Monday, 29 December 2014

Werner Herzog - Advice to the new film maker


"The best advice I can offer to those heading into the world of film is not to wait for the system to finance your projects and for others to decide your fate. If you can’t afford to make a million-dollar film, raise $10,000 and produce it yourself. That’s all you need to make a feature film these days. Beware of useless, bottom-rung secretarial jobs in film-production companies. Instead, so long as you are able-bodied, head out to where the real world is…Drive a taxi for six months and you’ll have enough money to make a film. Walk on foot, learn languages and a craft or trade that has nothing to do with cinema. Filmmaking — like great literature — must have experience of life at its foundation." – #WernerHerzog on the set of ‘Bad Lieutenant’ with #NicolasCage. #filmmaking #indiefilm #procam #cinema

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Extreme Shooting - Creative Review by Rachael Steven

Blue Crayons Creative Director Barrett Veldsman gets a great feat. in Creative Reviews
 Extreme Shooting article by Rachael Steven.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Monday, 3 September 2012

“Why do you want to send people to the parks?” - An article on Brand Love.

A few months ago I was called in by a client to discuss how they could improve their selling. Thereafter I was going through a keynote to detail what we were going to perform for their company. The company was a giant in the Home Improvements sector, and was based in South-East Asia. 

The new head of marketing sat in the meeting and we met her for the first time. As the agency, to complement the increase in media spend, we had devised a multi-faceted experiential campaign to maximise reach, engagement and participation, and drive brand awareness and loyalty.

The campaign involved labyrinthine street art, antecedent pop-up paint shops, and gargantuan tools dotted around the city, all devised with the marketing and CRM big 4 in mind. Those being customer acquisition, customer retention and growth, customer conversion and finally measured optimisation.

At the end of the keynote our client agreed these were great ideas, but “Why would we want to send people to the parks?” she proclaimed. 

It was funny, at that point we were all, for once, lost for words. How did she not fathom it? The campaign was intrinsically linked back to digital, and greatly perfected their increased ad spend on traditional media. Indeed the client had a history of spending vast sums on outdoor and print, traditional mediums advertising with unmeasurable results. The major Swedish competition was just a couple of years away from launching in this country and my motive was to move her away from price-point advertising and towards an understanding of Brand Love.

So why did we want to send people to the Park? This moment reminded me of a stunning little book I had read by James Wood Young, ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas.’ Young is put on the spot by a rather flustered marketing manager of a well known magazine. The marketing manager remarks that in an internal meeting they have analysed the selling of other successful publications is down to them selling ideas and not space. He then announces that ‘beginning tomorrow morning every single one of us is going to sell Ideas!”

Young considers this to be a positive step but wonders why he has been called in, to which the marketing manager asks Young, “You have produced a lot of advertising ideas, just how do you get them? The boys are waiting for me to come back and tell them.” 

Young then goes on to account his thoughts, ‘I thought at the time that I had never heard a funnier or more naive question. And I was completely unable to give any helpful answer to it.’ In essence I was sat here in a similar position, struck down as to why my client was unable to see why we wanted to run an experiential campaign. Indeed I was perhaps in a more difficult position because unlike Young, who’s client had accomplished the realisation that it is better to sell ideas than space, I was having to explain this rudimentary advancement in advertising.

To decrypt her question I decided to look at companies who sell space and those who sell ideas. Those who sell space naturally look to price point advertising. The likes of Tesco, DFS, and National Tyres. FMCG or fast moving consumer goods tend to use this sort of advertising. If you’re in Tesco and you see a bargain, likelyhood is you’ll be drawn to it. Tesco’s advertising focuses solely on the fact that it has low prices, and it continues to battle with Asda and the other giants for the title of ‘cheapest supermarket.’

If you are thinking about renewing your sofa, and an advert pops up on screen saying ‘Double Savings, nothing to pay for 100 years, unlimited credit facilities, Super-Sale-Sunday,’ chances are that you’ll be drawn to these incredible deals. DFS’s meagre attempt at a strapline, ‘think sofas, think DFS’ might be better suited to, ‘think dfs, think sale.’ Their Price Point marketing hardly evokes a sense of brand loyalty. Were they to one day not have a sale, would you buy a sofa at full price?

