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Is your small business stagnating? It could be your people…

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POHEC: A scientific approach to finding a solution

It may seem like ages ago when your small business plan was finalized and your new venture was up and running for the first time. Business has evolved but now it seems like it’s stagnant or worse, at risk for failing. This is not all too uncommon for startups for many reasons including, but not limited to: not generating enough business by lacking an organized and persistent selling plan, inability to hire talent to replicate or complement the initial venture talent, inability to secure funding to move the new venture off plateaus or loss of strategic vision or lack of ability to evolve the strategic vision. Other reasons can include lack of management and effective leadership or even downright complacency. As the founder, you have to evaluate what’s going on in the venture and then make decisions that will ultimately decide if the business is going to grow or continue fall stagnant and risk failing.

Thomas Harrison, author of Instinct: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial DNA to Achieve your Business Goals, applies the scientific method to clarify problems and challenges in order to speed up solving such problems in an analytic way. He uses the acronym POHEC or Problem, Observation, Hypothesis, Experimentation, and Conclusion/Recapitulation. Understanding a business problem is the first step of identifying a solution. We can use POHEC method to dissect one of the common small business problem listed above:

Inability to hire talent to replicate or complement the initial venture talent.

Observing the source of the problem
Hiring an initial team for your business venture takes heavy consideration. You’re looking for people to fill a void that you and your employees don’t fill, such as someone who is superior at selling, marketing or accounting. You’re also looking for people who see eye-to-eye on the business venture itself. They have to be passionate about the mission. However, sometimes business owners skip these criteria to what’s first available. Entrepreneur.com notes that, “even though they dream about making all the big decisions as boss of their own enterprise, when the time comes to recruit first teammates, they compromise. It’s true. Instead of seeking out a fabulous fit for their organization, they settle for the first person who “is available” and expresses enthusiasm for the startup mission”. Hiring people for the job without proper consideration could lead to uncertainty that prevents the business from growing.

Creating an opportunity and hypothesizing a solution
Recruiting shouldn’t be a burden but rather an opportunity. You should always be on the lookout and keep an ongoing list of great or complementary minds that fit the businesses’ growing needs. The entrepreneur can create a hiring plan and set of standards they wish to fulfill when evaluating potential recruits. This should be properly outlined in the business plan already, but if not, this is an opportunity to clearly define what is best for the company now that it has been up and running for some time. It can be an opportunity for everyone in the company to be on the lookout for great talent. Entrepreneur.com outlines the following points to consider when hiring talent to grow a business:
         Desired skills – Startup entrepreneurs are prone to hire an unqualified employee because the job candidate claims to be a “fast learner.” “This kind of enthusiasm may work for larger companies with extensive training resources, but not for budget-starved startups. Employees who are asked to do something they’ve never done before are likely to make beginner’s mistakes that will cost your company capital and time. The best way to avoid avoidable problems is to hire employees who have already ‘been there and done that’”. In order to save resources, consider someone who can hit the ground running once hired.

       Desired relevant experience – A business owner will want someone whose experience can be measured in not only years but as well as accomplishments. It is also safe to say a relevant work environment is an important thing to consider as well. “A marketing manager who managed promotion campaigns for a well-established, big-budget corporation may flounder when asked to conceive and implement promotional campaigns for a cash-poor startup”.

       Competitive drive— A go-getter mentality is obviously desired for a startup employee since they are at the starting line of growing a strong customer base. “Great startup employees embrace competitive challenges, hate losing clients to competitors and are highly motivated to exceed work goals. During interviews with prospective employees, ask about sports interests and other personal and professional activities that involve achievement under pressure”. The business owner should look for recruit has innate entrepreneurial DNA and desire for success, which leads to the last point.

       Obsessive Brute Persistence— “Great startup employees adapt well to shifting priorities and don’t get easily discouraged from unexpected setbacks. Ask prospective employees how they handled career disappointments. Also, invest extra time into talking with prior bosses about a job candidate’s ability to manage frustration in a work setting. Simply stated, all startups need determined problem-solvers, not toxic finger-pointers”. A startup can’t grow if employees are easily frustrated. Entrepreneurs need someone on the floor who can quickly bounce back and get into the mindset of success and growth.

