Marketing

Zendesk Helpers

I always love it when a company decides to use a different marketing approach to subtly promote who they are. I recently discovered that CRM software manufacturer Zendesk has started producing a series of documentary shorts that have nothing to do with Zendesk. I came across the videos on Vimeo while actually looking for something related to their product and then discovered the link to Zendesk Helpers a microsite which has the purpose of being helpful and encouraging, and a little bit of software promotion.

One of the things that I love about the site and the videos, is the high quality production value that is presented. Especially the videos. These are not shoot it on your iPhone and edit in iMovie (although I have seen some videos done that way that look really amazing). All of these have a fairly large production crew and it shows.

Beyond the production however, is the quality of the content itself. Each video left me feeling good about humanity, something we all need these days. As of February there were a total of 5 video stories available on the microsite. I’m hoping they are in the process of producing even more, because these are great.

We set out to look for helpfulness in the world and were amazed at the stories we found. Because being helpful might sound simple, but it’s actually badass.

Zen Desk Helpers

Everyday Experiments – In Full Bloom

The first cellphone camera I ever used was in an imported unlocked Nokia so-called “smartphone”. It was an expensive flip phone with a screen that rotated 180 degrees. It had some form of limited office functionality, texting, and a 0.3-megapixel camera that shot postage stamp-sized images and no video. I thought it was the greatest phone ever, and the ability to take somewhat decent photos with my phone was a game-changer. Then in 2007 and the world changed.

When the iPhone went on sale in June of 2007, it was light years ahead of the competition. It had a whopping 2 megapixel camera and 320×480 pixel resolution screen. The day it went on sale I was 4th in line at the ATT store to make sure I got one before they sold out. At the time, I had no idea how much this single piece of technology would change the way people create with images, video and audio.

Fast forward 15 years and the impact has been very obvious. So much so that Apple has built an entire marketing platform around “Shot on iPhone” that focuses exclusively on the creative aspect of the handset. One of the best examples being a series of videos by Donghoon J. and James T, called “Everyday Experiments that show people how to create some pretty amazing videos with their iPhones and things they have at home. Something that would have been impossible to do with my Nokia in 2005, or even using a “Flip Video” camera that was hugely popular at the same time.

Everyday Experiments as well as the rest of “Shot on iPhone” show just how far we have come in a very short period of time. If you are into using your phone for creative endeavors I encourage you to take a look at the “Everyday Experiments” content. It’s well-produced and they have a section of behind-the-scenes videos that show how these two actually make the videos Apple commissions from them.

Vista Print Goes Fishing For Small Businesses

Do you ever stop and think about how an ad idea gets pitched to a client? Especially the totally off-the-wall creative that will have to be sold to all the key stakeholders.

Case in point the Vista Print ad below. I’m not knocking the ad, I get the concept when you see it in context to the description that is included on YouTube. The thing is, I guarantee you this was pitched to a number of executives at Vista Print and they had to buy into the concept and execution. And the creative team needed to be able to sell this in a short period of time with probably nothing more than a pitch deck filled with static images, rough concept copy, and a kernel of an idea. I’m wondering if during the pitch there was any discussion about production budgets because this was probably a fairly expensive shoot based on the number of people involved, props, and post-production work.

It looks like there is a series of hashtags associated with it, but when I did a Twitter search for #readyforanything and #supportsmallbusiness there were hundreds of results, so neither is unique to vista print. The hashtag links in the description don’t link to anything specific to Vista Print either. I keep thinking there is such a missed opportunity here. Vista Print could have extended this so far beyond the 30 and 45-second video spots created. There is no pull-through to any of their social media accounts that surface the concept in a unique shareable way, and I couldn’t find a micro-site or landing page that extended the campaign either. It’s a shame because the concept is so wacky it could have had some serious traction.

For small business owners, the world is one of constant change. Vistaprint is here to help you adapt to any situation. From the big, to the unpredictable, to the totally unbelievable. Vistaprint is your partner in an ever changing world.

Machine Learning Fairness

I get the Think With Google email every week, and I have to admit I only open it on occasion. It’s filled with great insights but I just seem to miss opening some of them from time to time. I didn’t open the one on Machine Learning that arrived about a month ago and I wish I had. The email was part of a larger campaign that featured a spectacular animated piece by The Furrow and one of the best-executed microsites I’ve seen in a while by This is Grow. Below are the primary video and the making of which doesn’t go into a lot of detail but shows how something that looks so simple is actually quite complex. The links above take you to the microsite and to This is Grow’s home page.