The BFG spin on all things digital,

social and creative – or otherwise blogworthy.

Instagram Update (and Our Shiny New Account)!

Posted by Alison Heller on October 07, 2014

Awesome news from the land of Instagram! Embedded Instagram photos will now include the image caption. 

 
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Rebecca H. drew this creepy crawly #spider for #drawlloween! #agencylife

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The update includes responsive features that will size the image according to the device you're viewing it on and also adds a Follow button to give your readers easy access to your future posts. 

Speaking of future posts, follow the BFG Instagram account for dinosaurs, drawings and other office happenings! 

 
 
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3 Ways Brands Can Use Yo

Posted by Alison Heller on October 03, 2014

Is there anything more effective at getting your attention than a notification on your mobile device? With a recent update, the Yo app has become a sort of rich notification platform that brands can creatively leverage to engage and interact with users.

1. Product Awareness
With Yo’s attachment functionality, brands could yo a link to coupons and offers. Yo your hashtag with the offer to add in brand awareness and then measure your redemption rate.

2. Research
Monster.com created a Yo campaign asking users to yo “ILOVEMYJOB,” “IHATEMYJOB” or “INEEDAJOB,” allowing them to interact with their audience and also get some great insight and statistics.

3. Consumer Engagement with Yo Service
FedEx uses Yo to alert users when a package is delivered, but this could easily be a great opportunity for brands across many industries. An ice cream brand might set up a service that will yo users when their pint is softened and spoon-ready. Or a CPG baking brand could revolutionize the kitchen timer by creating a YoCookie service to yo users 10 minutes after they slide a tray of cookies into the oven.

     

Want to see how emerging digital networks can help your business? Contact BFG.

 
 
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Facebook’s Atlas Connects Online Behaviors to Offline Sales

Posted by tburns@bfgcom.com on October 01, 2014

The brand experience is rapidly evolving and now includes a variety of devices from which consumers can be reached. With mobile devices and tablets now becoming more integrated into consumers’ purchases, advertisers want to simultaneously target across all devices.

The completely recoded Atlas by Facebook will use “real-people” analytics such as individual likes and traffic generated from the Facebook app to personalize the consumer’s experience across mobile platforms and determine when ads from one device lead to purchases on another.

Though initially an ad serving and tracking platform, Facebook will implement purchasing capabilities in the future. The system also is not predicated upon executing a Facebook campaign, but it will be able to monitor performance on Instagram using “a key group of partners that cross search, social, creative management and publishers” who will “bring people-based measurement to more channels and platforms with seamless integrations,” according to an Atlas blog post announcing the changes.

This new “people-based” approach to gleaning metrics for campaigns will keep individuals anonymous, but data will still be able to connect online and offline behaviors. Since 9 out of 10 retail purchases still happen in-store, Atlas determines which messaging was effective in driving specific sales by connecting information given to consumers to aspects of active campaigns.

Atlas’ goal is to move advertising into a post-cookie world in which people-based analytics provide more accuracy in less time, allowing campaigns to evolve as they run. With more-precise targeting, this new method of gathering data would place messaging in the right place, at the right time, more often.

If you would like to learn more about how online advertising can help your business, contact BFG at info@bfgcom.com.

 
 
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Leading the Charge: BFG Looks to a Brand’s Fan for Some Creative Thinking

Posted by Bfgcom on July 18, 2014

 

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ESPOLÒN Tequila's creative team here at BFG came across a unique scenario recently — a digital artist went rogue and used the brand's beloved logo mark (Ramón the Rooster) on Instagram. Okay, people post this image all the time; it’s even become a popular tattoo. It wasn't just that this artist USED the artwork, though — it's that he brought it to life.

"I love the @EspolonTequila label illustration, but couldn't resist the urge to move it," motion designer Ryan Woolfolk said about why he animated Ramón the Rooster, whose head now vividly bobs as he runs.

Bridging the gap between the brand and its fans, Ryan's Instagram post paved the way for BFG to use truly fan-generated social content for ESPOLÒN. The creative team reached out to the artist and asked him to create a more in-depth animation of the bearded calavera, one of ESPOLÒN's scraggly skeletons with a knack for good music. Ryan eagerly agreed to help in exchange for a box of swag and some credit, and then created an amazing video for ESPOLÒN's social channels that is now part of a highly visible VICE.com media takeover.

The lesson here is to take note of a brand's fan base. BFG could have easily used its extensive network of designers to put together a similar video, but by using an actual ESPOLÒN fan to create the artwork instead, a sense of trust is built between ESPOLÒN and its creative community, and a new resource was discovered.

Read on to learn about Ryan Woolfolk's process throughout both animations, Ramón the Rooster and the bearded calavera.

