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Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Dec 2, 2016
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Shop at the YouthBiz Marketplace

Don’t miss the YouthBiz Marketplace December 3rd and 10th - the ultimate buy local experience. All products created and sold by Colorado youth-owned businesses. 

Each year we have the unique opportunity to work with local nonprofit Young Americans on their Celebration for Young Entrepreneurs. In this competition young entrepreneurs from across the state compete for a cash prize and the opportunity to be paired with a mentor from the Colorado business community. And every year we are blown away by the ingenuity, and professionalism of these young business owners. 

We worked with Young Americans to create videos highlighting these three 2016 winners:

Jack Bonneau (10) reinvented the lemonade stand as Founder and CEO of Jack’s Marketplaces and Stands. Jack was just eight years old when his Dad suggested opening a lemonade stand to pay for the Lego Death Star Jack begged for.  Figuring it would take too long just selling lemonade on his street, Jack opened up his first stand at the local farmer’s market. Oh yeah – and he’s even been on Shark Tank

Kayla Wolins (15) has been taking photos of nature since she was old enough to hold a camera. Kayla combined her love of photography and a passion for non-profits that serve animals by establishing her own non-profit business, Cards for Caring when she was 12. 

Hannah Isenhart (17) has been running her Hanimals business for over a decade!  She photographed her first stuffed animal “in its natural habitat” when she was five, and sold her first photography cards at a small event a year later.  Today, her cards are for sale at retail stores in Boulder, the YouthBiz Marketplace and online.

Thanks 9 News for showcasing these wonderful entrepreneurs. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 21, 2016
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Education: The Civil Rights Movement of Our Time

We’re proud to partner with organizations like Central Asia Institute, who work tirelessly to improve our world.  This year CAI is celebrating 20 years of work to combat ignorance and share the gift of education. 

These folks haven’t been content to take the easy road; they’ve left convention behind to work in some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world.
Where there are often no roads, no schools, and no hope.

One of the challenges of working with CAI is that most of their work takes place in war torn, extremely impoverished, and hard to reach places. They don’t often have the opportunity to send cameras into these areas. In the past we’ve overcome this lack of footage with animation, telling compelling stories that focus on issues rather than individuals. 

This time around we had the opportunity to sift through CAI’s archival footage – and absolutely fell in love with what we found.  Village elders who want to see their communities prosper, parents who want a better life for their kids, and children who dream of becoming doctors or politicians. We were able to pair this footage with newly recorded content from a local school. We hope the message is clear – the need for education is universal. 

Take a look at Central Asia Institute. They don’t do the work they do, in the places they do, because these countries are in the news or because that’s where the money is. They’ve worked in the region for 20 years, and CAI is committed to achieving lasting, generational change.

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Dec 9, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT - What does that even mean, anyway? Could it be more opaque?
Well, lucky for you I consulted a little-known print/online magazine called Wired to sort out just what-the-heck this Internet of Things thing is. Here’s what it had to say: 

The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

There it is. A one-sentence definition of the Internet of Things (“IoT”). Case closed, right? Wrong. Turns out the “IoT” is slated to be a real game-changer in almost every aspect of your life. For example, let’s say you buy a pair of Nike running shoes that have a sensor built into them. You then download the corresponding app for your smartwatch or smart phone and take a run. The information from the sensor in your shoes (such as how fast you’re running and for how long and your typical route) is being transmitted to the app in real time and being stored in the cloud. So now that these devices are communicating, the accumulated data can be used to help improve your running. Maybe you have a tendency to pronate while you run and you are at risk of a muscle tear? Or, maybe your usual route is blocked off because there’s a craft fair taking up the sidewalks? The app provides you with an answer, an alternate path based on other user data that is equal in distance to your usual run and allows you to keep up with your regiment. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Well, that is one of the more straightforward and helpful ways in which the “IoT” is going to change our lives. The subtext to this, of course, is that intimate and specific data about you and your interests will be made available to just about any interested party. So: your wonderful running app and intelligent shoes are providing you with a new and invigorating spin on exercise. But with the potential of the “IoT”, it could soon be possible that a new route is deliberately devised for you so that you run past a billboard for a specific product of which the mining of your data has suggested you would likely be interested in purchasing.

Because while the “IoT” possesses the potential to improve the safety and quality of our lives so too does it possess the ability for advertisers to hone a finer point on their marketing tools. While that may initially sound nefarious, there exists massive potential for the creation of new products and services that could change our lives in unforeseen ways as a result of blind data collection. It may even level up the playing field a bit, allowing local businesses to compete in a congested market with the various titans of industry that currently dominate the realm of advertising. Having a concise understanding of your customer base is an amazing tool regardless of scope. An effective web presence (best accomplished by online video advertising, of course) is integral to any business plan, big or small, and incorporating localized content into your advertising could only ever be a boon.  

