Sir Martin Eyes a Comeback

Ever the overachiever, Adweek reported yesterday that Sir Martin Sorrell is eyeing a comeback. In roughly the same amount of time it takes to set up a service call with your cable operator, Sir Martin has seemingly been able to extricate himself from the old agency model with sufficient distance to be able to proclaim that he “can see much more clearly” where the traditional advertising model’s strengths and weaknesses lie. His new agency, presumably, will focus on the former and eliminate the latter. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read this, and all I could think of was the famous horror scene from When a Stranger Calls where the protagonist is alerted that the results of the trace are in, and “the call is coming from inside your house.” Queue the terrifying music. All due respect to Sir Martin, but his £70 million salary and everything that it represents IS the weakness.

At VidMob, we’ve had a front-row seat to the struggle between the old agency model and the new agency model that is rapidly emerging in its place. And make no mistake about it, struggle is the operative word. The old model was great for certain audiences (Sir Martin) and not so great for other audiences (everyone else—clients and employees alike). But when the people in charge are vested in the current system, innovation is hard to come by.

So we knuckled down and started building a path to a new model, one that we believed would be better for all involved. We believed, and still believe to this day, that VidMob can be a powerful platform for agencies to more efficiently produce certain pieces of marketing content for their clients. We are not a good fit to make Super Bowl ads, but as companies shift from needing a few pieces of video per year to now needing many thousands of pieces, VidMob is a good fit for a surprisingly large percentage of that new content need. And since we tend to do it for a fraction of the cost, and in a fraction of the time, we figured that if we could just explain how it works to potential agency partners, they would adopt VidMob as one of the tools in their arsenal to help deliver better services to their clients. When we heard that many digital campaigns were severely limited by the paucity of assets created specifically for digital channels, and how much agencies struggled in creating the wide array of custom formats needed to get the most out of these powerful (and increasingly important) channels, that only served to further our optimism about the fit. After all, more efficient production means more content, more agency ideas coming to life, better campaign performance and an overall better return on client’s marketing investment. It’s a win-win-win. What could stand in the way?

It turns out the answer is ‘a lot.’ The most common response we heard from the old agency set was that their production groups really liked using their traditional methods because they got really nice lunches on post-production days and it meant being out of the office all day—sort of like a vacation.

The first time I heard this I couldn’t believe the person who said it still had a job. The 30th time I heard it, I couldn’t believe the industry still existed.

Needless to say, this type of client-last thinking has strained the relationships between a lot of top brands and their old agencies. It seems like the wave of brands cutting, or severely limiting the scope of their relationship with their old agencies is growing by the day. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen announcements like this one from Chobani, from a host of other companies including, P&G, Unilever, Pepsi, ABI, Diageo, L’Oreal, Wayfair, Allstate, StubHub, Sprint, Booking.com, Starbucks, and BMW.

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and as the wave of brand in-housing of creative grows, we’ve seen an acceleration in the development of new agency models. I’ll have more to say about this in the coming weeks, specifically as it relates to how VidMob can function as a sort of operating system for this new client-first agency model, but suffice it to say that the new system reverses the priorities.

The companies that will be relevant and thrive in the new agency world will be those that are quickest to come to terms with and address these 4 realities.

1. Production — Agencies are not and cannot be scaled for production in today’s multi-platform, always-on, always-innovating mobile social ecosystem. The “produce only the great TV commercial model” doesn’t scale in a mobile social-ecosystem that requires multiple adaptations on a theme, and when the cultural moments that brands must respond to pass in days or hours, not weeks or months. Adapting to the new production reality means finding creative ways to expand the supply chain.

2. Platforms — For most emerging consumer groups, not only is TV watching down, but their gateway to mobile or digital is through apps, like Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram not a browser on the web. New agencies will re-think their over-reliance on cheap, easy programmatic advertising and convenient display ads and move to and understand the platforms and formats their audiences engage with.

3. Performance — Loose proxies for performance, like a gut reaction or reach and frequency, no longer suffice. Today’s CMOs are data-focused both pre- and post- production. Relevant and successful agencies will be those that integrate rigorous multivariate (not just A/B) testing and an unwavering focus on actionable insights, driven by deep learning.

4. People — Consumers are (geographically) everywhere, as are brands. The old agency model placed a premium on geographic location—to participate in the old agency creative process, being geographically located in New York, Chicago, or LA was a prerequisite. New agencies will leverage networks of creative which lets the best idea and execution/ not just the best location/ win.

