MILK

By admin

Heavenspot provided the bold branding and website design for Milk, a unique and wonderful cafe in Los Angeles.
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Our friend Suzy is studying at Hebrew University in Israel, where she discovered this hilarious parallel to the Milk in Los Angeles. Well, maybe “parallel” isn’t the most appropriate term. Nevertheless, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

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Heavenspot provided the bold branding and website design for Milk, a unique and wonderful cafe in Los Angeles.

Our friend Suzy is studying at Hebrew University in Israel, where she discovered this hilarious parallel to the Milk in Los Angeles. Well, maybe “parallel” isn’t the most appropriate term. Nevertheless, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
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Engineering Conundrums

By admin

The programmers at Heavenspot, prided for their ability to solve complex technilogical endeavors, still find themselves muddled by some of the most mundane applications.

For example, my cell phone, Motorola RIZR (with the groovy slide face), seemed so cool at first. It still is a great phone…but my last trip to Vegas took more than money from me…I left the factory-issued AC charger plugged in my motel room.

The programmers at Heavenspot, prided for their ability to solve complex technilogical endeavors, still find themselves muddled by some of the most mundane applications.

For example, my cell phone, Motorola RIZR (with the groovy slide face), seemed so cool at first. It still is a great phone…but my last trip to Vegas took more than money from me…I left the factory-issued AC charger plugged in my motel room.… This way >

Creating Social Assets

By Chevon Hicks

At Heavenspot, our approach to creating social assets for our clients spans static images, animated gifs, cinemgraphs, 3D animation, video and more.  Our most basic type of asset, The Static, is approached like a high quality printed poster. This even informs our technical approach to the asset, since we build our canvases very large, at least twice their trafficked size and at a premium print quality dpi. The only differences between our statics and print assets are aspect ratio and color mode (RGB).  Now that we have a large canvas area to work with our designers can build out large detailed designs for their posters.  We purposefully use the word “poster” when referring to these because it automatically elevates the work to being something worth hanging on a wall, a work of art, as opposed to an “asset” which sounds like something created to simply fulfill a requirement. For us, the “asset” is simply the final exported deliverable, but the poster is the work of art.

Our analytics are revealing video as a high-engagement asset.  This wasn’t always the case, but times are changing.  Our approach to video assets involve applying great direction, cinematography, performances and beautiful motion graphics for broadcast quality video assets.  We’ve created commercial graphics for brands like Old Navy and Gatorade and love applying that same high gloss perfectionism to our social assets.

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A Week in Social Media | 06/16 – 06/20

By Kathryn Schotthoefer

We spend our lives online: spotting trends, seeing what’s new and being inspired by cutting-edge creative from around the world. That means we all leave our studio a little more knowledgeable about our industry (and what’s happening in the wilds of the interwebs) each Friday night. Now, we’d like to share those with you.

Here’s all you need to know from last week in social.

PLATFORMS & TECH

  • Rejoice! Twitter now allows animated gifs. (Well, they aren’t really gifs, they’re mp4 video files, but close enough.) Let’s get loopy.
  • Facebook announced Slingshot, a Snapchat-like private messenger that requires a reply to “unlock” the received message.
  • Twitch added a new feature that lets YouTube users know when they are streaming live.

APPS & RETAIL

  • Amazon introduced the $199 Fire Phone featuring a 3D screen, head sensors and the ability to ID over 100 million objects in real time. Upside includes the ability to add movies/music/books to your collection in a simple and seamless way. Downside includes an unprecedented amount of access to personal data by a “big data” company. We’ll be staying tuned to see which message wins out.
OTHER NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM SOCIAL

  • A Stockton man’s mugshot lit up Twitter and inspired today’s #FelonCrushFriday. Because, standards.
  • Delta Airlines congratulated the US World Cup team on a win over Ghana with a tweet that featured a giraffe representing Ghana.  Except there are no giraffe in Ghana. Oops.
  • In surprise viral video hits of the week, the “First Moon Party” takes the cake.

Kathryn Perez-Fraga is Vice President, Social Media at Heavenspot, working with brands including Netflix, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros on what’s next in social. Follow her on Twitter @katpf.

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Creating with Adobe Ideas

By Chevon Hicks

This image of Zapata, the famous Mexican Revolutionary, was created in Adobe’s touch app, Adobe Ideas. Creatives will find the app itself revolutionary in that we can now create high quality vector artwork on the go. My own illustration work typically starts with a photograph, so I was basically at the mercy of my desktop machine, wacom tablet and available hi-res photography. Achieving a hand drawn look was usually something that occurred after I’d spent countless hours with the pen tool, quickly tracing out shape after shape. Sure, this can be called “drawing”, but it always needed the ironic quotation marks, since the act of creating vector illustrations was nothing like drawing in the traditional sense. Even the idea of drawing with other tools, say the Blob brush, still felt removed as my hand only lived in my peripheral vision as I stared at the screen.

