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The latest video production, creative development, and marketing news regarding Nordic Media

Nordic Media > Edmonton

So what’s it like working at our marketing agency in Edmonton?  Truthfully, it’s incredibly rewarding and incredibly challenging at the same time.

Over the past years our company was growing exponentially, so we just built our new studio this year, moved our entire staff over, expanded our team to serve our clients better. Throughout the expansion we have been meeting our deadlines for our clients for their marketing campaigns and product & service launches.

The studio at our creative agency in Edmonton

PRO-TIP: The #1 thing I tell clients when they come to our company is that as long as we plan well, we can plan on success!

Magic Pill For Marketing

There is no “magic pill” to marketing.  I would argue that good advertisements go a long way to reaching the correct demographic and converting them over, but the true key ingredient to any creative agency worth their salt is: planning.

Facebook & Google Advertising

I’ve been at this almost a decade and in that time I have been at the forefront of changes in advertising, from tradition to digital, and even more challenging are the micro changes in platforms such as Google and Facebook.  Google once was a dominant giant in keyword advertising with Google Adwords and Youtube, but recently we have seen Facebook taking over the advertising marketplace significantly.  I’m sure by this time next year we will be talking about the significant changes Google is making to help with more effective advertising funnels for their customers (they just changed the named of “Google Adwords” to “Google Ads” as an example).

To be successful on these platforms you can use them independently, where conversions are taking place right on the social media platforms or you can use these platforms in tandem with your website as a sales and conversion portal.

PRO-TIP: I get a lot of questions about SEO… The #1 most important SEO tool is your very own website.  Buying “SEO” services such as link building and article creation make no sense if the website itself does not have native SEO built into the site.

Against the Creative Clock

A lot of times our customers come to us after have been burnt by a previous marketing process.  We look at their existing website and funnels to find it is simply not geared towards converting their clients.  What makes the process even that much more difficult, is sometimes these clients can be significantly against the clock and need results even quicker due to lost time trying other marketing practices through agencies they used to partner with.

All hope is not lost if you are in that situation… the great thing, is we can use advertising through social media and keep the customer converting directly on the platform and not send them to an unoptimized website.  You may have seen things like “lead forms” and “messenger” being a more common way to generate leads.

PRO-TIP: we use it ourselves and it works splendidly.

Our clients get treated comfortably in our marketing agency.  Quick drive from anywhere in Edmonton.  Coffee is always great!

#1 Question I Get In Marketing:

So here is the biggest complaint I hear about marketing and advertising: “If Facebook and Google have made these processes more and more easy to use for the average consumer then why doesn’t it work for me?”

Well, there are nearly limitless minor reasons, but it all comes down to 2 major factors:

  1. The Ad
  2. The Audience

Let’s talk about “the ad” first.  Most advertisements I see out in social media land are created at very low cost, with very little planning, and end up falling short.  The truth of the matter is a lot of people out there are doing the same thing: “Hey, here is my business… we are great… do business with us.”  These ads are being lost in a sea of content.  They are not converting because people skate right past them.  To make a great ad we must keep the audience in mind but also factor in what is going to make someone stop what they are doing, take time out of their day, and connect with your business.  A truly great advertisement is one that evokes emotion: (1) laughter, (2) passion, (3) sadness, (4) intelligence, and yes, even (5) concern.

This may sound simple, but it is not.  Crafting a unique, captivating, sensation advertisement is the most challenging part of our business.  It takes time, it takes planning, it takes testing, and most of all patience.

Now, let’s talk about “the audience.”  It doesn’t matter what platform you advertise with, you can easily identify your demographics.  A lot of the problems I see when clients come to us with their ineffective campaigns is that either their audiences were too broad or too narrow (missing people).  Let’s say for example you are in the concrete repair business.  You can easily target people who have been recently looking for this service (through Google) and convert quite effectively with the right advertisement.  On the flip side, you can “proactively” seek and search out these customers (through Facebook) and by getting your demographics just right and enjoy a low cost to conversion.

