How are agencies adapting to stricter video viewability standards, and getting viewers to spend a bit more time watching their ads. For New York-based agency Protagonist, one “trick” is to get right
into the brand story, according to cofounder Jordan Rednor. “We have changed our creative thinking to make sure we adapt [to viewability issues],” Rednor told attendees of the OMMA RTB conference, on
Thursday. Agencies like Protagonist are also looking to direct marketers and TV networks, which are facing similar challenges, Rednor said.
This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistia team member’s take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It’s like our “employee of the month” but less “of the month”-y. Jordan Munson is a customer champion at Wistia. His last Non Sequitur was about A Link to the Past.
In my fourth Non Sequitur post since joining the Wistia ranks, I feel as though I’m due for a change. In my 20 or so months as a Wistia employee, I’ve only made two videos (both of which were for the #videowkd initiative). I decided that for this particular Non Sequitur, I’d change that. It was time to make a *real* video.
### But about what?
That’s a good question, and one I didn’t really know the answer to for a long while. I had been mulling ideas about in my brain for a few weeks, but nothing really stuck. Would I make a skateboarding video? Probably not, even though I’d always wanted to make one (I don’t think I’m a good enough skateboarder to really pull that off these days). Perhaps a documentary about something? No, not that either, as it felt like too big a project for a Non Sequitur post.
Then it dawned on me; I should pay homage to one of my favorite videos of all time: Monty Python’s “Ministry of Silly Walks” skit. From the very first moment I saw John Cleese take his first fantastically silly step when I was a kid, it’s been one of my favorite things to enjoy.
After that came the arduous task of coming up with an idea for my own video. The concept took some thinking, and the scripting took even longera script I ended up throwing out anyway, since it ended up being pretty bad when it was on film (note to self: table reads are definitely still important).
### Unexpected Snags
Eventually, I had all the details nailed down, and it was time to shoot. Not long after I realized there was no way I was going to successfully do this on my own (our cardboard cutout of C3PO makes a pretty mediocre stand-in for shots).
Thus, I enlisted the help of my lovely girlfriend to be a stand-in and help with the things I needed extra hands for. In this particular situation, I took a lot of things for granted, including (but not limited to):
– Providing direction to the person shooting while also trying to deliver lines is very difficult.
– Being able to communicate when to start and stop rolling is not a given.
– Knowing whether a take is good is hard when you fail to instruct the person behind the camera what a good take is.
– Being unable to gauge whether the camera placement has changed since you can’t see the framing from in front of the camera.
– Not thinking ahead about how you’ll sync up your audio and video during editing.
– Remembering lots of lines (even when you wrote them all).
### My “Ministry of Silly Walks” Video
At the end of the day, I think I might be able to be pretty happy with the result of my first (mostly solo) video-making experience once I get over the anxiousness of releasing it to the world. I know I can do better, but as my first scripted and planned video, as well as my first video featuring voice parts, it came out pretty okay. If nothing else, it was a fantastic learning experience that I can’t wait to build upon even more!
Without further ado, my first “real” video (and the very Non Sequitur of this post):
I’d love to hear about how your first “real” video experiences went, and what stuff you learned the hard way! More importantly, though, how silly are your walks? You can consider this an official challenge to film your own Ministry of Silly Walks submission. Bring ’em on!0
For mature enterprises, the cloud represents a way to get out from under the constraints of traditional IT. Unlike businesses born in the cloud, the existing systems and business processes in these organizations present unique challenges to cloud adoption. The company examples below offer three different stories of traditional IT teams growing into the cloud with measurable success.
Revlon: Unexpected Benefits in the Cloud
Simplicity was the theme behind Revlon’s cloud transformation. The iconic cosmetics company needed to consolidate operations to reduce latency between global offices, located on every continent except Antarctica.
It built and deployed its own private cloud. The implementation allowed Revlon to reduce hardware consumption from one physical to one virtual server to one physical server to 35 virtual servers. Today, Revlon handles 14,000 transactions per second, 15 automated application moves each month and a weekly backups up to 40TB.
And the cloud deployment came with unintended benefits according David Giambruno, Revlon CIO in a podcast interview, As we put everything on our cloud, we realized that all of our data sits in one place now. So when you think of big data management, we’ve been able to solve the problem by classifying all the unstructured data in Revlon. We have the ability to look at all of our data, a couple of petabytes, in the same place .So when we’re trying to query the data, we already know where it is and what it does in its relationships, instead of trying to mine through unstructured data and make reasoning out of it.
The cloud move for Revlon took years to accomplish and required a complete restructuring of IT that resulted in taking the infrastructure out of the way so we can focus on what people want to do faster, cheaper, better, says Giambruno. As a result Revlon has seen a 420 percent increase in project throughput without adding additional cost.
Alex & Ani: Massive Scale with a Small Team
In 2004, Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director and CEO of Alex & Ani took her experience working with her 40-plus year-old family jewelry business to launch her line of unique jewelry creations. The business features patented, expandable wire bangles adorned with meaningful charms.
Over the last decade, it’s expanded from a single store into a multichannel retailer, growing profits from $4.5 million to $230 million between 2010 and 2013. To support its hyper-growth, it needed flexible infrastructure to support rapidly scaling. But Alex & Ani wanted to focus on its retail operation, not turn into technology company. By selecting a provider-managed cloud, the company has managed spikes, supported a Magento platform and run complex data analytics all without making massive investments in staff and hardware.
It chose a combination of dedicated servers and Rackspace Cloud Servers to mitigate hardware investments and have a single service provider for the technical guidance and under-the-hood maintenance needed to make it all work. Unlike Revlon, Alex & Ani didn’t have to worry about the infrastructure tweaks and staffing requirements needed to get up and running.
Rackspace integrates and has dedicated teams for the best-of-breed partners that we work with, from Magento and eBay to Adobe and Akamai. Not only that, but they have subject matter experts for those particular tools. Often times we found that individual Rackspace employees had even worked at those companies in the past, which is exciting, because it means they know how the tools workthey know what it’s like under the hood and can advise us appropriately, says Ryan Bonifacino Vice President of Digital Strategy, Alex and Ani.
Jordan Lawrence, a 25-year-old records management firm, used a similar approach to transition to the cloud one project at a time. Initially, Jordan Lawrence used the Rackspace Managed Cloud for testing on a secure FTP site, synchronizing customer data and email lists with a proprietary policy distribution application. That success led to the implementation of additional cloud services.
After getting comfortable with Rackspace, we moved our internal email services to Rackspace Email and Hosted Exchange. Having these services completely hosted and managed by Rackspace allows our technical resources to concentrate on our core businesses, says Marty Hansen, Executive VP of Technology with Jordan Lawrence.
After that successful move, Jordan Lawrence added Managed Virtualization. As a result, We are able to host our SaaS services in an environment that is secure enough to pass information security audits from even our most stringent Fortune 100 and Financial Service customers, and meets SSAE16 standards, shares Hansen.
With all of the cloud triumphs under its belt, Jordan Lawrence is ready to expand into more areas. Hansen says, We see a complete solution in which Jordan Lawrence develops retention rules for SharePoint, while Rackspace implements and hosts the SharePoint environment for our customers.
What does your cloud journey look like? From enterprises to small businesses, no two paths are the same and no business has to go it alone. With Managed Cloud services, businesses can get the guidance and tech resources needed to move away from cumbersome legacy systems and start innovating on the cloud.0