Sip & Share: Liquid Ideas

sip_share_logo_finalSurprisingly, catching up with an old friend and speaking with a fellow marketing professional have more things in common than you may think. Themes like storytelling, laughter and creativity are frequent elements but the quintessential through line in these chats is the beverage.

“Let’s grab coffee” or “Want to catch up over a beer?” are open invitations for discussion. No matter the time of day, the location or occasion, friends, colleagues or business partners alike can find a reason to meet up for a chat and a beverage. It’s safe to say that HB embraces this social tradition: from a hand-crafted pour over coffee in the morning to a cold IPA or a glass of red wine in the afternoon, we’re not picky.

The HB team values the global IPREX network and the amazing wealth of knowledge and industry expertise it offers. We’d like to shine the spotlight on some of our fellow IPREX partners and we think there’s no better place to start than with our friends down in Australia at Liquid Ideas!

Liquid Ideas was established in 2000 as a wine-centric PR agency, and quickly established itself as Australia’s leading specialist PR agency for the wine industry. Today, Liquid Ideas is a unique creative communications agency working for all sorts of brands, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne

Jemma LeeLast week we caught up with Jemma Lee, an account director at Liquid Ideas. She just celebrated her fourth anniversary at the agency so she had a ton of great insight to share. Some fast facts: Jemma loves what she does, has done lots of interesting work with her clients (like launched a brewery) and enjoyed her time in Boston at the Global Leaders Conference two years ago where we met.

HB Agency: What’s life like at Liquid Ideas?

Jemma Lee: Life at Liquid Ideas is pretty sweet. We are a team of about 25 and we seem to work well at that size. There’s enough people to talk to but we can still operate as a small, nimble business. We’re located in Alexandria, Sydney which is a stone’s throw from the airport.

Our “normal” week involves an all-agency “work-in-progress” meeting on Tuesday mornings and every other week we take a current affairs quiz. The quiz can be about anything from the media to politics to booze and every topic in between. There’s usually about 35 questions and it keeps us on our toes and pushes us to keep learning.

Sometimes the questions seem irrelevant but Stu (Stuart Gregor, our founder and creative director) is a big believer that knowledge is never irrelevant.

We generally work on client teams of about 3 or 4 people but it’s always with different people so we’re able to collaborate and learn from our colleagues.

In terms of culture – we trialled pet day and that didn’t work. We have EPIC cakes for everyone’s birthday – not the gross kind from the supermarket. We pop bubbles at every opportunity and have done 101 classes on just about everything (last month’s was cheese, next month is Greek wine.) Seriously, nothing is irrelevant.

HB: Liquid Ideas was founded in 2000 by Stuart Gregor as a wine-focused agency. Can you tell us a little more about the agency’s history and how it evolved to work with other consumer and lifestyle brands?

JL: Stu saw a gap in the marketing industry and filled it. He’s probably the best person to speak to the original shift, but I guess it is all really about the lifestyle. You don’t drink wine at home alone – you drink it with friends, at restaurants, with food, at bars, watching sport – so our expertise in wine translated to food and easily into social occasions.

In 2012 we had a big year, which shifted the dial quite a bit for us. We won Singapore Airlines and Kellogg’s – an airline and an FMCG giant. This was a big culture shift and really made other brands stand up and notice our little old wine PR business, Liquid Ideas. Since then, we’ve been working with many different brands, we’re now lucky enough to work with the entire roster of Unilever deodorants: Lynx, Rexona and Dove men!

HB: What types of companies are you currently working with?

JL: We’re lucky to have a great mix of clients at the moment. From Unilever brands like Dove Men, Continental and others, to wine brands like Arras, Hardys and Taylors and other beverage brands such as Carlton Draught, Kopparberg and Four Pillars gin; to travel and retails brands like Singapore Airlines and Aussie Farmers Direct.

HB: The consumer market is heavily saturated, how does your team make your clients stand out?

It is. We take each brief on its merits and think about its audience and their passion points. We have done a lot of brand partnerships really successfully – they allow you to tap into an audience with a credible association.

