According to Mordor Intelligence, The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in aerospace and defense market size is estimated at USD 175.36 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 311.40 Billion by 2028. This remains one of the largest capital-intensive sectors as a result of the meticulous R&D needed to expand, enhance, and integrate product portfolios and stand out in the competitive landscape.
The aerospace and defense (A&D) sector is continuing to consolidate the supplier base to remove unnecessary costs and prolong its place in the market. One of the best examples of this is the 2019 United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and Raytheon Company (Raytheon) all-stock merger to consolidate their spot in the A&D sector. The successful merger achieved improved economies of scale, strengthened R&D, and provided a more diverse portfolio of products.
The Raytheon / UTC merger and its recent rebrand is a prime example of the importance of modernizing a company’s brand and digital identity. Since its founding in 1922, Raytheon has bared its name for over a century. With time, experience, and proven results comes recognition, so the switch to a new name may seem risky. But in order to stay competitive, be inclusive of broader capability sets, and look well-equipped to take on new modern challenges, the switch to the new name, RTX, was extremely intentional.
“RTX is a nod to the past and a nod to the future” – RTX’s CEO Greg Hayes.
Not only is the new three-letter name (and .com domain) simple, unique, and easy to remember, but it also is the same three letters as its stock ticker symbol, which is a combination of United Technologies previous symbol (UTX) and Raytheon’s (RTN), further exemplifying the union of the two companies and brand consistency across all channels. Another recent merger sporting the simplified 3-letter name and domain is the $2.1B combination of Vectrus and Vertex, now V2X.
A brand name change is a powerful move for a company, and there are several factors to consider when undergoing this transformation. Luckily the experts at Bluetext, one of the best DC brand strategy and government PR firms, can help. For more on naming, check our latest insights.
Private Equity has become a major spearhead in the A&D market and now accounts for 47% of transactions and 41% of deal value. Some major A&D mergers that went through recent successful rebrands propelled by PE firms include:
Centauri (now KBR)
When Arlington Capital Partners acquired three leading companies in the national security sector—Integrity Applications Incorporated, Xebec Global, and Dependable Global Solutions—the IAI team turned to Bluetext to develop and launch a new unified brand from scratch. In less than 6 months, the teams worked together to launch Centauri.
The name was inspired by the Centauri star system made up of some of the brightest stars in the sky. The logo represents the company; a group of brilliant minds composing a star system, brought together by the gravity of the mission to form this C shape as seen in the logo:
The new name and brand were crucial to showcasing the “stronger together” mentality of merging big players in the A&D sector. The rebrand was so effective that within just a year, KBR acquired Centauri, significantly expanding its military space, defense modernization, and cyber solutions portfolio. For more on this successful rebrand, check out Bluetext’s Hall of Fame featuring Centauri.
Another Arlington Capital Partner acquisition consisting of AEgis Technologies, Applied Technology Associates, and Brilligent Solutions, looked to Bluetext to merge these powerhouse national-security teams together into one superior brand, BlueHalo.
The name BlueHalo represents the unbroken global line that ensures the technical advantage in the most advanced battlespace. The logo embodies the name by featuring a blue swoosh shape that depicts in a clean but strong manner, a halo of protection. It also supports the company’s brand line, “Leading the Transformation of Modern Warfare”
Since the 2020 rebrand, BlueHalo has rapidly strengthened its leadership positions in Space, Cyber, AI/ML, Counter-UAS (c-Unmanned Aerial Systems), and Autonomous Systems, with multiple acquisitions in record time. For more, read about Bluetext and BlueHalo’s partnership or watch the powerful brand essence video that Bluetext created.
When another private equity firm, Sagewind Capital, acquired Federal Advisory
Partners, Universal Consulting Services, and FavorTech Consulting, Bluetext helped merge these top-performing companies into one stronger, unified brand – Tria Federal.
The simple, punchy, and welcoming name, Tria, is the Greek word for three, representing the company’s commitment to 3 pillars of service:
- Service to Clients
- Service to Colleagues
- Service to Communities
The logo embodies these 3 pillars through approachable and patriotic brand application as a nod to its federal government audience as being the partner of choice in the path to possible. See more about Bluetext and Tria’s work together here.
Following a series of promising mergers and acquisitions from Private Equity firm Sagewind Capital, QuantiTech came to Bluetext for expertise and strategy to consolidate legacy companies into a new brand name and identity. Axient became the new corporate name to unite offerings & employees under one mission-driven, innovative narrative.
With a new name and logo design, the Axient brand identity was developed to visually encompass the value of the newly merged company. Sharp angles were intended to symbolize Axient’s cutting-edge expertise while the orbital curves showcase the full-spectrum lifecycle support offered to customers to “accelerate possible”. Watch the visual identity and mission come to life through the brand essence video and learn more about the work Bluetext and Axient completed together.
