The World of Drone Photography

I am a huge proponent of drones — the photography kind of drone, not the warfare kind. The photography drone market has exploded in the past few years with these devices now easily accessible to almost all consumers. The "cheap" price tag (some drones are inexpensive, while others are very, very expensive) and capabilities of this new technology have helped the boom exponentially.

Drones have many advantages for filmmakers, video producers, farmers (it makes crop surveying much easier) and so many more fields of expertise. Drones are constantly evolving with many now offering 4K capabilities, GPS/satellite positioning, and so much more. Aside from all of that, they are really fun to fly.

Some of my favorite moments as a filmmaker have been flying a drone. The perspective is unlike what most people ever get to experience. Here is one of my favorite videos I created using a drone on a summer evening in St. Paul. 

I came across a video the other day which showcases some of the possibilities for the future of drone technology. I was blown away by some of the ideas. Some of these concepts make me even more excited to fly drones in the coming years. 

One of the cooler things I noticed is how these futuristic drones will take off, simply by throwing them into the air instead of having to slowly take off from a flat surface. While some UAVs already have this technology, those drones are not on the professional type level just yet. 

Another really awesome feature I noticed is the drones working in tandem with one another, synched via a phone or a tablet, and turned into an aerial filmmaking crew. The drones fluid movement can follow moving subjects, which makes them ideal for action sequences, landscape shots and so much more. Imagine the possibilities for future filmmakers being able to coordinate drone movements to a level of precision of a team of skilled camera operators.

The drones will have the ability to avoid obstacles like the intelligent vehicles on the road today. I know that I've had issues dodging a tree branch from time to time in my flying exploits; it's never fun to hear that sound of the propellors hitting something and watching your drone crash to the ground. 

Another feature the video alludes to is a "sky paint" feature which enables the user to create color smoke designs within the blue backdrop like an airplane pilot writing messages in the sky. I don't find this terribly interesting from a filmmaking perspective, but I'm sure this would appeal to a segment of the market. 

I for one cannot wait for basic features of the drone, like battery life, to become much better. Right now most drones have a flight time of under 30 minutes, limited by their battery life -- I'd love to see drones be able to sustain much longer flights for those days when you have a lot more to capture. But it's fun to imagine some of the more grand possibilities for the future of drones. 

If you or anyone you know needs aerial coverage, send them in the direction of Cloud Media. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page. 

Getting Professional Coverage For Your Big Events

Hiring an event photographer or videographer is always a good idea if you have a big gathering with lots of guests, possible VIPs and one-time happenings. I'd even argue, it's a must.

Many events have special speakers, presentations, discussions and plenty of one-on-one interactions. With all that's going on, it's no surprise that events regularly proceed at a blazing pace; before you know it, the event is over.  

That's why it's always a good idea to hire an event photographer or videographer to cover everything going on during the event. 

A perfect example of an unforgettable live event is a wedding. Throughout the day, there are so many special, wonderful event between family and friends. There is so much going on that the bride and groom miss. There are the vows during the ceremony, the speeches and first dances during the reception and so much more. All these special moments are captured because almost all couples hire a photographer and many more are starting to hire videographers for their weddings. 

Why would your special event be any different? If there is a special corporate event with a high profile keynote speaker, why wouldn't you want professional quality photos? If your company is hosting a family day, why not showcase the your employees enjoying the fun and entertainment? These type of company events have so much to showcase, it's never a bad idea to capture everything. 

Videography can be especially useful for certain live events. With important speeches or keynote speakers, videographers can capture quality video as well as premium audio to perfectly showcase every word and syllable from an event. This allows for those who were not there to be able to experience important events. This content can be sent around a company internally, be spread online for marketing purposes and so much more. 

Big events come and go in the blink of an eye; just like a wedding that is filled with an assortment of guests and non-stop events, the same can be said about any live event or business gathering. Make sure if you have any important events coming up, you hire professionals to capture every moment. At Cloud Media, we specialize in event coverage and can tackle any gathering, large or small. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

5 Vital Things to Consider When Choosing your Brand Name

brand name

“What’s in a name?,” Shakespeare once asked.

Tons, actually. Recognition, recall, identity, and reputation are on top of the list.

Your brand name is an extension of your brand. Think of it as a tattoo - lasting and pervasive and whose influence affects brand perception for life. It doesn't wash off. 

It's more than just a name, it’s a personality, an answer, a promise. In fact, a 2008 consumer survey by Ad-ology tells that 80 percent of online consumers base their purchasing decisions on brand name alone.

As a company that eats client branding conundrums for breakfast, we deal with countless brand name suggestions from clients every day: from utterly brilliant to downright naughty or unimaginable.

