Fail Army Case Study

The Mission

After working with MTV2 on both Bebe Rexha’s mini-documentary, “Tracking Back” and their joint venture with Starbucks called, “Summer Wander List” we began our third project with the network. MTV2 gained the rights to a popular YouTube series, “Fail Army” and wanted to convert it to a television show. They gave us another opportunity to create the graphics that would re-brand the show.

Review To Renew

It is rare to walk into a business venture that wants a new look for an already existing product. “Fail Army” is a YouTube video series that MTV2 recently acquired from Jukin Media. Because the show already had its format, we had to brainstorm to find a way to preserve its style whilst showcasing a vibe that reflects the MTV2 brand.

Which Logo To Show?

As motion designers, we know that a good portion of any product’s identity is stemmed from its logo. Our team thought that incorporating army imagery might be the best approach. These are a few of our first drafts. Our bomb idea was the one they liked the most. This was largely due to it having an emoji-esque facial expression. It fit well with their goal of using war iconicity without actually being violent. This led to some more trial and error, though at this point we knew what kind of thing they were looking for.

Final Logo Design

At Last, we had a winner!

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Title Sequence

With a logo pinned down, we were able to move on to our next task: the title sequence. The shows old title sequence had a large pile of televisions all showing different videos of people failing. We decided that there should be more to the location of the pile of televisions in the show’s opener. This led to a design of an empty army bunker for the background.

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MTV2 prides itself on having a simple, clean, modern design so they felt that the less “busy” our images were, the better. Ultimately, this aspect of their brand led to them picking the empty bunker with a calming blue pixelated camouflage pattern. The bomb was set to a green colour to add another level of flair and fun.

We even threw in a subtle joke. Initially, we proposed the idea that our bombs would explode at the end of the sequence. However, MTV2 didn’t want that because they felt it deviated from their mission of keeping any semblance of “violent” imagery out of their program. Instead, we decided to have a bomb with a lit fuse quickly die out. See? Even the bomb failed.

Transitions – Getting The Bomb Rolling

Another unique challenge to this project was that we had to create a slew of varied transitional sequences. Due to the show being composed of very short clips, we had to make sure that every thirty seconds the audience wasn’t seeing the same graphic over and over again. Our transitions varied not only in content but in length as well. The showrunners were going to incorporate both long and short cuts throughout the program. We even got to throw in some dynamite for a little pizzazz.

Conclusion – An Explosion of Creativity

Rebranding is challenging to do. Our army of talented, creative and determined designers love to take on tasks in all stages of development. We are so happy we had this opportunity to work with MTV2 again. This project was the absolute bomb to work on.

Ngā Tapuwae Case Study

The Discovery

The First World War Centenary Programme Office – WW100 originally invited us to concept for a 20-second animation for a different project they were working on. After seeing our idea, they realised that it did not fit in completely with their brand. They were interested in our concept however, and later approached us about doing a video series for Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails. They liked our pitch and we were awarded a contract for a series of five short videos.

The Mission

In 2015, the WW100 Programme launched legacy project Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War trails. Ngā Tapuwae explores the experiences and stories of New Zealand soldiers in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. WW100 wanted to create a video series to increase awareness of Ngā Tapuwae Trails and in particular the Western Front Trails and history. Their concept was for a five-part video package with each video telling different stories of those involved in the First World War.

What's the Word?

Initially, the plan was to have each video be 15 seconds. Our team felt that stories as important as the ones that were going to be featured needed a little more time to breathe. WW100 agreed and we extended each run time to around 30 seconds. Furthermore, upon receiving long passages of transcriptions we picked out several excerpts and determined which phrases should be written out across the screen, and from that completed a script. This composition of the dialogue helped create more of an emotional impact to the audience by making a story out of the words spoken by the people that lived at that time. After getting the go-ahead, we went straight to work.

Don't Get Too Moody

Oftentimes when there’s a completely new project at hand, we will have the most influence over the generation of the piece’s overall aesthetic. This was most definitely the case with this project because the product associated with it was so new. We knew it would be a moody piece with lots of parallax and sketched out feel. To organise our thoughts, we’ll typically take to Pinterest and create mood boards that consist of art we feel parallels what we’re going for.