PRO-TIP: it’s relatively easy to target users on Google who are looking for a particular product or service; the cost can be quite high (I feel so much empathy for a business like real estate, ouch $$$$).  It’s a bit tricker on Facebook, because you can massage your demographics, but the real magic is in an effective advertisement.

Video Production Matters! Quality Matters!

I think this needs to be stated.  Yes, there are a lot of cat and viral videos out there that get tens of millions of views that are low quality.  Unless your business has proprietary footage of an amazing cat, an act of God, or something else you might want to rethink a low quality strategy of advertising with your cell phone video.  This ad here is a prime example of what we did.

Mother In Law from Nordic Media on Vimeo.

So What Should I Look For In A Marketing Agency?

Well I’d like to come right out of the gate and say “choose us”, but it’s quite alright if you don’t.  The most important thing you should look for in a marketing agency is that they can show you results.  Many creative agencies or video production companies out there can show you great images, videos, and ads they created, but the question you should be asking for is: “show me the results” or if you feel real cheeky “show me the money!”   <- If you didn’t catch the reference, you may have not grown up watching Jerry Maguire… I think I still have the VHS copy if you want to borrow it.

Cheers,

Matthew Altheim
Executive Producer

Nordic Media
www.nordic.media

About Nordic Media

We are a full-service marketing agency focusing on stunning and captivating creative assets and video production that move people to do business with the clients that chose us to compete for their business online and offline.

Here is a link to some past articles you might find interesting

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About Raised Right

Raised Right pet food company offers human-grade pet food for dogs and cats, giving pet owners across the United States “Peace of Mind With Every Bite.” They are a family owned business with manufacturing in the United States and HQ in New York.  It has been awesome getting to know and working with Braeden, Mary-Anne, and Larry Ruud along with their business partner Adam Jacobson.  The Ruud’s have been lifelong ranchers, showing incredible care and appreciation for their livestock and their ranching profession.

You can check out Raised Right and their healthy and delicious dog and cat foods at www.RaisedRightPets.com

 

Marketing An Honest & Caring Brand

When we first got started with the Ruud family, we could see clearly they had a passion for pet health and safety.  Their goal was to make human-grade and delicious pet food that would truly give pet owners a peace of mind guarantee. That what they were feeding their pets was formulated to be nutritious and safe.  Every batch of their pet food is lab safety tested, with results posted regularly on their website; they also have an ingredients map on their website showing where each ingredient is sourced from.  Raised Right partnered with industry veteran, Dr. Karen Becker, who is a relentless champion and advocate for pet welfare, nutrition, and ethics within the pet food industry.

Our team worked creatively to help build and solidify the integrity and care of the Raised Right brand.  When you have fantastic clients who believe in the good of their product, it makes our job as marketers that much easier.  We showcase the philosophy and “why” of the product as much as we do the food itself.  We believe customers who can identify and build trust with an organization through their messaging and visual elements, goes a long way towards meeting sales goals.

Our team developed a wide range of creative products that we are very proud of!  Here are some of the things we built from the ground up for Raised Right.

 

Creative & Design

Our team of writers, graphic designers, and producers delved into the core of Raised Right to help formulate the best possible marketing, creative, and video production strategies that would give them an edge in the human grade pet food market.  We consulted at every stage of the project, from packaging to messaging.  We wanted to be sure that every element matched upon completion.

 

Web Development

We wanted the unique message of Raised Right’s philosophy to be clear on the website.  We designed a website that our team is very proud of.  It is a good mix of information and visual confirmation around each of the product differentiators.

 

 

Raised Right’s unique sales structure required a custom eCommerce solution.  Our team worked through the difficult logistical requirements around the product: it is cold shipped from the warehouse to doorsteps in insulated boxes. We developed a pet food “Meal Calculator” that allows the customer to input parameters of their pet and then it outputs a recurring meal plan and subscription that coincides with our shipping and logistical windows.  The calculator also prompts the customer for weight and lifestyle information to calculate an optimal daily calorie intake for the pet to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

 

Video Production & Creative

We worked through several treatment ideas surrounding for two main videos we developed, produced, filmed, and edited.  The storyboard and scripts go a long way to help the client understand and visualize exactly how the commercials will look/feel once completed.  We creatively wrote two original scripts for “All Dogs Go to Heaven” commercial and the “Our Story” overview video.

