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.
Two of the world's most gifted creatives – Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive and the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (as well as the mastermind behind 'Mystery Box' marketing and storytelling) J.J. Abrams – talk wonderfully about the creative process, how it never gets easier and the power of saying no.
This conversation was moderated by the Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer and is a 'must watch' for all creatives.
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…
"My name is Sean Atkins, and I make content." If this were one of those Kickstarter artisan 'maker' videos, that's what I'd be saying. Probably in some rustic setting involving a campfire, axe handles and while wearing a check shirt and my Grandad's hat.
Now were all for applying storytelling to products and brands at Vivid – hey, it's how we make our living! And it works. But when the ratio between an inconsequential product and and super high-end video production values is too far out of whack - something is amiss. And when you add an over-complicated and earnest Jony Ive-style 'curing cancer' voiceover – it's comedy gold.
Which is what inspired the two brilliant videos below. We're saying nothing more, don't want to spoil them...
Aaron Sorkin is perhaps the best screenwriter in Hollywood today. He specialises in non-toilet-break drama – films and TV shows such as A Few Good Men, The West Wing, The Social Network and Steve Jobs that are so dense and compelling in story and dialogue that you have no choice but to 'hold it in' for fear of missing something.
Isn't this what content marketing should strive to achieve? We know all about the importance of storytelling in marketing, but frankly most brands stink at it. Perhaps the advice of a true storyteller is a good place to start...
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...
Last night was date night and rather unromantically I took my wife to see Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation. I know, I know, we're late to the party. Romance-appropriate or not, it's surprisingly good! Name another movie franchise where each sequel is better than its predecessor. It's also very 2015 somehow. Which got me thinking on the way home – just what makes it so 2015? And then it hit me. It's the lack of computer effects, the real stunts, the long takes – the sheer physicality of the action. It's old school. It's authentic. Like bearded Hipsters switching to vinyl because Spotify somehow doesn't match their craft beer, this year Hollywood is moving away from CG effects and building sets, strapping actors to things and generally embracing the dust and dents of the real world after so many years of computer slickery.
Just a few weeks before Mission Impossible premiered, another franchise was stealing the show at Comic-Con 2015 by showing a video with absolutely zero new footage of its upcoming movie. It was Star Wars Episode VII, due out this December and helmed by uber geek J.J. Abrams. The subject of the video that caused nerdgasms throughout the crowd? A real desert, a real Millennium Falcon, real latex, real robots, real dirt – it was focussed on how they're making the movie with as few computers as possible to accurately match the analogue universe created by 1977's 'western in space' original (rather than the plasticy, computery 1999 second trilogy).
Watch the two videos below...
Compare that to...
... the fanboy outrage thrown up by the infamous Game Of Thrones 'walk of shame' finale scene earlier this year. Fans felt cheated by the computer trickery that so convincingly blended Lena Headey's head with the naked body of a stand-in, as her character walks nude through the centre of town to atone for her sins. The motivation for filming the scene twice, first with the main actress (clothed) and again with a naked stand-in was actually honourable – Headey wanted to concentrate on her emotional performance (it is quite painful to watch) and not let the self consciousness of being starkers cloud that performance. Even with the best of creative intentions, the fans' reaction of "it's not real, we've been betrayed!" is fascinating. But what about when more than just a scene lacks authenticity?
This year's computer effects laden The Fantastic Four has been the biggest superhero disaster since 2003's Catwoman. Costing $120m to make and $80m to market, it grossed only $26m in its first weekend which effectively killed it dead. Why? 'Soulless' has been the main theme of the critics' mauling. The sets, the scenery, the characters and the relationships all feel artificial and so, surprise, surprise – the audience couldn't care less.
So what does that mean for brand storytelling?
Well nothing – if that it is, it's being done right. This is just a case of Hollywood catching up with the power of authenticity. But if content isn't being true to its brand (yes, we're looking at you rival agencies!) this trend demonstrates the positive power authenticity can have in Content Marketing and all spheres of audience engagement. In short, keep it real people.
For anyone who works in the creative industry, the video below, created by DDB is a lovely reminder of why you love what you do.
For those in content marketing, this is the gospel! It's why it's called 'content marketing'. Without creativity, imagination, flair, innovative storytelling and an editorial approach to brands, well, it would just be plain old 'marketing'. Creativity comes from ideas, but what value should be put on those ideas?
Without a creative idea behind it, a brand is the same as all the rest. You can't buy ideas. Hang on, I'm painting myself into a corner here. Of course, you can buy ideas. You hire an expert agency. An agency with a Vivid imagination (that number again is 07767 873074).
"Creativity is the most powerful force in business". Absolutely spot on. Finally, somebody said it!
Have a watch below...
Feeling creatively inspired? Gooood. Here's how you stay that way...
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.
THREE SPACEY TAKEAWAYS (Spaceaways?)
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.