David Ogilvy sets down in Confessions of an Advertising Man - Southbank Publishing, several assertions that have stuck with me. Firstly, “You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.” and, “ Unless your campaign contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” Ogilvy then goes on to discourse that ‘The first problem is that manufacturers of package-goods products are spending twice as much on price-off deals as on advertising. They are buying volume by price discounting, instead of using advertising to build strong brands. Any damn fool can put on a price reduction, but it takes brains and perseverance to create a brand’

And this leads me onto those companies that constitute the sort of abiding representation which is the sole thing that can beget your brand an chunk of everyday life.

Coca-Cola, RedBull, Starbucks, all have one thing in common. FMCGs that don’t rely on price point advertising but instead have created and maintained the brand. Here at Blue Crayon we like to call this Brand Love.

Why do people tattoo the Starbucks logo on their skin? Is their coffee really that unique? The answer is that their marketeers are confident that by building brand love, they will ultimately generate the sales that your traditional marketers seek with solace. 

Barrett Veldsman, CEO of Blue Crayon doesn’t hire employees with an advertising or marketing degree. He “hires philosophers, philanthropists, psychologists,” he told me, because, “They are not confined to marketing jargon, but instead understand people.

It’s simple, try and understand the people you are trying to sell to and you will have a better understanding of how to sell to them. A text book cannot teach you how a group of people will react to stimuli. People are by instinct, herd animals. Whilst everybody likes the idea of freedom and expression, very few will break the mould of their compatriots. Why do people go and watch their football team get beaten week in week out? They like to be part of a group.

Leo Burnett accomplished the 4 P’s  of human behaviour in his own ‘Humankind’ People, Purpose, Participation and Popularism. People seek purpose, they require participation and they strive with populism Burnett decrees. Work out how to tap into the popular movement and you will be able to build brand loyalty. Ask yourself what does the brand seek to represent on a long term basis?

People connect with likeminded individuals finding commonalities that make them feel part of an apposite group. The brand arouses enamored memories, emotions and powerful reminiscences. Connect people to their values and you awaken them to their ideal existence. Red Bull has been inseparably conjoined with extreme sports, pushing boundaries, daring to do the impossible. Seeing the 2 bulls interlocking horns they are alluded to the exemplars of the brand.

People look for accord. They want the brand to give them that accord, to give them emotional recollections and awaken their predispositions. Coca-Cola is made up of various  brand imagery components. Starting from the top and working clockwise, you have the unmistakable brand. Then you have the brand family, how it makes you feel. The brand is recognisable in any language due to the identity of the red and white and the Coca-Cola font. The shape of the packaging is recognisable and Coca-Cola fund Advertising budgets for the biggest events on the planet. 

Look at this image from a Grand Prix winner at the Cannes Lion Awards. This outdoor ad was made by Jonathan Mak Long, a 20-year old student just started working for Ogilvy Shangai. The poster shows sharing a bottle of Coke, Coca-Cola’s essence in beautiful lucidity.

So why did we want to send people to the park to look at these giant tools? The reality was not sending people to the park. Granted the competition to find the collection was congenially devised as a vehicle to brand engagement, but In it’s plainest form it was to construct brand love. People in the parks would see the brand associated with these imposing and majestic statues. The enjoyment of searching out the tools would evoke solidarity with the brand and ultimately, send people to the stores when they needed items for home improvement. In a time when the major Swedish competition was a matter of years from launch, there was no better time than to consolidate the market with brand love. Rather than focusing on sending people to the stores with cut-price deals and ordinary adverts, the contingency was in Brand Love, obliging the brand evangelists on a more profound level. The aftereffect can be unfathomable and in consequence, naturally you will experience subsequent sales and ROI.

Matthew Cranwell is Account Director at Blue Crayon.  He is a Philosophy major and works predominantly in the Kensington, London Office. 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Getting Customers through Your Virtual Front Door

If you purchased a website, congratulations!  You made an excellent investment in your online business.  I am sure you expect to get a return on that investment, but may not know how to accomplish that.  The first step is to establish goals on how you will greet your customers when they land on your home page. And if your business has an existing website, do you have goals established and are they effective?
It’s true what they say about first impressions – you get one chance to make a good one!  Nearly every customer who visits your site lands on your virtual front door. This page should immediately grab their attention and have them take some action. These initial interactions are how you will start earning that return on your investment.
With this information in mind, what do you want customers to know or do when they first arrive on your website?  You should have two to three main goals on this page.  You don’t want overwhelm your visitors. The benefit of setting specific goals for your home page is to make it easier to write accurate content to support your goals. Goals and content go together like peas and carrots.

