Our stop motion mini series launches! Creative & Example

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Our new stop motion mini series ‘Creative & Example’ launched this month, providing a curious insight in to the world of the eccentric ‘Creative’ and his suited and booted colleague ‘Example’.

The 5-part series was created and produced by two of our summer interns – animation undergraduate Will Horne and media student Oscar Dove, and launched online in early August.

Creative & Example – along with other characters, like the misunderstood ‘&’, cover a mix of topics that we hope will charm fellow marketeers and creative folk alike, and indeed anyone who enjoys watching fun stuff whilst sitting at their desks!

 

You can catch up with Creative & Example’s adventures via our YouTube channel, which so far includes:

Ep. 1 – ‘The brief’ – Example’s design brief comes a cropper following some I.T. issues.

Ep. 2 – ‘Daydream’ – Creative’s corporate branding work gets momentarily interrupted.

Ep. 3 – ‘Overtime’ – Creative & Example work the late shift, with disastrous effects (coming soon!).

 

Further episodes are currently under development.

 

Crew

Model development and fabrication – Will Horne

Storyboarding – Will Horne, Oscar Dove

Animation – Will Horne

Edited and narrated by – Oscar Dove

Producer – Mukund Patel

Our interns are making their mark at Creative Example

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Our intern programme is continuing to flourish at Creative Example, as we bring new talent in to the team over the summer months.

Will Horne (BA Animation undergrad) and Oscar Dove (currently studying BTEC Level 3 in Interactive Media) launched our stop motion series ‘Creative & Example’ this week, providing their quirky take on life at Creative Example. In addition, both Will and Oscar have been getting involved in a number of customer projects, as well as continuing to develop our fan-base on social media, via behind-the-scenes footage, media production reviews and content. Visit the ‘Creative Example: The Interns’ Facebook page to see more.

We also participate in the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme, having employed undergraduates and recent graduates from Northampton University over the past year.

Ahmed Salim has been working with in our Digital Innovations team since autumn 2013, alongside studying for a Masters Degree in Computing (Software Engineering). Ahmed has made significant contributions to the development of our digital capabilities.

And recent Economics graduate Mukund Patel is working in our offices throughout the summer period, conducting a review of our business efficiencies – as well as providing support across our marketing and events projects.

If you’re studying, or a recent graduate and would like to know more about working with us, please get in touch via hello@creativeexample.com – we’d love to hear from you.

Bringing Foreign Language Learning to Life with FlashSticks

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We are proud to be working with FlashSticks – the unique foreign language learning service which works in conjunction with Post-it Notes.

FlashSticks was developed to create a fun way to learn foreign languages both at home and in learning environments, with each Post-it simply displaying commonly used words (as well as the translation, visual icon and phonetic pronunciation) across a number of languages.

We were commissioned to build a bespoke Augmented Reality App to assist with the FlashSticks learning service, which was soft-launched at the beginning of the year and continues to roll-out successfully. The App enables users to scan individual FlashSticks’ Post-its, using tracking technology to recognise the word, displaying an online tutor to assist with pronunciation.

Along with the development of the bespoke App, our video team has filmed over 2,500 clips in French, Italian, German and Spanish at the FlashSticks’ HQ at Birmingham Science Park over several months.

We are working with FlashSticks on an ongoing basis to create additional content for the App – with plans to add a sign-language learning service, as well as new updates to expand the functionality of the App.

The FlashSticks App is available on iOS and Android.

Projection Mapping for Synter Group’s 2014 Managers’ Conference

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At the beginning of June, the prestige car retailer Sytner Group hosted their annual Managers’ Conference at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The 1-day conference was a huge success – attended by 600 dealership managers from across the UK, and included on stage appearances from T.V. personality James Corden and the British Olympic cyclist, David Brailsford.

The conference was produced by Event House, who commissioned Creative Example to produce an energetic ‘opener video’, which was projected on to a 25 meter main screen and two supporting screens.

