Archives For Disruption

Axios has a short, compelling piece called How tech ate the media and our minds from February that I’ve come back to a few times.

It highlights how “our brains have been literally swamped and reprogrammed” and the conundrum that even though we have all the information ever, “at least for now, the more we know, or can see, the less we trust.”

It’s short, but good. Here’s the summary…

There is more good information than at any point in humanity, but it’s harder than ever to find and trust. Almost every trend cited here is getting worse, not better.

And so much of the power to change it rests in the hands of the few, mainly Facebook but also Google, Twitter and Snapchat. Some publishers are putting the emphasis on quality content, which can help.

And others are moving fast to adapt serious news and information to better fit in these exploding off-platform ecosystems.

But ultimately, the burden will fall on individual consumers to exploit what should be the golden age of information by adjusting their own habits.

Source: How tech ate the media and our minds – Axios

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Last fall a lingerie retailer replaced its digital agency with an AI platform named “Albert”. The AI was tasked with identifying and then converting high-value audiences across paid search and social media marketing efforts. Albert then autonomously executed their digital marketing efforts using creative and KPIs provided by the brand.

The result? This AI approach more than tripled its ROI and increased its customer base by 30%.

Key quote:

“After seeing [Artificial Intelligence] handle our paid search and social media marketing, I would never have a human do this again.”

Source: Why Cosabella replaced its agency with AI and will never go back to humans

So this leaves us with two questions:

  1. Are you experimenting with AI and algorithms to breed efficiencies in your marketing program?
  2. Are the actions and tactics you’re personally doing at-risk to be replaced by AI? And if so, how can you lean more into creative and strategy to be ready when the tech catches up with you?

We live in amazing times.

As new smart devices continue to emerge and as consumers embrace new, more natural ways to interact with those devices (like voice commands), the micro-moment behaviors mobile kick-started will only multiply.

And as data and machine learning become more sophisticated in enhancing everyday consumer experiences, the expectations for relevant, personalized, and assistive experiences will continue to skyrocket.

We’re heading toward an age of assistance where, for marketers, friction will mean failure, and mass messages will increasingly mean “move on.”

Source: Micro-Moments Are Multiplying—Are You Ready for the Future of Marketing? – Think with Google

mn-wild-and-spectacles

(cross-posted from the space150 blog)

Snap, Inc. debuted their new Spectacles in November 2016 and space150, a full-service digital agency with offices across the country, was one of the first agencies to snag a pair.

While we shared our thoughts with the industry (Adweek, Digiday, Adweek), we saw an opportunity to bring their unique perspective to partners and clients — by sharing the first-ever Spectacles story in professional sports.

About Spectacles

Spectacles give Snapchat users an easy, real-time way to record videos that get sent right back into the app. They benefit the user by allowing you to capture video without having to take your phone out of your pocket, open Snapchat, etc.

Spectacles also let you capture video without removing you from what you’re doing. Their first-person perspective also makes these videos unique, especially compared to other videos on social networks today.

Here’s a video we shot at our Venice office: 

Snap Spectacles are hands free 🙌 Follow us for the full experience on Snap @space150

A post shared by space150 (@space150) on

Capturing video on Spectacles is fairly easy: press a button above the top of the left frame and the camera captures a 10 second clip, tap it again and another 10 seconds is recorded – up to 30 seconds per clip. Lights illuminate to show those around you that you’re recording. The Spectacles wirelessly pair to either Android or iPhone through your Snapchat account.

The video can be either standard definition or high definition, though you have to convert the file to HD within the app. Also, an interesting part of the new Spectacles is that they are shot square at 1080×1080, but when displayed they’re circular (see diagram below). This means that users can rotate their phone and see more of the image.

Here’s a GIF that illustrates how this works: 

//giphy.com/embed/l2JhBBlgs3BfQDfEI

Though they’re filled with electronics, the frames are one-size-fits-all and made from plastic. The case they come in – a yellow, foam-padded triangular prism – doubles as a charging dock. The case will hold an additional four charges.

The glasses can (conservatively) do about 40-50 10-second videos before they need another charge, and with light use they would last all day. Also, keep in mind, as the glasses are drawing on Bluetooth, phone battery will also be an issue – and something to keep an eye on.

