Content Remains King

shutterstock_248890441Content. The little seven letter word that everyone is talking about. And you should be, too. In this age of marketing, content is paramount. What is content? Content is anything you put out that people engage with. Articles, blogs, social posts, radio, TV, online advertising, anything and everything.

When you begin to think about a new campaign, you have to think about the new campaign as an ecosystem. This ecosystem contains all the ways you plan to reach potential customers or clients. As the marketer, you must have a strong content ecosystem.

Today’s content ecosystems look vastly different than content ecosystems even just a few years ago. Today’s content ecosystems are filled with social media, blogs, sponsored posts, advertorials, print, broadcast and pretty much any other way you can put your advertising in front of people.

While content is important, it’s imperative to produce content that connects to your audience. This is how you secure your customers. It’s not always about creating content yourself, but curating the best content available.

With traditional advertising mediums like broadcast, print, etc., once you distribute the content, there’s nothing left to do but count impressions. With digital, there is a constant flow of content. If there is an article or blog written about your industry, leverage that and share it with your followers. If someone produced a fancy video of your product, leverage it. If someone wrote a great review, share it. Content curation will save you many hours of producing your own content and help you keep the cycle moving forward.

In this day, content is critical to driving brand awareness and giving your customers a reason for sticking with you. And at AcrobatAnt, we believe in great content. We are here to help your marketing department create and curate the best content that delivers results you can take to the CEO.

The Ant Farm Has a Fresh Coat of Paint and Then Some

Phase One of our office redesign and renovation is complete, and the Ants are excited and inspired by the sleeker, cleaner look.

12795092_10153233700616580_6393585176893601879_o

The earth tones have been replaced with a fresh and modern color palette that reflects a creative environment. And desks have been rearranged and positioned to create more interaction between employees and also to help with the workflow. 10548111_10153233700776580_7044311393898893702_o

The blue table is now black, the brown carpet is now multicolored and the office overall feels happier and brighter to AcrobatAnt. There’s now seating under our staircase and a big, steel desk at the front–featuring a very prominent letter A–welcoming guests. 12495923_10153233700631580_7514008136984586002_o

When asked which aspect of the redesign was his favorite, Danny Sadler, creative director, had this to say, “We wanted our office to be a place for when clients or guests come through the door, they get a sense of what we are about.” 12819168_10153233700706580_8233534876064799325_o

Another big focal point of the redesign was accentuating the texture and character of the historic building. The majority of the exterior walls were kept white so the exposed brick would stand out. The exposed brick helps bring some added warmth to the office and reminds us all what the Lincoln Plaza once was, a giant school on the corner of 15th and Peoria.

Keep your eye out for more changes in Phase Two of our redesign.

blog

Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

Mobile is key.

shutterstock_169100729

You’ve probably heard it before time and time again, mobile advertising is the hot trend right now. But mobile is more than a trend, it is here to stay. This year looks to be a breakout year for mobile advertising and for a good reason. “Consumers today are addicted to instant gratification and ads need to serve up not only what they’re trying to sell, but the benefits as well,” said Tamara Green, AcrobatAnt Media Director. As mobile advertising has matured, so have the data companies. From precise geo-location data to more refined demographics, consumer data collected through mobile advertising is robust.

In order to be successful with mobile advertising, you have to deliver memorable content. “You have little time on mobile and an even greater challenge to gain the consumer’s attention because consumers are easily distracted as they swipe across to the next image/page/comment/post/status/etc.,” Tamara said. In mobile advertising, you have less than five seconds to capture the consumer’s attention. Meaning that creativity in message delivery is more important than ever. A simple banner ad will no longer sustain the results they used to. Advertising content needs to be dynamic, personal, engaging and customized for the target audience. It needs to look like it was made just for that single consumer.

With Facebook video now dominating the newsfeed, it’s time to really consider spending the money to integrate video content into a campaign. Integrating video is also one of the keys with mobile. There isn’t just one media type to satisfy the needs of a brand. It needs to be a well planned mix of all mobile has to offer based on data that has been collected. Paying more attention to data will guide and help a campaign improve over time. Tamara added, “Consumers are more and more demanding that the click takes them somewhere, tells them something, provides some benefit. A click with no benefit, just content will result in the consumer dropping off and possibly passing you by.”

To learn more about how we can help you, or if you have any questions regarding mobile advertising, send us an email or give us a call.

Insider Info: How the Ants celebrate the holidays

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Some families have certain traditions that others don’t partake in. For the Ant family, celebrating the holidays starts with our 12 days of Christmas.