Hey, let’s face it, data is the future. With the amount of personal information that we willingly disclose through social media and other forums, it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that it’s also being collected elsewhere without our express consent. Although how do I know for sure, I never read the User Agreement. I’ll tell you one thing though, indignation at the faceless absorption of our data certainly ain’t gonna change anything and, frankly, that argument is a little didactic. Data collection will only become more pervasive and subtle. 

As an advertiser, the Internet of Things should be embraced. It will allow unprecedented access and traction in ensuring that precious advertising dollars are spent effectively in reaching the exact people they’re intended to reach. But it’s not so basic as simply making it easier to hock product to the mindless masses. The “IoT” allows companies to track usage and satisfaction in real time, thereby putting product refinement and functionality at the forefront of the user experience. In other words: maybe this will temper the onslaught of cheap crap currently on offer and provide a shot-in-the-arm for quality control. Either way, modern life will continue to change and evolve. Before you know it we will hardly ever have to think about anything; our machines will be smart for us. What a relief. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Nov 25, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Storytelling. Relationships. Connections. Emotion.

I’m guessing that upon reading those words, the first few things that pop into your head likely aren’t advertisements. But that may be changing, at least if advertisers have their way. Take this ad, for example:

Beside the somewhat unsettling nature of that child’s precocious delivery and accent, the video ad is effective at telling the story of a young boy’s idolization of his father and how playing with Legos has bolstered their relationship. 

Or how about this ad:

The gentle twinkling of the piano keys adds emotional weight to the intersecting images of a mother’s love. We witness them carry their children through life; fall after fall and failure after failure, persistent love allows their children to become Olympic athletes. It’s heartwarming, isn’t it? I particularly liked the documentary feel the ad has, with the handheld camera work providing a cinéma vérité feel. Now, we all know that P&G is deeply entrenched in almost every aspect of American life. One might question if they even need to advertise. But they didn’t become one of the largest corporate conglomerates in the world by resting on their laurels so perhaps it’s wise to unpack what is going on beneath the surface of this ad.

Writing for Psychology Today, Peter Noel Murray provides an illuminating look at the influences that determine what we buy and how we make decisions. There is one resounding answer to this question: emotion. Essentially, when we need to make a decision, we draw upon previous related experiences as well as the underlying emotions they produced in order to assign value to our choices. Emotion is so important to the process, in fact, that a study involving people whose synaptic connection between thoughts and emotions have been disrupted by brain damage found that these individuals experience great difficulty in making decisions. They can go through the process of gathering information and conceiving alternate choices but they are unable to make a final decision because they lacked the ability to feel one way or another about their options.  

Murray’s article goes one step further, and reports that functional MRI neuro-imagery demonstrates that consumers eschew information (facts and figures) and instead primarily utilize emotions (feelings and experiences) when making purchasing decisions.  Furthermore, emotional response to an advertisement has a greater effect on a consumer’s intent to buy than the actual content of the ad. In effect, advertisements tap into our shared human experiences and manipulate us into buying Pampers over Huggies. The message is clear: we are better, more caring mothers if we provide our children with P&G products. But it doesn’t stop there.

Through advertising, brands develop “personality characteristics” that are indistinguishable in our sensory-addled brains to those same characteristics we perceive in other people. These characteristics are communicated to us through packaging, buzzwords, and imagery. Similar to how we relate to certain people better than others, so too do we relate to particular marketing tactics better than others. These ads provide a narrative to the products that allow us to relate and connect to them in an ostensibly meaningful way. 

Beyond selling us a product, these ads are selling us an identity. I would presume that I’m not the only person riddled with insecurities that feels a sense of relief when my needs and desires are acknowledged and nurtured. Our identities are enmeshed in every facet of our lives: our clothes, cars, cell phones, and opinions are all meticulously compiled to present our “ideal selves” to the world. Advertisers are quite aware of this and have become successful at cluing us in to our desires through subtle suggestion. 

As our entertainment and access to it diversifies and becomes more compartmentalized and tailored to our specific tastes, you can bet that ads will follow suit. They will develop to be even more accurate and effective at appealing to aspects that make us different rather than that which makes us the same. Though we are, by and large, approximately equal in what we desire out of life (love, happiness, sex) it is the few variances in taste that makes us individuals and composes our identities. Advertisers have an unprecedented ability to engage with consumers on a more direct level, so get used to the idea that a commercial could one day make you cry.

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Nov 18, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Prince and Internet Marketing

Regardless of what Prince says, the Internet is here to stay. In fact, the majority of Americans go online for shopping, entertainment, and observing the latest trends. It’s not new, sure. But you’d sort of think it is with the way that advertisers neglect it as a viable marketing tool. In fact, advertisers only allot about 5% of their marketing dollars to the Internet. This is an underwhelming figure given that 85% of Americans report regularly viewing videos online. This statistic is compounded by the fact that almost half of Americans report a plan to move from conventional television to online services in the near future. The tides are turning, which means that there is a massively underutilized market of prospective consumers just waiting to be told what to buy and believe in.