In addition to this, existing footage from our on-going video project for Sytner Group (also in conjunction with Event House) was shown throughout the conference – including content from Sytner’s apprentice videos and vehicle after-care videos.

We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Northants-based Event House, as our events and conferencing portfolio continues to grow.

Linbrooke & ntrs win Best Newcomer Award at Infrarail 2014

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On Tuesday of this week, Earls Court opened it’s doors to Infrarail 2014 – a three day exhibition hosting some of Europe’s most influential suppliers and buyers across the rail infrastructure industry.

With our help, Linbrooke and ntrs made their mark at the show, communicating the breadth of their services at an entirely new level for their business. The project was a huge challenge for our team – establishing working relationships and gaining an understanding of Linbrooke’s brand, terminology and industry culture – in order to deliver the entire campaign in just under four weeks.

The project required efforts from the entire Creative Example team. Not only did we design and install a bespoke exhibition stand (with the help of our trusted partners, First Impressions), we were also tasked with the production of engaging graphics, digital content and printed literature for the stand.

The brief:

  • Design, build and instillation of a 6m x 6m space-only exhibition stand
  • Design of stand messaging and visuals in order to represent Linbrooke and ntrs’ key business disciplines
  • Content creation, template design and print for nine new case study documents – communicating vital success stories from the Linbrooke and ntrs businesses
  • Creation of all digital content for the on-stand hand-held devices – this included a touch-screen game for Linbrooke’s Signalling discipline
  • Development of rolling content for the on-stand plasma screen – including a parellax-style video, sharing key facts and imagery from across Linbrooke and ntrs
  • Content creation and template design for all pre-event communications

We were delighted to receive news that Linbrooke won the ‘Best Newcomer’ award for their stand design and offering at the Infrarail and CITE Awards, which took place on Wednesday 21st May at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington.

And we’re already working towards the next ‘high impact’ event with the Linbrooke team and hoping to continue to build a strong and prosperous relationship with our new customer over the coming months.

Creative Example – 5 Year Plans Set in Motion

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Earlier this month, we ran a team Vision Session – a half-day workshop, which was facilitated by GrowthAccelerator Coach and business consultant, Carolyn Reily.

The session was attended by our core team members across design, innovation, events, video, marketing, finance and sales.

The overall objective was to devise our 5 year company vision – what we are striving for between now and 2019 and ultimately, re-define our identity and our internal mission statement.

Some hugely encouraging comments were put forward throughout the session. In particular, many colleagues felt that they wanted to ‘grow with the company’, and there was certainly an atmosphere of collaboration and team spirit amongst us. Another belief that rang true across our entire team was that although we will inevitably mature as a business over the next 5 years, our creative spirit and our commitment to innovation must remain at the heart of everything we do.

Next time, we’ll share the Creative Example Mission Statement with you, along with our thoughts on developing organisational culture in SME’s.

Make video ‘go viral’

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The idea of content saturation is something that we keep re-visiting – the sheer volume of media flying around online, via Smartphones and other amateur devices, means that anything now considered ‘viral’ will probably only hang around in our consciousness for a few hours.

Websites like Mashable and Huffington Post churn out their weekly ‘top 10’s’ – it feels like a lifetime has passed since Specsavers launched their digital campaign, parodying the popular Lynx Effect TV adverts. When it launched, there was no mention of the word ‘viral’ – this was an organic side-effect of genuinely fun and original content.

Since then, the number of ‘viral campaigns’ we see, featuring flash mobs, parodies of parodies and buzz-marketing stunts – along with the Charlie-bit-my-finger-effect, has created a somewhat cynical approach to this type of activity – from both the viewers and the people creating them. Just this week, millions of us have been carried along on the emotional roller-coaster of the First Kiss campaign. The mushy-feel-good video was replicated via dozens of humorous parodies – and then just days later we were left feeling duped (and probably slightly impressed) to learn that we’d been viewing (and sharing) an advert for an LA fashion-brand all along. Oh to be fooled…

With this in mind, although the audience response to your video content can never be fully guaranteed, there are certain rules that you can adopt when planning this type of campaign – to make it feel authentic and exist with a purpose.

