digital media

Get Inspired: Here's What's Hot in Motion Graphic Videos

What does the word "video" evoke for you? Do you see a talking head? A staged, corporate piece? A Hollywood production? 

Today, video production styles vary widely—opening the door to countless ways of expressing your message in this powerful medium. If you're developing content designed to get viewed and remembered, take a moment to see what's possible beyond the traditional videos you might be used to. 

In this blog post, we're focusing specifically on some trends in motion graphics—a fun and versatile type of video production that can range from very affordable to cinematic.


Flat design

Flat design is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional illustrations. Simple images convey messages more quickly than detailed illustrations. Images like icons can indicate universal actions or purposes so that everyone can easily understand them.


4K design

On the creation side, there is an increase in 4K related video production, video editing and motion design products. Hardware producers (projectors, displays, televisions) are pushing hard to get 4K into the mass market.


Hand drawn hybrids

Blending hand drawn elements with CGI components is a great way to give the audience a sense of wonder. This concept is powerful when trying to explain how a complex design came to life. It makes it easier to understand and appear more tangible. It’s a powerful marketing technique that makes it easy for the target audience to fall in love with a desired look.


Vector organics

This year there are more animations turning up in which organic shapes transform in a liquid way.

Shapes are smeared and splash back together, often at the moment of a peak in the action, moving in slight slow motion, with twists and bends. It resembles the psychedelic shapes known from the 60’s.

Abstract drops and smears, swirling typography, and even characters whose limbs are being stretched and swirled. It may be a counter movement against the downward trend of geometrical squares, triangles, and circle-transitions.


Mixed disciplines

What was once an uncommon occurrence, is now becoming more and more prevalent. Many motion graphics today successfully combine mixed disciplines to create a more graphic, stylized, and illustrated look.


Seamless transitions

Seamless transitions are nothing new nor revolutionary when it comes to motion graphics but they have gained in popularity only recently. They create a feeling of fluidity and allow one scene to flow into the next without any interruptions or cuts between them.


Gifs

Although GIFs aren’t a new thing, they have recently gained traction after Facebook and Twitter allowed embedding and sharing. They are a great way to convey a message in a precise manner and are often used to add a touch of humor.

Which of these trends speaks to you?

Create Micro-moments for Your Clients

Whether or not we like it, we are increasingly people of the moment—or even the micro-moment. We hear about a book and want to order it right then. We see a plant and want to identify it, or spot those fabulous boots and want to buy them.
 
What does this mean for marketers? You already know that mobile use is sky-rocketing. But it also means that your digital presence is vital. How you look and feel in the first seconds of a customer interaction determines if they’ll stay or go.
 
Good writing, good design and having a mobile-friendly site isn’t optional any more. It’s imperative. If your company is already there, hooray. But if they’re not, learn to create the moments your clients crave—and see what happens.

CMBell Company and Clients Win Eight Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and clients has received eight awards from the 32nd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards competition.

We celebrate the hard work of our clients and our team in bringing together these creative projects.

LIttleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video

LIttleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps

Dignity Health Recruiting Display

Adventist Health Southern California Region Strategic Planning Video

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Print Ads

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Transit Shelter Poster

Simi Valley Hospital 50-Year Anniversary Elevator Wrap

Marketing Madness: Part 1—Your Digital Strategy Shouldn’t Be About Attention

Umair Haque, in his Harvard Business Review article by this title, tackles the myth that getting attention is the end goal of good digital strategies. He calls us to move from getting a client’s attention to giving attention to clients by improving their lives and wisely posits four mistakes of digital strategy:
 
Titillating, not educating. Getting the customer’s attention doesn’t necessarily mean it will lead to anything useful for either of you.

Making zombies, not superheroes. Move from brainwashing (which doesn’t work) to helping them.

Infecting, not connecting. Going viral may make us temporarily giddy, but relationships are really the goal.

Communicating, not elevating. Create value in your communication, rather than merely contributing to the noise.
 
Stay tuned for more in our series on Marketing Madness.

