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Marketing & Visual Storytelling, Part 2 of 2

November 3, 2021

Aviva Portable Power Station logo with Statue of Liberty torchblank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 24 pixels high(continued from previous post)blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

My client, Alok Sarna, was looking for some visuals to promote the Aviva Portable Power Station which allows you to store power and use it to recharge your phone, laptop, and other devices.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I suggested a 6-panel sequence: two images to attract attention, three to show the product and its features, and a concluding panel with the Aviva logo.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I sketched out several story ideas. Alok chose the Statue Of Liberty concept shown below.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The first two panels grab your attention, and (hopefully!), make you smile (Ms. Liberty is using an Aviva to recharge her torch).blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

This reflects my strong belief that the best marketing combines information and entertainment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Statue of liberty concept for product features statue using Aviva power station to charge torch

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highPanels #3-5 were undefined at that point. I wasn’t sure what form the product information would take.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Mr. Sarna provided me with all the product info he had, and left it to me to figure out how to use it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

(Which brings up an interesting point: sometimes an illustration assignment bleeds over into editing and/or copywriting. Not all illustrators are ready to assume those roles. I am, and I adjust my fees accordingly.)blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

So how do you get from “brochure images” and “product information” to marketing visuals and copy?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You select the images that work best, crop and edit them as necessary, then convert technical specifications into conversational English.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Quick example:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Here are two of the Aviva brochure pages:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Aviva Power Station brochure image two different modelsblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Aviva Power Station brochure image three devices being recharged

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels highI wrote some copy, used an image-editing program to clip out the above images, and created the following slide:blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 32 pixels highAviva Power Stations image for marketing slideshow and video

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI suggested to Mr. Sarna that we take our 6-panel story and create a PDF. I was thinking, in particular here, of LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Why? Because when you post a PDF to LinkedIn it will display as a slideshow. People can click through it at their leisure.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

(I also sent Mr. Sarna JPEGs of all 6 images so he could use them as stand-alone images, any way he liked.)blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Here’s the slideshow (below). Because of the way my WordPress blog is configured, you have to scroll through it rather than click through it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

(Note: I can’t be sure how the PDF will display in your browser. If you see thumbnail images running down the lefthand side, you can get rid of them by clicking the 3 parallel lines in the upper lefthand corner of the PDF menu bar. Then click “+” in the menu bar to enlarge the images, and use your mouse to center the images. Then scroll down to view the 6-image sequence.)

 

Click to access aviva.statueliberty.pdf

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highI used the same 6 images to create a corresponding animated GIF (below).blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I can see now that it has a weakness: it slows way down in the middle because I gave Slides #3 and #4 a lot of “display time” so people could read the text. It makes the GIF seem static and ignores the fact that most people skim online text rather than read it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I decided a better animation choice would be a video with incremental text display (continued below).

 

Animated GIF for Aviva portable power stations

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highFor the video version of the slideshow, I boosted the number of frames and displayed the text one or two lines at a time. It’s a lot more effective and dynamic, and people can pause the video anytime they wish.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I also added a little intro and a soundtrack (“Sand Castles” by The Green Orbs which I downloaded from the YouTube Music Library).blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can watch the video below in full-screen mode by clicking the black diamond icon in the lower righthand corner. You can also watch it on YouTube.

 

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels highThis case study teaches some important visual marketing lessons, as follows:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

1. You need a good story, even if it’s just a few panels.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

2. You need to get people’s attention before presenting technical details.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

3. A little humor makes people open to your message.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

4. Visual marketing also involves text and words; it has a copywriting dimension.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

5. You can get a lot of marketing mileage out of just a few images.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

6. You can cut an image into pieces and present it via multiple frames.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

7. You can put the same images into different formats: PDF, GIF, video, JPEGs.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

8. You can’t “personalize” an animated GIF: it runs on “auto,” same for everybody.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

9. The best marketing combines information and entertainment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

10. It all takes time: working out the story, script, pacing, even finding the right music.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

11. There are no dull products, only dull storytelling.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

12. Most visual marketing today looks the same (quick cuts, talking heads, blaring music); you need to be different.
blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       * blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Alok Sarna, President, Ambassador Ventures, for work on Aviva Power Stations marketing PDF animation

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 40 pixels high

6 Comments leave one →
  1. spookster01 permalink
    November 3, 2021 12:29 PM

    Hi Mark… Looks like a lot of work went into this project and your talents reflected it. Your process is in everything we do today, good points to remember.
    John Collado

    Like

    • November 17, 2021 9:49 AM

      Hi, John! My usual thousand apologies for this late response. Thanks so much for that lovely comment. I know I do exactly what you do: think things thru, come up with different approaches, sketch out ideas, go back and forth with the client, solve problems as they arise, and bring experience and expertise to bear in service to that client. As always, I really appreciate your friendship and support– cheers, amigo!! 😊

      Like

  2. November 4, 2021 9:30 AM

    Mark … Brilliant marketing and excellent pointers. One of my newspaper editors had the same observation as you when a reporter complained about doing a ho-hum story: “ There are no dull products, only dull storytelling.” It’s advice I kept in mind when writing a story.

    Cheers, my friend! Judy Berman

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    • November 17, 2021 10:00 AM

      Judy!!– what a pleasure to see you here, my friend! And I’m blushing because this reply is more than a little late! (What else is new, eh??) Yes, I’ve given some thought to “dull storytelling”– there’s so much of it out there, online and off. You see it in ordinary conversations, too– people making no real effort to bring some degree of energy, charm, amusement to the proceedings. It makes all the difference, and it’s basically choosing to invest yourself in the conversation. Wish I’d had that insight when I was younger!! Hope you and Dave are well– thanks for being someone who always brings warmth and charm to any exchange!! 👍😊

      Like

  3. November 17, 2021 7:31 PM

    All your advice makes me think about the signage beside highways. There is often too much information for people to read in the very brief time they see the sign.

    Like

    • November 19, 2021 2:03 PM

      Ha!!– man, that’s the truth, Margy. I think of that in connection with all the little Help Wanted signs I see along local roads up here. And along with too many words, the printing is so small. I know the ol’ peepers aren’t what they used to be, but still–!! You gotta wonder how much time and effort is wasted on marketing because no one thought about convenience and actual viewing conditions. Always great to see you! Hope you’re well, and many thanks for your comment! 😊

      Like

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