Short-form Video’s Time To Shine

Short video is taking over the online world. It’s both beautiful and grim.

Everyday, online video is getting easier to access, and even easier to create. Because of apps like Vine and Instagram, videos are becoming one of the main reasons people even log onto the Internet. According to AdAge, over 40 million people are on Vine, while 150 million plus are on Instagram. That’s a lot of users.

Twitter and Facebook own Vine and Instagram respectively, and people are leaving the text-based social media for their quicker video counterparts. Pop culture has even seen these apps’ relevance. Trends, memes, slang, and even social groups have appeared from this medium. It’s truly marking its place in history, but why?

It’s because short video is both the fastest and the most alluring way to convey a message. If you manage to entertain your audience while telling them about your service or product, you’ve got a memorable and potentially viral advertisement on your hands. Major brands have been doing this for months now, be it the stop-motion animation of Dunkin Donuts’ paper flower or Trident Gum’s chewing-face close-ups!

That is where the beauty of accessibility to online video lies. Any person can make any video about anything. In fact, it is so easy that you could accidentally hit the record button while pulling your phone out of your pocket and make a short viral hit. It makes video accessible.

On the flip side though—it’s ruining our attention spans and giving us an unhealthy addiction to Internet’s speed. We’re becoming so accustomed to this short format, that anything over 30 seconds almost seems too long. People are clicking out of longer videos on YouTube, closing web pages that take too long to load, and going insane over buffering streaming content.
It’s hard to decide whether Vine and Instagram are helpful ways to communicate, or detrimental to our already short attention spans. Time will tell, as the number of users of these appsare predicted to grow even more in 2014.

Is Facebook Becoming Obsolete?

Over the past year, there has been a lot of debate about whether Facebook is dying out. Is it losing its fan base to other rising apps and networks, such as Instagram and Google+? Or is it becoming unpopular with teens because it’s just not the “cool” thing to use anymore?

While bloggers and analysts are treating the issues as some new scandal, we have seen this topic arise before when Twitter came on the scene in 2006. Everyone thought Facebook would lose out to Twitter, because Twitter was the new trend and more versatile than Facebook. However, Facebook responded by making itself more adaptable to the changing trends and incorporating Twitter into its very structure, thereby ensuring its survival. Now Facebook and Twitter coexist, and it is clear neither one is about to eliminate the other.

Facebook is really not in any danger of becoming obsolete. It is still considered a great networking tool that lets you connect with people that you may not get to see every day. Facebook has been around since 2004 and has only steadily increased users every year since its appearance on the market. Facebook is currently the #1 (most popular) social network worldwide, surpassing YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram by at least 20% account ownership and active usage (see graph below). In most consumers’ opinion, Instagram is the current biggest threat to Facebook. However, what most users might not realize is that Facebook now owns Instagram, therefore making the threat obsolete.

Global Penetration OF Social Platforms

Image from TechCrunch article.

Basically, analysts and other opinionated bloggers can try to predict what they want about Facebook, but the facts seem to speak for themselves. Facebook has been around this long and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

- Colleen Stanley (MOS Office Manager)


Basic Guide to Predicting Adwords Conversions

The purpose of this blog is to provide an easy-to-understand and easy-to-use method of predicting conversions off of a chosen variable in an Adwords account.

Keep in mind – this is the simplest way, and therefore one of the less accurate. You’ll get a good estimate, but some more heavy lifting is needed to factor in the huge number of variables the average account has.

So, first thing first. Go to your Adwords account and export a report of weekly data for whatever ad group or campaign you’d like to predict. The more data you have the better (make sure to highlight the whole spreadsheet once it’s in excel, including headers, and select to format it as a table). Once you do this, you will have a spreadsheet that looks something like this:

(image has been blurred because contains client info)

(data has been blurred because of confidential client info)

Now, from this spreadsheet go to the headers – they’ll be the top row, and select the arrow next to the filter that says “Clicks”.













Once you reach this menu, click “Sort Smallest to Largest” at the top. This will sort all of the data according to number of clicks.

You will end up with a selection of data that looks something like this:














Once you have your variable and conversions data sorted properly, go ahead and make a line chart out of the conversion data. Just highlight the conversions data column, and click to insert Line Graph on the top right. Now you have a graph of conversions sorted by the number of clicks.












There are still a few more formatting things to be taken care of before we get to the predictive model.

