Will 2020 Be the Breakout Year for Voice Marketing?

Chances are good that you’ve used Siri, Alexa, or a similar AI voice assistant over the recent months or years, but have you stopped to consider the tremendous potential of voice marketing?

Leveraging the power of voice user interfaces such as Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, voice marketing is poised the become the next big thing in the worlds of digital advertising and branding.

As the average consumer leaves typing, clicking, tapping, and swiping behind to embrace the future of hands-free, voice-activated computer use, wise marketers are quickly following suit. In the words of high-tech consultants Deepa Naik and Nikhil Karkhanis

“Consumers are adding voice to their shopping cycle using voice agents and interfaces like voice-enabled virtual assistants, voice search, and smart speakers. Brands and marketing professionals are finding innovative ways to respond to these newly opened channels.”

The popularity of voice user interfaces

Both in the home and the mobile space, a rapidly increasing number of people are interacting with digital devices and navigating the Internet using only their voices. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center and several other reputable sources, nearly half of all mobile users employ voice technology while operating their smartphone devices.

And the growing popularity of voice user interfaces shows no signs of slowing or abating, with more and more people transmitting and receiving key information by voice/audio means alone. The leading global high-tech research and advisory company Gartner contends that 30 percent of online searches will be entirely screenless by the end of 2020. Gartner credits the ubiquitous use of portable and wearable audio components such as Apple AirPods and Echo Buds as well as household devices such as the Google Home and the Amazon Echo for the rise of screenless Internet surfing.

Just how far will voice user interfaces take us in the near future? A recent study by Juniper Research predicts exponential growth in the use of digital voice assistants thanks to advances in the smart speaker, smart television, and smart wearable markets. Juniper expects that consumers will be using more than 8 billion digital voice assistants by 2023. This figure represents an estimated 2.5 billion increase from the number of digital voice assistants in use at the end of 2018.

The marketing potential of audio content and voice-enabled devices

So how can businesses tap into the incredible marketing capacity of voice user interfaces? Here are just a few tips ad tactics that you might want to consider. 

1. Build a Custom Voice-Activated App

Akin to the physical apps that you know from your smartphone touch screen, Alexa Skills, Google Actions, and Siri Shortcuts all allow users to connect directly with your company and its goods/services simply by speaking a few words. According to the most recent numbers from Amazon, there are more than 70,000 Skills currently available.

2. Launch a Podcast or Flash Briefing

One of the great things about a podcast is that it can be both accessed and enjoyed through a single device using only your voice and your ears. No need to trouble your eyes or your fingertips for a thing, thanks to the voice user interface. Marketers also encourage companies to create and distribute flash briefings – short, prerecorded audio pieces that offer news and other informative content via one or more voice-enabled devices.

3. Invest in Sonic Branding.

Although the rise of voice-enabled devices and digital personal assistants has recently reinvigorated this tried and true marketing approach, there is certainly nothing new about sonic branding. Encompassing any auditory element that might be described as a defining sonic mark or an audio logo, sonic branding has long been a common practice in traditional television and radio advertising. The three-note deodorant jingle “by Mennen” and the Apple computer boot-up chime immediately spring to mind!

4. Leverage the Power of Voice Search Optimization

The art and science of getting your company to the top of online searches by your key consumer demographic, search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a (if not the) key component of any effective digital marketing campaign. In the era of spoken searches, voice search optimization (VSO) has evolved as a natural offshoot of traditional SEO practices. An investment in VSO is essential if you want to optimize your branding and products/services content for searches made using voice-enabled devices.

To learn more

For more information about the power of voice marketing in 2020 and beyond, contact a representative of Bigeye today. In addition to its status as a leading voice marketing agency, Bigeye can help you with all manner of digital outreach in the modern marketing landscape.

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Why Richard Simmons Would Love Our Motion Graphics Work

If you’re looking for motion graphics that bounce, pop, and just work, you could do worse than to draw inspiration from Richard Simmons.

When someone says “motion graphics,” the campy exercise guru Richard Simmons may not be the first thing to pop into your mind. But when it comes to finding motion graphics that work, he just may be the ultimate standard bearer.

The basics of motion graphics

In the modern digital environment, the term “motion graphics” refers to a specific genre of animation that bridges the gap between tradition moving pictures and graphic design. It has proven highly successful in the marketing and public relations sectors for communicating to audiences in a captivating and easy-to-watch manner.

