More than words

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We spoke with two of the team, Imogen Leadbeater, Lead Motion Graphic Designer and Tom Cressey, Camera Operator/Editor, to share some creative insight into the latest Netflix must-see – Anatomy of a Scandal.

Imogen: I watched Netflix’s latest binge-offering the other week, Anatomy of a Scandal. This was one of the first scenes from the first episode, and it caught my eye in a few ways. In this scene, we find James Whitehouse MP (Rupert Friend) sitting on the sofa with his wife Sophie Whitehouse (Sienna Miller). He’s telling her that a scandal exposing his workplace affair will hit the headlines in the morning, and he’s giving her the heads up. How thoughtful.

Anyway. Why did it catch my eye? Well, initially, it was the off-centre set of 4 family pictures. I love interior design and found this lack of symmetry and seemingly odd wall-positioning unsettling for a moment. But then I realised how clever this entire shot is.

Imagine this image is split down the middle vertically. Those four family photos are purposely on her side of the shot. She is warmly lit, has pictures of their children on her side, her face is brightly lit, and she’s wearing warm toned clothing—a picture of ‘homeliness’ and warmth.

On the other side of the image, you have a man dressed in cold greys/blues. Cool, blue lighting streaks along the back wall. No pictures of family on his side. Even the book choice is blue on his side of the table. His face is obscured by a dark shadow—void of warmth and family, much like his scandalous storyline.

There is so much intention that can be unpacked from a single image of what you watch. So many deliberate choices that you may consciously overlook but serve a colossal purpose subconsciously in setting the scene and telling a story.’


Tom Cressey, Camera Operator/Editor, smiling at the camera.Tom: “When looking at any frame from a film or tv show, everything you see in the shot appears to complement each other and be “natural” within the scene. I mean that nothing looks out of place and yet can draw our eye to it or make us focus on specific aspects. Filmmakers call this mise-en-scene (setting the scene). It can be a complex idea to wrap your head around. It’s highly nuanced and subjective, made up of hundreds of creative decisions by the director, production designer, director of photography and costume department. The idea is to elevate the film from a series of moving pictures to an art form with purpose. Something bursting with atmosphere and emotion pulls viewers in and doesn’t let go. This is often the area of a film where filmmakers lose the casual passer-by as describing the more profound meaning or theory of a shot immediately has a sense of snobbery. Still, it’s imperative, as mise-en-scene guides the viewer without holding their hand.

There are patterns, colours, contrasts, or even lack of the aforementioned elements that subconsciously speak to us and give us an insight into the characters or the environments without blatantly explaining things. Cool tones, blues, and purples; indicate darkness, negative emotion, and jeopardy. Warm tones, oranges, and yellows; tend to indicate safety, happiness, and stability. When you mix the colour with light and shadow, more dimensionality is added; shadow naturally means bad, danger, or evil. And light represents the other side; good, prosperity and health. In the frame above, James’ side of the frame has cold Venetian lighting cast over it. This is a style of lighting popularised during the early 40s in film noir classics such as The Maltese Falcon and High Sierra. It is typically used to create an unstable or ambivalent mood and makes the sense that James is hiding from the world or could be hiding details from his wife. In contrast, to how his wife is lit, the practical light (film jargon for a light seen in the frame) is high up with a warm tone, serving as a beacon holding back the dark, perhaps indicating how James is comforted by his wife. The split composition of the portraits, all placed towards the left of the frame and the lamp behind Sophie, indicate how James is separating from his family. He is feeling alone.

The rule in film is “Show, don’t tell”, meaning if you go around explaining everything to your audience constantly, you’re going to have a very dull film. No one likes being lectured to. However, suppose you tell a story and place your characters in an environment that you have designed through placement of objects, lighting and composition. In that case, your audience will understand the deeper meaning or intentions simply by watching.

