Creating Stop Motion Videos with Powerpoint

Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 in Crowdsourcing, Design, Entertainment, Featured, Improv, Viral | 0 comments

The Bollywood Bounce is a Stop Motion Choreography video produced using 30 dance move photos from the Maharaja Palcace in Mysore India, which were then imported into Powerpoint and used to create a stop motion choreography sequence to the song Paper Planes by M.I.A.

The Making of The Bollywood Bounce

1. My photographer shot 30 photos of poses at the palace. We tried to vary the photos by being polar opposites. Like if one photo I stretched right, the other one I would stretch left.

2. I imported all of these photos, and then loaded the song Paper Planes into Camtasia for Mac.

3. I took key parts of the song and broke them down into 8-16 beat measures, then sequenced 4 or so photos in Powerpoint, to repeat in a pattern that matched the lyrics.

4. Using 86 BPM for the song (which I found by googling it), I set up each slide in Powerpoint to advance for either 0.35 seconds (for 8th notes) or 0.69 seconds (for longer quarter notes or pauses).

5. After exporting the movie from Powerpoint and syncing it to the song in Camtasia, I then copied and pasted it in other similar song segments.

6. I repeated this process over and over until the song was complete, and for reference, I did delete a whole verse and chorus from this version of the track so that the video would be more concise and easy to watch.

Below is an example of how I used Powerpoint to sequence 8 beats of the song “The Bollywood Bounce”, a stop motion animation video filmed at the Maharaja Palace in Mysore India, just outside of Bangalore, during the Bangalore Boon.

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Kindle Fire vs. iPad Review

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Brands, Design, Innovation | 0 comments

A buddy and I were talking about the Kindle Fire tonight and he said “it’s like half an iPad”. So we had a good laugh about the Kindle Fire being half the iPad for a third the price. To be fair, it’s really two fifths of the lowest priced pad.

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The Already Obsolete HTC Status

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in Advertising, Brands, Design, Innovation | 1 comment

Obsolete HTC Status


Watching the new ads for AT&Ts exclusive HTC Status which features a Facebook button in the body of the phone (!%$?) has me thinking about a few things…

  • I’m really lighting up to Google+ – although I won’t go out on a limb and say “no more Facebook or Twitter for me” just yet.
  • Should a phone, or any device other than a computer keyboard or musical instrument, have manual keys any more? It seems like a touchscreen that can always be evolving with the OS rather than a hard-wired button system is much more scalable.
  • Let’s say speed of a total rise and fall of new innovative communications mediums like Facebook and Google+ continues to increase, how fast will someone need to get out a new piece of hardware like a smartphone to capitalize on that medium?

I’m sure Facebook will be around long enough for the full lifecycle of this phone to come and go before Google+ can make any sizeable impact on FB usage (assuming G+ even gets past the innovator/early adopter phase in their own life cycle). But seriously, who is the audience for this phone?!?

Watch the video, let me know if you have any ideas…

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Farmville experience? You’re hired!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 in Design, Featured, Games, Innovation, The Future | 0 comments

Do you have kids yet? Are they old enough to play video games?

Either way, do you look at their gameplay as something you have to have control over, something that requires moderation?

I was asked this question the other day: “Do you think we’ll let our kids play video games?” Well I don’t know if we have a choice. In the near future, being a savvy gamer may be a serious competitive advantage in the workplace. This paradigm isn’t true today for most businesses (excluding the obvious – game design, Mountain Dew marketing), but it won’t be long before our CEOs and VPs will have grown up interacting with their whole world through interfaces like that of Farmville.

Two Year Olds are Better with the iPad than You

Have you ever watched a toddler breeze through the iPad interface, playing videos, opening and interacting with apps from games to storybooks? Like phones, radios, tvs and computers before them, tablets and smartphones will be indispensable to the next generation. And this means the ubiquitous tools of the workforce like Word, Excel, email and so on will have to be redesigned for a quarter-millenial employee used to rich tactile and sensory experience. Between the rate of change we’re experiencing now in information technology and the pervasiveness in our schools of these new gadgets, I’d place a bet that this same generation is the one who will redesign it, leaving us in the dust if we don’t accept and embrace it first.

It’s Already Happening

Don’t believe it? Think Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. While some companies still don’t let employees access Facebook at work, others base their whole business on the site. It’s been three years since Coke entered the virtual reality space with advertisements in the online game Second Life. And when the next wave of innovation hits, not only will we be trying to figure how to reach our customers within whatever game or app-like context they’re familiar with, we’re going to need to relate internally to our employees in the same manner of communication.