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One last point you should seriously consider as an entrepreneur when hiring new talent is whether or not the recruit fits the business culture. Seeing eye-to-eye critical for, not only the businesses’ health, but also for coworkers’ working relationships. If coworkers are not getting along you risk that being reflected in your work output or customers’ impression of your company. “In addition to finding doers, you have to find doers that fit the culture of your company. You want to find people that share the same goals that you do, and you want to set the bar high for what you expect. According to CircleCI, founder Paul Biggar, in setting the bar high, you need to recognize where the bar is for specific roles and seek out the perfect fit for that role. Once you find these people, you have to know how to get them to stay. “While the applicant may be the best designer, engineer, product manager, or recruiter, if they don’t get along with others in the team or are looking for something more conservative or liberal, it might be best to pass”. You don’t want someone to throw the balance off of the team. In sum, it is essential to seek out people who best fit the role and the company culture.

Implementing the solution
The hypothesis is put to test when the solution is implemented, or in terms of the scientific method, the experiment begins. You’ll have to start hiring talent to grow the business, taking a risk on recruits that have analyzed based on the desired attributes listed in the previous sections. The problem at hand is not hiring the right talent for growth. As the entrepreneur does hire new people, keep in mind that not only is the business a growing firm, so are the new-hires’ professional careers. Allow them develop and thrive to see how they “respond” to the experiment of working in a startup environment. Hopefully these new hires become the next new level of leaders with as much passion and persistence as the business owner does so that the company can continually grow and be successful.

Concluding recommendations
Once the experiment is over it is time to evaluate the results and the data from the results. In this discussion’s case, was the solution of carefully evaluating new hire talent for the company the right method? It may not be cut and dry but, as a business owner, it is important to remember you will only be as good as the people you surround yourself with. “If a new employee doesn’t fit in with the company rhythm or perform well during the first few months on the job, don’t delay in discussing your dissatisfaction”. Eric Feng, CTO of media company Flipboard, notes that “firing someone is never an easy thing to do, but that if there’s a need to do it, it should be taken care of in a ‘definitive and expedited manner’. In fact, the worst thing you could do is recognize that you have a problem in your company and culture, but don’t confront it” . If the hypothesis turns out to be wrong, take the necessary steps as soon as possible by risking the same solution with a second trial or revaluate hiring standard and desired candidate attributes. The most important thing to keep in mind is to do what’s best for your business’s mission and the entrepreneur’s strategic vision. Using the POHEC method to understand a problem and quickly hypothesize a solution and implement it can be an effective way for businesses owners to be prosperous. My Entrpreneurship in IMC professor recommended that not all small businesses actually need employees, particularly in integrated marketing start-ups. Consider looking into hourly services or freelances for certain tasks such as, but of course not limited to, PeoplePerHour, Thumbtack, or HourlyNerd.

 

Are you an entrepreneur? Share your woes and/or suggestions for finding the right people for your company!

 

Sources: (image)(1)(2)(3)(4)

Here goes nothin’: Final shooting script for Nick’s Oyster Bar

Digital Storytelling has been quite an enjoyable experience in the IMC graduate program. I gotta tell you, it was probably my favorite thus far. We’ve learned a lot about creating branded videos and learning ways to convey our ideas. The course has been extremely collaborative, which I loved and could not be more thankful for. For my classmates and professor reading this: Thank you! I loved that this class has opened my eyes and given me a new sense of story. Here’s my final shooting script. 

—————

Shooting Script – Nick’s Oyster Bar

The creative approach is a mix between a “hard to categorize” testimonial and “we love what we do” idiom that spreads to customers. The staff members at the restaurant have dedicated many years to build and maintain this neighborhood establishment. They spread this high energy to patrons which creates a unique atmosphere that creates loyal customers of all walks of life. The video will feature head chef, David Thomas and loyal customers to convey their strong affinities to Nick’s.             

Nick’s Oyster Bar is a restaurant in the historic Cross Street Market. This public market is made up of different vendors who own a spot for their business. Nick’s Oyster Bar takes up the entire front portion of the market, making it the first thing one sees when they walk in. A raw bar, sushi bar and many beers on draft line the perimeter. There are kitchen set-ups on both sides, behind the bar.

#

Visual

Audio

1

Wideshot (WS): Exterior of Cross Street Market. People walking by. A daily special’s chalkboard with handwriting is on the sidewalk

SFX (to end): restaurant and kitchen sounds until end. Sports games are on television.

