Using Analytics to Predict Hollywood Blockbusters

Analytics helps us to connect pieces of research, identifying the right elements to create a unique experience. “Jurassic World” movie is the perfect case study on how research, facts and behaviors can support a multibillion dollar franchise.

Not Another Sequel

We all went ”ugh… please-not-another-sequel!” when we heard the rumor of a Jurassic Park sequel. Apparently, we were wrong. Against all odds and rumors, the dino-action sequel literally ate box office records, with a staggering 208.8 million domestically this weekend, making it the highest grossing opening weekend film of all time.

As of today, Mr. T-Rex is the richest dinusaur in the world. 1.672 billion USD box office worldwide. Raawrr!! Grossing a total of $652,270,625 in USA and $1,019,442,583 internationally. Roughly $600 millions are from Asian markets, China and South Korea leading in Asia; UK, France, and Germany in Europe and finally Mexico and Brazil in Latin America respectively.

The industry is changing the way they do business and technology is doing its part. Analytics tools had proven to be successful, making connections between pieces of research, identifying facts and behaviors. Jurassic World is relevant example of this The audience ‘body language’ was pretty clear: On that weekend, the re-post rate for Jurassic videos on YouTube was 45 to 1 (the average is 9 to 1). The trailer on the official Universal channel got 66.6m views (multi-channel networks money well invested) Twitter almost broke: #JurassicWorld peaked at 63K. The “conversation” for the film was very high and very positive on social media that weekend. Thousands and millions share trailers with their community, on multiple social channels. And that’s intent of purchase…like a kiss. Plus, no big sports events or soccer matches on TV that weekend. Add shirtless Chris Pratt and school calendars and TV were packed with dino-theme curricula. Finally, people just love seeing Pterosaurs munching on tourists! Go family-friendly entertainment! Jurassic World broke box office, scoring the biggest opening weekend in history with a sweet $511.8 million in tickets sales worldwide, outdoing even Harry Potter.

Timing is everything

“Jurassic World” was shrewdly positioned as the June blockbuster to beat, ceding April to “Furious 7” and steering clear of “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” May release. After “Tomorrowland” flopped over Memorial Day, there was some gum-flapping among box office analysts about whether Universal erred in not putting “Jurassic World” over the four-day holiday. In retrospect, it was the perfect move. The box office, which was coming off of three consecutive lackluster weekends, needed to cool down before it could heat up again.

“You could see this coming after a number of films that didn’t live up to expectations,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There was just this hunger for a big summer tentpole film.”

The studio benefited from timing of another sort. Over the past decade and a half, the fourth “Jurassic Park” saw various filmmakers and screenwriters, such as “The Departed’s” William Monahan and “I Robot’s” Alex Proyas, come on board before getting tossed aside after failing to find the right creative direction for the film. The tortured development worked in “Jurassic World’s” favor, giving it distance from “Jurassic World III,” which is generally considered to be the series’ nadir, and lending the franchise a feeling of freshness.

Premium formats are prime

The Indominus rex, basically a T-rex on steroids, demanded to be seen on the biggest, widest, most souped-up screens possible. That meant that “Jurassic World” got a major boost from premium large format and Imax screens, along with 3D showings. The sequel took in 48% of its domestic opening weekend receipts from 3D screens while setting new high-water marks for Imax and private label PLF screens.

Those formats were in their infancy when “Jurassic Park III” was in theaters — 3D was still a novelty and Imax was reserved for nature films.

“I use my kids as a bit of a barometer,” said Anthony Marcoly, president of worldwide cinema for 3D-maker RealD. “They’ve seen the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies before, but they’ve seen them on TV or DVD. They haven’t had a chance to see a ‘Jurassic’ movie on these big [premium large format] screens or in 3D. People wanted to be brought into the world of ‘Jurassic’ and to see it in a grand fashion and just be drawn into the story.”

It also helped that Trevorrow talked up the virtues of seeing “Jurassic World” with all the extra bells and whistles on promotional videos and by appearing before screenings at the Imax TCL Theater in Los Angeles.