1. Who are you talking to?

With any brand-building activity, the tried and tested marcomms questions should always be considered. What are your objectives? Who are you talking to? What platforms will enable you to reach your audiences? …all that comfortable stuff from our marketing textbooks!

2. Do something that your audience won’t be expecting

Who remembers the Blendtec’s ‘Will It Blend’ videos? If you can present your product in an unexpected fashion, or focus on something that may at first appear off-topic, this is more likely to capture people’s imagination. This campaign was hugely popular as it tapped in to our desire to view short, entertaining content – rather than our desire to buy a blender!

3. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries – for your brand and your sector

It may be easy to dismiss ‘viral videos’ as something that only works for sports brands, or consumer gadgets, but this style can work well for conveying more serious messages too, for example, across the public sector or health care sectors. One of the most successful campaigns in this arena was Transport for London’s ‘Did you see the ‘Moonwalking Bear’ video, which gained close to 20 million views in total. The test element gave viewers an incentive to share the video, and aside from the amusing content, it also communicated a serious message about road safety.

4. Understand the psychology of content sharing

A small number of studies have taken place around brain activity and whether it can predict how popular something is likely to become, some suggesting that being exposed to things that we are on some level already familiar with are most likely to create a positive reaction. However, the most robust advice that I will leave you to ponder over comes from the philosopher Aristotle. He believed that the most persuasive ideas share three traits: They must be credible, elicit emotion, and make sense.

Disposable Video: When it works and how to get started.

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In last month’s blog, one of the topics we explored was that of content saturation and the overload of digital media that we are now wading through in our daily lives.
Although this trend is not going to reverse, we are all realising that viewers are getting smarter.

We know that video content is the strongest method of engaging users. But with so many audiences to cater for, producing a glossy ‘corporate’ video every time is going to be costly and time-consuming. And it may not necessarily hit the right note with all of your audiences.

This where Disposable Video comes in…

This style of production really took off in 2007, when the Disposable Film Festival launched in Chicago. The festival now runs annually around cities across the globe – celebrating the possibilities of low-cost video technology.

When it works?

With so many smartphones and tablets lying around our places of work, it makes sense to consider this concept in our communications strategies. If you look at all of the groups of stakeholders that your brand engages with, across however many platforms (including your own intranet sites), you will be able to identify opportunities where creating your own low-cost video makes sense.

Earlier this month, a client of ours asked us to demonstrate some technology that we were going to be showcasing at one of their events. It wasn’t practical to arrange a face to face demo, so we created a quick, un-polished video for our client. We filmed the demo on a tablet, along with some unscripted commentary. Job done.

This concept could easily be applied to regular business update messages to colleagues; blogs; light-hearted product messages that may resonate with your more YouTube-ey or Facebook type of viewer; and those PR moments where a more personal touch may be better received than something big-budget.

How to get started

At the very least, you will need a mobile device or a tablet to record your footage. Good lighting is a bonus. A little bit of preparation will help too – keep it short, practice your dialogue (if you’re unsure, get a colleague to help) and most importantly, don’t take it too seriously.

And Finally

Whatever your objectives are, your Disposable Video will cost virtually nothing in terms of time and budget. If you’re building up a regular series of content, you may require the addition of graphics and light editing, in order to create a consistent feel. And if the project picks up momentum, it will be worth considering how to use your content to improve your SEO and engage more fully with your audiences.

What’s new for 2014?

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With the new year well underway, the Creative Example team are firing on all cylinders, with several client projects in production, including a new mobile app, an augmented reality project and a number of video & event activities.

Make the most of your digital marketing toolkit in 2014

We discuss how consumer’s ever-increasing appetite for in-the-moment content will continue to influence the channels that we use to reach our audiences.

Click here to read the full article.

