Peebles Creative Group | Blog Masonry
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Blog Square - TitleSequence

Television Title Sequences

Peebles is truly fortunate to have a team of creative people who not only find joy in coming into the office each day to help our clients tell their story, but who also appreciate creativity found outside of the office. With the Olympics officially behind us, suddenly leaving a void in our evenings (who needs sleep?), we are getting excited for the return of Fall television!


For those of us who geek out on creative things, we have found ourselves increasingly intrigued by the evolution of the title sequence in television. With the introduction of DVRs, TiVo and on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu, television shows are cutting to the chase when it comes to the title sequence. Gone are the long, jingle filled, actor-centric title sequences of The Brady Bunch and Friends. While these introductions may have changed over the years, they are still incredibly important.


With the recent wave of Netflix Original shows and HBO hits upping the ante in the broadcast world, series producers have proved that branding each show with a unique and memorable title sequence can help bolster a show’s success. Think of them as a type of short story that sets the tone of a show. Nothing elicits the excited emotional response quite like hearing the first few notes or seeing the first few frames of your favorite show’s title sequence as you prepare to finally settle in and see what happens next! Shows enlist the help of creative directors, graphic artists, musicians and cinematographers to make their title sequences unique and unforgettable.


So, what makes a great title sequence?


Unforgettable Visuals


The visuals in a title sequence start the story. They are often an abstract take on the show itself, setting the tone for the characters, setting and story. Whether sitting down every week to watch your favorite show, or planting yourself for a weekend-long binge, the visuals of the title sequence get you ready.


We especially like the title sequence from the Netflix original series Marco Polo. Taking inspiration from ancient Chinese parchment paintings, the sequence features the hypnotizing movement of dark watercolor ink as it bleeds across parchment, transforming into images that transport you back in time to Kublai Khan’s ancient Mongol empire.


What kind of agency would we be without talking about the iconic opening sequence to AMC’s hit series, Mad Men? The silhouette of a man enters a high-rise New York office and his world crumbles around him as he topples through space, passing his life’s work on the way down. This sequence takes an abstract approach to setting the stage of the high-pressure, opulent world of the 1950’s Madison Avenue advertising industry. Talk about unforgettable, the final image of Don Draper on the couch with cigarette in hand has become an instantly recognizable snapshot for the series.


Great Typography


You can keep your Times New Roman and Calibri – around here, we have a thing for type. We consider type as an art element in-and-of-itself, something that can be utilized way beyond simply crediting the players in a series.


In the Showtime hit series Dexter, the type pairs perfectly with the uncomfortably up-close morning ritual of our favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan. The typography immediately creates a befitting sense of panicked, cringe-worthy menace.


AMC’s Breaking Bad is another example that masterfully uses the periodic table as a typographic design to skillfully set the scene for this cleverly dark series’ “celebration of science”.


Catchy Music


In a world of visuals, lest we forget music is its own art form, and one that has the incredible power to elicit an emotional response. From the moving to the catchy, picking the right tune has become a vital component to many successful title sequences.


Ever heard of a little show made by HBO called, Game of Thrones? This series harnesses the power of a full string orchestra and deep percussion-filled beat that speeds any heart rate. It is instantly recognizable by loyal fans and non-watchers alike (are there any?). In addition to being played with record frequency each time it wins an Emmy, this title sequence itself won a Creative Arts Emmy Award in 2011.


There’s nothing better to get a viewer thinking about a show long after the credits have rolled than through a catchy jingle that they can’t stop humming, singing, or whistling days later. You won’t find a catchier song than the one used in the breakout Netflix hit, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This song isn’t just stuck-in-my-head-for-days great; it mirrors some of the real life ‘auto-tuned news’ satirical videos that pop up all over social media. Accompanied by vibrant colors and sparkling typography, this intro is as upbeat as Kimmy herself, making this title sequence “Strong as Hell!”


So next time you settle in to watch your favorite show, before you pick up that remote to zip through the opening sequence, we hope you to take a moment to appreciate the artistry, and creative people behind it.



Blog Square - Video

Should You Hop On the Video Homepage Brandwagon?

