Harnessing The Power of the Visual Web

We at Sports Media Challenge believe in the power of the visual web.  In fact it harkens back to my days in television, and the influence we wielded when capturing life in motion, color exploding and sounds tickling the imagination, then editing them together to sell a story… And I do mean sell, not tell.   

During the past 3 months, and building on the creative talents of our newest full time team member Amie Kiehn and ferocious interns Georgie Morgan and Greg Baskwell, we’ve been fully engrossed in experimenting with micro video production via Vine, Instagram and via the social chat platform Snapchat.

Why? I’m a visual learner, a child of television, and decidedly committed to being on the leading edge of artful communications.  I’m an advocate of producing powerful, clear communications that people will remember, which is more difficult than ever with shortened attention spans, the proliferation of communication distribution channels and “always-on” information flow.

This week, I was sitting with a prominent Athletic Director, emphasizing the critical stages of effective communications from his “audience’s” perspective. As I told him, you have to get them to:

  • Hear  (literally in person, video and in print which means they have to know where you’re talking and be there)
  • Listen (pay attention to you and your ideas)
  • Understand what you’re saying (speak their language not yours… help them understand)
  • Believe you and your ideas
  • Remember it when they walk away

While brands and organizations, sports and otherwise are finally attempting to understand and connect with Millennials, they’re playing catch up. More than 50% of the global population is under 27 years old! Adult Millennials are those who are 18 to 33 years old, born 1981–1996. Filling your funnel and nurturing future customers isn’t just limited to sports brands that need to put students’ butts in seats. You better start thinking even younger such as Generation Z— born after Millennials.  The Nickelodeon channel is looking to serve a new breed of kids born after 2005 whom it dubs “post-millennials” – and if you represent a university, college or pro sports team, you know the market value of raising a fan from infancy clad in Irish green and gold or Broncos orange and blue.


 Social and digital media are musts to engage this audience.  But remember, it’s not just tactical. Social and digital should be built on a clear, strong strategy that’s directly aligned with your business goals… otherwise it sucks up your time and resources. And every brand needs to capture the attention of the elusive “casual” fan base with the hope of converting them up the avid fan scale. How do you get to them? Again, think social, digital and – for everything – mobile marketing. (More on casual fan conversion in a subsequent post.)

We’re convinced that micro videos and photos/graphics help achieve all of that and we use them regularly. Let us know what you think, and if you’re interested in some innovative micro video campaigns, we’re in. Give us a call. Here are some examples of our work for clients:

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