According to high-tech thought leader and motion graphics authority Michael Betancourt, the history of motion graphics date back to the Futurist painters of the early 1900s, who created experimental films with a firm emphasis on graphic design. Over the next century, marketers developed commercial motion graphics that seamlessly blended textual elements with music and/or sound effects in order to further targeted branding and adverting campaigns.

Listing primary examples of commercial motion graphics, Betancourt points to television commercials with their animated logos/graphics and the moving title sequences of feature films. But in both the fine art world and the consumer marketplace, motion graphics rely on “the aesthetic principles that organize and structure the relationship of image to soundtrack originates with…color music” – a synesthetic art form that “established the ways that sound and image can be related to each other in a visual medium such as motion pictures.”

Although the line between motion graphics and full animation has never been clearly drawn, the look and feel of modern motion graphics are immediately recognizable to anyone who has been exposed to digital media over the past several years. Essentially animated graphic design, motion graphics almost always combine voice-over narration a wealth of words/symbols to allow viewers to learn visually and aurally at the same time. The independent technology news and information platform Lifewire outlines the power of motion graphics as “purpose-driven pieces with the goal of presenting information to the viewer through the use of animated text or graphics” and “voice-overs narrating what the text or graphics are representing.”

What should good motion graphics look and sound like? Think Richard Simmons!

Although he has largely disappeared from the public eye for the last several years, Richard Simmons is an unmistakable media personality with a distinct style all his own. In fact, his unique personality and approach to spreading physical fitness to the masses have a lot in common with quality motion graphics work.

Here are just a few traits that colorful exercise guru Richard Simmons shares with the outstanding motion graphics of the BIGEYE marketing agency:

1. Bounciness

Describing the look and feel of motion graphics, Lifewire asserts that they typically employ a “very fluid, bouncy animation style.” Lifewire goes on to cite the use of “snazzy transitions” and “dynamic movement” – two characteristics that simply scream Richard Simmons! Without this kind of busy visual engagement, viewers are likely to begin to “zone out” as they listen to the narrator drone on.

2. Bright Colors

Although most motion graphics have a sophisticated look and an elegant appeal, they also typically use vivid color palettes that match the bright workout clothes and colorful personality of Richard Simmons. When it comes to informing and educating viewers, the bright colors of motion graphics both capture attention and keep it.

3. Musical

As detailed above, music is an absolutely essential component of motion graphics. And anyone who has ever seen “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” knows that Richard Simmons knows how to integrate music and active visuals.

4. Instructional

As entertaining as Richard Simmons might be, the real reason to watch him is to get or stay in shape! Like good motion graphics, he has a real knack for wrapping detailed instruction in a positive, likable, and easy-to-understand package.

5. Fun

The bottom line when it comes to Richard Simmons: he manages to make exercise fun. In a similar vein, motion graphics are an exceptionally effective tool for anyone who wants to transform dry, boring content into an entertaining, engaging experience.

Getting professional help

If you want fun, informative, eye-catching, and attention-commanding motion graphics that even Richard Simmons would appreciate, contact Bigeye today. In addition to our achievements as a motion graphics company, we have all the state-of-the-art tools and innovative vision that you need to drive a comprehensive and competitive modern marketing campaign.

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Tips on Hiring the Top Video Production Company

If you are looking for the very best video production services for the money, pay close attention to these five essential tips.

In today’s media-saturated consumer marketplace, no one can dispute the awesome power of an effective video marketing campaign. But if you truly want to stand out from your closest competitors (or even if you simply want to ensure that your next video advertisement is a benefit and not a liability), you have to secure the services of an outstanding video production company.

So how can you be sure that you are working with one of the top video production companies in the business? Here are five key guidelines that can help you choose the very best video production services for your company and its particular needs.

1. Don’t be fooled by a demo reel.

Both the Business 2 Community online platform and Entrepreneur magazine warn against putting too much stock in the demo real of any given production company. In fact, devaluing or disregarding the highly persuasive but often misleading demo real ranks high among many authorities’ leading video production company search tips.

Consider the length of the average demo reel. Can a minute or two of video really provide an accurate picture of the overall quality of any company’s total content output?

While a demo reel can certainly give you a peek into the ultimate potential of a specific production house, you simply can’t equate a company’s ability to release a compelling demo reel with an ability to meet your specific video marketing needs. It may be fine to eliminate video production houses with poor demo reels, but don’t let a good demo real dazzle you into a bad decision.

