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(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.

 

Advertisements

But considering that Snapchat is responsible for popularizing the vertical video format experts said that Spectacles were likely to catch on. Vertical video has always been preferable on mobile phones, but never before did a social network prioritize it, said Greg Swan, vp of brand innovation at space150. It was Snapchat that made it the gold standard.

“If this popularizes as fast as vertical video, we could expect to see my-eye-view video permeating not just Snapchat, but starting to come into other social channels and even TV production in the coming year,” he said.

Plus, it also has a cool and hip vibe, and is at a much lower price point than Google Glass in the past.

“While Glass was call-and-response, like ‘open maps’ or ‘take a photo,’ Spectacles are social — they are additive to the user’s social presence and not dependent on it,” said Swan.

Source: Marketers like what they see in Snapchat Spectacles – Digiday

Greg Swan WCCO space150

We all have friends who have announced, unceremoniously and often emotionally, that they are taking a break from or quitting social media.

Especially in this post-election spin cycle, more people than ever before are considering taking a break from the always-on newsfeed.

Why is it hard to let go? 

For starters, it’s important to remember that modern social media is more than 10 years old. It’s no longer a nice-to-have distraction, and instead it’s often our 1) primary connection to others, primary source of news and entertainment, and 3) our opportunity to have our voice heard. And thanks to the anytime mobile web and our smart phones, we have 24/7 access.

But the truth is that we share less personal information on surface (public) social than ever before. Personal social sharing on Facebook is down 15% this year over last year, which means a lot of the content you’re seeing in social media isn’t about your friends. It’s more often comfort content click-bait or political-fueled news.Much like how we used to get our news primarily from late night shows or The Daily Show, now it’s more from social media headlines that inform our notion of what’s happening in the world. And of course, fake news sites have contributed to the burnout, especially if the people in your network aren’t thinking critically about what they’re sharing.

So what should we do about social media fatigue?

For starters, please don’t declare you’re taking time away from social media like you’re going to be missed. Just do it.

Greg Swan space150 WCCO tv

Here are three ideas:

  1. Turn off notifications on your phone — lesson the constant reminders and distractions
  2. Delete social networking apps on your phone — check via desktop only
  3. Take a digital detox. I personally take an unplugged week every single year. You should, too.

I was interviewed by our local CBS affiliate this week on the topic. Here’s the story…

FROM WCCO-CBS-TV:

Over the past few months, you may have heard friends declare, “I’m done with social media.”

Then they post again the following day.

So, why is it so hard to quit?

Our feelings about social media can span a range of emotions. Some may feel it is too political, too negative or too polarizing — while at the same time see how well it allows for connection and access to information.

“First, we have to think about the benefits of social media,” says Greg Swan, a vice president of public relations and brand Innovation at Minneapolis advertising agency space150. “Why do we want to be on social media?”

He points out three major benefits: connections with other people, a way to share your voice and a popular vehicle for getting the news.

We are sharing fewer cute kid photos every year. Personal social sharing is down 15 percent year over year, making way for more news and commentary online.

Sixty-two percent of people now say they get their news from social media.

“You think about why you can’t quit social media? That’s where you get your news in 2016,” Swan said.

Cornell researchers looked at some of the reasons people who quit Facebook were drawn back in. They studied surveys of people who chose to take in the “99 Days of Freedom” Facebook challenge by stepping away from the social media site. Not everyone could stay off Facebook the entire 99 days.

They found four major reasons for returning back to the site. First, people who think it is addictive are more likely to fall back into the habit.

Second, people who use Facebook to influence how other people think of them had a better chance of not completing the challenge.

Third, good moods kept people off the site for longer compared to bad moods.

And fourth, people were more likely to stay away if they still took part in other social media platforms.

Swan says the ubiquity of our smartphones also plays a role.

“There’s more technology in this phone than what sent the first person to space. It’s no wonder we can’t put it down,” Swan said. “That said, it doesn’t take a lot to set them down and walk away.”

He suggests taking a social media break if you think you need it by unfollowing people or groups you believe to be toxic, deleting the apps from your phone or stopping for a short period of time.

He locks his phone in a safe for one week every year.

Watch the segment here:
WCCO Why Is it So Hard to Quit Social Media?

