It's all 'bout the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees

We've just finished making another video for the National Trust South West. 

Our last 'how to' video was all about the bees, now we're teaching you about the birds (perhaps we got the order wrong?) specifically how you can build your own bird nesting box at home out of a single piece of wood! 

Check it out  below:



Vivid welcomes Autumn with National Trust South West

Autumn, a time of floating leaves, cosy evenings, new pencil cases, bonfires, brisk walks... how about we shut up and allow the words of Keats together with the splendour of the South West's best locations paint a picture of Autumn instead? Our latest video for National Trust South West has just gone live...

We couldn’t bee happier with our new video

Ok, yeah let’s start this blog post by apologising for the abysmal pun in the title. We just really couldn’t help ourselves, there’s just a bit of a buzzzz in the office with it being a bank holiday weekend,  along with the fact that the National Trust South West has put the video we made for them live. 

The video which we've unofficially dubbed 'Bee Movie 2: Where's Jerry Seinfeld?' required one intrepid copywriter (cough-me-cough) to handle an iPad Pro barehanded while being swarmed by an entire colony of irate flying-stingy-things. Happily however, we think it really paid off. Take a butchers for yourself: 

What film director David Fincher can teach us about content marketing

David Fincher is a master of movie deception. A true innovator. Fincher has directed some of the most creative and gripping movies of the last 25 years (Se7en, Fight Club, The Game, The Social Network, Gone Girl, Zodiac), but what most people don't realise is that the average David Fincher movie contains more CGI than the last Godzilla movie. You just wouldn't know it.

How does this relate to content marketing you ask? Well, Fincher only reaches for the very latest tech in order to bring depth to storytelling or solve a storytelling problem. Every piece of CG trickery is used purely in service to this story. His best technical feats are designed to be invisible to the audience and there only to immerse. There's a lesson here for Marketing Directors. The next time your agency tries to talk you into using AR, VR, selfie drones, pixel tracking smoke and mirrors, 360 video rigs, pocket steadicams, interactive page turners, over animated UI, bespoke apps, etc - ask yourself if they're using it to quietly service your brand story or just because it's a new toy that they'd like to play with.

After watching the brilliant video below always ask yourself "what would Fincher do?" before reaching for new tech toys to tell your brand story.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Vivid just bought a shiny new drone. It's a brilliant toy and we're going to tell great stories with it. So there. 

Staggering creative effort to capture the perfect burger

Here at Vivid we like three things – ridiculous attention to detail to achieve the best creative results, bonkers robot-controlled Chitty Chitty Bang Bang type contraptions, and burgers. So imagine our delight when Steve Giralt unveiled a behind the scenes look at his ridiculously wonderful Deconstructed Burger ad. Amazing.

Behind The Scenes of Director and Visual Engineer Steve Giralt's Deconstructed Burger Motion Concept.

Simply amazing video editing – this is the best movie mashup you will ever see

vivid content marketing best movie mashup

We’ve all seen movie mashups before, but Hell’s Club Part Two is in a different class. There is some seriously fantastic editing and colour/effects grading going on here!

We won’t spoil it for you apart from to say “There is a place where all fictional characters meet. Outside of time. Outside of all logic. This place is known as… Hell’s Club.” Enjoy the ride…

Watch this brilliant new documentary – The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing

The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing, is a brilliant new documentary by the Content Marketing Institute and the first comprehensive film of its kind for this industry. It explores the evolution of content marketing through the eyes of the world’s biggest brands including Red Bull, Kraft and Marriott; and marketing influencers Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, Scott Stratten, Jay Baer and more.

Featuring case studies from early pioneers to today’s marketing innovators, The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing shows how content marketing has changed — and will continue to change — business and media forever. Great work and an essential watch...

Just how did Kevin Spacey become Content Marketing's Hollywood poster boy?

Vivid Content Marketing Kevin Spacey keynote
Anyone with a camera and an idea can create an audience... get your minds to work... there is but one rule: hunt or be hunted
— Kevin Spacey, Content Marketing World 2014

Late last year the unlikely figure of Kevin Spacey delivered the closing keynote at Content Marketing World 2014 in Cleveland to 2,600 enthralled marketers. And he smashed it! 

Securing Spacey was quite a coup for Joe Polizzi and the Content Marketing Institute team, and a stroke of genius following 2013's barn-storming Spacey turn at the Edinburgh television festival.

So why Spacey?

What do Hollywood actors know about Content Marketing (you didn't ask, but we thought we’d save you the trouble)? Well, it's all anchored around innovation, creativity and the importance of conflict and authenticity – all of which Spacey is no stranger to as the Oscar-winning actor who defied critics by successfully becoming Artistic Director at The Globe and played a major part in the TV chord-cutting, binge-watching revolution with Netflix's House Of Cards.