Right click your graph and hit select data:












Once you get to the Select Data Source window, click Edit below the “Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels” title. From here, select your click data, which should already be sorted in ascending order like this:


Congratulations! Your graph is ready.

The next step is to insert the linear or exponential equation. To do this, right click on the line in your new graph and select “Add Trendline…”. You’ll see a window like this:


Select either Linear or Logarithmic, and select the “Display Equation” and “Display R-squared” boxes. Your window should look like this when you are finished:


Okay! You now have your equation. Your graph will look like this now:










The Y= equation in the top right is your new predictive model. Simply plug how many conversions you want into the Y position, and solve for X. This will get you however many of X you need (within a range, of course) and help you plan your budgets alongside your goals.

The R2 value below the equation is a measure of the accuracy of the equation, see the Wiki. The higher this is the better. You see a lower R2 here because we’re only taking one variable into account.

Next, I’ll show you how to make it a simple tool in your spreadsheet so that you don’t have to solve the equation by hand every time you want to predict something.

There may be an easier way to get excel to solve your equation, but here’s how I do it. To restructure your equation, basically use your algebra skills to switch it around so X is on the left side. Mine looks like this:

Original: y=0.09x=0.75

Modified: x= (y-0.75)/0.09

Once you have that, you can make a table in excel where you can easily change your desired conversions and get an estimate on your variable.

Make a 2×2 table, one column is Conversions, the other is your variable (for me it’s Clicks). In the variable column, put in your modified equation, with Y being the cell under conversions. For the spreadsheet I’m using in this example, the cell under “Required Clicks” is “=(F645-0.75)/0.09”.

The results look like this:




- Joel (MOS Online Marketing Specialist)


Visual Data Infographics

What does your business do? Why does the customer need it? Do they know that yet? Most importantly: Does your product/service need a simple, sharable, and visually awesome explanation? That’s where we come in, with infographics!


Infographics are used frequently all over the net. You’ve seen at least one. You can’t log into the internet without stepping across one. Maybe it was the awesome Batman one that was passed around twitter and Facebook for a couple of years now. That’s because it’s a great way to show data. It presents information in a beautiful, but purposeful and simple way. It serves two purposes—looks good and tricks you into learning. Those kind of go hand-in-hand.


Here’s an example of one of the many infographics we’ve produced for our clients.

There are four ingredients that make up any successful infographic. These are Data, Design, Why, and Shareability. If it’s missing one of these elements, it won’t reach much of any audience. Think of it as a table… a table of info. If you remove a leg, you’re not gonna have an amazing table. Each aspect is essential. So don’t go without these four things:



It’s he backbone of the infographic. The entire reason you need one created is so you can display your data in an easy and simple way. You want everyone to understand. Data without the rest of the elements is boring, and flat out invisible to everyone. Gather your findings and be ready to have them represented in a beautiful fashion!



Well, you’ve got your data all ready to be shared, but what for? Say you’re looking to educate people on your product or service. You’d state a problem, and the purpose of the infographic is to explain how and why your business is the solution. Here’s where you make yourself important; here’s where you deliver your message.



Here’s where you take your what and why from above and make sense of it. Design puts everything in order and educates the viewer. Several points are to be touched upon: the information must be displayed clean and simple, it must look great so as to encourage reading, and there must be purpose to it. Meaning, you display your info in a fun, simple and creative manner that shows you know what you’re talking about. Bring eyes to your data.



Okay, your infographic is almost complete! What’s left to do is load it up with links to you and your social media outlets. You must let the viewer know where this image is coming from. Which brings us to a big decision: where do you put it? Of course you’re going to put it on your twitter and facebook, but where else? SEO will help, and as long as this is floating around the internet, it’ll grab eyes and bring attention to your business. So proper placement is key. Besides creating the infographic for you, we here at MOS are also able to put it in the right places.


Get a hold of us, and let’s visualize your data together!

-The MOS Creative Team

Check out our other Tumblr!

Reviews Matter


While you may feel your company/brand/service/product’s awesomeness speaks for itself, you’re only half right. Good work only goes so far. Online reviews, yeah those matter.

You’ve used Yelp once or twice before, right? You saw how useful of a tool it was and you found that sushi restaurant in record time! That was a good dinner too. Maybe you ought to review the place. A higher rating pushes them up on the list, bringing them more business and ensuring the chances that you’ll get that California roll again. After all, good ratings and reviews brought you there in the first place.

