Helping brands tell their story

Ekstasy is a Creative Agency helping brave marketeers and brands conceptualise and produce engaging content and interactive experiences globally

Best Film of the Year
US International Film and Video Festival
Grand Prix - 1st Prize
Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards
Gold World Medal
New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Film
See our works
This is some text inside of a div block.
#ekstasyfilms

From the blog

Visit the Blog

Why is it harder to engage people on LinkedIn?

This is a question I’ve wondered for a while, well ever since I first posted to be honest. When you compare the number of views to the number of likes and comments per post it’s almost staggering, especially when you compare that to Facebook and Instagram ratios. This definitely isn’t due to a lack of LinkedIn users, it’s gained 123 million between 2016 – 2018 where as Twitter only gained 9 million users and Facebook even less than that. A theory I have is when you like or interact with a post on LinkedIn it will appear in your connections feed and let them know you liked or commented. Now LinkedIn is different from other social networks in the fact that it’s professional, as opposed to personal. Meaning all your professional connections, colleagues, leads, clients and bosses can see anything that you interact with. I think this is the reason why people who are happy to share their opinion and like content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a lot more hesitant and thoughtful with their LinkedIn accounts. So the funny dog video or silly meme that you might share with your friends on Instagram or Facebook you wouldn’t even like it on LinkedIn because you don’t want your professional network to see an unprofessional side to you. Let’s face it you don’t want your boss or clients to see half of the stuff you like on Instagram. Another theory could be that it seems that LinkedIn is like a science in itself. When researching this blog the amount of headlines I saw telling me how to improve engagement was almost overwhelming. One must account for the time of post, type of post, hashtags, network, locations and a whole range of other things as opposed to simply clicking post. For instance, Gary V has a strategy, called the $1.80 strategy, in which you search relevant hashtags to yourself and leave a thoughtful comment on the top 9 posts and do that 10 times. It gets its name from the expression of giving your 2 cents, as in doing this 90 times would add up to $1.80. What this does is allow you to borrow the posters audience, if they have thousands of followers and even a fraction of those followers see your comment, and this happens across all the posts you comment on. That’s a lot of people starting to know your name. It comes down to the argument of whether you need a strategy for LinkedIn. The answer is yes, unlike other social media it’s professional with a huge amount of noise and competition to cut through and even be noticed let alone liked or commented on. There are several strategies and tricks you can use to raise engagement, so to answer the original question, it’s harder because a strategy is almost always a necessity instead of a choice. If you’re getting lower engagement than you would like it might just be time to do some research and come up with a plan.

Are TV Ads still worth it?

That’s a debatable question, but you know what’s not? Advertising is everywhere. Literally everywhere, try to go from one place to another without getting sold to and I guarantee you can’t. What marketeers have to keep in mind is what is and isn’t avoidable for the consumer. For instance, a lot of OOH content is unavoidable, even if they’re not paying attention, they’re still absorbing it. However what can be avoided for a lot of people is TV ads, so the question arises, should brands still advertise on TV? The answer? Well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise just yet, so let me explain. I think every brand should advertise and produce content, no question about that, and doing it digitally can be done really well. It’s cheaper than TV advertising, more scalable and it’s easier to reach your target audience through digital than TV. As well as this when consumers are online the majority of the time they’re in the mind frame to interact which can be useful for ads with a CTA. However it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you still need a solid strategy and content to really make a campaign work, adding to this there are thousands and thousands of ads online so cutting through the noise can be a challenge. This is where TV ads can shine, they can not only reach a diverse mass audience (71% of the population) which is awesome for a brand awareness campaign but people trust TV ads. To get an ad on TV it has to meet rules and regulations to make sure it’s suitable for the viewers, and people know this, which means the majority of people trust them. Compare this with online advertising where rules exist but are less strict than TV and you’ll see more people have their guard up. For this example, we’ll ignore the “As seen on TV” products. Also as digital advertising rises in popularity, one would think that TV’s effectiveness would diminish but that’s actually not the case. Looking at the graph below you can see that adding TV advertising to campaigns has actually risen in its effectiveness. As well as this, people spend more time watching television than they do on any other form of media. I don’t need to explain why this is great for brands but I will. If you have a huge audience you’re more likely to gain leads and get people to know you’re brand than if you were to advertise purely online or OOH because you have a larger audience. The more fish you have in a barrel, the more you’re going to hit (70% of TV advertising delivers profitable returns). Now I’ve spoken about how TV can be great for a brand to raise awareness and even generate leads but here’s the golden ticket. Using multiple channels in harmony (TV can increase the effectiveness of campaigns by up to 40%). With a solid strategy behind it campaigns across multiple channels can be twice as effective as opposed to using one channel. Doing this can also move buyers/leads along the buyer’s journey, making them more likely to respond to a CTA and more likely to think about buying your product or service. The analogy I’d use for this would be if someone asked you to build a table with only a hammer, it wouldn’t be very easy, but if someone gave you a whole toolbox it suddenly becomes a lot easier. At the end of the day, not every brand is in the position to advertise on TV but when putting together a marketing plan if it’s not even considered then you’re missing a trick. To answer the question, yes, it is worth it but should your brand use it? Like most things in life…it depends.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, whats a video worth?