Greg Swan, vice president of social engagement at the Space150 advertising agency, said he was recently, giddily, dropping Lures at his Minneapolis offices, with good results.

One day, “we averaged people walking by to play every two minutes,” he said. “Two minutes!”

Along these lines, the agency has been advising its clients about Pokemon Go best practices.

“For our clients with a physical footprint (stores, restaurants, entertainment destinations), we are focused on how to use Lures and Pokestops to bring players in,” Swan said.

“Consumers are looking at social brands to be culturally aware and active, so it’s been fun to see companies experiment with joining in the fun.”

Source: Pokemon craze ropes in Twin Cities businesses

Greg Swan Snapchat space150

Just over three years ago I was on WCCO explaining that Snapchat was the next big thing. Fast forward to 2016, and it’s been pretty fantastic experimenting with how brands interact with consumers in the popular chat app.

Specifically, at space150 this year we ran our summer internship program through Snapchat. We were the first company to advertise jobs exclusively through Snapchat geofilters, and the results have been extremely successful.

Here are a few of the filters we blanketed 29 colleges campuses from LA to NY with…

space150 Snapchat Tinder

space150 Snapchat SuhDude

space150 Snapchat Work Work

And here’s some of the media buzz about the program…

The Next Web: Your Snapchat story could soon land you a job:

How a person comes across on paper and in person or on film can be very different so combining a social element with someone’s academic and professional record is a much better approach to getting a full picture of the individual. Here’s to hoping more companies adopt this application process in the future and ditch the age-old application forms.

Campaign/PR Week: Agency uses Snapchat geofilters to hunt for interns:

This is the first time the agency has dedicated the entire recruitment process to Snapchat. Greg Swan, vice president of social, public relations and emerging media, says the social-media platform is already a place where students connect with friends and influencers. For an agency that receives 100 applications for every open intern position, Snapchat makes it easier to find what Swan calls “thinkers, disrupters and visionaries.”

“Whereas using Twitter to recruit was a story in 2009,” he says, “today’s recruiting medium of choice for top social-minded candidates is Snapchat.”

Candidates are expected to create a “snap story” to promote one of space150’s clients, a list that includes Nike, Buffalo Wild Wings and American Express. But there’s a twist: the story should be targeted at audiences in the year 2020. The agency will review the stories after an April 10 deadline and top candidates will be interviewed for an annual program that begins in June.

Swan says, “We wanted to cut through the traditional intern outreach and make something that captured attention and catalyzed candidates to spread the word for us.”

DigiDay: An agency is using Snapchat geofilters to find interns:

Instead of relying on standard resumes and interviews, the agency is challenging candidates to create a Snapchat story for the Space150 client of their choice — for the year 2020.

And for our local CBS-affiliate story, we even geofilter bombed their office. Because that’s a thing you can do now…

WCCO: Local company seeks interns through Snapchat:

“We are always looking for the next big thing, and to think about how we can connect with consumers in a channel that matters to them,” said Swan.

Snapchat space150 Greg Swan Jason DeRusha

To-date we’ve received more than 115 Snapchat applications. More #’s soon.

And here’s a look at the intern program:

“With the legacy social networks crossing the decade mark and prioritizing monetization over organic reach, it’s time for brands to reevaluate their approach to Always-On content.

For example, “National Doughnut Day” shouldn’t be part of your content strategy this summer, unless your company sells donuts.

Instead, audience insights, corporate priorities, time of year and publisher format should all inform your editorial calendar and your paid promotion plan to ensure the right consumers will see your content.

Every action should generate measurable awareness or drive conversions beyond the vanity metrics on the mainstream social media channels.” —Greg Swan, space150

via 5 online best practices for businesses | Minnesota Business Magazine.

greg swan throwback thursday verizon

I was interviewed by the Verizon Wireless (client) team about my personal listening through technology habits this week

“Spotify has changed my lifestyle,” he says. “I can see what my friends are listening to, the service will recommend albums and most importantly, I can access almost any album I want and stream it in its entirety with no ads onto my phone.”

Read the whole thing here:
#ThrowbackThursday: Evolution of Personal Music Tech.

This morning I caught a tweet from Steve Neuman asking news anchor Jason DeRusha about customizing WCCO’s popular “4 Things to Know” segment specifically for his life. The 4 Things segment has run for years and is a quick-hits snapshot of the news of the day.

