Your video should
make an impact

Creating Engaging Videos

It doesn’t seem as easy as it used to be to capture the attention of your audience these days. With so many methods of storytelling and ways to impress, it has never been more critical than now for brands to have a compelling video that is more engaging, allowing it to stand out from the rest. As a brand, you have to step out of your own way, work with your compelling storyline, then implement the many features that are available to you. 

Read on for easy-to-include methods to consider as you make your next video more engaging.

1.Get The Right Talent

Casting the right talent is no easy feat, but it is essential to creating a more engaging video. The right talent, with the right look, the right voice, and the right mannerisms will make a big difference in your audience identifying with your video. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on their connection to an ad or a video. According to Forbes, great marketers are focused on understanding and influencing their target audience’s attitudes. The right talent is capable of helping you to succeed in influencing!

2.Include Motion Graphics

It’s pretty much a universal theory that no one wants to watch a confusing or complicated video. If something isn’t easy to understand within the first few seconds,  you immediately lose your audience. So why not use a video to be clear, concrete, and interactive all at once? Many outside of the production industry may not be as familiar with motion graphics, but think, bright, shiny, moving, and crystal clear messaging to captivate your audience within a millisecond. In order to make an impact on your audience, you have to create a memorable experience, and in order to create a memorable experience, you have to create interactive content that is worthy of remembering. Check out some motion graphics examples and think about how your idea could be transmitted into an explainer or motion graphic video. 

3.Use 360 Video

Full-scale, all-encompassing, sphere-like video capture is what 360 video is. It’s like looking at everything available in front of you, beside you, and even behind you. A 360 camera can capture it all, record it and a video production team can enhance the footage to make it even more compelling. 360 video is definitely a way to almost inject your audience into the setting of the video. It’s a complete 360-degree view. Engross yourself in the following 360 video examples.

Chicago Cubs 360 Experience Video

4.Include Call To Actions (CTAs)

The decision is yours, but with Call To Actions, it is imperative to know the purpose of your video, your selected placement of your video, and make sure to choose a recognizable, but not too invasive CTA. Guiding your audience to a particular action is always an added plus and sometimes a necessity. If needed, videos these days can include a prominent call to action pending how you plan to share your video. Youtube is a perfect place to add a button or an internal link within your video content to make for an instant experience for your audience so you can encourage your audience to do exactly what your heart desires. You can add a variety of CTAs within a video. Think about it…how many times have you seen a “Subscribe” or “Visit Website” or even a “Book Now” button prompt in a video? These are just a couple of options to select from and are known to be useful ways of generating new leads. 

This Coldplay Game Of Thrones: The Musical video has a Donate call to action at the end of the video.

5.Include Live Interactive Components

Technology makes it possible to do so much when it comes to keeping your audience on their toes through video content. There are engaging and interactive videos that include live automatic feedback based on viewer response. How exciting is that? It makes for a memorable and shareable experience for viewers when they have the opportunity to provide their own immediate feedback. Check out the video below of a popular blogger giving a tour of her home. The video includes buttons to click, a chance for you to select the room you want to see on-demand, and even questions for the audience. It keeps you entertained and engaged!

https://eko.com/sweet-digs-interactive/carly-madison-three-bedroom-home?autoplay=true

There are many ways to make your video engaging, but don’t forget the content and story should be your primary focus. Determine the content, then context, then consider adding the engaging bells and whistles that will illuminate the story!

Connect with a team that knows all things video. Everything from telling a great story to the latest technology. From concept to delivery, we love this stuff and can talk about it all day long. To learn more about Bottle Rocket Media’s video production services and how we differ because of our Rocket Sauce, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

Client Spotlight | American Girl

Encouraging thousands of kids each day to let their individuality shine through play, no brand is more focused on empowerment than American Girl. After collaborating with their creative team to develop a series of traditional promotional videos, the perfect opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge 360 Video sprouted when they reached out to Bottle Rocket media to create guided tours of its New York and Chicago locations.