Never Bored With A Storyboard

Being visually minded people, we approach storyboarding through pictures. In our proposal to WW100 we presented sketches that plotted out how each shot would look. This project demanded a more cinematic look, so as we sketched out the story we noted to our client how many seconds each “scene” would have and what sort of camera movements would be associated at each segment. We did the 2.5D approach parallax (animation style) which essentially allowed us to capture a single moment but also allowed us to have a “camera”. They liked what we had so far, so we put our thinking caps on and kept brainstorming!

Time to Work

One advantage that we had with this project was our ability to sit with it for a long time and determine what did and did not work. We had approximately 7 months from start of concept until final video delivery. We used this time to converse with WW100 in a continuous creative communication loop. Through trial and error, we eliminated what didn’t work and added things that made these videos even more moving. For example, one story we absolutely loved didn’t fit in with the cohesive narrative we were looking into creating. Despite being attached to the idea of that video concept, we valued first and foremost the overall feel of the narrative.

Conclusion: Mapping Out The Future

As kiwis, we can’t help but notice the legacy the First World War has had on our nation. This is why we feel so honoured to have had this opportunity to help educate people about this time period. Design tells stories, and we hope that through our videos this narrative will both stay intact and be shared all over the world.

Tracking Back Case Study

The Mission

MTV2 met with our Creative Director Shahir who recommended us for an upcoming project in need of a graphics package. This would include title cards, transitions, and funky graphics to intertwine within pop-singer Bebe Rexha’s mini-documentary. The network strives to be “young” and “modern” so our work needed to reflect that. After reviewing our previous work, they determined that we were fit to carry out this job.

What's in the Name?

Initially, the working title for the project was, “10 Things You Should Know About Me.” The initial concept was to emphasize the number “10” to make a countdown format for the show to follow. This title denotes a light hearted, happy vibe. To match this, we conceived several bright, colorful logos with varied fonts, cases, shapes, and levels of transparency. Though these designs ultimately weren’t chosen, it gave us a great opportunity to flex our creative muscles and conceive several different avenues for our clients to look at. What was even better was that in this first stage MTV2 gave us a lot of creative freedom as we sought to instill some unique imagery in the product. We designed four concepts and each concept had a logo that corresponded with the style. Our ideas included vibrant nebulous backgrounds, eye catching lower-thirds and upper-thirds.

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At first, MTV2 liked the idea of having graphics trail behind Bebe as she walked. This led to a sequence of colors behind her that we made sure paralleled the logo that would appear at the end of this introduction. With our creative juices flowing, we set aside some ideas for how to incorporate what we made into transitions later on.

As with any project, nothing is set in place in the planning stage. After submitting our work to MTV2, they told us that they wanted to go in a different direction that was a little more cohesive with their brand. Specifically, they wanted our visuals to have a more organic feel. We went back to the drawing board and came up with some intricate black and white, hand-drawn typography. To make it look more authentic, we felt it would be a nice touch to show a person drawing the logo onto a t-shirt. MTV2 felt that, while they enjoyed these title cards as well, that they appeared a little to artsy for their product.

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Then, the name changed and we approached our designs differently. The new title, “Tracking Back” suddenly represented something else. We got rid of the roundness on the letters to showcase her being a straight-shooting message about how Bebe Rexha rose to the top. Now that we had a better understanding of their brand identity, we knew that with these new designs they should have simple, clean, legible formatting. Then we took the phrase, “Tracking Back” and decided to make it a visual pun. Our designs did this by paralleling a race car track, making backwards “k”s and arrows, and incorporating clocks. We even provided our client with some neat 3D variations.

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Simplicity won out and our logo was chosen! We kept purple and yellow, chose a straight font, incorporated an arrow, and included the MTV2 logo in the corner.

Transition to Transitions

Once we had our title sequence approved, we knew what kind of style we would have to reference for the transition (commercial break) sequence. This segment needed to be short yet still capture what our design tried to evoke in the opening. Since this documentary had the star visit her old high school, we decided to start with the “rewind” symbol and then move to a purple yearbook with an arrow bookmark that had our logo superimposed within the pages and on the cover. With the logo firmly in place, we were able to concept this idea confidently with a clear-cut aesthetic in mind.

Graphics for EMPHASIS

While Bebe is certainly regarded throughout the documentary as a hard-worker who takes her craft seriously, she is still an inherently young, vibrant person. To parallel that, at different intervals we would emphasise what she was saying with motion graphics.

