AOR, Inc. Denver-based advertising, marketing and interactive. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:24:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Next Big Thing: Interactive Video Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:22:18 +0000 With the recent rise of video marketing online, companies are figuring out creative ways they can use video to tell their story and develop their brand. Whether it is to inform or to entertain, videos are pulling customers in.

But how can you take video marketing one step further? How can you engage your customers through video?

Introducing, interactive video.

Interactive videos are an easy, effective way to engage customers online. Rather than creating a video that the customer would simply sit and watch, interactive videos present the viewer with a “Choose your Own Adventure” type experience. The viewer is in the driving seat. Throughout the video they are given different options on what route to take and what they want to see. This not only presents a more engaging, targeted experience for the viewer but it also gives the company a lot of information about the viewer and their interests without having to fill out complicated forms.

Interactive videos have been proven to increase click-throughs, lengthen customer engagement, and create higher value viewers.

Here are a few examples to show how interactive video can be used in a clever way to engage the viewer:

Deloitte Recruitment Campaign

Philips “Designed to Play”

Maybelline “A Beauty Adventure”

Interested in an interactive video for your company, contact us and let us help!

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Ohhhh, Pinteresting Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:17:33 +0000 The Art of Shoes

Neiman Marcus wins at Pinterest

One of my favorite quotes about branding is this: “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” If I met the person who said this, I’d high-five them for nailing it on the head. You know where I found that quote? On Pinterest—one of my favorite places for curating my own personal brand. Whether I’m compiling recipes for an Easter brunch, pinning seasonal fashion finds, or getting inspired by exciting new color palettes, it’s my go-to source for all things current.

The smart brands out there are tapping into this medium like never before. For example, Neiman Marcus created an exclusive product launch based solely around Pinterest. How daring. How exciting. And what an incredibly brilliant way to get users “talking” and engaged with their brand. That “talk” resulted in gaining 3,000 new Pinterest followers in just two weeks.

From what I can tell, brands that successfully pull off this type of campaign are not so focused on salesmanship; they’re interested in building a brand experience. Michael Dill, managing partner at the shopper marketing agency Match Marketing Group asserts, “A brand experience is not a moment. It is a state of mind….it’s something that’s felt and emotional. It takes place over a long duration of time.” These emerging media offer us a unique opportunity to engage with our audiences in a whole new way. The trick is to curate content that bolsters the brand (think editorial vs. advertising) while remaining relevant to the people we really want to reach.  

Learn more about the Neiman Marcus campaign >

Check out a recent Ad Age article about “Connected Shoppers” >

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Making Sense of Visual Information Wed, 08 Oct 2014 22:42:10 +0000 Visualizing information through methods such as charts, graphs, and maps, can play a key role in helping an audience understand complex sets of data. When used correctly, these visual tools should augment existing information in order to make the subject at hand clearer by providing additional layers of understanding that the reader or viewer would not get simply by reading text. Some of my favorite data visualizations come from the graphics department at The New York Times. (Some of their recent examples can be found here and here).

Often times, however, visual information can become cluttered and disorienting—offering no meaningful insight into the data, or just flat out telling the wrong story. There is probably no greater example of this than in United States election maps. I’m sure that we can all agree that coloring an entire state, district, or county a stark red or blue based off of a 51/49% split is not an incredibly accurate representation of the voters as a whole in that specific area. If you want more information on this specific problem, you can read this great article.

There are plenty of these confusing and misleading infographics around, even ones that have been published by major, (supposedly) reputable organizations. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite, poorly-constructed data visualizations below, and offered a quick explanation for where exactly they went wrong.


This "purple" election map makes it hard for the eye to distinguish between different shades of purple, ultimately muddling the information it so clearly tried to accurately represent.

While a good effort was made to clarify the data beyond solid red and blue shapes, this election map makes it hard for the eye to distinguish between different shades of purple, ultimately muddling the information it tried so hard to accurately represent.


Pie charts are really just horrible things. While they may be useful to see parts of a whole, without proper context they tell you absolutely nothing. Especially when you have lots of categories.