2. Evaluate recent projects.

As an alternative to the video production demo reel, take a close look at the recent projects of any video production companies under consideration. Although these won’t always be readily available on official company websites (website updates can be time-consuming and expensive), most video production companies post links to their most recent work on their various social media sites.

However you access it, the most recent work of any video production company will give you a good idea of the equipment, talent, and level of quality that company will bring to your project. Can’t find any recent projects for a particular company? Perhaps you should choose another!

3. Find a video production company that is right for your audience.

Consider the disparate consumer bases of companies such as Louis Vuitton and Quaker Oats. Although there is certainly a demographic overlap between the target audiences of these two companies, their core customers are obviously quite different.

Like any other organization, each video production company comes with its own unique set of values, approaches, and stylistic strengths. Part of your job, when searching for a video production company, is to find one that is capable of producing content that will resonate with your existing customer base and your prospective target audience.

4. Prioritize value over cost.

On its Trends and Insights blog, American Express warns that “cheap video comes at a premium.” Business 2 Community echoes this sentiment, declaring, “you really do get what you pay for.”

Although you want to be sure that you are getting quality services for your dollar, you must realize that professionals who command higher rates are able to do so because they are highly confident in their abilities, their equipment, their processes, and their final product. Just make sure that you get an itemized bill so you can see exactly where your money is going.

5. Consider a marketing agency that offers video production as part of a comprehensive marketing package.

The greatest marketing video or advertising spot in the world will fail to make an impact if you don’t know what to do with it after it is in the can. To seamlessly incorporate your video content into a larger marketing campaign and to truly leverage its persuasive appeal, consider contracting with a full-service marketing firm that offers video production as part of a broad spectrum of services.

Of course, the overall quality and relevance of a video production company must remain your paramount concern. Don’t accept an amateurish video just to sign a comprehensive deal with a big “one stop shop” agency.

For more information

If you want to learn more about the characteristics that define a truly outstanding video production company, contact the comprehensive marketing agency Bigeye today. In addition to it considerable expertise in video production, Bigeye’s team of forward-thinking marketing can lead your organization in all aspects of modern-day marketing.

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The Benefits of Testing Your Packaging Design

As high-tech digital analytics continues to rule the virtual marketing world, don’t forget to collect real-world marketing data including the valuable information gleaned from packaging design testing.

Make no mistake: product packaging is integral to product sales. In fact, a recent study by the leading corrugated packaging company WestRock determined that more than four out of five consumers in the United States have tried a new product because its packaging caught their eye. Furthermore, 63 percent of consumers have purchased a product a second time due to its packaging appearance/aesthetics, and 52 percent of consumers have changed brands as a result of new packaging.

With these figures in mind, businesses are universally committed to optimizing their packaging design. But how can you tell if your packaging is truly connecting with your key consumer demographic?

Packaging design testing basics

Briefly defined, packaging design testing involves presenting several packaging designs to your target audience and asking them to provide honest feedback on each of them. This feedback should ultimately determine which design is the most appealing to consumers and which design its most likely to encourage sales.

By testing their deigns, companies are far more able to wrap their product in external packaging that both sets it apart from the competition and communicates its unique value in a succinct and compelling manner. Companies that incorporate testing into their general packaging design processes have solid data that can readily guide team operations and facilitate coordinated company decision-making.

In addition to helping to bring brand new packaging designs to market, packaging design testing is key when optimizing or otherwise altering your existing packaging. The testing process is also extremely valuable when it comes to reaching out to new or alternative target audiences/consumer demographics.

Types of packaging design testing

Any good consumer marketing agency or packaging design company will tailor packaging design testing processes to meet the specific wants and needs of the client. In order to produce the specific benefits that are most important to their clients, these organizations may employ a wide range of techniques both in controlled study groups and in the marketplace at large.

The venerable packaging products organization Performance Packaging of Nevada suggests A/B testing as an easy and inexpensive way to determine the better of two different packaging designs. This method of testing involves gathering together one or more test groups that are (hopefully!) representative of your larger consumer/audience base. Test group leaders present these groups with two packaging choices and then ask each group member to pick their favorite.