To get you started, we round up five crucial considerations for naming your brand.

1.     Does it stick?

When you think of huge brands like Apple, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Nike, you’ll notice a trend: the names stick.

There’s a secret to making brand names catchy and memorable, and they’re a combination of an elaborate name-picking process to ensure names are:

Easily spelled

You want a name that your target market can easily key in on search pages. Complex and confusing names are prone to spelling errors and make it difficult for people to find your business on the web. Worse, they land on your competitor’s page.

Easily pronounced

Pretend you’re a sales rep answering a call for your company. Read your name list out loud. Do the names sound great during a call? If you’re getting tongue-tied pronouncing one, scrap it out of the list. Mispronunciations defeat the very purpose of naming.

Short enough to remember

Fact: people remember shorter names than long ones. Don’t turn your brand name into a struggle for your audience. If it’s long, make sure an abbreviation is available (e.g. P&G for Procter & Gamble, AA for American Airlines, Mitsubishi for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation). Spread the word. Don’t leave the decision to truncate to consumers.

2.     How does it translate to visuals?

Research shows that consumers can better identify brands with unique visual logos and images. In fact, one marketing study reveals that as much as 62 to 90 percent of people judge brands based on the product color alone.

Visuals create emotional triggers. As a brand, your task is to come up with a logo that stands out while fostering a pleasant emotional connection.

Consider these key points about your consumers when drafting a logo.

Gender preferences: Blue is most preferred by consumers of both sexes, with 57% of males and 35% of females considering it their favorite color, followed by green (14%) and purple (35%) respectively.

The power of red: In many A/B tests, marketers find a 50 to 60 percent increase in conversions for hyperlinks or click buttons in red compared to other colors like green.

General effect of colors on emotions: Based on numerous studies, the following color-emotion associations are true for most consumers:

 

Red: boldness, youth, vitality, vigor

Gray: neutrality, balance

Yellow: Optimism, warmth

Green: Vitality, peace, growth

Blue: Trustworthiness, strength, reliability

Orange: Friendliness, optimism, esteem

Purple: Imagination, wisdom

3.     Is it something you can claim and protect?

Imagine building your name for years only to receive lawsuits later on by a company who has the same name then starting again from scratch.

Taking steps to protect your brand name prevents legal issues in the long term. Choose one that’s unique and isn’t trademarked or used by another brand. That way, you not only declare it as proprietary, but that you are not infringing on another’s intellectual property. It also prevents other businesses from gaining ownership of the name in the future, and that alone could save you heaps of money and headache.

4.     Can you get an exclusive URL under it?

Consider how your brand name will affect your digital marketing efforts. If you are going to build a website for it (and you should), make sure that the domain name doesn’t exist yet. Acquiring a domain name that matches your business name is critical for keeping your branding strategy uniform across all platforms. Use free sites like NameChk to determine the availability of a URL.

Additionally, studies show that users remember domain names that are only seven syllables or less, so make sure to incorporate that in your strategy too.

5.     Does it accomplish your objectives as a brand?

What do you intend to accomplish? Is the name aligned with the company’s core values, mission-vision statement, and goals? Brand names should stand for what your product or service is and should clearly define what you want to convey.

You want people to identify with the name in a positive light regardless of what region, culture, or language they belong to, especially if global expansion is on the table.

Often, brand names represent the following:

  • Company founder e.g. Walt Disney

  • Company activity or industry e.g. British Airlines

  • A concrete experience e.g. Greenpeace

  • Word association e.g. Google

When choosing a name that will forever represent your brand, choose one that will bring you close to your target audience; one that they can find, remember, and share with others easily and without errors. Greater success happens when you do.

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

 

Advertising Market Stays Strong, But Constantly Changing

Advertising will never go away; it will die in some markets, change in others, but it will always have a place in a world filled with active consumers. The world of media has been trending away from some of the staple forms of advertising in recent decades, like newspaper, magazine and even television advertising. Even despite this, American media spending on advertising dollars rose 6% in September 2015 compared to September 2014, according to Standard Media Index (which tracks 80% of all the U.S. media spending through billing systems tied to national media agencies). 

As you might expect to see, digital media reported a major gain, up 29% from the same month last year. This comes as no surprise because advertising will always shift to where people are looking. As more and more people use the Internet every day in their busy lives, advertising online will need to be more and more creative to break through all the noise

Surprisingly, advertisement in newspapers was up 18% compared to the same month last year, which goes to show that even this dying medium still has a pulse in our culture. While younger generations read news on their devices, newspapers still have a place in our world. But within the same world, magazine advertisements were down 11% this month compared to last year. With magazine subscriptions plummeting faster than newspaper readership, it's predictable that advertising dollars would follow suit. 