What’s The Verdict?

We’re very proud of the work that we did for MTV2 and Bebe Rexha. Through careful planning and collaboration with our client, we were able to contribute to the product in meaningful ways reflective of their message.

We’re proud that our work got the chance to be viewed on national television. We wish nothing but the best for our client and Bebe. Unlike all of our yearbooks, this was one we actually want to look back on.

Meet the Team: Q&A with Nico

Who are you and what is your role at Fox&Co?

Hi, I’m Nico Speziali, and I currently do motion design @ Fox&Co.

Why did you decide to become a motion designer?

Well, I’m actually a graphic designer. I’m part of that transition generation of designers, from early 2000’s who were surrounded by new technologies and media in a sort of a revolution where all the tools to develop animation and web design started to be easier to use. I’ve always loved animation and film, so, it was a logical transition for me.

How did you end up working at Fox&Co?

My  wife and I came to New Zealand from Argentina looking for new adventures and experiences. We both wanted to live in a different country with a different language and culture. We traveled across the country for a couple of months, and then we decide to stay in Wellington. I had a friend who worked with Phyo, and after a couple of emails and one cup of coffee, I started work the next morning.

What are you most excited to achieve at Fox&Co?

I would love to see Fox&Co. maintaining this growing rhythm, and continue landing interesting projects.

How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

It  varies. On a daily basis, I usually watch my Vimeo Feed or Motionographer, and design portals like Abduzeedo, Designspiration or my Pinterest/Behance feed. That usually fuels some ideas. If I’m stuck, I’ll try to do something out of the work environment like taking a walk outside, and ideas usually start to pop.

What was the coolest project you’ve worked on thus far?

The next one, haha. Nah, I think we are lucky to be trusted with a huge variety of projects of different techniques and scales. I really enjoyed working on the Mountain Dew piece, that was a really fun project to do for a week’s work. The Kraken was fun too, and we are currently working on a massive project that we can’t talk too much about, but I’m enjoying every bit of it.

How would you describe your general approach for your workflow? Which tools or software do you usually use?

Well, it really depends on the project, but usually during the briefing meeting I’m already trying to dissect or think of a possible approach to it. Afterwards, I draw some sketches to try to put the idea there and see if it works. Then I’ll jump to Adobe Illustrator to make something closer to the brief. From there, it would depend on the type of project, but it could be produced in Cinema 4D, other 3D tools, or directly in After Effects (for 2D or 2.5D animation).

What does make working at Fox&Co special?

I think that being a close team, communication is super clear between me and the other motion designers. And, in time, getting to know each other more as we are getting better and better working as a team. It almost feels like we are a garage band about to get a really big gig.

Another cool thing is that we have a lot of room for experimentation including testing out new tools, both creative and productive ones. I think that’s really important for us to keep pushing the boundaries.

The possibilities are endless, but often the hardest part is the beginning. What advice or parting insights do you have for aspiring motion designers?

First, I would ask something that may seem obvious, which is: are you sure that you want to make a career out of this? A lot of people have an idea of what motion design is, but when they start to work in the industry...well, they begin to find out the little perks, the competitive environment, and lots and lots of training required. It could be a little discouraging.

I think the main requisite for everything in life really, is passion. From there, I would recommend to start slow and try learning things one baby step at the time. The cool part in what we do is that you can focus on many different aspects. If you think about it, you have composition, design, style framing, concepting, typography, 3D (modelling, texturing, lighting, rigging, etc). So, I would say to try and find out what you like to do the most because once you find it, you’ve got a lot of learning to do.

And from there...it’s practice, learn again, get inspired, and loop. A good starting point is to do personal projects, but don’t be too ambitious at first. Try something, learn from it, and then upscale. It’s a little like going to the gym. If you go crazy on your first week and do 100 reps of each muscle, you’ll end up all sore and you won’t go anymore. If you do it in a progressive way, not rushing it, you’ll start to see results in time.

What tv show universe would you like to live in?

Ah, a tough one. I would say Mad Men.  One thing I could tell you is, I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN ANY BLACK MIRROR EPISODE, EVER.