Pie charts are really horrible things. While they may be useful to see parts of a whole that add up 100%, without proper context they don’t really tell you much of anything. Especially when you have lots of categories. Lots and lots of categories.

This FOX News Chart happened to flip the y-axis of this graph to make it appear as if there was a sharp decline in gun-related fatalities as opposed to a rather large increase.

This FOX News Chart happened to flip the y-axis of this graph to make it appear as if there was a sharp decline in gun-related fatalities as opposed to a rather large increase.

While the original graph done by Pew Research indicated an accurate depiction of the racial change in America, this NBC Nightly News visualization makes the implication that all Asians live in Maine.

While the original graph done by Pew Research indicated an accurate depiction of the racial change in America, this NBC Nightly News visualization makes the implication that all Asians live in Maine.


Chart Sources:

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Big Brands Embrace Bunny Meme Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:45:22 +0000 Big brands haven’t always been so successful with their forays into social media. But this week, some major players have have embraced Twitter’s recent “bunny meme” in a way that won’t earn them a fail whale. The meme, started by Tumblr creative strategist Amber Gordon, features a cute little ASCII bunny holding up a small placard—which some big brands have leveraged to create miniature billboards (examples below). Gordon is excited to see how brands are jumping on the bunny meme bandwagon. “Seeing brands use these types of silly Internet trends is so exciting. Using a native language that’s become relevant to your audience is exactly what more brands should be doing, but in an authentic way.” 

How would you use this meme to engage with your social media audience?

(via Adweek)




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The Growing Trend of Experiential Marketing Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:57:44 +0000 With the controversial “Whatever USA” event wrapping up in Crested Butte, I thought I’d focus on the growing trend of experiential marketing. If you’ve missed all the hoopla about the Whatever event, it was basically this in a nutshell… Bud Light took over the town of Crested Butte this past weekend, painted it blue, had a huge party, and invited thousands of people from around the US to attend.

Despite the backlash from Crested Butte Locals, it sounds like it was a success – but what was the point?

According to USA today, “Bud Light officials say the creation of the faux town, “Whatever, USA,” will generate content for a variety of advertising platforms, including social media, while rewarding some of its most enthusiastic customers.”

The marketing world is constantly looking for new ways to get consumers to pay attention. And experiential marketing has always been around, but it historically has just been a small piece of large campaigns. Many marketers are now increasing the role of live events and PR stunts to get consumers to interact directly with their brand because it is working. An EventTrack study on event marketing recently said that 62% of brands participating in the study were getting a 2 to 1 return on these type of events.

AdWeek referred to the few campaigns that included experiential marketing this summer: Purina set up a cat café in NYC, Oreo had a 3D printer at South by Southwest that made custom Oreos, And Coke had its off beat vending machines to promote its Open Happiness campaign.

To read more about all this, check out the AdWeek article that inspired this post.


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Social Media and the News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:17:29 +0000 How much of the news you read do you get off of social media? It is no surprise that according to a research study half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites, but is this on purpose or do visitors just happen to stumble across news while browsing?

Studies show that Facebook users are in fact on the site for other reasons and happen to stumble across news by chance and most of the news the viewer receives is not coming from a news source but from a friend sharing the news. The controversy about relying on social media for your news is that you may be getting skewed news stories with Entertainment news taking up 73% of the new topics on Facebook with people & events in my community coming in second at 65%.

On the other side of the coin many people enjoy getting their news from social media sites because it gives them the opportunity to interact with the news by sharing stories, commenting on posts, liking news stories, etc. It has also been found that individuals interact with the news stories at higher rates if they receive the news through a social media site rather than the news website itself.

With social media surpassing newspapers and equaling TV as the primary source of news how do you think the instant access is affecting the news stories? Is it most important these days to get the story right or to get it up on social media regardless of some flaws in information?

Matsa, Katerine, and Amy Mitchell. “8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News.” Pew Research Centers Journalism Project RSS. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2014.