Since its start in 1986, American Girl has developed into one of the most popular doll purveyors in the country, with roughly 20 major retail stores that also serve as restaurants, party hosts, and play centers. With so much going on at each spot – including stations where kids AND their dolls can receive makeovers and ear piercings –it was the perfect opportunity to utilize 360 video to create a fully immersive experience for viewers.

According to Bottle Rocket Media co-founder, Brett Singer, a successful run with American Girl on past productions was enough to set the stage for the use of 360 video: “We had worked with [American Girl] on many other promo videos, and fortified a wonderful working relationship,” he says. “As a result, the brand’s creative team approached us to produce 360 VR store tours with accompanying motion graphics to help guide the viewer throughout the experience.”

Not every client Bottle Rocket Media comes across can expertly dialogue about the latest in media techniques – however, as Singer implies, it certainly helps. “It should come as no surprise that American Girl is a very forward-thinking company, and early to embrace new technologies – including both 360 video and AR (augmented reality). Loaded with creative talent, including an in-house design team, we were seamlessly provided with brand-specific graphics, and new ones created just for the videos. Working with them is always a pleasure, as they come to each project as a partner. No one knows the subject matter better, so it’s a no-brainer for us to welcome them into the process.”

The Bullhorn| Meet Director Kristina Perreault

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Kristina Perreault

Kristina Perreault has been everywhere, man. This world-traveling lens master brings both a breathtaking portfolio and endless vision to Bottle Rocket Media’s growing roster of creative talent. Discover the inspiration behind her work!

What got you into directing?

I have always had visions—even from a young age, I was able to make them happen. When I was 14, I began making up random stories and I would enroll my friends to act them out. It was a blast! I guess I naturally fell into that role. It was never a goal of mine—it’s just who I am.

How/why did travel become such a big part of your work?

The world is magical, and I want to share that with people. Travel opens our eyes to different ways of life and takes us out of our little bubble of reality—it expands consciousness. That’s what I’m here for.

How does your style/technique tie into creating successful brand videos?

My work is an extension of the way I see things: full of wonder, excitement, sensuality and grace. I want people to feel how I feel about the subject through my work. With every project, I am focused on connecting viewers to a real emotion that brings them further into the message—one that hopefully stays with them long after.

https://vimeo.com/236951722

What unique element(s) will you bring to BRM’s portfolio?

With all the dudes around here, my style definitely brings a much-needed feminine touch. That said, I feel my contributions nicely complement their existing slate.

What types of projects are you looking forward to in 2019?

More festivals and more travel!

What video technology/storytelling technique are you most excited about right now?

360 VR is finally on the rise in the travel industry. It’s the closest you can get to experiencing something new, somewhere else, without leaving your seat.

Favorite movie of all time and why…

Avatar really knocked my socks off when it came out. I love the story, the vibrancy, the world the characters live in, what they value and all the messaging throughout. It also looks a lot like my dreams – which is fun to see on film.

Client Spotlight | Carol’s Cookies

Meet Carol’s Cookies

Bottle Rocket Media offers a taste of what it’s like to work with one of Chicago’s most in-demand purveyors of all-natural gourmet eats. With almost 40 years of operations under its belt, Carol’s Cookies met the production team with both a seasoned “understanding of marketing and video,” and a monster success story to share with the world. The end result is an intimate portrait of a family business – and a slightly heavier crew.

Bottle Rocket Media founder, Dan Fisher, spotlights the added value of working with a vice president that “gets” production: “Our partnership with Carol’s Cookies wouldn’t be nearly as productive without direct collaboration with Jeff Goldman – son of Carol. He is one of those rare clients that holds a true understanding of marketing and video, and how to maximize his spend. Plus, his passion for the family business keeps him engaged, which makes working with him and his team a lot of fun.”

Like many other creative adventures in video, Bottle Rocket Media’s work with Carol’s Cookies took a few twists and turns along the way “to become even more impactful than originally conceived,” adds Fisher. What initially presented itself as a company overview became more of an intimate portrait once the team arrived on site and “felt the love” for Carol and her 30-plus employees all with the same mission: to make the best cookie, by hand.