Farmville as a Marketing Dashboard

About a year ago I was presenting a new marketing strategy for an online community-based start-up. And as I was looking for an analogy to explain the proposed growth model, the concept of farming came to mind. Every new community member was a seed, that required nurturing to take root and grow. We thought of member support, user experience and e-mail marketing as the essentials: sunlight, water, soil. But you can’t take individual engagement very far when you get into the tens of thousands of members.

To scale our growth, we had to turn over “the farm” to our early adopters: teach them how to plant their own seeds, reward them for nurturing their crops and constantly provide the tools and raw materials they needed to build and grow their own farms. The two processes – bringing in new members and then teaching them how to build their own communities – was largely automatable. Finding our audience online, delivering messaging, the conversion path to registration, each interaction in the user experience, user sharing functionality – supported with a database filled with links, user data, messages and search parameters, it all could easily have been replaced by a child playing Farmville and triggering automated marketing processes in the background.

Your Next New Hire

Next time you interview someone for a job, learn about the technology that they’re used to, the interactions they have on social networks, the games they play to kill time, the apps they use most. How do those interactive experiences translate into potential innovations in your organization? And instead of looking the other way when they log on to Facebook or bust out the iPhone at work, take notes.

Still Skeptical?

Take a gander at some of the Farmville Youtube videos out there, with “farmers” delivering strategic and tactical advice to game players through tutorials. This guy would make a great corporate trainer, don’t you think?

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Neuromarketing: The Future of Pleasure

Posted by on Aug 21, 2010 in Advertising, Design, Innovation, The Future | 0 comments

When you’re looking at the packaging of, say, a few different cereals, how much do you think the way you feel about the packaging has an impact on your purchase decision?

Whether or not you think it makes an impact (though I’d guess most people acknowledge packaging sways decisions), a number of hi-sci market researchers like Neurofocus, for example, think they can tell what you’re going to like about a package or advertising image by digging deep into your brain.

By monitoring your neuron activity through biosensors while displaying series’ of images, these neuromarketers are giving ad agencies something to cheer about, while at the same time infuriating a handful of special interest groups. This Lawnmower Man meets Matrix meets Clockwork Orange stuff fascinates me, and I’ll admit, I think the level of benevolence or malevolence of neuromarketing applications is decided by the end goal of who’s paying for the research. Here’s some video to get you started on making up your own mind.

Popular Science’s The Future of Pleasure

Excellent overview of the applications of neuromarketing AND you get to see the “wires on the head, multicolored graphs and look at the pretty pictures” process that you might imagine. The key takeaway for me is neuromarketers’ claim of what they can measure: attention, retention and emotion. If you have a big, fat research budget and want to go all Orwellian on that new product ad, that’s what you may be able to impact.

Dr. Neurofocus: Listen to Your Brain

I threw this one in for fun. One of the leaders in neuromarketing, Neurofocus, put out this attempt at a viral video to raise awareness for their company. If you visit the Neurofocus Youtube Channel you’ll find a wide variety of more educational videos by their founder.


If you’re serious about learning more about neuromarketing, this hour long video should catch you up to speed.

Stop Neuromarketing!

The other side of the argument, by someone who probably believes “corporate social responsibility” is an oxymoron.

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Epipheo Studios, dig it.

Posted by on Jul 18, 2010 in Advertising, Design, Viral | 0 comments

Epipheo Studios has produced stellar promotional videos for a client roster that’s going to make you jealous: Facebook, Google, Yelp, Zazzle… have all tapped the production company to craft a sort of “new media stuff made super easy to understand, and fun to learn about through video” feeling. Epipheo apparently is short for “epiphany through video”, and here’s an example of how they tell their own story:

This talent has apparently made them one of the go-to shops for new start-ups in the digital space. Their blog lists projects for predictably-named 2.0 startups like PhoneBooth, doubleTwist, voterVoice and iWikiPhone (with names like those they could all be selling the same thing as far as I can tell). Epipheo’s storytelling chops come in real handy for quickly figuring out who does what and whether you should care, and I bet they could craft one hell of a compelling investor presentation.

The interesting thing to me about the Epipheo is that they’re apparently most famously associated with this video for the “Consumerism does not = Christmas” organization Advent Conspiracy (great name). The video below got picked up by the viral video chart in 2008 and has over a million views. I’ve got to admit, this video gets the message across.

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