Of course, this relatively restricted form of testing is limited when it comes to assessing multiple design variables (color, size, substance, etc.,). Therefore, depending on its particular goals, a company may choose other approaches to gathering feedback such as filling out comprehensive surveys or participating in thorough interview processes.

Although careful sampling methodology can compile study groups that closely match larger target audiences/consumer demographics, there is no substitute for marketing testing in the field. This method is, of course, far more expensive, than study group testing, but companies can benefit greatly from releasing two or more packaging designs into the marketplace and then collecting data on which design the general public prefers.

Getting the most out of your packaging design testing endeavors

As we have seen, your ideal methods and techniques of packaging design testing will depend entirely upon your unique and specific goals. Do you want to ensure that your product catches the eye of the casual consumer as he/she walks down the supermarket aisle? Or is it more important that your packaging reflects the core attributes and values that consumers associate with your brand?

After determining the aspects of your packaging that are most likely to influence your overall success or failure, you can develop packaging design testing procedures that are right for you. A key metric that you will certainly want to consider is purchase intent, which measures the likelihood that your packaging will motivate people to buy the product that it contains. Secondary metrics will depend on the specific results you hope to achieve and the marketplace in which you operate. These metrics might include appeal (how enticing your packaging is), relevance (how effectively your packaging reflects the wants/needs of your audience), uniqueness (how your packaging differs from that of your competitors), and ease of finding (how well your packaging stands out on the average retail shelf/website).

For more information

To learn more about the importance of packaging design testing, contact a skilled and knowledgeable representative at Bigeye today. In addition to excelling at the art and science of packaging design, Bigeye offers a broad range of comprehensive marketing services with an eye on innovation and customized service.

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Oxford Comma? Copywriting 101

In the world of marketing and elsewhere, the question remains: to use the Oxford comma or to eliminate it?

Otherwise known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma remains a subject of considerable debate in multiple public and private circles. This notorious punctuation mark is succinctly defined by the Oxford University-affiliated Lexico as “an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list.” Although it neglects to mention that the Oxford comma can also appear before the conjunction “or,” this definition matches the influential general writing style guidelines of the Associated Press (AP), which recommend employing an Oxford comma only when needed to prevent obvious cases of probable reader misinterpretation.

Oxford comma basics

Traditionally used by the editors and printers of the Oxford University Press, the Oxford comma is intended to prevent ambiguity and promote ready grammatical understanding by clearly demarcating all items in a series. Consider the following example presented by Lexico:

“These items are available in black and white, red and yellow, and blue and green.”

The Oxford comma before the penultimate “and” makes the color combinations above perfectly clear. But look what happens when the Oxford comma is omitted:

 “These items are available in black and white, red and yellow and blue and green.”

Colors blur into one another, making a real mess!

The Oxford comma in copywriting and other industries / sectors

Although widely used in academia, the Oxford comma has long been a matter of debate in sectors that range from journalism to law.

The legal implications of the Oxford comma recently became apparent through a $10-million class-action lawsuit involving a dairy company in Maine. As detailed by the leading editing and proofreading service provider Scribendi, this lawsuit centered on the following sentence: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.”

With no Oxford comma after “packing for shipment,” the exact exceptions for the shipment and/or distribution of the listed food products remain unclear.

In the world of marketing, the average copywriting agency is likely to let the client have the final word when it comes to including or omitting the Oxford comma. At BIGEYE, however, we tend to encourage the use of the Oxford comma to avoid problems such as those detailed both above and below.

Why the Oxford comma is important

In addition to the confusion inherent in the instances listed above, the Oxford comma is essential to avoid the misunderstandings that can arise when readers mistake appositives (which rename nouns) for items in a series or vise versa. You may have seen one or more widely circulated examples that drive this problem home using humor.

Take, for example, the sentence…

“This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.”

With the Oxford comma, it is perfectly clear that the book has three dedicatees. Now, look at the same sentence without the Oxford comma:

“This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.”

If read as an appositive, the phrase “Ayn Rand and God,” leaves the book dedicated to two people only…and a highly unlikely couple to have a child together!

For this reason among others, standard-bearers of scholarly writing such as the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the Chicago Manual of Style recommend the consistent use of the Oxford comma.

The argument against the Oxford comma

In addition to the AP, many official style guides attempt to avoid the clutter of unnecessary punctuation by recommending that writers use the Oxford comma only when reader confusion is likely to occur. In many ways, this makes perfect sense. After all, the phrase “less is more” applies to all aspects of writing and should be actively employed to prevent wordiness and produce text that is easy on the eyes. 

