Does your experience trigger dopamine?

“A dopamine release tells the brain that whatever it just experienced is worth getting more of. And that helps people change their behaviors in ways that will help them attain more of the rewarding item or experience.” – Bethany Brookshire, Science News For Students

DOPAMINE. IT ACTIVATES CURIOSITY, EXCITEMENT & WONDER.

IT ACTIVATES THE PLEASURE CENTERS IN OUR BRAIN.

WE ARE MOVERS-AND-MAKERS OF MOVING PICTURES AND MOVING EXPERIENCES THAT MOVE PEOPLE. 

“Surprise, mystery and anticipation boost our dopamine levels, which triggers attraction and excitement. When new stimuli are involved, our brain releases more dopamine giving us a shot of pleasure.” TEDx

“Surprise by definition feeds off our love for the unexpected. Surprise is your brain’s way of alerting you to pay attention, which in turn activates curiosity, excitement and wonder.” TEDx 

So when audience members say, “…the second it was over? We wanted to see it again.”

-Cruise Radio, on Carnival Cruise Line’s “Celestial Strings” 2018

YOUR EXPERIENCE HAS TRIGGERED DOPAMINE AND YOU HAVE EARNED LOYALTY.

Stories To Mobilize People

Stimulated.TV

Every nonprofit is in constant need of help, but many fall short because they don’t know how to use media to mobilize people.

“When you fall into the trap of creating a laundry list of your daily activities, you run the risk of overwhelming the reader and losing their attention.” – Lindsay Crossland, The Salvation Army

Stimulated.TV knows how to produce emotional stories about your mission in pictures and video on social media.

“We have a tendency to create content heavy websites when people want to see your stories in pictures and video.” – Gloria Horsley, Open To Hope

We are emotional content experts who understand media & technology.

“Most nonprofits are passionate but they don’t know how to use media to mobilize people. We solve this with emotional stories & a clear call to action. – Robb Wagner, Stimulated.TV

EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF GLOBAL COLLABORATION

STIMULATED.WORKS ANIMATION STUDIO

Stimulated.Works™ is an animation studio that looks at global collaboration differently than firms look at the outsourcing of production.

When we considered the role of global collaboration in our company, we made long-term investments to develop collaborative capabilities. We redesigned our company to increase the effectiveness of these efforts.

We go beyond simple wage arbitrage, asking partners to contribute knowledge and skills with a focus on innovation.

Here’s what people in different industries are saying…

“A unique, smart and very effective way of creating great content.”
– Dan Hadley, Production Designer, Foo Fighters

“Their animation make our reels sizzle.”
– Tim Bock, SVP Unscripted & Alternative, Global Road Entertainment

“The secret weapon my clients use to tap into the global workforce of animation talent.”
– Joel Pilger, Creative Business Consultant, RevThink

See for yourself

Call us today 818.853.9000 X1

Project Refill 90™

STIMULATED.TV – PRODUCE WITH PURPOSE™ 

Stories To Mobilize People™

You’ve never seen this campaign before.

Registered: Writers Guild of America – Copyright 2018 © Stimulated-Inc. All Rights Reserved

Project Refill 90

MISSION – Increase refillable water bottles on soccer fields

Water and plastic are multi-billion dollar industries with problems to solve.

  • Project Refill 90™ innovates, implements and showcases solutions.
  • Project Refill 90™ educates, inspires, and mobilizes youth soccer players and their families.
  • Project Refill 90™ is a multi-channel media and experience campaign.

5-PILLAR APPROACH™ – Brand. Talent. People. Platform. Cause.

  • Start-off with a mass body of people
  • Ask people to buy into a lifestyle rather than a product
  • Make your most active users part of your story

Project Refill 90 Pillars

  1. Brands: (In-development)
  2. Talent: Professional MLS soccer players. Soccer influencers
  3. People: Youth soccer players & parents. MLS soccer fans.
  4. Platform: Stimulated.TV. Pillar partner channels
  5. Causes: Algalita + Surfrider Foundation

PROJECT REFILL 90™ CONCEPTS – [IN DEVELOPMENT]

  • Distribute refillable bottles at soccer fields
  • Ongoing media production, distribution & PR
  • Innovate a next-generation water refill solution for soccer fields
  • Promote events at professional soccer matches
  • Produce local events in soccer communities
  • Hold contests
  • Innovate gear made from recycled plastic
  • Add refillable bottles to youth soccer kits
  • Develop new field-side water rules
  • Refill 90 Cup™
  • Refill 90 Heroes™
  • Refill 90 Tank™
  • Bottle art