If you’re looking to revamp your company’s name and/or corporate image, connect with Bluetext, the top DC government contracting and aerospace marketing firm, to ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
PR professionals are often required to transform subject matter experts – scientists, academics, researchers – into effective messengers. These experts possess deep knowledge in their respective fields, but they often struggle to articulate complex concepts in a way that’s easy for the general public to understand. Bluetext believes three key strategies help SMEs share their knowledge in a manner that captivates their audience.
Encourage them to Tell Stories and Use Analogies
Our brains are wired for stories. While facts and figures are crucial within academic or scientific circles, only standout statistics engage wider audiences. Individual stories and relatable analogies make the nuances of an expert’s work more tangible.
PR professionals must encourage experts to transform their knowledge into stories. Analogies, for example, can break down complex topics into familiar concepts that audiences can understand and connect with. It’s about presenting information in a way that is not just intellectually digestible, but also emotionally resonant.
Below, the technical explanation gives accuracy at the expense of comprehension, while the analogy aids understanding and relatability.
Before: “Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity through photovoltaic cells. When photons hit the cells, they knock electrons free from atoms. If conductors are attached to the positive and negative sides of a cell, it forms an electrical circuit. When electrons flow through such a circuit, they generate electricity.”
After: “Think of a solar panel as a plant in your garden. Just as a plant uses sunlight for photosynthesis to produce food, a solar panel uses sunlight to produce electricity. The ‘leaves’ of our solar panel – the photovoltaic cells – catch the sunlight and kickstart a process that generates electricity for your home.”
Don’t Dumb it Down, Balance it Out
It’s crucial not to dumb down complex concepts when training SMEs as effective messengers. The goal is to respect the audience’s intelligence while ensuring comprehension. This balance is best achieved by delving into specifics when necessary and providing a general overview where it isn’t.
For instance, when discussing an advanced software tool, an expert might briefly explain its mechanics, then elaborate on the real-life scenarios where it could enhance work productivity.
Before: “We use a high-transmittance, anti-reflective glass, encased with anodic oxidation aluminum alloy frame for our solar panels. These are embedded with mono-crystalline silicon solar cells, which are highly efficient.”
After: “High-transmittance, anti-reflective glass allows a lot of light to pass through and reduces light reflection, which is ideal for solar panels. Anodic oxidation aluminum alloy is a sturdy, corrosion-resistant material used to frame the panels, and mono-crystalline silicon solar cells are highly effective cells made from a single crystal structure that converts sunlight into electricity,
Above, the ‘before’ message is laden with technical terms that a non-expert may not understand. In the ‘after’ message, the expert takes a more balanced approach by explaining these terms in easily understood language that identifies each material’s role in the system.
Practice with the Expert
As with any skill, effective messaging needs practice. Before an interview or presentation, PR professionals should work with the expert to define their key messages, prepare responses to likely questions, and identify topics to avoid.
Practice sessions serve dual purposes. They help experts gain confidence in delivering their messages and also assist them in refining their responses. Through iterative practice, experts can identify and focus on the most important elements of their responses, ensuring they deliver succinct, impactful answers when interacting with reporters or audiences.
Training experts to be effective messengers isn’t always a straightforward task. But by encouraging storytelling, balancing technical information, and emphasizing key messages, you can help them communicate their knowledge in a way that resonates with a wider audience. The transformation from expert to an engaging speaker is well worth the effort and maybe the difference between just getting an interview and receiving airtime, or even better – an invite back.
Take a look at some of Bluetext’s past work to see how client subject matter experts have been able to unlock their knowledge for a wider base and deliver powerful messages to the audiences that need to hear them most. Are you in need of a marketing and public relations agency with the skills to bring out those messages and take them to market? Contact us today.
Have you ever pitched a reporter with a story or announcement you thought would definitely catch their attention only to be ghosted? It’s happened to all of us at some point in our careers, in no small part because, frankly, journalists are drowning in pitches.
In Cision’s 2022 survey, more than half of the 3800 journalists responded that they received over 50 pitches a week through email, phone or social media, and about 24% of them received up to 100 per week.
As PR professionals, we are responsible for building brand reputation and promoting businesses in a positive light. To do so, we need to be armed with data and facts to create campaigns that will evoke the right response and reach the intended audience in an authentic way.
So, how can PR pros break through the noise? How do we grab the attention of reporters and other audiences? The key is infusing company stories and narratives with data.
Why use data-driven storytelling?
Data-driven storytelling helps construct and communicate a compelling story that drives action and can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that gets lost in the busy news cycle.
By accurately presenting data associated with clients, you can improve narrative-building and storytelling capabilities, connecting clients to the public in a meaningful way.