Your home page should have an overarching purpose:

  1. Informational: To build customer awareness about your brand, product or service.
  2. Revenue Generating: To generate sales, acquire new customers or leads.
  3. Cost-Savings: To provide an alternate way for new and existing customers to find or contact you.

Based on that purpose you can create your home page goals.  

For example:

1. Is your goal to build customer awareness about your brand, product or service (Informational)?
  • If customers are asking for your website and you don’t have one, creating an informational home page is a prudent goal.  Success would be evident in reports from customers that they found your home page helpful. You can even ask them to let you know if they think it was helpful.
  • Let your visitors know what’s new.
  • Provide information about your business and what you do.
  • Showcase some of the work you do — provide examples and images if feasible.
  • Build trust by spotlighting appropriate memberships you belong to, like the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce.

Consider any of these ideas. Then your call to action can bring them to other pages within your website.

2.  Is your goal to generate sales, acquire new customers or leads (Revenue generating)?
If your goal is to have your website function as part of your advertising strategy, then you want to provide information, but also to solicit responses, on your home page.  Success would be seen in the acquisition of new leads or customers acquired through the website.
Consider …
  • Providing an overview of what you have to offer.
  • Giving away something customers consider valuable right on your home page.
Presenting reasons and benefits why they should do business with you.
3. Is you goal to provide an alternate way for new and existing customers to find or contact you (Cost Savings)?
Do you want …
  • …to funnel customers to a specific action to take?   For example, provide a clear call to action so the visitor knows what to do.
  • …to provide contact information (phone or email) directions or hours of operation?
  • …to guide them to other pages (view testimonials or finished products or jobs)?
  • …to request or find additional information instead of calling you?
    Then your home page is a good place to start.
Remember, what is important is supporting your customers and their needs. Your business is to solve your customers’ problems, and your goals should reflect that. Having an effective home page with tangible goals can turn new visitors into repeat customers.
Do you have goals established for your home page? Are there other goals that should be considered especially for a home page?

Article by  networking exchange blog

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

4 Steps to Create a Successful Ad Campaign

Jeep Billboard
Successfully advertising in today’s market is a challenge. Everywhere you look there is some new campaign that pushes the boundaries of advertising. Wether its clever, funny, or controversial, these ads stay with you and get you talking. This is exactly what makes a successful advertising campaign. However, this isn’t easy. For every good advertisement you see, there are 10 bad ones. There is a science behind good advertising and in this article I will show you how I designed my advertising campaign for Jeep during my senior thesis.
This is just the tip of the iceberg that is advertising. I won’t cover all the techniques I used in this article but in the future I might write another list if this is popular enough.


Before you begin messing around with images and headlines you need to have a solid strategy. You cant go into a campaign blind and expect to have a solid outcome. Before I even started designing my advertisements I planned a strong strategy. Research, research, research! You need to understand what you are trying to sell before you start selling it. I created a 115 page thesis book about Jeep, so I understood exactly what I was trying to sell (this might be a little extreme, but you get the idea). You also need to know who is the target market, who would you want to sell your product to? I wouldn’t be advertising Jeeps in a magazine target to “going green” because that isn’t Jeeps image. Also, you need to know how your product can stand out and beat its competitors in the marketplace.
     If the strategy isn’t defining the client and setting them apart, the creative probably won’t do it either.
    - Mike Shine


After you have a solid strategy, you need to find out what your approach is going to be. This is the part when you decide if you are going to sell a feature, category, or benefit of the product. You can also chose to sell the image, lifestyle, and attitude of the brand. A brand like Audi never used to be known to be as high class as Mercedes or BMW, but thanks to their new approach at advertising, their position shows the lifestyle of the brand. Now they are known to be among the elite car brands.
Jeep Ad
Here I chose to advertise a new feature for Jeep – comfy ride quality (about time!)
Entire ad campaigns are based around the position that is chosen. This is why it is so important to have a solid strategy and the right approach. These are the two fundamental principles to follow when creating any ad campaign.


