i get all twittery just thinking about it…

do you tweet? tweedee tweets. we got on the twitter band wagon quite a while ago. it was part of our early social networking plans (along with blogging, facebook and our vnl). why? we wanted to be able to talk about and advise our clients when they asked about social networking or marketing trends. at first, i admit, it was a bit odd to just write short tidbits of info or re-tweet interesting things from people we follow, but now twitter has become something much more. we’re not the lone wolf any longer. over the past year more of our clients, potential clients & vendors began tweeting. twitter has become a great way for us to keep in touch and share. for example…. yesterday steve wrapped up a video for a client & sent them to our ftp

sandy thinks honesty is the best policy.

sandy is trying to stay trendy.

for review. they loved it (steve rocks) and immediately posted it to their web site – and they immediately tweeted about it! so, of course, once i noticed their tweet – i re-tweeted it. this helps them and us get exposure. and it lets our client know we are paying attention – passing on the love.
tweedee twitters 3-5 times per day. i usually schedule these tweets the night before or in the morning on hootsuite. then i check our twitter site a couple times a day to see if anyone is corresponding with us. so, in total, i probably spend 5 minutes a day updating twitter.

i guess i look at twitter like i look at all of our marketing tools: practice what you preach.  twitter is social, current, now… so if you have a twitter account use it.  i can’t suggest a client use twitter and then never update our own page.
granted, tweedee productions is not pam anderson or jet blue with thousands of followers, but we do have followers. so join in the fun – if you follow us, we’ll follow you!

Telling the Story

My husband is a big fan of the Discovery Channel’s show MythBusters.  We don’t have cable, but he recently discovered he can watch some episodes instantly through Netflix.  So he’s been watching MythBusters.  And on occasion, I watch along with him.

I, too, like the show, though not quite as much as he does.  If you’ve never watched it, allow me to bring you up to speed.  MythBusters sets out to either bust or confirm various myths or urban legends.  According to the website: “Hosted by Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage — and co-hosted by Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara — the MYTHBUSTERS mix scientific method with gleeful curiosity and plain old-fashioned ingenuity to create their own signature style of explosive experimentation.”  I like the show because they investigate some pretty interesting topics, but even more than that, they tell a great story.  Each episode starts with an explanation of the myth or myths that will be explored and ends with a summary of what conclusions can be drawn from their experimentation.  Often, as they are investigating a myth, they will get sidetracked, and on rare occasions, someone will fully investigate the tangent, leaving the rest of the team to explore the original myth.

I came across an interview with the two main MythBusters, Adam and Jamie, this morning, and I was surprised when they referred to telling a good story.  After all, these guys are just trying to prove or disprove some urban legends, right?  Here’s the excerpt:

Sometimes, it seems like what you wind up investigating isn’t the same thing you were originally testing. For instance, testing skunk-smell removal methods wound up being as much about trying to get skunks to spray you in the first place as it was about how to rid yourself of skunk smells. How much do you veer off onto different paths when they come up?

Adam: Well, you’ve honed in on what I think is the single most favorite part, for both me and Jamie, about doing the show. Which is that the narrative really is guided by what we’re interested in determining. And that is also informed by our desire to answer the original question we set out to answer, but if there are other things along the road that help to illuminate something for us, we’ll absolutely make sure that gets into the episode. And that’s fantastic, because it’s not like you’re leaving a bunch of stuff along the wayside that you’d like to be tackling; we’re tackling all of that.

Jamie: It does, however, cause a bit of a conflict here from time to time. In particular, I’m notorious among the staff here for being much more interested in the little side trips that we run across than the central story, and we have to be able to tell a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and is relevant. So production’s not about to let us just get halfway through something and then do something else.

So it does highlight the fact that that is, really, often the most interesting part of what we’re doing, is the little tangents on the side.

Both of them say that they’re telling a story in each episode and with each investigation.  In case you missed it, Adam says, “the narrative really is guided by what we’re interested in determining,” and Jamie adds, “we have to be able to tell a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end.”  Jamie goes on to say that “production’s not about to let us just get halfway through something and then do something else.”

I think it’s great that they are aware of the story they are telling.  And they allow themselves to get off track without venturing too far.  Or rather, they trust their production team to keep them on track, telling the story they started to tell.  That’s what a good production team does: it lets you tell your own story by helping you figure out what story you want to tell and then making sure you don’t start telling a different one.

Those MythBusters guys are so funny!

OK! I talked me into it!

Well, I took the plunge.  I made the leap.  I threw all common sense to the wind and got a smart phone.  A SMART PHONE!  It makes me feel smart just to say the name – Droid Eris.  “Why yes, I have the Droid Eris.”  

But, will it make me smarter?  Will I work and live smarter?  It’s only A PHONE!  

I don’t need a smart phone.  In renewing our cell phone contract, I could have gotten a new, simple, easy to use cell phone.  But then, I don’t need an electric garage door opener either.  But it is sure nice to have when it’s pouring rain or the temperature is 20 below!  

So I talked myself into it.  Really, once I heard my arguments for getting one, I was convinced.  With more and more ways to watch video either on the internet or on mobile devices, I need to understand video delivery technology.  I need to understand what the buzz is all about.  After all, Tweedee Productions is in the video content production business.  I better know how all this stuff works.  

Mac Chorlton, our business development guy, has had a Blackberry for a couple of years now.  He understood the potential right away.  I remember the day he got it – he was all excited.  He explained how quickly and easily he could show someone one of our videos at a networking or sales event.  Image that you’re at a cocktail party and someone asks you what your company does.  You get that “why, I’m glad you asked me” smile on your face as you whip out your smart phone and play for them a short video that explains your product or service in three minutes or less.  Brilliant!  Instant emotional connection. 

Now, if I could only figure out what this button does…  

Gregg Schieve trying to figure out his new smart phone.

Video Art Emotional Brand Connecting the Dots

If you’ve never believed Emotional Branding is part of your company or your client’s landscape, you’re wrong. If there’s an opinion of your service, product, business, etc. then there’s an emotional awareness that can be labeled as Emotional Branding. What is the customer’s perception?

Like a piece of artwork, you view it and walk away with an interpretation. When I look at Bruce Charlesworth’s new video installation at Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I can stare at it forever and help myself understand what I’m viewing. I’m looking at this thing and I can interpret so many things from it. I guess that’s what art is. Taking a message and interpreting it to your liking.

So what will your video convey? What will the viewing walk away saying? Do you let the viewer interpret or will you feed them the message.

When you struggle to connect dots, turn to creative, storytelling techniques that allow interpretation. Many Americans are sorting out what the FIFA World Cup will play in our culture. How we celebrate it (or not) or root for the U.S. team (or not) is to be determined. It seems to be on a precipice of being entirely welcomed to our sports culture but, until it is, advertisers are struggling to pigeonhole what this game is. Who is watching it and how are we watching it?

Sometimes it’s difficult to connect the dots from your brand into an event or special that, you feel, can work well. Leave the interpretation up to the audience. Home Depot cut a spot for the FIFA World Cup that bring them together in a way that leaves the audience to infer everything. And it works beautifully.

Some say that audience doesn’t know what it wants. I agree but they will sometimes look for what it likes if you leave it to their judgement.

Steve Donovan, Senior Editor, 19 time marathon finisher