Category Archives: Writing

Coors Light and National Geographic Discover What’s Next

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 2.13.41 PM.pngThe Benefits of #BrandStorytelling #branding #brandjournalism #partnerships #storytelling

Storytelling has become an invaluable tool for brands across all industries. For ‘My Next,’ in particular, the initiative and partnership allowed Nat Geo to help bring the story of what’s next for both Coors Light and National Geographic Explorers to life. And, like its brand partnership vetting process, Nat Geo has a very specific way that it approaches brand storytelling.

Wiese noted, “We look at brand storytelling the same way we do with any content across our global television, digital, social, and print channels. Great stories have the power to transform the way we understand the world and our role in it. Nat Geo stories focus on humanity, authenticity, curiosity, and purpose.”

However, beyond the visuals, Wiese noted that excellent brand storytelling must have a protagonist or hero who audiences inherently want to follow. “And, we’re lucky to already have those heroes in our explorers, photographers, scientists, and creators. They have made National Geographic the globally revered media company it is today and for the past 130 years.”

Read More (Forbes)

 

 

Design of Everyday Things

DesignOfEverydayThingsOne of my favorite books: The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition  By Don Norman [@jnd1er] – jnd.org

From the Preface: “This is a starter kit for good design. It is intended to be enjoyable and informative for everyone: everyday people, technical people, designers, and non-designers. One goal is to turn everyone into great observers of the absurd, of the poor design that gives rise to so many of the problems of modern life, especially of modern technology. It will also turn everyone into observers of the good, of the places where thoughtful designers have worked to make our lives easier and smoother. Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable.”

See More (jnd.org)
https://www.jnd.org/books/design-of-everyday-things-revised.html

My Take From Brownie Bytes

I’ve used these principles for every product, marketing, website, and content I’ve ever worked on – since the first edition of this book. You would be wise to do the same.

Cool London Hotel Identity Campaign [videos]

AssemblyThe energetic identity for London-based hotel brand Assembly invites visitors to get up and go explore the city.

The affordable hotel category isn’t giving travelers what they want. Airbnb has raised the bar by offering genuine, relevant experiences, but, bland, cookie-cutter budget hotels have so far failed to respond. Assembly is looking to change that with a brand that removes the pointless extras, in favor of what really matters to its audience.

@Ragged_Edge @MaxOttignon @CommArts

See More (Communication Arts)

My Take From Brownie Bytes

Max Ottignon and his team at Ragged Edge faced the branding of this affordable urban hotel head on. Folks don’t go to central London to hang out in a hotel room. So they invite guests to get out!  Great concept.

The Best of Off-Network Streaming Video News

I’ve been doing some research on video news delivery over the Internet and found these as some of the best.

Why off-network? Because the TV, cable, and satellite news providers have a formula to get you to watch their commercials and it drives most of us crazy – long on tease and promotion, short on information and actual news.

You can spend a half hour watching network or local affiliate news and get about 8-12 stories. Who has time for that? I really don’t care to watch their non-stop fancy production graphics and their promos. Get to the news already! Those same 8-12 stories can be delivered in 10-15 minutes without all the fluff.

The news videos I found are not big on hi-end video production values but they provide a lot of information in their broadcasts.

Vimeo has over 13 thousand videos in their “news” and reporting & journalism categories. That includes a lot of promo videos masquerading as news, video news packages from Iran, Vietnam, and other countries, trade show video news segments, etc.

YouTube has a mix of the usual networks, local affiliates, government or quasi-government video (like Voice of America), corporate news, and much more… 7.5 billion videos that are tagged “news.” Virtually every possible media outlet has a YouTube Channel.

Here’s just a few of the good streaming news productions that provide great information to their audiences (doesn’t include the usual networks for the above reasons):

Tech News Weekly

Science News
Non-Profit Society for Science & the Public has been published as a magazine since 1922. They started their YouTube Channel in 2013.

This Week in Palm Beach (Full Disclosure: R. Michael Brown from Brownie Bytes writes and produces this)

Australian Mid-Western Regional Council Community News

Post-lite weekly news and events for the week from Lorton Valley, Virgina Star newspaper, with Valerie Nalls of Nalls Produce

What makes these broadcasts great is the writing and producing!  The audio for the most part is not off-the-cuff, it’s planned out, not lots of useless banter from the anchor or between those on the screen, and the visuals match what is said.

