TV Ratings 101
The Project: ESPN was looking for a way to make the explanation of how the TV ratings systems works simple and interesting—at least engaging enough to keep the audience awake. With direction to create something reminiscent of “Schoolhouse Rock,” meets “Sesame Street,” JESS3 created a five-minute animation with an old-school, 1970’s ESPN SportsCenter vibe to walk viewers through the television ratings process.
Our Methodology: We began by breaking down the process into an uncomplicated, easy-to-understand script. We then decided to add some spice with a fun theme, as well as some humor to keep the audience interested. In a last-minute creative lighting bolt, our motion team came up with the brilliant idea to use puppets, along with papercut, to really give it that nostalgic “Sesame Street” feel. Once we had these elements in place, our set designers got to work building the various sets, creating the hundreds of papercut pieces, and modifying the puppets. After the VO was recorded, we worked with professional puppeteers who tracked the VO with the ESPN puppets. Finally, it was all brought together under the creative direction of motion creative director and the many hard-working team members.
Behind The Scenes: We wanted to showcase how much hard work goes into the video from ideation to creating and dressing the puppets, to drawing and cutting the paper cut outs to photographing and animating them. We spoke with our puppet maker, paper artist, set designer, our VP of Production and Art Director to get the full picture.
The Results: A fun, kitschy-yet-entertaining journey through the way in which television ratings are calculated. The video transports the viewer back to the set of ESPN SportsCenter in the 1970s, where it looks as if nothing has been changed since that time. Two macho, mildly self-obsessed with a touch of Anchorman-esque news anchors, Chip and Clay, take the viewer through the ratings process using a series of visual aids and animations.
Client Reaction: This was the most fun my team has had in a while. We’re always trying to make seemingly dry topics come to life in fun yet simple ways, and JESS3 helped us bring “TV Ratings 101” to life in a completely original way. It was a collaborative process from the start and the final product is even better than we could have imagined. Chip, Clay, and Baxter may become ESPN’s favorite new “employees”.
Called “The Essential Guide to Facebook Emoticons,” The Next Web premiered JESS3’s graphic outlining how to create emoticons in Facebook messages, comments and chats. Displaying everything from Chris Putnam to a penguin, the emoticons and their keyboard shortcuts give users a wide breadth of fun options. As noted by The Next Web, JESS3’s graphic reveals the tricks of the keyboard shortcut trade to solve an “age-old problem” — expressing one’s excitement, or penguin obsession, through Facebook of course.
JESS3’s founder, Jesse Thomas, sat down with Marketing Land as one of 8 industry experts, including other designers and top level executives, to answer the questions “What makes an excellent infographic?” and “What should my expectations be for an infographic?” Jesse stressed in his answers that infographics need to be beautiful, but also meaningful and have the data to back them up, because “the primary purpose of an infographic is to spark informed conversation and action.” He also noted that “An infographic should be intelligent and tell the audience something they don’t already know, but say it with words and terms they do.”
Mashable highlighted JESS3’s lo-fi approach to self-marketing at SXSWi 2013: posters. The site reported that for a conference positioned around new trends and cutting-edge technology, posters remain an effective and popular means of marketing. Tech start-ups have to compete for top-of-mind exposure at the annual interactive festival, driving companies to lace-up their shoes and go “old school” with marketing visuals. Mashable quoted CEO and founder, Jesse Thomas, as a leader in this trend, and someone who knows the “fight for space” is worth the return via logo exposure and business inquiries.
Infographic and data visualization community Visual.ly featured The Workplace Zodiac, an infographic created by JESS3 for Mindjet, on its front page. Outlining the dynamics of different Work Personality Types, the infographic was the final piece of Mindjet’s Workology series, which examines every team member’s role for maximizing team success. Although the project’s original intention was to drive brand awareness, Mindjet incorporated the series into their sales team’s efforts as well. The infographic is now in the top 5% of Business content on Visual.ly.
Mashable featured JESS3’s Creepy Cupid series of digital valentines as part of their Valentine’s Day coverage, publicizing their humour and connection to the all-too-real online world of dating. Our graphics, called a “hilarious set,” use real quotes from online dating site OKCupid to encapsulate the boldness — and the trepidations — of online dating. Ranging from the silly to the outright absurd, the shareable cards were optimized for social media and capitalized on the hashtag #CreepyCupid. Mashable noted that regardless of whether love is blind, our playful graphics are “all the visualization you need.”
JESS3’s third version of the Geosocial Universe premiered in an exclusive on The Next Web, one of the world’s largest online tech publishers. The Geosocial Universe 3.0 illustrates the vastness of geosocial networking, highlighting the major social networks as planets orbitting the "sun" of nearly 6 billion global mobile devices — “depicting exactly where mobile stands in today’s ecosystem.” The Next Web noted how the Geosocial Universe 3.0 sheds light on growing mobile traffic, showing “just how big those numbers have become” in the ever-expanding geosocial-sphere.
The Huffington Post’s Los Angeles vertical spotlighted “Coachella by the Likes,” JESS3’s infographic examining Coachella’s roster by number of “Likes” each band has on Facebook. We matched the number of Facebook fans per musical act with their graphic presence on the annual Coachella lineup poster. Making use of the Facebook-liking, data-driven generation, the resulting visualization triggered insightful discoveries about the festival’s lineup. The Huffington Post used our findings to surmise whether “Coachella's iconic poster [does] justice to the most popular acts when it comes to prominence and font size.”
iMedia Connection named JESS3 to the iMedia 25 agency list, recognizing JESS3 as a key agency that has advanced interactive marketing through big ideas, brilliant creative, cutting-edge technology, and the passionate pursuit of excellence in the digital space. Citing our work with Samsung, ESPN, American Express, and recent partnership with the Google Politics and Elections team for the 2012 National Conventions, the article states, “JESS3 has a gift for turning numbers into stories and a passion for creating content strategies that resonate over the long haul.”