For example, personal finance, business and local consumer interest reporters are annually inundated with tax-related pitches leading up to April’s big filing day. To catch their attention, data is critical. We worked with one of our clients to build a campaign anchored by data that showed tax scam robocalls increased in volume ahead of Tax Filing Day, while also uncovering localized data narratives specific to scams circulating in different markets.
Having this reliable data to back up the story around consumer scams and awareness for Tax Day helped drive media opportunities for the client, which can help increase engagement with the public, generate interest and spark further conversation.
How to use data to tell your clients’ stories
While creativity and relationships are key components of a great public relations strategy, facts are what seal the deal. Here are four ways you can use data and spread a narrative.
- Use newsworthy statistics. When pitching a story, data drives the narrative forward. Incorporating attention-grabbing statistics helps give your narrative a solid foundation of evidence while making the content more persuasive and impactful. With newsworthy statistics, you can hope to get your client’s story more attention and media coverage.
- Frame data in the right context. Data is important, but what matters more is how you frame that data. Before sharing any statistics, make sure that you’re choosing the right facts and figures and putting them in a context that is relevant to your client’s story so that readers can instantly understand the implications of the facts you’re presenting. It’s also imperative that your spokespeople are well-equipped with the necessary data and have the right talking points to frame the story correctly.
- Follow up with visualizations. To bring your story to life and make it stand out, it’s a good idea to back up your data with visualizations such as graphs and charts. Doing this can help paint a vivid picture that reinforces the narrative you’re trying to pitch while making the story more engaging and easier to digest.
- Understand data trends. Data also provides powerful insights into the conversations happening around a brand or company, allowing you to see what phrases or keywords people are using to talk about it, how often to post about it, and which channels are being used for engagement. With this data, you can see what topics or trends are resonating with target audiences and adjust the strategy accordingly.
Data can be a PR pro’s best friend when used effectively. By framing data in the right context and following up with visualizations, reporters are likely to be engaged by your clients’ stories and more likely to cover that story.
A single well-crafted story backed with facts, statistics and data can go a long way in making your stories powerful, authoritative, and attractive to both reporters and the public.
Learn more about Bluetext’s data-centric PR approach, or contact us to hear about our full life-cycle marketing services.
Shortened attention spans. Optimized online search efficiency. A click-and-go world. Writers go up against all to capture reader’s attention. Everyone is trying to find something as fast as possible when we search online, so we expect efficiency in everything, including all of the copy that we read. According to user experience experts, a user will leave a webpage within 10-20 seconds.
What does this mean for you as a copywriter or journalist? You need concise, attention-grabbing content at the top of every page of your website, every blog and every article or press release. You need the eyebrow raise: an introduction that both grabs attention in a unique way and preempts reader’s need or desire. A clear, well-outlined value proposition can capture and hold user attention and help you accomplish your goals.
Though there are different strategies for getting the eyebrow raise, a good introduction will consist of three concise parts: the point of differentiation or reader problem, the solution and the user action. You must not only capture reader’s attention but also give them what they are looking for and provide an action to take.
Raising Those Eyebrows
There are many different ways to get to the eyebrow raise moment: that moment when your user stops scanning and pays real attention to your content. We’ll walk through a few of these and provide examples that you can emulate.
Define the problem, evangelize the solution
A user scrolling a website or reading an article is almost always looking for a solution to a problem. If you can articulate that problem (maybe even for ones they haven’t recognized yet), then you can set your business or your content up as the solution. Attention and connection go hand in hand here. If your audience can read a headline and instantly relate to the problem or circumstance, you’ve got them hooked to find the solution.
For example: You’re a cybersecurity company with continuous 24x7x365 data protection. You need a way to reach customers.
An introduction that defines the problem: “Cybersecurity is a continuous battle, but you don’t have the resources for always-on, 24x7x365 reinforcements.”
And evangelizes the solution: “Luckily, we do. We provide you with the 24x7x365 data protection that you need to rest easy and focus your resources on winning new business.”
Interest-grabbing macro statement or question
Another approach to the eyebrow raise is a question or bold, overarching statement. A question can inform a reader of a need or desire they have that they might not have been considering. A bold statement can stop a scanner in their tracks. Take our cybersecurity example from earlier:
An attention-grabbing question: “Are you certain of your data defenses? If you don’t have 24x7x365 data security, you could be leaving your most important business asset exposed.” The question sows some doubt and primes the reader for a solution to this problem.
A bold statement: “Make data breaches disappear” A bold and interest-grabbing statement makes the reader want to learn more.
A series of questions or statements
We started this post with this strategy. The repetition of parallel structures (a series of questions or short statements) can capture the eye and turn a scanner into a reader.
A series of questions: “Are you certain of your data protection? Want to ensure it’s secure? Not sure where to start?” This parallel structure guides the natural progression of a reader’s thoughts toward a solution that you’ll provide.