We’ve all heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words , so what’s a video worth? It’s an interesting question as when you look at a photo your mind wonders about the story behind it and the imagination takes over. However the imagination only has so much to go on from a photo. It’s not so much telling a story worth a thousand words but more letting you create your own without realising it. That’s the power of a photo, only so much is filled in for you. That is not only a blessing though, it can also be a curse. I’m sure many people, myself included, have seen a photograph and begun to put the story together in their head only to wish the photo could tell them more. What lies beyond those edges? Only a few will ever know. You begin to put this fiction together and then want to know reality but can’t. Now you have a story with no end, conclusion or resolution; in other words just unsatisfying. That’s when a photo can’t be enough and that’s where video comes in. When a story is told through video, it’s worth as many words as you like. Videos, whether a commercial or a blockbuster, feed the audience a story scene by scene, frame by frame. It takes you on a journey as opposed to starting it and leaving you to figure out the rest. Don’t get me wrong, video still lets the imagination have some fun but it gives you your answers and in the rare cases in doesn’t, there’s a reason for it. For example, there might be a scene, a character walking up to a supposedly empty room making noise, where the audience begins to ask questions. The imagination answers these questions, a loved one, the family pet, a monster etc. and then they get their answer. The certainty washes over the viewers like a wave, their question has been answered. This is the edge video has over a photo, it crafts its story always giving the audience just enough information but never giving away too much. It usually does this with a setup, confrontation and conclusion. It’s in our nature to need closure and even when a video leaves the viewer on a cliff hanger, it’s different from a photo’s lack of answers. A photo gives no conclusion whereas a cliff hanger gives you a multiple choice ending. Storytelling through video answers, and in a beautiful way. Now stories told through video are not always as described. They can be just as frustrating as photos can be. We’ve all watched a film and it makes no sense.You sit there trying to connect the dots and it just doesn’t add up. This can be even more annoying than trying to work out the story behind a photo because you are being shown this story and it’s trying to provide you answers but they’re not living up to your mind’s expectations. The same goes for a bad ending. The whole film builds to this point and your imagination is doing backflips in your head and then the ‘what just happened’ moment arrives. Your mind had made all these grand endings and raised expectations only for the film to disappoint. Every medium will have its benefits and shortcomings. Thought out and executed carefully a photo can tell an amazing story. Same goes for books, video and any other way people tell stories. It can’t be rushed no matter how hard some people may try, a great story takes time, effort and care. The point of this article was not to slam photos but was to highlight the ability video has over it when telling a story. Let’s take commercials for example, some powerful stories have been told through commercials but the most powerful are videos, not print. Let’s take a recent ad that gained huge attention: the recent Nike ad. There were print versions and a video. While the print makes you think and hints at the story the video does a lot more. It doesn’t just tell one story but many, all the while arousing a number of emotions in the audience. Below are the two ads, what do you think? Every medium will have its benefits and shortcomings. Thought out and executed carefully a photo can tell an amazing story. Same goes for books, video and any other way people tell stories. It can’t be rushed no matter how hard some people may try, a great story takes time, effort and care. The point of this article was not to slam photos but was to highlight the ability video has over it when telling a story. Let’s take commercials for example, some powerful stories have been told through commercials but the most powerful are videos, not print. Let’s take a recent ad that gained huge attention: the recent Nike ad. There were print versions and a video. While the print makes you think and hints at the story the video does a lot more. It doesn’t just tell one story but many, all the while arousing a number of emotions in the audience. In conclusion, if you want to tell a story no matter how big or small, be passionate, take your time and make sure it has a good ending because it doesn’t matter how a story is told, it’s about what has gone into creating the story that makes it what it is. Writer – Travis Usher – Creative Manager @ Ekstasy

How has advertising changed?

The point of advertising has always been to sell, and advertising has been around since people were trying to sell. So by this logic, one would think all advertising is the same but not quite. Every advert is different, takes a different angle or tries a new technique and advertising has changed massively as times change, as people’s opinions and views change, adverts also change to comply with the masses. In this article, I want to talk about the ways in which advertising has changed. For the sake of consistency, I’ve decided to look at one company’s adverts throughout the years to show the change. So let’s look at how McDonald’s have tried to sell burgers and fries since the ’50s and ’60s. Ignoring the quality (of the ad, not the food) McDonald’s took a very product-focused approach to their ads as many did in these decades. They are trying to sell food after all. Mcdonald’s wanted to show their food to consumers and highlight its quality and value relying on the food itself to get customers as opposed to the brand. Now the 1980s were similar to the ‘70s but slightly different. There were a lot more songs and music and I think they did it for two reasons. It was the ‘80s and to make the ads catchy and stick in people’s minds after they had finished watching which they would remember as they walked past a McDonalds for instance. They still targeted kids but moved their sights onto the whole family, this was done to give McDonald’s a wholesome family image and appeal. In the 1990s the ads still had a similar style and tone to the ’80s but they began to use their mascots a lot more. They had adverts focusing on this range of characters and their adventure. They did this to strengthen their brand identity and to relate to kids. McDonald’s also used more stories in their ads which would continue into the future. These modern ads show the very different way McDonald’s has tried to sell burgers since their first ads. They now focus on the stories behind a McDonald’s as opposed to the food itself. For instance, in earlier ads, the whole video focused on food and why people should eat it, then it shifted to the people and began to experiment in storytelling. Through the 2000s they did more and more storytelling which is almost all they do now. Originally this article wasn’t going to just be about McDonald’s ads but I wanted to show you how advertising has changed. If you look at any ad from the ‘60s it will almost always show the product with narration. That’s boring and people will forget it. With storytelling instead of making a viewer bored it not only captures their attention but it also evokes an emotion which makes an impression. Whether they’ll go and buy your product based on the emotion you envoke is a story for another article. Another strategy they use along with storytelling is humour, for the same reason. It makes the audience laugh thus making it stick in their minds, which is the first step. So before you go here is one last example, one of my personal favourites, to hopefully give you a laugh and make you crave a McDonald’s.