MK3 Creative is a high end marketing agency in Boston with all the capabilities of a production company right in-house. We’re efficient and achieve higher production values because we have Emmy Award winning writing, major broadcast network direction, and high-end motion design under one roof. That’s our Insourcing Model. This means that the ideas we come up with get designed and crafted with the attention they deserve, but without any extra layers. Call me, Tim, at 617-242-3300, ext. 444 to learn how it can work for you.
MK3 is pleased to announce that we have expanded our sales team by bringing on Ted Wayman as VP, Sales and Business Development. MK3
Ted brings over 25 years of experience in digital and broadcast media. Most recently, Ted worked as Director of Business Development at Videolink, where he sold video technology to financial and healthcare verticals.
Prior to Videolink, Ted led the business development and sales efforts at digital startup, Boston.tv where he created partnerships with the Boston Celtics, Boston Magazine, and the Boston Business Journal. You may recognize Ted’s name and face as he was also an Emmy Award winning Anchor/Reporter for WBZ-TV.
When you’re competing for students with numerous respected local colleges and universities, your website is critical. It has to impress and engage prospective students and their guardians, while serving current students, faculty, administration, alumni, and the local community.
Fitchburg State University has been steadily raising its game over the last decade, with innovative programs, high-quality students and faculty, and dramatic improvements to its campus. They had a comprehensive website featuring video on their homepage, but it was densely informational and visually conservative. Further, their key messages lacked emotional impact and clear calls to action. They came to MK3 for help.
We tackled the challenge by focusing first on better messaging. We created a two-pronged messaging platform: 1) communicating the school’s practical benefits (left brain), and 2) sharing strong community stories (right brain). The practical benefits included quality, affordability, and career development, while the stories conveyed the sense of opportunity, student support, and committed community that define Fitchburg State.
Leading with stories, showcasing the campus, and energizing interaction became the cornerstones of our website redesign. As part of the redesign we:
- simplified the information architecture by adding prominent medallions and menu bars to quickly guide different visitor types to their foremost interests.
- incorporated large, friendly call-to-action buttons throughout the site.
- updated the imagery, style, and feel of the site to reflect the beauty of the campus and the energy of the community, allowing prospective students to imagine their lives at Fitchburg.
Take a look at the “before” and “after” screenshots of the website, and then head on over to the new Fitchburg website to explore more. (It just went live this month!)
The pursuit of excellence never ends at MK3. We’ve searched far and wide to add to our award-winning team and we are excited to introduce you to our newest Senior Motion Designer, Artem Kurenkov, all the way from Moscow, Russia!
Artem is an internationally acclaimed motion graphic designer and art director whose expertise has earned widespread recognition and acclaim in the industry. He has made significant original contributions to the arts through his creative design work in multimedia, video, advertising and commercial projects, and his work has featured in prominent publications, trade journals, and international television and web advertising campaigns.
In addition to working on projects for important brands such as FOX, the United Nations, and Russia Today TV, Artem has also presented lectures, seminars and master classes for organizations like Moscow State University and Microsoft Windows Design Camp. In 2010, the leading design institution in Russia, British Higher School of Art and Design, commissioned him to develop a two-year motion design continuing education course for its subsidiary Screamschool. He conceptualized, developed and executed the first and only motion graphics design continuing education program in Russia. Artem has even been invited by PromaxBDA, the internationally renowned association of professionals in marketing of television and video content, to serve as a judge in the annual broadcast design competitions. The PromaxBDA Award is the most prestigious award in the international broadcast design industry.
But wait, there’s more…!
Artem has also received numerous prestigious professional awards and recognitions, including:
- 2008 Promax/BDA World Gold, Gold Award for Art Direction and Design, Interstitial: 7TV On-Air Clock;
- 2008 Promax/BDA World Gold, Finalist for Self Promotion/Show Reel/Company Image: 7TV Showreel;
- TEFI 2008 (Russian Television Academy Awards), Finalist for the Best Overall Channel Design (Branding): 7TV Channel;
- 2011 Omni Intermedia Award
BRONZE ID’s RTD Channel
- 2009 Promax/BDA World Gold
BRONZE Typography for print: MUZ-TV Thematic Calendar
We could go on, but we’d rather have you check out his reel and see for yourself why we’re so excited!
The script called for the look of a city loft: High ceilings, city view and open space. Sounds fairly easy, right? Well, not quite…
Imagine a cast and crew of 24 maneuvering around limited parking, a tough load-in and tight spaces to shoot inside a 2-bedroom loft in the city. Needless to say, this can become rather difficult. So we opted for an entirely different approach – shooting in a large, easy-to-access contemporary house out in the suburbs.
Shooting in a suburban house provided us with the space and flexibility that we wouldn’t have had otherwise but also meant that we would need to edit in post to make the look believable. Our first step in transforming the house was to track a photo of a city building in the window frames of the house. To further sell the look, we shot the scene at night so that the windows were black and reflective. We also kept the woman’s reflection and many of the interior reflective lights from the actual shot in the window to preserve the perspective and distance. This was key to making it look real. We didn’t have to chroma-key the windows but did some simple rotoscoping as the woman crossed the windows. After a few finishing touches, you’d be hard pressed to say that she wasn’t in a city loft.
Take a look at these before and after shots and tell us if you’re convinced!