“This is a shared experience,” he told the crowd at one of these events. “It’s why we go to the movies.”

The exhibition industry has taken its knocks for not keeping up with the digital revolution that has upended the entertainment landscape, but “Jurassic World’s” success with tinted specs and sprawling screens demonstrates the lengths that theaters have gone to differentiate their experience from the one found in the living room or at the keyboard. Times have changed, of course, but some of it’s for the better.

Dinosaurs ripping apart humans = appropriate for children of all ages

It’s been 26 years since “Jurassic Park” first illustrated the dangers of bringing velociraptors back to life, and in that time one generation of film fans has come of age and another has emerged. That means that a group of moviegoers who were first weaned on popcorn pics with that first film have grown up and were eager to introduce their sons and daughters to the magic of a T-rex rampage.

To familiarize a new group to the pleasures of the park, Universal reissued “Jurassic Park” in 3D in 2013 in conjunction with its 20th anniversary. It also primed the pump in a nice piece of corporate synergy, hosting a special presentation of “Jurassic Park” last week on NBCUniversal Networks that included interviews with Pratt and Spielberg. The film and TV stations share a corporate parent in Comcast.

The PG-13 rating made the prospect of seeing pterosaurs treat tourists like birdseed something of a family event. That resulted in an opening weekend crowd that was 39% under the age of 25, a demographic that hadn’t been born or was barely verbal when the first film debuted.

“We’re getting everybody and that includes parents with kids,” said Carpou.

Hollywood take note. That’s how you build a blockbuster.

Making Sense of fragmented audiences

Audiences consume and interact with information in unexpected ways, so you have to be tuned in real-time. Consider what’s going on in the analytics and reports, and out of them. Data is generated and delivered by the same audience you are trying to connect, from video channels, chat, social media and tweets. Paying attention to the ‘vibe’ or body language cues can go a long way. Use them to your advantage. Analytics can be tricky, but they are just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep your cool, be yourself and be responsive. Pick your actions accordingly and maybe it could be the start of an unforgettable relationship.

Yesterday afternoon, Marvel Studios showed some chivalry by releasing a poster (a tweet by president Kevin Feige) congratulating Steven Spielberg and the Universal Studios team, Director Colin Trevorrow and golden boy Chris Pratt for beating the hero team, since their lost their title as the previous record holder. With these numbers, we will be seeing more Jurassic (probably without ‘The Park’) in the future.


La realidad aumentada (AR) y la realidad virtual (VR) han dejado de ser una “novedad” para transformarse en una realidad, impulsando no solo un modelo de usabilidad del futuro, sino también un potencial cambio de paradigmas en el ecosistema de negocios.Esta tecnología virtual no está solamente limitada a los juegos o al entretenimiento. E-commerce, transporte, medicina y moda se verán revolucionadas en el futuro cercano que, más que una moda tecnológica, promete ser una nueva forma de experimentar el mundo. Si bien estamos acostumbrados a las experiencias digitales, el diseño y desarrollo de experiencias e interfaces para VR y AR siguen siendo algo nuevo y muchas veces implican un gran desafío, tanto desde lo tecnológico hasta su usabilidad. Miremos algunos conceptos claves, desafíos técnicos y modelos de negocio posibles de esta nueva manera de interpretar la realidad.

Read english version here...

Realidad Premium

Las interfaces de usuario de AR han mejorado mucho, más allá del aspecto tecnológico, presentando la información de forma 'más natural', en tiempo real y principalmente, donde se encuentra el usuario. Pero en definitiva, la AR no deja de ser una “opinión” o punto de vista respecto al mundo real. Para las empresas puede representar un objetivo que, incorpora información adicional para aumentar esta opinión. Todas las formas de ver el mundo son opiniones: buenas, malas, útiles, etc. pero al fin son solo eso, opiniones, expresadas a través de datos (texto, imagen, vídeo, etc.). Por ejemplo, una imagen satelital de tu barrio (realidad) cubierta con nombres de calles, flechas u otra información es una 'aumentación'. En sentido amplio, el mundo es una plataforma y lo que vemos representado visualmente y como interactuamos, es la UX de nuestra vida.