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Inside Motion Design Meetups: A Date Night with National Park Studios

Since 2013, Motion Design Meetups have gathered a collective of motion design enthusiasts, hobbyists, newbies and veterans from all over Wellington to celebrate and discuss the work of designers in a myriad of disciplines from 2D and 3D animation, to illustration and audio/visual effects. Our key mission: shape a community to share experience, work, and nuggets of wisdom while inspiring each other to achieve and create more.

Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a Motion Design Meetup with National Park Studios,  a boutique animation studio with serious charm in stop-motion animation. Located above a hilltop inside Wellington’s botanical gardens, we were greeted with sunny walls of miniature office models, a chocolate-inked print and quirky hybrid animal portraits. As we made our way around the office, we entered the studio where magic and hard work breathes life into makeshift objects, and desks were organised in orderly chaos with multiple computer screens and tablets. Snacks were served and drinks were passed around as conversation brewed an exchange of life experiences, ideas, passions, and laughter.

Steffan Kreft, a designer and animator of National Park Studio, opened the stage with his Lifeswap project that evolved in cooperation with Goethe Institut in Germany and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade. The animated series follows the adventures and misadventures two young men, Jörg and Duncan, from Germany and New Zealand respectively, living each other’s lives for one year as they explore the idiosyncrasies of life in the other’s culture through the lens of their own. For those of whom have lived in delight, frustrations and misunderstandings of different cultural exchanges, Lifeswap is such a series that certainly tickled our funny bone while we explored their stories with open eyes and hearts.

Throughout the night, we shared, inspired and celebrated various projects created by fellow design enthusiasts and friends. From showcasing our Fox & Co. Anniversary project to marveling at open data animation and even reviewing a gallery of animated designs on instagram, there’s always a story to tell!

Amid a crowd of creatives, we revelled in a night that captured how design and culture thrives in the company of those who support and create what we like to do best. In pursuit of creativity, hustle and heart, Motion Design Meetups have been a union of creators and collaborators who strive to bring their craft to life across different mediums. We hope you can attend our next meetup as we welcome you with open arms to a band of merry motion makers and minglers.

Stay tuned to the meetup space for upcoming dates!

Fox & Co's First Birthday

Happy birthday to us!

It’s been a long year, and a busy one, since we started up Fox & Co. We’ve drunk more than 2300 cups of coffee, helped grow the Motion Design Wellington meetup community to 99 people, and stayed at the office for a lot of late nights. Over these past twelve months, we’ve gone from startup to Starbucks, and we couldn’t have done it without our awesome clients.Today we’re celebrating how far we’ve come since we were founded, and how far we’re going to go.

In that spirit, here are some of Fox & Co.’s firsts and favorites this year…

First Explainer Animation

Storyshed

Our first explainer video was for Storyshed, an infographic design company that works with a lot of confidential information. We pulled out all the stops for this one, making this elegant, minimalistic video for Storyshed to show off.

First 3D Visualisation

Ghost

This 3D visualisation for Ghost, a hoverboard start-up, looks good enough to ride. We had a lot of fun testing the product, too...

First International Client

SixtyFour Films

Our first international client was Sixtyfour Films, a video production company based in Sydney. We had a lot of fun making this Me Bank ad for them.

First Television Commercial

Inside Out Magazine September issue

We did the 3D motion design for this Inside Out Magazine TV commercial. That first commercial’s led to more and more Fox & Co. on the small screen: check out our work page for Mountain Dew, Me Bank and more.

First Blog Post

Explain Your Business Or Idea in a Simple and Stunning Way

Want to reach and engage with your audience? Our first blog post shows you how to do that with explainer videos.

First New Employee

Nico Speziali

Our first new employee was Squirrel, our senior motion designer. With over a decade of experience, his skill with 3D and 2D motion design has helped to shape Fox & Co over the past year.

First Title Animation Design

Rugby Smart 2016

We went with a futuristic, super-slick design for Rugby Smart’s 2016 campaign. If you look closely at the stage, you’ll see that we designed it to look like the inside of a rugby ball.

Favourite Game

Our Friday-afternoon game of the year is Left 4 Dead 2, a classic zombie shooter that’s perfect way to unwind with some drinks.

Favorite Inspiration Blog

As creators, we never stop learning and sharpening our skills. For designers looking for inspiration and the latest cool motion design, we recommend Motionographer.