Ads displaying on your videos are a distraction to users. We just can’t wait to click the ‘You can skip in x seconds’ button. If your video channel focuses on brand-related content, these ads get in the way of your message – and might even be from your competition!
Fortunately, ad content can be easily blocked, if you own all rights to your content. While YouTube does their best to hide this feature, it’s very simple to implement if you know where to look; just follow these simple steps:
1. Sign in to your YouTube channel.
2. Click your name to open the masthead ribbon.
3. Select Video Manager under the YouTube menu.
4. From the left sidebar menu select Channel Settings, then Advanced.
5. Finally, select the “Do not allow advertisements” radio button and then click Save.
Congratulations, you now have ad-free video content! Of course, if you feel like your content is a little weak we would be happy to help. Our team has created Emmy award-winning campaigns for some of the world’s strongest brands, and we would be happy to do the same for you.
It doesn’t take long for that new company website redesign to start looking old. The freshness date for a new design is probably down to a year at best, and most folks will tell you that their existing design has been curdling for years. It’s not hard to see why. Redesigning a website is a major undertaking, and summoning the corporate will (and resources and budget) to do it isn’t easy.
But you don’t have to rebuild the whole house to create a fresh, new look. The fact is that your homepage is still the front door to your site, and remains the point of entry for the majority of visitors. By redesigning just your homepage, you can create a dramatically different first impression, giving your online brand a breath of fresh air.
Redesigning your homepage provides an opportunity to modernize your look and implement more impactful design styles. Most notably, you can:
- Incorporate full-width, large-scale banner images.
- Reduce text-heavy content and add images to produce a more elegant, spacious look.
- Make more prominent use of video, the web’s most engaging medium.
Of course there are constraints driven by the existing site architecture and platform, plus compatibility with the existing global and interior site design. But it’s remarkable how a handful of key homepage design changes can modernize a look. We’ve done this for a number of clients, sometimes including a matching new interior page or section, and in each case the overall effect on engagement and visitor feedback has been dramatic (not to mention internal joy and gratitude).
So the next time you have a major product launch or new brand message, or are just tired of hearing everyone complain how old the website looks, redesign your homepage. Done right, it resets your brand’s online freshness date.
With the growth of video-driven marketing comes an increasing number of companies taking video into their own hands, and leading with their chins, literally.
The “talking head” video is a staple in the corporate marketing world. When you need to deliver your message or position your company as a thought leader, it’s common to position your executives as one. This often positions you or your executives under the lights and in front of the lens.
On-camera professionals are paid to make it look easy, and they do, which then makes it harder for the rest of us. Here are a few tips when contemplating putting you and yours on-camera.
Cue cards are bad
Video is an intimate medium, and the close-up is always more powerful. Chances are the viewer is going to get a good look at your face, and your eyes. Cue cards cause your eyes to drift further and further away from the camera, and almost never work – so don’t plan on using them. Prepare with a combination of memorization, practice, pre-interviews and perhaps the use of a teleprompter.
Teleprompters aren’t as easy as they look
With a teleprompter, you can just read the words as they are displayed right in front of the lens! Easy, right? Well, yes and no. Delivering a smooth performance with a teleprompter takes some getting used to, so don’t expect the ‘prompter to be an easy solution. You should still do your homework with the script in advance, and allow for extra time during the shoot to get comfortable with the teleprompter.
It’s not natural to act natural on camera
Just because the CMO presents great PowerPoint, and your CEO is great in front of his Board of Directors, doesn’t mean this charisma is going to translate in front of the camera. In front of a live audience, pauses can appear thoughtful, struggling to find the right word can be viewed as passion or natural enthusiasm, and wandering eyes becomes an effort to make eye contact. In the lens and under the lights, these traits can be perceived as confusion, indecision and a bad case of the nerves. Winging it is for the birds. Someone needs to summon the gumption to tell the boss he needs to practice and prepare. Good luck with that.
Pre-interview the interview
If you are on-camera in an interview or Q&A format, arrange for a pre-interview with the video producer or director. The questions and answers can be discussed and practiced in advance, so you don’t go into the on-camera shoot “cold”, and the director/interviewer knows what answers to expect.
What not to wear
Green. You never know when a director might say “Hey, let’s use green screen for this…”
White. A white shirt under a dark jacket is fine, but a solid white shirt is not a good look on-camera. It limits the visual contrast and could wash out your skin tone. Plus, you never know when a director might say “Hey, let’s use a white background for this…”
Tight, busy patterns. Your shirt could end up looking more jittery than you do.
Putting yourself or your executives on-camera is a great idea if it works and a bad idea if it doesn’t. Guarantee it will work by preparing, practicing and working with professionals. We can help make it look easy.
Animated 3D fly-throughs of products are common, but how do you communicate the camera moves, choose which areas of the product to show, and decide how the shot relates to the VO with your client? The answer is a storyboard created in PowerPoint with photos of the product. PowerPoint is easy because all of us can use it, as well as make changes. The client can mark things that need changes and send them back to us, which is much easier then over the phone or in an email.
We created a yellow path that shows our animator how the camera should travel. We also highlighted the areas of the circuit board that the camera could hold or swoop towards.
This method made communication clear and simple so we can focus on making a great looking animation and not let the process slow us down.
The final video came out just as planned and does an excellent job at combining VO with product imagery. Click here to check out the final video.