They’re all different but in the end we always think about the three things you need: interesting content, a purpose and authenticity. It’s the magic trio.

HB: Liquid Ideas’ A-Z services page is impressive! Can you tell me a little more about a few of them? Perhaps Trade Relations and Seeding?

JL: Sure thing! We do a lot of trade relations but it’s most common for our beverage clients. We are a big believer that our job is to influence the influencers and it’s important to note that influencers aren’t always the media or bloggers. The trade are a really important influencer for a brand or company. So we host events for the trade, we do a lot of trade media relations, we present initiatives to our clients which incentivise the trade to get on board with a campaign.

Seeding our products—getting them into the hands of the right people—is something we do a lot of. We partner with other brands and agencies who align with our brands and target the same audiences and give them our product to give to their guests. It is a really cost effective way to increase the visibility of your product.

HB: Because your team specializes in consumer brands, specifically alcohol, do you feel like you have more events to manage?

JL: In general, we do a lot of events! Not just for our beverage clients either but for all clients. In fact, just last month we did an event for Lynx, we launched their new range for 25 style media and bloggers.

We do tend to have a lot of events for our beverage clients because the overall idea is to recreate the environment in which you want it consumed. It is the best way to communicate your brand message!

HB: Because of age restrictions around alcohol, how do you help your clients market to different age groups? Do you ever run into issues managing situations?

JL: We have to be really careful about marketing to younger audiences in everything we do. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, our language, which events we seed at… we have to make sure our audience demographic is a majority over 25y/o so we uphold responsible marketing practices.

In terms of issues management, we’re constantly focused on how to properly market to minors and we’re hyper-aware of alcohol sponsorships in sport. I’m sure it’s similar in the States, but the Australian government, consumer groups and us too are very conscious of the effect alcohol advertising can have on minors during sporting events and we’re careful to not draw a line between alcohol and sport in the youth’s perspective. It is a big public issue, and one that needs to be managed responsibly in the way we execute our campaigns.

Liquid Ideas Team xmas 2014

 For more information about Liquid Ideas please visit www.liquidideas.com or check them out on Twitter at @LiquidIdeas.

HUBgrown: Q&A with Kyle Alspach, Streetwise Media

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Well-known Boston tech reporter Kyle Alspach shares how he began covering the city’s tech scene, tips for startups pitching their stories and why having a tech community that becomes overly obsessed with consumers can actually be a bad thing.

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HB: How and why did you first become a tech reporter? What do you like about covering tech?

KA: I didn’t start out with any plan or aspiration to become a tech reporter. Originally I was hired by the Boston Business Journal to primarily cover cleantech. That exposed me to the world of startups, VC, IPOs, and the like, and so when BBJ had opening to cover tech startups, they asked me.

A big part of the appeal for me was (and is) the fact that there is basically an endless number of things to write about. One definition of newswriting might be “writing about things that are changing,” and tech is fundamentally about change, so there’s never a shortage of interesting stories.

HB: Boston is crawling with entrepreneurs. When they pitch you stories, what are you most often looking for? What mistakes do they most often make?

KA: In a broad sense, I’m looking for stories that will be read by a large number of our readers. That might sound obvious, but honestly I think a lot of companies don’t actually stop to think about that before pitching. They have their goals in pitching us, of course, but it’s only when we can find a shared interest that a story actually gets written—that is, when their news is something we believe will be read by and valued by a lot of people. A frequent mistake that entrepreneurs make is not recognizing this dynamic before they pitch.

HB: How can Boston’s entrepreneurs set themselves apart from other startups in the city?

KA: The easiest way for an entrepreneur to set themselves apart to us is to be connected to some person or institution we already know about. If they are brand new and don’t have those sort of connections, that doesn’t rule them out for coverage, but they just will have to be a bit more savvy in getting our attention. A quick email from a founder explaining clearly what makes their startup unique and important, and offering us a chance to be the first to write about the startup, can often do the trick.

