The Conceptual Creative Process

The Conceptual Creative Process

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Take any man-made wonder for example. The Great Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Sistine Chapel etc… all of these remarkable accomplishments had to be mentally and visually created before being accomplished. In other words, someone had to think these things up before they were made. I believe any artist, whether they be sketching or preemptively visualizing, goes through a conceptual creative process. The world literally looks the way it does today because of this process being successfully actualized through creators minds over the course of thousands of years.

Not in all cases, but in most, the success of any art form is derived heavily from the conceptual creative process. This is why this process is so critical when trying to create an effective end result, whether that be constructing a building or styling someone’s hair. Whenever I start a new visual project, I like to do several things. First I like to sit down and brainstorm ideas, often times with the client. This helps me gain a better understanding of what needs to be included in the final product. Sometimes clients aren’t sure what they want so be prepared with visual ideas and be sure to ask lots of questions. Second I like to add fuel to the “creative fire” by gathering and absorbing materials that inspire me. For example, listening to music and gathering ideas from other types of media. Everyone is inspired by different things so this may be different for everyone.  And third, I usually create a rough storyboard containing visuals and descriptions of what I plan to create.

These three things are in no way an exhaustive list, every creator is different. However, at Ydraw we have found this process to work really well for our videos. As you start the creative process you may discover that some steps work better for you than others so make sure to experiment and find what works best for you.  However you may decide to carry out your own conceptual creative process, do it! By taking the time to plan out your next creation beforehand, you will increase the effectiveness of the final product.

Written by Brenden Nelson -Ydraw Video Animator

The Power of Motion Graphics

So what are Motion Graphics and why should you use them? “Motion Graphics” is just a fancy term used to describe a mix between graphic design and animation. Most motion graphic videos you will see these days are purpose driven with the goal of presenting information to the viewer.

There are many reasons why you should choose to advertise or explain with Motion Graphics, the biggest reason being emotional response. Video creates an emotional connection with the person watching far quicker than any other content platform. Did you know that using video on your landing page could increase conversion rates by as much as 80%? Animated marketing videos in particular are a very useful tool to deliver your business idea in just a couple of seconds.

Another reason why Motion Graphics are the way to go is because it is perfect to explain a complex or abstract idea in a very simple, fast and compelling way. With an Internet attention span continuously decreasing this is a very valuable point to mention.

There are literally no limits when it comes to the creative aspect of Motion Graphics. You want a flying monkey in your video? Here’s a flying monkey. You want a man scuba diving off the coast of Bermuda with Great White Sharks? No problem the video can be created quickly and on a budget without the hassle of creating expensive sets and hiring film crews/actors.

Motion Graphics are extremely effective because we are all visual learners. People learn and understand much more efficiently when they are taught with the help of drawings, diagrams, charts and different designs.

If you are trying to determine how to create your next marketing video just remember, Motion Graphics is the way to go. There are literally no limits to what you can show with Motion Graphics. But more importantly, your audience will connect with the information or product you are presenting quickly and effectively.

Check out one our latest and greatest Motion Graphic videos below:

How To Keep Your Audience Interested Through HUMOR!

What makes things funny? Our own sense of humor isn’t always funny to the guy sitting next to us. So, let’s look at a few simple principles used in Improv to make your video funny to all of your audience!

First and foremost, there is TRUTH in COMEDY! The funny comes from the experiences we have all had in our lives. Think about sitcoms, why do they work? They take something so simple, like everyday life and exploit it. The ups and downs of dating and heartbreak or fighting for that perfect job, only to find out that it isn’t so perfect. But where does the comedy come from?

The funny comes from the unexpected. The moments of truth. It comes from showing not telling. We have all been there…the time in the grocery store when two people are having a conversation in public and you can’t help but listen, even though you know the topic should have probably been left at home…yeah that stuff.

So let’s take a look at this funny scenario….

We see two shadowy figures digging holes in a graveyard. It’s dark, but we can see that there’s a body behind them. It appears that they are covering up a murder! The scene is quite grim and creepy… so how is this funny? The car lights flicker on and we get a better look of the situation… only to reveal…two clowns? Okay, now this is way more terrifying, but their must be more to the story… so as we get closer, we overhear…

Clown 1:“Look Stan, all I’m saying is I’m sorry she left you. You deserve better!”

Clown 2:“You know Joe I just don’t understand, I did everything I could to make her happy.”

Clown 1:“Hey, you know,  it’s okay if you want to cry. It’s just us brother.”

Clown 2: (in tears) “Life is just so unfair! But hey how’s the wife and kids?”