FOR BRANDS – THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INSPIRE CONSUMERS BY SHOWING WHAT YOUR BRAND STANDS FOR

READ WHY

Nonprofit brands and cultural brands may have just as much or actually more power to [mobilize people] than some of the biggest for-profit brands that spend billions of dollars in marketing. The 20th-century model was for brands to just sell things to people–buy paid media, interrupt people’s days, and implant a purchase intent in them. Whereas in the 21st century, the great brands will inspire people around something bigger than just consumption and will actually inspire people around the mission, the purpose that the brand stands for.” –ENSO/Quadrant Strategies survey of 6,000 consumers

Read the full report on Fast Company

“The most successful brands in the digital age focus on users not buyers. Purchase brands focus on the “moments of truth” that happen before the transaction, such as researching, shopping, and buying the product. By contrast, usage brands focus on the moments of truth that happen after the transaction, whether in delivery, service, education, or sharing. The benefits of shifting from purchase to usage are reinforced by our research.” -SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift survey of 5,000 US consumers

Read the full report on Harvard Business Review

CONTACT

Email Robb Wagner or call 818-853-9000 x1

STIMULATED.TV PRODUCE WITH PURPOSE

Registered: Writers Guild of America – Copyright 2018 © Stimulated-Inc. All Rights Reserved

Stimulated.TV

PRODUCE WITH PURPOSE™ 

Stories To Mobilize People™

Hello World! We’re Stimulated.TV. 

Missions

People want to see your stories in pictures & video. We’re here to help you. Let’s be friends and get started.

+ READ WHY

Every nonprofit is in constant need of help, but many fall short because they don’t know how to use media to mobilize people.

“When you fall into the trap of creating a laundry list of your daily activities, you run the risk of overwhelming the reader and losing their attention.” – Lindsay Crossland, The Salvation Army

Stimulated.TV knows how to produce emotional stories about your mission in pictures and video on social media.

“We have a tendency to create content heavy websites when people want to see your stories in pictures and video.” – Gloria Horsley, Open To Hope

We are emotional content experts who understand media & technology.

“Most nonprofits are very passionate but they don’t know how to use media to mobilize people. We solve this with emotional stories and a clear call to action. – Robb Wagner, Stimulated.TV

BRANDS

INSPIRE CONSUMERS BY SHOWING WHAT YOUR BRAND STANDS FOR

+ READ WHY

Nonprofit brands and cultural brands may have just as much or actually more power to [mobilize people] than some of the biggest for-profit brands that spend billions of dollars in marketing. The 20th-century model was for brands to just sell things to people–buy paid media, interrupt people’s days, and implant a purchase intent in them. Whereas in the 21st century, the great brands will inspire people around something bigger than just consumption and will actually inspire people around the mission, the purpose that the brand stands for.” –ENSO/Quadrant Strategies survey of 6,000 consumers

Read the full report on Fast Company

“The most successful brands in the digital age focus on users not buyers. Purchase brands focus on the “moments of truth” that happen before the transaction, such as researching, shopping, and buying the product. By contrast, usage brands focus on the moments of truth that happen after the transaction, whether in delivery, service, education, or sharing. The benefits of shifting from purchase to usage are reinforced by our research.” -SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift survey of 5,000 US consumers

Read the full report on Harvard Business Review

Stimulated.TV is a sister-company of Stimulated-Inc. Original In Every Sense

STIMULATED.TV – PRODUCE WITH PURPOSE

Stories To Mobilize People™

The Pillar System™

INSPIRE CONSUMERS BY SHOWING WHAT YOUR BRAND STANDS FOR

 

MAKING BRAND CONTENT & CAMPAIGNS WITH A PURPOSE.

SHIFTING FOCUS ON CONSUMERS FROM BUYERS TO USERS.

WHY

Nonprofit brands and cultural brands may have just as much or actually more power to [mobilize people] than some of the biggest for-profit brands that spend billions of dollars in marketing. The 20th-century model was for brands to just sell things to people–buy paid media, interrupt people’s days, and implant a purchase intent in them. Whereas in the 21st century, the great brands will inspire people around something bigger than just consumption and will actually inspire people around the mission, the purpose that the brand stands for.” –ENSO/Quadrant Strategies survey of 6,000 consumers

Read the report on Fast Company

“The most successful brands in the digital age focus on users not buyers. Purchase brands focus on the “moments of truth” that happen before the transaction, such as researching, shopping, and buying the product. By contrast, usage brands focus on the moments of truth that happen after the transaction, whether in delivery, service, education, or sharing. The benefits of shifting from purchase to usage are reinforced by our research.” -SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift survey of 5,000 US consumers

Read the report on Harvard Business Review

HOW

Our Pillar System™ brings together 5 pillars with a shared interest and values.