Studies show that advertising on the Internet yields an effective return on investment. Not only is it more cost effective, but studies also report that Internet advertising results in 33% more brand recall in addition to a whopping 45% message recall. Online ads also reportedly increase general brand likeability by 40%. Advertisers that take the time and initiative to meet consumers on their preferred platform are being rewarded with unprecedented reach and influence.  

What this should signify to you are the massive sea changes taking place in the ways by which people get their information and make decisions. As a viewer of online content you choose which websites you visit and therefore what advertising content you see. Because this interaction is founded on the consumer’s terms, you can basically make it seem like buying your product was their idea. That means that by infiltrating this medium, you can increase your brand awareness and effectiveness at what is often a fraction of the cost of television advertising. 

I can provide you with myriad examples of effective online marketing: Dollar Shave Club, Zappos, Old Spice… Too small time, you say? Well, how about a heavy hitter like Coca Cola? Coke (as they’re known to their friends) plans to use Internet marketing to double sales by 2020. Granted, not everyone has the visibility and brand-recognition of Coke, but it is a fine display of the potential present in online marketing. By taking advantage of this burgeoning resource, you can make sure that your brand stays on top and at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

All of this comes on the heels of the new Adobe/Nielsen Rating System team-up. Nielsen Ratings, of course, have been widely utilized by advertisers in the medium of television for decades as a means of tracking demographics and respective purchasing habits. It has inarguably become the most important tool advertisers use in making sure that their message reaches the appropriate audience. So, in effect, this means that not only will your message be reaching a new and relatively untapped market, but you’ll also have a means by which you can track the effectiveness. All of this adds up to one simple conclusion: diverting marketing dollars away from television and into the Internet is a simple and cost-effective means of proliferating brand awareness and loyalty on a large scale.

By the way, if you need some help breaking into the online video market, I know some guys…

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Aug 13, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities

Don't have a disability? Then don't park is spots reserved for people who do. It's a simple message, and one that you might think is a no-brainer. Turns out it's not, and people come up with the worst excuses. We were fortunate enough to work with The Colorado Advisory Council for Persons With Disabilities and Amélie Company to create these fun spots with one message, "Your excuses will never be as good as their reasons." 

Take a look at the spots in this playlist:

It's awesome to see this meaningful campaign getting so much attention - picked up by adforumThe Colorado Independent  & The Denver Egotist. Thanks everyone!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Jul 13, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Live - Work - Denver

Looking for a job with new creative challenges every day? Maybe want to ride a hover board around the office? Or even head to a Rockies game with the whole office? One Floor Up is in the hiring mood - head over to the news section and check out the available positions. 

Speaking as a completely biased, current employee - One Floor Up is an abolsultely amazing place to work. And though you might not just take my word for it - it's easy to prove what an awesome place Denver is to work/live/play. Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and we're popping up on just about every 'best of' list out there. Check out just how great it is to be in Denver:

Source List:
#2 Fastest Growing City in America (adding 15,000 per year)
(US CENSUS Est. 2015)

#2 Best Place to Launch a Startup (Forbes 2014)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tompost/2014/03/13/the-best-places-to-launch-a-startup-in-2014/
Denver has 104+ breweries http://www.fermentedlychallenged.com/p/denver-area-breweries-map.html
11 times more likely to commute by bike than the average U.S. commuter (Downtown Denver Partnership 2015 Commuter Survey)
300+ days of sunshine (NOT TRUE, BUT ONE OF SUNNIEST MAJOR CITIES)
http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/sunniest-cities/
US Mint and # of Peaks
http://www.movoto.com/denver-co/denver-facts/
Top Workplaces Colorado
http://www.xconomy.com/boulder-denver/2013/08/02/colorado-dominates-list-of-best-places-to-work-for-outdoorsy-types/
Best Cities for Job Seekers
http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/best-cities-job-seekers-2015/

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Jun 8, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Video Studios and Value

Let's start with the facts: a studio-created explainer video is worth every penny.

Whether you're a startup or an established company, using video content marketing increases your brand presence tenfold.

Studio shot video makes a difference
Put your best foot forward, use a professional video team.
 Here's how:

Anyone running a business can likely say that they believe their brand is the best. Of course! That's why you created it, why you invested time and money into your business. But, this makes it more difficult for you to represent your brand by influencing the way that you value features and aspects of your company due to your heavy investment.

Involving a video production company can help better weigh those features, as they can approach the project without any bias. Having an outside perspective can shed light on the story that your brand should be telling, one that accentuates your industry, culture and dynamic. You can also rely on a third party video production company to provide feedback and knowledge regarding your target audience and how to better capture their attention. A video production company specializes in creative thinking and ideas.

Often, clients feel that they need a lengthier video to explain the brand's message and other vital information. A large part of the value in hiring a video production company is that a skilled producer can hone in on the most important facets of your video message. Compressing the message will also help retain your audience's attention throughout the span of the video. 

Creating simplicity from a complex business structure or product is extremely difficult, which is why a video production studio that specializes in simplification and has experience producing visual marketing videos will be your best option. 