Radio advertising dollars were also down 3% compared to last September. 

Even with the start of the television season, where many networks try out new shows and debut fan favorites, which brings a large spike in viewership, TV advertising dollars were also down 4% this September. Cable, broadcast TV and spot TV all showed declining numbers compared to last year. With advancing technology, viewers are watching their favorite shows in a myriad of different ways.

Many consumers have DVR systems, which allows them to record shows and skip the commercials altogether. This means ads are completely being missed by target audiences, which means the ad industry has had to figure out new ways to reach those audience members. 

Overall, the SMI reports a 9% improvement in the total ad market. While the digital ad market continues to grow and innovate, other, more dated advertising streams are in decline. But as the numbers prove, having a digital footprint for your business or product is more important than ever.

Most think of digital advertising simply being ads before a YouTube video; but that is not always the case, as digital advertising can be a variety of videos posted on a business website. It's crucial that your target audiences have a profile video or mission statement to view when visiting your site. These types of videos are the ones that are breaking through the clutter, because your audience is actively seeking more information about your company. It's important to have a professional style video to not only showcase your business or product, but to give the audience the impression that your business is a respectable establishment. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

 

 

WikiLeaks Reveals Terrifying Information About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

 

This article is from the website Fight for the Future. This very important information compiled below shows just how much the Internet could change in the coming years. Read the article and take action if you feel compelled. 


Last week, WikiLeaks released the final text of the TPP’s intellectual property rights chapter and it is absolutely terrifying.
These are just a few of its most dangerous pieces:
Compel ISPs to take down websites without any sort of court order, just like SOPA. (Appendix Section I)
Extend the US’s copyright regime to require copyrights stand for life plus 70 years, preventing anyone from using works that belong in the public domain. (Article QQ.G.6)
Criminalize whistleblowing by extending trade secrets laws without any mandatory exemptions for whistleblowers or investigative journalists. (QQ.H.8)
End anonymity online by forcing every domain name to be associated with a real name and address. (Article QQ.C.12)
Make it illegal to unlock, modify, or generally tinker with a device you own. (Article QQ.G.10)
Export the US’s broken copyright policies to the rest of the world without expanding any of the free speech protections, like fair use. (Article QQ.G.17)
The worst part is that this is just one of the TPP’s 30 chapters.
The final text confirms our worst fears — click here to take action demanding Congress vote NO on the TPP.
For years, governments have held critics of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in a perfect catch 22. Officials brushed off public outcry and concern by claiming that the dissenters didn’t have all the facts.
This was by design—the 12 country trade deal was negotiated entirely behind closed doors by industry lobbyists and government appointees, and even now the text of the agreement is still classified.
But late last week, WikiLeaks released the final text of the Intellectual Property chapter, meaning those excuses won’t work anymore.
We’re planning to go all out against the TPP, but the first step is to make sure Congress knows just how many people oppose the TPP.
Click here to take action demanding Congress vote NO on the TPP.
Taking action today is just the beginning, because if all we do is send emails and make phone calls, Congress is not going to reject the TPP. Too many giant industries are seriously invested in making sure Congress ratifies the TPP.
If we’re going to win, we need to go big. Which is exactly what we’re going to do.
So take action right now. Contact your Congresspeople now and tell them to vote against the TPP. Then get ready to do more because we’re going to unleash some of our strongest campaigns ever.
Already we have plans to work with hundreds of different groups as a massive coalition to fight the TPP, coordinate gigantic on-the-ground protests in key cities across the country, and produce compelling content to spread the word to as many different audiences as possible just what is at stake in the TPP.
To do all that, we need your help — if you can, pledge to chip in $5 every month between now and when the TPP fight ends so that we can run our biggest, boldest, and best campaign yet.
Thanks for all you do,
Charlie
P.S. Want to read the text of the chapter for yourself? Check it out on WikiLeaks here, or read their overview of it here. It’s long and complicated, so maybe you'll see something that we didn't. If you do, send us an email.
Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.
You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page.

Two Keys to Video Advertisement Success

When most of us go on YouTube or try to watch the latest online videos, we do our best to skip over the ads that precede our desired content. But every now and then, a video will catch your eye and you'll sit and watch the ad before realizing you can move onto that new music video you've been dying to see. I know I get caught up in an ad when there are compelling images that grab my attention or the beginning to a story that I want to know how it ends (even if it is just an advertisement).

Not all ads are created equal, and the top ten most watched advertisements on YouTube this past September show just that. What made these ads the most successful?

Aside from the fact that many of these ads are for big companies with a mountain of brand recognition, these ads mostly share two things: striking imagery and quality storytelling. These advertisements grab their audiences' attention out of the gate, because they know their window to grab you is very small.