The mythic marble offices in the Madison Avenue skyscraper may be depowered in the new agency model, as well as a thousand other extravagances—including those special sushi lunches at the production offices. It won’t be great for those things and it won’t be great for a handful of people—their £70 million salaries probably won’t be part of the new agency model.

But it will be great for all of the other employees, and most of all, it will be great for marketers.

View story at Medium.com

The Cost of Inaction: How You Can Meet the IAB’s Video Innovation Challenge — Today.

Yesterday, the IAB released a great piece, Building 21st Century Brands: Video Creative Innovation, in which they laid out a video innovation mandate for the marketers and the digital advertising industry. It was a long read (20 pages) and so, for many of us, we’ll read it over the course of a few days. And for every day we wait—we are losing money for our brands.

Of the many pertinent data points addressed, one worth noting is that marketers on average will spend $10MM this year on their brand’s digital and mobile video. To frame it differently, this amounts to $27,937 a day or $191,780 a week. This underlines the point that if we set video innovation as an issue to discuss and tackle later or as an item on our 2018 roadmap, we are actively constraining our brand’s potential growth.

But here’s the real danger: not creating video (or making weak creative) for the platforms and formats with which the audiences are engaging.

So why is it that marketers often stumble in terms of creative? We often hear them cite 4 challenges:

  • “The cost of creating compelling video is prohibitively expensive.”
  • “Making high-quality video takes too much time and takes up too many resources.”
  • “We lack the expertise needed to produce great video.”
  • “We don’t understand enough about the videos we make from a data perspective.”

So, how do you solve these challenges when best practices are often lacking or your in-house or agency teams can’t keep up with your vision for video innovation?

Start.

At VidMob, we’re helping hundreds of marketers, agencies, and platforms whose video and emerging media aspirations are greater than the resources they have. By leveraging our curated pools of talent, we are helping marketers go from concept to execution not only for 6s or vertical videos but also on the emerging formats that are most daunting for advertisers like stories, lenses or filters in a matter of days and for a fraction of the costs to which they’ve been accustomed.

Solving the video creation challenge is only the beginning. Unearthing the insights around videos will help brands understand the power of their creative and enable them to iterate quickly. This is the guiding principle behind our deep-learning powered Agile Creative Suite, which is transforming the creative process into a full connected loop of data → production → publishing.

So today, do something to meet the IAB’s innovation challenge: explore a new format, iterate a new concept, create, test and try again. While that immediate next step is daunting, the cost of inaction is worse.

And it’s easier than you think.

View story at Medium.com

More Free Stock Content Available on VidMob. We <3 Unsplash!

Thanks to resources like Unsplash, finding beautiful and authentic stock content is as easy as a quick keyword search. For brands in a pinch, good stock can help bring to life stunning creative ideas without the hassle, time, and cost of traditional production. It’s why brands as big as Apple and artists as small indie filmmakers consistently rely on it—utilizing stock is super efficient and the possibilities are endless (see below for ideas!).

Which is why we’re thrilled to expand our VidMob Stock Library offering with our new content partner, Unsplash. We are big fans of Unsplash, their talented community of professional photographers, and their artfully curated collections of emotive and powerful imagery. The best part? All Unsplash content is free to use in any of your VidMob projects.

IDEAS FOR USING UNSPLASH IN YOUR VIDMOB PROJECTS:

There are so many ways to bring motion to still imagery—with a little graphic massaging from a talented VidMob Creator, any asset can become compelling video content. Here are a few of our favorite ways to transform beautiful photos into even better video:

1. Cinemagraphs
Isolating movement to a specific element in the visual, i.e. a steaming coffee cup, a running waterfall, or passing traffic. In a cinemagraph, the rest of the visual is still while the isolated element repeats movement on a loop, similar to a GIF.

2. Animations
Adding an animated effect, like writing in script or a butterfly that floats into and off the frame, allows for the still to feel like a backdrop to whatever animation you add on top.

3. Parallax Effect
Separating the foreground and the background of an image gives it a three-dimensional feel, adding depth. Combined with a zoom or pan effect, it makes the still come alive.

HOW TO ACCESS UNSPLASH IN VIDMOB’S STOCK LIBRARY:

  • Click the “More” button at Media Selection to reveal the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Stock Content” to see our library’s home page.
  • Enter a keyword that represents what you’re looking for.
  • Filter results by “Client Cost” to preview our complimentary media selections, like those from Unsplash.