But who is qualified to differentiate cases that may lead to misunderstandings from cases that will not? In short, writers who fail to consistently use the Oxford comma may easily miss language that will seem confusing and/or conflicted to a large number of readers.

Other Oxford comma detractors cite purely grammatical reasons for its omission. For example, consider the sentence “This book is dedicated to my mother, Ayn Rand, and God.” If mistaken for an appositive, “Ayn Rand” can, once again, be mistaken for the mother of the book’s author. If it is universally recognized as a tool for setting off items in a series, however, the use of the Oxford comma before “and” cannot be misinterpreted.

Getting professional help

When it comes to writing effective copy, the ultimate answer to the Oxford comma debate is best answered with the assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable marketing agency like Bigeye. A one-stop shop for all of your marketing needs, we offer a range of premium copywriting services.

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Creative Roundtable

The Bigeye Creative Team joins host Adrian Tennant this week on IN CLEAR FOCUS to discuss creative trends for brands in 2020.

In Clear Focus this week: future directions for creative in 2020 and the decade ahead. Research firm Nielsen has reported that for CPG brands, 49 percent of sales lift from advertising was attributable to the creative. Bigeye team members Dominic Wilson, Erik McGrew, and Nick Hammond discuss what the new decade might mean for visual design and consider the challenges of crafting effective advertising campaigns in a fragmented media landscape.

In Clear Focus: Creative in 2020

In Clear Focus this week: future directions for creative in 2020 and the decade ahead. Research firm Nielsen has reported that for CPG brands, 49 percent of sales lift from advertising was attributable to the creative.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant:     You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising. Produced weekly by Bigeye Hello, I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye – an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. We’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us for our first episode of 2020. So this week we’re going to be talking to some of the creative team here at Bigeye about what a new year and a new decade might mean for design in marketing communications. A couple of years ago, the research from Nielsen analyzed over 500 consumer packaged goods brand campaigns that ran on all major media platforms, linear and addressable television, online, digital and video, mobile, magazines, and radio. Nielsen reported that almost half 49% of sales lift from CPG advertising was attributable to the creative. That is ad quality, messaging, and the context of the placement. And in a separate study conducted by the research firm Ipsos for Facebook, creative quality was found to determine 75% of advertising’s impact as measured by brand and ad recall. Joining me here in the studio today are senior multimedia designer, Dominic Wilson; designer, Eric McGrew; and designer Nick Hammond. So guys, let’s kick things off by considering how visual design has changed over the last decade. What are some of the greatest influences on visual design today, say compared to 2010. Erik?

Erik McGrew:        I think mobile has been a really big game-changer. I think kind of at the start of the decade it was sort of like an afterthought, you know, the main focus would be on the website and mobile would be great if you had it. I can’t think of a single website that doesn’t have a mobile version or an adaptive or responsive version of it.

Adrian Tennant:     Nick?

Nick Hammond:       It felt like recently we got into this gradient color gradient thing that everyone’s been doing, which is kind of the next adaptation of flat icons. I also think social had a huge role to play in a lot of it because now anyone can get on and start creating different things and put it out there and someone can see it and iterate on it. And so it feels like the design or art world in general fractured into these multiple different pieces of people putting different aesthetics together and mixing and mashing and it’s moving so quickly because you can see it instantly, and put it up instantly, and iterate on it instantly. Like as a tool that affected what design is.

Adrian Tennant:     Right. That’s interesting. So we have Instagram, we have Pinterest accounts. You referenced the availability of online tools – often free. Are we all in some way creatives now?

Nick Hammond:       I think everyone’s creative to a degree. And I think as a designer I see it having changed mostly in how I get direction from people. So it feels like you’re kind of getting more direction as a designer.

Adrian Tennant:     Erik, have you found that too?

Erik McGrew:        You know, everyone’s a creator and that’s great because it’s just more wells of inspiration to draw from. I always find myself going back and forth on how I feel about social because I think that’s great. And on the other hand, certain things can happen. Like Dribble’s a great website. I love going there, like checking out everyone’s work. But I think when you start associating likes to a piece of art, a couple of things can happen. One thing that seems sort of gets a little, I don’t know what the word is, like a little incestuous with like everyone doing the same design now because that’s what’s getting promoted to the front page. And then also just as an artist tying your own self-value to like, “Oh my gosh, this thing only got 20 likes.” I think that can be super detrimental. I find myself doing that a lot. So I think there’s really, really, really great things that social’s done. But I also think there’s kind of the tail end of that, um, is wrapping up like your own value as a creative in what other people have to say about your art.

