In between the panels…


What can marketers learn from comic books?

Succinctly said, the power of comic and graphic novels occur in between the panels. Between panel A and panel B, a world of curiosity, sensibility and feeling is unlocked. It’s not what is said or shown, it’s what is not said or shown that is unique.

Think about that from a marketing perspective. How many times do we try to say too much about our product, solution or brand?

Comic books teach us to think about what occurs “in between the panels”. Say and show something creative. Then let your audience imagine. Let your audience translate their needs and desires into something our offering delivers.

What would happen if, for your next marketing project, instead of saying everything, you left some things for ‘in between the panels’?

Give it a shot and let me know how it works.

Viewstream Marketing Receives Highest Honors for Use of Graphics at the 2015 Telly Awards

Viewstream is thrilled to receive top honors at the 36th annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards, a premier award honoring outstanding creative work in video and film productions, online commercials, video and films has presented our agency with two accolades this year. Of the nearly 12,000 entries, Viewstream was recognized for its creative work supporting the products and brands of some of the largest companies in the world.

We received a Silver Telly Awards – the highest honor – for our work with Autodesk Seek in the Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces – Use of Graphics category.

Autodesk Seek from Viewstream on Vimeo.

Additionally, a Silver Award was presented for Viewstream’s work for Adobe Media Optimizer in Online Commercial – Use of Graphics.

Adobe Media Optimizer from Viewstream on Vimeo.

We add these two new Silver recognitions to our collection of seven previous distinctions by the Telly Awards for our creative work in online videos for clients including Microsoft, Autodesk, Adobe and ERA Real Estate.

See our complete list of awards here

Viewstream Marketing Recognized for Creative Excellence in Art Direction

Viewstream was recently presented with two 2014 Telly Awards in the Art Direction category. Our video for ERA Real Estate revealed the location of their 2015 International Business Conference (IBC15) to their global community at IBC14 this past March in Los Angeles.  The IBC15 Reveal video earned the highest honor of the Silver Telly Award. Additionally, a Bronze Award was presented for Viewstream work for Autodesk Point Layout in Internet/Online Video.

We were up against a lot of competition—12,000 entries from around the globe were submitted. Entrants included ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. The winners were announced in New York on June 16.

All the work was judged by a panel of 500 Silver Telly Council members representing a variety of distinguished media, advertising and marketing firms. Each year, the council honors creative excellence for communications professionals across the world by recognizing the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

We’d like to congratulate all of our fellow Telly Award recipients and thank them for their important contributions to the industry.

Viewstream Discusses Skeuomorphic Design


Here at Viewstream we are very interested in design trends. So one afternoon we put the entire company on pause to talk about a favorite topic — the future of skeuomorphism. Our design team gave an internal presentation that explored the rapid evolution of this design trend since touchscreens became an everyday part of our lives, from the first iPhone, to iOS 7, and beyond. We also discussed how skeuomorphism impacts our experience of User Interfaces and our senses of reality, objectivity, and perfection.

Check out the visual portion of our design team’s presentation here.


Exploring New Ground with the Oculus Rift

Joel with the Oculus Rift!

Elekta, a leader in clinical solutions for radiosurgery and radiation therapy, recently completed construction on a state-of-the-art learning center in Atlanta, Georgia—the company’s North American headquarters. The Learning and Innovation Center (LINC) is expected to draw clinicians, researchers, and health IT professionals for education, training, and collaboration on Elekta’s solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders.

To help generate awareness, Viewstream created an interactive, virtual tour of the LINC facility that can be explored using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Elekta invited attendees of the ASTRO 2013 conference to wear the Oculus Rift and experience the Learning and Innovation Center in virtual reality. To help build a buzz, the virtual tour was promoted before and after the conference through Elekta’s social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In the end, the virtual tour received overwhelming positive responses from both the client and the conference attendees.

Viewstream created the LINC virtual tour using Autodesk Maya, the Unity game engine, and the Oculus Rift developer’s kit. The visual model was created in Autodesk Maya, using a combination of photos, videos, and blueprints of the facility. The model was then imported into the Unity game engine, where it was given physics, movement, and lighting. Finally, the resulting program was calibrated with the Oculus Rift headset using the product’s developer kit to create the interactive, virtual tour.

Check out a preview of the virtual tour:

Viewstream Recognized for Creative Excellence

Viewstream was recently presented with six 2013 Communicator Awards by the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA) and three Telly Awards by the Telly Council. Our video Dabble: Make History, featuring iPad and iPhone product captures, received a Gold Award for Excellence. Three videos created for Microsoft garnered Silver Communicator Awards of Distinction and three Bronze Telly Awards. Additional videos for Autodesk also earned Silver Communicator Awards.

