Human Creativity: The Next Dimension

VidMob Partners with Amazon to Tap the Power of Machine Learning for Content Creation, Optimization, and Discovery

This is the start of a new chapter for VidMobthe launch of the Agile Creative StudioTM.

We have spent the past seven months building a first-of-its-kind creative insights platform to enable marketers to understand, at a deep level, which creative choices drive business goals. Up until now, marketers have been limited to “asset level” performance data, e.g. Asset A did better/worse than Asset B. No data to explain why, and thus, nothing to take action on.  Guesswork is so 2017. We are building a complete set of tools to give brands a comprehensive understanding of how specific creative attributes within videos impact campaign performance.

Not sure where to place your logo?
Wondering which color pairings drive view duration?
Curious as to how a celebrity spokesperson impacts conversion?

We can tell you.

Want to know if showing the puppy boosts ROAS?
Need to prove to your boss that giggles drive more leads?
Interested to know if drum beats generate higher ROI than violin melodies?

Easy.

The Agile Creative Studio is about knowing which creative characteristics move the needle on the KPIs you care about. It doesn’t end there, because, what good is knowing cool stuff if you can’t act on it?  Our creative analysts and expert creators are at the ready to deliver optimized creative assets based on insights while campaigns are live. This means your creative keeps getting stronger and your campaign performance improves with time.    

Over the course of the next few months, we will unveil the full toolset, but we don’t want to keep you in suspense. Here is an overview of what we’ve got cooking.  

If you want to learn more about how Agile Creative Studio can work for your business, drop us a line at agile@vidmob.com.

 

Creative Counts…The Most. Here are the numbers to prove it.

In the early days of digital, when online advertising was just beginning, the sentiment that “none of this stuff works anyway” was fairly pervasive. It’s morphed somewhat over the years to take on various forms like, it’s the audience, or target, or placement that matters most. But, despite the digital ecosystem eventually maturing away from bad formats like flashing pop-ups and boring 468×60 display banners, that remnant pessimism is still pervasive.

Now, two recently released studies by Analytic Partners and Nielsen Catalina Solutions incontrovertibly disprove those beliefs and should encourage us to give creative the time and attention it merits.

1.   The first study by Analytic Partners, “The ROI Genome: 2017 Marketing Intelligence Report,examined $430B dollars of media spend across 43 countries. Leaning on structural equation modeling, they found that creative accounted for ⅓ of the ROI of display advertising ad ⅔ of the ROI of video advertising.

2.   The second study, an analysis of 500 CPG campaigns by Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that creative accounted for 49% of the sales contribution. Furthermore, it emphasized the importance of quality. Strong creative accounted for 89% of the sales contribution, versus weak creative, which accounts for only 16% of sales contribution.

So, creative skeptics remain..at their peril.  The evidence suggests otherwise and not fully committing to creative has repercussions for the bottom line.

Want to know how your creative is performing?

Reach out to agile@vidmob.com to request entry into our closed beta. Stay tuned for the official launch of ACS so you can get access to meaningful insights that count.

Using AI + Data to Drive Better Creative

In the past, to understand what drives creative performance, there’s traditionally been two ways to break down a creative execution into its elemental pieces:

1.   You can eyeball it. This creative featured the dog and performed better than that creative that featured the cat.

2.   You could manually code the creative for the presence or absence of specific elements of interest—such as whether or not there was a voice over, a product shot, or human presence, among other things.

The problem is, eyeballing it isn’t an exact science, nor is it very granular. And coding remains an extremely manual, often prohibitively expensive, process that requires you to:

(Step 1) Brainstorm

Identify all the creative elements you think might have had an effect on performance (don’t miss any!).

(Step 2) Create Data Structure

Construct a code frame to organize and capture the elements.

(Step 3) Manually Enter Data

Find someone with a lot of time on their hands to pore over every ad multiple times and fill out the code frame for each individual ad you’re curious about.

(Step 4) Review

And, finally, analyze performance and interpret the results.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But, what if we could eliminate eyeballing all together AND skip right to Step 4?

At VidMob, we’re building solutions that utilize the latest advances in computer vision, optical character recognition, and human-in-the-loop to allow marketers to gain a near real-time understanding of how key creative characteristics differently drive audience engagement. With this insight from our Agile Creative Studio (currently in beta), marketers can make data-driven creative decisions and more rapidly put into market beautiful ads that will resonate with their audiences.

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

Wrap Your Head around the Holidays

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start plotting your holiday campaigns. We’ve put together a list of creative ideas to help you build an arsenal of amazing videos that will keep your brand top of mind all season long.

The singular “hero” ad is an obsolete concept because consumers are bombarded daily with ads and editorial content. Your hero ad may stand out, but it will be quickly forgotten. The way to stay relevant is to stay in the conversation with a steady flow of great video. VidMob is here to help.

Work with What You’ve Got

No need to reinvent the wheel. Gather together your top-performing ads and we’ll help bring them up to speed for the season.

[Did you know? Videos can be made from stills. A little motion can have great emotional impact.]

Deck the Ads with Boughs of Holly

Decorate your super-star ads—from product shots to popular UCG content—with blinking lights, bows, ribbons, or (as the song goes) boughs of holly.

Letters to Santa

Take your stills and freshen them up with festive, handwritten copy that writes in over your top-performing product shots. “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is…

Unwrap Ads

Tap into the element of surprise this season by “wrapping” a special message in a cinemagraph. Try crinkling holiday paper or a swaying red ribbon to tempt users to swipe up and “unwrap” the ad. Inside, they can receive anything from a special dancing image, holiday greeting, or a decorated discount.