Adrian Tennant:     So commercial photographer Chase Jarvis established CreativeLive and online creative education platform a decade ago and LinkedIn acquired the online software training company, Lynda.com a couple of years ago. Do you use any online resources for your own continuing education? Let’s start with Dom.

Dominic Wilson:     I used Lynda in the mid-two thousands but eventually moved on to demos and lectures found on YouTube and Vimeo, in addition to simply just experimenting.

Adrian Tennant:     Nick?

Nick Hammond:       The way that I think about what being a creative is, it seems like it’s continually being blurred. Where before I would’ve said, “Oh, because I have this experience, I feel like I’m labeling myself as a creative or as a designer,” and with these tools coming out now someone might, you might not see them as a designer or a creative because they’re using a tool as a first step. But you kind of also have to step back and say, “well, who’s to say that they don’t have some other form of thinking that they can bring to the table?”

Adrian Tennant:     Erik, your thoughts?

Erik McGrew:        I totally agree with that and I think for like a couple thousand dollars and buying a computer, you could teach yourself any of these skills at any of these colleges. I mean, I feel like every day I’m on YouTube or Google, like “how do I do this thing in Illustrator?” And there’s like a minute-and-a-half video that explains it. Yeah, I’m all for education and having it be free and collaborating and talking to people. I’ve worked with people who think they’ve discovered like some trick or like they some style that they kind of like act like a gatekeeper of and they don’t want to show you that how they do it. And I just, I just think that’s crap. Like I’m all about asking how someone did something.

Adrian Tennant:     All right. So every year Pantone announces its color of the year, which often influences fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design as well as product packaging and graphic design. In 2017, it was “Greenery” in 2018 “Ultra Violet” and in 2019, “Living coral.” So for 2020, Pantone has selected “Classic Blue.” The website states that, “as technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colors that are honest and offer the promise of protection, non-aggressive and easily relatable. The trusted Pantone classic blue lends itself to relaxed interaction.” So first of all, what do you think about their choice, Nick?

Nick Hammond:       I don’t necessarily ever really follow the Pantone color thing and I always think it’s kinda funny cause we were talking about the design trends thing earlier in it. It feels like to me more of just a marketing thing on their part. They already have kind of a stranglehold on color. I mean the color itself makes sense.

Erik McGrew:        Yeah. I mean I think there’s a reason you have these huge companies like social companies like Twitter and Facebook using blue. It’s easy. I have a weird relationship with blue. I think it’s sometimes I struggle with color in general and blue always seems like a cop-out. I’m always like, “Hang on, I wish they would’ve done something cooler.” I always find myself gravitating towards like weird, like ochre colors or like yellows and oranges and I think they’re more interesting.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s the influencer part of the Pantone reference. Okay, if you were tasked with selecting the next Pantone color, what would it be and what would be the rationale behind it?

Nick Hammond:       I think you’d have to throw a curveball in there and it wouldn’t be a color, it would be multiple colors. I’m not sure if Pantone has done that yet or not. I’m sure they probably have. But to me it’s just very earthy now, you know, and kind of muted and it’s like, that feels like where a lot of it’s going is colors that are a little more subdued and kind of have a vintage retro-y we feel to them.

Adrian Tennant:     Okay. So Erik, any advance on multicolor…?

Erik McGrew:        I that would be super interesting. I didn’t even think of that. I would love to see like, I think kind of what you said, like a weird orange or like a mustard yellow thrown in there. The psychology of color is such like a weird, interesting thing. And I would love to see if Facebook had to re redesign all their stuff with an orange-based color scheme. Like what would that look like? I’d get weird with it. I don’t know. Something, some weird color

Adrian Tennant:     Hmm, Dom?

Dominic Wilson:     If you had kind of some hideous color choice, it wouldn’t be more exciting than just some muted pastel.

Adrian Tennant:     Right.

Nick Hammond:       It’s funny cause I feel like all of our answers to these things are just continually backing up. The idea that design is just fractured into a million different things and it’s you’re breaking the fundamentals of what design is. Ugly colors, weird different type, different structures. It just feels like it’s all over the place.