Do More Digital Marketing

Looking to deliver more of your message electronically? Consider the following ways to extend the reach of your message:

  • E-letters
  • Mobile apps
  • E-cards
  • Digital outdoor boards
  • Banner ads
  • Blogs

Need some inspiration? >> 

Mobile Apps

This mobile app for a national association was designed to reach policy makers and was paired with a video to deliver facts that refute common misconceptions about private colleges and universities. A mobile app is a good way to keep important information in the hands of your customers, as it can be deployed and updated quickly.


E-cards

Sent via an email link, an e-card is a popular and affordable way to connect with your customers in a fresh way.


E-vite

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities put a fresh spin on their annual meetings invitation by commissioning this motion graphic—which was posted on their website and distributed via an email link.


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Point-of-Purchase Electronic Boards

This revolutionary new business used a point-of-purchase electronic display to deliver brand messages.


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Web Banner Ads

This hospital banner ad targeted specific customers and paired a holiday message with a subtle message of health—and linked viewers to their website.


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Digital Outdoor Boards

This electronic outdoor board placed on well-travelled Los Angeles corridors increased awareness for this regional law firm.

Is your mission statement forgettable? It needn't be.

There’s no room for health care-speak in this short Centennial motion graphic video we developed for White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. Illustrated with vibrant custom and stock images, it speaks to the deeply personal side of health care—and the story of how a community and a hospital partner to create a better future. As the “kick-off” piece for the Centennial celebration, it sets the stage for their deeper story to be told throughout the year.

If you're looking to infuse new life into your mission statement:

  • Use beautiful, memorable and fresh language. If it could sound like the mission statement of any competitor, it’s time for an update.
  • Make it short.
  • Bring it to life via video.

A mission statement is an organizational compass that serves as a constant reference point. Because words shape behavior, make sure your mission statement is living up to its potential.

You can see the rest of the video package here.

Five Things You Should Know About Advertising With 2D Barcodes

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The use of 2D barcodes (which come in varieties like QR Codes or Microsoft Tags) continues to escalate because of the immediacy possibilities they present. Put simply, 2D barcodes let people respond to a call to action at the time they are interested—when they’re more likely to respond. Most of us won’t respond to a call to action if there’s a delay between the impulse and access to your computer. But mobile closes that gap, making now the perfect time to respond.

Here’s what you should know about 2D barcodes:

  1. They can lead to contact entries, calendar items, video, apps, directions, coupons, menus, links to reviews, virtual tours—you name it. But make no mistake—users expect valuable content, entertainment value, or time or money savings (like downloading a coupon, or contact information).

  2. Linking to a Web page is the old way—linking to content devised for mobile is the new way.

  3. They can be customized visually.

  4. Test, test, test before you launch.

  5. Be wary now of malicious QR codes with malware. Criminals can replace the QR code on your Web site or even put a sticker onto existing marketing material, reports PC World.

Don’t overlook the possibilities of using barcodes in your advertising campaign. The possibilities are both endless and promising.

Showcase: Making the Case for Bread and Water

This week the entrepreneurial Wilkinson Baking Company launched the in-store testing phase of the world's first fully automated commercial Bread Bakery—a technology that mixes and bakes fresh, healthy bread from start to finish without any human involvement.

We worked with them to develop a series of electronic billboards (see below)—among other promotional elements—that deliver in-store key messages.

This one-of-a-kind technology has been in development for nearly four decades—and introduces a completely new way of thinking about bread. Using only the purest and best natural ingredients, Wilkinson bread is more affordable than other premium brands and has a smaller carbon footprint than national brands. They never sell any loaf older than 24-hours—and natural enzymes keep it fresh for at least seven days.

Taking inspiration from the creator of Tom’s shoes, WBC took the bread concept one step further and has committed a portion of every loaf’s sale to drilling and maintaining wells in Africa. Each loaf provides 77 cups of fresh, pure water to people whose only source of water is often filthy and several hours’ walk by foot.

This is a company to watch, so if you’re in eastern Washington, stop by Super 1 and follow your nose.