Audio professionals select fitting background track
The expertise to execute your vision
The video production team will typically include a writer that is trained to script your project using keywords that are both relevant to your industry and unbiased to best promote your business culture and services. It is up to the remaining team members to create a perfect visual pairing for the script that is entertaining and memorable. 

It can take hundreds of hours for even a skilled video production company to produce a 60 second video or animated video. The work of illustrators to motion graphics professionals and other creative team members is needed to complete your project. 

Partnering with a video production team gives you access to a network of talented, creative professionals - many that have taken years to assemble as a team. They can make difficult production decisions to ensure that your visual storytelling project transcends your brand's message to show its culture and personality. For example, they can put you in touch with the right illustrator depending upon your preferred style of design. They know which writer's style fits with your brand's culture and which talent is reliable and suitable for your brand's personality. They can recommend a background track that perfectly compliments the emotional dynamic of your video.

Each small piece of guidance that your video production company offers you will contribute to the success of your video. A successful visual marketing piece can mean additional revenue and web presence for your brand - a value that will add to your organization immensely and quickly show your return on the initial investment.

Questions? Contact us today!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
May 4, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Why Hire a Video Production Company?

Building a strong marketing fund can be difficult, especially for new and startup businesses. Knowing where to allocate those marketing funds can make or break your business's web presence - so how do you choose where to spend your marketing dollars? 

Studio-created explainer videos may be costly, but the value of video will enhance your business potential more than any other visual marketing strategy available today. Your audience is ready and willing to consume beautiful, intriguing visual stories that enhance your brand.

Here's how:

Showing your brand's true value 

A heavy investment of both time and funding will undoubtedly render you slightly biased in favor of your brand. Including a third party, like a video production company, in your marketing strategy can help you see beyond those biases and bring to light the true culture and strong skill set that your brand can bring to its audience. 

Collaborating with another company provides an outside view to the story behind your brand. They can thoroughly assess your industry and clientele and then provide helpful feedback about the best ways to reach your target audience and highlight the strongest aspects of your business. Not only that, but they can suggest creative ideas that your team may not have yet considered. 

Streamlining your brand's message

When planning your visual marketing campaign, you may feel that time is important to delivering a full description of your band. Many companies plan for 2-5 minutes. With the millions of visual marketing strategies in play and at your audience's fingertips today, it is important to consider your audience's attention span. 

Consulting a video production company on how to compress your video message will allow you to extract the most vital and attention-grabbing elements of your brand's message and put those into play in a condensed 60 second (or less) video. Creating a simple message that highlights the key components of your company culture will keep your audience entertained and promote your brand's message simply and in a way that potential customers will be able to easily recall. 

A production studio will review your script and revise it to accentuate key words and phrases that exemplify your company's unique and valuable services. They can also offer a hand in creating exciting visuals that will connect to the message that you want to deliver. 

Success never felt so good!
Organizing your project

Creating a 60 second video can take a skilled team hundreds of hours of work and revising. Everything from training actors, to creating and illustrating, motion graphics, audio and more, play intricate roles in the success of your visual storytelling project. 

A video production company already has the assets and connections necessary to begin a full scale video project. By leveraging resources, your video production can effectively organize your project to ensure that you get the optimal return on your funding and resources. By understand how to proceed with complex production issues, to contacting their best motion graphics designer, your video production company can take the reigns on your project and make sure that you deliver your message in the most captivating way while using maximizing your resources. 

Have you had a great experience working with a video production team? Please share it with us!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 30, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

The Goodwill Power of Work Luncheon

One Floor Up was proud to be involved in the 19th Annual Goodwill Power of Work Luncheon. Congratulations Jackie, Goodwill Student Advisory Council, Tonya, Leo, and community leader, Kelly Brough! Each of these wonderful people were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the community.

This luncheon marks 10 years of collaboration between the staff at One Floor Up and Goodwill Denver. Each year we are amazed at the personal stories growing out of Goodwill. It’s such an honor to be the video production team bringing these stories to life on screen.

Together, Goodwill Denver, One Floor Up and The Lockerpartners collaborated to create four videos telling the stories of this years honorees. If you missed the luncheon, you might want to take a look. 

Let us know how these stories affected you. Let One Floor Up help your organization tell a story. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 16, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Corporate Storytelling People Want to Hear

Corporate video has come a long way. Things started out pretty simple, just talk about yourself.  Generally brands spent most of their time on the ‘what’ – what you do, what’s your goal, what you sell, what services you offer, and what pain-points you solve. If there was any time left at end you might talk about how great you are.

Thankfully times have changed. Audiences are sophisticated and accustomed to being entertained. Gone are the days of larger than life personas, with cameras shooting upwards at skyscrapers, landscapes. The people in corporate video shouldn’t be anonymous, fast paced and busy. Instead, video should put the human element front and center. It’s not the what, but the who, why and how.

