Think Bigger

The age of interruptive advertising is ending.  With the internet and mobile devices, control has shifted from advertisers to audiences.  That means marketing today is about earning audience attention. And what captures and holds the attention of audiences?  Stories.

Great storytelling isn’t easy. There are well-understood principles to it, but it’s more art than science.  Fortunately, the same technology that has empowered audiences has given modern marketers the most engaging, ubiquitous storytelling tool ever: video.

Our clients understand the power of video to tell a story – to make a memorable impact, to evoke an emotional response.  And they know that audiences today love video, consuming it wherever it appears – on your website, in your social media, during your event, through your paid media.

Yet many clients come to us with just a single video in mind – a company overview, a customer testimonial, a product introduction.  Of course a single, high-quality video can be a powerful marketing tool.  But it’s just one asset, and the appetite for good content in this era of story-driven marketing is voracious.

What we see our more forward-thinking clients doing is thinking beyond a single video, and crafting a video storytelling strategy. We refer to it as “thinking bigger,” and it’s more than just making lots of videos.  It’s about taking a longer, integrated view of story content across your organization, and planning for it up front.

To develop a truly thriving video ecosystem, your video plan needs to be part of a holistic marketing strategy. And by thinking proactively and strategically, you can develop a creative approach that leverages shoot content to produce multiple high-quality videos across multiple channels. Working to break down inter-departmental silos is challenging, but that’s an important first step.

Here’s one way to approach it:

  1. Start by looking at how different departments in your organization (Marketing, PR, Social, Sales, HR) use video and where.
  2. Brainstorm with colleagues about their video needs and messaging, and how best to share content. Are there opportunities to collaborate?
  3. Consider making multiples videos from one shoot, each tailored to their particular audience and channel.
  4. Be sure to develop a clear creative plan and distribution strategy for each deliverable BEFORE the camera starts rolling. Each platform and channel is unique, and your stories need to be carefully crafted to connect with their audiences.

Thinking holistically about your video storytelling – over time, across departments and within productions – lets you tell more and better stories more efficiently. Not only does this approach yield more assets for multiple channels, your brand voice will be clearer and more consistent.

Caution! Wet Paint!

We’ve just re-designed our website!  I know that might be more exciting for us than it is for you, but when you have time…URL us at mk3creative.com.

We put a fresh coat of paint on our brand, with a newly designed site – but what does that mean for you?  A site that’s cleaner and easier to navigate – and hopefully easy on the eyes as well.  As always, our site will offer you a chance to find out more about who we are and what we do.  You’ll find a refreshed MK3 logo, a peek at a few new team members, updated samples of our VIDEO work, and examples of our STRATEGY, INTERACTIVE and EVENTS capabilities.

MK3 has gone through a few changes recently and we wanted our website to reflect that.  This is the first big step in our own visual rebrand.  But don’t worry, we’re not changing too much – we’re still here to pitch and produce fresh and bright creative for you – new website and all!

Innovating with an Innovator

At MK3, we love our customers. It’s even more exciting when they live the American dream and make national news. At President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address, Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali, was brought as a guest of Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

Ali grew up in Guyana and came to the United States with his mother when he was 11 years old with $34 dollars in their pockets. Since that time, Ali became a U.S. citizen, graduated with dual degrees, held leadership positions in technology companies, and now as CEO of Carbonite, serves as one of the digital economy’s strongest advocates for net neutrality.

Carbonite sought out MK3’s creative team to come up with ways to engage Carbonite customers about data backup and recovery using video and animation.

MK3 also shot still photography of Carbonite backup solutions for marketing purposes to illustrate customer data centers that protect critical systems from disruptions of any kind.

It’s this kind of leading edge data protection solutions and strategies that MK3 brings to life for Carbonite consumers. MK3 helps brands like Carbonite understand their clients needs and create content that connects and engages them.

As we said at the outset, we love all our clients at MK3 but we really like it when our team gets to innovate with an innovator.

By Ted Wayman, VP of Sales and Business Development

The Power of Internal Videos

We typically focus our corporate communication efforts on external audiences – customers, prospects, analysts, the media. But what about that all-important audience – our own employees? What, and how, do we communicate with them? An email perhaps? A webcast town meeting? Heaven help us, a printed memorandum? Why not use the same impactful media, and regularity of contact, that we apply to our external audience?

