All posts by Robert

What do I do and who am I? I am the Marketing Manager for Twelve Horses, a full-service relationship marketing and messaging company specializing in designing interactive communication solutions. Check out twelvehorses.com. I am responsible for brand building and global positioning of Twelve Horses through marketing, advertising and pr efforts. While marketing a marketing company can be a bit of challenge, my job is made much easier by the fact that it is a great company powered by a great group of people. I am also the VP of Marketing for the Reno-Tahoe Chapter of the American Marketing Association. See renotahoeama.com. Our primary mission is to increase the knowledge-base of marketing professionals, as well as provide opportunities for networking and relationship building. Prior to joining Twelve Horses, I worked in sales, marketing, advertising and pr for a variety of companies, including Mandalay/MGM Mirage, Switchback PR & Marketing, Stoel Rives LLP, Preferred Capital Corporation and Patagonia. I have an M.B.A with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Nevada and an undergraduate degree from Clemson University. I grew up in Charleston, SC where I attended Porter Gaud until I went to The Asheville School, which is a small college prepratory boarding school near the Blue Ridge Mountains. If the people that raised me offer any indication as to who I am, my father is a psychiatrist, my mother is an artist, and they are both remarried to attorneys. Their varying careers and personalities continue to provide me with invaluable perspectives on practically everything. I enjoy literature, art, music, fashion, food and photography just as much as I enjoy dropping off of waterfalls in my kayak and ripping powder on my skis. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and I love to travel. Most importantly, I value my wife, friendships and family more than anything, and life would feel pretty darn shallow without them. Not -The End -....

Korea

Delta Air Lines recently hosted a warm and wonderful event at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate their new direct flight to Seoul, Korea. The president of Delta, Glen Hauenstein, Mayor Kasim Reed, and our chief operating officer, Bert Brantley were in attendance to say a few words in regards to the many country connections Georgia shares with Korea. Authentic Korean food and dancing were enjoyed by guests while the company’s rich aerospace history in Georgia was on full display.

I got a few nice photos and produced a short 1-minute video of the event.

I provide a lot more background regarding Georgia’s longstanding relationship with Korea over on Georgia.org

International Trade Commercial

Generally, I am an advocate of letting clients speak on your behalf verses cutting a straight commercial with voice talent and nice music. I call it real marketing. But in listening to my client I heard that what they really needed was a video that would set an energetic tone – more of a wow piece – that could also be highly informative. In addition, it would work well as a 15 or 30 second promotional spot.

Since I had already produced this Telly award-winning video for Trade that did have good testimonials, it was decided to pursue something different. This piece uses heavier animation work and a fast-paced rhythm to hopefully incite the target audience to take action. Because the International Trade team is predominately women, I was keen on using a female narrator of which I auditioned several. I was also very particular about the script and balancing practical information with some sales sizzle.

Check it out!

German Investment Video

Here is my latest production. An inside look in to the lives and businesses of three German companies who fabricate elevators you ride, industrial systems you need, and most of the world’s pressure gauges you depend on. It offers a little mountain biking, Mexican food, running, welding, robots and virtual reality.

As is often the case with these video productions, it provides me the opportunity to meet new people and get behind-the-scenes of what makes global companies tick. Before a video camera is ever turned on I have done quite a few things:

  • An extensive amount of research on the company’s brand, operations, employees, and competitors.
  • Met with company executives and stakeholders.
  • Thought very carefully about the target audience and any cultural nuances.
  • What kind of supporting locations and footage would bolster the story?
  • How much can I realistically cover with the budget available?
  • What are possible risks that I may face?
  • How much crew do I really need?
  • What permits do I need?
  • What will effectively tie the piece together?
  • What will be the timing for each shoot and where?

And the list goes on. But one key factor that I think is often underestimated is getting very busy executives to open up their lives and their companies. To potentially spend a whole day with me while we get this shot, and that shot, and that quote and, can you say it again but like this?

Don’t ever discount what your mom and dad taught you about being a people person. These productions require a lot of moving parts, and the coordination of many different people.

Once the video shoots have taken place there is a considerable amount of time spent:

  • Selecting the right scenes and quotes.
  • Making sure the international translations have the right message, tone and inflection.
  • Developing the script.
  • Listening to dozens of voice talents if the piece requires professional narration.
  • Carefully choosing the right mix of music tracks and sound effects.
  • Ensuring that each scene informs the next scene for a seamless story.

Sure, I’ve had many 5:00am starts, flipped an ATV, crashed a drone, equipment malfunctions, no shows, bad weather and host of other issues, but it is all part of the process in telling a great story and learning a few things along the way.

Like what you saw? Also check out this China Investment Video.

Have Kids Will Travel

Life has changed. Vacations no longer consist of sitting idly by the pool, or packing a nice, light bag solely meant for me.

There is no:

  • Why don’t I spend a bunch of time setting up this super artful photograph?
  • Gosh, that was such a great ski line, why don’t we hike up the mountain and do it again?
  • Man, I have been surfing for hours. Let’s go and chill on the beach with a beer.
  • Hey, let’s grab our kayaks and disappear for a few days down this super dangerous river where there is no cell reception!