 

We've come a long way this year, but we're even more excited for the next one. Working as a creative studio, there's always something new, and we're looking forward to the new challenges and creative ideas to come.

Meet the Team: Q&A with Callum

Who are you and what is your role at Fox&Co?

My name is Callum and I am a junior motion designer at Fox&Co.

Why did you decide to become a motion designer?

At university, I did a Bachelor of Design Innovation. It was a pretty broad range of design, from website and graphic design to video editing to motion design. The projects I enjoyed most involved 2D and 3D animation, visual effects and so on. So I discovered motion design while studying and went with that.

How did you end up working at Fox&Co?

I actually went to the Motion Design Meetup last year, which was my final year at uni. I didn’t know all that much about motion graphics yet. I just heard of this design Meetup and thought I should go. I was coming to the end of my degree and thought I it would be good to meet some people in the industry. So I just went and I met Phyo (the Fox) there. Turned out he ran the Motion Design Meetup! We met up a few times and then I got an internship over the summer. And here I am!

What are you most excited to achieve at Fox&Co?

Probably to work on a client project just by myself. At the moment, I’m helping everyone out with projects, or I start a project that then someone else finishes because I don’t have the skills yet to do it myself. So the goal, for now, would be to do a whole project, the full circle by myself.

Where do you look for inspiration?

For motion design specifically, I go to Motionographer.com, and for design related things more generally, I usually just scroll through my Pinterest feed. I’m following a bunch of motion design and 2D, 3D animation topics, so it’s good to gain inspiration from.

What was the coolest project you’ve ever worked on?

I think the most exciting project was making the animals for the Fox&Co website. I did all the texturing, the lighting and rendering; and I think what made it exciting was that I’ve never really been good at that side of 3D design. Developing the project from scratch to the standard that it is now was really exciting.

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What does a typical day at Fox&Co look like for you?

Usually, I start looking up design inspirations or work a little bit on my personal projects for the first half an hour. After that, I do some Fox&Co work, like the website or branding. And then throughout the day, I just do a bit of client work as well, if people need help on things or I’ve got something to do myself. I pretty much just break it up into a bit of Fox&Co and  client work.

What are the ups and downs of working as a motion designer?

Personally, I like the aspect of staying late and having pressing deadlines and projects to do, and getting really stuck into work. That’s what I enjoy about it – especially around here because I’m learning SO much. I really like that about design, there’s just so much out there, so there are always more things to learn.

And the downs… Well, motion design is made up of graphic design mixed with animation, which has heaps of aspects, like lighting, rendering, the animation itself and so on. And I think the downside is trying to learn everything to a high level. You need years and years of experience to do it. You have to learn heaps of roles that are usually split up in companies. I think that’s probably the hardest bit about it.

What does make working at Fox&Co special?

I think what makes Fox&Co special is that we’re a tight group of people. That’s really what intrigued me at first. Originally, there were only three of us. And I thought that was great because I got to work really close to people with lots of experience. This is what makes it unique – learning different skills from each other.

If you were an animated character who would you be and why?

I think I’d be One-Punch Man. He’s an anime character. He’s awesome. 

Why 3D Visualisations Are The Future of Advertising

3D visualisations are not a new breakthrough. As the “secret weapon” of the advertising industry, they have been around for quite a while. In fact, you are probably looking at some every day without even noticing.

3D visualisations are realistic depictions of a product or object. If they are done professionally, it is hard to spot the difference to real photography. But why would you choose 3D visualisations for your business? What are the advantages compared to traditional photography or videography?

3D visualisations let you depict products before they exist

You might have a new product that you want to promote even though it doesn’t physically exist yet. Using traditional photography, you would build a prototype and photograph it. With 3D visualisation, you can avoid these steps as you can depict your product on screen before it actually exists. A car company, for example, could advertise a car without making a prototype, which could cost millions.

This makes 3D visualisation a great tool for start-ups. Marketing activities and pre-sales can be launched before you begin the actual production process. More than that, having visuals of a future product can provide great support for the production process itself. Getting feedback from your future customers will give you the chance to modify your product if needed.

We created this 3D visualisation for Ghost before they manufactured their Ghost board. We came up with multiple designs for their boards and helmets as you can see below.