After a concept was pinpointed, a few technical hurdles remained as they almost always do in the world of video production—this is where Bottle Rocket Media’s collective shooting knowledge shines through: “We thrive on overcoming obstacles and coming away with new ideas on every project,” Fisher continues. “The big challenge on this one was shooting around a giant Cookie Monster mural that took over almost the entire background at the brand’s HQ. The interviews had to be extraordinarily coordinated. Thanks to Brett’s [Brett Singer, Co Director and Business Partner] ingenuity there’s not even a sliver of it in the final video.”

Framing aside, the experience’s overall smooth tone was set from the very beginning: “We sat down with the client and got to know more about Carol’s Cookies by asking questions and soaking up the history,” Fisher says. “Because of Jeff’s open-door attitude, our team was able to gain valuable insight into the how and why behind the brand. Once we started filming, we let the story lead the way.”

This was not the team’s first engagement with infamous Chicago cookie queen; Bottle Rocket Media has also partnered with the client on a series of videos in which Carol surprises people at work. “Both engagements were a pleasure,” Fisher adds. “Especially since Jeff allows us to be creative and always use our expertise to up the ante and upgrade the content.”

According to Goldman, the feelings are mutual: “People always say that you can have it done quickly, cost effectively, or have high quality – but, you can’t have all three. Well, Bottle Rocket proves those people wrong,” he asserts. “[Carol’s Cookies] searched for a firm that could communicate the handmade beauty of our cookies without breaking the bank—you have to sell a lot of cookies to pay for a big campaign. Bottle Rocket was able to meet a strict deadline, stay within budget and create material that is relatively timeless. They made us feel comfortable on camera – which helped it feel natural, yielding an excellent end product. We can’t wait to do another fun project like this with their team.”

“We also look forward to more projects in the future with Jeff and his team,” Fisher concludes. “The cookies are amazing, by the way. Our next challenge will be figuring out how to not gain weight during production.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsY_CYon_FB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

A Year in Virtual Insanity: Gear Rises

header image source: www.oculus.com/go/

Jamiroquai’s 1996 hit song recently echoed through our Chicago office and the hair on the back of our collective, nostalgic neck stood up. We all felt the relevance.

Now more than ever, we are living in “Virtual Insanity.” Immersed in new technology. A portal to another world is most likely in your hand or your pocket right now—we mean your smartphone.

Perhaps the most “insane” example of the digital explosion is the recent rise of VR gear. With a just a headset and an Internet connection, users are learning valuable career skills, traveling to far off locales, and experiencing new products like never before. As Bottle Media’s co-founder, Dan Fisher, recently remarked so astutely, “This sh*t ain’t slowing down any time soon!”

As a video agency, we have been embracing 360 video production in our own work for a few years now. While we like to think we have gotten pretty good at creating a virtual experience, we are not too proud to take cues from the creative examples that have emerged in just the last year alone:

Training: Why tell someone how to do their job when you can literally SHOW them? Eliminating the need for additional training staff, businesses are finally waking up to the benefits of immersive video technology, a cost-effective solution to introduce a wide range of challenging scenarios for employees learn from. Heard of Oculus Go? Only two years old, the leading industry brand has already been tapped by giant, Wal-Mart, for 17 thousand of its wireless standalone units to help train one million workers in customer service and new technologies beginning this fall. Less hassles at Wal-Mart? Count us in!

Meanwhile… it was only a matter of time before the gung-ho military and police forces would have their way with VR gear. And why not? Taking simulations to the next level, VR is helping to keep our bravest sharp and abreast of the latest assault and defense tactics. According to a piece in Forbes, an emerging name in VR gear, Virtra – currently being used at the L.A. county Sheriff’s Department – is “much more realistic than range training,” and less expensive than hiring actors to play both criminals and innocent civilians.

Education: Teachers across the country are learning the incredible educational benefits of bringing gear into elementary schools. Thanks to Google Earth VR and Google Expeditions, for example, students can virtually explore parts of the world in 3D—without ever leaving the classroom. And, for the more advanced STEM scholar, there are now solutions out from companies like Unity Technologies and Labster VR that create immersive experiences in virtual laboratories and medical settings to help prepare our future doctors and scientists.