  1. Brand
  2. Talent
  3. Community
  4. Platform
  5. Cause

The 5 pillars form a support structure upon which successful brand content & campaigns with a purpose can be built.

We apply our Molding & Breaking process to build it.

1. INSIGHT AN EMOTION from your message & medium and our inspiration.

2. INNOVATE AN APPROACH to elicit that emotion, directly or indirectly.

3. INCITE A REVELATION as we elicit the emotion in the community.

4. ENTICE THE WORLD with the ripples of the innovation.

WHAT

The Pillar System™ is a new approach to producing successful brand content & campaigns with a purpose.

A WIN FOR THE WORLD

  • Brand increases user community
  • Talent increases revenue
  • Community increases empowerment
  • Platform increases engagement
  • Cause increases donations, engagement and awareness
  • We all help make the world better

If you are a brand, talent, community, platform or cause, let us identify opportunities for you.

Email us to schedule a meeting or call 818-853-9000 x1.

 

Dimensional AR™

New opportunities for Broadcast Events

Problems with augmented reality at broadcast events:

  • The in-person audience can’t see the AR
  • The TV Director can’t capture AR in the lens

Solution: Dimensional AR™

  • Visible to the in-person audience
  • Visible to the TV Director’s lens

The effect is made with a proprietary projection screen and specialized content.

“Everybody wants AR and holograms for their TV shows. There’s no such thing as a hologram. Traditional AR is problematic for broadcast. So this is the effect we’re excited to explore.” – Robb Wagner

Email robb@stimulated-inc.com for more information.

The video below was made without any VFX post production. The entire video was captured live in the lens using a combination of background projection and Dimensional AR.

Film credit: McGarryBowen/Found-Studio

 

Millennials don’t want your MTV but they do want your cruise ship

Can the cruise industry rescue broadcast entertainment from irrelevance?

By Robb Wagner

I’ve been working in the cruise line industry and network broadcast industry in parallel for about six years now. Here I’m sharing my inside perspective of two industries, one in decline and one on the rise.

Slide from the 2017 Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) State Of The Industry Report

When I was first invited by Carnival Cruise Line to fly to Italy and look at one of their brand-new ships in the shipyard, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been on a cruise ship before let alone a Carnival cruise ship. I didn’t know much about the brand but I had heard of the ‘booze cruise’. And besides, cruise lines still had the reputation for stale chorus-line entertainment. But when I stepped onboard Carnival Magic I was blown away. She was stunning. Sure, I’ve been part of some of the biggest TV events, concert tours and live experiences on record, including the Academy Awards, Live Earth and the Super Bowl Half Time Show. But I had never seen anything like a brand new cruise ship. It became instantly clear that Carnival was not working for today but for the future.

Developing, designing and producing the first-ever Floor Screen – “77th Academy Awards”, 2005

Ready to make memories – Carnival Vista arrives at her first port to the raucous cheers of loyal Carnival Cruise Line customers. Trieste, Italy, May 2016

I had been headhunted by Carnival with the assistance of a business consulting company they work with, which I found fascinating in itself. I learned that Carnival, with the help of the business consulting group was projecting the future of their business including who their future customer would be. Our job was to figure out how to entertain and engage them. My job was to help Carnival create the future. Right away I knew this was for me.

After all, I built my entertainment development company, Stimulated-Inc. by helping broadcast brands like Viacom (MTV Video Music Awards), movie brands like Disney (Hannah Montana 3D) and Sony (Michael Jackson’s This Is It) take giant leaps and transform the way they entertain and engage their customers.

Producing Biggie Smalls in screens with P. Diddy live-onstage – “MTV Video Music Awards”, 2005

Filming Disney’s “Miley Cyrus & Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds 3D Concert Film”, 2007

Producing Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ 3D concert, 2009

But hold the phone. This cruise line is saying they are willing to be bolder and more daring than all of those? And they have a five year plan? I had never heard of such a thing in all my years of working in broadcast, film and music. This was the natural next evolution of Stimulated-Inc.. Helping a brand take giant leaps by developing new ways to entertain and engage their customers. This was exciting.