SFX (to end): a light acoustic guitar melody

2

Medium Shot (MS): Interior of Nick’s Restaurant, a good wave of customers are seated but it’s not too busy

David VO: “The staff here – We’re like a big family…

3

MS: Staff positively interacting behind raw bar

David VO: …and I think that energy definitely spreads to the customers”

4

MS: David working behind the bar in the “kitchen”

 

5

Close Up (CU): David’s hands as he cleans seafood

 

6

Close Shot (CS): David resting behind the bar. He’s holding a dishrag and looking at towards screen left, interview style

David: I’m chef David Thomas and I’m head chef here, I’ve been working here for about 23 years.

7

WS: Bar stools in front of shot, David can be seen cooking in the kitchen

David VO: Our customers come from all over.

They love the food, that’s not a question.

8

MS: restaurant seating, people enjoying their food

 

9

CU: raw bar, focusing on crab legs

 

10

CU: David resting behind the bar, looking at towards screen left. He starts smiling

 

11

MS: A twenty-something year old girl picking crabs. A canister of Old bay is on the table, friends sitting with her

 

12

CU: David interview looking screen left

 he looks behind himself

David: The atmosphere here though…

… The atmosphere in here you won’t find anywhere else.

13

WS: Nick’s interior, patrons dining. Baltimore memorabilia widespread.

 

14

CU: Same girl eating crabs with her friends. She’s wearing an Oriole’s hat and t-shirt. The table is full of food and beers

Girl: It doesn’t get any more Baltimore than Nick’s.

15

CU: Her hands preparing oysters to eat, sprinkling horseradish and Old Bay seasoning over them

 

16

CU: Girl

 

She smiles

Girl: Nick’s is unique because of the open-air experience you get from the market, and it’s the only dedicated raw bar in Fed. It’s the first place I ever tried oysters, and have loved them ever since! But I love that we can just come here and hang out…

17

MS: Their table laughing with oversized draft beer in hand

 

18

WS: Raw bar, employees preparing food and pouring draft beer for customers

 

19

CU: Twenty-something year old guy sitting at the same friend’s table

Guy: what I like most about the atmosphere is that it’s inviting to the entire scope of Baltimore.

20

WS: Nick’s interior

Guy VO: At any point you can see a range from families to blue collar workers to young professionals just looking to have a great time ya know.

Drink beers, eat food.

21

CU: Girl laughing and having a good time

Girl: It’s great for people watching too, and meeting new people

22

MS: Friend’s table

Guy: Plus It’s definitely the best indoor spot for watching the O’s or Ravens

23

MS: Patrons sitting at bar, bartenders interacting with crowds

 

24

WS: Nick’s interior focusing on patrons watching the sports game

Guy VO: it kind of still feels like you’re tailgating without having to be exposed to extreme weather

25

MS: different customer’s faces

 

26

CU: Raw bar, camera panning right across different selections

 

27

CU: A patron’s hand holding beer

David VO: People come to Nick’s for the energy.

28

CU: David interview looking screen left

David: David: I love working here because we have so many loyal customers around town. We’ll see a new face and a few days…or a few weeks later we’ll see them again. It’s like we’re the center of the neighborhood. It’s a great feeling.

29

MS: Barrells and stools (table tops)

 

30

MS: Picnic tables lining the walls

 

31

WS: Nick’s interior. More people filing through the doors, people dining and drinking

David VO: We have all walks of life coming in

32

MS: David greeting customers at table and smiling, customers are holding beers

David VO: We drink together

33

CS: A different set of diners at table enjoying food.

The group of friends can be seen in the background enjoying their time

 

 

David VO: we eat together and everyone just gets along very well.

34

CU: David interview looking screen left

David: It’s truly something special.

35

WS: Nick’s interior

SFX: Guitar gets louder

36

(White text):

Nick’s Oyster Bar

A Baltimore Favorite

since 1972

share your stories: [social media logos]

 

 

 

SFX: Guitar fades out

SFX: Restaurant sounds fade out

 

Shooting scripts – the AV approach

In the class, digital storytelling, we’re learning a lot about what make a videos successful. Humor has funny little a way of getting a message across while entertaining consumers at the same time, making them memorable. It takes a lot of planning to create a successful spot, too. Before writing fiction, for instance, it is essential to script out and storyboard the video. For this post, we’re going to focus on shooting scripts and I’ll provide you guys with two humorous examples. 

