02 PM | 27 Nov

The 20 Most Viral Ads of 2014

viral-ads

It might seem early for year-end lists, but Unruly Media is out of the gate with its annual roundup of the most-shared commercials. And not surprisingly, the year’s biggest global event—the World Cup—produced some of its most-viral ads.

Four spots created around the World Cup make the list, including No. 1 and No. 3. Sandwiched between them at No. 2 was the year’s biggest prank ad. And right behind them at No. 4 was the best-loved Super Bowl ad of the year.

Elsewhere on the list are several female empowerment spots, a Thai tearjerker, a shocking PSA and a beloved Chistmas ad. Check out the full list below, and click here for Unruly’s larger report on the video trends of 2014.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 27 Nov

What does it take to tell a powerful visual story?

visual-story

One topic that Mashable is particularly excited about is the rise of new visual platforms like Snapchat, Vine and Instagram. This is something we’ll be discussing and demoing at the Mashable Media Summit on Dec. 5, a one-day conference that focuses on the how digital storytelling is revolutionizing the media industry.

Eventbrite – Mashable Media Summit: Formats of Creativity We interviewed Mashable’s Jeff Petriello, head of visual storytelling on the marketing team, to get the conversation started on the latest visual trends.

Q: What are the newest visual tools in marketing and what do they do? JP: It seems like it’s less about what’s new technology-wise and more about what’s become easier for everyone to do. Photography, videography, animation, editing and manipulation – these used to be crafts with barriers to entry that now are much easier to break through. For marketers, especially in the digital realm, this change shifts targeting to a huge audience with significant creative power, and lets them do more with less cash.

Q: What differentiates these tools from one another? In other words, are there certain stories that Vine can tell better than Snapchat, for example? JP: Obviously different platforms lend themselves to different forms of content. It might be extremely powerful to see a stunning hi-res image, but that image could lose its value if looped with a Ken Burns effect from iPhoto 2k4 on Vine for all eternity. Knowing what goes where is a mixture of practice and common sense.

Q: What makes these tools effective in media? JP: Media is all about communication. The age we’re in now gives us more options than ever for how we can communicate. Those options hopefully increase the chance that a story will be told in the most effective way possible.

Q: Where do you see the future of visual storytelling heading? JP: As we experience a more entrenched commodification of the Internet, I think we’ll see increasingly higher-budget productions on our devices in the next few years. I continue to see games holding a larger share of the audience than anyone gives them credit for, and I’d expect high-profile collaborations in that world, like the one we saw this year between Kevin Spacey and Call of Duty, to multiply.

Like the music industry before it, the world of visual media will become less homogenized, letting individuals curate their own consumption. It’ll be more about the shows, brands and even celebrities that an individual likes, and less about what the industry wants us all to be into.

Q: What does it take to tell a great visual story? JP: Well, assuming you have a good story to tell in the first place, it’s about making sure each frame has a visual purpose. When I go back and look at movies, photographs or any other visual media that I truly admire, I’m amazed at just how much thought is squeezed into each and every composition. That, and a great team to put it together, like the one I’ve got.

To read more, click here.

01 PM | 27 Nov

Here’s How CPG Marketers Are Getting an Edge This Holiday Season

cpg

How will CPG marketers use programmatic this holiday season? And what does the landscape of multiscreen programmatic look like in the year ahead? These are the kinds of questions we’ve addressed in our latest guide, “Brand Triumph: Multiscreen Programmatic Campaigns for CPG.”

Programmatic is enabling a new level of audience aggregation and targeting that marketers everywhere should be excited about. Here are three of the biggest reasons CPG marketers are embracing data solutions:

Superior segmentation drives sales When working with an audience-driven programmatic vendor like Collective BarCode, CPG brand advertisers can configure audiences by selecting from among thousands of attributes, including online behavior, TV consumption and actual household purchasing behavior, as well as demographics. This takes advantage of proprietary audience segments to pinpoint consumers who are driving sales.

Americans multitask, but TV commercials still get through Consumers are bombarded with advertising on every device. but are any of those marketing messages getting through? An IAB study found that the regular multitaskers are more actively engaged in researching products online before buying them and more likely to watch TV commercials than the general population. Programmatic solutions make it possible to coordinate TV ad schedules with the delivery of online and mobile advertising.

Path to purchase passes in a moment In 2011, Google coined the term Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), meaning that the Web enables consumers to make a buying decision at almost the precise moment they have a need. Since then, mobile has changed the game again. Now more than 56 percent of purchase decisions are now made before the consumer gets to a retail destination, according to the NPD Group report “Before the Store.” And Forrester estimates that $1.8 trillion in retail sales—more than half—will be influenced by online research by 2017. Data is quickly becoming the only way to successfully reach today’s shoppers.