Showcase: Scholarship Worksheet Keeps it Simple

Walla Walla University’s new scholarship program gives students instant feedback on what they’re eligible for—and has proven to be an important part of their marketing successes.

When they asked us to develop a simple piece to communicate this complicated message—we recommended an interactive visual piece that is available in print and on-line (click here to view the online version).

Very often, a visual is the best way to convey complex information quickly.

Seven Things to Do Now to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Facebook Page

  1. Publish status updates or major stories in the morning. If you publish between 11 am and 4 pm your content may go unnoticed due to the heavy traffic by other users.
  2. Tag your friends when you post a note, so they see a message on their wall and are more likely to read it. Unfortunately you can only tag 30 people at a time. If you post multiple notes in order to tag more than 30 people, make sure to delete the duplicated posts in your news feed so you don't look like a spammer.
  3. Encourage interaction from your fans. Invite conversation, create contests, post interesting status updates and encourage check-ins.
  4. Share interesting links and encourage people to comment, but be sure to post the whole link instead of a short link because it's 300 percent more likely to get clicked on.
  5. Thursday is the best day of the week to get the most visibility for a Facebook post.
  6. Facebook may be the best platform for making a video go viral due to its ease of embedding media.
  7. Remember AIDA—Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

Visit Ragan.com for more social media tips.

 

Mayo Clinic Leads the Way with Social Media Marketing

Ed Bennet, author of the website Found in Cache: Social Media resources for health care professionals from Ed Bennet, advises health care organizations not to get into social media because you think you’re going to get more patients, but because you’re helping be responsive (not responsible) to people reaching out looking for answers.

The Mayo Clinic, a front-runner for using social media in the health care industry, uses it in a variety of ways:

Facebook:

  • Patient questions and comments are monitored and responded to by their experts
  • Video contests
  • Informational videos on various topics
  • Patient testimonies
  • Automatic blog posts
  • Visit the Mayo Clinic's Facebook Page

Blogs:

Twitter:

YouTube:

Independent Colleges of Washington Uses Animation to Tell Their Story

Washington's private colleges are a cause we love to support because of the way they change lives and help our state's citizens.

About 40,000 students attend these ten schools—yet the schools receive less than 2% of the state higher education budget. This saves the state more than $330 million per year in operating subsidies—while increasing choice for those attending college. Contrary to what many think, these schools serve an economically diverse student body, providing quality education to students from all demographics and income backgrounds.

We developed this animation for them to help them bring their story to life—and reinforce their key brand messages using a medium that works well on the Web and with social media.

Seven Ways to Get Your Message Out Without Costly Media Buys

Using video in your marketing strategy is no longer a luxury—in many cases, it’s now considered an essential part of any messaging strategy.

Once you’ve developed the video, make sure you’re maximizing your investment by taking advantage of the many free distribution methods.

  1. Company website. Increase traffic and interaction by including video on your Web page.
  2. Company lobbies. Many companies are using HD video screens in high traffic areas, making it an ideal place for key messages.
  3. Mobile. Mobile is the media of the future, so repurposing video with mobile in mind can be a great idea for the right message.
  4. Post on your company Facebook page.
  5. Share it with your circle of influence by posting it on other social media sites, like Linked In.
  6. Post on your company You Tube channel. If you don’t have one, now’s the time to set it up.
  7. Send an email link. Depending on the message, this can go to employees (remember, they’re a sales force too), stakeholders, donors, board members, volunteers and customers.

Consumers Look for Video Content on Websites

Visitors to websites are now looking for video content first. Smart businesses can no longer ignore video as part of their marketing and communication strategy. A report on comscore.com states that 174 million US internet users watched online video content in March of 2011—for an average of 14.8 hours per viewer.

The use of video often increases your marketing results. Here are some facts from slingshotseo.com.

Video increases engagement, causing visitors to stay longer on your site—and making them more likely to buy.

  1. 65 percent of visitors will watch a video to completion—compared with only 10 percent who will read an entire website.
  2. 12 percent of users coming from a video are ready to buy—compared to only 1 percent for text-only users.