HB: Streetwise is quickly expanding. In addition to Boston, you’re in DC, Chicago and have planned launches in mid-2015 in several other cities. What can Boston learn from some of these other startup hubs?

KA: First off, I think Boston can learn that its place in the Top 3 tech hubs in the U.S. is by no means secure. Chicago and DC are rising fast. I also look at cities and it strikes me how much it really benefits a smaller tech community to have big-name consumer tech companies, which are Groupon and GrubHub, in the case of Chicago. Boston is starting to get there with Wayfair, but we could really use some more like that, for so many reasons.

HB: BostInno recently ran its Tech Madness competition to uncover which Boston tech company will have the greatest impact five years from now. If this was a national Tech Madness bracket, how far do you think a Boston startup would make it in the competition?

KA: It would probably depend on what the constraints for the contest were. If it was strictly limited to “startups,” I think Boston could have a few contenders for making it pretty far—DraftKings, Drizly, RunKeeper all have national profiles. But if you included unicorn companies and public companies, Boston might be in tough shape, because we don’t have nearly as many high-profile national examples there as the Valley.

HB: Boston has a lack of consumer startups. Is that a good or bad thing? Does it matter?

KA: I think it would be terrific if we had more consumer startups. It would do a lot to boost our national standing if we produced more big-name consumer companies, as I mentioned. On the other hand, if we were to produce zero consumer startups from here on but were able to keep producing more HubSpots and Veracodes and SimpliVitys, then it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We would still be a tech mecca.

There’s also an argument to be made that, while they’re cool to have, consumer companies rarely solve our world’s hardest and most pressing problems. So in a sense, having a tech community that becomes overly obsessed with consumer can actually be a bad thing. It’s nice that Boston values companies who aren’t especially sexy but are solving hard problems.

For more information about Kyle Alspach, check out his latest work on BostInno.

Of Soviets and Starbucks

February 15th, 1990 was my father’s first day in America, and according to family-lore, the day he quit smoking. Two months ago I went home to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his arrival in the country. He made his way here during the waning years of the Soviet Union, leaving his home country of Ukraine for Austria and Italy, until he was finally granted permission to immigrate to the United States.

I’m always amazed at the admiration he has for this country, so in the spirit of his 25 year anniversary in the US, I asked my dad what word best represents his thoughts and emotions when thinking about America. In his noticeably Russian-accented English, he said, “inspirational.”

I was a bit struck after hearing that word. “Inspirational” is a nice soundbite, but more than anything it represents an abstract ideal. Don’t get me wrong—I know my dad meant it when he said it, and I admire him for it. But having come of age during one of the most polarizing periods in American politics, “inspirational” sounds like the hollow fluff you expect to hear from our politicians during election season.

Which brings me to my work in PR.

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While interning at HB over the last few months, I’ve come to recognize that companies, particularly those catering to Millennials and consumers of technology, are increasingly promoting that abstract fluff over the reality on the ground. It’s the idea of the socially responsible but still profit-driven company adeptly navigating morality in the marketplace. Sometimes, the public will buy into a company’s social message. But the strategy isn’t foolproof. What starts out as a socially-conscious message could easily backfire. The recent PR debacle at Starbucks is a good example of this.

In March, the company implemented a new initiative, “Race Together,” where baristas would place stickers with those words on customers’ cups in hopes of jump starting a national conversation about race. In Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s head, this was a great idea, but it didn’t translate well with the American public, across the political divide of left and right. Starbucks was hammered by pundits and the average Joe for displaying poor judgement and naivete.

Uber, which promotes its societal contributions by stressing its outsized role in the sharing economy, was heavily criticized last November when Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber New York, decided to a boastfully tell a journalist,“I was tracking you,” as she pulled up to their meeting. Uber’s privacy policy prohibits contract drivers from tracking customers, but it’s widely available to employees at the corporate level. The breach of privacy resulted in harsh criticism and damaged Uber’s reputation among the public and government officials.