Oh—and ever wish you could take a bus to Mars? Well, now kids from K-12 can, thanks to the brains behind Lockheed Martin and Framestore VR studio. Complete with virtual windows to the red planet and motion sensitive technologies, students are experiencing what it would feel like to ride through 250 square miles of a landscape millions of miles away from Earth. What’s next? Venus? Saturn? New Jersey? The possibilities are endless!

Product Introduction and Promotion: VR gear now represents the most intimate pathway for consumers to get up close and personal with products and services of all kinds. One need only look at the success of the Ikea Virtual Store to understand just how far virtual shopping has come. From the comfort of any home or office, VR gear users can “stroll” through actual store aisles and showrooms without the worry of pedestrian foot traffic, long checkout lines, or hunting down employees for assistance. If only Toys ‘R’ Us had thought of that!

Finally, Macy’s has truly jumped on the VR bandwagon by supplying 70 of its stores with headsets to make it possible for customers to explore out of-stock items and actually visualize them in their own offices and dwellings!!  According to CNBC.com, “In the beauty department, Macy’s is in the process of adding virtual mirrors to some of its U.S. stores where shoppers can ‘try on’ lipsticks and eye shadows.”  Mind blown, yet?

Whether connecting with students, employees, or consumers, VR-gear has become the most personalized vehicle yet—bringing a 3D world of knowledge directly to the user, without the need to take a single step.

And the “insanity” continues…

Been a while since you listened to Jamiroqaui’s “Virtual Insanity?” Check the official music video here (you’re welcome!).

Looking for a well-branded video solution? Click here to share in our groove.

3 Video Marketing Trends You Should Incorporate Into Your Strategy

The first half of the year is now behind us—wow that was fast. And although we’ve seen a few new trends emerge in marketing, video content continues to dominate.

With the easy access to video technology—thanks in large to better smartphone cameras and mobile video editing apps—the barrier to creating basic video content is almost nonexistent.

So if you haven’t jumped on the video train, there’s still time to take advantage of the power of video marketing in 2018. Here are three video marketing trends that you can incorporate into your digital strategy.

Coming to You Live—The Growth of Live Streaming

We’ve all gotten a notification that a friend or a company we follow has gone live—and yes, we have tuned in. Let’s face it, live content is attractive to users because it feels authentic and personal.

In the last couple years live streaming has spread across nearly every platform from YouTube to Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat and beyond. And there’s no sign that it will be a short lived trend. In fact according to recent live streaming data, 81% of online audiences watched more live video content in 2016 than in 2015.

It’s Hip to be Square—Square Video That Is

Traditionally when we think about video we think about landscape or 16:9 aspect ratio. But on social, a better option may have emerged. That’s right, square is in. Not only do square videos (1:1) tend to reach more people, they also tend to result in 80% more engagement on average.

Why? On Facebook, square videos actually take up 78% more real estate than the standard landscape video. That’s huge—and in your face, literally. As mobile video consumption continues to grow, that amount of presence is sure to continue to encourage engagement—especially on Instagram.

Immerse Your Audience—With 360 Video

As we’ve mentioned before, storytelling through video is a powerful marketing tool. And what better way to tell a story than to immerse the user in the experience? After all, we draw from experiences to make decisions. Enter 360 video production.

On average, 360 degree videos tend to drive more engagement and are a great way to encourage users to stay connected with you. Platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo allow you to upload 360 videos that you can then share across other platforms.

Each of these video trends, if incorporated into your marketing strategy, can help you generate more interactions with your audience. Are ready to tap into the true potential of your online audience? Bottle Rocket Media is happy to help you produce your videos and leverage these trends. Get in touch with us today.

How To Share 360 Video and VR on Social Media

In the era of never-ending feeds filled with photos and videos, discovering 360 Video & VR on social media is fresh and exciting. While there are portable VR headsets, most people aren’t lugging them around, so how do you get your audience to watch? Good news! Headsets are no longer a necessity when it comes to experiencing 360 video or VR. Fancy headsets certainly amplify the immersive experience, but a phone, a tablet, or a computer is all you need.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the tech side of 360 Video & VR, but as storytellers and creatives, we don’t make videos just to take advantage of the newest technology, we’re hoping to share a story, and ultimately, connect with viewers on a deeper level. That connection can only happen if the content makes its way to the viewers. That’s where social media comes in to play. While most social platforms don’t support 360 video uploads, with the exception of Facebook, you can easily share a link to your video on social media. There are tons of websites that can host your 360 Video and social VR content: Littlstar, Vimeo, Youtube, and Kuula, just to name a few.