Developing, designing and producing next-gen live entertainment – Carnival’s award winning “Epic Rock” theatre production , Carnival Sunshine, 2014

By contrast, soon after I visited a senior-level network TV executive at her office in Manhattan. Sitting on her couch we shared anecdotes and caught-up on lost time. She said, “Robb, you can’t imagine how frustrating it is to work for a big TV network that still does things the same old way.” “What do you mean?”, I asked. “Well, TV executives think they know what audiences want, they order pilots, they focus-group the pilots in a room of 12 people, then they green light TV shows for millions of dollars only to fail.”

She called that frustrating, I call it crazy. From everything I’ve learned working the cruise industry and the tech-entertainment startup I co-founded in 2013, the first problem here is thinking you know what the audience wants, when you don’t even know the audience.

And this gets into a deeper brand identity crisis I believe broadcast needs to deal with. The cruise industry is made up of distinct brands. There’s Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and so on. Each brand has its emotional connection to the audience. Carnival is the Fun Ship, Royal Caribbean is the WOW, etc. Customers have an emotional relationship with these aspects of the brand, which is where cruise line brand loyalty comes from.

Crafting emotional connections between brand and customer – Carnival Breeze, 2012

But none of that emotional brand identity exists in network broadcast. The big TV networks are generally seen as the same. They have all have variety programs, drama programs, daytime programs, sports and news. But it’s the programs, not the networks have the brand identity. In general the networks don’t have a brand. Only the shows on the network have the strong brand identity and emotional connection to the audience.

The last TV network to have a big brand identity people could connect with was FOX. But this is going way back to when FOX was the new kid on the block. There were three major TV networks at the time and then there was FOX: the bold one, the rebel. FOX could afford to be the bad boy. It could afford to take chances. It could afford to write new rules. FOX is largely responsible for opening the door to much of the reality genre programming we see today, with the biggest example being American Idol. American Idol was synonymous with FOX when it first came on the air. Idol was bold, new and innovative. People talked about it at the water cooler. It came on the scene like Facebook, out of nowhere.

Cut to 2017 and there is no new kid on the block, no rebel, nobody rewriting the rules or taking chances like FOX did in those days. There are just four networks. Even the big one, American Idol is now making the parallel leap across networks, which isn’t that big of a leap. Because the audience identifies with American Idol as the brand, not the network.

Cable TV channels such as Nat-Geo have created more brand identity than the big broadcast networks. Speaking at Variety’s Massive Summit, “Genius” Producer Ron Howard commented on this brand affinity. “It’s the story linked to the (Nat-Geo) platform, which sends another kind of message, whereas in the past it’s always been the story that drives everything, and that’s not necessarily the case now.” Meaning, Howard is allowing the platform (Nat-Geo) to inform this project, challenging him and the the story in important ways. This is exactly what we do for brands like Carnival and this is what is missing from the big networks.

Talking with major network TV executives today, I’m able to get them excited about some of the things that we’re doing on cruise ships. We’re doing Virtual Cast Extension, Virtual Set Extension and we’re using videogame technology to create the next generation of immersive entertainment at sea. One network TV executive I recently spoke with said “Robb, why aren’t we we doing any of these things on our shows?” I laughed and said, “Because I just told you about them.”

Producing and directing Virtual Cast Extension™  – Carnival’s top-rated “Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures”, Los Angeles, 2016

Making memories and stimulating emotions – Carnival’s top-rated entertainment: “Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures”, Carnival Vista, 2016

Creating the future at Carnival’s brand-new 44,500-foot creative development facility – Carnival Horizon creative development meeting, Carnival Studios, 2017

But it’s the cruise line industry that’s on the rise with Millennials and Gen-X, while the broadcasting industry is seeing double-digit declines in viewership. The reason seems simple. One industry has been carefully and thoughtfully finding new ways to create the future for their brands, while the other keeps-on doing things the same old way.

Stimulated-Inc.’s new pilot program for brands is called Brand Entertainment Accelerator. Feel free to reach out for information. robb@stimulated-inc.com +1-818-853-9000.

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THE BEAUTY OF DISTRIBUTED CREATIVE WORK

HOW A GLOBAL WORKFORCE OF CREATIVE TALENT IS CHANGING THE WAY DESIGN, ANIMATION, AND VFX POST-PRODUCTION GETS DONE.

By Robb Wagner

Technological advances and changes in the global economy are increasing the geographic distribution of work in industries as diverse as banking, wine production, and clothing design. Many workers communicate regularly with distant coworkers; some monitor and manipulate tools and objects at a distance. Work teams are spread across different cities or countries. Joint ventures and multi-organizational projects entail work in many locations.
– The MIT Press

At Stimulated, Inc. we added distributed work to our company over three years ago. Why?