This image of Zapata, the famous Mexican Revolutionary, was created in Adobe’s touch app, Adobe Ideas. Creatives will find the app itself revolutionary in that we can now create high quality vector artwork on the go. My own illustration work typically starts with a photograph, so I was basically at the mercy of my desktop machine, wacom tablet and available hi-res photography. Achieving a hand drawn look was usually something that occurred after I’d spent countless hours with the pen tool, quickly tracing out shape after shape. Sure, this … This way >

Are Video Games Art?

By Julia Bartine

MoMA recently acquired 12 video games for a new branch of the museum’s permanent collection. The addition of video games to an art museum conjures the ongoing discourse on… what is art? Just yesterday, an editor I respect defined art for his publication as ‘something with no function, that evokes emotion’. In most contexts that makes sense… but there are grey areas… fashion, video games, documentary film, architecture, to name a few. Liel Leibovitz at New Republic said, “put bluntly, ”no.” Video games aren’t art because they are, quite thoroughly, something else: code.” He cites the case of Pac-Man v. Puckman, a knock off game by a company named Artic in from 1982 that cited the Title 17 of the US code of copyright protection that applied to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.”

MoMA recently acquired 12 video games for a new branch of the museum’s permanent collection. The addition of video games to an art museum conjures the ongoing discourse on… what is art? Just yesterday, an editor I respect defined art for his publication as ‘something with no function, that ev… This way >

Don’t Say Ninja: Tips for Social Media Job Seekers

By Kathryn Schotthoefer

When I tell people I work in social media, I frequently hear things like “Oh, you should hire my friend so-and-so, he has tons of followers on Instagram.”  I’m sure that the friend is a cool guy and all, but there’s an enormous difference between developing a personal social following and being able to use social media for business.  Based on the personal, fast-moving nature of the field, that difference is quite often misunderstood.

I frequently see this same confusion in individuals applying for jobs in social media, so I thought I would use my experience to offer some advice for those of you about to graduate or working professionals seeking a job in social media.

Social Media is the how, not the what.  Businesses have an end goal, which almost always involves driving revenue.  You always need to understand that goal, in order to create campaigns that support it.  For many of our clients, that means buying tickets for a movie or tuning into a TV show.  That doesn’t mean social media is the right place to hard sell the product, but we need to be aware of that goal to be able to appropriately plan content, cadence and responses.  Social can be part of marketing, publicity, customer service, even product development strategies.  Knowing why the brand or company is using social before going into an interview will allow you ask well-informed questions.  I always appreciate questions from candidates about future plans for a brand’s social strategy (though I may not answer them on site.)  You can also find out quite a bit about the company’s approach to social by the professional background of their senior social media team.  Twitter didn’t exist when many of us were in college – so ask us how we ended up in this field and you may get an indication of which qualities the brand or agency values in its social team.

Strategy does not mean “ideas.” A strategic social media campaign is a multi-faceted plan driving to an end goal, considering (though not necessarily using) all social platforms and associated digital touchpoints with the consumer. This usually involves a coordinated effort between marketing, PR, paid media, and other stakeholders in brand communications.  I frequently see “social media strategy” listed as an expertise of entry level candidates, though after discussion, usually find that they mean that they have a track record of coming up with creative executions for social media.  That’s a big strength – so sell it for what it is!

Understand the machine.  Social media is a party being hosted by technology.  All social platforms and the devices that people use to access them live on a technical infrastructure.  Understanding the fundamentals of that technology is critical to success in social media.  I’m not saying you need to learn how to write code – but you do need to understand things like how the Facebook algorithm works and the specs for video playback on mobile devices.

Speak the language.  Social media is a field overflowing with buzzwords.  Some of them are meaningless.  Some of them are not.  It goes without saying that you should have a working knowledge of traditional marketing terms and be able to speak thoughtfully to each platform’s unique benefits and challenges.  In an interview for a social media position, you should also be prepared to speak to content types, engagement strategies and measuring data.

Be connected.  Social media lives and breathes on real-time communication and a brand’s ability to leverage it.  Showing the hiring manager that you are aware of what’s happening in the world will subtly reinforce their impression of you as someone who can help their team be aware of every new opportunity that social conversation presents.  This also means being on top of your own social channels – make sure they are current (and public.) This gives you a chance to show a potential employer what you bring to the table beyond the constraints of what a traditional interview allows.