The shooting script works like a blueprint. Just as the builders study the blueprint first, and keep going back to it even as they build, the director follows the specifications of the shooting script. It’s a set of directions for the director (and the actors and the cinematographer and the art director and others on the production end).

Shooting scripts come in different styles. The best known is the one-column feature film style with its rigid rules of what’s capitalized, what’s left-justified, what’s centered and so on—but we’re not going to follow that template. We in Digital Storytelling are better served by the two-column audio/visual (AV) style because it makes a point of showing the close correlation between words and pictures.

 

Okay, soo here we go!

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Foot Locker x adidas “No Rings” featuring Damian Lillard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnaZBRumpg4

 

Athlete Damian Lillard talks on his cellphone in the living room with the basketball game on and bragging about his new adidas gear, when inadvertently offends all of his friends.

 

 

Video

Audio

 1.

[Wide shot]: A group of guys sitting in living room, watching basketball game on television. They are facing away from camera. Damian joins the guys & sits down on the sofa, with his left hand holding a cellphone to his ear and puts down a shopping bag with his right hand.

Game sounds through shot 14

 

DAMIAN: Yeah, just picked up some fresh  adidas gear from Foot Locker

 2.

[Medium shot]: Shows Damian, dressed head-to-toe in adidas gear, on the phone, fiddling with his shorts, looking down

DAMIAN: Look good play good, right?

 3.

[Close up]: Damian looking down, slightly nodding

DAMIAN: The last thing I want I want to be is one of those guys that never won a ring, tah (laugh sound)!

 4.

[MS] Barry (on left) & L.T. (on right) quickly glance from the game to at Damian with blank faces.

Damian’s knees “dirty” the shot in the left of the screen

 

5.

[MS] Looking back at his friends, Damian has a guilty face and lowers his phone from his ear

 

 6.

[MS] Barry and L.T. still looking at Damian without a blink

L.T. shrugs both hands in disarray

 

Barry: Wow.

 

DAMIAN: Barry…(sigh)…L.T.

 7.

[WS]: Shows the opposite view of the living room with all three guys in the shot. A new pair of knees “dirty” the shot in the left-hand bottom of the screen

 

Damian, still holding his phone, explains himself with his hands in the air. Barry and L.T. look back at Damian

DAMIAN: I meant one of those…basketball players that never won a ring

 8.

[MS]: Chris, sitting in a chair with his right hand to his face, scowls back at Damian. Damian’s head dirties the shot.

DAMIAN: Uh-

 8.

[MS]: Damian turns toward Chris, colorfully uses his arms to explain himself, pointing liberally at himself and back at Chris. He’s still holding his cellphone.

DAMIAN: No, Chris- I didn’t mean you I meant one of them legends

 

10. 

[WS]: Chris still scowling back at Damian.

 

Damian, smiling and guilty, lifts his arms and looks up to his left.

His face drops.

DAMIAN: who lost in the finals, over and over!

DAMIAN: (laughs)

 11.

[MS]: Shows Karl standing in the doorway, wearing a grill apron and holding a plate of hamburgers. He stares blankly at Damian while Damian looks back. Barry is scowling at Damian with his hand resting on his knee. He is standoffish.

 

 12.

[CU]: Karl slowly walks inside holding the plate of hamburgers. He doesn’t blink.

KARL: Burgers are ready.

 13.

[MS]: Barry looks back at Karl and waves him over to join everyone around the TV.

L.T.: Karl! Come back!

 14.

[WS]: Shows everyone around the TV. They are all looking in the distance, respectively. Barry watches Karl walk away.

L.T: Karl!

 15.

Black screen with white text, “IT’S THE PLAYOFFS”

adidas gear cascades across the screen

“STEP UP YOUR GAME”

 

 

Accent sounds

 16.

Foot Locker logo

“APPROVED.” Social media signs

Accent sounds

 17.

Wide shot of the living room full of Damian, Barry, L.T. and Chris watching the basketball game, washed-out white.

 

Adidas logo “SHOP PERFORMANCE”

Adidas logo “SHOP ORIGINALS”

Basketball game sounds

 

 

 

Accent sounds

 

 

FirstBank – Identity Theft Protection

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpQtRoVE02w

 

Josh waits for his order at the coffee bar. His friend walks up to him, wearing the same shirt. Further awkwardness is soon taken care of.