Focusing on people is the key to developing a successful corporate story. These stories can come in many forms. You can engage your audience by speaking to them, not at them, and connect with them on a human level, not a corporate level. All brands have people behind them. Finding a way to connect your audience to these people is the best way to create an emotional connection that lasts.  

Here’s an example of a corporate video we produced that’s all about the people behind Scram Systems. Through this video we realize that the story of Scram Systems is the story of it’s employees. 

What do you think matters most in corporate video production? Do you think portraying the human side is a more effective way to engage your audience?

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 8, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

The Price of Video

Video is expensive. Period. 

But despite its price, video is the most effective content marketing strategy available today. Companies and individuals alike are reeping the benefits of video and increasing their web presence drastically. For many would-be video users though, the first question they have is "Why is video so expensive?"

Time is money.

Videos take time and effort. Like any quality product, producing a video requires the right scene, the perfect illustration, and trained actors. All of these things take work and cost money. Hiring experienced actors can be costly, but training actors takes time. Either situation is going to add to the project budget, whether it be in monetarily or extending the project deadline.

Highend video requires quality components.

Investing in the top creative professionals, screenplay writers, illustrators, designers and voice over artists adds a ton of value to the overall video quality. If you want an impactful video, sinking a little more capital into key ingredients will have an outstanding effect on the finished product.

Likewise, using highend equipment to shoot your video will increase the impact of your video and contribute to your video's success on the internet. Taking the time to find the right type of production equipment will repay you in views when you release your final cut. Whether it is software for animation or editing, or the type of camera you use to shoot, ensuring that your team is well-equipped throughtout your project will deliver a great result.

Continue to improve your video. 

Check on your project often throughout the production process and keep a record of your ideas for improvement. Videos are rarely ready for their audience after the first edit, so allow yourself time to go back and make the necessary changes. Reviewing your work is a vital part of your video's potential sucess. Your video production team will need time to make your suggestions become reality so plan for this time in your project outline. 

You don't need to spend millions for quality videos, but investing in the right components can really pay off. 

Are there any other things that you would add to your video budget? Let us know!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Mar 25, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Why Use Video?

There's a new stat out almost daily backing up the power of video. From consumer focused marketing, to connecting with high-level enterprise decision makers, video is the perfect platform to connect with your audience. Well produced video tells a compelling story in just seconds, by combining images, text and audio your ability to convey information increases exponentially. Just take a look at these awesome stats we've put together showcasing the power of video. 

Have another interesting statistic? Share it with us! Let us know what you think is the next new thing in video. Thanks for checking us out.

Sources:
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Videos/Presentation/Are-You-Watching-What-is-On
https://www.internetretailer.com/2012/04/05/online-videos-help-build-confidence-purchases
https://blogs.oracle.com/marketingcloud/online-video-marketing-statistics
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/167693/socially-recommended-online-video-ads-increase-per.html
http://www.scgpr.com/41-stories/the-power-of-video-marketing
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/
 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Mar 2, 2015
All Posts by Jon Flacke

6 Questions to ask your Video Production Company

When looking for a new video production partner it can be difficult to differentiate your options. Use these inside questions to peer inside each vendor and get an idea for their true capabilities. 

Will the production company be able to handle your volume?

Most marketing campaigns include several videos to be released over a pre-designated timeframe. Simply put, can the production house keep up with the volume of work you have, and keep your campaign on schedule?

Dig a little deeper and find out how the production company will handle your work starting at pre-production with concept development, scripting, and scouting. And when they turn cameras on for production, will their crew scale to execute your creative vision? Can multiple crews be out picking up footage at once?

Post-production can be the most time consuming step of all. The last thing you want is to get stuck in an endless loop of editing. What capacity does the edit team have? Is the creative leadership in place to guide the concept to completion?

Does the production company offer a platform to manage your project?

A lot will happen during the creation of your awesome video. From creative concept to full-blown motion graphics, how will you stay involved along the way? What touch points will you have with the production team for input? You probably have a team of people in your own organization that need to be able to review a video and give feedback along the way. What utilities will the production company provide to make this step simple?

What does a typically timeline look like?

We all work on different schedules, and different mentalities for that matter. Find out if the company has worked on projects of similar scope and timeline. It’s important to set realistic deadlines, but don’t be afraid to ask for things sooner. An experienced video provider can turn around work quicker than you think.

Can they prove the quality of their work?

It’s hard to find a guarantee in creative industries. It’s not nearly as hard to find reliable references. Does the production company have clients of a similar size to yours? Can they provide samples of similar, and successful campaigns? Follow up with references to find out how your provider was involved in their project.

What’s their expertise?

A lot of production companies will tell you they do it all. But most have an area of expertise. Find out where they shine, and maybe where they’re rough around the edges. Some production companies are in it to create documentaries and entertainment – they might take on corporate clients just to pay the bills. These providers can be less engaged in your project. Finding a production company that focuses on corporate video will pay off in the end.

Where has the company earned most of its experience? Some providers specialize in live event, others in interviews and testimonials. There are production companies building their entire reputation on animation and motion graphics alone. 