Our Moving Image team create stunning visual content that’s digestible and shareable. By seamlessly bringing together video production & animation skills, we support our clients’ communications ambitions, making them instantly accessible to their audience wherever they are in the world. Get in touch if you’re interested in using high-quality videos and animations to bring energy and honesty to your communications.

Wellness and well-being

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As much as we love live events, we know that it is time spent away from home and loved ones, with often lengthy travel that can affect mental well-being. Audiences desire greater control over their event experience. What better way to do that than by offering them a choice in the way that they feel comfortable to return to live at different paces, and accept that some may never want to return.

Offering solutions that provide unique live experiences alongside options to dial in remotely or from ‘hybrid hubs’ will allow delegates greater flexibility and control. Having this level of flexibility will ultimately make audiences feel more comfortable, safer, and valued.

However, it is not only the ability to choose that’s important. We need to make sure live experiences are worth it. There are many ways that live events can be shaped to help foster and encourage deeper connections, promote healthy living, safely empower wellness, and eliminate ‘death by PowerPoint’. Live experiences need to be just that, an experience.

Want to find out more? Get in touch to discover how we can deliver a hybrid event for you.

Earth day: The future of sustainable events

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Collectively we’ve spent years thinking up increasingly innovative ways to push incremental improvements that support our clients in their efforts to lessen the carbon footprint from travel, energy consumption, stand build and single-use materials, to name a few. The balancing act that we that pride in our ability in is ensuring that those changes do not compromise on the delegates experience or the events success metrics.

The last year has shown us that now we have an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the future makeup of your events; let’s shake things up and do things differently. With the right expert advice and support, you can, with confidence, reimagine your events programme in a scalable and personalised way.

The impact

Unsurprisingly, there hasn’t really been much in terms of live events, resulting in an estimated 99% reduction in event-related emissions.

When you consider that an entirely virtual exhibition will create less than 1% of the carbon emissions of its physical counterpart, it is easy to understand why virtual elements are here to stay.

We’ve helped many brands turn this uncertainty into a CSR victory; Outlook has channelled their social conscious objectives and empowered their role in creating a carbon-neutral world by leveraging virtual events to strengthen our sustainable future.

76% of event planners will include hybrid elements in their 2021 plans.

Mixed events can offer greater levels of engagement and interactivity while massively reducing your carbon footprint.

We are vehement believers in the power of live events. They will always have their place as there are some elements a virtual event just cannot replicate. Still, as the sustainability targets of companies are only going to increase, we believe the choice and scalability of a hybrid model can become a part of that narrative for the long haul, giving brands the best of both without compromises.


A one size fits all approach to events isn’t the way forward. Our hybrid event solution that enables businesses to safely rethink their events at their own speed and minimise risk empowering you to control scalability between fully virtual and fully physical events.

Hybrid events blend the best of both live and virtual event technologies into a single experience. They have shown the unprecedented potential to grow your audience engagement and generate much more insight into their interests and reduce the costs of moving people, equipment, and machinery to the same place at the same time.

This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to shake things up and think differently. For example, if you’re not budgeting for things like a large single venue, travel costs and multiple nights of accommodation, it’s not too hard to either drastically reduce your outgoings (not to mention your carbon emissions) while spending more on curating a memorable event experience.

That means that you can then invest some of that saving in digital technologies, content delivery and delegate experience, which can only make your event more valuable and memorable than ever. This is alongside helping you understand your audience in more detail than you ever thought possible, helping you curate content themes for future communications and events.

Delegates Feedback

If you’re still not sure, we gathered some feedback from delegates of virtual events we have produced recently 95% of those surveyed would recommend the online broadcast for future meetings. Over 90% were satisfied with the technical arrangements, including sound and video quality.

Some real-life examples of why you should think about it

Hybrid events are a cost-effective way to connect with your audience. What to find out more? Get in touch to discover how we can deliver a virtual event for you.

Adversity breeds invention

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Making content accessible

Hybrid events are a proven way to make your content more easily accessible to both a live and virtual audience. By changing your internal or external event to a hybrid model, you can create an event hub where your live and remote audience can visit and revisit content again and again for as long as you want. Retaining focus, attention and engagement, can also be achieved by an online chat room for delegates to have open discussions.