So you’ve seen firsthand how beneficial positive feedback can be. Why not for your business? Over 90% of people who’ve researched a business on Yelp agree that positive reviews lead to purchases. Check out this infographic from Mashable.

Being the 30th most visited site on the web, small businesses are the ones that benefit the most from Yelp’s exposure.  Increased customer awareness directly affects sales. Additionally, it’s a great way to get feedback from clients, with the ability to respond back to them! Create a dialogue! Seem like a business run by real people.

Though there is a bit of cautionary wisdom we’d like to bestow upon you: what’s worse than negative reviews are none at all. Don’t just start an account/claim your business on rating sites and let it sit stagnant. Actively encourage customers to leave reviews – there’s no downside to it. Perhaps you could get some inserts or packaging designed and printed to go along with your product, asking customers to write you a short review. In addition to Yelp maintenance, MOS Creative could design you up some snazzy printwork on top of it ;)

Get a hold of us at MOS Creative, and we’ll help YOU stand OUT!


-The MOS Creative team

Check out our Tumblr!

Behind The Scenes Wednesday: Joe Ehrmann!

Joe Ehrmann is a former NFL defensive lineman for the 1973 Baltimore Colts! Local legend? I think so! Get ready to smile ear-to-ear.


While at an Accelerent networking event, our president Max was able to strike up a conversation and snap a photo with Joe Ehrmann. Super cool guy, and nothing but nice!

Besides a Colts football helmet, Joe’s worn many hats. He’s been an educator, author, activist, pastor and coach spanning longer than than 25 years.

Joe played football at Syracuse University, lettered in lacrosse and was selected to the Syracuse All-Century Football Team. After being drafted, he played pro football for 13 years, and was named the Colts “Man of the Year”. He was also named NFL’s first Ed Block Courage Award winner. Parade Magazine even featured Joe on its cover, with the title, “The Most Important Coach in America”. Additionally, he’s been named one of the “Most Influential Sport Educators in America” by the Institute for International Sport.

Ehrmann is co-founder of Baltimore’s Ronald McDonald House and was chosen by the Baltimore Business Journal as the “Renaissance Person of the Decade” for his work in bettering our city. He co-founded The Door, a community-based organization that deals with issues pertaining to poverty, systemic racism and social justice. But his awesomeness doesn’t end there.

He’s been named National Fatherhood Initiative’s “Man of the Year” and awarded the Frederick Douglas National Man of the Year award for empowering youth to prevent forms of male violence.

His newly released book: InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives highlights much of his life’s work. Joe is the subject of the New York Times Best Seller, Season of Life A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood.

With all those amazing accomplishments mentioned, he believes his greatest has been his 30 plus years marriage to Paula and his four children Ali, Esther, Barney and Joey.

Pick up those books! This is a great coach, and a great man. 

-The MOS Creative Team


Cutout Animation: Cartoon Puppetry!

While there are many different styles of animation, one of the most-utilized and quickest styles is Cutout Animation, also known as Flash animation because of the program that’s used to create it. It’s a great way to bring characters to life with a rather fast turnaround. It’s no wonder that many animated television series use it. If it’s good enough for TV, it’s good enough for your marketing campaign.

We’ve done many of these in the past. If you remember our articles about our projects with Foodem and Bumblejunk, you’ll know how good we are at it! Here’s another example of our work, with Mosaic Power! Meet Mo!

The way this animation technique works is all the graphics are pre-drawn. Faces, hands, mouths, eyes—every motion a character will make. The result of that is a Character Puppet, or a Character Rig. The puppet can be reused over and over again, to make it look like it’s constantly moving, even though it’s repeated drawings. Neat little trick! This also perpetuates a feeling of consistency and legitimacy. It’s beneficial if you have an idea in mind that involves characters, but you don’t have any available actors to portray them in a commercial. Cutout Animation is the vehicle that’ll bring your ideas to life!

As stated above, many cartoons on television employ this tactic. Some of the more famous examples are Archer, Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Dan Vs, and Brickleberry. The characters run the gamut of motion, while in actuality, these are re-used graphics, over and over. It’s beautiful and fun to watch, just as it is fun to make. (Honestly, some of our favorite projects were cutout animation.)