While full screen video backgrounds on websites aren’t exactly new, this trend continues to grow, and can have a tremendous impact if done correctly. However, before you decide to hitch your product to this brandwagon, take a closer look at some of these considerations and best practices to determine if it’s a good fit for your brand.


Some Considerations to…. Consider.

One of the biggest concerns with this trend is designing a website primarily geared toward desktop in a world of mobile devices.


We all know that mobile is tremendously important. Last Fall, Google announced that as of Summer 2015, the number of mobile searches had officially overtaken the number of searches performed from a desktop. This announcement sent brands and agencies alike into a mobile-focused frenzy – investing more dollars, targeting and design toward the mobile user. Responsive, mobile-friendly websites are important – they ensure that content is delivered in the most effective way for the device on which it is being viewed.


However, just because mobile is growing, doesn’t mean that desktop is taking less of the pie, it just means the pie has gotten bigger. A 2015 comScore report showed that the most growth in the market between 2010 and 2014 was in mobile, but desktop use also grew. People are browsing more and more overall, and designing your website for desktop is still a smart move.


In fact, desktop itself is growing – literally. Desktop screens are getting larger and larger, with better resolution and faster processors, which mean faster load times, creating the perfect setting for a beautiful website video background. Most Americans aren’t sitting at work, feverishly typing and searching on their smartphone, they are sitting in front of a monster-sized computer screen, or two!


Planning a vacation? Dinner? Browsing Articles? Shopping? While we know YOU might not do these things at work, most people do (shhh, don’t tell). Brands can capture this desktop browsing market with a stunning video background that makes a modern statement.



What Brands Are a Good Fit?

The tourism market is a great fit for video backgrounds. What better way to showcase what your district, town or city has to offer than by showing prospective visitors? Port Renfew, Canada and Wyoming’s Office of Tourism are both stunning examples of video backgrounds, done right, in the tourism market. Check out these sites and try not to say “I want to go to there,” we dare you.


You don’t have to be in the tourism biz to utilize this feature – brands offering product or services can harness this design element as well. Paint Nite is a great example – doesn’t that look fun? And in a time where handcrafted, reclaimed, custom design is in fashion, what better way for Wood Shed Production to showcase their product than through a rustic reel of real live woodworking? Even organizations, like the St. Louis Browns Historical Society, can make use of this design element.


Essentially, any brand with a website where user interaction is more important than user interface may want to consider this option. This may not be the best feature for News, Blog, Magazine or Multi-Brand Shopping sites which might want to stick to a more static design.



Best Practices

If you’re going to do a video background, please, on behalf of all of your future visitors, do it right! Here are some best practices we recommend.


  1. Go for gold. Okay, while you may not have to create a video worthy of an award, your video should be very high quality. It should also be created specifically for the background of your site. That TV spot, promotional video or iPhone video you took? It likely will not be the fit you’re looking for. The video should be simple, but a visually interesting way to tell a story.


  1. It’s all in the contrast. The whole point of the background video is to, you guessed it, go behind content. The video needs to be edited in such a way that content can be seen over top. This may mean the video is edited in black and white, with a darker tone for light copy, or brighter tones for dark copy. The color, contrast and saturation need to work well with the content put on top.


  1. Copy is king. If you’re choosing to feature motion on your website, a paragraph of text over top isn’t going to be read, no matter how skillfully written. Craft a captivating one-line headline, slogan or call to action to focus the visitor on the purpose of your brand in light of the video they are viewing. Save the copy for below the video or subpages.


  1. Mum’s the word. While you should have the video background auto play as soon as the visitor lands on your page, please do not include sound without their permission. Many users are streaming music on their device, or are at work (shhh, don’t tell), and unrequested sound is a sure way to increase your bounce rate.


  1. Don’t forget about mobile. While desktop is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, mobile is never something you want to ignore. There are specific ways to make a video responsive so that it appears on a mobile device. However, you might want to consider using a beautiful static image for your site’s background when visited by a mobile device. Speed and size are two factors that make video backgrounds less impactful on mobile.