FOR A MORE IN-DEPTH REFRESHER ON OUR STOCK LIBRARY AND HOW TO ACCESS ALL THE EXCITING CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS, CLICK HERE.

Have questions? Reach out to us at support@vidmob.com. We’re always here for you!

Highlights from Facebook’s Creative Together Event

This past Wednesday, Facebook hosted a game-changing networking event, Creative Together, that opened the doors for leaders in the creative and advertising space to learn more about Facebook’s Creative Platform Partner solutions. The result was an afternoon of rich discussion on how agencies can leverage Facebook’s creative tech partners, like VidMob, to help solve their most pressing creative challenges.

Event Highlights

We were thrilled to have not one, but two Team VidMob representatives on stage at Wednesday’s event:

1.   Creative Platform Partner Showcase

Our CEO, Alex Collmer, presented VidMob’s creative solution in this showcase. Alex highlighted the unique advantages of developing creative using VidMob’s streamlined collaborative workflow and our Agile Creative Suite to monitor performance, gain insights, and more effectively optimize creative.

Want to be a part of the beta launch for our Agile Creative Suite? Sign up!

2.   Bridging the Gap: The Rise of Creative Platforms Panel

Our SVP of Data Analytics, Joline McGoldrick, followed in an engaging panel discussion. Joline talked about how VidMob can transform an agency’s big idea using data-informed creative decisions to help ads connect and resonate with audiences, not just in-feed but across all formats.

The New Creative Platform + Agency Dynamic

Overall, we were encouraged to discover how agencies, such as R/GA, who also spoke at the event, are using Creative FMPs like VidMob to help scale their big ideas on Facebook. As the media landscape continues to evolve, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the next big, successful agencies are poised to be those that adapt and evolve in tandem.

At VidMob we see agencies as irreplaceable. They will always be the idea experts. However, as social experts, we believe that VidMob can be irreplaceable in extending those big ideas at scale. Our expertise and deep understanding of  Facebook’s best practices can help agencies develop engaging and compelling creative that will resonate with audiences across the entire Facebook ecosystem.

A final note…

Many thanks to Facebook for inviting us to be a part of this Creative Together! We are energized about the opportunity to collaborate with more agencies and develop amazing creative together.

VidMob Named a Twitter Official Partner!

While Twitter may have started out as a place to send a quick, 140-character soundbite, it has since evolved into a real-time communication powerhouse—one that can’t be ignored for brands who seek to develop meaningful relationships with their customers.

Today, Twitter’s users have developed a strong taste for dynamic visual content. Most notably, they’re requesting it, with 37% eager to see more video from brands alone. Couple that with the fact that Twitter users are almost three times as likely to interact with tweets that have native video, and marketers have one amazing opportunity (i.e. video!) to engage with Twitter’s global audience like never before.

During last year’s Twitter #Promote Innovation Challenge, VidMob excelled in the Video category as a solution for marketers to scale their video production and get moving on Twitter.

twitter-official-partner-vidmob-video-marketingThis year, we’re excited to announce that VidMob is now a Twitter Official Partner!

We look forward to helping brands stand out in the feed and tell amazing stories on Twitter.

Want to create compelling Twitter videos? Get in touch see how easy it is to make Twitter ads with VidMob.

Everlasting Life

The sad fact is that all ads die.

Just like plants, animals, and radioactive elements, ads decay over time and eventually cease to function. This decay curve, also known as wear-out or ad fatigue, generally tends to look something like this, no matter what the underlying asset type, industry or format in question is. T varies, as does the slope of the decay, but the curve is the curve.

decay-curve-standard-vidmob-agile-creative-suite

In bad news for marketers, T has begun to shrink over the past year as consumers seem to be growing less tolerant of seeing the same ad too many times. When coupled with the already expanding array of platforms, formats, and personalization requirements of targeted advertising, this is placing an increased burden on marketers of all sizes.

The good news is that at least marketers have real-time visibility into their progress along that curve. Whether it’s within media buying software, in tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Power Editor, or in 3rd party analytics platforms, performance data is available in abundance. No matter what KPI you’re tracking, you can track every single campaign as it moves along the curve, and know exactly when it crosses critical return thresholds.

Data is not the problem.

But when it comes to video, acting on that data is often impossible. If it takes two to four weeks to turn around new creative, by the time you get new assets it is usually too late. Being ‘of the moment’ is more important than ever today. Remember the Olympics? Vaguely? Well, that was 10 days ago.