Make content easy to consume

Making your content bite-sized enables you to explain complicated subjects in easy to absorb chunks. These bite-sized chunks can be curated into chapters and themes by indexing which helps your audience digest what they either need to know or have an interest in.

Breakout sessions are a common feature on any event agenda, allowing different groups of colleagues and delegates to discuss topics relevant to their business unit, country or specialist topic and it’s no different for a hybrid event. Combining ‘digital breakout rooms’ with physical breakout rooms allow groups of delegates to personalise and specialise in the information they are sharing.

Most importantly you still have the chance to make it fun, break the tension and minimise the pressure of having to consume the information all at once.

Learn what you can

One advantage of building a hybrid event community is understanding, in unprecedented detail what your audience is consuming and what they aren’t. Using tools like remote voting surveys with live results provide your presenters with immediate feedback from their audience, allowing them to tailor the discussions to suit as well as detailed measurement mechanisms for post-event.

Being agile in communications isn’t just about how quickly you can respond to the changing landscape, it’s also about how quickly you can adapt to the mechanism in which people are consuming the content.

Hybrid events offer an opportunity for businesses to communicate more efficiently, learn more than they ever could before about the interests of their audience and are a cost-effective way to connect with your audience. Get in touch to discover how you could build an engaged community with hybrid events.

They have generated far more interest than they ever expected, bringing together a wider audience without the pressure to take time out of their work and family commitments to travel to an event.

Our clients who have decided to shift to hybrid events generate an average of 30% boost in audience numbers compared to previous years’ live events.

Changing perceptions

The myth that hybrid events are somehow less engaging than fully live events has been well and truly debunked in the minds of those that have experienced them. Using the latest technology, you can make your messages more easily communicated to a remote audience, achieving close to the production value of a large scale live-event.

A new level of understanding

The digital element of a hybrid event gives you an unprecedented level of audience understanding, letting you track their journey from the very first invitation. When combined with the face to face benefits of the live event physical interactions, it gives you more flexibility of what ‘your’ events should look like.

You can get as much detailed reporting as you need, including watching what content, when everyone is tuning in online and what questions they asked.

Our platform also enables delegate driven agendas, which lets the individual vote to choose the sessions they want to see, giving you clear data about the topics they want to engage with.

With that level of intelligence, you can make actionable decisions for content, interest-based campaigns and future event themes.

Some data may also be suitable for public post-event comms, and others beneficial for your organisational team to review engagement and highlight any areas for future progression. This can be tailored to meet your specific requirements and needs.

Some real-life examples of why you should think about it

Hybrid events are a cost-effective way to connect with your audience safely empowers wellness. What to find out more about hybrid events? Get in touch to discover how we can deliver a hybrid event for you.

Ten virtual events myths busted!

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What you need to know about virtual events

  1. They aren’t that scary to organise even if you’ve not done one before
  2. Our clients always tell us they are value for money, and scalable to their budget
  3. They expand your audience capacity and engagement
  4. You can still have breakout sessions
  5. They’re better for sustainability and the environment
  6. You can get a lot more data about your audience interests and interactions
  7. You can still have exhibition stands and sponsors
  8. You can curate bitesize content into themed groups
  9. Your audience can visit and revisit on-demand content when it suits them
  10. Delegates can still chat, network and contribute to the conversation

Of course, there are a lot of possibilities to consider with a virtual event; there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. What we do is give you choices, help you understand them, and work with you to deliver a fantastic experience that is both scalable to your budget and modular so your only paying for the functionality you need.

Some real-life examples of why you should think about it

MedTech – Virtual Event

Crossrail – Virtual Event

Get in touch to arrange a demo and discover for yourself how the myths about virtual events can be busted!