Herramientas de diseño AR/VR

Antes de pensar en diseñar una interface de AR/VR, deberíamos preguntarnos cómo funciona. Las herramientas para diseñar y desarrollar prototipos de interfaces de realidad virtual y aumentada son diferentes de las utilizadas en el diseño y desarrollo de aplicaciones digitales tradicionales, por ejemplo, InVision, Adobe o Prototype, etc. Incluso no solo el software sino también tenemos que contar con una maquina potente como para procesar toda la información y en algunos casos gafas especiales o dispositivos para testear los resultados. Incluso para los diseñadores es difícil encontrar inspiración y más aún encontrar información sobre buenas prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de AR/VR, ya este campo esta “virtualmente” inexplorado. Existen miles de fuentes y libros acerca de prácticas y metodologías de desarrollo de web y mobile, pero para diseños virtuales muy poco se sabe, y hasta podemos contar con los dedos de una sola mano casos de éxito comercial.

¿Como funciona el proceso? Un sensor (cámara) observa parte de la realidad. Esta imagen se combina con metadatos/catalizadores (etiquetas de geolocalización, gráficos o códigos específicos a nuestra app) y desencadena un evento correspondiente. Por ejemplo: Vamos a un museo o un lugar histórico, y una etiqueta de geolocalización en nuestra app o dispositivo nos muestra un gráfico sobre una pintura o un monumento. Esta 'match' de metadatos sobre el objeto o lugar recupera la información pertinente al respecto, combinando elementos sobre la imagen original, desencadenando un evento que muestra información pertinente.Para realizar este proceso los dispositivos tienen que contar con sensores de alta calidad, conexión en tiempo real y una UX clara y precisa. Comprender “la escena” es clave, para poder activar el ‘matching’ de información y generar la imagen “aumentada”. Estos elementos relevantes se obtienen a través de la interacción con el usuario, captando su atención a medida que observemos su contexto inmediato, intención y comportamiento, por ejemplo, seguimiento de mirada, tacto, gestos y reconocimiento de voz, determinando qué componentes del mundo real aumentar

Metodologías para diseñar interfaces AR/VR

Si bien se han producido algunos desarrollos exitosos, continuamos en una etapa de investigación y desarrollo. Empresas como Apple, Amazon y Google actualmente impulsan esta tecnología. Pero la realidad es que estamos ‘jugando’ o experimentando y los resultados de nuestras interfaces todavía no sean lo suficientemente intuitivos y de gran usabilidad como con nuestras appss web o mobile. Aunque compartimos muchos parámetros y disciplinas con nuestra contraparte mobile, crear aplicaciones de AR/VR ni se compara con ella. Una experiencia o interface de AR/VR mal o pobremente diseñada podría poner en peligro la integridad física de sus usuarios. Sumergirse en una experiencia de realidad aumentada o virtual es otra historia. El año pasado estuve en la muestra de Björk y hubo gente que salía con dolor de cabeza, mareada y desorientada. He visto gente caerse de sillas en eventos con gafas de realidad aumentada.

Asimismo, imágenes y arte que parecen espectaculares y vibrantes en un website, en AR/VR no funcionan. Los desarrolladores deben ser precavidos en este sentido. Conducir un testeo de usabilidad de estas tecnologías es todo un tema, además recordemos que estamos trabajando en 3 dimensiones. Técnicas que son eficaces en desarrollo en 2 dimensiones son a menudo ineficaces para experiencias AR/VR.

En búsqueda de una experiencia inmersiva, creamos con mi equipo salas de wireframing en 3D 'real', hecha conelementos cortados en papel y cartón colgando de hilos, con anteojos hechos por nosotros mismos, simulando una interfaz, y testeandolos en una sala a oscuras.

Nuestros usuarios voluntarios (amigos y parientes) 'navegaban’ nuestro mundo virtual como si fuera una interface 'tamaño natural'. Sin casco virtual, ya que los costos eran prohibitivos, pero tuvimos un acercamiento real que nos permitió entender los desafíos del usuario al desarrollar la experiencia. Creo que a medida que haya mayor crecimiento comercial en el área, mayores serán las herramientas que aparezcan, pero por el momento, todo es bastante casero.