  1. Hire an expert. Yes, this is the shameless plug where we remind you that Peebles Creative Group can help! Branding, Planning, Copywriting, Video Production, Website Development, we can help you with it all. However, whether or not you hire us, you should use an expert. Video backgrounds aren’t something you should try to create on your own in the back end of your current site. There is speed, code, responsiveness and a host of other details to consider to ensure that your video background is flawless, bug-free and impactful.



Some of Our Favorites

Here are some stunning examples of a few of our favorite websites currently utilizing video backgrounds:

Wyoming’s Office of Tourism

Paint Nite

Wood Shed Production

St. Louis Browns Historical Society

Brindisa Tapas Kitchens

Riley’s Cycle Shop

Bill Byron Wines

Port Renfew, Canada






Blog Square - Pokemon2

Marketing & Pokémon GO

Love for Pokémon GO is everywhere… marketers and brick and mortar businesses are in love too. How can your brand reach out to gamers and invite them into your businesses?


1. Determine PokéStops or Gyms near your business

PokéStops are places, businesses, and landmarks where players can get free game-play items by swiping an icon in the app. Pokémon Gyms are places where players can battle each other with their virtual monsters. To help determine if your business is a PokéStop or Gym, you can use an online map of portals created over the last three years for a game called Ingress, which maps virtually 1:1 with Pokémon GO‘s PokéStops and Gyms. Sign up for an Ingress account and check out the searchable world map here. Almost every portal is also a PokéStop or a Gym in Pokémon GO.


2. Drop a lure

If your business is a PokéStop or near one, start brainstorming what you can do to attract Pokémon fans. One way to do this is to drop a lure. Lures increase the rate of Pokémon generation in the area around the PokéStop where they’re placed for 30 minutes. Try dropping lures at different times throughout the day to find the most effective time for your business to utilize this feature.


3. Post on social media

If you discover that Pokémon and PokéStops are at or near your business location, photograph them and post on social media to drive visits.


4. Advertise discounts or freebies

Offer free water, free smartphone charging or special discounts to players. Post a small sign or window cling that welcomes players into your store and advertises your offer. For exclusive offers encourage players to dress in the color of their team to receive a special discount.


5. Be neighborly

Connect with surrounding businesses to create a multi-stop event to draw an even bigger crowd. For example, the Arena District and Park Street businesses have joined forces for a Pokémon Pub Crawl this Saturday, July 16.


 For additional ways to use this location-based augmented reality mobile game, check out these quick and helpful articles from Inc and Forbes:

Inc: Pokémon GO Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small, Local Businesses. Here’s How It Works

Forbes: How Pokémon GO Can Lure More Customers To Your Local Business










Peebles Coffee Break

At Peebles Creative Group, we realize how important it is to stay up to date on the latest industry news. We also realize that for many marketing professionals, the reality is often that the everyday demands of business take priority, leaving your marketing eNews subscriptions sitting in an unread pile in your inbox.


As the long Independence Day weekend looms over the end of the work week, making productivity seem increasingly impossible, we encourage you to grab a cup of coffee and take a moment to recharge and get up to speed. We have done the legwork for you, scouring the latest trending stories in the marketing world, so sit down, caffeine up, and take in one or all of these trending industry articles.




Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm To Change Again

Facebook received a lot of attention in 2009 when it introduced its News Feed algorithm in place of populating stories in chronological order. It has made a number of small tweaks to the algorithm since then, but the latest tweak may have some significant implications for media entities.


Facebook to Change News Feed
Will Increase Focus on Friends and Family
Article from Mike Isaac and Sydney Ember of The New York Times




LinkedIn’s New Ad Product Provides New Opportunities for B2B Marketing

The “social” in social media has always lent itself better to B2C products and has always presented challenges for B2B industries. LinkedIn’s new advertising product may provide interesting opportunities to help B2B industries reach this social market more effectively.


LinkedIn Starts Selling Ads Programmatically as Its Display Business Dwindles
Desktop Display Ads Now Offered on Both Private and Open Exchanges
Article from George Slefo of AdvertisingAge




Learning Email Marketing Successes/Pitfalls from Presidential Campaigns

Even the most well-funded campaigns can falter when it comes to email marketing strategy. Likewise, campaigns with very little marketing dollars can flourish. Here are some good non-partisan lessons in email marketing.