ESPOLÒN is hands down my favorite tequila. Smooth and full of flavor. You don’t need a chaser. Most of the time I’m sipping on it neat from a lowball.

The thing about ESPOLÒN that first caught my eye was the label. Hand drawn in a traditional Day of the Dead style, it looks more like something I would frame and hang on my wall than a typical tequila label. I appreciate great illustration work, but the motion designer inside me always wants to see it move. Every time I saw the bottle the urge to animate Ramón grew stronger. One day I finally caved.

Typically I have the original file neatly split up into layers that I can then rig and connect to create some sweet motion graphics magic. Since I was going rogue I had to surf the web to find the highest res image available. The detail in these characters is intense. When a skeleton rides a rooster, his legs swing and his arms bounce. To achieve that motion I had to cut out the skeleton in order to manipulate it, leaving a cavity in the rooster, like holes in a magazine when you cut out images. I had to clone different parts of the rooster to seamlessly fill the holes.

As difficult as Ramón was, he was easy compared to the guitarist. Cutting up the skeleton resulted in several late nights ending in blurred vision and crossed eyes. It was almost impossible to tell which lines belonged to his beard versus his shirt. His crossed legs took several attempts to get right.

Once all the legs, feet, arms, hands, guitar, and other moving parts were separated and their resulting holes filled in, it was time to rig the character so I could bring it to life. Rigging is basically connecting layers and setting them up to move and bend like they would naturally. To get the strumming arm to move properly I had to cut it into three parts, shoulder, forearm, and hand. Then I made sure they all rotated in the proper spots, i.e. shoulder rotates upper arm, elbow bends forearm while forearm moves with shoulder, and hand follows forearm while rotating around the wrist.

Once the character was rigged and had the proper controllers set up, I began setting key frames to animate his foot taps and head bobs to music. I had my musician friend and digital film director at LEAPframe demonstrate the type of strum pattern. Getting the right pattern to hit at the right time was tedious. The fret hand was even more complex. I had to rotate the fingers while simultaneously moving both the hand and arm to match guitar hits.

Motion design is just another form of illusion. It’s always cool to start seeing something lifeless begin to move. There were several times I felt like giving up but overcoming challenges keeps things interesting and the need to see something come to life pushes me through the difficult moments. That and my glass of ESPOLÒN Reposado.

— Ryan Woolfolk is the Sr. Motion Designer at LEAPframe, a digital film and motion design boutique located in Cincinnati, OH.

 
 
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Why Organic Facebook Reach Is Dropping, and the Value of a Fan

Posted by Bfgcom on June 12, 2014

Any brand with a Facebook page has noticed a steady decline in reach in recent months. Facebook let us know that this was coming, promising that the change was all about improving user experience and not about making money.

A recent blog post by Facebook's Ads Product Marketing team lead Brian Boland set out to answer some questions that marketers and brand page owners might have about reach. There’s not much in the way of new information included, but this paragraph caught my attention:

Ok, there’s more content now. But what’s the value of having more people like my Page? I paid good money for my fans on Facebook, and now I can’t reach as many of them.

Fans absolutely have value.
• Fans make your ads more effective. When an ad has social context — in other words, when a person sees their friend likes your business — your ads drive, on average, 50% more recall and 35% higher online sales lift.
• Fans also make the ads you run on Facebook more efficient in our ads auction. Ads with social context are a signal of positive quality of the ad, and lead to better auction prices.
• You can use insights about your fans — like where they live, and their likes and interests — to inform decisions about reaching your current and prospective customers
• Fans can give your business credibility
Fans may represent your best customers, but it’s important to note that they don’t represent all of your customers or potential customers. For example, if your auto dealership has 5,000 fans, those fans represent only a fraction of the people that matter to your business. Fans can help you achieve your business objectives on Facebook, but having fans should not be thought of as an end unto itself.

The first and last bullets, that fans add social context and fans give the business credibility, are a bit of a stretch. Bullet two is only beneficial to page owners if they are purchasing ads, so there is an added investment involved. The third bullet holds true, provided you have not used too many gimmicks to “purchase” fans that would not otherwise have interest in your product or service.

This paragraph immediately follows:

So, how should I use Facebook for my business?
Organic content still has value on Facebook, and Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed. However, anticipating organic reach can be unpredictable, and having a piece of content “go viral” rarely corresponds to a business’s core goals. Your business will see much greater value if you use Facebook to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or boosting app downloads.

Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals. Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space. Similarly, paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content.

So there it is — think of Facebook as a place to inform customers about your business, keep them up to date on sales and drive them to actions you want them to take elsewhere (in-store sales, app downloads, etc.).

Most importantly, we need to begin to recognize that Facebook is “like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform” and requires paid media to be most effective.

If you have questions about how to use Facebook, social media or digital channels for effective marketing, get in touch with BFG Communications.

 
 
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