Some companies do. At MK3, we see companies starting to leverage the power of quality video in regular communications with their own workforce. Hearing directly from company leadership, in this personal and dynamic way, can be a very effective means to convey critical information. We’ve seen internally facing videos used to:

  • Share quarterly or semi-annual performance results
  • Introduce a new member of the senior leadership team
  • Introduce a new public product or service
  • Introduce a new employee benefit, program or resource (e.g. that new intranet)
  • Share company values
  • Share a major company success
  • Introduce a new organizational structure

And these videos not only convey information; they provide a host of ancillary benefits to the organization:

  • Create a personal connection between leadership and employees
  • Demonstrate leadership’s care and respect for employees
  • Foster a sense of company esprit and pride
  • Inspire the team
  • Explain and contextualize important, complex information
  • Strengthen the sense of company loyalty and belonging

These videos can be long or short, but it’s important that they be high quality. And it’s important that they happen with some regularity. Why not leverage the most popular medium of our time not only for buyers and influencers, but also for our most valuable asset – our own employees! Forward-thinking companies are recognizing that there’s a powerful opportunity in internal videos.

By Mo Effron, VP of Strategy & Interactive

4 Foolproof Steps to Borrowing Your Next Great Video Idea

Do you need some fresh ideas for your next video? Are you trying to avoid making another “talking head” video or typical typography animation?

Well here you go…

What, do you think I’m going to just give my new ideas away? Heck, no. I’m going to give you other people’s ideas!

The concept is this: look around you, find creative examples on TV, the web or anywhere else, imagine how these ideas could be tweaked and used for your project, then combine the ideas and present them as samples, so your client understands your new approach.

People have been using others for inspiration since the beginning of time. Here are 4 easy steps to borrowing ideas and creating new ones – then having them at the ready to pitch your colleagues and clients at a moment’s notice.

Step 1: Find Ideas

I used to walk around taking pictures of sunsets, people, and interesting vistas. Now, I also photograph advertisements, and I’m always on the lookout for something new. I recently snapped a photo of a Dunkin’ Donuts poster promoting their new Almond Joy drink. It’s a top-down photo of their drink (looks like hot chocolate) with a smiley face created from the bubbles in the foam. What a simple but engaging idea. I snap pictures of billboards, posters in train stations, or book covers – to hold on to ideas that could be built upon for a future project.

Step 2: Remember What You Found

I used to see commercials all the time and think “what a funny idea, I should do something like that”. Problem is I’d forget the name of the commercial or who made it. Now, I make a point to jot down the tag line and company so I can look it up later on YouTube or iSpot.tv. It’s amazing how useful that can be when you suddenly need an idea. Instead of saying, “Ever see that commercial with the hilarious lady in the glasses?”, you can show the Hunter Douglas commercial with Iris Apfel as an example of quirky humor and great set design.

Step 3: Organize the Ideas

Create a folder on your desktop, Dropbox, wherever you want, and put your favorite creative ideas there. It’s a reference guide for the new inspirations that could one day be useful for a client project.

Step 4: Pull it all Together

You never want to rip someone off. You want to combine ideas and add your own twist. And by having the ideas library at your disposal, you’ll have ready-made concepts to present to your team or your client as examples of what you can do. “Let’s make something that looks like this… with the humor of this… but with a creative call to action like this…” Ideally you combine ideas to create something new that meets the goals of the project and makes it unique.

I leave you with a quote that I found in a great book called “Steal Like an Artist”:

“The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.”

-David Bowie

Most people would agree that Bowie was one of the most unique musicians of our time. If he can steal ideas for his creative vision, we all can!

By John Lawrence, Creative Director

Collettey’s Cookies

“Come to me with solutions, not just problems.” This is something I tell my team all the time. In our business, and our world, we encounter problems every day, but the question is – what do we do with the problems we encounter?

The story of Collette Divitto and Collettey’s Cookies is an inspiring example of turning problems into solutions, rather than focusing on the problem.

After graduating from a LIFE program at Clemson University, Collette spent three years trying to find a job. Interview after interview, she was told, “We enjoyed meeting you Collette, but we don’t think you’re a good fit for our company right now.”

Collette was born with Down Syndrome, and each organization she interviewed with saw her disability as a problem.   However, Collette saw a solution. She decided to focus her time, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for baking on her business Collettey’s Cookies.