Trump’s First Fundraising Email Had a 60% Spam Rate
Email Tracking Firm Says Rookie Mistakes May Have Resulted in High Rejection, Low Open Rates
Article from Kate Kaye of AdvertisingAge




25 of the Best Campaign Contenders from the 2016 Cannes Lions

If you’re looking for some lighter reading/viewing with your coffee, take a look at some of the best ad campaigns of the year. Even though the winners were announced at this past weekend’s event, this collection of campaigns provide insight into what is considered some of today’s most effective marketing campaigns from around the world.


25 Campaigns That Will Win Lions in Cannes
All of the 2016 pre-festival favorites
Article from AdWeek

BlogSquare-550x498-HOT SUMMER

Hot Hot Hot Design

After a relatively “mild” yet long Ohio winter, and an unusually cool and rainy Spring, it’s starting to feel like SUMMER IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!! We know that we aren’t alone when we say that we cannot wait for the barbecuing, al fresco dining, vacationing, outdoor adventuring and Vitamin D overloading that is to come!


Our team is also excited to share just a few of the projects that we have had the pleasure of working on these past
few months, as they make their summer debut.



OH PosterOhio Chautauqua Summer Tour presented by Ohio Humanities

June 7 – 11 (Brimfield, OH)    June 14 – 18 (Hamilton, OH)

June 21 – 25 (Gallipolis, OH) June 28 – July 2 (Rossford, OH)
History puts on a show in this free, five-day event that combines living history performances, live music, education, and audience participation in this one-of-a-kind event the entire family can enjoy.



Inspired by the iconic red-and-white striped tent that travels with the tour, we used a warm vintage feel to create a design that highlights each of the historical figures being featured in the latest tour. Peebles Creative Group worked with Ohio Humanities to refresh this event’s branding, designing posters, rack cards and banners for each of the 2016 tour’s four stops.







GameMaster PosterGame Masters: The Exhibition

Open June 11 – September 5 (Labor Day)

Take a trip to COSI this summer and journey through five decades of video game creation to learn how your favorite arcade, console, handheld and mobile games transformed from ideas to reality. Featuring rare concept art, revealing interviews with the world’s most influential video game designers, and 100+ playable games, Game Masters is the ultimate fan experience.




Our team worked closely with COSI to create a strategic marketing plan to drive visitation from throughout the state. We then let Sonic, Mario and Zelda take the visual lead while working in some pixelated elements to pay homage to the original 8-bit games of the 70’s and 80’s (and Minecraft!) creating a light, but active and fun design for this exhibition.










JV HOP2Open House Hop
at Jerome Village

June 12, July 10 and August 14



Discover the home of your dreams at one of Jerome Village’s Open House Hops! Jerome Village is introducing a summer series of Open House tours featuring 11 spectacular homes found throughout their community. Take a tour of the houses, community center and try out delicious food and drinks from the local Pasquale’s Pizza and Pub!



Utilizing Jerome Village’s current brand to create designs for digital and print advertising, and event signage, we were able to showcase this community, the event, and the participating builders.



Whether you’re looking for an educational summer event for the kids, an AC-included activity, or a place to don your coolest shades for a day outdoors, we hope you consider stopping by one of these great summer events!



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Snapchat 102: How can my brand use this wacky app?

Because this app is both wildly popular yet still wildly unfamiliar to so many, we have broken this post into a two-part series; Snapchat 101: What is this wacky app? and Snapchat 102: How can my brand use this wacky app? If you haven’t already read last Thursday’s part one of the series, check it out here.


Why Snapchat?
According to Snapchat, it boasts 100 million daily active users.

To provide some perspective, the monthly active users on Instagram total 400 million and Twitter comes in at 320 million, monthly. There is a lot of buying power behind these users considering a whopping 70% of Snapchatters are women, and 60% of US 13 to 34-year old smartphone users are Snapchatting.