I jumped into the fray listing my errands for the day: post office, city hall, bank and parent teacher conferences.

An hour later, Jason posted personalized videos shot from the actual anchor desk at WCCO, with customized content and title cards for both Steve and me.

How would you feel to see your daily list of errands queued up with a professional broadcast news approach? Here’s the result:

WCCO 4 Things to Know Greg Swan

Greg Swan on WCCO 4 Things You Need to Know

Bob Collins at MPR almost immediately picked this up, citing Jason’s adorableness in turning around such witty and custom content so quickly.

What I think is most impressive is the fact these are posted on WCCO.com itself, with videos hosted on their video server, and all the standard advertising surround you would get with a “normal” story. These weren’t filmed with an iPhone or posted surreptitiously on YouTube. They were professional produced, titled and shared. This wasn’t an influencer campaign designed to draw clicks. But I’m driving clicks to it for the pure fact it’s so well done. Serendipity + quality content = attention.

This is just Jason doing what he does best: 1) Understand consumer culture and how social media works; 2) Understand how TV works; 3) Be clever; and 4) Knit those three together.

PS: I already hit the post office, bank and city hall. Parent teacher conferences aren’t until later tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes on the News at 10.

I did this interview ages ago, talking about the concept of “success theater,” what passes for an “influencer” these days, and some of the stand-outs I’ve been most impressed with from Minnesota — namely Abraham Piper and Nick Massahos.

Here’s what made it into the Social Status: Influential Minnesotans on Social Media piece

Through the lens of social media, there are no dirty dishes.

“Whether or not we realized it, from the beginning, social media has been about online reputation management,” says Greg Swan, senior vice president of brand innovation and digital at Weber Shandwick. “Social media is an extension of your personality—but only the best parts.”

“Our parents might have been greatly influenced by Don Shelby or a Minnesota Viking endorsing a car dealership,” says Weber Shandwick’s Swan, who has nearly 9,000 Twitter followers of his own. “Young people today are more moved by an endorsement from people their age, in their interest group.”

I have to say this is one of the best social media influencer round-ups I’ve read from the Twin Cities media community. The subject of who is popular on Twitter was played out years ago, but the individuals they’re highlighting here truly are niche influencers — tastemakers — who are impacting their respective communities.

Nice work by Allison Kaplan at MSP Mag pulling all of this together. It’s really great.

Full article: Social Status: Influential Minnesotans on Social Media.

Greg Swan Google Glass NBC

My colleague Brandon Sullivan, fellow GlassAlmanac.com blogger Josh Braaten and I had the opportunity to share our thoughts about Google Glass with our local NBC affiliate earlier today.

Today is special because Google opened the Explorer program to any U.S. consumer interested in purchasing Glass and helping pioneer the field of smart lens technology. That means consumers are having to weigh that early adopter opportunity against the reality of dropping $1,500 for a 1.0 product that will soon be outdated.

Real time translation with Google Glass, KARE 11, Greg Swan

We spent time with KARE 11 talking about how Glass works, the impact of real-time content publishing, Weber Shandwick’s wpForGlass, some of the open and honest drawbacks about this version (e.g., battery life, fashion), the awesome features of the device today (real-time translation!), and yes, Glassholes.

Watch the piece here.

As a bonus, here’s a pic I via Glass took during the interview that I published straight to my music blog via our own wpForGlass. YES!!

google glass weber shandwick

So should you buy Google Glass today?

Yes, if:

  • You can afford it.
  • You are of the mindset that today’s latest technology outpaces itself regularly.
  • You aren’t afraid to laugh at yourself months/years/decades from now about wearing this silly thing on your face.
  • You will be an open and honest advocate, taking care to explain how Glass works to strangers but never shying from your convictions about important things like privacy, fashion and utility.
  • You want to be part of driving what’s next and driving value for emerging technologies — truly being part of creating something that could impact our society.

Otherwise, don’t. This is still the first, developer version of Glass, and it isn’t a technology that is ready for general consumers. That could come down the line, but only if the right people invest in developing enough utility and use cases that truly add value to consumers (drive down the cost, improve the hardware, increase the number of apps, etc).