Trending from G/L: Time Travel Maps

Ben Schwab
Creative Director

Trending from G/L: Time Travel Maps

How bored are you right this second? Do you currently find yourself tossing pencils upward in an attempt to harpoon the office ceiling? Maybe you’re on the couch binging this year’s Yule Log on Netflix for the second time while scrambling to complete last minute online gift shopping. In the midst of these activities you may begin to wish you had the ability to time travel and control time and space at your will. I’m happy to announce that this holiday season the power described has now been granted to you…sort of.

Since 1984 there have been annual mosaics painstakingly stitched together from satellite imagery of our earth’s surface. The public now has full, interactive access to these maps thanks to the work of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab and their Time Machine Library, along with the dedicated effort put forth by the team at Google. Together they have managed to painstakingly transform this immense, static archive of imagery into a user-friendly and navigable tool for exploring the face of our dynamic earth. The resulting images are visually striking and breathtaking in their intricate detail and scope.

It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

Along with the obvious novelty inherent in watching your hometown expand outwards over the course of three decades in less than three seconds, this tool also gifts us an opportunity to reflect on how we have and continue to impact our planet.

See anything cool recently? Have you figured out other ways to time travel? Send us a note using the form below:

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Ad Viewability: “Game of War”

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Ad Viewability: “Game of War”

Recently, Ken Wheaton of Advertising Age wrote an opinion piece on ad viewability. We shared the piece in our meeting this morning, and because “Game of War” ads make me want to pull my hair out, and I suppose more importantly because of viewability, I felt the need to share.

I’m with Ken on this one (aside from the “telling my 15-year-old boy self” part) I am over these ads. This seems to be a question of quantity of views versus clicks. We can all admit that viewability is important. Duh. You have to be seen to get engagement. However, I fully agree with Ken when he says that viewability is the bare minimum that we should be striving for.

Really, we (marketers, advertisers, publishers) should be using targeting and tracking (since, let’s be honest, so much of our data usage is tracked anyways) and tailor to the right audience to provide more applicable ads. This seems obvious – don’t we all know this? Aren’t most people already doing this? Yes, yet we still see “Game of War” ads, well…EVERYWHERE!

Ken makes a good point that he is the target audience for Kate Upton’s milk bath, but if he (as the targeted audience) has seen the ad X number of times and still has not clicked on it, at what point can the ads finally change? At what point can he finally see something else he might actually be interested in? At what point can I, part of the unintended audience, view something else I’m actually interested in? 

“In the digital and mobile spaces, what I’d rather see marketers and publishers focusing on is addressing the problems with targeting and tracking. If you’re following me around and scraping my data, you should be serving me better ads.” Ken Wheaton, AdAge

Ultimately, what I believe Ken is trying to express in his article, is that if we have our audience pinned, and we are targeting people who could actually be interested instead of just targeting everyone for quantity of views, then we can focus more on what will get that pinned viewer(ahem, the creative and content – what we are here for and what we love to do) to click and commit to what we are advertising.

As much as I truly believe that every single person reading this has seen a “Game of War” ad, the one Ken talks about is included below for reference.

Note: This is no reflection of the game itself. It could be great and entertaining, and I would have no idea – but that is the point! The annoyance of the ads have actually deterred me  from downloading the game. That is definitely not the purpose of advertisements. 

If you want to talk about your ad viewability, or what you can do to increase not only your viewability but your engagement and leads, lets talk. Fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly! If you want to learn more about making the most out of your ads and what to pair with them for better engagement, look out for Meg’s blog next week!

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Trending Now from G/L: The Evolving Content Landscape

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending Now from G/L: The Evolving Content Landscape


Every Monday morning, the G/L office starts our week by meeting together and updating everyone on new business, old business, this week’s needs, last week’s successes – all the good stuff. We always take time at the end of these meetings to discuss what is trending now in our marketing and design world. We decided that what we talk about isn’t only beneficial to us, but to our clients and followers – so throughout the week we share some of our favorite trends with you.


If you’ve been to a digital or general marketing conference during the past year, you’ve probably heard this phrase a lot: “Content is King,” or alternatively, “social media is gasoline; content is fire”.

Creating engaging content should be one of the biggest objectives for most brands for the foreseeable future. However, sometimes there is a disconnect in defining what engaging content actually looks like. While primarily text-based blogs (like this one!) are incredibly important, being creative about the vehicle that content is served on is evolving rapidly.

A recent article from Contently looks at three newer content formats that they expect to gain traction this year. Here are their insights compiled with our thoughts:

Branded Web Stories

The way that we view video has changed dramatically during the past decade. Heck, it’s changed a lot even in the past year. Consumers have continued to move away from the model that half-hour or hour-long TV shows to be viewed at a certain time are the only way that people can get their entertainment.

Branded Web Stories are a big part of the shift. While brands will continue to put versions of their commercials on sites like YouTube, many are going much further and creating stories that stand alone as entertainment in a way that viewers will actively seek out. The branded examples shown are high quality in every way possible. See the video Contently references below.

Plus, with how much YouTube celebrities are making these days, it doesn’t make sense to skimp on costs.

As the article states, nearly 80% of consumer Internet traffic will be video based within the next three years. The message seems clear: invest in video content now and stay ahead of the curve.

Interactive Infographics

Infographics have become exponentially more popular in recent years. They’ve created a compelling way to pull words and numbers together to create a puzzle that’s visually appealing to the viewer.

While static infographics have grown, some notable interactive infographics have captured the attention of viewers. Look out for our blog this week solely about interactive infographics.

Branded Comics

We preach the importance of telling compelling stories on a daily basis. A visual way to do that might crack through in 2015 through still comics and illustrations by telling and ongoing narrative. With this option in particular though, it’s important to make sure that the content fits your brand’s guidelines. See the cartoon Contently references below.

Content continues to grow as a marketing tool, but finding the right medium to use that content is half the battle. Our team is constantly looking for new ways to create and leverage digital content in a way that strongly resonates with the end user.

Want to talk more about creative content landscapes? Fill out the form below or email us at [email protected] and we will lend our time to discuss your digital, design and content needs.

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