Since this is such a popular style, it’s very likely that people will latch onto commercials done in this manner. That, mixed with the popularity of youtube, our SEO, and just a dash of creativity, a cutout commercial will be beneficial to ANY marketing campaign. Remember, animation is able to do whatever you want, and is 100% editable. Cutout animation is no different! So perfecting an animated video for you is just one of the many things we at MOS Creative are proud to do! We see a production from conception to completion, all in-house! Pretty versatile if you ask me! Give us a shout and see what we’re about!

Let’s make beauty together. We want to help you stand OUT! So let’s get to work!

Here’s 3 quick reasons why Cutout Animation might be the perfect fit for you and your business:

1. Puppets.
Prepared puppets are a great alternative to having an animator draw a new drawing every single frame, like traditional animation. It can get completed in days-to-weeks, rather than years!

2. Puppets take the place of live actors.
If you have an idea but no actors to help out, then it’s just a voiceover and a puppet or two away from being realized!

3. Re-utilization.
These puppets can be used over and over again. If you have multiple campaigns and want to keep your character appearing throughout, then it’s no problem. We can pop the puppet back in, and make it do some awesome moves for ya!

Our thing is that we love helping you stand out. That’s just what we do, and we’re happy to do it for you. Let’s chat and see how we can bring your ideas into this world!

-The MOS Creative team.


Throwback Thursday: North Point Builders!

Hello everyone! This Throwback Thursday, we want to show you a site we’ve created for North Point Builders.

We’ve come up with a slanted theme that’s prevalent throughout each page of the site.

Every aspect falls into this style.

Not only were we focused on keeping the same feel, but we also had fun with it. The navigation bar shows this.

Even the dropdown menus followed this slanted style

Notice how the Portfolio page keeps this up

We even implemented a map to show locations that this company has done work.

Like what you see? We here at MOS Creative can create an awesome site for you too. Ya’know, just ask!

-The MOS Creative Team

PS: check out our Tumblr!

Motion Graphics: Melding Graphic Design with Animation!

Animation, it makes your marketing seem alive, vibrant and vivacious! There are many kinds and styles of animation ranging from stop-motion to cgi. But motion graphics convey a certain feeling. They’re as quick and informational as they are beautifully designed and animated.

Motion graphics are a great way to advertise yourself because of the simplistic, often minimalistic visuals. Here’s an example of our work that we’ve done:

Don’t forget to participate in the contest mentioned in the video! You’ve seen this style of animation everywhere; Motion Graphic is used frequently to this date. Most commercials, online tutorials, website ads, and more utilize this method. One of the best things about this style is it’s relatively quick to make, especially compared to a fully animated cartoon. With that being said, remember our animation post from before? With youtube being the 3rd most popular site on the web, it’s a good idea to get something on it to spread the word about your product/service/company! 200 million potential eyes on you? Sounds like a deal to me!

Remember, animation is able to do whatever you want, and is 100% editable. Motion graphics is no different! So perfecting an animated video for you is just one of the many things we at MOS Creative are proud to do for you. We’re graphic designers and animators. We see a production from conception to completion, all in-house! Pretty versatile if you ask me! Give us a shout and see what we’re about.

Let’s captivate your audience together. We want to help you stand OUT! (We’re awesome at it!)

Here’s 3 quick reasons why Motion Graphics might be perfect for you and your business:

1. Quicker turnaround than most methods of animation.
We can and want to do a Disney-esque animation for you! But you may not want to wait that long for a final product. We understand, you’ve got weeks, not years. Well, motion graphics doesn’t need to take so long to create! We can have a beautiful finished product to you, lickety-split!

2. It conveys your message in a simple, user-friendly manner.
One of the most useful aspects of Motion Graphics is the fact that it lays out everything in a visually-stimulating manner, while keeping it simple. It’s usually accompanied with a voiceover to help convey your message. Though just because most motion graphics are often minimalist, it doesn’t mean we can’t get crazy with it. Animation is limitless, and we LOVE challenges!

3. Infographics, the still version of Motion Graphics.
Infographics are a great way to explain yourself. They’re all the rage these days, and motion graphics are very similar! Essentially, motion graphics are the moving version of infographics! Both are visually enthralling, but Motion Graphics gives us a little bit of awesome added to the mix. Contact us for both!

Our jam is that we love helping you stand out. That’s just what we do, and we’re happy to do it for you. Get a hold of us and let’s see how we can set your motion graphics into… motion.

-The MOS Creative team.


PS: Check out our blog! Also, sorry for saying “jam”. It was dorky, but needed to be done.