 

 

Video

Audio

 1.

[WS]: Josh standing alone, facing the coffee bar as he waits for his order.

A friend jovially approaches and greets him.

Josh nods.

The friend takes a step back and calmly points at his shirt then back at Josh, smiling

Josh is aloof and locks eyes on the coffee bar

 

A smiling man in a suit walks up to the friend and he looks at the suited man as he grabs him.

Busy coffee shot sounds through shot 5

 

FRIEND: Oh hey Josh…

 

JOSH: Hey what’s up man?

 

 

FRIEND: Uh oh…Looks like we’re twins…

JOSH: Yeah…

 2.

[MS]: The suited man rips the shirt down the middle, off the friend’s back.

Josh faces them, watching casually.

The suited man grabs the entire shirt and walks away.

The friend looks around in disbelief

Josh watches the man and looks at his friend. He nods confidently

Ripping sounds

 

 

 

 

 

JOSH: Sorry about that, he’s with my bank

 3.

[WS]: The friend, now bare-backed, still holding his hands in disbelief, stares a Josh

 

A barista walks over behind the bar with two drinks in hand and places one on the counter

Josh takes his drink.

She reads the next drink and puts it down

 

The friend covers his chest with his left hand and takes his drink with his right hand.

 

 

 

 

BARISTA: ‘Got a triple no-whip skinny mocha

 

BARISTA:…And another triple no-whip skinny mocha

 4.

[MS]: The shirtless friend looks down eagerly at his drink when the man in the suit quickly approaches and bats the drink out of his hand, onto the floor.

The shirtless guy looks away, frustratingly

Josh walks away, without a care.

Sounds of coffee spilling

 5.

[WS]: The suited man takes one last look at the friend then follows Josh out the door.

The friend is left shirtless, with spilled coffee at his feet.

White text: “We’re here to protect your identity.”

 

 

 

 

 

A guitar melody begins through the end

 6.

Animated First Bank Logo

Text: “Member FDIC”

 

 

 

It’s amazing that so much thought and detail go into just 30 seconds of video. Could you imagine the amount of shots in a 2 minute video…what about a 30 minute video!? Touche to all the creatives out there!

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2 brands 2 stories – concept paper ideation

In my current class for grad school, we are to find two brands that have a great story to tell. Then we must decide on one in order to write a script for a branded video. A branded video is more than just a 30 second commercial you see on TV. These features can be longer and are posted to the internet in order to create a stronger connection with its audience. Here is a great example that has inspired me for the following brands: Chipotle: How it all started. Not all branded videos are like this, however. Johnnie Walker’s The Man Who Walked around the World spot provides a more creative spin on its backstory. Fun fact: my professor informed us this 6+ minute video was done in 1 shot. Truly amazing work!

 

So here are the two brands I’ve chosen in the running for my branded video I will soon write the script for. Enjoy:

 

 

Nick’s Oyster Bar

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Focus

Nick’s Oyster Bar needs a branding video that conveys the commitment to providing the best quality seafood every single day for the Baltimore neighborhood. The 3-5 minute feature will be broadcasted on YouTube and posted on Nick’s Facebook Page. This way fans can Like, Comment and Share the video.

Issues

Nick’s Oyster Bar is located in the historic Cross Street Market of Federal Hill, Baltimore MD. Cross Street is one of the last public markets that many shops and restaurants can be found. However, as soon as you walk into Cross Street you are greeted by smiling faces, barrels, stools & picnic tables for seating and are surrounded on two sides by a raw bar. It’s almost like an outdoors feel but inside the market. The aroma of all the fresh seafood you can dream of and of course, Old Bay seasoning, takes over. Nick’s Oyster Bar is known for great seafood at the best prices. They even have great sushi! Nick’s also serves 32 ounce cups of beer at the most affordable price, making this destination a go-to for residents and visitors alike. Going to Nick’s is more an experience than a meal. It is a large space giving the opportunity to have an intimate time with your friends and laid back enough to grab the person next to you and hug them because the O’s just scored a homerun.