Clown 1: “They’re real good. Sally just started walking…”

The conversation continues as they are digging a shallow grave wearing their clown costumes. So, we know they are clowns, we know they are friends, and we know what happened…but they don’t have to tell us that they murdered this guy. We just know! If we focused on the body, or what happened the scene would drag on, the audience would get board with details and information that they don’t need.

This scenario leads us to the truth of comedy…Relatability!

Think about how you feel when you pop bubble wrap.  Did that put a smile on your face just thinking about it?  How about when you scoop peanut butter from a freshly open jar, yeah there’s that satisfaction face. See how easy it is to relate? All you have to do is capture a moment when someone has used your product in such a way that it brings a clear feeling to your audience.

Just remember that comedy is subjective, but so is being bored out of your seat.  By using these tried and true principles of Improv Comedy, you can help your audience laugh at the unexpected, learn about your great product/service and keep them interested and wanting more.

So, let’s get out there and take a fresh approach to comedy, and whatever you do, if you see two clowns walking your way…RUN!

3 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR ART STYLE: To Take Your Video from Vapid to Viral

 

Everyone wants a viral video. In fact, that’s what most of our clients ask for when they come to us. But, when it’s time to look at our Art Styles page – many clients panic and think,

 “What if I choose the wrong one?”

That’s why we are going to talk about the difference that art choice can make to your video and a few things to think about when choosing yours. Because although we pride ourselves on working with the most talented artists in the industry – that doesn’t mean that every one of them is the best choice for your project.

Let me tell you a short story.

Once upon a time, a client named Booz Allen came to us for their first whiteboard animation video. They are a serious, respected firm with very serious, important clients. Even though this video was internal, they wanted it to be serious, professional, and aspirational.

But, there was just one thing.

Their Scriptwriter had a gut instinct – what if we juxtaposed the informational tone of the script with a fun, unexpected art style like Calvin & Hobbes to create a surprise effect?

Well, Booz Allen decided to go with Semi-Realistic instead. Here’s the first scene from the first set of images delivered by their choice of artist:

 

This works. It gets the job done. However, Booz Allen isn’t in the business of just getting the job done. So, they made the command decision to switch artists (for a small fee).

Here’s the first scene again – with the exact same script – rendered in the Calvin & Hobbes style:

Now THAT’s memorable!

Just using a different art style brings the script to life in a completely new way.

In fact, this style was such a huge hit –they have made dozens of videos since in this style.

This is a perfect example of how the right art style can truly elevate a project.

So, what should you consider when choosing the art style for your project?

Here are 3 things to consider:

  1. TONE/MOOD:

What is the tone of your script – what feelings does the voiceover evoke? And, what do you want the mood to be of your video? Some examples might by light-hearted and humorous. Other scripts are heavy, covering more serious subject matter. Or, maybe you just want an approachable, informational tone. For example, this video we made for Volunteers of America was designed to be beautiful, moving and inspiring. Using our YPaint style, the images are digitally revealed and we incorporated an animated fine line connecting them to support this vision:

 

  1. ELEMENT OF SURPRISE:

Now, just because your tone and mood are serious – doesn’t mean your art style has to be! By using an unexpected pairing, you create the element of surprise! Examples of this could be the Booz Allen video – which pairs a fun, youthful art style with serious internal subject matter. Or, take a look at this video for the marketing company, Ribyt. They used color to create an element of surprise, by staying all B&W except for their brands green.

 

 

Another way to create an element of surprise is to use a mixed-media approach, by combining different types of video footage. In this case, Vital Smarts used a mixture of live video and whiteboard animation:

 

  1. AUDIENCE:

Sometimes the right art style is the one that will appeal most to your audience.

Ask yourself, “What would my target consumer want to see?”

After all, you’re making this video for them, right?

That’s exactly what our client, Wilson Electronics, had in mind when we created this short, one-scene video in our Cartoony style to capture the feeling that people have when they realize their cell phone signal hasn’t been working:

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Be willing to think outside the box when choosing an artist!

The right art style will pair perfectly with your script and grab the attention of your audience.

We love working with our clients to discuss options, send samples, and help guide you to choosing the perfect art style for your project.

How biology can help you make better videos!

Lets face it…

At one point or another, each of us have had that gut feeling that defies the facts and numbers. When everything looks right on paper but for some reason it just doesn’t “feel” right.

So where does that feeling come from?

Contrary to what you may be thinking, it actually comes from the BRAIN!

Simon Sinek, a British-American author and motivational speaker, does a great job explaining this in his book called “Start with Why.”