You never know how much doing you are going to do when you say, I do, right? Now I have two young boys and life is very different.

When my first son was born a good friend said, “Welcome to manhood.” He couldn’t have been more right. Kids are the real test of will and perseverance. I swear every time I hear the word, “Dad,” another hair pops off my head.

But it is exactly what the freewheeling, fun-soaked, and child-free folks often hear from a subservient procreator like me….

It’s so rewarding.

Life is more challenging, and some days I feel like I’m walking around with my pant pockets turned inside out. But what a thrill to play witness and direction to my two boy’s endless discoveries. Here a just a few precious moments from this new adventure.

Click any image to view the gallery.

China Investment Video

I began this China investment video project 5 months ago with the initial scouting, strategy and budgeting. Fast forward to September and all the editing, translating, licensing and approvals are finally done. Trying to convey the business and lifestyle environment of a geographical location thousands of miles away from the target audience obviously needs careful consideration. My goal was to make it as credible and informative as possible while still keeping it brief.

These projects always require more effort than is evident on the surface, but it was a great experience and the chance to meet so many wonderful people that call Georgia home.

Print Ad Campaign

One of the print buys I manage on a regular basis is Delta Sky. While many of the print publications out there are hard to quantify in comparison to digital tracking and analytics, I do see the value in this buy due to its captivated audience and sheer reach to business travelers. Good old circulation!

Taking a look back at the past 9 months, you can see the approach in terms of using real images and names of companies as opposed to your general ad fluff. It takes more work on my part to source all of the materials and get company approval, but I think it is worth it.

Check them out:

Advanced Manufacturing Video

This is my latest video creation.

The advanced manufacturing capabilities of this company, and the infrastructure and logistics they need to move their product, is incredible in size and scope. It was an ideal backdrop for producing a video like this.

Creative
I took more of a documentary approach with subdued music and narration to seem less like a marketing piece. The sponsoring brand only appears at the very end.

Lesson Learned
If you want to use a drone in a facility this size then make sure you test it beforehand or are clear as to whether it will function properly inside an area with a lot of electromagnetic disturbance.

Platinum Hermes Creative Award

I am pleased to say I have just won top honors in the annual Hermes Creative Awards for the Georgia is Built for Business video.

An international awards competition, the 2016 Hermes Awards recognize outstanding work of creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. The competition has grown to one of the largest of its kind in the world. This year they received over 5,500 entries from the United States, Canada and several other countries.

Only 15 percent of entries received a Platinum Award, which is the highest honor offered in the competition.

This video represents a lot of behind-the-scenes work – 9 versions of the script, countless site visits to places like Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Global Center for Medical Innovation, and the list goes on.

What do leading brands like Home Depot, Delta, UPS, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, JCB, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and The Coca-Cola Company all have in common? See for yourself…

Costa Rica 2016

Quite a few changes to Costa Rica since visiting in 2007.

  • No Americans, French, or Germans to speak of.
  • All the roads are dirt.
  • Good luck finding air conditioning or a mobile phone signal.
  • No one is out surfing.
  • Realtors and developers have all moved on to Nicaragua.

Actually, only the last bullet is partially true.

Despite the changes I have to say it was nice not being so gripped on treacherous roads, although you still have to get your Costa on. I also have a fond memory of turning in to a decent size city for Costa Rica and being presented with a large bloated dead dog being picked apart by 6 or so vultures – now there is culture kids!

Other creature comforts consisted of not dealing with two young boys with chronic stomach cramps – thank you infrastructure and water treatment! Gas stations and grocery stores are prevalent, and more often than not the ATMs have cash.

So there you have it. It was indeed a great couple of weeks. The wildlife and surfing are still stunning, and the people are still charming. And I always thank my lucky stars for not having to be airlifted to a hospital; or more likely being placed in the back of a pickup truck and bounced down through the jungle as I come in and out of consciousness. Winning!

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If you want to see more photos go here – https://www.flickr.com/gp/rpayne/0r341B

Interactive Holiday Cards

Coming up with a new holiday card each year can be a challenge. But it is a challenge I enjoy.

When you are spending good money on design and development you need to balance the return on investment with cultural sensitivities around the holidays. In other words, do not sacrifice your brand integrity by disrespecting what the holidays are really about.

It was a lot of work, but this year I collected holiday-centric statistics from well-known brands throughout Georgia and put a logistics spin on it.

2014 – http://www.georgia.org/holiday-card-2014

This year my goal was to make a holiday card that could extend beyond our Department, and be usable and distributable by other state entities and citizens of Georgia.

Looking for other interactive holiday card ideas? Here’s a look back at the past two years of holiday cards I’ve worked on.


>>2012<<


>>2011<<

As you can see, HTML, Video and even old Flash have all played a role. Now responsive design and HTML5 is a significant consideration, so that individuals can view it on any type of device whether mobile, tablet or desktop.

It will be interesting to see what manifests next holiday season.