Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CNBC AFRICA -- Kaleidoscope: Grant Baker Talks About Firehouse

Grant Baker is the chief honchito at Firehouse, a rising superstar ad-agency in Johannesburg.

He was interviewed in the CNBC AFRICA studios about the innovative recruitment advertising campaign his company ran to attract talented staff to the agency.

Not very many agencies in South Africa run any kind of advertising for themselves. So when Firehouse ran this campaign, they were really putting their hoses on the block.

The superb thing about running killer recruitment ads (and if I were still in the agency world, I'd definitely be sending them my cv -- the ads are ULTRA hot) is that they kill many birds with one stone.

1. You attract brilliant staff.

2. You send a message to your competitors that they have to up the game. Complacency in the ad world is what's ruining the business. So anything that shakes the game up gives advertising a few more breaths of life.

3. You send a message to your current clients that they're in great hands. If I were a Firehouse client seeing those ads somewhere, I'd be bragging to all of my friends that these guys did MY work.

4. You send a message to untapped clients. Clients who might be disgruntled with the crap attitudes of their current agencies. Clients who might know a thing or two about quality advertising. And you gain new business.

To my mind, Grant Baker walks his talk. And his ad campaign proves it. This is one of the very few ad agencies in South Africa I would be happy to shelve my advertising cynicism for.

This painting was made live in the CNBC AFRICA studio in Sandton during the interview. I made it using ArtRage 2.5 on my Rectron-sponsored Asus R1E tablet pc. I'm available to do visual facilitation work worldwide, translating ideas into vivid colour during meetings, workshops, seminars, and presentations. Contact me on royblumenthal@gmail.com. And view my online portfolio at http://snipurl.com/visualfacilitation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Animated Rich...! Mulholland tells us about Missing Link

Rich...! Mulholland is the founder of Missing Link. (http://missinglink.co.za ) 

He appeared last Saturday on the television show I work on. I'm the inhouse visual facilitator for Kaleidoscope on CNBC AFRICA, making pictures of the ideas liberated by the interview process.

Because Rich...! was in an insert, the picture I made of him went unaired. So I figured I'd turn it into an animation. I smsed him a rough script, and asked him to send me voice files via email.

He tweaked them, and made them his own, and sent them to me. I did a sound design and audio edit, and then made the speech bubbles to fit.

This little video is the result.

The music is by a Russian heavy metal band that I found on my favourite Creative Commons site, Jamendo ( http://www.jamendo.com ). The band's name is МакЕнтош.
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/Artist_(3) . And the song is called "Сердце из камня, душа из металла". Download the full, unedited song for yourself -- it's terrific: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/22041...

If you need any animated summaries made of any of your talks, get in touch with me. I work internationally, and I'm keen to see what I can produce for you. My email address is royblumenthal@gmail.com. My online gallery is at http://snipurl.com/visualfacilitation.

Painting: ArtRage 2.5 & Photoshop CS3. Animation: CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro. Audio Editing: Audacity. Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kyle Lindsay Leaks News of a New Elusion Music Video Coming Up

Kyle Lindsay, lead singer of Elusion, leaked the fact that they're about to shoot a music video for the fifth track on their debut cd, the song 'Everything is Good'.

I was busy sketching him at the time, capturing his chiselled face in my Moleskine. I immediately whipped out my Nokia E71, on loan from Virgin Mobile South Africa, and asked him to repeat his news into the microphone.

I zapped home, and flung the pic into ArtRage 2.5, powered some colour into it, then smacked it immediately into CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro. Animated and ready for love, I mashed the clip into Adobe Premiere Pro, where I edited it into shape.

All on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc.

The music in the background is... you guessed right... the last bit of the song in question.

The Business of Public Seminars -- Animated Summary

Paul du Toit is one of South Africa's busiest and most hardworking public speakers.

He makes a substantial income from one of his lines of business -- conducting public seminars.

He shared his secrets with the Johannesburg chapter of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) in a one-hour workshop.

I was present, making notes. This animation is my summary of the evening. Paul graciously visited my home to record the voice track. And I did all of the painting and animating. (And editing, and everything else.)

The music is by Derek R Audette, and is used under the terms outlined on his website... http://derekaudette.ottawaarts.com/index2.php

If you're interested in how my brand of visual facilitation can add value to your event, please feel free to contact me via email on royblumenthal@gmail.com. My portfolio is at http://snipurl.com/visualfacilitation.

The seven points covered in this video are:

1. Ask yourself WHY you want to put on a public seminar.

2. Advertise well in advance of the event. Get front page or early right hand page placement.

3. For a general audience, have a topic with broad appeal.

4. An amazing venue, food, and a high-value giveaway are big drawcards.

5. Have systems. Secretarial backup. And easy-to-use internet booking tools.

6. Negotiate supplier prices. For example, venue costs.

7. Get paid 5 working days before the event.

All of the work for this was done on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc. I used ArtRage 2.5 for the painting, CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro for the animation, and Premiere Pro for the editing. The music is an edit of a track titled 'Shunned' by Derek R Audette -- http://derekaudette.ottawaarts.com/index2.php. Thanks for the music, Derek!