With advertisements saturating the world we live in, it gets harder and harder to grab the attention of an audience. That is why these two components are so important when considering successful advertisement. As a company, you want to catch the attention of the audience immediately; you want to convince them to keep watching. Well, not every company has brand recognition or millions of dollars to spend on a massive advertising campaign. 

Well, that's where quality storytelling and striking imagery come into play. You don't need a big budget to work within those parameters, you really just need professionals who can help deliver those concepts. Sometimes simple ideas are the best stories. 

The next time you find yourself really watching an advertisement, stop and think why it has your full attention. Is it because the story is funny or dramatic? Is it because you were pulled in by the beautiful or striking images? Consider these elements of successful advertising when you find ads you actually enjoy or make you laugh. 

These two components are what we work to hone in on at Cloud Media; we have a team of professionals who know the keys to advertising, can craft quality stories to help your brand and technicians who can make it all come to life in a compelling way. Shoot us a line if you ever have any questions or needs in this field; we love taking on new projects and meeting new people. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

 

3 Success-Driving Factors in Advertising

keytoadvertising

CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES ARE NOW MORE EMPOWERED AND KEENER ABOUT THEIR DESIRES AND NEEDS. CAN YOU AFFORD FOR YOUR MESSAGE WILL JUST GET LOST AMONG A THOUSAND OTHERS?

When it comes to raising brand awareness, one of the biggest challenges for businesses is breaking through. In this age of information oversupply, traditional self-extoling ads are not just considered passe’; they’re also ignored.

We’ve discovered three factors audiences worldwide are searching for; things that when employed, can catapult any brand or campaign to guaranteed results.

1.    Powerful, emotion-stirring imagery

Statistics show that promo materials elicit better engagement when integrated with visuals like videos and photos. In fact, a 2010 survey by Internet Retailer reveals that consumers who view promotional videos are 85 percent more likely to take action than consumers who don’t.

The best ones though are those that don’t just use rich visuals, but also possess a strong emotional theme. Be it happiness, anger, sadness, or glory, one thing’s for sure: beautiful images that evoke emotions bear a larger impact than the average marketing ad.

2.     Human experience

People respond more positively to brand campaigns that reflect day-to-day life: candid moments, real people. Authenticity tremendously effect emotions. To portray real-life experience, try starting with a story built around a single character or single message.

3.    Relevance

Whether you’re in the exotic east or in the ultra-modern western society, you’ll find it easier to influence perception if you’re culturally relatable. Diversity and social relevance are sensitive issues, and consumers tend to form a deeper connection with brands that understand those sensibilities.

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

Boost Search Rankings, Brand Recognition, and Increase Sales with Professionally Produced Online Video Content

Not everyone realizes the most visited social media site on the web is now Youtube. That means Google owns the two most prominent search engines on the internet. Think you can ignore video as part of your marketing strategy? Think again. Check out this fun animated video we created for a bit more info. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page

Disrupting Your Audience Is A Good Thing

stand out from the crowd

In today’s ever-evolving, virtually driven media landscape, audiences are growing wiser about the media they consume. Now, more than ever, they have the power and control to choose only the messages that they want to see and hear. 

Gone are the days when all businesses have to do is to simply broadcast their message and the audience will listen. The traditional “tell and praise” formula just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Your audience is being pulled into all directions. Look at me. Click me. Watch me. Pick me. Buy me.

The question is, are you disrupting enough for them to choose your message amid the digital noise?  

We believe that business is personal, and that to communicate well we have to remember that every message is being seen, heard, or felt by another person. Messages must always aim for the heart, but with an understanding that we must go through many layers to get there.

Our mantra: create, disrupt, engage.

Start with the brand

Quality content starts at the brand and the brand promise first. You should not promise what you cannot deliver. Customers will learn and customers will tell. If the story customers are telling is different from yours, remember the marketplace always wins. 

Build the story

Once the brand speaks the truth you want to tell, the next step is to create the content prepped for various marketing channels. A proper strategy engages the modern consumer on several levels, with several interwoven key messages. Businesses must keep in mind it's not all about the sale. It's about value. The basic proposition of the marketplace is after all - if you build something of value, the sales will come. 

Execute the strategy

A strong brand and quality content lead to a foundation of a proper strategy. In fact the three items are completely intertwined. However a perfect brand and outstanding content are nothing without one final key ingredient. Action. With a focus on revenue and ROI, ongoing communications, continuous iterations, and regular tweaking are necessary to continue the converting those not ready to buy to true believers and evangelists of your brand. 

Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.

You can learn more about the creative work we do or feel free to reach out directly on our contact page