A series of statements: “Perimeter defense. In-transit data protection. Storage encryption. All of these on their own are not enough to protect your data.” This structure not only captures the eye but also defines the “solutions” that the reader may already have and urges them to discover why they’re not good enough.
A personal or emotional appeal that sets the stage
Finally, a personal appeal or a story can help set the stage for further discovery or user action. This could take the form of a change in tone or a direct address to the reader.
Personal appeal: “We’ve all been there. Your current data protection tool isn’t cutting it and you don’t know what to do.” This strategy not only provides a problem that we will provide the solution for, but the direct address also captures attention.
Concoct the Solution
After all of these strategies, outline the solution or outcome for your readers. Provide the payout that your readers, clients or customers are looking for. Maybe that’s a list of the best ways to craft an interesting introduction or maybe it’s 24x7x365 data protection that they can afford. However, this solution should not only include what you offer, but what the practical outcome will be for them. Finishing this article will help you get better at capturing and holding your audience. Data protection will enable you to spend your resources on growing your business.
An attention-grabbing introduction should include an action to take. What do your readers need to do? Read on, learn more, and talk to our team – all actions you can suggest to move your readers from discovery to action.
No matter what you’re writing for, you need to capture and keep the reader’s interest. The eyebrow raise intro (in all its many potential forms) is crucial to doing this and to encourage your readers to read on, learn more and take the next step with your business.
Contact Bluetext if you’re curious about how our content marketing expertise could escalate your business.
Digital transformation creates challenges and opportunities for B2G marketing leaders seeking to sell to government agencies. The appetite for digitization of citizen services accelerated during the pandemic as agencies recognized a more intense need to transform communications and engage with citizens. At the same time, the DoD moved forward with a digital-forward strategy to guide the industry on how to best deliver transformative technologies.
B2G brands competitively positioning themselves to pursue and capture digital transformation-driven contract opportunities benefit from a smart, holistic public relations program aligned with the pace at which agencies are evaluating, adopting, and deploying new technologies.
So much of Bluetext’s PR and marketing work with government contractors and IT providers involves a keen understanding of how government buyers evaluate, procure and deploy technologies and services – and the messages that resonate most with them. For B2G marketers creating PR programs that tap into public sector digital transformation, there are a few key considerations:
Agencies Don’t Transform Overnight
Less than one in ten (7%) government leader respondents in an EY 2022 report said they believe their organization has achieved its digital transformation goals. This doesn’t mean that digital transformation isn’t moving forward but serves as a gut check that B2G brands must stay attuned to the pace of change.
The tricky balance for B2G CMOs is to effectively communicate how their products, technologies, and services can future-proof agencies while acknowledging that legacy technology investments cannot be unwound overnight. In other words, media coverage and thought leadership cannot ignore where agencies are today.
Similarly, there are nuances to digital transformation messaging, for example when it comes to workforce automation. PR may be required to address the fact that, among government workforces, transformation can create uncertainty. Artificial Intelligence and automation can equate to fears of employees being replaced. If B2G brands leave it up to the agency customer to overcome workforce resistance to new technologies, adoption can be slowed and contract opportunities will dwindle.
Match Thought Leadership To Right Hype Cycle
There are perils to spinning wheels on Gartner Hype Cycle™ “Innovation Trigger” technologies that may be garnering media coverage but are years away from commercial viability. The “Innovation Trigger” hype cycle phase refers to when “A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.”
In the 2022 Gartner Digital Government Services Hype Cycle, the research firm identifies technologies such as Metaverse, immersive meetings, and influence engineering and machine customers that are years if not decades away from reaching a plateau.
In the same way that CIOs need to keep their eyes on potentially transformative technologies and practices that are years from widespread adoption – and start developing positions on these trends – marketers must think about how best to associate their brands with these emerging technologies. Thought leadership programs are a good place to start.
We work with B2G brands that face diverse challenges on the sales side. For some, they may be an established, credible brand seeking to sell a product or technology their brand isn’t traditionally associated with. This could be a result of mergers and acquisitions that have unlocked new product portfolios and capabilities. In other cases, behemoth brands are being challenged by nimble, upstarts perceived to have more cutting-edge solutions. Hundreds of challenger brands have turned to Bluetext for PR services to help provide air cover for the sales team – so that they aren’t spending half the meeting establishing credibility and can just sell based on merits.
Finally, disruptor technologies can create sufficient confusion to paralyze the buying process. Thought leadership can educate target markets to prevent this from occurring. Case in point: ChatGPT, which is spinning the heads of marketers and communications professionals across all industries. If you provide automation technologies to the public sector, agency decision-makers may wonder if a costly solution will be rendered obsolete by ChatGPT in 12-18 months and decide to wait it out. More likely, ChatGPT can be used to augment a solution, but buyers will never know that without effective earned and paid content campaigns.