EE Customer Service Teams Christmas Campaign

Working with Communique, we developed an interactive digital advent calendar and online App ‘Snow Throw Adventure’, available to EE’s Customer Service employees throughout December.

Click here to view this project.

Meanwhile, at the CE head office

We’d like to welcome 3 new team members to the Creative Example team. Dan Cliffe has joined us as a Sales Consultant, utilising his broad network across the events and media industry and spreading the word about what we do! Angela O’Donnell, our new Account Manager, joined the team last month. Angela has a background in events and project management roles in the B2B environment and more recently, in the media production industry. She also has a degree in Marketing Management.

And Oscar Dove has come on board as our new Intern. Oscar will be working on an exciting fly-on-the-wall project, called ‘Creative Scoop’, which will provide a unique insight into what we get up to here in Blisworth.

Click here to watch Part 1.

How to make the most of your digital marketing toolkit in 2014

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Although the New Year celebrations may seem like a distant memory already, we’ve taken a few moments of contemplation to look back at the cultural landscape over the last 12 months, in order to shed some light on what this means for digital marketeers in the year ahead.

2013 – the year that Andy Murray won Wimbledon, the world was gripped by Royal Baby fever and the Oxford English dictionary crowned ‘selfie’ as word of the year, a common theme across all of these events, along with the more tragic acts of war and natural disaster, is that media power really is in the hands of the people.

Amateur news gatherers are snapping, filming, tweeting and sharing in real time at a faster pace than ever before. This immediate consumption of content of course has huge benefits, but it begs the question – where is this all heading? The ever-increasing pace and volume of live media means that consumers are perhaps spending too much time sifting through blogs and tweets and newsreels – in both their personal lives and professional lives.

Our diminishing attention spans and appetite for in-the-moment imagery and video over written word pushes SME’s and big brands alike into looking for new answers to the age old marketing question: How do we continue to cut through the jungle of content and leave a marked impression on our audiences?

With the subjects of timing and impact in mind, here’s our list of top communication trends for marketing folk, to help you navigate your way through the coming months.

For digital marketeers in 2014, it’s all about…

Re-Active marketing
This is all about creating agile marketing plans. It may feel more reassuring to present colleagues with a full calendar of fixed campaigns, but in this increasingly fast-paced world, being able to change your direction when your current approach feels tired or conditions suddenly take a U-turn, is vital. This means equipping yourself with not only a bird’s eye view of your industry, but also understanding how to use innovative tools in a way that will resonate with your audience.

Authentic brand engagement
Audiences know and expect authentic interaction with the brands that they do business with, the online context being as equally important as traditional interactions. There is an ever-growing expectation that digital communications are taken as seriously as your core operation. This means dedicating budget and resource into planning your content strategy – from creating an on-going series of brand-building media, through to practical activities such as deploying resource to manage your company Twitter account – and of course aligning all of these touch points with your brand story.

What’s here to stay?

Responsive web design
It’s 2014 and this marketing must-have isn’t going anywhere. With more and more customers engaging with your brand via tablets and Smartphones, investing in a responsive website is vital in creating a great first impression and enabling a comfortable user experience for the always-mobile marketplace.

And what’s on the way out?

Gimmicky Apps
The business App market has matured rapidly in the past 12-18 months. If you’re thinking about creating an App for the first time, first of all, take a step back and consider the ‘so what’ factor. Whether you’re demonstrating complex processes to customers, or looking for new ways to engage colleagues, the purpose, as well as the execution, needs to be considered objectively and from the eyes of the end user.

Infographics
We couldn’t move for these little nuggets of something-or-other over the last couple of years, but the Infographic craze is well and truly over. There’s nothing wrong with them in principle – this really is just another case of a perfectly-fine way of getting your message across reaching saturation point.

With this last point in mind, it is fair to say that audiences are always ready for the next big thing – however short-lived it may be. A marketing strategy that allows for this and is as agile as the marketplace, will bring you a step closer to success in your communications.