Seems simple, right?  Believe me there is a lot of streaming drivel out there. Chatty intros and what must be inside jokes because I didn’t get it.  Moving powerpoint like screens with voiceover, or no audio at all – just text on the screen to read – YIKES!  Reading videos?

Of course there are many streaming news services. The more the subscribers, the higher production values. Listed in order of views or subscribers:

YouTube News (34 million subscribers)
This is the aggregation of what Google (YouTube owner) deems a news outlet.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYfdidRxbB8Qhf0Nx7ioOYw

The Young Turks (4 million subscribers)
Liberal (they say Progressive) streaming site.
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks

Russia Today [RT] (2.8 million subscribers)
RT is a global news channel broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios.
https://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday

Vice News (3.3 million subscribers)
HBO News Network
https://www.youtube.com/user/vicenews

There are many more, millions in fact. See them in the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CANCBAgBEgA%253D&search_query=news

The point is, you don’t need hi-end production to deliver a great video news service to your audience. Just great writing and producing.  Distribution is on the Web, video sites, and social media.

 

Disney Imagineers and Theme Park Designers Are Leading Experience Marketing into a Whole New World of Brand Storytelling

By: Liz Alton [@Beinglizzie] Insights from Disney:

Emotions and Storytelling

Disney is one of the best storytelling engines in the world. Immersive storytelling elevated the brand beyond the basics of regional amusement parks and water slide attractions to become a global titan that’s captured imaginations from Orlando to China. The dream team that builds the attractions, the destinations, and every aspect behind the experiences are the Imagineers.

From immersive storytelling to bringing cutting-edge technologies to bear, the line between marketing and entertainment is thinner than ever before. Brands are creating apps, virtual reality experiences, pop-up branded events, and full-scale immersive tours to delight customers, tell their origin stories, show the manufacturing process, and help build deeper, emotion-based connections.

Read More (Skyword Content Standard)

My Take from Brownie Bytes

I was fortunate to know the executive VP of Imagineering at Walt Disney World in Orlando (his son was my best surfing and cycling buddy in high school / college). I got the inside scoop on how Disney produced their story-themed attractions.  Then my buddy and I were the first two “test particles” (that’s what the imagineers called us) at Typhoon Lagoon.  Yep, the first two surfers at the wave pool.

Prior to Typhoon Lagoon, in the mid-1970’s in college I worked for an engineering firm that tested a lake/beach/wave machine in a Disney World lake. It was a complete failure. The wave washed away the sandy beach every 2-3 waves and the water looked like the stirred up brown cypress oil muck that it was.  I got to ride 1 wave.  That’s right 1. It was a white-water-willy wave only the white water was the color of barely foamy puke.  Not a pleasant experience.  Not all Disney rides make it to the public.  In fact, most are running at 20% of their capacity for safety reasons.  Typhoon Lagoon can crank out a 9 foot wave.  But the public only sees 2-4 feet.

Years later I was fortunate to work for both IBM and Motorola.  I was the first multimedia producer at both companies so I got to work with Disney imagineers to build business and home of the future exhibits at EPCOT.  I learned how to develop stories with the integrated Disney spin.  A great experience.

 

The Ad Campaign that Saved Old Spice

Old Spice has been around since 1937, but how has the brand been able to stay current with a new generation? Its successful marketing campaigns have become legend, leading to a massive increase in sales.

The ad agency responsible for the campaign keeps it going – by appealing to women, not men, just like the original Old Spice ads did in the 1930’s.

Cheddar Video [8:04] 

Click here to see the Latest from Wieden + Kennedy

 

How to Start a Content Marketing Agency: 11 Tips for Growing Your Business

By Kathryn Hawkins [@kathrynhawkins]

Learn how to take your freelance career to the next level by leveling up into a content marketing agency.

Agencies come in all sizes, from the boutique shops where the owner knows all the clients’ names (like ours) to supersized teams that number in the hundreds or thousands. If you’re a successful freelance writer, you’ve probably worked for several agencies in addition to partnering directly with clients. In some cases, it can be a smooth relationship, while others create a rocky road.

If you’re a strong writer who finds yourself turning down assignments because you’re getting more requests than you can handle, you might start thinking about whether it makes sense to scale up and start an agency of your own.

If you want to ever take a relaxing, fully-off-the-grid vacation? I’d probably think again.

But if you’re comfortable with taking on the stress of juggling a few dozen projects a day for the benefits of building a business on your own terms, here’s my cheat sheet with 11 tips (one for every year we’ve been in business):

Read More (EucalyptMedia)