To read more, click here.

01 PM | 27 Nov

Agency Wants Its Next Art Director to Be Cool, So the Interview Will Be Over Two Days in Vegas

vegas

TDA_Boulder is looking for a new art director, but the interview process will be unique. In fact, if all goes well, it might end up looking like outtakes from The Hangover.

Yes, the agency plans to interview the top candidate over two days in Las Vegas.

“There’s only so much you can learn about an applicant over the course of an hour-long interview,” says the agency. “Which is why TDA_Boulder is taking a new approach to hiring an art director—bringing you along on our two-day holiday party in Las Vegas. Given that Vegas has a tendency to bring out the best (and worst) in people, it’s the perfect proving ground for anyone who’d like to work at TDA.”

The invitation to apply (see below) is styled like a fingerprint card for the Clark County Sheriff Department. You can apply at tdaboulder.com/contact by Dec. 3. TDA will then conduct interviews via Skype to select one candidate for the trip, beginning Dec. 7.

“Airfare, food, lodging, golf and/or spa included. Work not included. Hanging included. Bail not included,” says the agency.

Zach Galfianakis need not apply.

To read more, click here.

01 PM | 27 Nov

Adorable Ad Might Actually Make You Care About the Plight of British Hedgehogs

adorable

The cuteness factor is awwwf the charts in “Saving Harry,” a two-minute animated film by Wildlife Aid U.K. that follows the journey of the titular hedgehog from suburbia back to the woods where he belongs.

An adorable hedgehog puppet moves through an amazingly well-realized illustrated world. Every element is superbly crafted, from Harry’s pale reflection in the puddle to the grimy, discarded food tins and liquor bottles in the alley, and ultimately, the soft sod of the forest floor and ringed bark of the towering trees.

“I’m Seeing Stars,” the piano-based tune on the soundtrack, performed by the Elephant Rooms, creates just the right mood—slightly somber, but hopeful, too. Some versions of the clip include the vocal track, and the singer sounds a lot like Kate Bush. You can buy the song on iTunes, with all proceeds supporting the cause.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 20 Nov

Norway takes inspiration from its natural landscape for a gorgeous new passport design

norway

When you think about passports, “gorgeous” may not be the first word that comes to mind. Government, bureaucracy, pain-in-the-butt — maybe. But Norway, in its inimitable way, has likely changed the language around passports forever with the announcement of its new — and arguably beautiful — new passport design.

The Oslo design studio Neue — which created the winning entry as part of a national competition — based the visual presentation on the Norwegian Landscape theme, which might partly account for its allure

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 20 Nov

NYC Sparkles in Ogilvy’s Gorgeous Animated Christmas Ad for Tiffany

sparkles

Ice shimmers on the streets of Manhattan in Ogilvy’s animated holiday ad for Tiffany & Co. It sparkles from the trees and bridges, too. Its glow radiates from Broadway marquees and glimmers among the steel and glass towers that rise into the wintry sky.

I’m not talking about frozen water, people!

This is Tiffany, so, naturally, it’s diamonds and other precious stones illuminating a bejeweled yuletide wonderland.

The spot’s style and sensibility evokes the early Mad Men era, recalling a simpler consumer age when a glittering engagement ring could cast away all sorrows and an exquisite brooch could mend a broken heart. It’s a glitzy, romantic fantasy where an animated Audrey Hepburn wouldn’t feel out of place.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 20 Nov

Facebook reportedly wants to be your office’s social network

facebook

A report from Financial Times today indicates that Facebook is working on a new service called “Facebook at Work” that aims to get a piece of the business social networking space.

According to the report, Facebook at Work will look similar to the main service, complete with news feed and groups, but will allow users to maintain a separate work profile as well as a personal profile.

Facebook has reportedly been working on the tool for at least a year and has begun testing with external companies as a launch draws near.

Popular tools like Slack and Yammer are used in many businesses for internal social networking; Facebook is yet to enter the space.

It’s interesting that Facebook is looking to move into the business social networking space, as many employers actively discourage their employees from using social networking during business hours.

With Facebook now reaching over 1.3 billion monthly active users, it’s likely looking for additional sources of user and revenue growth for the future so expanding into businesses could guarantee not only user growth but would secure additional revenue.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 20 Nov

Hands on: Microsoft Sway tells your story without the hassle

sway

Office has a new app in the family: Sway, a new way to share stories and ideas directly from your phone.

Microsoft’s Sway was announced back in October and remains invite only, but the company opened up the preview to New Zealand users this week. Sway is touted as a way for “expressing your ideas in an entirely new way, across your devices.”

When you first launch Sway, you might be surprised by how simplistic it is for a Microsoft product. There are few buttons or options other than simply ‘create your own Sway.’

To read more, click here