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Getting Through It all Together

November 30, 2023

Written By:

Ryan Andrist

"Its not wether you get knocked down"

Name

If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who would you be? How exciting is it to think that you could start a new chapter in your life in a whole new world? Without the limitations of the physical world and human constructs that have been created around you?

Well that’s where the Metaverse comes in. There are whole new worlds being created out there that will remove the physical limitations of life and allow you to chase your dreams and be who you want to be.

Sounds pretty exciting right? Let’s dig in a little more to understand what this might look like.

SO, WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

Simply put, the Metaverse is the convergence of all the digital things you do online into one virtual experience.

In a sense, it already exists. We sit on Zoom calls, research on the web, talk on social media, buy things on Amazon, watch streaming events and online video, and play games. The Metaverse is already here.

But think of tying all of it together and removing some of the limitations that still exist in your physical life when you access the web.

But how is this all of the sudden now possible?

When I told my parents I was going to major in digital art, my decision was met with echoing questions:

“What even is that?”

“How are you going to make a living?”

Now 10 years out of college and as the Senior Digital Art Director at Karsh Hagan, I understand that these questions aren’t far from what we hear from prospects and clients on a daily basis.

“What is digital art, and how can it help our brand’s advertising strategy?” Let’s start from the top.

What is Digital Art?

Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process.

Digital art is all around us. It’s everywhere we look. From movies like Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ to apps like Instagram, digital art has introduced modes of storytelling that were once impossible, making it a valuable and limitless tool for advertising.

Why is Digital Art a Successful Marketing Tactic?

Now, more than ever, we’re a visually driven society. It’s no coincidence that we’re naturally drawn to images, when you consider that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual, and that our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. The brain’s preference for images even impacts how memory is formed as 80% of people remember what they see, compared to 20 percent of what they read. That makes digital art an especially important tactic for brands looking to create a campaign that’s as efficient as it is impactful.

What is the Difference Between Digital Art and Traditional Art?

When it comes to advertising, the difference between digital art and traditional art is simple. There are no gatekeepers. Anyone with a phone in their pocket and a little bit of creativity can create and share their art. Unlike the billboards or magazines of the past, online apps allow artists to instantly publish their work for free for all to see.

The success of digital art within that context comes down to ROI. Delivering the highest return on your investment requires the ability to measure, analyze, and adapt your strategy – it requires the ability to learn. Digital art is iterative and efficient – allowing us to easily track engagement rates that let us fail fast, tweak, and refine. We can then use that information to employ data-proven digital art across all marketing channels, ultimately delivering a product that best serves your brand and your audience.

How You Can Use Digital Art In Brand Advertising

At Karsh Hagan, we have used our understanding to create beautiful and effective marketing campaigns for our clients. For VISIT DENVER we created an immersive world that targeted convention planners all over the country. We created three unique videos, using 2.5D animation. These videos were seen by over 462,610 people and counting! Check out the work here:

At Karsh Hagan, we have used our understanding to create beautiful and effective marketing campaigns for our clients. For VISIT DENVER we created an immersive world that targeted convention planners all over the country. We created three unique videos, using 2.5D animation. These videos were seen by over 462,610 people and counting! Check out the work here:

HOW TO BE NIMBLE AMIDST A GLOBAL HEALTHCARE CRISIS

In February, COVID-19 reached the United States and began spreading like wildfire. By March, we declared a state of a national emergency. Then words like “social-distancing” and “quarantine” became commonplace in our vocabulary. With all this came fear and uncertainty around one of the things that concerns us most: Our health.

Quickly, we turned our eyes to the medical community for answers and, of course, a vaccine.

CU ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS “BREAKTHROUGH”

As one of the leading medical destinations in the world, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz) tackles the toughest diseases on the planet.

In 2019, Karsh Hagan launched “This Is Breakthrough,” the first-ever brand advertising campaign for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. It was designed to elevate the campus as a unique place that combines education, research, and patient care. A campus with the brightest brains and the best technology on the planet, united by one common goal — to end the biggest threats to our health, for good.

At the start of 2020, this courageous campaign got a bold follow up built on a similar foundation. It featured a confident narrator telling nasty illnesses, viruses and diseases to run and hide. Of course, CU Anschutz advancements in research around heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other major medical issues inspired this ad. But COVID-19 was a novel, never-before-seen virus. And it was slowly infiltrating our lives.

So with a campaign in-market through June that had strong media pull, but less power due to the mystery of COVID-19, it was time to bring ourselves into the “New Normal.”

Ever-ready, our Karsh Hagan Plan Ahead Team asked:

  • Should CU Anschutz’s media assets go dark?
  • Would we risk losing the momentum gained?
  • How do we push through the noise?

But our biggest question of all was: What should the message be?

With CU Anschutz being one of the leading medical campuses in the world, what could it tell the people listening now, more than ever before?

CRISIS MANAGEMENT 101: CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

Our Plan Ahead Team acknowledged that the world was uncertain about what this "New Normal" looked like. So our active and bold “breakthrough” messaging, although very fitting to the CU Anschutz brand, needed to evolve to address our changing world.

The right thing to do as a trusted medical campus was to be empathetic, understanding, and, most importantly, relevant.

To achieve this, we worked to shed light on the doctors, nurses and researchers in the trenches fighting COVID-19. In a landscape where everyone else was saying “thank you” to the frontlines for their service, we reinforced that by showing CU Anschutz as a place where “breakthrough” is constant. A place where the relentless pursuit of solutions to complex illnesses is the top priority.  

CRISIS PIVOT: BE QUICK, BUT NIMBLE

Not only did we pivot the CU Anschutz creative message, we also evaluated the media plan to ensure our new messaging would connect with audiences in the appropriate spaces.

With new developments, information, and regulations constantly evolving — we needed a plan that was versatile and could adjust to the constantly shifting media landscape. We utilized the remainder of our broadcast TV schedule, coupled with a strong digital plan, including:

  • Connected TV
  • Social
  • Display
  • Digital radio
  • Pay-Per-Click
  • Native Advertising

Once we received the green light from CU Anschutz to pivot our messaging and media, the clock started ticking.

COMING TOGETHER AS A CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM

Together, we had to replace our current campaign, and fast. To meet the next broadcast flight, we needed to turn around a new TV spot in two weeks, with various versions, that could all correspond to our digital tactics.

To achieve this, our team focused on a succinct, yet nimble action plan, and jumped in with both feet knowing it would probably change by the hour.

This meant creating a new script in 24 hours, creating storyboards in 48 hours, getting approvals in 72 hours, gathering assets in 96 hours. Editing, versioning, and tactical executioning came together during the final four days, so we could traffic one day early.

EARNING RESULTS THROUGH CRISIS PLANNING

On April 13th we launched the new CU Anschutz campaign entitled “Through It All” with resounding support and pride from everyone involved. Despite navigating uncharted territory with many constraints, we organized a fully integrated and focused campaign that delivered something contextually relevant to our target audiences.

After six weeks, “Through It All” got even more engagement than our previous successful campaigns:  

  • Video Completion Rate: 80% (53% benchmark)
  • Video Completions: 5.6M
  • Video View Duration: 87%* (50-60% benchmark)*During the campaign we saw Video View Duration hover at 100% for several weeks.
  • Total Organic Social mentions achieved the same number in less time and surpassed the number of Positive Social mentions.

Our work is far from over. With the threat of a COVID-19 resurgence on the horizon and a need for more medical resources to provide information and find a vaccine, more difficult decisions must be made.

We’ll continue to look to CU Anschutz doctors, nurses, and researchers to show us what “This Is Breakthrough” really means by communicating that we will get “Through it All” … together.

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