Spectacles In The (MN) Wild

wild_spectacles_portrait_2
space150 approached the Minnesota Wild to be the first organization in professional sports to use the innovative new first-person camera glasses.

Our challenge was to bring this new tech to life within the bounds of an established social media voice and content strategy, while doing something worthy of the first-person perspective. While GoPro and others have made first-person video approachable, the glasses structure and technicalities of capturing the shot made it difficult to plan and deliver the best story.

To navigate both the organization’s social strategy and the limitations of the glasses, we storyboarded the Wild’s first Spectacles story within three segments: 1) Pre-game, 2) Game, and 3) Post-Game.

//giphy.com/embed/3oriNVAJ1asydoH87C

Within each segment, we had many shots that we wanted to capture, knowing that many may not come to life or may not fit the team’s social strategy or the limitations of showing game play, owned by the NHL. This structure allowed us to have a cohesive story while being flexible.

We brought a production/videographer, social strategist and design director to film and capture the story, which was a healthy mix of technical and design expertise. A full day of shooting with the camera provided a 2:56 minute story. In the future, this kind of storytelling could be accomplished by one person — assuming they’ve been fully trained and are experienced in POV video production.

Here are the highlights from the first-ever pro sports team Snap Story we helped bring to life: 

Results

This effort was a massive success — from the Snap Story completion metrics to the earned and social media buzz to the overall lessons learned.

  • The full day’s Snap Story saw a 65% completion rate, a 7.1x increase over the previous day’s Snap Story.
  • The first portion of the snap story was the practice story and saw a 88% completion rate prior to the game starting.
  • The spectacles-only story saw 7.5x more completed views over the previous day.
    • Day Before Full Day story: 1,300 / 16,200 = 8%
    • Morning Completion Rate: 14,900/ 16,900 = 88%
    • Game Completion Rate: 11,000 / 13,100 = 83%
    • Full Day Story: 11,000 / 16,900 = 65%

Sports Illustrated wrote a feature story about the activation, Minnesota Wild become first pro sports team to use Snapchat Spectacles:

“In the midst of the Snapchat Spectacles craze, the Minnesota Wild became the first NHL team to debut Snap Inc.’s $129 mustard-colored sunglasses and give fans a behind-the-scenes view through a unique lens. The Wild partnered with advertising agency space150 to bring first-person social sharing to life…

Expect the Spectacles to be the trendiest technology product being utilized by sports teams during the first few months of the New Year.”

Added Greg Swan, VP of brand innovation at space150, in a statement: “We were thrilled to partner with the Minnesota Wild to bring the Spectacles perspective to hockey fans tonight—what appears to be the first time a pro sports team has tested these out.”

CBS Morning News picked up this story, sharing it with 97 local TV markets…

And there was also positive coverage from MashableSt. Paul Pioneer Press, Geekwire, SportTechie, Go.MN, some global sports outlets, and more.

Key Learnings and Insights

FIVE BEST PRACTICES:

  1. Show Your Hands: but first, ensure it’s a first-person POV story worth telling
  2. Shoot Order is Post Order: plan ahead with your shot list
  3. Have Patience: files take time to download – especially in HD
  4. Charge Charge Charge: they average 70-80 snaps vs the stated 100, so keep the glasses and case charged
  5. Watch Your Mouth: the mic picks up everything you say, and most things around you

Use your hands! The best selling part of Spectacles is the hands-free, first-person POV. And your viewers want to see your hands doing things.

The files take time to download, especially saving to HD, and social teams should be sure to save files as they go within the Snapchat app. As stated above, the stated battery life is 100 10-second videos. However, we found that this number is closer to half that, so be sure to keep the Spectacles on their charging case when they’re not in use.

In terms of actually shooting video, be aware of your head movements and things like hair that could get in the way of your shot. In addition, the microphone is very sensitive, so things like chuckling, breathing and laughing will all be picked up. Be intentional about your head movement, but note that is very obvious when the recorder slows movements down. And the shot angle is wider than you would expect, so be sure to clear anything you don’t want in the shot from your periphery.

One of the most important take-aways is that once the button is clicked, Spectacles are recording and those stories cannot be edited. We recommend taking 2-4 prep shots before starting your story.

Remember: shoot order is the same as post order – you cannot change the order of snaps in your story. Determine the best shots and their order before starting. We used a simple word document to track and optimize the best shots as we went through the shoot.