Thought leadership programs are an effective way for B2G marketers to:
- Start associating your brand with trends and technologies that you will be offering in the near future without creating headaches for the sales team by sending traffic to a source with no product
- Educate the market on pain points that your solution will address, so that when you do launch the value proposition has been established
- Build up a Subject Matter Expert (SME) program with experts who can become sources on these technologies for journalists or generate interest from conference organizers
Data-Driven PR Can Make Or Break The Transformation Case
B2G brands often sit on access to PR-valuable data that is untapped for various reasons. Are state and local government leaders tapping AI to deliver citizen services? Will federal healthcare leaders increase their spending on data analytics in the upcoming fiscal year? There are external entities that track some of this data, and there is always the option to drop $25,000 on a research firm to create a survey vehicle. But most firms have built valuable mechanisms to reach customers and prospects via email and other channels, and there are seamless, non-intrusive approaches to acquiring market data that can be used to anchor PR initiatives (media pitches, bylines, social media posts, etc.).
The value of the data is to gain a stronger foothold on where your customers and prospects are as it relates to digital transformation. Leveraging that data for media pitches, byline articles and social media strengthens the business case that there is a need and appetite for your technologies.
Get Creative Telling Customer Stories
From a PR and marketing perspective, it isn’t the word of the B2G brand that will have the greatest impact on an agency prospect – it is the voice of the customer. Because agencies moving forward with digital transformation want to see that what they want to do has been done before. That digital transformation is possible, that ROI is quantifiable and that investments are justifiable.
The problem? It can be extremely difficult to secure approval to publicize government customer stories through press releases, media coverage, website case stories or via social media. This is a common frustration our clients and prospects often mention right off the bat. Traditional methods of securing agency approval rarely work, which is why Bluetext deploys creative approaches to tell a customer story through award programs, events and other mechanisms.
If you would like to learn more about how to effectively create a B2G PR program that taps into public sector digital transformation, reach out to Bluetext at https://bluetext.com/contact-us/.
The average American is exposed to around 4,000-10,000 ads every day. We have adapted by scrolling past the ‘noise’ that is of no personal interest to us. Modern brands feel the repercussions of the oversaturated market, finding it hard to stand out and capture viewers’ attention. They are faced with questions like how do we appeal to individual users? How do we connect with our audience? For a time, linear videos that had a clear beginning, middle, and end were effective ways to learn more about a brand and its values. However, many of these brands are faced with the reality that the linear videos once produced, simply aren’t having the same impact they once did.
Enter: Interactive videos. Interactive videos allow the viewer to interact with content that lives within the video itself. Think quizzes, clickable buttons, polls, and even games that prompt the user to interact with the ad. An Interactive video is non-linear, often referred to as a branching video or a “choose your own adventure” video. The viewer is able to determine the direction of the video’s narrative based on their personal interests.
The magic behind interactive videos is how the story is told. It is dynamic and flexible, but still simple and communicates a clear message. This makes it user-friendly and impactful. It also drives high engagement and high retention rates because the user is able to get the information they need in a story they are invested in. Viewers are no longer passive observers but rather active participants, who in turn have a better chance of remembering and connecting with the message.
Think about the popular Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, as the viewer is taken through the film they are faced with a series of choices at key moments in the film that change the course of the film based on what they are interested in seeing.
This interactive film allowed the viewer to create a highly personalized and engaging experience for themselves, and in turn, they felt more invested in the outcome of the storyline. Now imagine taking these same properties to evolve your brand and generate higher engagement and increased loyalty toward your brand.
Interactive videos can be a highly effective tool for increasing brand awareness. By allowing viewers to make choices within the video, companies can create a more personalized experience for potential customers, with the ability to create multiple narrative paths within a single video. This can lead to increased engagement and conversion rates, as viewers are more likely to watch the video multiple times and for longer periods of time in order to explore all of the possible outcomes.
Interactive videos can be used to enhance product demos, training, educational content, and internal communication. With the right strategy and resource investment, interactive videos can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes and industries. It keeps employees engaged and further aids in building a strong brand foundation that gets both employees and customers excited to be involved.
By giving viewers the power to choose their own adventure, interactive videos have the potential to revolutionize the way we consume and interact with video content. If you are interested in learning more about how Bluetext’s video production services can help you create an unforgettable video ad, contact us.
We jumped at the idea when Phosphorus approached us here at Bluetext about creating a new campaign. After extensive brainstorming the team agreed that a video integrating animated 3D objects into real-life footage would be the best way to tell the story of the Thing Tamer. It’s a trend that’s been going on for decades, from previously cheesy CGI such as The Scorpion King (2002) to more stunning recent examples like Disney’s live-action version of The Lion King (2019). The advancements in integrating 3D animated objects into real life have come a long way! Let’s dive into some of the techniques used.