We were up against some serious competition—6,000 entries were submitted to the IAVA and 11,000 to the Telly council. Participants included ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms.

The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded more than a decade ago, the annual competition recognizes the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local and regional cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions and web commercials. Winning entries represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

We’d like to congratulate all of our fellow Communicator and Telly Award recipients and thank them for their important contributions to the industry.

Ethnography for Business

Ethnography has become a buzz word. A lot of companies claim to do “Ethnography” or offer it as a service. However, most of the companies offering ethnography services are just market research firms and what they are offering is basically “fancy” surveys and focus groups. In terms of agencies, a lot of agencies offer “ethnography” as part of their services, but usually they are bringing in outside consultants to do this (i.e. they have no one with an anthropology background on staff). Also, in most cases this is an adjunct to the standard branding, marketing, and design services as opposed to a unique focus.

Several of MDC companies noted their “ethnographic” work, but none actually listed an anthropologist on staff. Red Associates is the only agency I could find oriented towards selling Anthropology qua Anthropology and have an actual Anthropologist on staff. Most of the other real business ethnography, anthropology companies are small consulting firms. Ethnographic Solutions being a good example.

Red Associates
Red is a NY/Copenhagen based company that mixes social sciences and marketing. They broadly categorize their services as “Applied Business Anthropology”.

From website:
Who We Are

ReD Associates is an innovation and strategy consultancy. The anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists, and designers who make up ReD employ the methods of social science to study human behavior.

Our teams in Copenhagen and New York work together to develop deep insights into how and why consumers make decisions. We use these insights both to see the world in more compassionate and complex ways—and to identify new opportunities for our clients.

We benefit hugely from having a very international staff: Our diversity of perspectives enables us to ask culturally relevant questions and explore the world in open-ended ways.

In our practice we employ methods and ways of thinking from two domains—social scientific practices from ethnography, market analysis from traditional business practice—to provide clients with clear and comprehensive directions for moving forward.

Ethnographic Solutions
DC based Market Research company. The principals are all Anthropologists from respectable backgrounds. Looking at their services they have found some interesting ways of applying their skills beyond the usual “market survey”.

From their website:
-Physician-Patient Dialogue
-Sales Representative Ethnography
-Day in Life Customer Ethnography
-Employee-Customer Dialogue
-Consumer Unmet Needs
-Positioning & Platform Research
-Message Testing & Story Flow
-Creative Concept Testing
-Visual & Sales Aid Testing
-Medical Device Testing
-Consumer Buying Process
-Disease Exploratory Research
-Customer Tracking Research

Viewstream Research

As part of our research group, we are publishing a few overviews of interesting companies in the social media space.

Altimeter Group is not a marketing company, rather a research/consultancy company (Powerpoint company). Think Boston Consulting or Bain mixed with Gartner or Forrester, focus is “Social Business” which includes social media aimed towards customers but also includes how organizations are internally organized and how information is shared within a company. In some cases this can mean using social media tools internally, but it can also mean creating whole new org charts for large organizations.

Their model is essentially as follows: produce a large number of free report’s which are then use to leverage engagements in advisory, speaking or strategy.

For advisory, this is be the classic consulting job. Called in to provide research and outside eyes on a project. Classically consulting in large organizations to displace blame. i.e. idea fails well expert consultants said it would work.

For speaking, past topics include:

  • Hot or Not: Deciding Which Disruptive Technologies Matter
  • Creating a Coherent Social Strategy
  • The Future of Social Networks
  • Convincing Your Curmudgeon — Getting Executive Buy-In for Your Social

For strategy, Altimeter has published on:

  • Get Engaged With Your Customers (or Employees)
  • Recruiting an Unpaid Army for Word of Mouth
  • The Customer of the Future
  • Developing a Mobile Strategy for the Whole Customer Lifecycle
  • Developing — and Investing — in a Social CRM Strategy
  • Rethinking Innovation in Your Enterprise Strategy
  • It’s the People Stupid: Designing a Social Experience
  • Funding an Enterprise Strategy
  • Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist
  • Developing a Scalable Social Strategy

Some great reports here:

All altimeter reports are released under  a creative commons license so you can pull their slides and use them in your own presentations as long as you give them credit.

Keeping Up with the Booklicants – Facebook Advertising Tips

Viewstream does a lot of Facebook advertising  for key accounts. Through analyzing a lot of data, we have noticed this phenomenon of the “Booklicant”. The signature behavior of this type of user is characterized by clicking on hundreds of ads merely to collect images of things that they like. Taking an empathetic approach, we assume the user benefits by increasing their ‘like’ score, as well as self-expression and time passing.

So how do you “Keep up with the Booklicants”? Better targeting. Facebook has several key targeting areas that can be utilized, including interests, geography and even contact lists. Experiment with those areas and you ought to see better results.