The first video was the main advertisement piece for Raised Right entitled “All Dogs Do Go To Heaven.”  This was a hilarious and thoughtful video that both entertained and informed customers about the Raised Right products.  To properly execute this commercial our team had to do significant planning: from casting the right dog and cat to finding the right location, to scheduling, and voiceover (thank you to the 40+ dogs and cats that came and auditioned for the commercial + their owners).  I don’t think we’ve ever had so much fun casting for a commercial!

 

Molly (left) and Kitty Mojito (right)

 

Being on set is a blast, but working with animals can be a difficult challenge.  By having the owners (who were professional trainers) on set to wrangle the animals helped to ensure our crew was on-time and on-budget on set.  Yes… Our director did get on his hands and knees several times to coax the animals for certain shots.  We filmed these commercials in and around Edmonton, Alberta.

 

 

Marketing & Advertising

Here is the final commercial for “All Dogs Go To Heaven” filmed in 4K RAW HDR.  At the time of this post, the video has over 217,000 views on Facebook.

Here is the final video for the overview video, used primarily on the website to assist customer conversions.  It is entitled “Our Story.”

 

 

We also developed several re-targeting and re-conversion image ads for customers who have invested time in learning and interacting with our product but still have not converted.

 

 

The campaign is currently running on digital advertising streams such as Google AdWords, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

About Nordic Media

Nordic Media is a marketing agency in Edmonton, Alberta that focuses on the A to Z needs of our clients and provides in-house production and creative services.  We cater to a wide range of clients in Edmonton, Calgary, Alberta, United States, and beyond. For more information on how Nordic Media can help meet your marketing and advertising needs, contact us.

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How does small business compete online?

Before the age of the internet, marketing and advertising for small businesses was difficult. Commercials were expensive to produce and airtime was at a premium, as larger competitors saturated the signals. In the last decade, we have seen juggernauts such as Google and Facebook make advertising more accessible to the mass market. With a few minutes of forethought and some new age tools, any business owner can create an advertisement and target their key demographics (location, age, interests, etc).

Even here in Edmonton, you can advertise across the planet with just a click. Sometimes the response is great and other times a complete failure. So why does one advertisement succeed and the other fail?

It comes down to creativity and quality.

Creativity is important. With the right message, you will have a positive outcome. With the wrong message you could have no outcome or even worse, you could have a public backlash.

In the days when traditional media ruled the roost, advertisements needed to be generic enough to appeal to all segments of the population to improve reception. In the days of digital advertising, messages can be custom tailored and delivered to only those who are most likely to respond. This is the reason why I receive advertisements for beard oil and my wife does not.

The “big players” are constantly battling in the marketplace with creative ways to communicate their products and services. They spend significant resources to develop and market test ideas even before they commence video production or purchase ad space. They have standardized the process and created a semi-scientific process to marketing. The great thing about marketing, however, is that the rules are constantly changing as new technology and creativity interrupt the status quo.

In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Nordic Media partnered with the City of Edmonton to promote their “Front Yards in Bloom” campaign. You likely saw this advertisement at the movie theatres and online. In 2016 Edmonton won 1st place out of all international competitors in the large city category.

 

Quality is the second component. With the age of Facebook and YouTube we have become accustomed to seeing a viral video shot from cell phones garnering millions of views. Many of us think we can replicate the viral video concept and even apply it to our business

If you are thinking this way, then I commend you, as you are ahead of the game. You understand today’s audience wants entertainment mixed in with their advertisements: they want to laugh, cry, and be motivated with your message.

What comes next is usually the part that fails: the execution. Out comes the cell phone video camera, along with a script that no one else vetted. Maybe the script wasn’t as good as once thought or maybe it is just too long considering anything over 45 seconds is going into the “danger zone”. Attention spans are incredibly short in today’s world. That small cell phone microphone was not invented to pickup audio from across the room.