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3D visualisations are practical

Some products are simply not photo-friendly and sometimes, taking photographs can be a tedious process. Big and heavy objects are hard to move around if you are trying to get the best angle. You have to consider lighting, and potential retouching to get rid of flaws. These difficulties disappear when you choose 3D visualisations. The size of objects becomes a minor concern and you can easily look at it from different angles on your screen. Many industries already use this to their advantage. While a decade ago, only 20% of automotive advertising was created digitally, it has gone up to 80% today.

In this design for McLaren, we visualised how different parts are combined to create this fancy sports car.

3D visualisations let you modify your product easily

With photography, you usually have to go back and take new pictures of your prototype if you want to change something about your product. 3D visualisation, however, makes this process much faster and easier. A few simple clicks let you change shapes, colours, texture and whatever else your heart desires. It is the perfect technique for fast paced industries that change constantly. Trends can be followed very efficiently and easily, as the appearance of products can be modified very quickly.

There is also the potential to save a lot of money. IKEA, for example, wanted to make their marketing process “simpler, cheaper and faster”, so in 2014, they started working with computer generated images. Today, around 60-75% of their product images are 3D visualisations. Instead of assembling whole kitchens, which is complicated and expensive, they can now create it on their computer screens, using the models they already have, and modify it for their specific purpose.

3D visualisations offer endless possibilities

Most importantly, 3D visualisations allow you to show whatever you can imagine. Do you want to show what’s under the hood of a racing car? No problem. Do you want to depict the set-up of a computer? Easy. You can show different angles, but also moving parts, technical details, and how different components are assembled. You can go through walls and move inside of objects. If you wanted to display these things in photographs or a live action video, you would reach their limits quickly. 3D visualisations, however, excel in this. If you want to do a product demo, really showing how your product is built and what it can do, they are your best bet.

Apple's video of their new MacBook is a great product demonstration. It shows what's inside the laptop, what's hidden under they keyboard and how the different components are set up.

Does your business still use photography to market your product? Then give 3D visualisations a thought and consider what you get in the long run: flexibility, easy modifications, and a range of options than other techniques cannot offer. Come join the future of advertising with us.

How to Get the Best Use out of Your Explainer Video

So, you have this amazing explainer video sitting around on your computer. It is perfect in every sense: It is beautifully designed, it tells an engaging story about your business or product and it truly communicates what your brand is all about. But what happens now? What can you actually do with your explainer video other than uploading it to Facebook? Or more accurately, what can your explainer video do for you?

Use your explainer video for your pitch

Making a pitch can be nerve-wracking. It has to be short and to the point, interesting and memorable. With your explainer video, you can deliver a perfect pitch every time. You don’t have to worry anymore if your product is difficult to explain – your video has been optimised and will do it for you. Explainer videos are engaging and capture your audience’s attention much better than a conventional presentation could. The added visuals make them easier to remember. They’re also much more convenient if you want to spread the word: Your audience might tell others about your pitch if it was very good, but a video can be shared more easily and much faster. And finally, you can pitch your business even when you’re not there in person!

Clarify the objective or your product or service

Text can be difficult. Sometimes it takes long to express seemingly simple things. And there’s always the chance that people understand it in different ways, other than you intended. So, instead of writing long blocks of text, use your explainer video! According to Invisia, 90% of internet users say that watching a video is helpful in the decision process when buying a product. Videos make things easy to understand. You can point out the features and benefits of your product, show what your product or your service actually does, and explain why people should choose your business. All of this is much easier and faster to do in a video (rather than in a text format), because you can support words (written or spoken content) with visuals.

Our explainer video for US Vision describes the product and highlights its benefits. Pretty convincing, right?

Put it on your landing page

Do your website visitors bounce off your site because it is too boring or too confusing? Explainer video to the rescue! Put it on your landing page and see what happens.

Studies show that having a video on your landing page will keep people on your site longer. According to Forbes, the average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with a video than on a website with text and pictures only. A video grabs attention, makes people engage with your site and lets them learn about your brand. Videos on landing pages have increased conversion rates significantly (as explained below).

Use it for promotion on social media

As mentioned earlier, videos are very easy to share across social platforms. People are more likely to watch video content than read text, so using your explainer video on social media is a very effective way of promotion. According to a 2013 study from the UK, people are more likely to share (39%), comment (36%) and 'like' (56%) a video than text-only content. So put your video on Youtube, on Vimeo and share it on Facebook. Use the right keywords so people can find it. Unfortunately, there is no set formula for your video to go viral, but with a great video and a bit of luck – who knows!

