In the Summer of 2013, we began chronicling the dynamic impact made by Friends Outside throughout California in their 2012-2013 Annual Report. We needed something very powerful and incorporated qualitative research, strategic marketing planning and organizational visioning to tell their story. Their narrative was authenticated by the results they had experienced over the previous 12 months and the last 50+ years of service. We also took the bold step of integrating historical newspaper clippings, old photographs, and original artwork from the children of incarcerated parents to design a vibrant Annual Report that ultimately served to inform and inspire readers. The AR was disseminated in early 2014 both as a PDF through email and printed copies through regular mail. We offer it as a highly refined model of 21st Century marketing, conceptual graphic design and creative writing.
Research, Advertising & Marketing
The fine art of marketing transformation and possibilities . . .
In his 1983 book, “The Marketing Imagination,” Harvard’s Theodore Levitt described marketing as the process of getting and keeping customers. As marketers, we take our cues from the needs of our customers-the buyers of our products or services. Therefore we need to create and implement strategies that make people want to do business with us.
Our marketing and advertising services include the development of a strategy that identifies your marketing goals, explains how the strategy will be achieved and integrates the promotion of your product or service. Each element of a marketing strategy becomes part of a process that is both cause and effect for the other elements. Measuring the effectiveness of these components can be critical to your overall marketing success.
Our Services Generally Include:
Strategic marketing consulting and planning
Organizational identity development
Branding and logo development
Advertising and multimedia production
Web site content scripting and development
YouTube video clip production and site development
Political marketing resource development
Product packaging design
Focus group marketing research
Full-service advertising placement agency
In 2010, after an intense competitive process involving creative proposals from some of California’s best ad agencies, Moonshadow was awarded a contract by San Joaquin County Public Health Services to produce a multimedia campaign to reduce the spread of influenza. It involved qualitative research, strategic marketing planning, development of an ad-buy strategy, script writing, graphic design, and the production of display ads, animations, web, radio and television public service announcements. The campaign was anchored by an algorithm depicting the effects of the flu and the various activities that reduce its spread. Our public service announcements were tested in focus group sessions and refined based on the feedback we received from participants. In sum, we created a campaign that made people want to “do business with us.”
Click Image to View PDF
Click Image to View PDF
Radio and Video Ad's - Example
John Kyle Law - Radio Bankruptcy
John Kyle Law - Video
Political Campaigns: Consulting, Marketing & Advertising
Political Campaigns are the union of Marketing Consulting, Graphic Design, and Advertising. They must be grounded on a solid issue or candidate which begins with a well-conceived platform, i.e. marketing. We observe that while many campaigns may begin with what¹s wrong, they quickly fizzle if the basis for the campaign offers no real vision for improvement. For that reason a marketing strategy for the candidate or issue is essential. Furthermore, the advertising that conveys the marketing message must be equal to the task. The American Research Group offers ten rules for more effective advertising and we offer the following examples of our work. (http://americanresearchgroup.com/adrules/)
Previous Work - Video Ads
Our Best Days Are In Front Of Us
Welcome & Vision
Previous Work - Graphics
(click below to view PDFs)
Ten Rules for More Effective Advertising
1. Does the ad tell a simple story, not just convey information?
A good story has a beginning where a sympathetic character encounters a
complicating situation, a middle where the character confronts and attempts
to resolve the situation, and an end where the outcome is revealed. A good
story does not interpret or explain the action in the story for the
audience. Instead, a good story allows each member of the audience to
interpret the story as he or she understands the action. This is why people
find good stories so appealing and why they find advertising that simply
conveys information so boring.
2. Does the ad make the desired call to action a part of the story?
A good story that is very entertaining but does not make a direct connection
between the desired call to action - the purpose of the ad - and the story
is just a very entertaining story. The whole point of the story in
advertising is to effectively deliver the desired call to action. If the
audience does not clearly understand the desired call to action after seeing
the ad, then there is no point in running the ad. Contrary to popular
belief, having an entertaining story and clearly delivering the desired call
to action are not mutually exclusive.
