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.

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

The blue table is now black, the brown carpet is now multicolored and the officeoverall feels happier and bright 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 our for more changes in Phase Two of our redesign.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Ant’s Choice Blog: Tulsa’s The Best Place To Be in October

There are many great events that happen in Tulsa throughout the year, but in October, two very big events take place. One that even attracts international guests and performers alike.

One of those events is the Tulsa State Fair. The fair technically started this year at the end of September, but ran through the beginning of October. Featuring all the rides, games and fun you would expect at any other county fair, but the Tulsa State Fair is massive. There are livestock and horse shows, competitive exhibitions (like home brewing, fine art, etc.) picking and fiddling championships and even the Miss Tulsa State Fair pageant.

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Besides the competitions going on and the rides and games on the Midway. A lot of people go for the food. And it’s just not any food. At the Tulsa State Fair, the selection of food vendors is second to none. You can find cereal-coated corndogs, maple bacon donut burgers and all the standard fair food you would expect.

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The Tulsa State Fair is a big enough event to satisfy most people for a whole month, but in Tulsa, we don’t stop with just a fair. At the end of the month, the adults have their own event. Enter, the Linde Oktoberfest. Ranked as one of the top Oktoberfest events in the world, the Linde Oktoberfest is not to be missed.

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The Linde Oktoberfest is more than just drinking beer. Yes, it is a big part, but the event also draws in some of the best entertainment from across the country, and in fact the world. With bands coming from as far away as Germany, you can expect to be as close to the real thing outside of Germany as possible. One of the best new additions to the entertainment lineup this year was Das Glockenspiel from Cleveland, OH. Providing the masses with some comic relief and great themed skits throughout the weekend.

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The other great addition this year was the Seigi’s brat eating challenge. Featuring world-renowned eater Joey Chestnut, this challenge was for real. In 10 minutes Chestnut managed to gobble down 66 brats. On top of that he celebrated his flawless victory with a couple liters of beer.

Not only is there great entertainment and beer, but also great food. From schnitzel and sausages to flakey and delicious strudel, you leave know your German food tooth was satisfied.

Both of these events are why Tulsa’s best month is October. No doubt about it. If you haven’t been to the Tulsa State Fair or the Linde Oktoberfest, you are definitely missing out on some great Tulsa traditions.

Ant’s Choice: Food Truck Wednesday

What started out as a small gathering of delicious food trucks on Wednesdays has turned into a weekly lunchtime ritual for many Tulsans. Trucks come from all over town and converge at Guthrie Green from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., once a week, and provide visitors a great mix of cuisine to choose from. IMG_7819

If venturing out to this event, be prepared to wait, as lines can stretch on. It’s worth it, believe us. The food offered is different than what you find at your typical lunch restaurant. You’ll see interesting combinations, dish options and pairings. There’s everything from gourmet grilled cheeses and French-Korean fusion bahn mis to delicious fish tacos and artisan mac and cheese. There are so many options, one trip isn’t enough. You’ll leave wanting to come back to try something new, or perhaps after one trip, you have a favorite food truck and will continually crave it on Wednesdays.

After asking around the office to see what food truck Ants crave, here are just a few of the answers:

Lale
Favorite truck: Lone Wolf
Favorite dish: Kimchi fries. “They’re just so good.” IMG_4087

Matt D.
Favorite truck: Mr. Nice Guys
Favorite dish: Jerk chicken tacos. “So much flavor your head explodes.” IMG_7822

Brooke
Favorite truck: Lola’s
Favorite dish: Gypsy tacos. “I wish I could eat Romesco sauce on everything.”  IMG_4086

David V.
Favorite truck: Andolini’s
Favorite dish: Pepperoni pizza. “Quality ingredients and big slices!” IMG_4090

By no way is this a definitive best of Food Truck Wednesday list; all the trucks aredelicious! As the weather starts to cool off, there’s no better time than now to go to Food Truck Wednesday for your first time. You won’t have to wait out in the heat and eating is a lot more comfortable, too.

Let us know what trucks you love most. Reach us through Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section.