Taking Your First Steps Into Commissioning Video

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In this blog, we run you through some necessary steps to commissioning a video for your marketing campaign:


Get creative

Before your ideas can begin to take shape, you must come up with some ideas in the first place! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to be a technical genius! Video production and video marketing companies specialise in bringing your ideas to life, so all that is required is some brainstorming among your team and reviewing any relevant customer or market research. Remember that some of the best video campaigns involve thinking outside the box. Will you go for live-action or animation? Do you have a location in mind? Will you need to hire actors? Will it be a TV or digital campaign – or both? These are all questions which will need answering.


Get productive

Once you have decided on which route you want to take, it can help to consult with video production specialists so you can get an idea of the resources required. This could also be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of their experience on elements of the video which you might still not be sure about.


Push it out there!

Once your video is ready and has been signed off by all the appropriate parties, you will need to plan the campaign itself. If it’s for a TV campaign, you will want to think carefully about which channels you use to target the campaign. Is the channel reaching your target audience? What time of day do you want the video ad to be played? How long will the campaign run for? These are decisions which will likely be influenced by your campaign objectives as well as your budget.

If your campaign is mostly internet-focused, you will need to decide how much online advertising or paid search activities the campaign will require. If the video campaign runs through a social media account which is already busy with followers or subscribers, you could choose to run it organically and save on paid advertising costs.


Interaction is key

If your video is hosted on a site such as YouTube, don’t forget the comments section! This is your chance to see feedback from viewers and, in some cases, interact with them; replying to queries and joining in the fun can give your brand a ‘voice’. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make it heard.

Commissioning a video may seem like a complicated process but it really isn’t! By taking the right steps and not neglecting to do your market research, you can produce a video which hits the nail on the head.

If you’re looking to use video in your marcomms, challenge us to bring your vision to life. Get in touch.

The Power of Being a Great Communicator

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As marketers take on more responsibilities across a wide variety of channels, when you consider that no project is the same and the measures of success change regularly, it can be a tough field to work in.

With the help of a dependable, creative partner, you can leverage the skills you need to be a great communicator across multiple disciplines.


Think about how things have changed since you started out in your career. Then think about what your audience might expect of you now compared to then.

A great communications professional needs a considerable string of skills up their sleeve to keep a brand relevant and engaging.

We’ve seen massive growth in interactive experiences like digital marketing, video, animation and infographics in even the most straightforward campaign. There is a growing awareness that the modern consumer is savvy to all of them, and expects more than they ever have.

So, if you feel that your communications could do with an injection of fresh ideas, we’ve got some guidance.

Here are Outlooks, tips on keeping on top of the game:


Know your stuff

Marketing and communications in the digital age is increasingly a numbers game. By keeping up to date on the latest methods and the different types of success it can bring, you can try and stay ahead of the competition.
However, trying new things takes confidence. By working with an experienced creative partner, they can help you work out what works and what doesn’t before you waste your budget.


Think about the objective

Brilliant communicators create a connection that is real, emotional, and personal. They forge this connection through an understanding of people and an ability to speak directly to their needs in a manner that they are ready to hear.

Working collaboratively with a creative partner can help you focus on the overall objective. It’s their job to suggest innovative ways of getting your message to your audience.


Streamline your content

One recent marketing survey suggested that the leading reason buyers are turned off from B2B vendors is marketers sending them too much irrelevant content. Just because you can add a tool to your arsenal, it doesn’t mean you should.

By working with a creative partner that becomes an extension of your own team, they can help you filter out weak ideas.


Be different

You may have spent months getting your last campaign perfect, that’s not unusual, but was all the tweaking worth all the stress and the delays?

Working with a communications agency that really knows your brand and asks all the right questions at the beginning can make it easy, take the stress away and find a way for your content to stand out from the crowd.

Here at Outlook, we’ve built a multi-talented team that can approach your communications challenges. We’re proud to have already supported so many brilliant marcomms professionals in achieving their goals.

Don’t waste your time stressing about your next project, challenge us to show you how we could add value to your next communications project.