Where do they shoot?

Does your project require shooting in multiple cities, states or even countries? Video production can be a very local business. However, for larger campaigns it's important to find out if your video production company is capable or coordinating a remote shoot. Have they worked outside of the country? Are they comfortable working with fixers and translators? 

Start with these questions and you'll be on the right track to finding a production company capable of fullfilling your needs. Remember, the right production company will be happy to talk shop with you. They'll want to understand your creative and communication needs as much as you do. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Dec 12, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

BMA Luncheon (in outer space)

This week BMA Colorado and the Denver Ad Club joined up to host a holiday luncheon and industry Panel at the Warwick Hotel downtown.  The event, aptly titled “Clients are from Mars; Agencies are from Venus,” brought together industry leaders from both sides of the equation for what turned out to be a pretty intriguing conversation.

Glenn Thayer (@glennthayer), a standard host for BMA events (and so much more), performed typically – creating a space for captivating conversation and unobtrusive audience participation. The audience used a cool new (to me), web-based app to submit questions and answer polls during the event. The system, called Conference i/o, is an audience response system with some interesting features. The audience could anonymously ask questions to the panel, while other audience members could see questions popping up in real time and vote them up or down. I found it to be an interesting way to encourage audience participation without interrupting the flow.

The expert panel was just that, experienced professionals with noteworthy résumés – each of which brought valid and thought provoking material to the table.

David Duncan - CMO, Webroot Software
John Winsor - CEO, Victors & Spoils
Jeff GrahamPartner Account, Grenadier
David Craven - VP Brand Marketing, Qdoba

One comment in particular stuck with me during and after the panel: “Instead of trying to resolve the tension between the new and the old, embrace it.” The words ‘innovation’ and ‘disrupt’ are thrown around fairly liberally these days.  Every company wants to innovate, wants to be the AirBnB or Uber of their industry. There’s something to be said for playing between the lines, for not just discarding what was and moving on to what’s next. Embracing the usefulness in the new and the old, the juxtaposition of the two, or the aspects of each complimenting the other has so much more value.

In summary of the conversation, it was truly apparent that both clients and vendors were most interested in honesty from their counterparts, in creating a relationship where both entities understand each other’s business models and objectives. A recurring theme from the conversation seemed to be that it’s not just that clients should be selective of which vendors they are working with – but that vendors should be selective as well. Don’t try to be more than you are, don’t try to sell what you don’t have, and certainly don’t get involved in marketing strategies you’re not prepared to or willing to risk executing.

It’s easy to sit back and blame problems on whichever entity is “the other side.” When things go wrong, or at least don’t go right, it’s the agencies failed execution; it’s the client’s lack of vision.  More probably, and definitely according to the luncheon’s panel, it’s a failure of the partnership, a failure of understanding and commitment.

And of course, in the end it turns out that both clients and agencies are from right here on earth – with much more in common than either typically lets on. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Nov 24, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Rules to Live by in Corporate Video

1. Know and narrow your audience

One of the first steps in video production is defining your audience. The shotgun approach, casting a wide net to include as many individuals as possible is ineffective. In striving to speak to so many, you fail to speak to anyone well. Marketing bombards people in a million different ways a day. Broad strokes of communication just lose people’s interest. By narrowing your audience, you can actually expand the number of people who connect with your content. 

2. Storytelling – making an emotional connection

With the amount of media people consume today, it’s more important than ever to tell a compelling story. You can’t just tell your audience to buy your product, and expect them to hop online and do it. Consumers expect to be entertained by marketing media. When you look at the advertisements that see the most viral success, almost all of them have this in common: they contain well-crafted stories that make people feel something. 

Here are three things storytelling can add to your video:

1. Emotion – Stories connect with people on an emotional level. In return, emotion helps people to better relate to your business and brand. 

2. Subtlety – Repetitive sales pitches turn people away from your message. Through the lens of a story, you can share an experience with viewers allowing them to read between the lines and learn more about your brand. 

3. Show it – It’s not show and tell, its show don’t tell. One of the amazing things about video is its bandwidth for information. It’s not necessary to tell the viewer every bit of information. In fact, its better if you don’t. Only say what’s necessary to tell the story and use actions and visuals whenever possible to convey information. This tactic not only makes your story more interesting  - but helps keep it short. 

3. Focus on the audience – not the product

It’s important that a corporate video provide value for, and help an audience, not just pitch a product or service.  We get it – you love your product, it’s the best thing since - ever. Because of this, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of just pitching your product and service. Instead, focus on the story and how it relates to your audience. If people can see themselves in the situation you’re creating, they’re one step closer to becoming a customer. 

4. Be authentic 

It goes without saying; don’t make promises you can’t keep. Brands need to deliver on promises and ensure that audiences trust them. Todays highly educated consumers can sniff out false promises and exaggerations like the k-9 unit on S.W.A.T.. Authenticity goes beyond honesty as well. Audiences are well versed in marketing lingo and see through it quickly. Most audiences value language that’s sincere and takes them into consideration. Assume your audience is intelligent and give credit to their point of view. 