Tipos de plataformas

1-Teléfonos móviles: ya hay mucho dicho respecto a telefonos móviles. Poseen cámaras de alta sensibilidad, capacidades de geolocalización, reconocimiento facial y numerosos sensores que posibilidad una experiencia contenida y focalizada.

2-Vehículos: el parabrisas del vehículo proporciona una interfaz ideal para la representación de información localizada. Muchos de estos vehículos “inteligentes” tienen ilimitada energía (eléctrica/solar) y puede soportar gran cantidad de datos y comunicaciones. Fabricantes europeos de autopartes ya están desarrollando proyecciones translúcidas de AR, que permiten a los pilotos o controladores ver información sin tener que retirar la vista del camino.

3-Dispositivos “usables” comúnmente llamados wearable techcomo gafas holodecks (como los fallidos Occulus o Google Glass) y sensores “usables”para piel, vestimenta o zapatos, que aportan datos ambientales y biométricos para ser procesados por las aplicaciones. Muchos de ellos todavía en etapa de investigación y con limites en potencia y transmisión de datos, son caros, y les falta el condimento de ‘masividad’ o necesidad’como tienen los celulares hoy en día.

Parámetros básicos para un prototipo de AR

Estas categorías nos ayudaran para visualizar la experiencia de manera holística aplicando ciertos parámetros o elementos que nos ayuden a acercarnos al objetivo de nuestra experiencia:

Desencadenante o “trigger”: Es el evento o la observación sobre el cual el “aumento” se produce. Proporcionando información acerca de los lugares de interés cercanos, habilitando a los usuarios a buscar restaurantes, hoteles y tiendas, u obtener más información acerca de ellos como los anteojos Vuzix Blade o Apple Smart Glasses.

Interactividad: es cómo los usuarios interactúan con la información 'aumentada' a través del gesto, mirada, voz y posicionamiento, incluso a través de la voz o sonidos.Un ejemplo de alta interactividad pueden ser anuncios que se abren automáticamente para revelando descuentos al acercarme. Esto lo vimos en la película Minority Report.

Naturalidad: Eventos desencadenados por objetos de realidad natural, reconocibles o integradas al medio ambiente

y/o con objetos físicos, tal como lo está utilizando Amazon.

Preguntas a la hora de diseñar una UX de realidad aumentada

Paradójicamente la realidad aumentada “aumenta” los problemas y desafíos, amplificando los mismos retos de usabilidad de las interfaces tradicionales, ya sea sobrecargar los usuarios de información o de como determinar una acción especifica. Para abordar problemas de usabilidad, los diseñadores deben centrarse en ciertos puntos clave:

1-¿Puede el usuario notar la diferencia entre la realidad y ’aumentación’? La confusión podría llevar a errores del usuario si una aplicación transmite una impresión errónea del mundo.

2-¿El 'aumento' (y no de precios en la canasta familiar) está alineado con la realidad? La alineación en tiempo real es muy importante ya que la realidad puede cambiar rápidamente. Por ejemplo, una app de navegación de AR, la señal de tráfico cambia su estado constantemente, pudiendo ocasionar un accidente si la info aumentada bloquea o no esta actualizada.

3-¿Cómo puede un usuario transicionar entre AR apps y aplicaciones tradicionales?Siempre hay que tener en mente al usuario, ayudándolo a resolver tareas, o en su búsqueda de contenido e información. Es una experiencia global y la AR es un elemento genial para la transición. Por ejemplo, dentro de un ambiente tradicional dedicar un lugar condicionado especialmente para AR.

4-¿Cómo debería organizarse la información 'aumentada'? Por ejemplo, si un producto viene en diferentes variedades, colores o precios, sería de gran ayuda una taxonomía coherente para agrupar productos relacionados/ alineados con la intención del usuario. Una aplicación de AR que presenta toda la información a la vez podría confundir al usuario.