The link between Kevin's world and Content Marketing is that we all have audiences, and audiences demand compelling stories. And any compelling story contains three key ingredients:

1. Create Conflict
"A great story creates tension... without it there's no driving force, no passion, no involvement... our stories become richer and far more interesting when they go up against the settled order of things". Conflict creates engagement. Take Nike as an example, as Spacey did, their business is built around our desire to be better, stronger and faster and the tension in the effort to achieve this. They build great stories that dissipate this tension.

2. Be Authentic
"Stay true to your brand and true to your voice, and audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion". Discover what's unique about a brand and exploit it authentically – Spacey referenced the 'Think Small' Volkswagen ads of the 60s as a great example of authentic storytelling focussed on what's unique (in the face of a trend for larger and larger American cars). Be honest basically, but present your honesty creatively.

3. Give People What They Want, When They Want it
We all know this, right? There's no shortage of choice for any given audience, so you'd better make content compelling, entertaining and useful, and make it available everywhere or it will be ignored. "Anyone with a camera and an idea can create an audience... get your minds to work... there is but one rule: hunt or be hunted".

Outside of those three, and one piece of Spacey advice that really resonated with the Vivid team (in a reference to the third golden age of television that we're experiencing right now) was "give the creatives more power." He knows his stuff! Meanwhile we've got a revolt happening in the office. Watch Kevin’s highlights followed by his brief Q&A below.


Keynote highlights and Q&A

The best bits from Content Marketing World 2014

Full (shakeycam) Keynote

Content Marketing World keynote in full

2013 TV Festival Keynote

2013 Edinburgh TV Festival keynote in full

9 brilliant brand storytelling TED talks every Marketing Director should see


We love a bit of TED here at Vivid. A few of the team worked for founder Chris Anderson in a previous life so we've always had a soft spot. And besides, the world's cleverest people sharing their insights, experience and inspiration for 15 minutes - really, what's not to love?  

After much debate, we've cherry-picked the nine (started off as five, but to avoid a saloon fight we had to expand) best brand storytelling talks that all Marketing Directors and Content Marketing types must see. Enjoy.

Master storyteller J.J. Abrams on how an unopened gift from his grandfather fundamentally shaped the way he tells stories from Lost to Mission Impossible 3 to the upcoming Star Wars VII.

The Super Size Me creator tells The Greatest Story Ever Sold with lessons learned from trying to engage with brands in order to get sponsorship for his movie all about getting sponsorship. 

The author of The Tipping Point and Blink amusingly explores the nature of choice and why one size doesn't fit all. Oh, and he says: "to a worm in a horseradish, the world is a horseradish".

Renny Gleeson on how the lowly website ‘404 content not found’ page presents an opportunity and demonstrates that little things done right matter because well-designed moments build brands.

What’s the pattern between all the great brands in the world? What is it that they and their leaders do, the exact opposite way to everyone else, that makes them so successful?

The writer of Pixar's biggest hits shares how making the audience care with a well told promise that delivers the '2 + 2' (while allowing the viewer/reader to arrive at the '4') is the key to true engagement.

Ad man Rory Sutherland’s spellbinding observations on how the most potent ways to have impact with your audience are often really small and inexpensive. Love the Virgin Atlantic example!

Dan Colby reveals how the rules of physics affect the marketing of brands including BP and Tiger Woods and David Cameron. Admittedly, that synopsis made this sound pretty dry. It’s not.

A clever, really short talk that quickly makes us realise that assumption we have are not necessarily true - from street names, to blocks, to the role of a doctor. The same can be said for brand ideas.

How great brands evolve – steal from the world's best (in under 3 minutes)


We love Fast Company here at Vivid. The mag and the website (especially CoCreate) are regular haunts for our creative team and the recent 'Evolution of Brands' video series is just brilliant. 

Not only is each one a super quick cheat sheet on the marketing and growth history of some of the planet's biggest brand, but the style, inventiveness and sheer economy of storytelling in these three minute videos is an energetic lesson for all content creators. 

Part trip down memory lane, part masterclass in advertising and marketing the six best of the series so far are below. The rest can be found here. Essential viewing.

From WWII to Woodstock – how Volkswagen's famous wheels have been parked at the front of many important moments in world history.

Just watch it – from 'that' Swoosh to sweatshops, see how the world's biggest sports brand always stays on top.

Rivetting moments from the world's most famous jeans. Taking you from the crotch rivet to banned ads and beyond.

Just for the taste of it – 128 years of health aid to happiness-maker to one of the world's most recognisable brands.

How do you like dem Apples? – from humble beginnings in Steve Jobs' garage to the biggest company in the world.

Hamburgers and creepy clowns – the masters of reinvention pivot from BBQ to burgers to Happy Meals and the Super Size Me generation.