These are just a few rules of thumb to take into consideration. Revaluate your process regularly and maintain a focus on your audience. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Oct 30, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Holding Attention in Web Video

 Obviously the web has transformed the way people research companies and products. The average Internet user will look over your site for only 10-20 seconds. If they’re looking for something in particular and don’t see a value proposition right up front, they may move on even quicker.  

So where does video fall into the mix? Video provides the opportunity to engage your potential customers, and provide them with the value of your product or service in a very short timeframe. But just how short is that timeframe? 

Here’s some food for thought:

:02 seconds – amount of time web users will wait for a video to load before moving on. (CNN)

:10 seconds – length of time you have to grab a users attention in the video, before they move on. (Visible Measures)

:30 seconds – 85% of users will watch a :30 second video all the way through, that number drops to less that 50% after 2 minutes. (Labnol)

If you’re considering utilizing video production in your online marketing campaign – these are important numbers. Keep in mind that internet users want information quickly – if they can’t get it from you, they can from the next site. Creative needs to be designed from the get-go to front load the most important information, and entertain a user as quickly as possible. 

So what’s the most important information? What data, stats, facts, visuals and verbiage will peak your viewers interest right away?  These are great questions, and the answers are constantly evolving with your market.  

When you’re looking for a video production house – it’s important you align yourself with an organization full of creatives with fresh new ideas. But it’s equally important to bring on a team that understands the analytics of web video, and the research required specific to your market. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Sep 17, 2014
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Talk Video to Me

A-roll, B-roll, Spicy Tuna Roll - what’s it all mean?

Like any industry, there is a lot of jargon to go along with video.  And if you’re not in the industry, it might be a bit overwhelming.  Or maybe you’re a marketing executive who just wants to know the lingo before you show up on set.  There’s a lot to be gained from getting to know the video language.  Getting a little more comfortable talking video nerd can help everyone better reach your marketing goal. 

A-Roll & B-Roll: Think of A-Roll as the main on camera talent.  If it’s an interview-based piece, we’re talking about all the parts when the viewer sees the interviewee on screen.  B-Roll is everything else. You know, those posh glamor shots of your sweet looking product seemingly floating in a gravity free, matrix-white environment.  We use B-roll to cover up the on screen talent while still hearing what they’re saying.  It keeps the viewer interested and provides context as well as additional information. 

Chroma Key: Refers to the replacement of one part of the video picture with another picture.  Often times this is accomplished by using a “green screen.”  In post production editors punch a hole in the picture where a certain color appears.  

Depth of Field: Let’s get artistic with it folks! Depth of Field is the range in front of a camera’s lens where objects appear in focus.  After this range objects appear to “fall off,” or become slightly blurred. 

Encoding: In video editing and production video encoding is the process of preparing the video for output, where the digital video is encoded to meet proper formats and specifications for recording and playback through the use of video encoder software.

Lower Third: A graphic placed in the lower area of the screen.  This graphic is often used the first time we see an individual in a video and may include their names and title. 

Post Production: You might hear somebody say “We’ll fix it in post.”  What they’re referring to is Post Production, or everything that happens after camera’s turn off.  We’re talking about editing, syncing, music, titling – everything that happens from the time cameras turn off until delivery of the final product. And if there’s ever an editor in earshot, you might want to avoid the saying “fix it in post.” 

Room Tone: In video production “Room Tone” is the silence recorded at a set location when no dialogue is spoken.  Every location has a distinct ambient sound.  Maybe it’s caused by the low hum of an HVAC system or refrigerator in the other room.  We’ll use the room tone later, in post, to smooth out any sound edit points. 

Rough Cut: Here we’re talking about a preliminary edit of the footage.  The story we’re telling is largely completed.  The sequence of footage and total length may change in future revisions.  Some elements, including the graphics package and sound effects may not be present in this cut. 

VO: Acronyms make the world go round.  VO becomes pretty self-explanatory when you drop the acronym.  Voice Over refers to spoken word audio that is presented over images or video.  The images or video may or may not include the individual who is speaking.   

Oh, and that Spicy Tuna Roll – that’s called craft services. 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Sep 3, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Summer Scream

The One Floor Up team had a blast at The Denver Films Society's "Summer Scream" at Lakeside Amusement Park - and of course camera (phone)s were on hand. Check out all of the fun we had!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Jul 25, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Water World Contest

Your company says it, their company says it, One Floor Up means it - "Work hard, play hard."

Since it's been 117 degrees out the past week, we took a half day to cool off at the local water park.  Wave pools, giant water slides, questionable swimming attire, and enormous ice cream sundays - what a work day. Being a production company, of course the office GoPro was along for the ride. Folks, that is how the OFU Wet-Wild-Water-World Edit Contest was born.

Each editor in the office had 1 hour to go through the footage and piece together their goofy interpretation of our awesome day. And now we need YOU to help choose the winner.

