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Articles tagged with: Blog


Down the Marketing Rabbit Hole

Due to creative interests, I’m afraid I carry that habit of trying to find meaning in everything, anything, which has a danger of irritating those other personalities who prefer a more pragmatic life.

At MWS Media we could potentially suffer from this condition, given our creative outlets, were it not for setting clear goals and structures in our marketing plans, and equally with client projects, collaborating with their ideas to produce effectively targeted video.

But if I were to go back to my habit, I’ve wanted to see if I can find business relevance in a story I’ve grown up with, and if there is advice and ideas there. I recently re-read Alice in Wonderland, and if I looked at it from a marketing and business perspective, which still seems odd to do, there were some unexpected parallels. (Admittedly, I was looking for them.) 

If there’s one thing Alice in Wonderland could possibly teach us if we ever tried to translate it into the world of business, it’s about perception, presumptions and dealing with different people.

Despite how outrageous and surreal these characters are in this story, there are aspects in all of them that could be seen to reflect certain types of marketers and the marketing strategy behind them.

What I’d like to think about for this post is how some of the quotes in the story can act as advice, and how some characters are identifiable to your work in marketing and developing business. I will explain each anecdote under the title Personality, or Perspective, just to make it clearer (or perhaps more pretentious.)

So imagine for a moment that Alice is both yourself and potential customer, and Wonderland embodies not just your business and brand, but the world around you too.

Personality: The Cheshire Cat

This is a certain type of marketing manager that provides both good and bad qualities. The good thing about being a Cheshire Cat marketer is you might offer industry knowledge and customer sympathy, giving your business that large smile that everyone else will now remember. However despite your efforts to reassure your audience (‘Oh, you can’t help that, we’re all mad here’) there is no real reason to believe or be guided by you because you stay completely out of the action. Be careful to lead by example, rather than staying up in your tree suggesting routes, leaving Alice more confused.

Personality: The Queen of Hearts

This kind of marketer or sales person has a good amount of success to prove their worth, they dominate others and shout the loudest so they can’t possibly be ignored. Whilst these qualities may guarantee your voice is heard, the major flaw in this character as a marketer is that you may lack foresight, cutting ‘heads’ off before you appreciate the potential benefits of that particular marketing ‘playing card’. You may only be able to grab short chunks of attention before your audience starts to drift, with no real plan of how to make the audience’s experience of your business durational. Always think ahead of how a customer or potential customer could engage with you over time.

Perspective: “Speak English!' said the Eaglet. “I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!”

It’s very much that awkward moment of being called out in front of everyone, and on social media nowadays it is harder to cover up. If you’re not going to make enough effort to engage with your customers on a familiar level, and instead use technical terminology, then you stand the danger of baffling them into frustration, they won’t respond well and they will challenge your knowledge too.

Perspective: “I wish I hadn't cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears!”

This could serve as a warning to those marketing managers out there who believe that their current plan is the only effective one for their business. This is especially dangerous if this marketing plan is more than 3 years old. The world is changing and people are experimenting with new and exciting ways to connect with people. Your old strategy, like Alice, is shrinking into a less effective way compared with new ones out there, and if all you can do is cry about it then you may have lost the followers you had and it’s too late to get them back.

Perspective: “If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.”

I believe this is a good example of playing to your strengths. Marketing is all about bringing out the best qualities of your business and enjoying them. There’s no use pretending to be like any other business, otherwise you will just be as an ‘ugly child’, with no positive qualities that stand out. Yes, you might be a ‘pig’, but you’re the handsome kind of pig, and Alice preferred to see him that way, just as your customers want to see the best version of you.

Personality: The Mad Hatter

Perhaps the best marketer in the book, if a little risky, although he ruined it at the end. Throughout the tea-party, he engages Alice with questions, challenging her presumptions and also including her in the internal matters of the table. The first technique all three of them use is to stress the exclusivity of their party, and whilst most marketer’s aim is to invite, it’s essential to make any new follower or customer feel that they have joined something either exclusive or special, perhaps with access to other benefits. However, Alice leaves on account of the Hatter’s remark, “I don’t think – ““Then you shouldn’t talk.” which is important to avoid with any existing follower or customer. For one, don’t interrupt them if they are confused, and also don’t brush off their concern carelessly.

And finally...

Perspective: “…which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

If, as a marketer or sales person, you want to monitor your success, this is the question you need to ask yourself frequently. You should have a clear idea of what you want to stand out in your business, how you want to connect with your customers or followers, and how you want to be seen on the outside, and the route you take should inform this success.

Alice only wanted to get somewhere, whereas if she’d had a good idea, she may have found a clearer path.



Categories: General


The Ice Bucket Challenge - UGV At Its Best

So you might have noticed a little thing called the ALS ice bucket challenge … ok you probably can’t escape it. Love it or loath it though the ice bucket challenge highlights several important points.

- It further confirms video as the preferred medium, especially on social.
- It proves content doesn’t need to be expensive and complex.
- It shows that user generated content is successful.

Your social feeds are probably full like ours right now with thousands of videos of your friends, family and celebrities dumping ice water on their heads. Most are around 10 seconds long and in Facebook's case auto play when you scroll past. How has that resulted in the ice bucket challenge going viral? Well watching Victoria Beckham, your best mate and your mum chuck water over their heads is entertaining, easy to do and provides a challenge. The desire to get involved, peer pressure of nominations and simplicity of participation has lead to thousands of people completing the ice bucket challenge, hearing about ALS and has raised millions for the cause.