Desafíos sociales

AR / VR es muy diferente a otras tecnologías informáticas tanto por lo que realiza y por sus características físicas complejas. Como toda nueva tecnología, pueden pasar años (o meses) antes de ser masivamente adoptadas. Entretenimiento, turismo y automóviles han comenzado a incorporar AR/VR a su terminología diaria de uso. La tecnología AR /VR es válida y útil dependiendo del contexto del usuario, y a las regulaciones que de privacidad que comparten con otras aplicaciones tecnológicas hermanas, la privacidad de los usuarios, de su ambiente y su seguridad son riesgos potenciales a tener en muy en cuenta. Hoy en día, los usuarios son muy escépticos -con razon- acerca de dónde y cómo las empresas obtienen nuestros datos personales y como mis hábitos de consumo ya están cualificados en algoritmos con nombre y apellido.

El futuro del negocio multidimensional

No hace falta ser un visionario futurista para entender que AR/VR se convertirá en un negocio durante la próxima década?- Si el E-Commerce y las plataformas VOD revolucionaron el mercado de como los usuarios consumen contenidos, servicios y demás aspectos de la vida cotidiana, imaginemos el próximo paso si incorporamos experiencia virtuales aumentadas. ¿Salir al supermercado sin moverte de tu living? Una locura no muy loca. ¿Comprarte ropa desde tu propio cuarto sin ir a una tienda? son aspectos que las grandes marcas como Amazon ya están implementando.

Por ejemplo, en lugar de mostrar anuncios por palabras clave, como en la web, la publicidad en AR podría mostrarse por metadata de geolocalizacion o patrones. Esta transición ya dejo de ser experimental para muchas empresas que ya están desarrollando un nuevo ecosistema de negocios.

 

Netflix, hace 14 años te enviaba 3 DVD de películas por correo, y recuerdo que era una increíble novedad, que termino desbancando a las tiendas de ‘Blockbuster’, forzando a los gigantes del cable a replantear su estrategia comercial. Esto paso prácticamente ayer.

Para muchos realidad aumentada y realidad AR son solo pruebas de concepto, pero tienen éxito y mucho potencial. Con el tiempo, nuevas herramientas y metodologías de desarrollo surgirán, convirtiendo a la realidad aumentada y virtual en una experiencia habitual para el usuario y como creadores del futuro, tenemos que estar preparados.

 

 

 

Creating a team identity.

Creating a team identity beyond language.

Audiences and markets have become globalized and teams have grown to an amazing ecosystem of culturally diverse talents, inspiring brands across the globe with unlimited growth opportunity and fresh perspectives. We have offshore teams with copywriters and designers in London, development & QC in Buenos Aires, software engineers in Chennai and marketing teams in NYC. Maybe your campus in Prague has members from different nationalities.

Inspiring and managing teams is a wonderful challenge, and with team members from different countries and different cultural backgrounds and languages, it requires also a fresh and diverse perspective as their teams itself. Wherever your team is in one office or globally dispersed, they are expected to deliver their best performance, creativity, and unique point of view into the game. So, how do we leverage, support and inspire such a diverse workforce?

Language and cultural differences.

One of the key components of every collaborative relationship is trust, and open communication among team members is key. Language proficiency is a challenge and can undermine trust between its members. Colleagues with different levels of proficiency could be perceived as less communicative or reliable, undermining healthy trust-building in each other’s abilities and skills. It is crucial to find ways to transform these differences, into creative energy. It’s important to explore those differences so we know how to interact and grow as a group.

A way to encourage this understanding of diversity is to create unstructured moments, not necessarily 'a meeting'- where everyone can share their cultural background and expectations about communication and working style. The team gets to learn more about each other by listening, sharing and asking questions and sharing about their backgrounds, even to learn what kind of food they like, or learn a traditional recipe from your home. It's amazing when teams discover that we are not that different after all.

Teams experience a lot of pressure, and members of multi-language teams frequently relieve stress by switching into their native tongue, inadvertently excluding other teammates from their conversations. We need to reverse language barriers and communication anxiety by encouraging open dialogue in teams as a whole, creating a "team identity" equipped with amazing different strengths and unique backgrounds, united in one vision. Like a team of superheroes.

