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13 posts tagged SPENCER

Everyone and their mother will be blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking about Ken Block’s new Gymkhana 5 video, which marks another huge step forward for the new realm of branded content as an advertising medium worth assessing for your next campaign.

When I viewed the video this morning the YouTube view counter was stuck at 305 (a sure sign it was racking views left and right), Ken Block’s second video in the gymkhana series currently has over 44 million views and the other three videos of the series have view counts upward of 30 million.

With the exponential rise of internet videos on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, brands are no longer limited to traditional, and often expensive, TV ad spots that run for 30 or 60 seconds when seeking huge impression numbers.

Released from time and length limits or expensive distribution, brands can create relevant content that illustrates their history, promotes a new launch, previews a new product, or refines the perception of the company. As with any new medium, reactive consumer behavior is still a factor that has yet to be fully evaluated, but trends are starting to form and the power of video to communicate with audiences is increasing. According to comScore, in March of 2012 over 83 percent of internet users in the United States viewed at least one video, which calculates to 151.1 million active viewers over a one month period.

Even the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity premiered a new category this year to recognize the best branded content. I was amped they panel awarded K-Swiss’s MFCEO branded content piece the inaugural Golden Lion in the category, in my mind the campaign has given the shoe manufacture a second life.

However, with any new advertising medium or marketing strategy it is not a blanket solution for every brand, but DC and Ken Block have proven the expansive power of branded content as an advertising medium. 


Here are a few of my favorites…

Capture the Company History
Vans - Since 66

Brand Launch
Dollar Shave Club - Our Blades are F***ing Great 

Product Launch
Renault - Alpine A110-50 

Refine Brand Perception
Chipotle - Back to Start 

Source youtube.com

It is hard to think of a childhood without Hot Wheels iconic micro-sized cars and plastic tracks. Growing up in a two story house I was lucky enough to have a stair case that allowed me to harness physics and send some sweet rides tearing down (what seemed like a quarter mile as a kid) 20 feet of plastic track only to gain enough speed to conquer a full loop.

 Well it seems the team over at Hot Wheels hasn’t lost any of their flair after setting up a life sized double loop for rally driver Tanner Foust and stuntman Greg Tracy to conquer. An amazing promotion for the Hot Wheels brand along with the X Games, it is not too often that a toy manufacture has the ability to bring their brand to life in such awe-inspiring fashion.

 Branded content and events such as a 66 ft double loop car stunt may seem like a risky and expensive marketing maneuver (how could you measure the ROI on something like this) but for me it cements the love of a brand I grew up with and makes me feel like a kid again. So bravo!

 Congratulations to the drivers, Hot Wheels, and everyone involved with the stunt. 

Source youtube.com


Craiglist has become a go-to resource for people to find used cars, bicycles, and garage sales items at competitive prices. There are also some very “interesting” sections such as missed connections and discussion forums about various subjects.

Beyond being the modern evolution of the newspaper classifieds, Craigslist also provides some of the most entertaining and creative writing I have ever read. 

Some Craiglisters display a phenomenal descriptive talent that are used to sell boring or unique items, as well as paint vivid tails of missed connections in hopes that they will reconnect in a fairy tale situation. The real choice ads are voted on by Craislister in hopes to promote them to the now famous Best-of-Craigslist section.

I have no doubt that if some of these people wrote ads, we would all enjoy more laughs from ads.
Here are some great examples:
Guitarist for Metal Band 
Coffee Table of the Gods
Naked on the 6 Train: m4m 

Thank me later.



My first official Engine blog post explored the evolution of the vending machine from it’s humble beginnings to modern incarnations.

In the past few days I have read about three unique vending machines, which felt like a sign from the universe that I needed to share more about these joyous contraptions.

What will people think of next?

Hug Me
Pizza Pizza 


PS. Hats off to AdWeek for the great industry coverage. 


Over the last 5 years their has been a massive explosion in DIY filmmaking tools, tech, and accessories. The rapid adoption of DSLR cameras shooting 1080p at 24fps allowed independent filmmakers to produce the look and feel of cinema on a shoestring budget. 

Beyond DSLR, advancements in camera technology has produced amazing micro adventure cameras (such as the now infamous GoPro) that have allowed filmmakers to capture awe inspiring footage that was once reserved for highly specialized production crews.

Some of the most mind-blowing footage I have ever seen has been smooth tracking aerial shots that capture a serial viewpoint, which was traditionally shot from helicopters using complex gyro-stabilized camera mounts and no matter how breath taking the shot was I am sure someone fought really hard to justify the cost.

Now DIY filmmakers are utilizing RC Quadcopters and producing amazing videos with the same shoe-string budgets. I don’t think in the history of filmmaking, amateur filmmakers have ever had a more diverse range of affordable tools at their disposal.

Check out these videos to see how far everything has come. 

Bas Keep’s Day at the Park
Weekend in SF 
Up and Up Early in Venice

 - Spencer