How does this relate to me and business?

Well according to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of businesses plan to spend more on content marketing this year. As our appetites for content seem to be growing more and more insatiable, user generated content such as user generated video is a viable option to add to your strategy. There are several ways you could use UGV:

- Testimonials

- Product Reviews

- Support and Customer Care

- HR and Recruiting
- Events

- Video Contests

- Ideas and Improvement Suggestions

But most importantly remember when devising your strategies to consider how your campaign is going to make people want to get involved, what they get from doing it and how simple it is to participate. For example running a video contest to create a new advert? Give a long enough entry period for people to produce quality content and offer prizes (which don’t have to be monetary; free stuff, meeting a celebrity, exclusive tickets or that advert going on TV can be even more desirable). Asking for ideas and improvement suggestions? Maybe the winner gets the new product free of charge and before anyone else?

As always comments and questions are welcome!

I’ll leave you with the MWS Media Ice Bucket Challenge.


Categories: General


Ears Are Idiots

This may be a little bit of a technical blog but fingers crossed it will highlight some things you already knew, but didn’t know you knew about how things work in the audio industry.

Sound is a wonderful thing and our ears allow us to hear such aural delights as birdsong, a child's laughter, Iggy Azaleas new single or the noises our MD Ben makes in the 2 days preceding a half hour gym session (maybe not the last two).

But what you might not be so aware of is that in relative contrast to your eyes your ears can be deceived relatively easily. Currently here at MWS we are mixing and designing the sound for our upcoming feature film collaboration with Primley Road Productions 'The Catch' (Plug, plug). Now although 'The Catch' is a relatively straight forwards film in terms of sound design (we have no huge car chases to foley or new alien dialects to create), it comes with it’s fair share of challenges. But let me first draw your attention to some more obvious examples that you can relate to.

Star Wars

What would an actual star war sound like? Would they sound anything like master sound designer Ben Burts epic soundscapes of explosions, laser cannons and screaming ion engines? No they wouldn’t because space is a vacuum and no sound travels in a vacuum. Therefore what we would hear would in fact be silence, Burt and co cheated our ears into thinking that there was (awesome) sounds when in fact there would be none.

Ok maybe that's a bit harsh on our ears as few of us have first hand experience of space audio. How about…

Car Tyres

Ever scene a car pull away in a movie and heard the tyres screeching on tarmac? Loads I bet. Ever heard the same thing in real life. Perhaps, but lets face it when a young buck pulls away from traffic lights on the A4 having whipped the clutch out like their movie heroes, the wheels make a stuttering gripping noise as they struggle to find tarmac. Rarely the uniform constant rotation on a smooth surface which would cause such a screech. Do we care? No because it sounds great and adds gravitas and power to the moment. Let’s stick with vehicles...

Gear Changes

During the famous canal chase scene in James Cameron's masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Arnold’s bike changes up a gear 14 times (sources vary). Fast and Furious movies see our drivers shift through around 200 gears with a simple stick shifter. It certainly helps to build tension though.


Ever punched/been punched/seen someone being punched? (Don’t answer out loud) I myself being a rugby player have no idea what one of those is but I have it on good authority that is sounds absolutely nothing like it does in the action films. If it did such films would be very short as one of those impacts would be paramount to a blow with a sledge hammer.


Again, no idea what these are except from seeing them in films, but have you ever wondered how people can talk to each other at such a graceful level whereas inside the real thing you’ll be lucky not to blow your voice out ordering a drink (orange juice)?

I could go on and I’m sure you have plenty of examples yourself and will annoy your family next time you sit down to watch TV (mine don’t let me anymore). So why do we so readily deceive our poor ears? Two main reasons. For dramatic effect and to help the narrative. We touched on examples of dramatic effect above with screeching tyres, epic battles and crunching blows. Try to imagine those horrible scenes in horror movies. Bone crunches, flesh ripping, blood and guts, all of those distressing noises are amplified in volume considerably higher than is realistic in order to pull you in to the happenings and further immerse you into the terror.

As for the narrative part take the 'Nightclub'. If we can’t hear what our characters are saying to each other then we are going to struggle to follow the story. Think of all the times you’ve watched a scene with someone far from the camera with perhaps a busy road in between them and you. Hows the dialogue? Clear as a bell? Of course it is as audio designers and engineers we sometimes have to compromise realism for clarity and story telling and thankfully most of the time our ears let us do that.

So maybe it's harsh to say that our ears are idiots. In fact the ease at which they can be deceived leads to a much wider breadth of creativity and greater margin of error for some technical aspects. Most of your summer blockbusters will be overdubbed using ADR a technique whereby the original dialogue is replaced with studio recorded sound and synced to the footage. Look closely and you can sometimes pick out minor mis syncs on even the grandest of productions (again, I recommend doing this on your own away from friends and family). But it leads to lovely clear crisp dialogue and often the ability for a director to recapture elements of a performance after the shoot.

Ears, you may be a little stupid. But we love you.


Categories: Film, Audio


The Pandemic - changing with the times


A quick video to update you with how we've adapted to cope with the changing nature of business during the pandemic. Feel free to get involved at...





Categories: General


Lockdown 2.0

We're still working...

Hi all, just a quick video to make sure everyone knows we're still open for business during Lockdown 2.0 and beyond!


Categories: General