Archive for the ‘Create’ Category

by Bryan Boettger, Chief Creative Officer

Steve Jobs put me on the path of my life.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
– Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

In the hours following Jobs’ death, I was a bit dumbstruck by the outpouring of love I saw on Facebook and Twitter. I wondered how all these friends of mine could be so affected by the death of someone they had never met.

It made me reflect. And, slowly, I began to connect the dots back. (more…)

As technology and modern marketing efforts evolve, it’s common to hit road blocks when encouraging your company stakeholders to buy in to emerging loyalty programs. Set yourself up for the best experience possible by doing the basic ground work first.

Common questions:

  • What are the benefits of a loyalty program?
  • How is this going to impact my brands ROI?
  • Is this inline with our business objectives?

Watch our video to see our Buddies and the Badgeville team explain beast practices for getting these questions answered and your company on board with investing in a digital loyalty program.

What are the greatest challenges of creating an effective loyalty program? Find out in Part 3 of our video series as we Buddy Up with Badgeville to take on the challenges of building an effective online program. Watch and learn:

  • Why customers (end users) need to clearly understand the value of a loyalty program
  • The importance of sharing achievements to social platforms and understanding the impact on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices
  • Common challenges when planning a user interface for a loyalty program
  • Understanding how a loyalty program can align itself with your business, conversion, and referral goals

What are the common pitfalls you’ve faced when building loyalty programs? Talk to our digital community by leaving a comment below. Missed Part 2? Tune in now for more digital insights on how to tailor the right messages to your audiences.

In Part 2 of our five-part video series on digital loyalty for, we team up with Badgeville to explore how to better connect with users online. Watch and learn:

  • How brands can communicate and tailor the right messages to the right audience
  • Understanding and addressing users’ needs from the bottom to the top of the loyalty ladder
  • Why loyalty is empowering consumers to interact with brands in an unprecedented way
  • Benefits of partnering with companies with a core competency in customer loyalty

Take a look and tell us what you think. Missed Part 1? Don’t worry. Tune in now for more digital insights on how to strengthen the relationships with your customers.

The Buddy Group recently partnered with Badgeville to create a five-part video series for on the subject of Digital Loyalty. Like proud parents, we were ecstatic to see the first installment go live today: Why Digital Loyalty Matters!

Watch the short three minute video to learn:
• Why brands need to be establishing meaningful and fulfilling relationships with customers
• The importance of brands showing their commitment to loyal consumers
• The shift from traditional outbound marketing and lessons from the growth of Facebook and social gaming
• Key visitor behaviors that brands can tap into to better understand their motivations
• How digital loyalty can help brands create personal and authentic conversations with their customers

Take a look and tell us what you think!

We work with a lot of new and emerging technology at The Buddy Group. But, we also pride ourselves on not doing “technology for technology’s sake.” Today, we were reminded once again how important tone and message are — whether in new or old technology.

We received a simple email from our new account manager at Dell. Nothing flashy. No advanced technology. But, great tone and message. (more…)

“I don’t care how big your mansion is, you can only sit in one seat at a time. It’s about learning to be comfortable in that seat.” – Russell Simmons @UncleRush

Last weekend, I was provided the opportunity to attend the invite only, highly inspirational and informative Summit Series 2011. I had been invited to attend back in 2009 but the timing was not right. In 2008, (for those that need the reminder) the economy was in the tank, business was hurting and in hindsight…I was too. With the weight of layoffs and doom and gloom around me, I felt alone and unsure of my own abilities to lead a highly creative, innovative, tech savvy brand engagement team. Knowing what I know now, after attending Summit Series D.C. 2010 and now Summit Series at Sea 2011, NOT attending in 2009 was potentially one of the biggest mistakes I could have made. (more…)

by Bryan Boettger, Chief Creative Officer

Increasingly, businesses and corporations are seeking to create viral videos. However, true viral videos are not typically “created,” rather they “happen.” So, in order to better “create” a viral video, we sought to better understand how these videos in fact “happened.” The outcome was The Buddy Group’s Viral Barometer, a tool to help gauge a video’s viral potential. In this post, we break down the Viral Barometer’s methodology so you can better understand and use the tool.

(You might wish to visit the Viral Barometer at before continuing.)

In order to reverse engineer viral videos, we first needed a set of viral videos to analyze. Searching online for Top Online Videos and Top Viral Videos lists, two rose to the top as both comprehensive and somewhat objective in their selection process:
Mashable’s Top YouTube Videos All Time — May 25, 2009
Videogum’s Top Videos 2009 — Dec. 25, 2009

These two lists provided a total of 39 videos from which to gain insights. After (re)watching, analyzing, breaking down and comparing the 39 videos, a combination of 10 traits emerged as indicators for a video’s viral potential. These 10 traits fuel the calculations for the Viral Barometer.

There are four important facts that are imperative for properly using the Viral Barometer.

1) Accurate assessments require divesting yourself from the video.
It takes a personal investment of passion and energy to make a compelling video, but it takes a personal divestment to properly assess the video. Think of it like home movies of your kids — you find them so amazing you can watch for hours, but an honest assessment tells you your neighbors are likely to gnaw a limb off to escape more than 15 minutes.

2) Like a true virus, viral videos need good hosts to spread.
You might have the funniest, most unique video in the world. But, if it only sits on your own blog and you don’t actively share the video, get others to share the video and put it on sites where people can discover it… (more…)


15 December 2009


Last week we had a very special stage rental! A group of students from Chapman University in Orange, California rented the DotLot studios to produce “Gone South”, their graduate thesis for their film class. This film class is for a junior level course and it’s the capstone of the master’s program for all of the disciplines. We had the pleasure of chatting up Rachel Skidmore, the Line Producer of “Gone South”, and picked her mind about the class, project and the weather. See what she had to say…

gone south on our fridge

The Buddy Group: Are all the crew members and production staff in the program or was it more a “come one come all” type mentality when picking your talent for this project?

Rachel Skidmore: “We have to team up in the spring, the year before our thesis year, with a producer, director, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, and production designer. We get the team together and then start finding all the other crew positions. A lot of the times, the way we find crew is just working on someone else’s film; you trade the labor since it’s free work.”

TBG: What’s “Gone South” about?

RS: “It’s science fiction. It’s basically exploring the idea that the world ran out of water, and what would happen if a corporation controlled it and how that affects one guy who’s working for the corporation, trying to escape with his wife to see what the world’s like outside of that because they’re in a very controlled environment. And then what happens to him afterwards.”

TBG: We’ve heard a lot of construction going on down there. Tell us more about your stage set up and props?

RS: “Here [at DotLot] has been a breeze other than the fact that building the set was a lot more ambitious than we expected. We’ve only been building with about two people and that took some time that we needed to shoot but that’s ok. Last weekend however, we were in Palm Desert, Riverside Country, Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, all over the place, taking about 32 people around the desert for four days, staying in tiny hotels. We survived, it was intense!”

TBG: Glad you enjoyed our buddies at DotLot and good luck. Hopefully we can catch a VIP glimpse of the finished product!

While at CES 2009, I was interviewed by a business reporter on behalf of American Express OPEN Network as they were searching for inspirational businesses worthy of sharing with their network. Guess I made the cut.

Feel free to watch my interview on innovation and the economy at the link below. Ignore the guest appearance of my shinny forehead!

OPEN Interview

Creating a Culture of Creativity : Innovation

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