Archive for the ‘Pittsburgh ad agencies’ Category

Video Content Take Over

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Today, we see time and again the endless stats and advice from industry specialists about the growing popularity and need to not only produce video, but to produce good video content. Why? Screens are getting smaller. People are getting harder to engage. Not to mention, always on the move. And lets not forget the platforms people are using or think are “cool” at one moment, changes almost as fast as the speed of light. What does this mean for marketers trying to reach these unsatisfied and out of reach consumers? It means making content fit for mobile, versatile across platforms, engaging and sharable. Translation? Producing high quality video content (emphasis on the content).

We live in an age of information overload. Consumers are surrounded by constant hits of information and ads. It is thus vital to offer content that is easy to digest and content that is highly engaging. If not, consumers will simply move on. The video platform achieves this very well. You know that famous, old saying – a picture paints 1000 words? Well, I’m no mathematician, but that makes a one-minute video worth at least 1.5 billion words or so. Visual content is naturally engaging. If done right, you only need a few seconds to pull the viewer in and hold them long enough to leave an impression or better, make them want to share it (which, by the way is only a click away).

Lets talk reach. When it comes to potential reach with this form of content, video is matchless. Looking at YouTube, YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month and more than one billion regular weekly users worldwide. This is more than any other channel (besides Facebook). Apart from YouTube, the number of visual content platforms is growing today faster than ever. Platforms like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat significantly add to videos being viewed more than four billion times a day and shared more than 50,000,000 a day. Name another form of content that can do that.

With such big numbers, comes the big question – is video production really possible, effective or even worth the investment for all businesses? Absolutely. Many years ago, there was no way of getting around high video production cost commitments. Today, there are more flexible options when it comes to video production. There are many more applications and platforms available today that are not only free to use, but are also very laid back and easy to work with. In fact, raw video content is becoming extremely popular. Platforms like vine and six second twitter clips or even snap chat videos are proving positive to be successful video marketing strategies. Raw, short clips are perfect for engaging millennials with their short attention spans and constant information heavy lifestyles. This style of video also makes great sharable content. Who doesn’t have six seconds anyway?

Ok, at this point I know what you’re thinking. Great reach, totally sharable, very effective…what’s the catch? The catch is coming up with great content. Even my 82-year-old grandmother can figure out how to make a vine (and that’s not a hit towards my grandmother), but in order to have success with video you need to get creative. A saying I recently read from the Guardian puts it perfectly – “creativity wins over the cost of production every time.”

My point is that everyone has a story to tell. It’s about finding that story, making it unique and relevant to your audience. Get that part right…or hire someone or a video production firm who can do it for you, and the video will be your content marketing. In that case, the cost of video production, big or small, will be well worth it.

Mighty Beautiful Pittsburgh Video Goes Viral

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Created by Apple Box Studios for VisitPittsburgh, the Pittsburgh. Mighty. Beautiful. tourism presentation went viral last week. Featuring aerial footage of the Steel City, the video showcases Pittsburgh like you’ve never seen her before.

Movoto Real Estate, a realty blog and online guide were the ones who lit the spark on November 3. In their blog post titled “If You’re From Pittsburgh, This Will Be The Most Jaw-Dropping Thing You See Today. Hands Down,” Movoto embedded the 3 minute VisitPittsburgh presentation, which has been taking off on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook over the last eight days with 94K+ likes and shares. Today, the original Movoto blog post has reached more than 469K views and is still climbing.

The Apple Box Studios team is grateful and excited to see the tourism piece spreading, but we must admit – Pittsburgh makes it easy to make such a mighty beautiful video. Although next time, as the video’s many comments have repeatedly stressed, the 6-time Super Bowl Champs, the Steelers, just better get some prime aerial coverage too. ;)

Go ahead, one more view ain’t gonna hurt ya! Click here.

Apple Box Welcomes Four New Hires

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

We are excited to announce the four latest additions to our Apple Box Studios team: Andrea Short, Molly Fallone, Caitlyn Depp, and Sam Eisen.

Andrea Short, Client Services Manager, provides administrative, financial, project management and business development support.

Molly Fallone, our new Social Media Manager, manages social media marketing, planning, writing, execution and reporting for clients, as well as Apple Box Studios.

Caitlyn Depp, Inside Sales Representative, is responsible for lead generation, marketing and business acquisition. Here she comes.