Here’s a little breakdown of the big three social media platforms and their 360 and VR support:

Facebook

Facebook allows you to upload 360 videos directly from your phone or desktop. It even auto-detects 360 content and transforms panoramas into an immersive experience. I won’t dive into too many details in this blog post, as we dedicated an entire post to it a few months ago, but in short, it’s pretty awesome! Check it out.

Twitter/Periscope

Twitter has yet to support 360 video and VR uploads. But I have a feeling it’s in the works. Especially since Twitter owns Periscope, which allows users to live-stream 360 videos — videos that once shared on Twitter, are embedded into the interface. So you can experience the video and all its 360 degreed glory straight from the comfort of your Twitter timeline.

The other workaround is to post an external link, such as YouTube or Vimeo, which embeds the video within the post. If you’d rather drive your viewers directly to the video on an external site, you can spice up the link by attaching an image to your link.

Instagram

Instagram is the least 360/VR friendly platform of the ‘big three’, but you can use its extremely visual nature to your advantage. Post an eye-catching still, get clever with a tiled banner, or my personal favorite, share a Tiny Planet version of your video (see image below). Tiny planets can be videos or stills, and are a great example of ‘thumb-stopping’ content. Not only are they visually unique, but they provide a quirky preview into what the full 360 video or VR experience will look like.

BTS shot from our shoot with The Atlantic Re:Think

Do you use social media, but don’t have any 360 videos to share on it? Get in touch with us, and let’s talk!

Best Must See Creative 360 Videos

Technology advances at breakneck speeds. Video is no exception. We talk about this all the time. And for fear of sounding redundant – video, especially 360 video content, has the power to bring you to a different place, transport you to places you’ve likely not been.  We are going to continue shouting this from the rooftops, so in the meantime, check out some riveting examples of how some brands are using 360 video advertising to take their customers places they might otherwise never go.

Giving back is something we are passionate about here in the office, and we were touched by this powerful AT&T + TOMS video. As we experience this video, we’re virtually in Colombia. We hear kids playing as if they’re running around us; it seems like we’re riding with them on a bike-taxi to school. This experience takes 360 video ads to a whole new level. We truly feel like we’re there, watching and feeling the impact of TOMS’ mission play out in front of us. No white paper or blog can evoke that kind of emotion.

In need of a vacay? Watch how Expedia transports you from the outback of Australia to the Bunda Cliffs. You can practically feel the ocean mist on your face. We will wait while you wipe the sand from your eyes. Got your passport ready?

Where can 360 video content take you? The sky’s the limit, er, is it outer space? NASA is trying to take you to a VERY close replica of the surface of Mars, there is no doubt we will have a real 360 of the planet’s surface soon. Ever wanted to be on the set of Star Wars? Now you can.

So, you’re a sports fanatic, huh? How would you like to sit courtside?  In our City Slam 360 video, we do you one better and put you under the net.  Even the Olympic Games upgraded this year to broadcast over 50 hours of competition in Virtual Reality (Brett thought he deserved a gold medal because the experience was just so real!).

Yes, we are a 360 video production company, but we aren’t the only ones geeking out about it, there are stats to back us up! 360 video content advertising is 31% more effective connecting with audiences of charity brands. 98% of Americans think 360 video content is ‘more exciting’ than other forms of video. Don’t even get us started on the tried and true click-through-rate comparisons, VR 360 video content is much more effective in keeping the audience’s attention.

The immersive 360 video advertising experience plays a heavy hand in captivating storytelling allowing you to produce experiences – essentially making you a travel agent, an event planner, and an adventure instigator.

So, the only real question is, where are we going to take your audience? Contact Bottle Rocket Media and we’ll help you transport your viewers wherever you please.