If I were a betting man, I’d expect more such PR disasters to proliferate among companies that cater to Millennials and other tech-savvy and socially-conscious groups. This is not to say that running a business responsibly is impossible. But large companies like Starbucks and Uber will have a difficult time managing their image if they continue testing the waters with what Americans believe to be ethically and socially responsible.

My dad might never learn how to order an Uber or a tall, nonfat latte with caramel drizzle from Starbucks, but I know he’s always looking to buy from companies that do good and inspire. It’s up to companies to either live up to the missions they set, or get out of the business of morality.

It’s the responsible thing to do.

HB Agency Grows Public Relations Team with New Hire

Newton, Mass. – April 21, 2015 – HB Agency, a Boston-based integrated marketing agency specializing in high technology, energy and sustainability, and medical technology, has hired Alex Jafarzadeh as senior account executive, adding to its growing B2B PR team. Jafarzadeh will work with HB clients in the cloud technology and data solutions industries.

Jafarzadeh joins HB from a similar role at fellow IPREX partner agency, Fulford Public Relations in Singapore, where he concurrently served as IPREX Regional Director for the Asia Pacific region. He brings with him a wealth of international experience, having worked with major global brands including Qantas, The Macallan and Leica Camera AG.

Jafarzadeh lives in East Boston, is originally from the United Kingdom, and is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia.

For more information about HB, please visit hbagency.wpengine.com or call 781-893-0053.

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About HB Agency

Founded in 1999 as a business-to-business integrated marketing agency, HB’s public relations and creative services have earned national recognition through Bell Ringer Awards from the Publicity Club of New England, Telly Awards, Communitas Awards and a Summit Marketing Effectiveness SIA Award. To learn more about HB’s branding, marketing and public relations expertise, please visit hbagency.wpengine.com, or call 781-893-0053.

HB Agency
Taylor Johnson
tjohnson@www.hbagency.com
781-893-0053

6 Things To Know When You Join A New Agency

Hello. I’m Alex, and as you might have heard, I’m the latest addition to the HB team.

After several years in another agency some 10,000 miles away, and as I prepared to become the new guy earlier this month, I did what any sensible millennial would do: I googled “tips for the new guy.”

But in a sea of “16 Tips for PR Agency Newbies,” “13 Tips for New PR Professionals” and even a “Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You,” there didn’t seem to be any tips for people switching agencies. So, after my first two weeks at HB, here are my 6 things to know when joining a new agency.

1.       YOU’LL LEARN THE CLIENTS. FIRST, LEARN YOUR TEAM.

It’s easy to get caught up in a sea of new clients – sifting through acronyms, reading past coverage, learning what needs to be done. But that knowledge will be useless if you don’t know how to work with your brand new colleagues. Put down those campaign calendars and old press releases and get to know your surroundings, your teammates, the do’s and dont’s. After all, these are the people you want to do your best work with – it’s important to know who they actually are.

2.       YES, ASK QUESTIONS. BUT THEN SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO THE ANSWERS.

We all know there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but that’s only half the equation. Make sure that you’re not just asking, but are also taking in the answers that you get. Don’t be afraid to ask again if you didn’t understand the first time, or if you need something clarified. And whatever you do, write things down!

3.       KEEP YOUR PAST EXPERIENCES IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR. NOT IN THE PASSENGER’S SEAT.

You’ve lived and breathed your old agency for years, and it’s those experiences that have brought you here. But this is a new environment, with new clients and new colleagues, and things are probably different than what you’re used to. So while it’s important to refer to your previous work from time to time, don’t try and fit everything into your old methods, practices and templates. A clean slate is a valuable thing.

4.       FIND A BUDDY AND MAKE THEM YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND.

This is the person who you’ll be able to rely on for almost anything. Not sure how those new-fangled phones work? Ask your buddy. Need to get some advice on email etiquette? Ask your buddy. Looking for a lunchtime recommendation? Ask your buddy! I’m incredibly thankful for my own HB Buddy, Christine McEachern, who’s been an endless source of valuable information from day one.