Sam Eisen is our newest Copywriter Proofreader. Sam joins Apple Box Studios as a preferred freelance partner providing creative copy writing, technical writing, social media content and proofreading services.

If the opportunity presents itself, I hope you will take a moment to welcome Andrea, Molly, Caitlyn and Sam into the Pittsburgh marketing community.

My First Week at the Box

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Apple. Box. Apple Box.

And no … I’m not talking about a box of apples. I am speaking of a device chiefly used in the film industry to raise equipment and to gain a higher perspective. Wikipedia (o so graciously!) reminds you to not confuse them ordinary crates or boxes.

But, as I glance around the “straight-out-of-an-episode-of-Mad-Men” office, I find myself surrounded not by apple boxes, but unique individuals that make up the kind and friendly staff here at Apple Box Studios. From my first day on the job, the entire team has been wonderfully welcoming.  The air is filled with a sharp and bold creative spirit that might have something to do with copies of their incredible print work that populate the walls of the entire office. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you should definitely judge an ad agency by the caliber of its work that line the walls of its office (at this place, you can barely see the walls and it’s very top-notch).

However, like their website proclaims, they are more than just “pretty pictures”. As much as they are creative and enjoy creating, they are a group serious about getting their clients’ voice out in the public. It does the company no good to display their content proudly for the new employee to gawk at—here at Apple Box they have higher standards than that. They have figured out the perfect way to balance superbly creative messages with precise production management and it seems to be working out pretty well for them (in my completely un-biased opinion).

Needless to say my first week at Apple Box Studios has been excellent. From the one-of-a-kind atmosphere that could make even the most left-brained person write an epic poem to the ease of communicating with an awesome staff by calling out the name “Dan” or “Mike”, I feel very at home.

It is definitely a comfort to know that the walls that make up my work place are so much more than an office: they are an incubator of hard-workers and creators. A place where people strive to take that extra mile and discover different ideas and perspectives. So scratch that previous statement.

I feel very at box.

Apple Box.

Apple Box Studios.

My Summer at the Box

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

When I signed up for a summer internship with Apple Box Studios I thought I would learn which agency role or department I best fit for success. Instead, I learned that value and growth will come from hyperconnectivity as well as hyperdeveloped talent. Let me explain. My name is Molly Fallone. I’m a senior at Duquesne University studying Web Development and Integrated Marketing, and I just spent the last three months interning with Apple Box Studios.

Throughout my college career, I’ve considered myself more of a hybrid marketing and design student fascinated by the art of video production. Although this path has had me a little confused as to which Duquesne department I belong in, it made me feel right at home at Apple Box. Not only does Apple Box design and develop communication tools, programs and advertising campaigns, it also offers video production, social media and branding services. All of which, I had the opportunity to embrace.

I was excited, but nervous when I started at the Box, because I have zero to no agency experience. However, the nerves were quick to go away as the team welcomed me with smiles, my own desk (and phone!), a content marketing project (one of my new fav topics), as well as blueprinting assignments. As my first few weeks rolled on, I quickly noticed the speedier pace of agency life – something I hadn’t been used to in my other internships. I also found with such a pace, problem solving and collaboration are crucial and constant. I felt lucky however, to learn from the team how to turn problems into opportunities for creating strong products and happy clients.

As I grew more confident and the team placed more assignments on my plate, I took on benchmarking assignments and even participated in a branding and identity project for a new client. The design student inside me was inspired and fascinated as I followed Dan Brettholle, through his Art Director’s process on delivering the product. I got to experience first-hand how benchmarking is an essential step in understanding the client’s tastes and exact needs. But the cool thing was, I noticed times when the client was actually unsure of what they really wanted, but through sessions, the team was able to fill in those pieces for them. It reminded me of the great line Steve Jobs once said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

I’m grateful I had the opportunity to jump inside the Apple Box this summer. Working and learning from the team was a rewarding, exciting and inspiring experience. It made me realize it’s ok to be interested in all aspects of marketing, design and production. In fact, most of the Apple Box team is just that. This professional culture makes for a passionate, collaborative team with hyperdeveloped talent.

Thank you team Apple Box, for making it a great summer at the Box and for feeding and fueling my hybrid marketing and production taste buds.

Joining the Team!

