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Quick, what sites performed best for your most- recent network campaign? What drove the most clicks? What about conversions?

Media buyers and planners need to know these answers to key questions to better plan, execute and optimize existing and future campaigns. Yet, many do not, and cannot, know these answers. Why?

Because of a lack of transparency. 

Lack of transparency can damage a campaign in several ways, including:

  • Wasted Client Money
  • Potential Loss of Revenue
  • Brand Dilution
  • Damaged Reputation

All of these could threaten the success of your business, resulting in lost clients and lost jobs.

Let’s look at this through the lens a traditional ad buy. A TV buyer would not spend his clients’ budget on ads without knowing where they are airing. So why should a digital buyer, with greater access to insights, accept a lack of full transparency?

Transparency, more than programmatic or native advertising, is the key to the future of digital advertising.

Notably, without transparency you cannot make truly informed decisions about your ad campaign. Without transparency, your “big data” is misinformed and can lead your campaigns astray. Without transparency, you are generating false data and wasting budgets.

We’re not the only ones pulling back the curtain on this. AdWeek’s Mike Shields wrote a compelling article ”The Amount of Questionable Online Traffic Will Blow Your Mind The World Wide Rip-Off“ that examines this ever-increasing problem for buyers and sellers – lack of transparency. In that article, Zach Coelius, CEO of Triggit, hit the nail on the head when he said, “Whenever you buy from someone who won’t tell you where your ads are running, there is a real danger they are ripping you off.”

Following up on this, Digiday published an article “The Hidden Cost Bots Add to Online Ads,” where they continue to highlight and address the fraud issues facing digital buyers and sellers. The article points out, “Not only are brands paying for fraudulent ad impressions, but they’re also finding bots are leading them astray in their efforts to reach real humans.”

So what can buyers do to help ensure their data is real and their campaigns optimizing correctly?

Demand transparency.

If you can see the sites that are driving traffic you can make informed decisions and more easily detect fraud. If you are running a public affairs campaign, and the bulk of your clicks come from ads on CollegeHumor (mentioned in AdWeek article), you should question the results.

Don’t waste your budgets on fake or misguided impressions or clicks. Before you plan your next campaign, make sure you can monitor and manage the sites where your ads run. Demand transparency.

Zach_Hanover_MOS_Framework

What is a “man on the street” interview?

You’ve seen them on your local news, late night talk shows, and every manner of web videos. It’s one way we capture the thoughts and ideas of every day people, instead of actors or paid spokespersons.

We see them all the time in our industry, but we don’t always see them done right.

Video production is never an easy task, full of obstacles and challenges that require quick-thinking and flexibility. This is especially true when you’re shooting in an uncontrolled environment, like you would be when doing man-on-the-street interviews.

CRAFT has compiled some of our best-practices that we like to follow during these kinds of shoots.

  1. Preparation Makes Perfect – Bring a neutral density filter for your lens.
  2. Shooting and Sunlight – Keep the sunlight behind you. Never, ever put the sun in the shot. Position your shot so that the sun lights your subject’s face from behind the camera.
  3. Listening is Not Optional – Pay attention to your audio. Keep a close ear to the surrounding background noise. You may need to move to a more quiet space to capture good audio.
  4. Take Two – Don’t be afraid to shoot another take.
  5. Proper Direction – Determine beforehand whether you want the subjects to look off-camera or straight into the lens while answering the questions. Make sure you keep this consistent.
  6. Vary Your Looks – MOS interviews give you the opportunity to be in different locations. Find cool visuals!
  7. A Little Coaching – If someone says something good, but you want him or her to say it more succinctly or rephrase, it is OK to feed him or her the line. “I loved that! Can I have you say it again to me this way?”
  8. Start Fresh – Make sure you ask them for their name and hometown as the first question. Otherwise you will never find out who that person is.
  9. Keep It Simple – Keep the content of your questions to a basic level of understanding. Keep in mind that most people you will film don’t know much about the issues, even the big ones. Your questions should be simple, and easy to answer.
  10. Remember Your Basics – Proper exposure (low iso, shutter speed at 1/50, use your ND filter to achieve a lower f-stop setting on the camera), white balance, rule of thirds, etc.
  11. Frame Your Shot – Make sure your background contributes to the testimonial in a positive, non-distracting way. Is there an inappropriate sign or location specific landmark (unless desired) in the background? Simply flipping your shot or finding a new location 5 to 10 feet away can remove anything that draws your attention away from the interviewee.
  12. Slow Down – With man-on-the-street interviews, the tendency is to get the person on-camera and on their way. Take an extra minute to double check your shot and your sound. Always have a second person to entertain your interviewee so they don’t get too antsy or frustrated while you set the shot.

Zachary Hanover is a Media Producer at CRAFT | Media / Digital. Zachary is an award-winning producer and editor, and several of his pieces were featured by major news outlets during the 2012 election cycle. Zachary has been a component of CRAFT’s media production team since August 2010. You can reach Zachary via email at zhanover@craftdc.com or on Twitter (@zhanover).

Infographics are everywhere nowadays. Explaining everything from if you should work for free to the relative value of one billion dollars. Communicating complex information in a visually appealing way is the ultimate goal of every infographic. Unfortunately, infographics can be confusing, hard to read, or lack valuable unique information. Here are 5 questions to consider when you’re thinking about creating or commissioning the next great infographic.

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Every frame, every element.

Every detail in an ad builds upon the next to create a moving image that sings, inspires and drives action. CRAFT’s team of copywriters, producers, editors and creative technologists exists to push the limits of media production by mastering these details. We speak the language of Adobe Premiere and After Effects, alpha layers and key frames. We translate technology to shift the conversation forward, lift our clients’ brand and move issues. With every creative decision, we build something meaningful to make our clients break through the clutter.

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