Did you know even in Facebook Advertising each advertisement gets a relevance score? If your score is low, you are paying many magnitudes higher for every engagement you get. Facebook doesn’t want poor ads clogging up their news feeds, so if they are forced to show a low quality advertisement, they will charge a premium for it. A good advertisement should be costing pennies per engagement, while a poor advertisement is costing dollars.

In short: good creative and a quality production is actually pretty tough to master. It does not matter if you are hiring a professional company to do your marketing or if you are doing it yourself. You must research, get critical feedback on your ideas, and produce quality content. Quality marketing doesn’t just help keep market share, it grows the base by attracting new eyes to the business.

In this example the advertisement received a relevance score of 8, meaning the advertisement is having a strong clickthrough rate and the content is resonating with the demographic we targeted.

To finish answering my original question: small businesses compete online through good ideas and quality content. Anyone can have a website and a virtual presence instantly, but getting people to give you their time, attention, and money is much harder.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982)

From our favourite Disney stories to the horror flicks that sent shivers down our spines, movies are constantly being remade and fans everywhere have something to say about it.

Maybe for you its just a money grab, or maybe you’re excited to see the latest one in theatres. Either way you slice it, there’s just no denying that remaking classic films has become a pillar of modern film.

There exists no industry in which the wonders of technology are so apparent and numerous as in the world of film, where every day, reality walks a fine line between science and sheer magic.

The films we love carry us off to a fantasy world, so a lacklustre production can taint that experience for audiences when it doesn’t deliver the adventure. We love to see our favourite actors on screen and it’s tough accepting someone new in their roles. We see re-makes that miss the point of the original story, or changed it so much it became it unrecognizable.

Some re-makes definitely fall far short of expectations. 

If you saw “Clash of the Titans”, you know what great visual effects can do for a feature film without a strong plot line. 

Not much.

The remake of the original Clash of the Titans in 2010 was not well received. It scored 28% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” really made sure to drive this point home as well.

Nobody talks like that.

Not ever.
Not in the history of talking, OR real life.

And Karate Kid?

Wow.

I didn’t think Jackie Chan could fumble a martial arts movie, but there it is.

Jackie Chan was involved in the 2010 remake of the Karate Kid

Wax OFF, Mr. Chan.

Relief only came from knowing I wouldn’t have to suffer through co-star Jaden Smith attempting a British accent until his later work.

While entertainment changes with the times, classic films often reveal social issues we once faced. They let us travel back in time and get insight into what our society was, is now, and where it’s headed next. These stories are full of wisdom, but fall by the wayside in favour of more visually stimulating productions.
This is to be expected with so much technology, but many films out there today are actually being praised for bringing classics back to life. 

True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges as “Rooster Cogburn”, is considered better than the original by many and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

Jeff Bridges in True Grit (2010) was well-received scoring 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ocean’s 11 is another top notch remake. The stylish cinematography, ostentatious wardrobe, vibrant soundtrack and charming cast wowed audiences. Witty dialogue and a well constructed plot put the icing on the cake.

True Lies, with Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-vamped from an obscure french film, “La Totale”. It is the quintessential 90’s action film, wherein Arnie delivers sarcastic one-liners, flies a fighter jet AND dances the tango. 

I’m serious. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger dances the tango with Tia Carrere. Watch it if you haven’t already.

Advances in technology allow for greater excitement and the creation of storytelling techniques which were previously not possible. Now we can take the elements of great storytelling and weave technology into the fabric of our work— exciting the senses and the imagination at the same time with stunning visuals, plus great stories that hold powerful messages to captivate and inspire audiences. By combining these two key elements we build on the great legacy of film over the last century.

So do we really need all these re-makes?

I think so.

We need today’s actors in great roles, growing into tomorrow’s Academy Award winners. We need modern writers to understand the classics, applying their own creativity— making stories interesting and accessible for younger generations. We need audiences to treasure and celebrate the achievements that lead the film industry to this point.

We all need to remember where film came from and not leave important truths behind. Remade films are a pool of wisdom where we reflect on what we learned from the past.

What opportunities lay still untapped for us tomorrow?

-Andrew O’Laney

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