“Nick’s Oyster Bar opened its doors in 1972. There is a strong history not only the store, but also for the employees as well. Nick opened the area’s first sushi bar with Chef Tony Prisma who is still one of our best chefs today. Chef Ronnie has been working at Nicks for over 40 years shucking oysters, showing speed as well as experience. In the past 38 years, Nick’s received many awards for having Baltimore’s Best Happy Hour and Best Raw Bar” (About us, n.d.). “Nicks has also been on food shows multiple times for our famous Maryland Crab Soup. Chef David Thomas has been a guest on Food Network’s The Bobby Flay Show for Nick’s Maryland Crab Cakes” (About us, n.d.).

Nick’s does have some negatives. Often times be packed or it get too rowdy. This doesn’t stop families with strollers trying to come in but it can get out of hand, especially if sports are on. Nick’s attracts all walks of life from all parts of Baltimore City. People sometimes worry about the crime that might exist. A Yelp reviewer said their cell phone was once stolen. Lastly, for anyone who doesn’t like the smell/odor of fresh seafood, Nick’s is the last place they’d want to be!

Audience

Nick’s audience are male and female adults, primarily ages 21-55, who love seafood and people who love the Baltimore, whether they are residents or new to town and want a taste of what it means to be a part of the community. The environment is extremely laid back and they want everyone to feel welcome, have a beer in their hand, full from eating and happy as a clam.

Content Points

  • Best raw seafood bar in Baltimore
  • Dedicated customer service, operating 40 years
  • Experienced, dedicated and famous chefs
  • Affordable prices
  • A local neighborhood staple where people feel welcome
  • A visitor’s ultimate Baltimore destination as it provides a unique atmosphere

Brand

Nick’s is the best raw bar in Baltimore

 

Buffalo Wing Factory & Pub

Image

 

Focus

Buffalo Wing Factory needs a branded video that highlights the strong sense of neighborhood it provides to the community through great food. It will feature its vast wing, beer and food selection but the video will primarily focus on the atmosphere and dedication it has to giving back to its patrons. The video will be launched on YouTube then shared on the BWF webpage and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Issues

Buffalo Wing Factory & Pub is a multi-unit, locally-owned restaurant based in Northern Virginia. It is known for having 30 flavors of wings and 30 choices of beer on draft; however it has many different signature items other than wings. The restaurant aims to provide exceptional quality food and drink at a comfortable price.  As the employees and customers are locals, BWF focuses primarily on providing a neighborhood atmosphere where patrons feel like they are part of the family. The restaurant often sponsors local sports events and holds fundraisers at its different locations throughout the area.

There are a lot of chain wing-based places in the area, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Finnegans, Hooters, Wing Stop or Glory Days that provide a competitive market for BWF. There are even annual wing cook-offs in the area where the restaurants battle for a “King of the Wings” title. The restaurant needs to stand out as the neighborhood favorite for the environment it provides to the community.

Audience

The Buffalo Wing Factory has four locations located throughout suburban Northern Virginia, including Ashburn, Chantilly, Reston and Sterling. Families of different backgrounds and varying financial statuses reside. Since BWF provides food for the whole family at affordable prices, its audience is the residents of within the areas where the 4 locations are.

Content points

  • Locally owned & operated
  • Not just a wing place, BWF is a trusted supporter of the community by sponsoring events and fundraisers
  • Friendly service
  • Local hangout for all ages
  • Great quality food & beers
  • Affordable prices

Brand

Providing great wings, food and beer in the comfort of your own neighborhood

Wait, that’s a commercial for what?!

Some commercials can seriously leave you scratching your head. “..what?” or“wait, that was a commercial for what?”  It’s funny when this happens. If brands aren’t actually selling their product or service in the little time they have our attention, what are they doing? Are they telling a story? Are they selling a feeling? Do they make an emotional connection with us? Or do they drop the ball and become lost in the digital noise? If they play their cards right, these kinds of commercials can certainly get consumers buzzing about them.

Looking back at previous posts, I’d just like to comment that I seem to gravitate towards the TV-spots that trigger a more sentimental emotion:

They were profound enough for me to write about and share, right??

 

Let’s take a look at a few more recent advertisements that aren’t so literal, where we don’t see the product, at least in the body of the commercial:

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Calvin Klein: Endless Euphoria

Perfume/cologne ads seem to always fit into the not-so-literal category. Since you can’t have smellovision, brands have to create a different kind of draw. So why not have a beautiful model wandering about a fairytale meadow with a her sexy mate? The music score creates an epicness that enthralls passion and longing between the two. The fragrance is described as “a floral perfume with top notes of cherry blossom, mandarin and bergamot” however we wouldn’t know that just by watching this ad. We wouldn’t even really know if it were selling a fragrance other than the fact the bottle is presented to us at the end with a voiceover telling us about it. What is the brand positioning statement here? This might be more literal due to the naming. How about “Aromatic-Euphoria for All”?