The Thing Tamer video we created consisted of animated 3D IoT office devices presented as wild creatures creeping through an office. To accomplish this, we had to carefully plan out our shoot during the scripting and storyboarding phase with the expectations of adding 3D animated creatures created in post-production. This entailed detailed storyboarding ahead of filming, then taking 360-degree spherical images of the intended 3D objects’ locations using a DSLR before creating the HDRI maps in Adobe Photoshop. While capturing 360-degree panoramic images isn’t essential, it can significantly increase the photo-realistic illumination and reflections of 3D-generated objects. HDRIs help in matching the color and lighting from the set or location to the inserted animated footage. This along with color correcting the footage to match the colors of the HDRI ensure any lighting and reflections are as realistic as possible.
Once we got our raw footage it was time to get started in Cinema 4D. After motion tracking the footage, which creates points in 3D space to use for the animated objects we placed the 3D IoT creatures in their planned locations, aligned with their relevant tracking points. From there, we modeled the movements of the creatures using their real-life counterparts as inspiration. This is where things got interesting as we had to account for the various joints of each creature. For example, we ended up using the general motion of the first black widow spider’s leg as a baseline for the other legs, then accounted for individual differences between the legs and height of the printer torso. Small details like this help sell the illusion, keeping viewers believing the object is truly part of the scene.
Once we finished adding all the objects, animation, lighting, and reflections to Cinema 4D, we were ready to render the various sequences. While there are a number of GPU-based rendering engines on the market, we use Redshift because it’s built to work seamlessly with Cinema 4D. While we also like Redshift for being fast, keep in mind that each rendered frame can take 3-5 minutes to render in high quality. So the actual render time can vary depending on the length and complexity of the shot. Thankfully, if a project has a tight timeline, you can either add additional GPUs to your rig or employ the aid of a render farm. At the end of the day, if the goal is to be as photo-realistic as possible, the project will likely lean towards the longer side.
Once we finished exporting all our renders from Cinema 4D, it was time to start loading the sequences into After Effects. Once imported, we dove into layering the various sequences. Once again, this is a stage where it was vital for us to take our time to ensure the best quality. At this stage, as you work with the sequences, you may notice some issues such as particular lighting not working well with some 3D objects. So take the time to adjust the color to match the lighting of the footage. Always remember, the goal is to create a life-like 3D render that nearly or fully fools the user into believing it’s real. Any adjustments to the passes should increase the believability that the 3D objects are native to the footage. Once we were satisfied with the lighting, shadows, and reflections applied to the 3D objects, all that was left was to export the finished product. And that’s how we successfully created a film that blends live-action with 3D digital assets!
Whether you’re trying to create the next big 3D-blended campaign ad or a short teaser video, the experts at Bluetext can help. Our professional videography team is eager to identify intriguing stories to tell and how best to capture them. Want to learn more about how Bluetext can help your video needs? Get in touch with us here. To learn more about our Thing Tamer campaign, check out the full breadth of our work here.
So you want to build hype for your campaign? Our campaign strategists at Bluetext have some tips for you. Assuming you’ve already started building out your campaign, you should have an idea of what your goals are. A common goal is to build awareness and excitement. When building excitement ahead of your launch, you want to bring an air of mystery. Balance announcing details of your campaign while leaving enough to the viewers’ imagination. Some effective teaser mediums include social media snackables, physical swag, email campaigns, or teaser trailers.
When Bluetext recently launched Phosphorus’ Thing Tamer, we decided to keep things mysterious. So, we began with the organic promotion of teaser videos to curate a collection of content for the dramatic launch of a full campaign without sacrificing ad spend. Once our audience’s interest was piqued by compelling graphics and intriguing headlines, we directed their attention to the campaign landing page. This landing page hinted at all things to come and encouraged users to sign up for exclusive notification of the launch. The landing page was designed to be as engaging as possible, with promotional movie posters, two different trailers of the Thing Tamer series, and on-scroll animation to introduce the personified things and interactive carousels to reveal campaign messaging and key stats. signed up for the email list, they received a thank you email that further teases at the Things to come.
The first trailer named the Beast Trailer worked to establish the problems Thing Tamer solves. Offices with countless enterprise IoT devices are at high risk of being exploited by unsuspecting sources. Each device has its own firmware and unique language making managing all of them a complicated process. Without giving too many details away, we put a spotlight on common problems enterprises face. This was followed up with the second trailer, which starts off by slowly revealing our hero, the Tamer, an IT version of Indiana Jones meets Crocodile Dundee. By shifting focus to our IT guy wearing the Tamer’s hat, users are able to envision themselves as the ones resolving their IoT devices’ vulnerabilities. The teaser strategy allowed for the campaign to slowly introduce the problem with an air of mystery, leaving them craving more for the full campaign to unveil the solution. Separating the story into digestible trailer videos keeps the target audience engaged for an extended period of time, building upon their interest and education with every touchpoint. Not only does it allow for multiple follow-ups and a nurture strategy, but the shortened length of each video also ensures that viewer attention does wane while watching a long-form video. Hitting the viewer with messages one at a time increases the likelihood of memory retention and builds upon Phosphorus’ brand association. At the end of the day, a successful message is one that users can connect with, and that’s just what we did.
