Who Will Take Home the Gold Lion at Cannes?

Some of the best creative minds in the communications and advertising business are gathering this month for the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. Each covet the same prize: a lion. A gold, a bronze, a silver, a glass, or the grand prix. Either of the awards would be an acknowledgment by the community of their success. Before the judges make their final decisions, here are some of this year’s entries that are sure to take home the gold.


5. “Cook This Page”



A trip to Ikea usually means a fight with whomever you’re buying furniture with followed by a tense meal of swedish meat balls in the food court. The Scandinavian store is switching up the process by making their food selection more kitchen-friendly. In an attempt to coax beginner chefs into trying their recipes, Ikea has designed a foolproof way to follow along.


4. “Child Replacement Program”



One of the grimmest sounding entries, this Pedigree advertisement is a bit of a bait-and-switch for empty nesters and dog-lovers. Just as you’re reaching for your tissues and thinking of ringing your parents, this campaign reminds you who man’s best friend is and just how replaceable we all are.


3. “The Ostrich”



Ostriches are well-known as one of the world’s flightless birds. Next to penguins, emus, and kiwis, they can’t use their wings, a evolutionary predicament which Samsung saw as an opportunity to advertise their new virtual reality goggles. They present us with the possibility of pursuing the impossible and encourage their viewers to #DoWhatYouCant.


2. “Refugee Nation”



Several advertisements at this year’s festival referenced the recent summer Olympics in Rio. Ogilvy New York and Amnesty International partnered to highlight an unprecedented that unfolded during the opening ceremony. For the first time in the event’s long history, a group of athletes representing the world’s refugee population marched under their own flag. An orange and black banner, representing the life preservers that so many had worn on their journey to safety, was carried and from that day forth began to symbolize refugees everywhere.


1. “Fearless Girl”



In celebration of International Women’s Day, McCann partnered with State Street Global Advisors to draw attention to what happens when women are in positions of leadership. Working with sculptor Kristen Visbel, they installed in the dead of night the statue of a young girl in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Facing Arturo Di Modica’s Charging Bull, this Fearless Girl became an overnight symbol of empowerment.

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Making Snap Decisions on What to Watch

Television used to disappear. Unless you had a VHS tape and a second VCR at the ready, there was no way to capture whatever was being screened. You had to wait for the episode to be shown again or wait until you could get your hands on a physical copy. In the past two decades, that process, that relationship between viewer and content has changed dramatically.


Technology gave rise to DVR, TiVo, Netflix. Suddenly, you could record the second season of Friends to watch later. Then you could stream the entire series directly from your TV. A small flood of applications, plugins, set-top boxes, and devices facilitated the shift away from traditional broadcasting and brought even the most reluctant viewer into this new digital age of television.

With a larger and larger audience collecting in the digital space, those same streaming services that brought TV online began creating content specifically for the internet. Hulu Originals, Netflix Originals, YouTube Red, and Amazon Video were all formed with the purpose of providing video content that could all be watched virtually anywhere and at any time. Television without the TV. There was no need to tune-in, no reason to ever miss an episode again. Entire seasons could be released at once and you could watch them simultaneously or a month later.


Since you no longer needed a primetime slot on a major network to garner an audience, there was nothing preventing creators from vying for absolutely everyone’s attention. Everyone with access to a screen would see your video. Television was in everyone’s pocket at all times. Or on their laptop, tablet, or even their good ol’ fashion tv.

So the question becomes with a dozen ways to tune-in, what to watch? Well, you could take 2 days 11 hours and binge watch all of Game of Thrones. Or you could take 27 minutes and catch a single High Maintenance? But you’re also a whole season behind on OITNB… The sheer possibility is overwhelming. We’re in the midst of a television renaissance, a new hit show is always premiering and you’re constantly catching up. Have you seen The Handmaiden’s Tale yet? Did you ever even get around to Silicon Valley?