This video we made for The Misprint Co. has been used for promotion on websites and social media. And it's great for a pitch!

Increase your conversion rate

Explainer videos can significantly increase conversion rates, and consequently, generate better leads and lower customer acquisition costs. Switch Video conducted a case study that explains how one of their explainer videos increased web conversion rates. Their video for Rypple focused on the customers’ needs and on connecting with them emotionally. It was placed on their home and landing pages and tested against a different version of the page (which only contained text and images). The results were clear: the pages with the video were performing much better, increasing the conversion rates by 20%. The numbers can climb even higher, though, as demonstrated in other case studies where explainer videos on home or landing pages lead to an increase by 34%, 64% and up to 80%.

Rank better on Google – improve your SEO

According to Spork Marketing, websites with video rank better on Google than websites without video. This is because a video is an indicator of quality: “Quality websites are more like to have a video than ‘spam’ websites.”

Also, have you ever noticed the little video thumbnail that sometimes shows up in Google search results? People will rather click on that than on text-only listings.

Plus, if you put your video on Youtube and link it back to your website (in the description below the video), you’ll create a great link that will further improve your Google rank.

Show your brand and personality

If you want your business to be truly successful, you’ll need to create a loyal customer base. A video is one of the best ways to connect with potential customers. You can demonstrate your creativity, your values and what your company culture is all about. After all, people don’t just buy the product you offer, but also your brand – why you’re doing whatever you do. A video is a great tool to create brand awareness and engagement. If done well, you’ll gain your audience’s trust and turn them into loyal followers and long-term customers.

Learn about your audience and improve your marketing strategy

Once people start watching your video, you can start learning about your audience. Track your video and look at the statistics: What part do people watch, rewatch, or skip? Where do they pause and where do they stop? Find out what worked well and what didn’t and learn for your next video. Also, have a look at where it works best – is it mainly shared on Facebook or do most people watch it on your Youtube? This will give you some valuable insights and help you improve your marketing strategy.

This project is a business explainer: it tells us what StoryShed does in simple words and engaging images.

An explainer video has many possible applications that will help you grow your brand. The production can be relatively cost-effective or it might be more expensive than you’ve expected. But in any case, if it is done well, it will be worth the effort (and your money): In this study, Revolution Productions invested in two 90-second explainer videos and calculated an overall return of nearly 8x the original investment. Not bad, right?

So, use these suggestions and get creative yourself: How else can you use your explainer video?

 

PS: If you have any great ideas, please let us know too!

ANZAC Day – Teaching History Through Images

History can be complex and hard to grasp. In school, all of us got bored at some point – maybe because there were too many dates, maybe because it happened too far away. But still, our history has an impact on our present and on our future, and it’s important to remember.

This Monday, we’re celebrating ANZAC day to remember the people of New Zealand and Australia who served and died during the First World War. So today, we want to share with you an infographic that explores this historical topic: the impact of the First World War on New Zealand as a nation.

How much do we know about what happened a hundred years ago at the distant shores of Turkey?

In 2014, Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force created this infographic to commemorate the First World War centenary. As Statistics NZ point out on their website, given the limited space it can be difficult “depicting all factual information relevant to this significant historical event”. They had to choose certain key information and events to be able to tell a coherent story that does not overwhelm us with data.

And what they have come up with perfectly illustrates what infographics can do so well: with timelines, simple charts and clear visuals they present a chronological story and interesting facts. The information is easily accessible for the audience and even dry facts can be related in an engaging manner.

This makes the infographic a perfect tool for educational purposes, be it in history classes in school or in museums. Next time you’re in a museum have a look around – you might find an infographic or even an animated graphic that teaches you a thing or two.

If you want to learn more about New Zealand’s history and our role in the Great War, there are lots of things happening in Wellington right now. There is a great Light and Sound Show at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the ANZAC Commemorations at Te Papa, and other events throughout the city. And if you can’t make it this weekend, there are also the more permanent exhibitions: Gallipoli: The scale of our war at Te Papa, and The Great War Exhibition at the Old Dominion Museum. And for some more quick facts about ANZAC day check out this infographic by designstreet.