Sprint: Framily Portrait

This ad is like the opening credits of something. We meet the “cast” but realize each member is part of this family, a quirky, non-traditional family for sure. The young girl is playing an acapella version of a “classic heavy metal rock ballad” that brings a sense of endearment to the audience. Each individual is shown in an environment that truly exhibits their personality. Is it a commercial for a new sitcom? No! It’s an ad for Sprints’ new data plan of course! The spot ends with Friends + Family = Framily. A simpler brand positioning statement could be “Connecting Everyone”.

Mutual of Omaha: Warren’s Aha moment

Warren tells his story of a moment that inspired him. This sort of strategy is unexpected from the regular pace of television commercials. It’s Warren’s story, that’s it. It’s almost like he is suddenly in your family room telling you the story. The ad is a pattern interrupt. He tells a heartbreaking story of how he and his daughter realized a young girl’s misfortune of never owning a book in her life. He was inspired by this moment to get more books to kids in his town. He never once speaks about how a financial organization, like Mutual of Omaha helped him. A brand positioning statement for this ad could be “Sharing the wealth”.

 

What do you think? Coming up with a brand positioning statement with as little words as possible is not easy. I welcome any suggestions!

False advertising comes too naturally for the food industry

This is kind of a sidebar discussion, but somewhat relevant. I came across this video thanks to Upworthy and thought it was a) hilarious and b) terrifying. In a previous post, I wrote about how I’ve subscribed to a clean(er) way of life when it comes to food choices. I say clean(er) because I can’t always eat organic since, well, this girl is on a budget and I like to live a little every now and then. However, it is important to be conscious of what you’re putting in your body & READ THE INGREDIENTS forchristsake!

This would be great if it wasn’t so true.

The video reminds us of the loopholes food marketers get away with and lead the masses to believe they’re eating healthy, when in fact, the food is just a food-like product. It makes me wonder if these marketers and advertisers ever face a moral/ethical dillema or is it really just all about the money? Clearly…and sadly…it’s probably about that (gmo)-dough!

Be careful & educate yourself, guys! Netflix has a lot of food docs that I highly suggest.

New Internet Explorer ad is Nailing it

If there’s one thing I love it is the 90s. So many memories and fun times were had and Microsoft did a fantastic job telling it like it is. Boy do I miss those days. The commercial is a true reminder of how much the digital age has evolved and taken over every facet of our lives. The ad came out today and it already almost has 50 million views.

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That’s a-whole-lotta nostalgia!

 

 

Personally, I’m a Chrome or Safari user, depending on the device I’m on. Anytime I open IE I panic and am completely turned off. I don’t know what it is, but—blech. HowEVER, to my surprise, Internet Explorer is once again Nailing It!

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Desktop Browser Version Market Share, December 2013. “Other” consists of Safari and various versions of Firefox and Chrome

  source

 

So what do you guys think? Do you use IE? If not what browser do you use and would you make the switch? I don’t know. I’m definitely a #childofthe90s but for me…

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#hashtag #facebook

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use hashtags in their Facebook statuses. I’m always like, this isn’t TWITTER – it means nothing! Literally, hashtagging your text on facebook is just a matter of putting a pound sign and groupingyourletterstogether. There is no function to it, #amiright?

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Well, until now.

Today, Mashable reported that hashtags are coming to Facebook over the next few weeks. Similar to Twitter, Instagram and other social sites, users will be able to easily search for content via the familiar #keywords.

…It’s about time! C’mon Facebook, it’s 2013! It’s actually very surprising how long it’s taken the social media giant to adopt this. Even people who don’t use Twitter or Instagram use hashtags (as I’ve complained) and implemented usage, what, years ago?  And the hashtag “as we know it has existed since 2007”.

Quite the time gap, Facebook. Quite the time gap. Now everyone and their grandma will be thinking in hashtags. (You do it, don’t deny it.)

Image#nofilter. #facebook. #hashtag. #boss.