Sometimes what you need is not twelve hours of television. You just need to tune-out for a minute and watch something. Perhaps mindlessly or just for a laugh. A light comedy, a nature documentary about an unlikely animal friendship, one of those how-it’s-made specials. You don’t have an hour or you don’t want to spend that long watching something. You just need a quick something while you’re waiting for your train, before you have to figure out what you’re doing for dinner, as you’re getting ready for bed.

This busy audience is perhaps who Time Warner was thinking of when they signed a $100 million deal with Snapchat. They then tasked the app, known for ephemeral, impermanent video, with creating almost a dozen original shows, each lasting only a few minutes.


Short form series, like Gayle or Broad City, have proven that you don’t need a full hour to convince an audience to come back next week. It’s the newest frontier in video making and may be another reason behind Time Warner’s decision to adapt some of it’s content to this medium. The company will pull from the HBO and Turner TV networks as well as the Warner Brothers studio to fill the channel. According to Nick Bell, vice president of content for Snapchat, the deal will mean branching “out into new genres, including scripted dramas, comedies, daily news shows, documentaries and beyond.”


With $100 million to fund its once flailing efforts, will Snapchat be able to change the viewing experience as streaming had done? Or will the advent of a scripted drama change the way in which the platform delivers content? Thankfully for Snapchat, we’ll just to tune-in to find out.

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Credibly – Case Study

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10 Films to Watch With Your Dad on Father’s Day

If you need something to do with dad this Father’s Day that doesn’t involve sports or grilling red meat, click on one of these classic films. From alien invaders to animated Disney classics, there’s something on this list for every father figure, be they sports fans, movie buffs, or just typical dads.


10. Signs


This sci-fi film is M. Night Shyamalan before he out Shyamalan-ed himself. It’s the suspenseful story of the Hess family, who barricade themselves on their homestead after what appears to be alien life lands in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Mel Gibson plays a struggling father, who relies on the help of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) to keep his children (Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin) safe during such strange and threatening times.




9. War of the Worlds


This modern take on an H.G. Wells novel stars Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier, another father desperately trying to keep his family safe in the face of an alien attack. Only this time there’s no farm to shelter on and the invaders, long-legged spidery creatures called Tripods, are actively looming over the cities, destroying everything in their path. If nothing else, it’ll remind you to review your own apocalypse-preparedness plans with your dad.




8. The Parent Trap


This 1998 remake of The Parent Trap features a post-Mean Girls Lindsay Lohan as both Hallie Parker and Annie James, twin daughters who were separated in their infancy. After they reunite unexpectedly at summer camp, the girls devise a plan to reconcile their father Nick Parker (Dennis Quaid) with their mother Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson) before he remarries. It’s an easy laugh that’ll have you questioning how far would you go to save your dad from a bad second marriage. I mean who needs a wicked stepmother anyway?




7. Finding Nemo


If you and your father are ok with openly crying in front of one another, check out Finding Nemo. It’s the film that not only ushered Disney into the digital era of animation, but also made everyone promptly call their fathers upon leaving the theater. Join Marlin, an anxiety-ridden clown fish, as he searches the great blue for this son, Nemo. Just be sure to bring the tissues.



6. Taken


Another breed of kidnapping film, Taken swaps the scuba divers in Finding Nemo for international criminals wanted by Interpol. The thriller kicks off after Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) learns that his daughter has been “taken” by these men while she was vacationing in Europe. Mills then reveals himself to be an ex-CIA agent, who is prepared to use his “very particular set of skills” to get her back.



5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade


The parent-saving-child narrative gets turned on its head for this installment of the Indiana Jones series. In it, viewers meet the original Dr. Henry Jones, the man who gave Indy his name. Only as we quickly learn, he’s gone missing. Indy must suddenly embark on a journey to find his father, played expertly by the only man capable of pulling off a tweed bucket hat Sean Connery, while also trying to locate the holy grail before the Nazis find it.



4. Interstellar


There’s lot of saving humanity on this list, so also be glad that you and your dad are just in charge of the hot dogs this weekend. Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey, as an astronaut farmer, who leaves earth to find another planet suitable for human life. Through time and space (and thanks to the power of love?) he teams up with his daughter to build a future home for not only their family, but the entirety of their species as well.



