The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Breaking News Photography

Pulitzer Prize photographyNew York Times Pulitzer prize photo

A 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winning photo. Take a close look at this image; check out the expression of the two men in the front of the boat, kids waving their clothes, two men trying to keep the boat for capsizing and especially the lighting and composition – it tells a story, truly a picture that speaks a thousand words. Congratulations to Sergey Ponomarev of the New York Times.

 (If you ever think your day sucks, trade places with them). Caption to the photo: Migrants arrive by a Turkish boat near the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos. The Turkish boat owner delivered some 150 people to the Greek coast and tried to escape back to Turkey; he was arrested in Turkish waters. The New York Times – November 16, 2015. 

Why is the Sony Xperia phone ad so bad?

Sony’s ad is slick and well produced, but does it communicate its value to the consumer? No! When I watched the commercial, the main actor looks like a hit-man stalking a ballerina and getting ready to take her out. When the video shows a single ballerina dancing in the darkness be tracked by a phone-type device and the voice over asks, “Can you feel it — the power — all in your hands — trust the power”,  I realized it wasn’t just a phone but a targeting device for a drone. Does the Sony Xperia have more advanced and useful technology than the iPhone?  How would I know from that commercial?

Sony mentions these two features; curved glass and seamless metal. Ok, so show me – I didn’t see anything curved and was the closeup of a metal rectangle rising up from a brushed steel plate the high tech-desk of the hit man or his phone? And Sony never did tell me why those two features have value to me.  The art direction of the ad is so overproduced with effects, that I don’t know what the Sony phone’s camera can or can’t do. It seems it can shoot a ballerina jumping in midair and cowboys riding on horses, but what percentage of their target audience is shooting ballerinas and horses? And  what about all the other video effects in the ad, can it do those too? Sony creatives need to take a lesson from Apple and focus on the value to the user of what makes their phone useful and how it can improve their customer’s life experiences. Sony, listen up, you are not selling beer where you can get all creative and sell just your phone’s image, but you need to create an emotional connection with your customers that communicates how your phone can change people’s lives.

How to Make a Video Testimonial that is Very Cost-effective

How to create a video testimonial of a client who is hundreds of miles away – for very little cost: Ok, the “right way” to do a testimonial video is to hire a video crew and bring them to the customer’s location – that is also very costly and may not be within your client’s marketing budget, nor the expense be a cost-effective marketing ROI. Here’s an alternative: I called my client’s customer, who was on the opposite coast, and recorded our 20-25 minute conversation, (using a Flip HD video camera recording an iPhone in “Speaker” mode). I asked questions, he had some great responses and I edited our conversation down to less than 4 minutes, and rearranged the audio so it flowed better. Yes, the audio sounds like it is over the phone – but also adds to being more authentic. If the audio sounds to polished, then it may not sound believable. I added some still photos, stock videos and a branded video opening and close — done, and the client was very happy with the result.

I could do that for you, (call your client’s customers and create a value-based testimonial). See the example video below. Just call Gary at 727.409.2326, to add testimonial videos to your services.

My New Year Message …

NewYear2016-Gary

The New Year marks a time for reflecting on the past year and contemplating what we learned from the last 365 days to make the coming year even better. Yes, it’s a time to celebrate past success, but it’s also a time for bold moves and fresh starts. It’s a time for dreams and friendships both old and new. It’s an opportune time to raise a toast to those who share your business success and those who cherish your personal happiness and hopes for the future.

The New Year marks a new beginning. New people to meet, new adventures to enjoy, and new memories to create. Here’s wishing you the gift of peace and prosperity throughout 2016, and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Building Relationships is a Valuable Marketing Tool, Here’s Why …

If you do not start somewhere, you will be nowhere. In order to get business, you need to get out and meet people and push your comfort zones. You need to form relationships with people outside of your immediate influence and industry. Join organizations whose members are business owners and senior people in organizations – as they are your potential new clients.

businessman connect to social network

You aren’t going to be building much of a business if the only people you know are those you are meeting through work. You must get out and meet people outside of work. This means going to events where people in your profession are networking for business are likely to be present, but it also means going to events where you are likely to stand out because you are one of the few who do what you do.

Networking-PartyThere are hundreds of potential social situations you can inject yourself into. It’s important that you get involved in as many social situations outside of work as you possibly can. This networking will give you the ability to meet new people and connect. These people may have the ability to refer relationships to you, or they may not. If you do not start to form relationships, however, then you will not be someone who can get business in the first place. Get out and form relationships!

Here’s how a company can easily lose its valuable trademark!

trademarkIt’s simple really. Don’t file the proper paperwork to keep your trademark alive, and it gets cancelled.

If you are a marketing person, win points with your client and find out if they have maintained their trademark. There’s a quick way to check, click on the trademark link below after watching the video.

Also, view the “Post-Registration Issue” video below for an overview of the most important issues you should be aware of after your application has matured into a registration. The video explains the required maintenance documents that you must file to keep your registration alive, as well as discusses an optional filing to enhance the legal strength of your registration. Failure to file the required maintenance documents discussed in this video can result in the cancellation of your registration.   Trademark check

Push Yourself to Play Outside of the Box to Increase Your Revenue and to Stay in the Game

Watch this YouTube video on how I created and installed a 10 foot outdoor sculpture for an office building in Clearwater, Florida. It was quite the challenge, as it was the first time I’ve ever created a sculpture. How did I get this job? I’ve given my clients the impression that I can deliver to them what ever they need, and if I have to learn something new to do it – I will.  Why?

Because if your customers consider you as a valuable resource to get the job done, then it opens the door for additional opportunities. I’ve been on my own as a designer for almost 20 years, and there isn’t anything I’m doing today that I did 20 years ago because technology changes and so does the needs of customers. There is a first time for everything, and if you believe you can do it – and learn from others, you have a better chance for success:

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