Now in its fourth year, the 12 days of Christmas signals the start of the holiday season and also the start of dressing up, taking pictures and sharing on social media for all to see. From hat day and pajama day, to twins day and throw back Thursday, the Ants put everything on display for their clients and followers. It’s a way to show people who normally aren’t around the Ant Farm just how creative and fun we can be.

12357127_10153084188751580_2796920744006662438_o (1)12307559_10153067254476580_4254460179800411117_o (1)12370912_10153074807961580_8667464792754331610_o (1)12377691_10153087190631580_1234273224557894532_o

We aren’t all fun and games. We also give back!

Women in Recovery is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Women in Recovery is a program designed to help keep non-violent women out of prison and give them the tools they need to reunite with their children and break the cycle. Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state. Which is why this program is so important to our community. While in the program, women learn parenting and life skills, as well as learning what it takes to have a successful career and stay out of the prison system.

We support the Women in Recovery program in different ways each year. During Christmas, that means sponsoring graduates of the program and their children. This year, we sponsored 10 children and 50 women graduating from the Women in Recovery program. All from funds gathered from employees and matched by the AcrobatAnt partners.

12370842_10153087695016580_4378765504618253379_o

All these activities culminate in our Christmas party where we exchange handmade gifts to our Secret Santa recipients and have a fun and funny white elephant gift exchange. The Ants also enjoyed drinks, playing games and each other’s company at our holiday party.

From everyone at AcrobatAnt, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

1923755_10153091011456580_764521113107422917_n

User Experience: What is it good for?

shutterstock_177174377Since the advent of the Internet, people have always put their personal style into the websites they build. Now more than ever, user experience and how a user will interact with a website is in the forefront of designers’ minds. And recently, that also means taking into consideration how a website performs. Specifically how long it takes to load a page. In a recent study, data showed that if a page takes longer than three seconds to load, nearly 40 percent of users will leave the site. Let that sink in a minute. Your website has less than three seconds to grab the customer. If not, they’re on to your competitor. But if you have your site optimized and ready to handle a user’s request, they’ll proceed.

We asked our resident web developer and designer, Mattie McClain, what she had to say about user experience. “I have always believed user experience is the most important element of a design, and right now user experience is everything in the web space. Users want to find what they need, quickly. When we started seeing mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, suddenly a website that looked and functioned great on a large screen was no longer relevant — or even useful!”

And when talking about how to make a site that not only performs well, but also looks great on a phone, you need to make your site responsive or mobile-friendly. “Zooming in on a screen filled with tiny print and unnecessary links on a smartphone was not anyone’s idea of a great user experience. Responsive design corrected this and has become the key for producing a seamless user experience across all devices. It allows us to give users the effortless experience they now expect: what they need, only when they need it,” Mattie said.

She is right. In this day and age, consumers don’t like to wait. Period. The way we communicate and interact on the Internet has changed drastically. We communicate in less than 140 characters, and your website needs to load in less time than it takes to read a tweet.

As a full service agency, AcrobatAnt is here to help your business get on the right digital track. We pride ourselves on delivering results that work for our clients and their users. So the next time you are standing in line at Starbucks and are browsing the web on your phone, think about the experience a potential consumer would have on your site.

10 Best Practices on How to Talk to Your Agency

When it comes to talking and dealing with your creative agency, there are a few tips that help get the most out of your partnership that you may not know, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. We polled our office and got some good feedback on how best to talk and deal with an agency. Hopefully these tips will help next time you and your agency hit the roadblock. (In no particular order)

1. Understanding the problemshutterstock_258823979

Allow us to do that. You may want to try and define the problem yourself, but including your agency in that process can be very beneficial. The more information we have about your brand and your goals, the better equipped we will be to offer valuable input and produce something that delivers the results you want.

2. Include as much information as possibleshutterstock_261566594

The more information the client can give to the agency at the beginning of the project, the better. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want. Provide all input/assets at the start of a project. Often, changing direction or new information mid-project causes the scope and budget to change.

3. Be transparentshutterstock_164665187

With transparency, time is used effectively and problems or issues are defused. It allows for the relationship to be authentic, in which trust is created, and the client and agency can work in harmony. There is a mutual respect in what the client brings and what the agency brings in the relationship.

4. Give good feedbackshutterstock_228790603

Client feedback is crucial to the creative process. Before providing feedback, gather a full consensus from your team so everyone is on the same page with any design or copy edits. This will save time and production costs in the long-run.