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Is Social Media Right for Me? Fri, 08 Aug 2014 20:41:19 +0000 “Is social media right for me?” This question is probably the most frequently asked question AOR has received in the recent past from our clients. It’s obviously not black and white, no matter the size, industry, or culture of a brand, getting “social” can be a big undertaking.

This summer we’ve seen a couple big beverage brands roll out social campaigns with huge success. Take a look at what Coca-Cola and Bud Light have done to get personal with their consumers.

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke Campaign:

Bud Light’s The Whatever USA Campaign:

Now, we know not every client is consumer facing and it isn’t always natural to social share, but there are some helpful tips that can be learned from these two big dogs!

1. Get Conceptual–Social media campaigns are more than just a quarterly schedule of topics to post about. Strive to create an over arching concept for a campaign and then spread knowledge and personality. #ShareACoke & #UpForWhatever are great examples!

2. Create Engagement–Rather than pushing information on your social audience, try to create information that your consumers will want to interact with. Coca-Cola asked users to promote their product with their friends but phrased it in such a way that their customers got excited about. Check out #ShareACoke #SelfieSweeps

3. Be Active–It’s important to be involved and active in your social community. Have conversations with your consumers and make sure you actively respond to their comments and activity. Bud Light has done a great job interacting with their loyal consumers on social media consistently sharing #UpForWhatever engagement.

A social media campaign isn’t something that’s “one-size fits all”. AOR will make sure your social media plan is tailored and personalized just for you!


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Beautiful Bevs: Whiskey! Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:04:24 +0000 For our third go around of this lovely topic, Beautiful Bevs, we will be featuring awesomely designed and packaged whiskey bottles! Whiskey is my drink so I am pretty excited about this one. While searching for whiskey bottles I saw some pretty cool bottles with a wide range of themes but one theme that showed up quite often was the rustic, cabin, drink-this-while-sitting-in-front-of-the-fire look. This of course fits with whiskey’s soul warming effect. So check out the bottles below – a collection of well designed whiskey bottles.

Whiskey bottle designs

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What’s your style? Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:22:44 +0000 I read an article awhile back that featured workspaces of forty famously creative people. When I first started skimming through it, I found myself trying to find my famous desk-style twin. Turns out it doesn’t work like that. From supremely tidy and simple to a hot cluttered mess, the preferred level of cleanliness of a person’s desk is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Let’s take a spin around mine here at AOR.

There are staple items I carry with me from job to job—a marigold-yellow flowerpot I keep my immense pen/Sharpie/highlighter collection in, a Paper Source calendar, artsy lamps, framed photos of my sweet family, a trusty notebook and my giant pink Nalgene. These standard items act as landmarks in my workspace that anchor the clutter that will eventually pile up.

As much as I enjoy a tidy desk, my brain and creativity often get the best of me. Right now for example, as I turn my head to look at what surrounds me, I see a miniature Etch A Sketch, an avocado, an ADCD T-shirt, a light bulb and documents for approximately ten different clients—all in various stages of creative development. Sometimes this level of desk chaos inspires me. It makes me think, “Wow, look how busy, productive, creative I am!” And then other times when I’m feeling stuck on a particular project or can’t think of just the right word, I’ll look around and realize “Uh oh, I’ve reached the tipping point.”

I’m at that point today. Seriously, an avocado? My current desk aesthetic screams Ray Eames more than any other notables mentioned that article. Take a look and see how you stack up (or pile up).

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Ikea’s Instagram Website Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:27:46 +0000 As a big fan of Instagram, I was very excited to discover this video on the first Instagram website created by Ikea. Once a year Ikea launches a limited edition designer collection. In order to promote this new collection, they found a completely new way to use Instagram. Essentially they created a website using the features built into Instagram such as separate user accounts and tagging to create a home page, category pages and even product specific pages for this collection. Take a look at the video to see exactly how they created this Instagram website.

This is yet another innovative way marketers have used an existing social media platform to promote companies, products and services. What do you think is next?

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