Be professional.  Excessive familiarity and casual language seem to be a unique phenomenon among social media job candidates.  Frequently, the candidate is attempting to show personality – but that isn’t the way to do it.  Don’t use silly terms like “diva” or “ninja” on your resume when applying to a major brand or agency.  Don’t show up late and address the hiring manager with a “Hey girl, shit is crazy right now” (true story.)  Personality is important – so is curating perception. Your employer is trusting you to be on the front lines of their communication with the public, so it’s important to show that you will approach your job thoughtfully and appropriately.  Sending a thank you note after the interview is not only the polite thing to do, it also gives you a chance to remind potential employers of the great conversation you had and showcase a bit of that sparkling personality.

A final note on job searches: sometimes, you have to stick it out to find the right fit.  Don’t just jump on the first offer, look for a match in personality, energy and company values.  This is a fast moving business and chances are your job description will look substantially different in a few years.  You want to make sure that you are in a role that will allow you to develop a wide variety of skills that will keep you on top of your game.  Good luck!

Kathryn Perez-Fraga is Vice President, Social Media at Heavenspot, working with brands including Netflix, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros on what’s next in social. Follow her on Twitter @katpf.

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Reactive Social Media & the Super Bowl: When To Get In The Game

By Kathryn Schotthoefer

For marketers, there was no bigger story coming out of last year’s Super Bowl than the Oreo tweet. I don’t need to tell you which one – it has been analyzed, discussed and beaten to death in a thousand “social media case study” presentations since then. Leading into this upcoming Super Bowl weekend, there have been plenty of experts offering advice on how to make your brand “this year’s Oreo”… And I am going to disagree with most of them.

If your agency is worth paying, they already know how to spot an opportunity and quickly turn around creative. If you didn’t already, I’m sure that in the past year you have established a process that allows for quick client approval to move on these fleeting moments. The challenge arises when a brand, seeking a spotlight moment in social media stardom, tries to make itself relevant to every possible pop culture happening, whether it is or not. And when every brand starts to do that, the landscape becomes a noisy mess to which the very real human beings behind those RTs and shares will start to develop blindness and eventually simply reject. That’s not good for anyone.

It’s important to remember that for marketers, social media is the tool, not the goal. The direct communication opportunity you have with fans is an invitation to the party, so be a good party guest that they want to invite back again and again.

Wait For Your Moment. The Super Bowl may not be your moment. Maybe your moment is the Oscars or Pi Day or that-moment-that-is-coming-but-we-don’t-know-is-coming-yet. Social media, across all platforms, is a conversation. Be that charismatic person who pulls out a zinger with impeccable timing – not the person who won’t stop droning on about him or herself. If it seems like a reach, and the content isn’t entertaining enough to stand on it’s own, probably best to leave it alone.

Your Moment Can Come Anytime. Say your company makes bicycles – the Super Bowl may not seem like your moment, right? But if the star of the halftime show rides onto the field on two wheels – you better be prepared to jump in. (I mean, who could know that Arby’s would be the talk of the Grammys?) Always be aware of what is happening in the world and be prepared to react quickly.

Be Responsive to Your Win. If you have a great moment, it’s not the time for a mic drop. Be proactive in responding to fans engaging with your successful tweet or post, to best amplify the opportunity.

And as with all social media marketing, make sure that your efforts add value to the conversation and aren’t self-indulgent. Entertain, inform, assist, and most of all – be authentic to your brand and your communities.

Game on.

Kathryn Perez-Fraga is Vice President, Social Media at Heavenspot, working with brands including Netflix, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros on what’s next in social. Follow her on Twitter @katpf.

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Respect the Context

By Kathryn Schotthoefer

Imagine you are at a dinner party. On your left hand, there’s a loudmouth that won’t stop trying to hardsell real estate, rambling on about their listings and pushing you to set up an appointment. On your right hand, there is someone who is interesting, friendly, and conversational. At the end of the dinner, they pass you a card and mention that they sell real estate. Which one are you more likely to call when you are in the market for a new place? Social media works the same way. Fans have invited you to their table and placed your communications at a level of importance among those of their family and friends. As a brand, respecting the context of where and how fans will receive your message is critical to effective engagement in the social space. Start a (real, not self-serving) conversation. Be interesting. Listen to your community before you start talking. Give them information they can use. And if you are participating in a community, be prepared to answer questions as well as ask them. Just like in real life, you can’t ask someone to like you. You have to earn it.

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