A few years ago I was given a theme, a prop, and an action requirement that had to appear in an original video – oh, and 24 hours to create said video. For those of you familiar with the production process, you know this is no walk in the park. It’s hard enough to work within a 24-day production schedule let alone 24 hours.

No, it wasn’t the theme (“One”), the prop (the number one), or the action (listening to music) that caused the vein in my forehead to bulge out a few hours into the competition – it was that I decided to try my hand at something I had little to no experience in: Animation.

Maybe it was the stress of the clock winding down, or maybe it was simply a stroke of genius, but I figured this would be a great opportunity to put all of my Adobe Creative Suite experience on the line and to “binge learn” on what tools and features I might be missing out on. In case you decide to make an animated video in one day with minimal prior experience, I’ll save you some time by giving you a few tips on concept and storyboard, production, and post-production so that you too can learn how to make an animated video in 24 hours or less.

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U.S. interactive ad revenue is exceeding that of broadcast television, according to figures like those from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Internet Advertising Revenue recent report, so why is it that online video is still finding itself relegated to garnish instead of the main course?

Too often broadcast spots are just reworked for an online audience as their broadcast production budgets dwarf that of their online video counterparts. Despite huge viewing and engagement numbers, web video is still generally a “nice-to-have,” or an afterthought. Brands still aren’t shooting for the mobile web or telling stories that work with this new viewing medium, and videos are generally still linear thoughts conceived of in a different time and for a different audience than those viewing content on the web.

So how can marketers make online video different from what they create for TV? Video is hard and expensive to make, right? Sure, good online video does require effort, but so do the out-of-home campaigns, television ads, and marketing campaigns that have driven results for brands and corporations forever. The change that needs to happen is at the point of conception. It’s time to start thinking of your online video as a valuable storytelling tool to achieve business goals.

One clear way to make online video worth the investment is to leverage it as your hub for brand, product, or content engagement, and the easiest and fastest way to do this is with Interactive Video.

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Back in February we moved our Site PairingTM technology out of beta and into the hands of creatives, marketers, brands, and agencies. Though we have plenty of examples within published projects of how Site Pairing works – check out Cinemax’s “Banshee” microsite or our own “Baking with Jonathan” interactive cooking video if you haven’t yet – you may still be wondering how Site Pairing actually works. In our new Site Pairing interactive demo video, we’ll give you the behind-the-scenes scoop.

Not only does our demo video explain how you can use tabs to organize your video’s information, the interactive example allows you to watch as tabs within the video change in sync with each part of the Interactive Video you’re watching, and vice versa. The demo also shows how you can draw attention to what matters most in your video by using impactful calls-to-action that leap out of the video player, making it easier for users to follow through with a CTA.

Check out our new Site Pairing demo page to see the technology in action. After you watch the video, scroll down to read about how we created the simple interactive demo – production to final implementation – in just a few hours.


Sure creating Interactive Videos with Rapt Media is drag-and-drop easy, but the planning process of realizing your vision can feel daunting. How long should your clips be? What sort of experience are you trying to create? How much “interactivity” is too much? The list goes on (check out our Interactive Video Tips series to learn more about some of these questions), but with a little pre-production preparation and direction, you can easily build a successful Interactive Video (IV) experience, resulting in increased viewing time, engagement, and replay value.

Here’s what you need to know before ever pressing record on that video camera…
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How would you react if you heard that mobile video viewing has increased by over 700 percent since Q4 of 2011? Shock, amazement, disbelief? “Yes to all of those!” was my reaction before downloading the Ooyala Global Video Index Q4 2013, which reports that year over year, time spent watching video on tablets and mobile devices is up an astounding 719 percent since Q4 of 2011, and up 160 percent since Q4 of 2012.

Brands and agencies aren’t sleeping on these statistics, and we’re regularly fielding questions about how to optimize Interactive Video for mobile devices. Want to know how to engage viewers on all devices? We’ll provide a framework for how to think about Interactive Video (IV) on mobile here. Read on.