5. Be concise shutterstock_256115929

The more concise you can be, the more likely the agency won’t miss something. Use bullets to organize content so it’s easy to make sure things aren’t missed. Writing one long paragraph may lead to items being missed.

6. Be clear about requirements, optional items and wish list itemsshutterstock_161233412

Be very clear about what is required and how success will be measured. Separately, indicate wish list items and optional items—if we know the ultimate wish list, we can try to achieve it. Itemizing must-have and “nice-to-haves” is a good way to give the creative folks freedom while making them aware of what would exceed expectations.

7. Remain present and engaged in conversationsshutterstock_254080660

Remain present and actively engaged in the conversation, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Remove distractions and be open and honest, both in listening and communicating with the agency. If you are demonstrating that you are making the project a priority, the agency will too. Direct and honest feedback is the best way to communicate.

8. Give accurate and achievable deadlinesshutterstock_184538510

In order to do the best work possible, the agency needs deadlines that can be met while maintaining internal agency processes that are in the place to ensure the best product from the agency. There are times when rushing something is unavoidable, but with proper planning and preparation, clients should be able to provide the agency with the time necessary to develop great work. Rush deadlines should be the exception, not the rule.

9. Know what your objective isshutterstock_277496639

What are you looking to accomplish? Are we driving traffic to a website or event? If not, what is it you want to happen? This is very important information to provide when it comes to creating a campaign that is not only creative, but also effectively meets your needs and produces the results you were expecting.

10. Be clear on what not to includeshutterstock_107966306

If competitors use certain elements in their branding, pass that information along to the agency. If there are certain themes or colors to steer clear of because of industry connotations or CEO preference, it is better to know upfront rather than to find out after the first design options have been developed.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other best practices when it comes to communicating with creative agencies. 

We love moms

MomsDayCollage (1)Happy Mother’s Day to all the great and caring moms out there. Every year we celebrate this day as a way to say “thank you” to moms for everything they do.

We polled the office to find out what everyone’s favorite Mother’s Day video is and then voted for the overall best one. But, we couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are the top two favorite Mother’s Day videos, as voted on by the Ants.

A little advice — keep a box of tissues close by.

World’s Toughest Job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY

What the Ants thought:

“I loved the World’s Toughest Job campaign because it keeps you interested and hooked throughout the video. It entices you to keep watching and find out what this crazy, unheard of job position is.” — Lale

“If this doesn’t make you want to call your mom and thank her for everything, I don’t know what will. The setup is priceless and the reactions are even better.” — Matt

Here’s to the moms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRDyP2DcEds

What the Ants thought:

“I like this because it’s a happy, contemporary celebration of moms everywhere. The videos and the photos make the message of gratitude and love even more powerful.” — Anna

“Any time you can use real people in a genuine setting, it adds a very emotional element for the viewers. That’s what I enjoy about this ad; it’s relatable. It reminds them of the impact their moms had on their lives.” — David

Here are a couple more that didn’t make the top two, but are just as great and memorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwFso7NeuA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBMQcW6S11Q

Was $4.5 million worth 30 seconds at the Super Bowl?

The last minute of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing, but what about this year’s ads? There are mixed reviews. Some people say they were weak, while others believe it was a good change of pace. But we aren’t here to weigh in on whether the ads were good or not, but rather was the money spent advertising worth it. And it was a lot this year. The cost of a 30 second spot was $4.5 million, up from last year. And $9 million for a 60 second.

Which got us thinking, excluding production costs, which can run upwards of $1 million, how many products would Super Bowl advertisers have to sell to cover the cost of airtime?

We worked out the numbers for some of the advertisers and found out that they would have to move a lot of units to cover the airtime. Check it out for yourself.

Superbowl3

AcrobatAnt named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News

Untitled 4.crtr

Tulsa, Okla. (January 30, 2015) – AcrobatAnt was recently named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News on its “Besties of 2015” list. The annual awards are voted on by Tulsa’s business community and are awarded in a variety of categories.

“Our focus is always on keeping our clients happy, so it’s great news for the Ants when others in the community appreciate our work, too,” said Danny Sadler, AcrobatAnt owner and creative director. “We’re especially honored because we know there are so many good agencies in Tulsa.”

Founded in 2008, AcrobatAnt is a full-service advertising, marketing and digital agency. The company’s client list includes national and regional brands as well as local names such as Saint Francis Health System, Oklahoma Central Credit Union, Mazzio’s, BOK Center and Sonic.