  1. Leverage our existing infrastructure.
  2. Increase our capabilities.
  3. Scale while controlling costs.

We accomplished all these things by developing a scalable system built upon our rock-solid workflow. Here I’m sharing how we did it and how you can take advantage of it.

The system consists of three core elements working together to in the most efficient way possible.

  • Process
  • Workforce
  • Technology

4 steps to getting started.

  1. Envision your distributed system.
  2. Document your process.
  3. Vet your workforce.
  4. Choose your technology.

1. ENVISION YOUR DISTRIBUTED SYSTEM

A distributed work system is a global assembly line that never shuts off. For optimal performance your system should be built on smart process, operated by a capable workforce and powered by technology suited for you.

To envision your distributed system, start by identifying capabilities you’re existing infrastructure is missing. Then envision those missing capabilities as distributed resources that compliment your existing infrastructure.

2. DOCUMENT YOUR PROCESS

A distributed work system is a process, so it requires a set of carefully prepared procedures for everyone to follow. Answering these questions will help you break down your process and document your procedures.

  • What are the steps in your process?
  • Who is involved at each step?
  • What tasks are required at each step?

stimulated.works-chart

3. VET YOUR DISTRIBUTED WORKFORCE

Vetting a distributed workforce is an ongoing, time and resource consuming process. Plan on conducting interviews on phone and Skype at off hours, when the rest of the world is awake. When interviewing keep in mind a remote worker must be capable of working with a system, which means following written instructions. We recommend putting top candidates through a ‘test job’ as a final check. The test job typically includes a nominal payment, which pays the worker for their time and helps validate the payment pipeline. Your AP department will thank you.

4. CHOOSE YOUR TECHNOLOGY

With distributed work your in-house team will become tasked with more daily activities. Technology powers your distributed system and helps automate your process.

Technology requirement checklist.

  • Empowers your team with an easy to use solution that simplifies their daily activities.
  • Easy access to assets.
  • Simple way to communicate without losing time.
  • Convenient way to track projects and effortlessly stay up to date.

There are a number of SaaS (software as a service) platforms to try, including Sharefile, Signiant, Wiredrive, Simian, Basecamp, Dropbox, Frame IO and others. Comparing and testing these takes months and there’s a good chance you’ll end up using a combination of SaaS platforms. We found most did one thing well but fell short as an overall solution.

We built our own system (stimulated.works). Feel free to contact us for more information.

stimulated.works

LESSONS IN VR: DISNEY’S HIT 3D CONCERT FILM

ONE SIMPLE QUESTION LEADS TO MILLIONS OF FANS

By Robb Wagner

hannah-2200x1092-01

In an age where just about everybody wants to create VR, what lessons can VR learn from 3D? Was just being 3D enough to create success? Did pointing 3D cameras at a concert make an experience?

CASE STUDY: DISNEY’S HANNAH MONTANA 3D CONCERT FILM

In 2007 I was asked by Disney to help direct the “Hannah Montana 3D Concert Film”. Disney had their Director, a top film team and James Cameron’s ‘Pace’ 3D camera system. But they didn’t have experience filming a live-concert in one take, which is where Stimulated, Inc. stepped in.

We knew going to see the movie would need to be as exciting as attending the concert, so that’s the end-goal we started with. We let that guide our process.

ASK: WHAT IS THE DESIRED EXPERIENCE NEEDED TO CREATE A LASTING IMPRESSION? THEN NEVER COMPROMISE THE VISION.

A typical approach to filming a concert would have been to look at the arena blueprint and ask, “where should we put our cameras to film the concert?” Instead we asked, “how can we create the desired 3D experience?” To find the answer we attended weeks of production rehearsals at Disney Studios in Burbank, followed by weeks of sold-out concerts across the country. Going inside the concert audience was critical. That led us to form a vision for the 3D experience we needed to create.

Director Bruce Hendricks made two key decisions. He put his cameras in the audience and he didn’t try to hide them. Just the opposite, we put the cameras in places where they could become features of the movie. These decisions added unique 3D layers, dimensions and excitement to the film.

By giving the movie-going audience a concert audience POV, we upgraded the movie into an experience. By featuring the cameras we upgraded the experience into an event.

hannah2Starting with the beginning would have only led us to point cameras at a concert. Starting with the end led us to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for millions of young girls, and a runaway 3D hit movie for Disney.

IMAGINE WHERE YOU WANT YOUR PROJECT TO END UP AND REVERSE ENGINEER A PLAN TO GET THERE.

Will just being VR be enough or will VR need to create the experience? The answer seems obvious and the opportunity is exciting.

rw_vr

Robb Wagner checking out the VR experience at the Directors Guild of America.