Similar to Thing Tamer’s landing page where visitors could engage with different elements to learn more, the recent The Batman movie had a fun way of building hype ahead of the movie’s premiere. Visitors who found the secret website through a hidden message on the official movie poster were able to talk with the Riddler and solve additional puzzles. Those who solved the puzzles were rewarded with exclusive clips and pictures from the yet-released movie. Once the movie was released, Warner Brothers went a step further and updated the page to reflect the domain being seized by the fictitious Gotham police department. Warner Brothers managed to engage with their target audience over the course of weeks, thanks to a clever Easter Egg hidden in their posters. Being given the opportunity to dive into the Gotham universe in this unique way allowed the audience to connect with the film and get hyped for the official movie release.
Phosphorus also engaged in a few organic social media promotional posts to promote its campaign launch. Social media serves as a great opportunity when trying to build awareness. That being said, Phosphorus didn’t want to spoil too much, so we kept the captions short and used the two trailers and social snackables for the LinkedIn promotions. Utilizing cross-channel promotions and various forms of media increases the likelihood of your users finding your content and engaging with it. Again, at the end of the day, how can you build excitement if your campaign isn’t known? Agencies like us here at Bluetext have the expertise to guide you through the optimal campaign launch.
No two campaigns will be the same, and while the Phosphorus campaign succeeded based on its goals, your success isn’t a guarantee. At the end of the day, your best bet is to engage with a trusted campaign-focused agency to build hype for your campaign launch. Once you’ve launched, we work with you to drive paid marketing and PR efforts, ultimately driving users to engage with your business. Want to learn more about how Bluetext can help your campaign? Get in touch with us here. To learn more about our Thing Tamer campaign, check out the full breadth of our work here.
What’s the last campaign headline you remember? Odds are you probably saw the ad within the last couple of hours, but still couldn’t recall. People don’t remember bland corporate messaging, they remember bold and creative ideas. The physical and digital world is swarming with overused taglines and empty brand promises, steepening the uphill battle to stand out. Enter personification, a guiding hand in the effort to connect with target audiences. For years, corporations have been using people and creatures to personify the very real, but often intangible, challenges and solutions consumers face. From older instances such as Mr. Coffee Nerves to newer versions like Allstate’s Mayhem Man, these brand personifications help consumers connect on a more memorable, substantial level.
Think about it this way, are you more likely to remember a long list of features or a wild personality? Odds are, unless you’re a computer or robot, you’ll remember the personality much better. Why? Because you’re human which is exactly why personification tactics are so successful. Brands like Allstate have famously created characters around common but maybe overlooked problems to draw attention to how insurance can solve those problems. Putting a customer’s challenges in a palatable form makes it easier for them to face the problem and consider your brand as the best solution. That’s exactly what the Bluetext campaign and 3D motion graphics team did with Phosphorus’ Thing Tamer. Phosphorus is an enterprise IoT remediation solution with enriched data and visibility to defend every connected device, which in the Internet of Things revolution is far more than the average person expects. In our first trailer for the campaign, we establish the scale of various IoT devices around the office to put into perspective how vulnerable enterprises truly are. That printer in the corner? Fully hackable and could be a potential entry point for malicious actors. I bet you didn’t expect that threat lurking in the background. In the second trailer, we frame the problem as to how to protect the wide range of enterprise IoT devices we depend on daily and how with Phosphorus, a cybersecurity platform personified as an Indiana Jones-esque hero out to save the day. By assigning tangible symbols and actions to the problem and a face to the company Phosphorus enforces its capabilities and in an exaggerated but memorable storytelling way, can step in to save the day.
This strategy can work across many industries with the right approach. Varonis approached Bluetext to create a campaign around the idea of “avoiding unnecessary exposure.” Our campaign strategists ultimately chose the personification of cyber hacks and exposure as its shocking but memorable approach. Varonis works to secure unstructured data, so Bluetext’s campaign entailed a CEO walking around seemingly naked to convey the risky vulnerability of not securing company data. The campaign was a huge success at quickly catching customers’ attention, helping identify a potential problem they weren’t aware of, and providing them with the solution of working with Varonis.