Reducing language gap

The success and strength of every multi-national team reside in one basic -but rather complex- aspect: communicationHow can you measure the degree of language connection among team members? When people come from similar nationalities, the level of 'language distance' is usually low. Even if they come from different backgrounds, people can interact formally and informally, align, and build trust. They arrive at a common understanding of what certain behaviors mean, and they feel close and congenial, which fosters good teamwork.

Coworkers who are geographically separated, or come from different countries and cultures, could experience some kind of language anxiety that could prevent interactions. This originates from the inability to communicate, missing information and/or negative evaluation. This negative dynamics reduce team performance, and especially for creatives, artist, and designers, where creative energy, collaborative expression, and multi-team interaction is vital.

Creating a team identity

In a team, is important that everyone gets enough speaking time, and that everyone knows what they’re working toward. What’s our vision and why we are doing what we do. Bringing everyone around common goals and a unified vision is key. I can not stress this more! as evident it may seem, this is poorly done, and team members spot it quickly when is fake. Is has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it. Highlighting the importance of each diverse skill in your team will level up the group dynamics, and also how much value the team is contributing to the success of the service, product or brand. Be open about the unique appreciation for everyone’s input and encourage meta-communication. Each particular story amounts to create a more solid, trustworthy and collaborative team.

Bringing everyone around a unified vision is key. Its has to be an honest take, not a speech. That's why you need to know the brand, the clients, the team, the story. You need to be the first one to believe it to be able to inspire it.

Break down your common goal into actionable steps and outline each individual’s role and responsibilities. This reduces the chance of misunderstandings and lets everyone know that their contribution matters. Clarity of each team member’s contribution also makes it easier to address team performance as a whole. It sets expectations for what needs to be done, by who and when.

Building a team identity also entails finding common things between team members. Make space in your working day to promote team interactions, to get to appreciate each other team members. Perhaps there are teammates who share the same taste in movies, music or TV shows. Some may bond over hobbies or share information about their families, etc. Personal connections within the team make it easier to work together, trust and have a solid team identity.

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To be continued…

 


Optimizing your media strategy can generate a significant budget release, either for growth reinvestment or return to bottom line.

As your company’s content strategy becomes more sophisticated, your marketing budgets become bigger and more complex, demanding top-notch planning efficiency. Global marketing spend exceeds $1 trillion, around 1 to 2 percent of global GDP and keeps growing faster.
beforehand, this requires stepping back to evaluate priorities and best practices to achieve that, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each type of planning. When blended together, you end up with a highly effective strategy that moves your business forward much more quickly than focusing on a single tactic alone, allowing the investment to be effective. The goal is to be more efficient and by experience, it can be achieved. The key is to progressively incorporate certain practices into your daily planning.

TEST YOUR BUDGET “USABILITY”: FROM CARD SORTING TO JOURNEY MAPPING…ALL YOU CAN EAT UX BUFFET

1-Create a visual spent landscape I used this technique from my storyboarding days and now is a must-use tool in UX design. It’s like pitching the budget to yourself! Take a wall and use as many post-its until you see the full budget ecosystem. It really works.

2-Ensure alignment across units: create an objective analysis of economic, strategic, and marketing-oriented criteria for each brand. Better marketing return of investment (MROI) starts with better and clear objectives.

3-Align your targets: clarify and align mismatched marketing and sales targets, it will bring light into your budget allocation efforts.

4-Consolidate your brand spending: sort your spent in relation to your growth goals and forecast: grow aggressively, grow, sustain, etc.

5-Find relevant drivers of value: made your mission to constantly find new ways to engage and guide customers. New experiences, new channels, research, communications or content, your brand should bring innovation and expertise.

6-Identify the most effective media and channels: spending in the right places will reach more priority customers, whether is online or in-store -or your partner venue- it will most likely to be a hit. Find out where consumers make their decisions. Data-driven media spent is an extremely efficient way to advertise.

7-Country-based budget: Consider the particulars of each country’s multicultural context and shift spending from lower- to higher-priority markets.