Watch the YouTube playlist below to see all 4 cuts. And please, leave us a Facebook comment to tell us which you liked best!  

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
May 14, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Our New Offices

For the past two years One Floor Up has been working out of the the collaborative workspace “Laundry on Lawrence.”  It’s been an amazing 24 months growing our business and watching the RiNo area change around us.  The Laundry space has been an awesome incubator for our growing company.  Working in a collaborative space means new faces every day, and for a small business that can be an amazing thing.  We loved working among all the hardworking, driven folks at organizations like RMMFI, Brandfolder, BrightNest, Around the Clock Movers, Creative Cosmos and so many more.  With all the changes and growth in the RiNo and Five Points area we feel lucky to have found a new work space just seven blocks away. 

That’s right, we moved. Come by and say ‘hi’ at our new offices on historic Welton Street in Five Points. 

One Floor Up 2850 Welton Street Denver, CO 80205

Thanks @mimonanina for the sweet pics!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 18, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

Work in the Community

Here at One Floor Up we’re fortunate enough to work with a huge assortment of non-profits, businesses, and governments.  We love the variety of work these diverse organizations bring in.  It means that every day we get to work on a completely new challenge, reaching a different audience, and disseminating a completely different messages. 

Editing video, creating complex animations, and weaving a compelling storyline requires lots of time at a desk.  But we’re not in a cubicle farm, and this isn’t your every day, mundane desk job. Instead, we’re fortunate enough to work on passion projects for clients making a real difference in the communities around us.

I’m Going Places

For more than 35 years, Arapahoe House has been a champion for families and individuals with alcohol, drug and other behavioral health issues.  The non-profit organization helps more than 15,000 members of the metro Denver community find help, hope, and healing from addiction every year.

One Floor Up is proud to be involved with imgoingplaces.org, a community collaboration managed by Arapahoe House.  This project is a campaign in Adams County aimed at middle and high school students and the adults they interact with.  They’re helping to dispel myths about drug and alcohol use among teens, and a whole lot more.  Take a look at some of the videos we’ve collaborated on.

 

Goodwill Industries of Denver 

You probably know them as the place to find new-to-you dish ware, funky sweaters, and deals galore.  And don't get me wrong, they are every bit the glamorized shop in Mackelmore's chart topping single.  Go there with friends and you're bound to have fun, find something (or ten things) perfect for you and at a great price. Goodwill is also an amazing organization having an impact in communities around the country.  Most people who shop at their stores probably don't know about all the work they do for our community.  Goodwill provides education, career development and employment opportunities to help Coloradans in need achieve self-sufficiency, dignity, and hope through the Power of Work.  Here's just a single look at how we're collaborating with Goodwill Industries of Denver

 

Women's Bean Project 

Since 1989, Women's Bean Project has been dedicated to helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. Women’s Bean Project strives to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by helping women discover their talents and develop skills by offering job readiness training opportunities.

With this stepping stone toward success, the women will be able to support themselves and their families, and create stronger role models for future generations. One Floor Up has just started collaborating on our first project with Women's Bean Project - we'll share our work soon!

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Apr 8, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

One: En Masse - total success

Thanks for coming to our Party!

As many of you already know – the One: En Masse art show and live music event took place at our space last Friday.  It turned out to be one crazy and fun event.  Doors opened at 6:00 and by 6:15 we had 100 people roaming the space, checking out all of the great art.  Our friends over at Kingman Fine Colorado Wines sold more wine at this event than any in the past.  Taste of the Philippines, the tasty food truck parked out front, completely sold out before the event was over.  And the after party at Savoy was packed shoulder to shoulder from 10 to 2.  Best of all, several of our artists sold multiple pieces!

It’s safe to say that One: En Masse had a hugely successful show – and we can’t wait to do it again. Stay tuned for more photos & video from the event!

Don’t forget to watch your calendar for our next big event! 

Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Feb 19, 2014
All Posts by Jon Flacke

What’s all this about a blog?

There’s a lot going on over here at One Floor Up, and we wanted a forum to share it all with you (yes you internet).  Here’s the thing though – we’re new to this and we totally don’t want to suck at it. 

What’s a blog supposed to be? We’ve found a few places to start.

Dictionary.com:

A website containing a writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.

Sweet, that’s something we can handle.  In fact we don’t want this blog to be the corporate musings of a random company – because that’s just not our style.  We want this to be a place for all of us at One Floor Up to share what’s going on with our lives, inside and outside of the cubicle (ok ok, we don’t have cubicles - but if we did).

Here’s what we’re going to avoid

UrbanDictionary.com:

Short for weblog.  A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as "homework sucks" and "I slept until noon today."

Right, thanks for the warning Urban Dictionary.  We’ll do our best to avoid the blatantly uninteresting.  Instead we’ll fill this space with personal triumphs, funny clips, video’s that make us smile (or sigh, or cry a little), people watching, quirky art, and anything else extremely interesting that we can think of!

Just to ease in to it though, we’ll start by having our staff introduce themselves.