3. Does the ad use basic emotional appeals?
Experiences that trigger our emotions are saved and consolidated in lasting
memory because the emotions generated by the experiences signal our brains
that the experiences are important to remember. There are eight basic,
universal emotions - joy, surprise, anticipation, acceptance, fear, anger,
sadness, and disgust. Successful appeals to these basic emotions consolidate
stories and the desired calls to action in the lasting memories of
audiences. An added bonus is that successful emotional appeals limit the
number of exposures required for audiences to understand, learn, and respond
to the calls to action - people may only need to see emotionally compelling
scenes once and they will remember those scenes for a lifetime.
4. Does the ad use easy arguments?
"Jumping to conclusions" literally gave our ancestors an advantage even when
the conclusions that made them jump were wrong because delaying actions to
review information could have deadly consequences. Easy arguments are the
conclusions people reach using inferences without a careful review of
available information. Find and use easy arguments that work because it is
almost impossible to succeed when working against them.
5. Does the ad show, and not tell?
"Seeing is believing" and "actions speak louder than words" are two common
sayings that reflect a bias and preference for demonstrated behavior. This
is especially true when interests may not be the same. Assume audiences are
skeptical about any advertising and design advertising that shows and does
6. Does the ad use symbolic language and images that relate to the senses?
People prefer symbolic language and images that relate to the senses. People
are far less receptive and responsive to language and images that relate to
concepts. Life is experienced through the senses and using symbolic language
and images that express what people feel, see, hear, smell, or taste are
easier for people to understand, even when used to describe abstract
concepts. The language and images used in advertising should "make sense" to
7. Does the ad match what viewers see with what they hear?
People expect and prefer coordinated audio and visual messages because those
messages are easier to process and understand. Audio and visual messages
that are out-of-sync may gain attention, but audiences find them
8. Does the ad stay with a scene long enough for impact?
People have limited mental processing capacities. Quick cuts to different
scenes require people to devote more of their limited resources to following
the cuts and less resources to processing each scene. It takes people
between eight and ten seconds to process and produce a lasting emotional
response to a scene. Camera movement or different camera angles of the same
scene can engage people through their orienting responses while providing
enough time for them to process the scene.
9. Does the ad let powerful video speak for itself?
Again, the processing capacity of our brains is limited and words may get in
the way of emotionally powerful visual images. When powerful visual images
dominate - when "a picture is worth a thousand words" - be quiet and let the
images do the talking.
10. Does the ad use identifiable music?
Music can be a rapidly identified cue for the recall of emotional responses
remembered from previous advertising. Making the same music an identifiable
aspect of all advertising signals the audience to pay attention for more
Andie Daste Measure H #2, Music Credits:
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)
Performed by Spanky & Our Gang:
John Seiter <>
Our slogan is "Better Productions Through Research" and the reason for that is all our productions begin with qualitative research.
Qualitative Research normally involves focus groups or project teams to explore the heart of issues like: "What do your customers truly want?" It provides a method for discovering underlying perceptions and attitudes of the people who are important to your organization. And unlike quantitative research which is predictive, qualitative research is descriptive.
Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people's attitudes, behavior, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. It’s used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research. While focus groups, in-depth interviews, and content analysis are among the many formal approaches that are used, qualitative research also involves the analysis of any unstructured material, including customer feedback forms, reports or evaluating media clips to refine the content or message delivery. (http://www.qsrinternational.com)
In a 2010 public service campaign that we developed for San Joaquin County Public Health Services, qualitative research was used to gain understanding of community perceptions concerning the H1N1 Flu epidemic and the vaccine that was being provided to combat it.The resulting information became an essential element of the scripts used in the public service announcements (psa’s) that we produced to inform the public on how to prevent the spread of the flu. Qualitative research was then used to evaluate and refine the message in each psa. Its application at various phases of media development was strategically critical to developing a highly effective campaign that systematically answered the needs of a community.
We manage all phases of your research project including consulting, design, recruiting, moderation and reporting. Whether the research is part of a video production or marketing consulting you can rely on the quality of the information that's developed to help you gain valuable insight.