5.       PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR NEW COLLEAGUES’ SHOES.

Remember when you were the experienced one, and a new team member joined? What impressed you about them? What did you wish they’d done? Take those memories and put them to good use. In my case, I always valued a new colleague who took the time and effort to be an active part of their new team from the get-go, and that’s the philosophy I adopted when I took my first steps into the world of HB.

6.       BE GRATEFUL.

It’s not all about you. Your new teammates have put in a lot of work to welcome you, integrate you and make you feel at home while also balancing their existing priorities and deadlines. You should know that – you’ve probably done it yourself. Show them you appreciate it. (Pro tip: brownies and cupcakes help.)

Digging in and Doing Good

HB is comprised of designers, storytellers, writers, teammates and friends. Each “HBer” is unique in his or her own way, with differing histories, hobbies, habits, hopes, ambitions, expertise—the list goes on. But despite all of our differences, there are a handful of things we all have a steadfast commitment to:

  • Our families and friends;
  • The quality of our work; and
  • Having a positive impact on our environment and community.

HBers recognize the value and importance of volunteerism and charitable efforts to create a better world for future generations. It is through these efforts that we hold ourselves accountable to our commitments.

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With that in mind, HB is thrilled to partner with CitySprouts, an amazing organization that develops and maintains gardens at public schools throughout Boston and Cambridge to inspire teachers, students and families to have a deep, hands-on connection to the food cycle, sustainable agriculture and the natural environment.

Last week, HB kicked-off its CitySprouts work at the Andrew Peabody School in North Cambridge, where we assisted in garden prep work for the spring season.

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We’ll be continuing our work with the organization in the months to come, so be sure to check our Twitter and Instagram feeds to see more of the fun and gardening action!

If you’d like to learn more about CitySprouts, please visit www.citysprouts.org or check out Ripe for Change, by CitySprouts Executive Director Jane Hirschi.

 

HB Agency Announces Team Growth, adds Obi-Wan Kenobi to Roster

Rhodesian Ridgeback brings new energy, enthusiasm and adorableness to agency

Newton, MA – April 1, 2015 – HB Agency, a Boston-based integrated marketing agency specializing in high technology, energy and sustainability, and medical technology, has hired Obi-Wan Kenobi as chief puppy officer (CPO). Obi’s role will have a wide variety of responsibilities including, but not limited to:

– Client and guest greeter;
– Exercise-enabler, via daily walks;
– Totally-safe-for-work cuddler;
– Cheerer-upper; and
– De-stressor.

Obi, a 9-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, joins HB in a full-time position after interning for the past six months. His commitment to teamwork, company culture and reminding his colleagues that sometimes life isn’t as serious as it seems, made him standout from the pack of puppies who also applied for the role.

“You know what, sometimes you just need to stop and have a treat or take a walk to get away from your desk,” said Julia Bucchianeri. “Obi’s committed to helping the HB team however he can; whether it’s stopping to have some treats, going for a walk, or reminding us to never stop chasing that squeaky ball!”

“Woof, woof!!!” said Obi.

Obi lives in Boston with his parents, Julia Bucchianeri and Steve Travaglini, is originally from New York, and is a graduate of Puppy Kindergarten in Sudbury, MA.

To learn more about Obi, check out his Instagram page at @Obithepuppy.

For more information about HB’s growing team, please visit hbagency.wpengine.com or call 781-893-0053. If you’re a human being seeking new opportunities, be sure to look at HB’s careers page for openings.

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About HB Agency
Founded in 1999 as a business-to-business integrated marketing agency, HB’s public relations and creative services have earned national recognition through Bell Ringer Awards from the Publicity Club of New England, Telly Awards, Communitas Awards and a Summit Marketing Effectiveness SIA Award. To learn more about HB’s branding, marketing and public relations expertise, please visit hbagency.wpengine.com, or call 781-893-0053.

Contact Information
April Fool’s Team
HB Agency
781-893-0053
juliab@www.hbagency.com

HUBgrown: Q&A with Michael Skok

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Boston is booming with new thinking, interesting people and revolutionary companies. Many businesses are born here, thanks to the city’s renowned institutions and incubators, accelerators and other startup programs around the greater Boston community. While some grow up and move on to other places (hey, Silicon Valley) we believe there’s something unique about companies born and bred out of our great city.