WHEN ARE SPECTACLES A GOOD IDEA? 

As we wrote about last week, first-person point-of-view content is some of the most compelling content for three reasons: subject, location, and experience.

  • Subject: The old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” is now possible. Whether it’s your best friend, a celebrity, athlete or someone with an amazing job, we can now easily see what it’s like to be them. Marketers should rethink their spokesperson strategy immediately and get POV video options into their contracts.
  • Location: Advertising often uses jaw-dropping locations to inspire, and now anyone can be transported there as if we are actually there. Marketers who are just now getting used to 360º perspective need to be thinking POV now, too.
  • Experience: POV experience is the golden ticket here. The opportunity to share a POV perspective when skydiving, firefighting, skateboarding, or baking a pizza is now just $130 away. Marketers should rethink storyboards to bring viewers the experience of not just being there, but being that person.

Looking Ahead

Although Spectacles are intended for Snapchat-only, marketers should pay close attention to Snap’s overall impact on video production and consumption trends. There are leading indicators here worth noting. Snapchat popularized the vertical video format, which caught many by surprise. Yet just this September brands began prioritizing vertical content for Facebook.

Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network — including YouTube — prioritize vertical video. But Snapchat made is the gold standard. Now Snap is introducing first-person point-of-view through vertical social video — with no head-mounts or Go-Pros required.

If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see spectacle-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and marketing channels in the coming year.

Will we all be wearing Snap-branded glasses in the future? Probably not. However, we’re excited about the continued innovation in wearable technology and how it impacts social engagement.

 

“McCulloch argues that female teenagers are actually ‘language disruptors’ — innovators who invent new words that make their way into the vernacular. ‘To use a modern metaphor, young women are the Uber of language,’ she writes.”

Teenage Girls Have Led Language Innovation for Centuries | Smart News | Smithsonian.

I think this is an amazing quote, and says a lot about what’s driving content innovation these days… Especially as Buzzfeed hires a longtime PepsiCo marketing exec, Frank Cooper, to help them blow up their approach this week…

Anyway: another thought prompted by a throwaway Ellis tidbit in relation to the news that some brands (in this case, Ballantines Whisky) after having escaped the early 2000s gravitational well of “build it and they will come”, slingshotted their way past “build it where the people are” have now set a heading for “deploy fleeting structures of content on other peoples’ networks” by commissioning a digital magazine for Instagram. I’ll get to the point, though. Ellis says this: “Used to be that porn was the vanguard of any new comms technology shift. Now it’s advertising. Has been for a while. Look at where the infomercial people are going” and he’s not wrong.

–Dan Hon quoting Warren Ellis.

via Dan Hon’s s2e04: Everything.

“All Teslas will get an over-the-air update this summer, probably around June, allowing them to drive in “Autopilot” mode… it seems Autopilot will be disabled when you’re not doing freeway driving, which is by far the easiest aspect of autonomous vehicle activity. Musk did confirm that the Autopilot mode would be “technically capable of driving from parking lot to parking lot.” The car will also be allowed to drive itself when you summon it, and when you’re parking it in your garage.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about some far-off future Tesla. We’re not talking about Google driverless car prototypes or government road tests. This is a car you can buy today, which will be given the ability to drive itself in a few months via the same setup that updates your iPhone.

Automated automobiles, automatically activated.”

Mashable: Tesla basically just ignited the driverless car era.

Really excited to share this post our team at space150 worked up this week: Meerkat: Mobile Live Streaming Best Practices and the below infographic.

Meerkat App Infographic

Can’t wait to see how this kind of technology is adopted consumers, and then by the major social networking players. It has the potential to disrupt what we’ve thought of as best practice content and mobile engagement strategy. Exciting stuff.

Read the post here.

“I believe the best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know—not just because humility is a virtue but because until one adopts that mindset, the most striking breakthroughs cannot occur.

I believe that managers must loosen the controls, not tighten them.

They must accept risk; they must trust the people they work with and strive to clear the path for them; and always, they must pay attention to and engage with anything that creates fear.

Moreover, successful leaders embrace the reality that their models may be wrong or incomplete. Only when we admit what we don’t know can we ever hope to learn it.”

― Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Ed Catmull on leadership and shrugging off proven models

Slate: What using a flip phone for a week says about technology and “coolness”