Sounds from the streets

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


A day alone at the sea

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.watch full Let It Fall: L.A. 1982-1992 2017 film online

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.film Baby Driver 2017 download

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


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  • Annabelle: Creation (2017)

  • Director
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    Producer
    James Wan, Peter Safran.
  • Production Company
    New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster.
    Release
    August 9, 2017
  • Country
    United States of America.
    Language
    English.
  • Runtime
    76 min
    Genre
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‘Annabelle: Creation’ is a movie genre Thriller, was released in August 9, 2017. David F. Sandberg was directed this movie and starring by Stephanie Sigman. This movie tell story about Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

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Director : Gavin O’Connor.
Producer : Lynette Howell Taylor, Mark Williams.
Release : October 14, 2016
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Zero Gravity Management, Warner Bros., Electric City Entertainment, RatPac-Dune Entertainment.
Language : English.
Runtime : 128
Genre : Crime, Thriller, Drama.

‘The Accountant’ is a movie genre Crime, was released in October 14, 2016. Gavin O’Connor was directed this movie and starring by Ben Affleck. This movie tell story about As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

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Director : J Blakeson.
Producer : Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Matthew Plouffe, Lynn Harris.
Release : January 14, 2016
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Columbia Pictures, GK Films, Material Pictures, LStar Capital.
Language : English.
Runtime : 112
Genre : Adventure, Science Fiction.

‘The 5th Wave’ is a movie genre Adventure, was released in January 14, 2016. J Blakeson was directed this movie and starring by Chloë Grace Moretz. This movie tell story about 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.

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Director : Sean Anders.
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Release : June 14, 2012
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison Productions, Relativity Media.
Language : English.
Runtime : 116
Genre : Comedy.

Movie ‘That’s My Boy’ was released in June 14, 2012 in genre Comedy. Sean Anders was directed this movie and starring by Adam Sandler. This movie tell story about While in his teens, Donny fathered a son, Todd, and raised him as a single parent up until Todd’s 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd’s world comes crashing down when Donny resurfaces just before Todd’s wedding.

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Director : Tom Gormican.
Producer : Scott Aversano, Justin Nappi, Andrew O’Connor, Kevin Turen.
Release : January 29, 2014
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Treehouse Pictures.
Language : English.
Runtime : 94
Genre : Comedy, Romance.

Movie ‘That Awkward Moment’ was released in January 29, 2014 in genre Comedy. Tom Gormican was directed this movie and starring by Zac Efron. This movie tell story about Best pals Jason and Daniel indulge in casual flings and revel in their carefree, unattached lives. After learning that the marriage of their friend Mikey is over, they gladly welcome him back into their circle. The three young men make a pact to have fun and avoid commitment. However, when all three find themselves involved in serious relationships, they must keep their romances secret from one another.

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So many choices, so little time and money

Allegra Michael Grant

 

 
Now what?

When we started this column, we titled it, “Confusion Says”. Of course, it was a play on the words Confucius Says, usually the beginning of some thoughtful point of philosophy, some short and simple phrase from long ago, loaded with insight. Our Confusion Says column speaks to the confusion that exists in the world of marketing. Confusion has always existed in that world, but today the number of choices and subsequent directions are anything but short and simple. They are more confusing than ever before. We wanted to review the options and present the facts as they exist today.

What remains consistent is that, of every option you choose, it can succeed or it can fail. It is all dependent upon the development of the strategy and the execution of the tactics. ME is now in control as never before. ME has the ultimate channel changer, their keyboard and their mobile device. They will Like you, Follow you and Link up with you, but only if you ask permission and only if you have something relevant to say, something relevant to them that is. If that relationship works, they will buy from you. If that relationship fails, well, remember, it’s not ME it’s you.

Every channel we explored should be used dependent upon time and money. If only we had it all. As we reviewed in earlier segments, most should be used in concert with other channels. Yesterday, I watched an advertisement for Google on TV. A few days ago, they emailed me an invitation to use their services and several weeks ago they direct mailed me a printed promotion for these same services. Yes, even Google, a 14 year old multi-billion dollar highly successful company that is most noted as a search engine for web sites, even Google uses TV, direct mail and email to market its services. It integrates multiple channels. Now, the TV commercial has come and gone. The email is somewhere on my hard drive. The Direct Mail piece, well, that’s sitting right in front of me now – a constant, unobtrusive reminder of it, the other advertisements and, of course, the company. This is cross-channel marketing. It is what you need to do as well.

As we move forward and new information is gathered, we will provide you with what the industry has to say about all of these channels.

The confusion will continue. We will find the facts to sort it out.


Posters, banners and signs: Focusing on the neighbourhood

Allegra Michael Grant

 

 

 
What’s new in the neighbourhood? That’s the question that posters and banners are designed to answer. They tend to focus on the immediate, the now. Signs tend to focus on the brand and the location. Either way, they are messages between you and the market. Okay, so these are things that most of us already know. So what? Well, there are a few facts we should keep in mind.