In this new series, HUBgrown, we’ll explore what makes Boston’s business scene one-of-a-kind. That means insights from local entrepreneurs; investors that can predict which companies are going to make it big; and, media dedicated to the Boston innovation scene.

We also want to hear from you along the way. Have a question you want to ask one of Boston’s thought leaders? Share it with us. Know someone that is doing something cool but hasn’t shared it? Tell them to speak up. Something bugging and/or exciting you about the state of entrepreneurship in Boston? Let’s hear it.

For our first installment of HUBgrown, we spoke with Michael Skok. Well-known in the city as an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and educator at Harvard, Michael talked to us about why Boston’s rich history has a significant impact on the culture and what makes entrepreneurs successful.

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HB: In your Startup Secrets workshops, you discuss company formation and how important culture is to hiring. How would you describe Boston’s entrepreneurial culture?

MS: Boston’s culture was born out of its first settlers. There has always been a great sense of dedication and persistence  here that you don’t find in every city. This differs from my experience in Silicon Valley, where the culture was all about the next shiny and new thing. In Boston, hard work and loyalty in particular really stand out.

HB: Do you prefer the Boston tech scene to Silicon Valley?

MS: I strongly believe that there is no wrong or right culture, there are just intrinsic differences. In Silicon Valley, you can’t go anywhere without being touched by technology and a wide open sense of possibility. It’s built into the fabric of the area. In Boston, we have a strong tech scene, with less critical mass but more rich diversity with the arts, sciences and academia.

HB: How do these differences attract entrepreneurs to Boston vs. other cities?

MS: Because Boston is a city built on such substance, entrepreneurs here are focused on solving long-term problems, not just building the next trendy app. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but the entrepreneurs here know that and are focused on what’s going to have the most significant impact, not just the quickest return.

HB: You frequently write about how in order to pursue and solve big problems, you need to learn to tap into your internal energy. Can you share a specific tip for how entrepreneurs can accomplish that?

MS: It’s simple. Look at what makes you unique and build on it. What one person experiences in life is completely unique to their upbringing and life experiences. We have all come from different places, have different backgrounds, interactions, perspectives and understanding. As an investor, I’m always looking for people who are uniquely qualified to address the problem or opportunity they are going after. There’s no one answer, so start this self-discovery by separating your experience from your ability, attitude and aptitude.

Tap into your own experience, look at what you have to offer and what you love and focus on what you really care about to find your genuine passion. And be authentic and honest with yourself. The saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” is bullshit. If you’re faking it as an entrepreneur, you’re not tapping into what makes you unique. Your customers and team will also see through it and you’ll ultimately fail.

HB: Can you give an example of an entrepreneur you’ve worked with that successfully tapped his/her own energy?

MS: I think all the good ones I’ve worked with do this. I specifically screen for it when I’m investing. I don’t back ideas, I back people who see problems they’re uniquely qualified to solve and have the resolve to execute. Boston has many such entrepreneurs such as Paula Long, Dries Buytaert, Brian Halligan, and Jason Purcell to name just a few that I’ve enjoyed having share their stories in my Startup Secrets workshops. And I have a very long list I’d like to back, including more and more great women entrepreneurs like Ellen Rubin who are going to make their mark.

HB: What has been your defining moment as an entrepreneur and an investor?

MS: I love the question. It makes for good one liners. But for me, it’s been a learning journey, with no one defining moment. I often say the older I get the more I realize I have to learn. So if anything, I’ve learned that it’s best to keep evolving and change perspective so that you keep curious and frequently question answers. That’s also why I try to teach with frameworks rather than answers. I want the next generation to come up with their own, new and better answers. The problems of tomorrow will not be solved by the answers of today.

And in this regard our next generation of young entrepreneurs have a major advantage. They aren’t prejudiced with experience. Instead they’re unbounded and therefore free to try everything and learn from experimentation that can lead to breakthroughs. That’s why I love working with students and young entrepreneurs. They’re just starting out and have limitless potential to realize the opportunities in front of them.