8-Generate internal communications: demonstrate to the rest of the organization how the new allocations would benefit the company overall. Every successful planning needs everyone in the company to be involved and supportive.

9-Identify your consumer's journey: use digital analytics, social media management, in-store initiatives, and post-purchase online service. Understanding the consumer path from research and consideration to purchase and brand loyalty.

 

10-Focus on your consumer's experience: deliver consistent high-quality content for use across touch-points both online and in-store. This also applies to your partners’ experience, think of them as your ambassadors and evangelist. Create a workshop or a learning event. An online channel exclusively for your partners could be a hit -and a relatively inexpensive- way to get where your audience is.

CONCLUSION:

You can mix and match these UX practices like colors on a palette to create the right vision of your media budget into a successful work of art.

 

Let me know what you think. Thank you!

The new audience identity

Understanding your audience in this ever-complex marketplace requires a unique ability to combine massive amounts of measurement information with the right perspective.

While entertainment industry is changing the way they do business, technology is doing its part. Analytics tools had proven to be successful, making connections between pieces of research, identifying facts and behaviors. But if we want to understand how our audiences interact with our content, we might need to change how questions are made.

The New Audience Format

Spoiler alert. There's is no audience format anymore. Audiences have grown to become agnostic, nomadic, multi-tasking, experiential and very direct. There are no two viewers alike. In the same demographic, they might not share the same interests. Most of the time they are ‘uninspired’ by expensive Networks marketing extravaganzas. Options multiply with every tweet, facebook like or selfie ever taken. If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing your audience, you’re likely losing them to someone else.

Changing the concept of engagement

When it comes to understanding, all the information you can get is important. But you have to be smart and sensitive in order to relate effectively. Read the signs, get feedback, and adjust your approach as necessary. Think of an audience in terms of a “first date”. Analytics can give you a way to read your audience “body language”. You’ll get tons of real time feedback. From measurement tools, analytics apps and marketing research, you get to embed with your product, and how much you can play out. It’s important to have all the details, but the key is to understand how to read the information. You got to be responsive.

A subtle smile, eye contact, mirroring, head-tilt, all require a bit of interpersonal sensitivity. Look at the trends in the social media; keep an eye on relevant comments. The right timing or even the weather can give you a metric that algorithms might have missed. Take a moment, observe, and the pointers will become visible. You’ll actually see your audience ‘body language’ the way Neo sees The Matrix.

A relevant example is the movie Jurassic World. The audience ‘body language’ was pretty clear: On that weekend, the re-post rate for Jurassic videos on YouTube was 45 to 1 (the average is 9 to 1). The trailer on the official Universal channel got 66.6m views (multi-channel networks money well invested) Twitter almost broke: #JurassicWorld peaked at 63K. The “conversation” for the film was very high and very positive on social media that weekend. Thousands and millions share trailers with their community, on multiple social channels. And that’s intent of purchase...like a kiss. Plus, no big sports events or soccer matches on TV that weekend. Add shirtless Chris Pratt and school calendars and TV were packed with dino-theme curricula. Finally, people just love seeing Pterosaurs munching on tourists! Go family-friendly entertainment! Jurassic World broke the box office, scoring the biggest opening weekend in history with a sweet $511.8 million in tickets sales worldwide, outdoing even Harry Potter. Universal Studios had a nice date!

Conclusion. Audiences consume and interact with information in unexpected ways, so you have to be tuned in real-time. Consider what’s going on in the analytics and reports, and outs of them. Data is generated and delivered by the same audience you are trying to connect, from video channels, chat, social media and tweets. Paying attention to the ‘vibe’ or body language cues can go a long way. Use them to your advantage. Analytics can be tricky, but they are just the tip of the data iceberg. Keep your cool, be yourself and be responsive. Pick your actions accordingly and maybe it could be the start of an unforgettable relationship.


Sounds from the streets

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


I was recently quoted as saying, I don't care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not giving of said thing.
Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with it (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality that those who report on, invest in, and build consumer Internet services talk about success.

Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.