There is no formula on creating an effective headline. Everyone thinks differently so for some people they might not be able to come up with a headline at all, for others it might come to them with ease. A headline should emphasize ONE idea. Many people make the mistake to include too much in their headline. The headline should also compliment the imagery and visa versa, but never show the same thing. You wouldn’t have an ad about dog food and then have the headline describe that it’s dog food, we already know that. A good headline might have one sentence that undersells the product, or even have just one word. You can also overstate the product. By using a hyperbole, you are obviously overstating and getting attention, maybe even a laugh.
Jeep Ad
I overstated the imagery while understating the headline to create harmony in the ad
Some other techniques would be to use commands and punctuation. By using a command and punctuation the ad is calling you out, its talking to you and it has a sense of authority. Readers pick up on this because it stands out. By combining a few techniques you can create a really effective ad. I combined a short headline, punctuation, and saying the obvious (but not so obvious) in a Jeep ad.
Jeep Ad
The obvious is that the Jeep comes fully equipped with electricity, the not so obvious is that electricity (such as power windows and locks) is a newly found feature in Jeep Wranglers (2007).


The body copy of an ad is extremely important. If the readers actually like your visuals and read your headline then they have made it pretty far. Once they start reading the body copy you are lucky. This is why it is so important, you have their attention, so make it worth their while!
Jeep Ad
I chose to have a tongue-in-cheek ad digging at hybrids but showing the capability of a Jeep.
The tone, style, and voice of the copy is important in selling your ad. You wouldn’t want dark, sarcastic copy for something that is playful and fun. The headline and body copy need to have the same style. With my “Get real” ads I showed a clever headline, then I followed up with witty body copy. There are many options on how to pick your “voice” for the ad. You can be a representative of the company, telling you the details and facts. You could also become a customer, designing the ad the way your customers would. Maybe you might choose to write in third or first person? Maybe use the power of a testimonial.
The particular style and even choice of words and details can come straight from all the research you did in the beginning stages. By selecting certain aspects of the company, you can highlight important points in an advertisement. Maybe you found out that your company was the first to create something, use that.


There are way too many tips to include in one blog post, so this is an extremely brief overview that should get you well on your way in creating a successful advertisement. Depending on your strategy and approach, your headlines and body copy may come out completely different from ad campaign to ad campaign. One campaign might rely on being witty or fun, the other ad might be straight forward and full of details. Each situation will be different and it should all reflect the brand. I created around 15 advertisements for my Jeep campaign and each one I wanted to be unique. I used all of these strategic approaches as well as many more during their creation. Each example I showed above uses other techniques that I did not describe, but if you are truly interested in designing ads, I highly recommend picking up Advertising Concept and Copy by George Felton. I learned a lot from this book as well as some of my other classes and most of what I said can be found in it.
I didn’t really touch on the imagery in this post, so next week I will dedicate a post to the importance of imagery and what to do and not to do.
Do any of you use these techniques when creating an ad?

Article from Kevin Dyke

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What colors have you chosen for your marketing materials?

What were your reasons for making that particular choice? Was it because you liked those particular colors, or did you have a particular marketing message in mind? While visual appeal is an important consideration, your color choices could be sending a specific message to the people who view them. Are you sure you know what that message is?
You'd be wise to consider the psychology of color when designing your marketing materials. Be it business card, brochure, web site, posters or other material, you'll be making color choices. Colors not only enhance the appearance of the item -- they also influence our behavior. You will do well to consider the impact that the colors you use will have on your target audience.
For instance, have you noticed that most fast food restaurants are decorated with vivid reds and oranges? It's no accident that these colors show up so frequently. Studies have shown that reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave -- and that's exactly what fast food outlets want you to do.
It's also no accident that you see a lot of reds and blacks on adult web sites. These colors are thought to have sexual connotations.
Ever notice that toys, books and children's web sites usually contain large blocks of bright, primary colors? Young children prefer these colors and respond more positively than they do to to pastels or muted blends.
Market researchers have had a field day identifying the colors and the likely effect they have upon us.
However, the effects of color differ among different cultures, so the attitudes and preferences of your target audience should be a consideration when you plan your design of any promotional materials.
For example, white is the color of death in Chinese culture, but purple represents death in Brazil. Yellow is sacred to the Chinese, but signified sadness in Greece and jealousy in France. In North America, green is typically associated with jealousy. People from tropical countries respond most favorably to warm colors; people from northern climates prefer the cooler colours.

