We don’t blush when it comes to talking about money. Figuring out the optimum marketing budget for your business is important — it shouldn’t be a delicate conversation, it should be right out in the open. Clear communication about a budget helps set expectations for you and your marketing team, and is central to building an effective, goal-oriented marketing plan.

Some things never go out of style. Other things are out of date almost the second they’re out of the store. In order to be effective, today’s marketing and advertising often requires a combination of traditional (direct mail, billboards, radio/tv), as well as newer and emerging tactics (social selling, highly targeted audience segmentation, experiential marketing).

social media engagement photographic concept

If you want your brand to get noticed on social media—and you should—you need to give your audience compelling content. Content that’s eye­catching, heartwarming, brain­-scratching or otherwise unavoidably engaging.

When it comes to content marketing, at Innovative Advertising we encourage our clients to think beyond direct response strategies and focus more on engagement and awareness. Online and broadcast video provides a medium where viewers can experience your message with very little effort.

Disney Research Zürich has released a white paper on the newly developed algorithms and methods used by their system to redirect scenes after they have been shot. Aptly named FaceDirector—the system allows a director to seamless adjust the facial expressions and delivery of an actor by utilizing multiple production takes.

In television and film production one of the key elements to successful storytelling is the performance of the actors. A key hurdle for a director to overcome is pushing actors to convey believable emotions with appropriate facial expressions, speed and timing. FaceDirector could change how advertisements, long format programming and films are created.

Innovative’s Senior Video Editor, Rick Nelson, was recently asked by his alma mater, ‘The Factory,’ to write some advice for their current body of film students. Here’s what he had to say.

An open letter to all film students:

Create. Design. Produce.

Once you think you’ve created enough… do twice as much… then do three times as much.

For the first time Pantone has chosen two colors to represent the year, and 2016’s are Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Or to those outside the design world, baby pink and baby blue. We’ve seen loud, vibrant colors for most of their selections, but this year sees pastel, silvery hues.

With North America’s biggest shopping period rapidly approaching, retailers and their marketers focus on demographies and how to best attract them. Millennials always seem to be at the forefront of these efforts as one of the most desirable consumer groups. Some research provided by Influenster gives us insight into their potential Black Friday behavior. Perhaps surprisingly, many plan to visit an actual store to participate in Black Friday festivities. Of the 93% of millennials that plan to shop over the holiday weekend, only 26% said they would be shopping more on Cyber Monday. The fact that many in this group are physically hitting the stores is also eye-opening considering their digital-heavy lifestyles.

If you stop by TheAdvocate.com as part of your daily browsing, you may have noticed something a bit off – the entire site.

The Advocate’s site was inaccessible today, because the domain was not renewed. This small detail caused the entire web presence of The Advocate to be rendered inaccessible.

Fortunately, the publication was able to secure the domain before any trolls were able to hold it hostage, but propagation across the web is still not complete. In some cases, it can take 24-48 hours for a site’s updated status to reach every internet service provider, such as Cox or AT&T.

Nope, not the Thanksgiving kind. Some TV networks are using a tactic known as ad stuffing to bolster ad revenues, with AMC pushing in an additional 10% of ad inventory into Q2.

Perhaps an effort to safeguard against shrinking viewership, the end result is just more and more ads for viewers, many of whom have grown accustomed to commercial-free environments like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. On some level, increased ad loads will just drive people even further into the arms of streaming services, contributing to that same viewership decline.