Similarly, if it costs tens of thousands of dollars to rapidly turn around a testable array of fresh creative options, the cost/benefit of doing so is murky at best. In both cases, with no good alternatives, marketers have been forced to simply hope T is as long as possible and ride the curve straight down to the bottom.

At VidMob, we’ve been paying close attention to this problem and have been working with our clients and partners to craft what we hope will be a game-changing solution for marketers of all sizes. In essence, the solution we’ve been building focuses on making it both easy and cost-effective to generate testable arrays of new, custom creative in near real-time, as informed by the available data. We call it the Agile Creative Suite (TM).

Here are three of the key technical components that make the Agile Creative Process work so seamlessly:

1.   Where your media is matters. 

We learned from talking to many of our clients that management of their library content was a severe point of friction. Even if they could find a legacy asset, all they usually had was the finished final draft. The raw assets and the associated edit files for the projects were almost never accessible, which meant that even the smallest change required them to basically start from scratch. We solved this by offering a service to our enterprise clients where we archive ALL of the associated media for every project. The final videos, sure. But also all of the raw files, the edit files, the communication trails, etc. In doing so, we make asset libraries infinitely more valuable for our clients, by reducing both the cost and friction associated with any media optimization.

 2.   Duplicate your project, not your workload.

Next, we learned that our clients were basically just like us. They hated replicating work. Loading up a brief that had already been communicated, and re-treading conversations that had already been discussed simply annoyed people. So we built a single-click mechanism to duplicate any existing project. Doing so creates a new project that preserves all of the old media assets, the communication trails, and everything else. Instantly, you’re ready to begin work and the project is already 95 yards down the field.

 3.   Single click publishing into all appropriate Ad Accounts. 

The last step is publishing your newly optimized media so that you can instantly start testing them to see which versions to focus your spend on. VidMob’s integrations into the Ad API’s of all of the major platforms make this the simplest part of all.

What all of this means in practice is that by using VidMob’s Agile Creative Suite, our clients are able to react to data in ways never before possible. Within hours or a few days (depending upon the urgency), with minimal effort or overhead requirement, clients can create, transfer, and re-publish an array of entirely new creative. In doing so, the age-old decay curve takes on new shape.

new-decay-curve-agile-creative-process-vidmob

What’s interesting about this new curve is that all of the shaded area is performance gain. In fact, because standard decay curves can be estimated with reasonable accuracy, it’s actually relatively easy to calculate just how much gain a marketer experiences through this process. I got kicked in the head a few too many times growing up, so my integral calculus skills aren’t what they were 20 years ago, but I know smarter folks than me can work through this quickly. That said, for decently sized campaigns, this gain can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for large campaigns, we believe it will save millions.

Perhaps most importantly, we believe that the Agile Creative Process has the potential to, at least in certain instances, help accelerate the changing the nature of online marketing. Arrested decay holds the promise of everlasting life, and as we all move more and more away from campaign-based marketing towards always-on approaches, we’re optimistic that the platform we’re building at VidMob will have a positive role to play in the emerging new world order in which marketers find themselves.

It might not be exactly the immortality solution that Gilgamesh and Ponce de Leon were looking for centuries ago, but, hopefully, it will be a bit more practical for those of us who are okay with growing old but want to build great businesses along the way.

No-Cost Media Now Available in VidMob’s Stock Library

Did you know that VidMob has a Stock Library you can seamlessly access as you create your VidMob projects? Bring your best ideas to life by adding or removing your pick of video clips, images, audio files, or motion graphics in just a click. Because no great idea should go unrealized for lack of compelling content!

Previously, you could preview stock selections from our library at no cost and purchase only the content you thought worked best. Plus, all costs would be pass-through from our third party partners, which meant no markup by VidMob. Pretty nice, right?

Well, while all of that is still true today, we recently partnered with stock content provider, Storyblocks, to make the VidMob Stock Library even better. Now, you can access Storyblock’s professional quality, royalty-free media at absolutely no charge. Gone are the days of impossible ideas—so you can keep building, telling, and sharing all your great stories.

Here’s how to filter your search for our complimentary stock content:

 

 

  • Click the “More” button at Media Selection to reveal the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Stock Content” to see our library’s home page.
  • Enter a keyword that represents what you’re looking for.
  • Filter results by “Client Cost” to preview our complimentary media selections.

For a more in-depth refresher on our Stock Library and how to access all the exciting content from our partners, click here.

Have questions? Reach out to us at support@vidmob.com. We’re always here for you!