He talks about the two parts of your brain

The Neocortex or “the what” and the Limbic or “the why”

The Neocortex being responsible for our rational and analytical thought and language and the Limbic being responsible for our feelings, behavior and decision making. He also talks about how our Limbic brain has no capacity for language.

What this means is the part of our brain that DRIVES BEHAVIOR, our Limbic Brain, doesn’t even understand the vast amounts of information you are throwing at it. It just hears BLA BLA BLA!

So how does knowing all this, help make better videos?

Studying the human brain helps us understand what motivates our audience leading to lifelong business.

Like Simon mentions, when we first communicate the “why” and get our viewer believing what we believe, we establish an emotional connection. After that connection is formed, it doesn’t really matter what we have to offer them or how we have it because “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”

You can explain to your viewer till your blue in the face what all of the facts, features, benefits and details are of your company but at the end of the day, if they don’t trust you, they aren’t going to click on your website or set up that free consultation or even think about contacting you.

So before smack your viewers in the face with 7 million reasons why your company is exponentially greater than your competitors….

Ask your self WHY you do what you do. Ask yourself if you actually need all that nitty gritty, technical jargon in your video. Ask yourself if you are selling a product or selling an idea.

Understanding the role of the emotional unconscious and how it plays a role in the decision-making process of your audience is critical in making your video successful.

Remember…. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”

Why Whiteboard Offers the Best Value

Why Whiteboard Offers the Best Value

You ever wonder what it costs to produce an advertisement? At Ydraw we turn down a mountain of clients each and every week because they feel our prices are just too much. But how do our prices stack up against other companies? And just how cost effective is a whiteboard animation compared to other forms of advertising on the market?

Let’s do this thing.

I’m going to start with whiteboard animation, since that’s what Ydraw is primarily known for — though our library is quite diverse in terms of the types of products we offer.

A whiteboard animation running sixty seconds costs $7,500. This includes the customer’s choice of voice over artist, visual artist, a screenplay, and music/SFX.

Here’s an example:

Now, check out these prices for various forms of advertising, per Adage.com:

$400,000
The average outlay for a commercial during the fifth season of AMC‘s “The Walking Dead,” making it the costliest scripted series on TV. The Oct. 12, 2014, season premiere drew 17.3 million viewers; the March 29 season finale, 15.8 million.
According to averages from media buyers compiled by Ad Age during the upfronts; ratings according to Nielsen.

$750,000
The amount Snapchat demands per “Brand Story” ad, a branded post (or “snap”) that appears within the app’s “Stories” feed. Snapchat doesn’t disclose user numbers.
According to media buyers interviewed by Ad Age, January 2015.

$35
The cost for a thousand impressions on Hulu for standard run-of-site in-stream video ads, with a minimum requirement of two ads per campaign.
According to Hulu’s rate card, March 2015.

$1.55 million
The cost of 30 seconds of ad time in the championship game of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament on CBS, when Duke will take on Wisconsin. That’s up from $1.49 million in 2014. Last year the championship game averaged 21.2 million viewers, down from 23.4 million in 2013.
According to Kantar Media, Nielsen and media buyers interviewed by Ad Age.

$112,000
The average cost for 30 seconds of commercial time in prime time broadcast TV last year. That’s up from $110,00 in 2013.
According to Nielsen

$344,827
The average cost of a 30-second commercial during “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS, the most expensive comedy on TV. “Big Bang” averaged 16.7 million viewers this season through March 12.
According to Ad Age interviews with media buyers during the 2014 upfronts; audience according to Nielsen

$50,000
The cost of one full-color ad on the front page of The New York Times. To appear on the Times’ front page, though, marketers must commit to a certain frequency, such as front-page ads every Tuesday for six months; the total cost of running frequent page-one ads would likely top $1 million.
According to current and former Times executives interviewed by Ad Age, March 2015.

$24.76
The average cost of a thousand impressions for a 30-second commercial in broadcast prime time in 2014, down from $25.06 in 2013.
According to Nielsen

$20
The cost of a thousand impressions for a sponsored photo on Instagram, down from $40 in 2013 when Instagram first rolled out ads. Instagram says more than 300 million people around the world check out the photo-sharing app each month. Instagram’s minimum ad spend is $200,000.
According to rate cards provided to media buyers by Instagram in spring 2015, before any discounts; minimum spend is according to a media buyer interviewed by Ad Age, March 2015.

$30
The cost of a thousand impressions for a sponsored video on Instagram.
According to rate cards provided to media buyers by Instagram in spring 2015, before any discounts.

$2.5 million
The cost of four weeks on Times Square’s biggest billboard, Clear Channel’s eight-story sign on Broadway from West 45th Street to West 46th Street.
According to sources familiar with the sign’s cost as of March 2015.