[sidebar: If you’re down with the idea that you need a lot of video and want information about our Holiday Video Packages, drop us a line at info@vidmob.com]

Everything’s Better with an Ugly Sweater

Nothing says “the holidays” quite like an ugly sweater. With a touch of motion, you can slip on an ugly sweater overlay onto product shots, employee photos, or happy customer testimonials for a good laugh and lighthearted brand expression.

Animated Logo Wishes Happy Holidays

Everyone has a logo. And the ways you can dress it up for the holidays are endless. Even if you have no idea what you want to do, one of our creators can help you come up with a clever, festive concept for getting your brand in the holiday spirit—think donning a Santa hat, wrapping it in a gift box, hanging it on a tree, or writing it in lights.

Add a Jingle

For platforms where sound-on is a key part of the user experience, adding holiday music to your ads is a great way to give them an added kick of festive energy.

12 Days of Ads

By using a combination of any of the above ideas, you can create a 12-day campaign in the spirit of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” The campaign can center around anything: promotional discounts, your top-selling products, client testimonials, inspirational messages, gift-giving/donations, contests, wish lists—you name it.

Bonus points for setting it to the theme of the original song.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Giving Tuesday

Put a different spin on any of our ideas by tailoring it to one (or all!) of these big-sell holidays. We’ll help you create fast cuts to stay top of mind during these prime opportunities.

Quick-Create from Stock, UGC, or Easy Internal Shoots:

Eager to create something 100% fresh? Here are a few more ideas for creating on-the-fly:

Inspirational Thank You Videos

Spend a day with your team, recording a quick note on what they’re grateful for this year. We’ll touch it up with plenty of time to carve the Thanksgiving turkey.

Employees too busy to get on camera? Come up with a list of what’s good in the world that your company can get behind—use stock video, photos, and a VidMob editor to send out something that will remind us all of what to be grateful for.

Day-parted Stories or Ads

Share the experience in play-by-play fashion of how you prepare for a festive meal, strategize holiday shopping, or a walkthrough favorite holiday traditions. Share piecemeal to keep audiences engaged throughout the day. Our favorite idea? A step-by-step of a perfect Thanksgiving day—from putting the Turkey in the oven in the AM to feasting in the PM to family flag football to round out the night.

Geofilters

Rare (and lucky!) are the folks who don’t have to travel for the holidays. For the rest of us, creating traveler-friendly holiday greetings and geo-targeted video ads is a surefire way to pleasantly surprise travelers (and distract from mind-numbing traffic). Offer weekly holiday greetings by incorporating copy and/or imagery from quintessential local landmarks.

Feeling inspired? Great! Start any of the above projects today to get holiday-ready ads in no time. We’re so excited to see what you come up with.

Drop us a line at info@vidmob.com to brainstorm ideas and request more info about our Holiday Packages.

Create & Run Audience Filters on Snapchat

You’re likely familiar with the fun, captivating filters Snapchatters love to overlay on their selfies and snaps. These filters vary daily—most prolifically with the changing seasons, big holidays, or by city and location. They’re part of what makes Snapchat a standout social media platform and are iconic of the Snap experience, allowing users an additional layer of personalization and play in their day-to-day communications.

example-snap-audience-filter

Previously, brands could tap into this play by creating Geofilters, accessible by Snapchatters in a fenced location. Now, Snapchat has expanded their targeting capabilities, allowing brands to create filters tailored to a specific audience no matter their location—which is huge. Now, brands can guarantee their message is seen only by their intended audience. Win!

So how do you get your Snapchat audience to start snapping with your filter? Well, first you’ll need to create one. (If you have something designed and ready to rock, skip ahead to the “Deploy Your Filter on Snapchat with VidMob”)

Connect with One of VidMob’s Snapchat Specialists

Snapchat named us a Creative Partner because they trust in the quality of work our creators consistently produce. Our Snapchat specialists can design your custom filter in a matter of days—or even hours if you’ve got a particularly tight deadline.

create-snap-filters-vidmob

Already have a few assets you think could work? Send it to one of our creators for the finishing touches so it’s approve-ready in a flash.

Deploy Your Filter on Snapchat with VidMob

Ready for Snapchatters to start playing with your filter? Head over to our Snapchat Manager to launch your new filter into the Snapchat ether. From there, you can track your filter’s performance and compare it to others within your larger media strategy—making adjustments to budget as necessary.

snap-ad-manager

It’s that simple. Let VidMob be your one-stop shop for creating and running timely, magnetic filters your fans will love to snap.

3 Reasons to Publish Your Video from VidMob

Finished your VidMob video? Ready to share it with the world? Here’s are a few tips to making the most of our publishing features:

1) Don’t Limit Yourself to One Platform!

To-date, users can publish their completed videos directly to their Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook Page or Ad accounts. We will be adding other platforms to this list in the near future. Have one you’d like us to prioritize? Drop us a reminder at support@vidmob.com.

2) Eliminate Unnecessary Downloading and Re-Uploading

By publishing directly through VidMob, you can eliminate the needless step of downloading from our platform only to re-upload to the publishing platform.

Instead, simply hit the share button in VidMob to get direct access to your top-performing channels. Not ready to publish right away? You can also save your video to your publishing platform for future access.

3) Track Your Stats & Optimize Performance

VidMob collects the performance data for all videos published via our platform—no matter where they live. Quickly monitor how each video resonates with your audience and easily refresh tired creative by sending it back into the VidMob marketplace for a new take.

Have questions or want more advice for publishing your videos through VidMob? Write to us at support@vidmob.com.