“I was not only determined to show everyone how capable people with (dis)abilities are, but my mission is to open production facilities across the country and employ thousands of (dis)abled people! ONLY 17.5% of people with disabilities were employed in 2015. Most people with disabilities live on poverty level.” – Collette Divitto

Since the inception of Collettey’s Cookies, Collette has sold 50,000 cookies (and counting!) She has now hired two other people with disabilities, and she sells her cookies across eastern Massachusetts and in Santa Monica, CA. And, she now has a customer in Charlestown, MA. (MK3 has ordered our first batch!)

We don’t all face the same challenges as Collette, but every day we face problems large and small. And when problems arise here at MK3, we try to embrace Collette’s attitude. We don’t let bumps in the road get in our way. We get creative and come to the table with solutions. Just like Collette.

By Joel Kaplan, Principal

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Stock Footage

Stock footage.

To me, and others like me, using stock footage always felt like…cheating.

Let me explain.

If you know anything about MK3 Creative, you know that we’re a digital marketing agency that specializes in many things, but mostly video. And we do everything in-house – concept, copy, casting, production, design, animation, shooting, directing, editing…and everything in between.

All three of our Creative Directors are award-winning field directors who love to crank up casts and crews and bring our visions to life. When it comes to a live action video, our motto is “shoot first, ask questions later”…so using stock footage always felt like shooting blanks. Where’s the pride of authorship? I always considered it cheating – the easy, cheesy way out. Until it wasn’t.

Recently, a few projects came my way with tight budgets, tighter turnarounds, and aspirations to create a global look and feel – something that could only be achieved with stock, given these real-life constraints. I had to change the way I flexed my creative muscles and take pride in the stock footage I found and how I chose to use it.

All stock footage is not created equal, so to the sharp eye of a Creative Director, footage research took the place of casting and directing – with look, lens, and lighting playing just as important a role.

And using stock also enhances the design/motion graphics challenge. On-screen text call-outs and graphic framing devices become even more important as elements of visual consistency.

So the next time clients, concepts, or budgets paint you into a corner, stop worrying about library footage and take stock in it.  It’s not as bad, or as expensive, as it used to be. Embrace the power of stock footage…as long as you promise to use this power for good and not for evil.

By Jonathan Markella, Executive Creative Director

The Constant

As a marketing professional, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of the “everyday.” New challenges, new ideas, and new solutions await us with every new project. In an industry driven by the “new” there is one thing that remains constant, the one variable we can control – great service.

After all, we are in a service industry, and success isn’t achieved without great service. There are many different ways to provide it, and sometimes it’s worth taking a step back to experience it through the lens of another.

MK3 was afforded this opportunity when we produced the annual SHI Global Sales Conference in July, spotlighting major software service providers like HP, Dell, Microsoft and Apple. With keynote speeches focusing on new ways of motivating and inspiring sales, MK3 would like to take a moment to recognize one inspiring perspective.

Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy Seal and author of the book-turned-movie “Lone Survivor,” recently was a guest speaker at this year’s event, commanding the stage in his understated way, telling us his story and what it meant for him to do his job. It was an inspirational speech that delivered a message of service – no matter what you do or what situation you find yourself in, you are in control of the service you provide. And that level of service is what makes a difference.

So as we focus our eyes through our own respective lenses, we should remember that clients, projects, and ideas change, but no matter what you do, great service should remain the constant.

By Mark DiTondo, Creative Director

MK3 Takes on the Charles

Sometimes we just need an outlet for our competitive spirit.

One Friday in August, MK3 spent an afternoon rowing on the Charles with Community Rowing Inc, a non-profit that seeks to provide “community rowing for all.” CRI runs corporate outings to support their mission of providing rowing lessons for high school youth and kids with disabilities, making the sport accessible to those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to compete.

After learning the basics and getting comfortable on the water, MK3 broke off into teams and raced along the river. (My team won, in case you were wondering). Thanks to our friends at CRI, no one fell in the water, no oars were broken, and we all had a good time.

On Monday though, it was time to “way enough” (that’s rowing lingo for “stop!”) and return to what we do best—storytelling.  We’ll leave the rowing to CRI.

By Ann Gennaro, Project Manager/Associate Producer