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Well let’s see where to begin. I am now into my second month here at Apple Box Studios and so far, it has been an amazing experience. It has been about 2 years since I have had to visit an office setting everyday, I worked freelance for the last two years and I called my home and car, my office. But needless to say, this transition has been smooth and everyone has been very welcoming. The crew is incredibly friendly and very willing to answer all my off-the-wall questions. It is great to work with a team that is incredibly creative and receptive to each others input. I come from a very eclectic background: catering, event planning, sales, cigar aficionado and concierge. I’ve lived all across the country from Ohio to Florida, Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. Landing in the steel city 7 years ago, I immediately knew this is where I was going to “hang my hat.” As a die-hard Steelers, Pens and Pirate fan, it just seemed natural to begin a life as a Yinzer.

My career paths may have changed but I have always been into business relationships and sales. To grow a business you have to have the right person for the job. This person needs to have gusto’, no-holds- barred attitude and tons of charisma. Not sure why they hired me? But if you won’t tell, I won’t.

With any sales job you have to believe in the product, love the product, use the product and eat-sleep-dream the product. My first sign that I knew I was in the right spot came while at the gym, I spotted a few ad spots on the TV above and just started to wander who developed those, how did they come up with it and so on. I would have normally never given a second thought to the development of an ad spot on TV. This started a snowball effect; I started noticing brands, ads, video spots, logos and thinking who did this and why.  My career in advertising was born!

I was born to help people, to be around people. I hate to wait around… I want action, I want to talk to people, learn their needs and wants and help them achieve their goals. Bringing customers and consumers together is my passion.  In a nut shell, I am pleased and thrilled to be here.

7 Realities of Social Media that will change in 6 months

Friday, September 17th, 2010

We’ve been thinking a lot about measurement lately at Applebox Studios. Not only measuring our efforts as an ad agency in Pittsburgh, but also our social media efforts, as well as our marketing initiatives and how it all plays out into today’s economy and it utlimately affects you, the consumer. Thus, we came up with a couple of absolutes that for now, make sense to us.

  • Social media measurement will adapt with the changing of external markets and it‚Äôs influencers.
  • The rules of engaging the consumer and marketing to that consumer are changing at light speed with the advantage shifting towards the consumer.
  • Social media engagement should be measured differently in tough economic times.
  • The tone of marketing and social media marketing is changing.
  • Consumer expectations of social media will not change during¬† the current economic woes because they haven‚Äôt set any precedents yet.
  • The importance of social media optimization and SEO has never been larger.
  • Social nets have a better chance to thrive now, more than they did at this point last year.

What Social Media is Not…

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Often times we get caught up in the semantics of what social media is and isn’t. In this slide share presentation we look at what social media is not.

What is Your Social Media Engagement Strategy?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Scenario #1 You live in Pittsburgh. In fact you live in Mt. Lebanon. You want to go to PNC Park. Should you take the parkway? Should you cut through the West End?Which way are you going to go and why? Should you take the parkway because that’s the way you always go?

Scenario #2 You’re an ad agency in Pittsburgh. You’ve had success in working with Hospitals like UPMC in the Pittsburgh region. Alcoa has called you and wants to talk about you handling a social media marketing campaign for them. Are you going to take what you do and did for the hospitals and apply it to the Alcoa job?

Scenario #3 You go into the Chinese restaurant downtown by the Grant building. You order a hamburger. Why? Are all restaurants the same?

Different channels require different strategies. Different companies need different things and have different audiences. Don’t forget that no matter how good you are at social media and how slick your Pittsburgh marketing company is, you need to listen.

7 Tips to Stay on Top of the Social Media Wave

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Often times you have to step in it to realize you are in it. With social media, you would have to have lived in a cave on an island in the Pacific to not know how ubiquitous it is. With that being said, here are 7 “things” you should be aware of as we go forward in this digital world.

1) Look for more content to be produced by “others”. This means look to professional content creators. They will blur the lines so much-you won’t know where the value lies.

2) There will be a continued increase in the value of communities but you will also see more splintering of those communities into niches.

3) Mobile will be THE social platform

4) Social data will determine your next move in your future business engagements

5) Engagement strategies will be different on every channel because of the data returned from #4

6) Mitigating loss of control in social media will continue to be underserved and undervalued.

7) Search will still rule, but social search will drive customer engagement.

If there were a way to etch these in pencil, I would do it. Things change so quickly in the digital social world that nothing is finite and everything is fair game. But as an agency or marketing company trying to make heads or tails over what might happen-this is as good a start as any.