Similar to Varonis, in Phosphorus’ first trailer we used a haunting Black-Ink Widow IoT device to portray a dangerous but unsuspecting vulnerability lurking around the office. Paired with intense jungle drum music, the scene evokes an apprehensive sense of being under constant threat. In the second trailer, Bluetext introduces the hero, Thing Tamer, surrounded by blue light and IT gear ready to hunt and defend against dangerous vulnerabilities. Paired with visuals of nefarious emoticon faces on IoT devices accompanied by red lights, we established a good versus evil theme that only Phosphorus’ Thing Tamer can tackle. The dramatic themes and high-impact visuals of the trailers are meant to provide audience interest and enforce the reality of IoT device vulnerabilities they may not notice lurking about at night. It sets the stage for a memorable, engaging story of how a security platform can quite literally step in as “Thing Tamer” to corral these unruly and beastly “Things”.
Another example successful brand personification campaign is the Maytag Man, a character that has been around for decades. Historically the Maytag Man was portrayed as lonely and bored because Maytag’s machines were so reliable that no one needed a repair man. However, a recent revamp personifies the machines as a strong, attractive, and ‘tough as steel’ Maytag Man throughout people’s homes. Similarly, when Bluetext ideated on potential names for Phosphorus’ campaign, we opted for simple alliteration pulled from the Internet of Things (IoT). Thus, the “Thing Tamer” was born. An easy to say, easy-to-remember name that ties back to what Phosphorus does and the ambitiously pioneering ethos. This charismatic adventurous hero increases the chances of customers remembering Phosphorus first when searching for IoT protection.
Whether you’re trying to be the next Mayhem Man or just have some fun with your personified brand, the experts at Bluetext can help. Our professional writing, creative, and video teams are eager to get your brand’s campaigns to the next level. Want to learn more about how Bluetext can help your campaign? Get in touch with us here. To learn more about our Thing Tamer campaign, check out the full breadth of our work here.
Al Davis, the former coach and owner of the Oakland Raiders, famously coined the phrase “Just win, Baby!”. And while that’s the goal for any PR agency building out an award nomination for clients, it’s easier said than done. How do agencies make their nomination stand out from the thousands of others that the judges receive? What do clients gain from winning these honors? For such a common staple in PR campaigns, award nominations are often not leveraged for maximum impact.
How to Build a Winning Nomination
Bluetext develops and executes award programs for clients across a broad range of industries and verticals. We hold considerable expertise with B2B Tech and B2G Tech Award Programs, and based on our experience, here are some keys to success when it comes to winning award submissions:
First, avoid cluttered technology jargon and be clear in your nominations.
Award nominations that struggle to present a compelling case are often guilty of being too product-oriented. Assume the judges do not know anything about your solution. It’s crucial to articulate the benefits in as clear of a manner as possible rather than just stuffing entry sections with generic content to hit word count targets.
Second, before submitting your final nomination, ask yourself – does this nomination address what the judges are looking for in a submission?
It’s always important to build a nomination that fits what the judges are looking for. Do you homework on the criteria and past winners. The website of the organization hosting the awards often has a list of criteria on what to answer when nominating clients’ solutions. In fact, some of them even hold webinars on what defines a winning submission. Adhering to those guidelines offers the best chance of winning.
Third, when drafting award nominations, it’s important to tell a story about how the solution is addressing a significant industry problem.
Build a case for the product you are nominating by answering the following questions – What’s the industry problem? What separates a client’s technology from industry competitors? Why does this particular piece of technology drive superior results? Winning nominations offer such an intriguing story about their clients’ products that the judges can’t help but recognize the importance of this solution.
Finally, always be honest with clients.
Just because a client wants to move forward with an award doesn’t mean it is a smart use of time and financial investment. If you have concerns, make your case or push to strengthen the nomination. Review past year’s award winners to demonstrate what it really takes to bring home the hardware.
Benefits of Winning Awards
Bluetext also believes there are four key benefits of winning these awards:
1. Enhances Brand Reputation
Winning awards provides positive momentum for a company’s solutions by offering third-party validation of a client’s technology or executive team leadership. Wins serve as testaments to the hard work the company has been putting into its solution. These accreditations boost both internal and external stakeholders’ confidence in the product and the company’s direction.
2. SEO Boost
Award wins are easy opportunities to leverage in press releases and social media. Often, the organization behind the awards will also celebrate the winners with press releases of their own. Wins are therefore easy ways to bring your company to the top of search engines’ results page.
3. Unlocks Important Networking Opportunities
Typically, awards come with a presentation or ceremony that presents opportunities to mingle with businesses and executives in the same industry. Furthermore, the increased brand awareness that comes with winning awards may open the doors to new business opportunities and potential partnerships.
4. Air Cover For Sales Teams
For many tech companies, especially those competing with more recognized names – sales teams often spend a chunk of their new business meetings establishing brand credibility. Showcasing highly regarded award wins can assist in overcoming the credibility hump.
The Last Piece of the Puzzle
Finally, before drafting the award, be sure it aligns with the client’s overall PR goals and strategy. Oftentimes these awards have a cost associated with them. With that in mind, it is important to align with clients on what nominations make the most sense for their overall PR strategy to get the most out of this investment.