Peebles Creative Group | Blog Masonry
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Breaking Down Your 2017 Budget

It’s that time of year, your marketing budget is due soon for 2017 and you want to be sure you’re allocating the right amount to the right tactics. We’ve put together this quick guide from a variety of sources for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers to help.


We’d love to dig into your goals and target audiences more and can help craft a specific marketing plan for 2017 or provide project estimates to help put numbers around your vision. Let’s connect.



Here are some additional tips for planning your 2017 marketing plan:


Show us the money!


Traffic used to flow organically to your Social Media. You had fans, they liked you, they were served up your latest and greatest news. No more. With new algorithms and the change in chronological timeline updates, you are now expected to pay for that same attention you were getting for free just a short while ago. As you look at your marketing plan for 2017, you may really want to reconsider how you think of your Social Media as it is becoming another paid media.


It’s a-LIVE!


Video, that is. Raw, unedited, live-streaming video. Mobile phone technology has taken us to new heights in video over the past few years. We started with YouTube over a decade ago and now our phones have the technology to give us real-time experiences and sites like Twitter’s Periscope and now Facebook provide a platform to make sharing your videos easy. A great way to share experiences and stories that really engage and educate. Live-streaming videos will continue to gain momentum in 2017.


Make it Snappy and GO-GO-GO!


Just a year or two ago you likely would have never thought about leaving room in your budget for lures and filters….enter Snapchat and Pokémon Go. In 2017, you’ll need to be ready to adapt and react. These two apps are here for now and likely will be for a while. There will be more coming in the next year and you should be ready.

Also, for years, we’ve been thinking of mobile as smartphones and tablets, the mobile arena has been expanding with the introduction of wearable devices. Make sure you are prepared to fit your mobile content to this ever expanding market. 2017 & 2018 will be sure to see much more of this technology.


lc.pcg & ab.pcg




Meet Ryan!

From the Happiest Place on Earth to the Second Happiest – Introducing Ryan Sibbio to Peebles Creative Group!


Peebles Creative Group is excited to announce our newest team member, Ryan Sibbio. Ryan has been hired as our Business Development Specialist. We are fortunate to have such an energetic and passionate person serving as our brand ambassador. Ryan will be building relationships with current and prospective clients to see how Peebles Creative Group can help businesses tell their story and grow their success. We have highlighted some of Ryan’s experiences and favorite things, below. Please join us in welcoming Ryan!





Ryan’s Path to PCG…

Before attending school, I was a sponsored rollerblader, traveling the country to compete and produce video content to be distributed globally. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is when I fell in love with marketing and advertising. The idea of constructing a narrative of the way the people that viewed me, in coordination with my sponsoring brands, has inspired me to this day. I attended school at The Ohio State University and studied Marketing at the Fisher College of Business. As my time at Ohio State was coming to a close, I made the decision to move to Los Angeles, CA for the summer. I built a personal website and executed a targeted advertising campaign on social media, ultimately securing a role in the Walt Disney Company internship program. I had the opportunity to help create compelling narratives around Disney’s Maker Studios’ talent network, online video concepts and social media influencers, developing proposal presentations to drive integrations and partnerships with well-known brands. With a heightened perspective on myself and the world around me, I decided that joining PCG, a firm known for top notch work and people, was an opportunity that doesn’t come around twice.



Some of Ryan’s Favorite Things…

Word: Fun.  We only get to do this “life” thing once, and I’m a big believer in getting the most out of my time here.


Food: I appreciate a good steak but for this question, I’m going to say kabobs.  Chicken, Shrimp, any veggie you can think of, grilled pineapple. Lots of flavors in one meal, countless combinations.


Commercial: Think Different” by Apple. This spot does an amazing job of capturing the spirit of Apple, and of the greater psyche of those who believe they can change the world. It’s inspiring and influences society at large. It infused personality into a brand that has changed the world.


Movie: Lion King. I used to watch it daily as a kid, and I still watch it every few months.


TV Show: I love Mad Men, of course. The character development of Don Draper and complexity of the show’s messaging make for a really great show. Breaking Bad is a classic. One show right now that I have really enjoyed is Narcos on Netflix. Awesome storytelling and crazy to see the extent of Pablo’s illegal empire.


Book: Two books that I’ve really enjoyed recently are Unbroken and Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Unbroken is an incredible testament to the power of human will, telling the story of a WWII veteran. Shoe Dog follows Nike founder Phil Knight through his journey from startup to the leading athletic company in the world.


Quote: “Friends come and go but banners hang forever.” – Kobe Bryant


App: Social app has to be Instagram. I’ve also been using “Ultimate Guitar Tabs” to learn how to play the ukulele.


Dessert: Cheesecake or Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.


Holiday: Christmas. The energy in the weeks leading up to Christmas is probably the most special part to me. Spending time with family and friends, good food, ugly sweaters, and putting smiles on the faces of people you care about through giving the perfect gift.


What are you most looking forward to at PCG?

Doing great work.  Working with an incredible team. The opportunity to do some special things to bring PCG to the forefront of the industry.



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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.



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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






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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