How to create a hit with a low budget and a clever strategy

Deadpool has always been a fairly popular Marvel character among hardcore fans, but relatively unknown to the rest of the world…until today. He’s a kind of quirkish, snarky anti-hero with a natural ability to break the fourth wall to communicate with his readers/audience, usually to mock the super hero cliché. Against all odds, Deadpool made it to the big screen, and compared to others in the same genre, with a tiny $58 million budget.

From the buzz and temperature of social conversations from these past weeks, looks like Deadpool is going to break some barriers over the weekend and the people at Fox and TSG(financiers of Fox live action movies) are going to be celebrating next week. Why? Because they had created a hit out of nowhere. And off course, the movie is pretty entertaining, despite the R rated label. Looks like someone at Fox marketing is planning and executing the right way some key strategic moves:

1.Release date

Deadpool probably will beat their weekend competition in this long president weekend.Zoolander 2 have drawn on nostalgia viewership and also a good campaign to cash on tickets to save the day. And How to be Single, the Dakota Johnson romantic flic, well…is just that. Deadpool release date feels like it was “under the radar” in the distribution timeline because there are literally not many movies for grown-up audiences to go. Big Oscars contenders have their on fight last week, Fifth Wave is a bore, and Zootopia is due next week, so Deadpool has a green wave to rise above the numbers. Plus, is Valentine weekend, with basically no “The Notebook” movies in sight. So this quirky potty-mouthed anti-hero is the royal ambassador of anti-valentine audiences.

2.Marketing Campaign

We all know that a box office hit need good PR and Marketing strategy, but honestly, most of the studios FAIL on these matter, and don’t tell me because of the budget. Advertising is not all about showing the movie trailer or character posters here and there. Its about building a brand. The marketing around the upcoming film has been nothing short of phenomenal, deserving of a glowing five out of five chimichangas. The trailers and promos for the film have all been tongue in cheek and absolutely hilarious, playing off of different trends and tropes to create unique communications. Seriously, if the ads are this good, just imagine what awaits fans in the theaters (eat your heart out Star Wars). Even they did a Valentine style campaign that is just brilliant

3.Social Media Strategy

We’re living in a postmodern, meme-culture, hero over saturated age. Audiences are CRAVING for some originality. No more remakes, no more sequels, no more cinematic universes with happy meal toys and epic superhero faces in a box of cornflakes. Deadpool itself is a bit of a snarky commentary on the over exposure of the genre, even an R-rated very violent superhero movie, but guess what, its unique. The audience age is that perfect 18-34 years old, which are highly social users. So, its no surprise that online conversations about Deadpool are hot on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, you name it, where fans can engage and engage others. The movie has been promoted virtually only through social media. In fact, the movie was only green-lit after test footage was “leaked” on social media. Fox released a red-band trailer unsuitable for TV, and the movie landed an R-rating. So marketing made up for the lack of television ads with their creative social media campaign. During the holidays, they spoofed the 12 Days of Christmas, with #12DaysofDeadpool, which spotlighted special content released each day. The content included downloadable videos, pics and emoji’s. And also took over Valentines with fake gushy romantic Ads all over the internet and street billboard.

 

The big man @ ComScore, Paul Dergarabedian, said this today about Deadpool: “This may be the first movie of 2016 that kind of elevates everything, and gets that box office momentum charged.” Sweet remark. Againits all about building a brand. 

The movie is also off to an impressive start overseas, with a tracking of more than $90 million for the weekend. Deapool is on fire at the box office today: it began playing at 7 p.m. in 2,975 locations; on Friday, it expanded into a total of 3,558 runs, including Imax locations. The Imax portion of Thursday night’s haul was $2.3 million, the sixth biggest preview ever for the large-format circuit.

Once ranked nr. 182nd out of 200 in the popularity list of Marvel properties, Deadpool is on its way to become a success. The movie probably step over the heels of Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier($95 million) and likely score the biggest R-rated opening of all time. Tip of the hat to the marketing team @ Fox.

Deadpool, starring the sexy-mouthy Ryan Reynolds, beautiful Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller and Gina Cara, all directed by Tim Miller.