The Illuminist Blog

The New Era of Six Second Ads

Posted by Tom Schmidt on October 24, 2017

6-second ads have become commonplace on the internet and in social media over the last year. In fact, it’s difficult to find any video without one of those ads preceding it. For companies looking to incorporate 6-second videos into their marketing strategy, Google’s global creative director recently listed 4 storytelling principles that are found throughout the most successful 6-second bumper ads.

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Which Story to Tell?: Six Key Considerations When Developing Story-Driven Content

Posted by Jon Thompson on July 20, 2016

In the past three to five years, there’s been a rapidly growing recognition in the business world that strategic messages become much more meaningful (and a lot stickier) when presented as part of a visual human narrative. Much has been written about storytelling and story structure, but there’s been little conversation around the part of the process that happens before you actually begin the telling itself: story discovery
and selection.

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Cause to Tell a Story

Posted by Jon Thompson on May 16, 2016

Corporate Social Responsibility has been found time and again to be the leading driver of how Millennials choose to consume and find employment with 84% of them reporting it affects what to buy or where to shop and 78% reporting it affects where they choose to work.

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Is Virtual Reality Going to Become the New Wild West for Advertisers?

Posted by Jon Thompson on February 11, 2016

Any time a new technology suddenly hits the mainstream, you can find a bevy of marketers suddenly asking each other “How can we use this to sell things?”

It’s happened in the past with the internet, augmented reality, geolocation, proximity technology, interactive installations, music recognition services, every new iteration of social media, and now—virtual reality.

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The Secret to Great Branding

Posted by Jason Hammond on January 02, 2016

Lean in and listen close— because I’m about to tell you a secret that few outside of the creative field know and many inside of it refuse to concede. The secret to great branding isn’t the logotype, logomark, color palette or the brand guidelines and rules—it’s the Story. This isn’t to say that good or (better yet) great design isn’t important. As a matter of fact I would argue that the Story is the very thing that makes great design possible.  

Study the habits of great designers and top branding firms and
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The Challenge of Authenticity

Posted by Jon Thompson on December 28, 2015

If you’ve been looking closely at product labels recently, you may have noticed an onslaught of words such as “Artisan”, “Hand-crafted”, “Genuine”, and “Since 19XX.” While many companies have been enthusiastic about joining this trend, it’s important for companies to remember that these buzz words won’t have an impact when there’s not an authentic, shareable story in place to support these fashionable claims. Many brands are struggling to find ways to tout their “authentic” element, but there is a much larger, and more important component of authenticity than printing the word “authentic” or the year you were founded on a label. Consumers want to know the larger story behind the brand—a statement of purpose or values that resonates with them. Many brands are unaware of the authentic stories that are constantly unfolding in connection with their products—just waiting to be told in a compelling manner. Brands would do well to commit ongoing resources to the uncovering and sharing these narratives and by allowing the brand’s consumers be the heroes of these stories; letting their words and actions bring the story to life.

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New Short Documentary: Pay it Forward

Posted by Jon Thompson on August 06, 2015

More and more studies show that Millennials are searching for deeper meaning in their work life. They want to be part of an organization they know is making a difference. If they can’t find this in their current job, more and more are leaving to launch businesses with a charitable model. Such is the case with Mason Wartman of Rosa’s Pizza.

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Posted by Jon Thompson on January 27, 2015

Our short film about Minneapolis’ own Sandwich Saint Allan Law, featured in our feature length documentary The Starfish Throwers, went viral after being picked up by the Huffington Post. See the inspiring short at NationSwell.

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The Starfish Throwers in Minneapolis

Posted by Jon Thompson on August 24, 2014

What would you give to fight a battle you can never win?

Bolster Story Director Jesse Roesler’s award-winning documentary film, The Starfish Throwers, celebrates its first week-long theatrical run in Minneapolis on September 12-18 with The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul at St. Anthony Main Theatre—which coincides with Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month. The film is a Bolster co-production.

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Loyalty By Way of Intimacy

Posted by Jon Thompson on March 06, 2014

Brands must make emotional connections with consumers to earn their loyalty. So how do brands allow themselves to become more intimate with their following? Learn, by reading our white paper, Loyalty By Way of Intimacy.  

View the Report
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The Power of Authentic Voice

Posted by Jon Thompson on September 19, 2013

Authentic storytelling has power. To connect to consumers, brands can not speak as a brand. Consumers do not want to be told what to do, but want to be part of the conversation. They will feel more engaged through the authentic nature of the voice but they will also see themselves in your story. To learn more about how to connect with consumers through an authentic voice, view our white paper, The Power of Authentic Voice. 

View the Report

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Once Upon a Time

Posted by Jon Thompson on June 15, 2011

Story has always been a compelling way to communicate a message, but what special relevance does storytelling have to communicating in today’s media-saturated, digital landscape? Learn the answer and more in our white paper, Once Upon a Time.  
View the Report

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