First, design is critical to your image, in fact, for many, it is their image, at least the first impression anyway. The University of Cincinnati and Better Homes and Gardens conducted a study on signage in October of 2011. What they found was that of 200 business school students, 79% said that the quality of the signage inferred the quality of the company. It’s a handshake, a first impression. You are what you project. So, if you advertise with a hand painted sign or a low resolution picture banner, you might sell a lot of used lawn furniture, but don’t expect to sell any diamond rings.

Next, if you are a new business, signage tells people that you have arrived. Use it. When we opened our first business, it was on a busy street corner. We set up a large well lit awning sign and we kept it lit all night. There was a bus stop across the street and the bus drivers called out the stop with our name as that destination. We were so prominent we became an immediate fixture. In our first year of operation, we set a record for the highest first year dollar volume location of some 400 North American locations in over 20 years. I’m not saying it was the sign, but it sure helped. It will help you too.

And just to restate the obvious, make the sign big and clear. That U of C study mentioned above also discovered that 50% of consumers drive by and miss small or unclear signs even when they are looking for that location. Not only that but, 64% of women aged 18 to 24 will miss the sign under the same conditions. There is just too much visual competition. For signs trying to attract drive by traffic, the layout is very important. Your logo should be in the top left along with a graphic and one or two key words. That’s all the time they have to read your message. Too much information and your message will be lost. It will become a blur. A blur just doesn’t sell stuff. Locating your message shouldn’t become an Easter Egg Hunt.

Did you know that after television, consumers considered indoor signage as tied with magazines as the most useful source of new product information? Well, neither did I until I read that U of C study. So what? Well, you can capitalize on this by placing product information signs in your business. Think of it as an informative customer service person spreading your message all day, every day. By the way, that same study showed that outdoor signs were the third most useful source of new product information. Are you in a mall or on a busy street with windows? If so, you know what to do.

And the, “But Wait There’s More” moment:

Remember QR Codes? We talked about them in June of this year. Where ever possible, every banner and poster should have a QR Code. It changes the static to the dynamic. It takes your customers and prospects to your other communications media. If successful, it engages them to interact with your brand in the worlds of email and web. It develops a relationship and that helps to grow your company.

Next: So many choices…So little time and money. Now what?


Marketing With Tangibles

Allegra Michael Grant

 

 

 

Now, how about something we can really get our hands around?

Trinkets and trash, that’s what they used to call promotional products and advertising specialties. It was stuff you gave away as an afterthought without any real consideration of its impact. You just did it because… well, that’s what someone said to do. They bought it and you had to give it away. As it turns out, these items have a lot more value than some people think.

Promotional products have become an $18+ Billion dollar world-wide industry. Almost every major brand on this planet uses promotional products. There are literally hundreds of thousands of products to choose from. Practically any item that you can think of has been transformed into a promotional product. Why? Because name recognition and brand retention is strengthened through the use of this form of advertising. The life span or staying power of these products can be very long and thus your message is seen again and again, sometimes over years and to a wide ranging audience. Once again, rarely is marketing a home run. It is a series of hits and a series of runs – back to our reference to “Moneyball”. Promotional products are one more tool to keep your game alive for a very long time.

Now, back to the trinkets and trash comment, ME wants something useful not just clutter. If the item is useful, ME will keep it. If it has ME’s name on it then ME will keep it for a very long time. As an example, on and around my desk I myself have one branded calendar, two branded travel mugs and scores of branded pens. I see the names of those companies every day, all day and each item they have given me is useful. That’s why I use them.

The promotional product industry also consists of employee recognition items. This is all about motivating, rewarding and retaining employees. Providing an employee with an item that has their name on it is a special moment. Rarely do people discard an item that has their name on it. Our offices have well over 100 awards with our company’s and our employees’ names on them. Some awards were presented over 40 years ago. Again, it is all part of building the team and subsequently, the brand.

Let’s look at some statistics from a study performed by the Advertising Specialty Institute.

    84% remembered the advertisers of the promotional products they’ve received.

    62% have done business with the advertiser on a promotional product after receiving the item.

    42% had a more favourable impression of the advertiser after receiving the item.


The 2012 State of the Industry report in Counselor magazine lists the top 26 categories of promotional products sold. Shirts are the undisputed leader with 20% of revenue. 42% of men and 30% of women own a promo shirt. Writing instruments account for 7.3% of revenue and have the highest retention percentages. 56% of women and 46% of men own one of these. Calendars account for 4% of revenue. 28% of women and 19% of men own a promotional calendar. 81% of people surveyed said that they kept a promotional product because it was useful.

In summary, promotional products can help build the retention of your brand in the marketplace and within your company. Of course, the more useful the product or the more special the moment, then the more likely it will be kept and displayed for all to see. Promote your web site on the item and engage people on another media. It’s one more way to work cross media marketing.

Next week:Posters, Banners and Signs: Focusing on the Neighbourhood