At least what I hope to do is help remove any barriers to them realizing their full potential so they can dream big, tap into their passion and realize their potential with the focus and persistence it takes to build something really meaningful and valuable. Here’s to that being a Boston made difference we make.

For more HUBgrown updates, please follow hubgrown.tumblr.com.

Why B2B Video Should Feel Like Child’s Play

HB knows B2B marketing. From high tech to med tech, from energy to sustainability, to financial services firms to universities, taking complex messages and delivering them creatively to the right audience is where we thrive.

When Project Giving Kids asked us to create a video explaining the organization’s mission, we said yes for three reasons. First, we thought the mission of PGK was really cool. Second, we like to stretch our B2C muscles. Third, we saw parallels between our B2B work in corporate motion graphic assets and an animated video to motivate kids to volunteer.

B2B videos and animation? Yes, you read it right. There are three reasons that B2B marketers may want to infuse a child-like quality into their corporate videos:

  1. Emotion spurs engagement. We’ve come a long way from corporate video serving as nothing more than animated brochure-ware or another way to tell a complex story. Instead, treat B2B customers like consumers – make an emotional connection, and see engagement rise.
  2. Animation is an entirely different way to tell a story. Don’t worry about sharing every technical detail. You still have your website, a sales sheet and trade shows to get across technical messaging. Make your animation a departure from the norm to see how your audience reacts.
  3. People share fun stuff. How often do you see spec sheets shared on social media? Infographics, fun video, powerful SlideShares and other visual content captures the imagination.

Check out our video – an award-winning video, BTW – below.


Thanks to the Holmes Report / In2 Sabre Awards for recognizing this work as the best Animated Video. We’re proud of it, and hope you’ll enjoy watching it as much as we did creating it.

And of course, check out Project Giving Kids, dedicated to connecting families to age-appropriate service and community activities through an easy-to-use website experience. Founder Molly Yuska created the non-profit organization to help children understand at an early age the power of giving back and to support the vibrant nonprofit community by connecting them to a new stream of passionate volunteers.

HB Agency Animated Video Wins Top Honors at 2015 In2 SABRE Awards

Project Giving Kids animated video helps inspire kids to connect with causes

NEWTON, MA– March 19, 2015 – HB Agency, a Boston-based integrated marketing firm, took home top honors for Best Animation video at the prestigious 2015 In2 Sabre Awards. The agency developed the winning video on behalf of Project Giving Kids – Connecting Kids to Causes to strip away the perception of complexity, and show kids and their parents how easy it is to get involved with causes in their communities.

The In2 Sabre Awards is built upon the SABREs, an awards competition with a 20-year heritage, which introduces new categories to reflect great digital content and the use of data and analytics.

Project Giving Kids is dedicated to connecting families to age-appropriate service and community activities through an easy-to-use website experience. Founder Molly Yuska created the non-profit organization to help children understand at an early age the power of giving back and to support the vibrant nonprofit community by connecting them to a new stream of passionate volunteers.


HB’s video team developed the 60-second video with bright animation and kid-friendly music, walking kids (and their parents) through the mission of Project Giving Kids, and how to engage.

“It’s hard to communicate ‘fun’ and ‘service’ in a fast, compelling way, especially when talking to kids,” said Molly Yuska, founder, Project Giving Kids. “HB Agency found the perfect balance of tone, imagery and storytelling to capture the imaginations of children and get them inspired to start giving.”

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About HB Agency

Founded in 1999 as a business-to-business integrated marketing agency, HB’s public relations and creative services have earned national recognition through Bell Ringer Awards from the Publicity Club of New England, Telly Awards, Communitas Awards and a Summit Marketing Effectiveness SIA Award. To learn more about HB’s branding, marketing and public relations expertise, please visit hbagency.wpengine.com, or call 781-893-0053.

HB Agency
Taylor Johnson
tjohnson@www.hbagency.com
781-893-0053