Can you imagine paying over a million dollars for an ad that runs less than one minute?

Obviously, these are extreme examples. Here are some you might be more familiar with, according to this website:

National TV Advertising
Setup Cost — $63,000 to $8 million
Cost of Media — Approx. $342,000 per 30 second ad

National Magazine Advertising
Setup Cost — $500 to $397,800
Cost of Media — Approx. $250,000 per ad

National Newspaper Advertising
Setup Cost — $11 to $1.4 million
Cost of Media — Approx. $113,000 per ad

Direct Mail Marketing
Setup Cost — $50 to $7,200
Cost of Media — Approx. $51.40 per order

Telemarketing
Setup Cost — $1,000 to $5,200
Cost of Media — $7-$70 per hour, or $35 – $60 per lead

National Search Engine Optimization
Setup Cost — $4,000 to $10,000
Cost of Media — Free, though it’s roughly $500 per month for an internet marketer

National Pay Per Click Marketing
Setup Cost — $4,000 to $10,000
Cost of Media — $0.05-$3 per qualified visitor, plus $500 per month to internet marketer

National Email Marketing
Setup Cost — $4,000 to $10,000
Cost of Media — $0.05 – $3 per qualified visitor, plus $500 per month to internet marketer

Web Content Marketing Campaign
Setup Cost — $6,000 to $12,000
Cost of Media — Free

A Whiteboard video falls in line with the final choice: Web Content Marketing Campaign. So, while the upfront cost of $7,500 for a sixty-second ad might throw you off, consider it a lifetime investment in terms of how you can promote your business.

Other campaigns, such as magazine or newspaper ads require constant updates and monthly fees. And while you’re certainly guaranteed to get a lot of impressions, chances are only a small percent of them are catering to your audience.

You have a little more leeway in this regard with a television or radio ad since you can choose which time of day, or programs to run it; therefore, guaranteeing the audience is at least fit for your product.

But, again, the fees. Lots and lots of fees. Plus, such ads quickly become dated. Or, they may not even be seen at all!

According to an article written in The Guardian in 2010 (!), it was reported that nearly 90% of audiences skipped through TV advertising. Such is common practice in today’s high-tech world of streaming services, and DVR satellite systems that let you fast forward through advertisements.

Ask yourself: when was the last time you truly paid attention to the commercials during a TV show, sporting event (outside of the Super Bowl), or movie you were watching?

In my house, we have our smart TV connected with our Google Movies account. Between that and Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, our exposure to TV advertising is quite limited.

Same with radio, where most ads go unheard because there are so many more convenient streaming options for music these days.

Now, the thing about a Whiteboard video, specifically, is that it features eye-catching visuals that are designed to attract an audience’s attention. And there are so many inexpensive ways to market them.

Yeah, Facebook charges a fee to advertise on their site, as does YouTube, and Instagram. According to FitSmallBusiness.com:

The short answer is $0.65 per click in the US. In other words, every $65 you put into Facebook gives you around 100 clicks on your ad, according to the Salesforce Advertising Index Q3 2015.

You can put your Whiteboard video on Facebook, and then, using the site’s unique features, ensure it gets seen by your target audience. You can customize the features to allow only specific states or regions to see your content, and you only pay when a potential client clicks your ad. That cuts out a lot of needless excess cost.

No, I’m not here to advertise for Facebook, but merely to demonstrate the myriad of ways you can use a Whiteboard video. You can post them on YouTube, or simply post them on your website. You can share them with clients, potential clients; use them at shows, and even put them on TV if you’ve got the budget.

And you can do all of this for $7,500!

There’s no worrying about OCD directors, stuck up actors, shooting schedules, or the myriad of problems that exist with a live-action commercial production. Check out this quote from JLB Media Productions:

The DGA (Director’s Guild of America), of which I am a member, considers low budget commercial work to be $75,000 per day, up to $225,000 for a three-day production. Most national commercials are several hundred thousand dollars up to a few million dollars. Directors are typically paid anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per day of shooting, but many times that means $25,000 for a one-day shoot that also involves two weeks of prep and another week bidding on the job against other directors.

And that doesn’t factor in the aforementioned cost to advertise your product. Smaller production companies will charge less, but the result more often than not looks like this:

Yikes! Does that ad reflect the company it’s promoting well?

Now, check out this Whiteboard video, which cost less to produce:

See the difference? Which business looks more professional? Which one required the least amount of time and headaches to produce?

So, before you dish out a gazillion dollars on a thirty-second TV, radio, or newspaper ad, give Ydraw a call. Our process is simple and guaranteed to produce the results you’re looking for.

Call us today!