While almost everyone has heard of Snapchat, many marketing professionals fall outside of their core 13 to 25-year-old user range, making it one of the most intimidating social media platforms for brands. Snapchat can be a powerful force in the marketing world, but it is very different from most other social media platforms and it requires a lot of creativity. We are here to help!



Snapchat 102: How can my brand use this wacky app?

During the Super Bowl, Gatorade created a custom Snapchat filter that allowed users to have under-eye paint applied over their selfie while a virtual cooler of, you guessed it, Gatorade was poured over top of them. You can check out Serena Williams utilizing this feature in this clip she posted to Instagram. Gatorade wound up driving 160 million impressions with this filter – that is 48 million more than the 112 million who tuned in to watch the actual game! Gatorade also reported spending anywhere between $500,000 and $750,000 for this filter.


Don’t have that kind of cash? Here are some easy, creative, budget-friendly ways for your brand to tap into this platform.


1. Create a Snapchat Account

dougieWhile this may seem like a no-brainer, you don’t have to have a Snapchat account to utilize the tool for your brand. For example, while Gatorade may have created a wildly successful (and pricey) filter, they still have yet to join Snapchat. However, having an account is a free way to engage this audience.


Use your current social media following on Instagram and Facebook to let them know you have joined the Snapchat world! But remember, getting people to follow you isn’t quite that easy – to get followers, they need to know your specific Snapchat name, and to keep them there, you have to have Snap-worthy content. Which brings us to our next point…


2. Find Snap-worthy Content

Snapchat is not the place for strategically photographed, retouched and fussed-over content – it’s a place to play up your brand’s personality! This platform is all about real-time happenings, so provide a glimpse of your behind-the-scenes action. Have multiple people in your business take over the company’s Snapchat for a day. Or, take a page from one of these brand’s Snapchat success stories:


Taco Bell

Taco Bell informed all of their Twitter followers that anyone who added them to their Snapchat account would receive a personal Snap from the taco chain revealing a secret announcement. The following day, Taco Bell directly sent each follower a photo of a new burrito product with the official, never before released, launch date.


Wet Seal

Don’t know what makes teenagers tick? Get in line! Or do what Wet Seal did and don’t try – give control to an expert. Wet Seal let a 16-year-old blogger take over its Snapchat account to for two days, resulting in 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of their Story feed.



Similar to Taco Bell, Acura took a more exclusive approach to the secret announcement technique. They offered the first 100 followers on Snapchat a chance to see the new NSX prototype, sending each individual a short video of the product.


SnapChatFilter23. Design a Geofilter

The cost of Gatorade’s nationwide primetime filter may be out of reach for most brands, but brands can get into the filter business by creating one for as little as $5. Costs range based on the size of the tagged area (20 thousand to 5 million square feet) and the length of time the filter is available.


It works like this – when a Snapchatter enters your predetermined geotagged area, the filter you created appears as a filter option in their app. A Geofilter with a fun illustration, or representation of your brand is a great way to get users to organically share your company or product.


Brands in the tourism industry can create a filter that appears when a Snapchatter enters their district, town or city. Retail brands can design a fun filter that appears when a Snapchatter walks into, or near their store. Having your brand overlaid on countless selfies is a great way to use Snapchat.


Here is an example of a Peebles Creative Group Geofilter featuring some of our PCG rock stars!


4. Get Creative

Even Snapchat is trying to figure out Snapchat. Features appear one day and are gone the next as Snapchat continues to evolve. By finding new ways to take advantage of the latest Snapchat craze, you can make your brand shine with this highly sought-after audience.


Netflix did a great job utilizing the incredibly popular face swap Snapchat filter. They took advantage of this latest craze and placed posters in various French cities inviting pedestrians to take a selfie with the poster and face swap with a popular series character. I mean, who isn’t curious to see what it’s like to swap faces with “House of Card’s,” Frank Underwood? For nothing more than a nominal printing cost and a lot of creativity, Netflix capitalized on the latest Snapchat trend without breaking the bank.


Still not sure how or if your brand fits into this platform? Let us help! From designing Geofilters to helping you create a custom social media plan, Peebles Creative Group is here to get you into this wacky app, in a Snap!