You Tube is the second largest search engine next to Google, and last year alone You Tube reportedly exceeded 2 billion views per day Are you where people are looking for you?

Seven Ways to Use Video to Improve Your Marketing

The demand for receiving content by video continues to explode, making it by necessity an important part of your marketing mix. Video can be used in many ways for communicating the same things as traditional media has been used for, but its ability to convey through images, sound and motion makes it higher impact.

Here are some of the ways you can consider using video:

  1. Communicate key messages. Putting a face to key company messages makes it more personal and memorable, and because it can be made available any time, any place, over time it allows you to reach a broader audience than live presentations can.
  2. Recognize top employees or volunteers. Nothing inspires like hearing the story of another person who is passionate about his or her work. This kind of message helps to build a culture of excellence—reinforcing behaviors that fulfill your company’s goals.
  3. Share news. When announcing a new product or service, video should be part of your roll-out campaign.
  4. Offer testimonials. Feature clients talking about your brand to bring added credibility to your message.
  5. Show—vs. tell. When you want to teach, use video. An ideal medium for orientation and training, it’s the next best thing to being there in person.
  6. Go viral. Not every video is a candidate for going viral, but one that has entertainment value is more likely to do so. More and more companies are couching subtle product messages in viral-style videos to promote this kind of distribution.
  7. Repurpose ads. By all means, make sure you’re posting TV ads—in addition to buying air time for them. It’s also possible to create a kinetic motion production (type animation) that restates a print ad—but adds the elements of sound and motion.
  8. Communicate internally. Video can capture the soul of an organization, and fuel its core mission.

Once you’ve developed your video, make sure you’re maximizing your investment by taking advantage of every distribution method (many of which are free).

Hospital Anniversary Campaign Uses Video to Tell the Story

We produced a series of mini-videos for St. Anthony North Hospital's 40-Year Anniversary campaign—all of which are posted on their website, their You Tube channel and their Facebook pages. Each of the personal interviews tells a piece of their story—what the hospital means to its community, its distinctive mission and its vision for the future.

Quality videos are getting more cost-effective to produce. This, coupled with the the pervasive consumer appetite for video, should make it a part of any significant campaign.

What are your reactions to this campaign? Do you think St. Anthony North's message was effectively communicated to the community? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Hospital Anniversary Campaign Incorporates Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography is a new way of telling your story. It’s essentially a mini-ad that can be used in a variety of ways. Here’s how St. Anthony Hospital North used it as part of their 40-year anniversary campaign:

  • Posted on their You Tube Channel
  • Posting it on Facebook
  • Posting it on their website
  • Sending links virally—to employees, physicians, donors and key stakeholders

Click the links below to see some of our other kinetic typography projects:

Client Showcase: Animation Can Fuel Web Traffic

We developed a promotional campaign for Dimensions Pain Management, a medical clinic in Colorado, and recommended the addition of kinetic typography to use in social media applications. We've not only found that the presence of an animation increases traffic on our own site, but in industries like health care and law, it's still fairly young and so is a way to get your message noticed. It provides a fresh way of conveying your message in a media that is versatile and can be used in many ways—from posting on one's site, YouTube and Facebook page to sending links via email.

The addition of motion and sound amps up a message and delivers it in a way that keeps the viewer's interest. Kinetic typography and other animations can be simple, like this one, or far more complex. They can be used for anything from a new service launch to infusing your Web page with new life.

We love working in this medium and think it holds a lot of promise for business—given the apparent appetite consumers have for productions like these.

The Power of a Simple Idea

The challenge for those of us who create advertisements is rarely finding a good promise to make. More often, it’s deciding which one message will be the strongest—and having the discipline to trim out all the other good, but nevertheless diluting, messages.

This ad shows how much more powerful a single, well-executed idea is than an ad that tries to say too much. By focusing on the “forty cents” concept, the message is unmistakably clear and memorable.

Of course, more could be said. But they wisely resisted the urge to give added facts or details that compete with the main message.

Sometimes it’s what you edit out that makes what is left work so well.