Adrian Tennant:     Let’s talk a little bit about video. Published research found that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to just 10% when they read it in text. Last year, $36 billion were invested in video-based digital advertisements. Do you foresee video becoming even more dominant?

Dominic Wilson:     Definitely. Those stats you just read confirmed that there are significant opportunities for businesses that haven’t leveraged video and motion graphics, especially in regards to saturating their own social channels and in the digital ad space.

Erik McGrew:        A previous job working primarily with like social media stuff and being able to see the numbers. Yeah, there’s, it’s almost like you can’t even compete in the early days. We would throw out not even good videos and they were just outperforming everything. So yeah. And I think that’s why there’s been such a rise with like motion graphics and I think people just want to watch stuff move and you almost get, just can’t compete with it.

Adrian Tennant:     Yeah. I think I read somewhere that it’s like 80% of digital revenue ultimately use some form of video. And now we have over-the-top TV as well. Video absolutely is King. So Dom, you’re the senior multimedia designer at Bigeye and you handle most of our video and motion graphics projects. What changes or trends have you seen in motion graphics in recent years?

Dominic Wilson:     I’ve noticed that more and more shows, movies, live events, commercials contain three D design elements and a higher level of sophisticated animation. You can see various examples in title sequences, food and beverage products, consumer goods, especially in athletic footwear and automotive. I mean, you no longer have to only rely on live video capture. You showcase what it is you’re trying to promote, which is why you see a demand for highly skilled 3D artists.

Adrian Tennant:     Erik, what do you think about typography? Maybe thinking about ads but also products and packaging design.

Erik McGrew:        Typography is what I struggle with the most sometimes just because I think it’s such a, I mean it’s a whole world in and of itself. You could spend your entire life just focusing on typography and probably make a living off it. It’s kind of overwhelming and I think it goes back to, you know, everyone has these tools to make their own set of fonts now our what used to be like such a specific art form, anyone can do it now.

Adrian Tennant:     How has your own personal design style evolved over the years?

Nick Hammond:       Yeah, so my design style had kind of started via looking at more marketing material that was coming out of a lot of clothing brands at the time. So back when I was getting out of high school and into college I had, my whole background was with the apparel industry and I was doing some work for a friend. I had run a paintball apparel company for a while and I was playing competitively. So I was kind of constantly seeing these messaging, these different, I was constantly seeing different forms of messaging that were geared toward younger males. And so it was very aggressive, lots of hard lines, kind of what Dom was talking about with lots of things kind of exploding and hard edges and bright colors and stuff like that. And so I think that’s kinda how I entered what design was. And over the years it’s been more of the process of understanding how to pare it back and get more of that edginess through subtlety rather than hitting you over the face with it. So it feels just a little more of a, uh, kind of coming of age, like putting that into the work and understanding how do you pare back to the thing that makes it feel the most true to what you’re trying to get at instead of just adding, adding, adding. So I think balance, I guess would be what the process has been.

Erik McGrew:        If there’s been any change, it’s kind of a stripping away of certain things. I’m trying to be more refined. I struggle with sometimes I get anxiety that I feel like my work is too all over the place. Like again, kind of like coming out of school, you know, you want this nice clean portfolio that looks like everything fits and I don’t have that with my body of work. And I kind of in the past couple of years have like leaned into that and sort of realized that I think that that it’s actually like a strength and it’s been exhausting. But I think I would like, I think I equate it to like I’ve spent the past 10 years collecting all these weird tools that don’t necessarily fit together, but now I have this toolbox of weird tools that I can make things that I personally like, I really enjoy. So it’s been good. So yeah, I think just realizing that maybe having a weird array of different versions of your style can kind of be a string.

Adrian Tennant:     So excluding the work you’ve done since you’ve been at Bigeye, what is the most rewarding design project you’ve ever worked on and what made it so?