3. The Godfather


No one emphasizes the importance of family quite like the mob. In this Francis Ford Coppola cult favorite, Michael Corleone, the youngest son in an Italian-American crime family, must choose between the life he’s building and the life that was built for him. The story reminds us that while our father may ask us to clean the gutters, at least they doesn’t expect us to join the Mafia. We hope…



2. Road to Perdition


Ever find out something about your dad that changes your dynamic? Like the fact that he took ballet during those football glory years, or that he’s a better cook than your mom, or that he’s a skilled hitman? The latter was the fate of Peter Sullivan after he witnesses his father “at work” in the Road to Perdition. Explore their violence-ridden world and be thankful you don’t have as strained a father-son dynamic.




1. Father of the Bride


Think your folks have trouble letting you leave the nest? Imagine how your dad would react if you returned from college and a semester in Europe with not merely a brand new boyfriend, but instead a full-blown fiance? Watch as George Banks (the hilarious Steve Martin) panics as he is met with that exact situation. Banks desperately tries to come to terms with his daughter’s quickly approaching wedding as he prepares to give her away.




You and your father may not have fended off aliens, explored space, or escaped capture by treasure-hunting nazis, but there are few experiences more valuable than spending quality time with your dad. Even if neither of you liked the film, sitting down to watch something together sure beats buying him another tie. Happy Father’s Day.

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Squirrel- Case Study

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Simple tips for Creating Great Client Testimonial Videos

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Which video platform is best: Youtube, Wistia or Vimeo?

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Online Collaboration: What Tools Work Best to Keep Everyone on the Same Page

There are a lot of different programs out there that help teams communicate. But which process works best?

Online collaboration is a growing trend. You gain the talents and skills of people from around the world, without necessarily having them at a specific location during specific hours of the day. This means work is done during all hours at a pace comfortable for everyone.

But managing a team that’s widely spread out can be challenging. If there’s miscommunication, tasks may get left undone. Creating a sense of teamwork can also be an issue, if all people know of each other is a small headshot they see from time to time.

To help solve these problems, 11 members from YEC share their favorite collaboration tools for keeping telecommuting and remote employees on the same page.

1. Slack

It’s not quite as good as the real thing, but Slack seems to be as close as you can get to the rapport-building, casual brainstorming setting that typically only happens in a real-life context. The instantaneous back-and-forth and room-based communication makes it easy to keep people on the same page, for both very small details and larger goals. – Roger Lee, Captain401

2. Zoom

Remote communication tools like Slack and Trello are great, but when you are constantly communicating in writing, it’s easy to forget the importance of face-to-face communication. Utilizing great video messaging tools like Zoom will allow you to quickly set up team video chats. – Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product

3. Asana

At our firm, things move fast. To ensure that everyone is always on the same page, we make sure that all projects and tasks are fully documented and set up in Asana. This way, if someone is falling behind on some tasks, a fellow team member can easily see this and step in to help alleviate the workload. -Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile

4. Basecamp

I know Basecamp is an older tool, but it offers so much and makes it so easy to collaborate and maintain updated information on where projects stand. It provides a way to assign tasks to each person while also offering areas to communicate to get answers. – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

5. Email

Email gets a bad rap in 2017, but it remains the one tool we use day in, day out to communicate with a big remote team. Yes, it’s overused, and yes, Slack is wonderful. But nothing replaces email. – Richard Kershaw, WhoIsHostingThis.com

6. Trello

At our firm, we’re managing the writing, editing and publication of up to 200 books at a time. There are a lot of intricate details that need to be communicated back and forth between a lot of people. Trello is the best tool we’ve found to solve this. It’s extremely intuitive to use, easy to customize, and allows for a clear, visual update on any project at any time. – Zach Obront, Book in a Box

7. Wrike

Remote workers are extremely self-driven, so getting them on board is never an issue. However, these same individuals don’t work well in teams, so they need to be managed. I’ve been using Wrike for a while after using Basecamp, Asana and Trello. As a platform, it has a shorter learning curve and helps me manage all my teams, reducing the back and forth. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja

