Raising the TXT Generation

It was new years eve 2012 and we were having a few people over for the celebration. As always kids headed upstairs to play in their bedroom and parents hung downstairs enjoying a drink or two before midnight. 8 Months later I found out that a young boy had texted my daughter a picture of his penis on that night and changed my life forever. As a father I couldn’t imagine that the talk about boys would begin when an inappropriate text is sent at the age of 11. Malicious or not this careless act of sending a picture like this at such a young age shocked me as I thought I was monitoring everything my kids were doing. I felt I was technology-savvy enough to know if anything like this was happening. Turns out I much like many parents had not been watching close enough and had not had the conversation with my kids early enough.


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This event had been eating away at me for many months. I felt the meeting with the the boy’s parents was a good first step, but the knowing that I am not the only parent going through this or needs to have a tough conversation about this with their kids my first instinct was to create a film about the incident.

It is my goal with this film to bring awareness to parents about how much can happen to our children even when we are doing our very best to protect them. While my incident happened to my daughter it is clear that this can happen to boys and there is no clear cut answer to help protect our children other than have the conversation with your kids about acceptable behavior online and the potential consequences of sharing too much.

Experience Marketing with video

Kit & Gary Erickson
Kit & Gary Erickson (Photo: Bart Nagel)

When it comes to staying ahead of the competition I have been writing a lot about experiential marketing and visually helping your customers and audience identify with your brand or products.  This is the cornerstone of today’s marketing as people don’t want to be sold, they don’t want to be told your product is better than another, they simply want to understand how you are going to make their lives easier, better and more fulfilled.  Kevin Cleary (CEO of Clifbar) laid out his future for the company today with an ending note that sticks with me.  When asked how he planned on executing on the new (but always part of ) slogan for the company “We Feed and inspire the Adventure in all of us” he simply said “We have a lot of stories to share…”.

Video Shoot Employee Experience | Setla
Kevin Clear – CEO Clifbar

What this meant for me and in my business is that it is obvious that there are companies out there that get it, get that stories are a huge part of a companies culture and how they can relate to the customer and are committed to sharing those stories online including the employees’ stories. How is your company preparing to tell those stories?

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    What length of video should I make?

    slateI think the majority of people when they first start thinking about doing a video they think short.  Perhaps it is cost, perhaps it is pretty engrained that today’s attention span is short and they want the most of of the attention they will get.  The question to ask yourself is do you want 8 out of 10 targeted viewers that you know understand your business or product and will see the value or do you want 50 of 100 random viewers that may have no desire to ever purchase your product, but saw the video?  Views doesn’t necessarily equate to ROI, but now lets get back to length.

    Length of video depends on just how much message you can pack into a visual.  Are we needing to share with the world why you are in business?  Or are we on a simple mission to demonstrate the use of a product?  While usually shorter is better,  shorter is also harder. Shorter seems riskier because you necessarily have to leave things out and narrow down your message to a very few key ideas. That’s tough to do. As online attention spans continue to shrink, ‘shorter’ should definitely be the target. ‘Shorter’ is a guideline not a rule, however. If you are creating a product demo, a training video or something else for someone much further along the sales cycle – then these audiences may want more information, they may want more detail. The length of your video then really depends on the motivation of your viewer. A good rule of thumb for promotional videos (targeting the ‘awareness’ or’ interest’ phases of the sales cycle) is between one an two minutes in length. Your video needs to be succinct, it needs to include targeted, relevant information and it better be interesting. Answer this question: How long do you need to get to the point of your video?