In North American mainstream culture, the following colors are associated with certain qualities or emotions:
Red --excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.
Blue --(listed as the most popular color) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness.
Yellow --warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness
Orange -- playfulness, warmth, vibrant
Green -- nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance
Purple --royal, spirituality, dignity
Pink -- soft, sweet, nurture, security
White --pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.
Black --sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery
Gold -- prestige, expensive
Silver -- prestige, cold, scientific
Market researchers have also determined that color affects shopping habits. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue. Shoppers who plan and stick to budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels - pink, rose, sky blue.
Want to test some of this out? Check out web sites belonging to companies with marketing budgets that allow for extensive research into what sells best.
Jaguar - A luxury car with a luxury web site. There's a predominance of black (sophistication) and silver (prestige). Jaguar markets to people with high incomes who view themselves as sophisticated and look for a prestigious vehicle.
So how can you put this information to use?
First, think about your target market. Let's say that you are selling books for young children, but you are marketing to grandparents. You'd probably design the books in bright, primary colors (reds, blues, yellows) to appeal to the children who will use them. However, the marketing materials (web site, brochures, etc.) would be designed with grandparents in mind. You might decide to go with blues (trust, reliability), pinks (nurture, sweet, security) and yellow (happy, playful).
Of course, you would test your ads and colors on a small market segment before rolling out a large scale campaign.
Give some thoughts to the message you want to send and to the psychology of the recipient. Then choose your colors accordingly.
Courtesy of June Campbell Sponsored By: Brand Aid

Friday, 3 February 2012

5 Tips to Stand out in the Social Media World

If all of your competitors are already on Facebook and Twitter, how do you set your small business apart from the rest?

The right social media marketing will help your niche business generate more leads, build a customer base, and reinforce your brand. In order for your campaign to work, you need to go beyond the basics. A combination of stellar content and social media marketing will set your business apart from the competition, and also help you build your customer base.

As a small business owner in the copywriting and marketing field, I work with other small business owners to create social media and content marketing campaigns; these projects involve more than just being active on Facebook or setting up a Twitter account.

Use these ideas to market your small business using social media:

#1: Reach out to Customers After the Sale

Find a way to reach customers on the social networks after a sale. Encourage new customers to find you on Facebook to snatch up a free gift for their purchase, or redeem some other type of offer. Simply reaching out to customers to say "thank you" via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ will create a more memorable customer service experience. These connections will also give the customer a chance to engage with your company or brand in a new way.

#2: Create a Custom Facebook Landing Page

Facebook is no longer requiring people to "Like" your page in order to drop a comment. People who don't "Like" your Facebook page won't get any of your updates in their News Feed, so you need to create an incentive for each visitor. A custom Facebook landing page featuring a downloadable coupon or other freebie can encourage "Likes" and increase engagement. I work with a client who created a free report as an incentive for becoming a fan. You can hire someone to create this landing page for you, or use an online design tool to customize a template.

#3: Shoot a Video

Video marketing has a social element to it because many people are willing to share a video on Facebook, post comments on sites like YouTube, and share it across other social networks. Be creative and shoot a clever commercial or a showcase of products and services. Ask satisfied customers to do a short interview or video testimonial for you. Post the video on your website and encourage people to comment, rate, and share it.

#4: Encourage Check-Ins at Your Location

Several restaurateurs in my area are having great success with Foursquare check-in promotions. They encourage patrons to check-in for a discount on their meal or a free appetizer or drink. Check-ins on sites like these can get posted on the customer's Facebook Wall so the event is shared with their entire social network. Highlight these offers right at the front desk or entrance of your business, and also on your website. Check-in promotions can be a great way to generate buzz about your business and encourage patrons' friends to pay attention and get in on a deal.

#5: Share Other People's Ideas

Take some time to learn about other businesses in your niche and find them on Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn. If you're a spa or fitness club owner, look for the social accounts of brands you carry. If you're a law firm, look for service providers that complement your business. Take steps to share these contacts' content across your own social networks so that you're more visible. Facebook's new "Share" feature allows the poster to see who shared their content. Twitter's @ mentions are perfect for announcing that you shared something, without going out of your way to say you did so. Sharing other people's ideas can foster some relationships and your contacts might do the same in return.

article by Sabah Karimi.