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If you missed us at the ad:tech SF14 conference in San Francisco yesterday, we have good news. Rapt Media CEO Erika Trautman will be speaking at the ClickZ Live conference, formerly the SES Conference and Expo, in New York next week. On April 3, Trautman and ICED Media co-founder and president Leslie Hall will discuss how they partnered to create the world’s first interactive video optimized for iPhone and Android to launch Maybelline New York’s Big Eyes Falsies Mascara to a global audience.

Partnering with top blogger, the Glamourai’s Kelly Framel, Rapt Media and ICED Media created #TheGlamourEye, an interactive beauty adventure hosted by Framel where viewers could click on the video to choose which signature makeup looks they wanted to learn about and then click directly to those featured products.

In the “Innovative Campaigns – Engaging Customers with Interactive Video” session at ClickZ Live, the two executives will discuss the three key components to the project’s success. 

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Great video is usually expensive, time-consuming, and generally requires an army of specialized personnel focusing on the many pieces of the puzzle. But where does that leave the bright, creative people regularly posting quality how-to videos, product overviews, “About Us” vignettes, recruiting videos, corporate communications, and video blog content on a budget? How can they compete against expensive, polished production when it comes to capturing viewer attention?

The most obvious answer is in the content. Content marketing has become sophisticated, refined, and effective, poising video as the primary delivery device for that content going forward. But there is one common element that almost all great content marketing has in common that has traditionally been missing from video: the effective call-to-action (CTA).

The ease with which anyone with a smartphone can create, upload, and share video content  has opened up the world to a flood of video. To be honest, most of these videos are bad, some are good, and few are great. However, it’s not difficult to turn those “good videos” into “great videos” with the aid of Interactive Video (IV) and properly placed CTAs.

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There’s only one more full week left in March, which means we’re also one week away from Rapt Media’s presentation at the upcoming ad:tech conference conference in San Francisco. The largest digital marketing event of the year, ad:tech kicks off on Wednesday, March 26 with Rapt Media CEO Erika Trautman speaking with and Gaiam TV’s Director of Marketing Andrea Scott about Interactive Video. For those unable to make it to the west coast for ad:tech, you can catch Trautman speaking a week later at ClickZ Live in New York.

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menu-driven interactive video

The term Interactive Video can be used to describe a number of types of online experiences. From Red Bull’s Gives You Wings microsite to Deloitte’s engaging recruitment video, video integrated into website content has not only become ubiquitous but the line between video and website are also blurring. The fundamentals of an Interactive Video, which we dove into a few weeks ago in our What is an Interactive Video post, stay consistent throughout these online experiences, leaving many clients wondering what the best type of Interactive Video for their initiative is.

A menu-driven Interactive Video performs much like a website, allowing viewers to navigate through content to get to the information they’re looking for. With clear navigation links, back buttons, and one-click access to return to a menu, this design of Interactive Video lends itself well to content-heavy video experiences and can result in exponentially higher engagement times.

In this post we’ll go over menu-driven Interactive Videos (IV) and the projects that lend themselves to success with this format. But first, let’s take a look at how to create a menu-driven IV.

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adtech sf

Rapt Media teamed up with online community Gaiam TV a few months ago to devise a head-to-head landing page competition against a standard landing page to see if Interactive Video would increase conversions, while also communicating and building relationships with its customers. The results were outstanding. At the largest digital marketing event of the year, the upcoming AdTech SF conference, Rapt Media CEO Erika Trautman and Gaiam TV’s Director of Marketing Andrea Scott will elaborate on these findings as well as Interactive Video in general in the session entitled “The Interactive Effect: Boosting Video Performance.”

During the session, the two companies will discuss how Gaiam TV came together with Rapt Media to create an engaging, menu-driven Interactive Video landing page for its streaming media service that gives the viewer control of the content, resulting in an improvement in ROI in less than four weeks, and doubling Gaiam TV’s conversions over its standard, static pages.

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