Ant’s Choice: Boomtown Tees

IMG_5909This month, we checked out local T-shirt store, Boomtown Tees to see what they were all about. After talking with Cheryl Quetone, who is the store manager, we learned a lot about the place. Read our interview with Cheryl and let us know what you think in the comments.

How long have you worked at Boomtown Tees?
5 years. I was originally at Joe Momma’s and Blake (owner of Joe Momma’s) approached me with the idea of a T-shirt shop and I was 100 percent on board in helping him open the store.

When did the store open?
I think our official open date was May 18, 2010. I know for sure we were open Blue Dome Fest of 2010.

Why a T-shirt store?
Tulsa was growing and although we were proud, we also still loved the nostalgia of things like the Camelot, the Rose Bows and Bells.

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Are all of the T-shirt designs you sell from local artists?
Yes. Some are local artists’ recreations of old logos and some (i.e. rest in pizza, I’ve never been to Heaven but I’ve been to Oklahoma, etc.) are original designs celebrating Tulsa and Oklahoma in general.

Do artists come to you for shirt designs or do you approach local artists to create the t-shirts you sell?
We have some in-house artists who do many of the designs we sell, but we also hire freelance artists to help create art for custom orders.

Do you print the T-shirts in-house?
We do all printing in-house. And all of it is screen-printed. While a lot of places have a minimum order of 40+ shirts or so, we have no minimum order as long as it’s a one or two color print. We also print all of our Boomtown brand shirts in-house.

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What’s the price range for the T-shirts you sell?
Our shirts in the store all range between $15-$30 per shirt.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Boomtown?
I love our location. We are always getting to meet new people and hearing peoples stories about growing up in Tulsa, coming back to town after many years or bringing a loved one here for the first time. It’s a great way to start a conversation about Tulsa whether they’re a first time visitor, returning after a long time or just born and raised here.

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Do you offer custom T-shirts?
We do. Our custom order prices vary depending on the brand of t-shirt and the different ink colors. Email sales@boomtowntees.com or go to www.boomtowntees.com for a quote. Our turn around time for custom orders is one to two weeks.

Thanks to all of the folks at Boomtown Tees for letting us invade their space. If you haven’t checked out Boomtown Tees yet, you should. It is worth a visit. And after you visit Boomtown, check out the newly reopened White Flag and grab a great burger. We hear the Uma Thurman burger is amazing.

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Boomtown Tees
114 S. Elgin
Tulsa, OK 74120
918.938.6000
sales@boomtowntees.com
Store hours:
Tues.-Sat. 11:30 – 7:30
Sunday 12:00 – 6:00
www.facebook.com/boomtowntees
www.twitter.com/boomtowntees
www.instagram.com/boomtowntees

 

Ant’s Choice: Center of the music universe

In its third year, the Center of the Universe Festival (COU Fest) is quickly becoming one of the best music festivals around. With consistently over 100 bands spread across three stages and countless local bars and venues, COU Fest has the momentum it needs to continue growing and bringing in the best acts to Tulsa.coufest

But just like other festivals, COU Fest is more than just music, it’s a massive bizarre of shops, food trucks and everything in between. There is definitely something for everyone, even the kids.

Being hosted in the Brady Arts District, one of the many up-and-coming districts in Tulsa, means festival-goers have prime access to some of the best restaurants around. Which not only lets you cool off in some much needed air conditioning in the Oklahoma summer heat, but also means you don’t have to leave the festival grounds to score an awesome dinner with your friends. image1 (1)

One of the things that COU Fest continues to get right is their scheduling of acts. No matter what bands you want to hear, the stages are close enough together that you’ll be able to make your way over and listen to all your bands of choice. And the times are staggered, too. Allowing you to hear snippets of multiple bands no matter where you are headed. There is always music playing somewhere, which keeps your attention throughout the long two-day festival.

Center of the Universe Festival draws in people from all over. And if you haven’t been, you need to. The festival may even be bucket list worthy to some. We’re already looking forward to the lineup for next year. For more information and to learn all you need to know about this amazing Festival, head over to centeroftheuniverse.com.

Or find it all over social media.

Facebook:
Center of the Universe Festival

Twitter:
@COUFest

Instagram:
@COUFest