The Difference Between VR and 360

We are often asked, “What’s the difference between VR and 360?”

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are different.

First, let’s talk about what 360 and Virtual Reality do have in common:

What’s 360 Video?

360-degree video has transformed the way we can capture and share environments. By using high-tech cameras with multiple lenses (like this one we used on this project) we can simultaneously record in every direction, creating an immersive video that viewers can interact with in real time by simply moving their head in the direction they want to see. 360 videos have gained enormous popularity. They’re more engaging than static videos or photos and they let viewers independently control what they see. And they are hot on social. Check out this blog from last year on why you need 360 on Facebook.

What is Virtual Reality (VR) Video?

Getting a little technical here, the term “Virtual Reality” is used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. This person becomes part of the virtual world, or, is immersed within this environment and is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. Phew, that’s a lot. Bottom line is, VR aims to create a totally immersive experience. The viewer is taken into an artificial environment and can interact in this virtual-world in very real ways.

So, what is the difference between VR and 360 video?

Vimeo.com spelled it out pretty clearly: Think of it like this — with 360 video, you’re in the passenger seat of a car. The driver represents the filmmaker, who creates a stunning experience and invites you along for the ride. You can look around from your seat and enjoy the curated scenery. With VR, you are behind the wheel, deciding where you want to go. While it may seem like more control is awesome, it is not the same kind of experience filmmakers and viewers are seeking, and that’s why VR is most often used in video game or simulation systems.

Interested in creating an immersive, interactive video? Contact Bottle Rocket Media and we’ll help you create a stunning one-of-a-kind video experience to transport your viewers wherever your heart desires.

Why You Need 360 Video On Your Facebook Page

360-degree videos are a hit on Facebook—meaning your brand can find even more fans by creating them

360-degree videos are the perfect tool for engaging with your fans on Facebook, and for racking up new page likes. Facebook makes 360 videos easy to watch, share and control, which is why more than 1 million hours of 360-degree video have been viewed there in the past year. They’re becoming more popular every day, offering brands a chance to grow their audience and interact more with their followers. If you’re not already taking advantage of this new platform, you should be. Here’s why.

360 Videos Are Fun & Easy to Watch

Your Facebook followers can watch your 360 videos on their smartphones, tablets or computers, when they’re on WiFi or out and about. Viewers can explore every angle of a video effortlessly just by moving their phone or tablet around, or clicking and dragging if they’re on a computer. You can even share 360-degree Live videos easily to give your audience exciting new ways to engage with events you host—and entice them to join you for the next one.

360 Videos Have Better Traffic

Commitment to 360 video has paid off big for many companies, delivering higher interaction rates and better click-through stats than standard videos, according to a study from Google.

And these videos are so popular with Facebook users the company has its own app, Facebook 360, just to showcase popular 360 videos and photos posted by brands and users. If you don’t have 360 content to contribute, then you’ll be left out. Companies that have invested in 360 videos have seen big traffic payoffs: National Geographic regularly posts 360-degree videos of animals and nature scenes, which rack up thousands of views and comments. One 360 video of people climbing trees has been watched more than 12 million times and shared more than 10,000 times, helping grow the brand’s audience and influence.

strong>It’s Easy to Customize Your Content

There are endless ways for brands to connect to their audiences using 360 video. Before making your video, think through what you want your Facebook fans to experience when they tune in. Since Facebook is all about sharing and engaging with people, look for powerful—and fun—storytelling opportunities that can connect with a wide audience. You can lead a tour or create a promo video to show off your store or product. Bottle Rocket Media worked with Autre Monde, a restaurant just outside of Chicago in Berwyn, on a video showing how their star mixologist slings a classic whiskey cocktail, and we took over Times Square to highlight the killer views from co-working office WeWork. Only your imagination limits your options for sharing your brand’s message: record your staff participating in a charity event, do a 360 timelapse video of your office or give your viewers a look at something they don’t normally get to see with a behind-the-scenes tour.

Bottle Rocket Media can help you create Facebook-friendly 360 videos that surprise and delight your fans. Contact us today to get started.