8. Screencasts

We utilize screencast tools in order to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands all our processes and procedures. Being a video production company, we know that a good visual is the best way to communicate and get our point across as well as hold someone’s attention. They’re easier to follow and understand than simple text directions. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

9. Skype

Skype works great, especially for any international remote workers. It’s reliable and free, making it easy for everyone to use. Plus, it can be used on desktop or mobile. – Zach Binder, Ipseity, Inc

10. Teamwork PM

While we do use video conferencing, Slack and other channels, Teamwork PM puts everyone on the same page when it comes to the actual product or deliverable. Teamwork and other project management tools simplify project collaboration and create accountability. This ensures that no matter where employees work from, the work gets done, gets done right and gets delivered on time. – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

11. Secure Cloud Document Storage

End-to-end secure cloud document storage makes a huge difference in how comfortable companies are with remote working. Being able to securely provide fully-encrypted access to sensitive documents, no matter where employees are in the world, is an efficiency and productivity game changer for companies who would otherwise be unable to use remote and telecommunicating employees. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

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The Costco Effect: Sampling Your Work to Make the Sale

By Stanley Meytin


Anyone who has a Costco membership knows the secret to a free lunch lies between aisles of jumbo-sized mayonnaise and economy bags of frozen egg rolls. The bulk superstore is renowned for free samples. Costco sample tasting tours are increasingly iconic in American food culture. But beyond all the foot traffic, Costco gets from deal seekers, it’s onto something smart with its free bites. Food samples, in some cases, have led to a 2,000 percent increase in sales. The human brain is wired to automate behavioral patterns. The more actions and decisions we make habitual, the less time our brains have to spend figuring them out, leaving more capacity for new ideas and challenges. It’s the same reason most of us typically walk out of the grocery store with a shopping cart that looks very similar to our last several trips. Free samples interrupt the typical shopping experience in such a way that many customers break their normal habits and add a novel product to their cart.

The same logic can be applied to making a sale in other industries. That’s how we’ve found our own version of Costco sampling can play a role. At my film production company, if we see an opportunity for a brand to better itself through video content, but have trouble bringing it on board, we put our money where our (free ravioli chewing) mouths are and produce a video for them for free. We’re on a mission to show corporate leaders how video can play a powerful role in their marketing strategies. Though video has been written up in publication after publication as the future of content marketing, it’s still a novel medium for many businesses. Convincing budget holders of video’s ROI can at times be an uphill battle because it requires breaking a previously-defined habit.

Investing your own money into free content for some may sound counterintuitive, but this bold move has served us well. By demonstrating the quality and power of our work, we’ve been able to earn both the trust and business of new partners who otherwise would have overlooked their own necessity for video content. In terms of strategy, it’s about showing your potential clients why your product is the best and how it will make their lives easier by providing a sample they’re able to utilize immediately and see the benefits firsthand.

Appealing to human behavior doesn’t stop at trying to break routines: In the 1960s, the Hare Krishnas were having a hard time raising money for their religion. Their solution was to set up in busy public areas and press small gifts, like a flower, into the hands of passersby. Once the item was in hand, they’d ask for a donation. The strategy played on the reciprocity effect: a hard-wired and socially-reinforced obligation to give to those who’ve given to us.

You can see the reciprocity effect in action in any number of daily ways — from the receiving and sending of holiday cards to the feeling that you should attend the wedding of a friend who attended yours. While we would never want a client to choose to do business with us out of obligation alone, the reciprocity effect can help in (at least) earning an audience. Once we’ve created free content for a partner, they are more likely to give us their time and attention so we can then work on closing their businesses through demonstration of quality and validity of our services.

It’s important to remember that not every free sample will result in a sale — and the cost of a toothpick-sized bite of pizza is likely a lot less than the cost of your product. But when you feel strongly about a potential partner, using a sample strategy may just work to win them over. Once you do that, you can take the team out to Costco to celebrate — no charge.

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Facebook Live: Now the Single Most Essential Video Marketing Tool

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