your question is: a video that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email. (Thank you, Wikipedia – read more here).

Many viral videos were not created specifically to entertain millions of people, but because of their peculiar blend of comedy (intentional or otherwise), topical or popular subject matter and sheer luck, they became part of the social lexicon. For example, it is easy to assume that the Numa Numa guy had no idea his webcam would lead him to global fame. But plenty of videos are created by amateurs and specialists alike with the clear intention of becoming viral. Want some examples? You have probably not only seen this poor guy on YouTube, but seen him starring in an eSurance commercial. The writer and filmmaker might be an amateur, but he produced an engaging and hilarious video that has garnered tens of millions of views and thousands of imitators. And if you have not watched the viral video Corning Glass released recently, you should – everyone else has!

Those are great. But what are the key elements of a successful viral video?

Anything that strikes a chord with enough people willing to pass it along to others has the potential to go viral – that’s the easy answer. Can it be distilled into a 100% successful formula? Yes, and no. The most popular viral videos have common characteristics that are hard to ignore…

  • ONE – An easy emotional connection. Provoking a common emotional response plays a central role in any successful mass media product. Hit songs, popular films, memorable commercials, great books: they all provoke an emotional reaction and tie to the consumer. Viral videos are no different. Whether you are shocked, tickled, amazed , touched or frightened, if it gets your heart racing you are more likely to share it with your friends. The most common play for emotion in popular viral videos is by using humor. We recommend that above all else.
  • TWO – A pop culture connection. Ask yourself, what’s big with the kids these days? Maybe it is as esoteric as a My Little Pony revival or as common as a certain Barbadian singer – if you’re not sure, there is always Star Wars.
  • THREE – Piggybacking on an already-established cultural phenomenon is a tried and true way to connect with an audience in everything from stand-up comedy to political speeches and certainly advertising is no exception. Involving real star power, social memes, popular music, current jokes or skewering any of the above with a well-placed parody are great ways to contribute to making your video a viral hit.
  • FOUR – Repeatable stunts. Harlem Shake, anyone? Mentos and Diet Coke? Give viewers something funny or interesting they want to try and film themselves doing, and you have a hit on your hands.
  • FIVE – Simplicity. Keep your ideas succinct and simple so everyone gets it quickly and everyone can understand it. One of the the most popular videos of all time is only six seconds long!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKx

  • SIX – Plagiarism. Copying, one-upping or perfecting established popular videos is an easy way to capitalize on current memes if you prefer not to go out on a limb with your own stunt. This can also be achieved with “response” videos: taping a reaction or criticism of popular videos and linking it to them can get you on the bandwagon. It’s one way to go, although at Evolve Media, we prefer creativity.
  • Great Music!

  • TEN …and Justin Bieber, for some reason. (Evolve Media does not recommend this approach)

How can I make a viral video for my product?

Great question. Anyone in marketing knows that communicating a message that accurately and succinctly describes your business to viewers that are at most only casually interested can be tough.  Companies that sell complex services or complicated products have a greater challenge utilizing a 30-second TV spot – it is easier to express the advantages of soap, for example, than an enterprise software for hotels.  Moreover, it may be effective marketing to have a talking plush toy molest your date on the couch if you are a dating website; but less so to have the same toy attack a group of concerned IT folk over their failing software integration project. A true corporate-sponsored viral video does not necessarily seek to express the company brand, but rather ties the brand to something people actually want to watch. Here are some tips for producing successfully viral product videos:

  1. Go nuts! A viral video can be anything you want it to be. Anything. So don’t waste your time and money filming a live action version of your sales collateral. With rare exceptions (see Corning Glass again), this will result in an uninteresting video. To truly embrace the viral video culture, you need to loosen that tie. Embed your product or message in an unrelated and self-referential world that is designed purely for entertainment.
  2. Amplify accessibility. Uploading your video to every video site under the sun, sharing it with all possible friends and constituents on every social media platform, making it easy to download and view with all players, making it mobile-friendly and emailing it to your Mom are all important. For corporate videos and sponsorships, these are table stakes. If you are investing money in your video and want it to be a hit, it pays to promote it. Don’t just make it easy to find, make it hard to avoid and people will see your message.
  3. Hire an expert. At Evolve Media, we specialize in highly creative videos. We thrive on comedy. We love great music. We are immersed in the world of filmmaking, art, culture and entertainment. This is what we do. Bring us your ideas and let’s have some fun. We can make it happen. Want proof? We were approached by the creator of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1610527)  and a producer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners.  They wanted Evolve Media to help concept, write, and produce a viral video series for a new App they developed called Ozgood.  These were designed to be viral, entertaining videos that targeted college age male students.  Shortly after releasing them, they were picked up by Will Farrell’s company “Funny or Die” as well as “Ebaums World”.  Due to the success of the videos, there has been movement to develop the concept into a feature film.

 

 

Further articles on this subject we recommend:

AdWeek’s 10 Most Watched ads in April 2013

Fairwaytech.com – Corporate Videos, Boon or Epic Fail?

Rewatchable.com – Viral Corporate Video Done Right

Women In Business – How to Go Viral

Videomaker.com – How To Make A Viral Video

Desktop Video – Making Viral Videos

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