Erik McGrew:        I think mine was, and it wasn’t a big project, I got to design a beer can. Which was kind of like a fun, like a personal goal. Like I’ve always wanted to do that, but we got to work with a brewery out of North Carolina and it was daunting because one thing that made it really great was I got to work with my buddy Michael Forrest who is like next level, but he’s just, he’s incredible. Like I almost want to use the word savant. It’s just he’s such a good person to just talk design with and he’ll say things that I think are like so prolific. And I’m like, “Oh my God, I never would have had that thought.” But working with him was great and we got to design this can for King Canary Brewing. And I said yes to the project and then they sent the style guide over and I realize that this brewery had been branded by these two guys that I’ve looked up to forever. Like, and so then I’m like, “Okay, cool. No pressure. Like I just have to do something that at least is this good.” But it was fun. I think we came up with a really cool canned design and it was just a fun month-long project to work on and it was also just really weirdly rewarding. I think the lesson there is like sometimes it’s those small projects that feel you as a person and the ones that you think are going to be cool and bigger, like where you into the ground and it’s really difficult to get through them.

Adrian Tennant:     Nick, have you got a favorite?

Nick Hammond:       Yeah, so I did a project with one of my old employers that I was at. They’re called Backcountry.com. They’re kind of like a smaller REI. And when I got in there, we were building out our own in-house private brands team. And so we were responsible for creating a brand, basically, start to finish and kind of working through some of the brands that they had already created and the separations between the two and how you were working to market them toward different demographics. And it was cool because I was able to kind of weave in my background with apparel and help create apparel from start to finish, but also all the marketing around it. And so to me it was incredible to be able to touch pretty much every single endpoint from start to finish of what not only one brand was, but what multiple brands were and watch that go through different segmentation processes and how that was being received and iterate on it. And we were pulling everything in from, you know, social stuff at the time. This was when Instagram video or like the whatever that is, Instagram live stuff had first started coming out. So we were using a lot of that. Yeah. And then traveling across the US on scene on location to do a bunch of video stuff as well. So, yeah, to me that was incredible because it was not only moving fast but you were, you were touching everything and so if you messed up something at one point you would deal with your own difficulties later down the line. And so I think that really gives you an eyeopening perspective of what other people do and how different factors can come into effect. Any number of things in the creative process,

Adrian Tennant:     Dom, have you got a favorite?

Dominic Wilson:     I had the opportunity within the past year to create and develop a 3D design and dynamics rig for a new admissions look at the Savannah college of art and design. The work was so well received that it was used in their first-ever ad placement in times square in three locations running for a week, which then led to two additional campaigns that ran thereafter. The final approved creative originated from a 3D dynamics rig I had developed three years prior and didn’t really have any use for it at the time. I also use the program called Cinema 4-D, which I was entirely self-taught in. Someone did send back a video of the ads running in the location, which was cool to see.

Adrian Tennant:     So where is visual design headed in the decade ahead?

Nick Hammond:       Absolutely no idea. It’s wild. It feels like it’s going in a million directions at once and like there are things popping up where people are doing stuff with programs that you never thought they could do. Programs are being pushed. It just feels like there are so many new doors opening and you can’t possibly keep up with all of the doors that are opening. So it’s, you’re just constantly seeing all this crazy stuff and trying to figure out is there something from that that I can pull either – whether that’s a technique or a way of thinking about a project or a solution to a project and yeah, it just feels wild. I personally am interested in when we get to the point where it turns into “Minority Report,” and we have like a full 3D-like room with gloves and all the designers are just creating 3D everything all the time. But I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while.

Erik McGrew:        It does feel fractured, like in, you know, what works in print doesn’t necessarily work on social media, which doesn’t necessarily work in the video space. And then even inside social itself, like what works on Facebook doesn’t necessarily is a different tone than what works on Twitter than what works on Instagram. So yeah, I have no idea where it’s heading. I’m excited about where it’s heading. I think I’ve seen illustration really play a huge part in design over the past couple of years and I would love to continue to see it. I think we will probably continue to see illustration grow. Sure, motion graphics are just going to get bigger videos is going to get bigger.

Adrian Tennant:     Great discussion guys. Thank you. So design in the decade ahead is going to be a wild ride but we’re happy to go along with it. Okay. Thank you. Thank you to Dominic Wilson.

Dominic Wilson:     Yeah, no problem. It was great.

Adrian Tennant:     Erik McGrew

Erik McGrew:        Thanks for having me.

Adrian Tennant:     Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond:       Thanks. Hopefully, I get to come back in the future.


Adrian Tennant:     You can find links to the resources we discussed on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at Bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Please consider subscribing to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. And if you have an Amazon Echo device, you can use the IN CLEAR FOCUS skill to add the podcast to your Flash Briefing. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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