For the Love of Good Content

About a year ago, our head of creative Mark presented How to Produce Better Content Ideas at SearchLove Boston. The slide deck has been really popular, with over 443,000 views so far.

With that in mind, I thought our audience might like to see examples of work we’ve made off the back of such thinking.

The following list is divided into different formats so you can see which new trends we’re tapping into for our clients.

Interactive Visualisations

Photos on the Web – Photoworld

Photoworld prints your photos in a personalised book. Our brainstorm led us to think about Instagram, the popular photo app, and what it would be like if all the photos were printed out.

Using a format that had been successful for our ipod Visualised as Vinyl work, we created a scrolling piece that visualised what would happen if you printed all the photos uploaded in a year and stacked them on top of one another. In demonstrating how high this would reach, the piece takes you on a brief journey beyond the edge of Earth's atmosphere.

The piece has over 5k Facebook likes, mainly due to its coverage on Mashable and Reddit.

The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People – Podio

Podio creates software to help with project management and structuring your time.

We find there are a variety of ways we can gather data. For this Podio piece, the book Daily Rituals by Mason Currey held the key. Humans are inherently interested in how others live, so what better than to see how famous creative people spend their days? Perhaps borrowing some tips for ourselves will bring about our own success?

A simple colour-coded bar chart dividing up the portions of time highlighted some irregular sleeping patterns and, in some cases, minimal time spent actually producing creative work. ShortList and Lifehacker were amongst the publishers, leading to 37k Facebook likes.

The Vocal Ranges of the World’s Greatest Singers – Concert Hotels

We have produced a range of successful content for Concert Hotels now, all based around that universally-loved thing: music.

This visualisation mapped the vocal ranges of the world's greatest singers, highlighting Axl Rose as the outlier with the broadest vocal range. This created a hot debate around whether in fact he did have the world’s greatest vocal range, so much so that Axl Rose himself even weighed in. Time, Huffington Post and the Daily Mail were amongst the publishers, leading to 107k Facebook likes.

The client was pretty happy, too:

“I was so impressed with the Distilled team throughout the entire process, from ideation, to development, through to outreach.  As a huge Guns N' Roses fan through my youth until today, having Axl Rose himself commenting on the vocal range debate really was the icing on the cake.  While many may have disputed the claim that his vocal range isn't the world's greatest, the team at Distilled have produced a chart that will forever place him there, and for that they have my thanks! :)”


Digital Literacy in America – Rasmussen

One way of gathering data, especially if there is little data available for the topic you are researching, is creating your own survey.

Rasmussen is a college in the US that focusses on developing the whole person, not just about passing your degree. A lot of their students go back to college to improve their career prospects and, as such, often don't have the levels of digital literacy they will likely require in the modern workplace. Our survey looked at not only digital literacy, but also our relationship with modern communication tools and the internet in general.

Interactive Quiz / Test

How Long Would it Take You to Read Game of Thrones? – BlinkBox Books

BlinkBox Books sold Ebooks; for them we created a speed reader tool.

The popular yet lengthy Game of Thrones series made for a good hook for the speed reading test. You're asked to read a paragraph and answer a few questions to ensure you've read it properly. The tool then calculates at what speed you read; this and the amount of time you can spend reading each day are used to calculate how long it would take to read Game of Thrones in days.

Quizzes that ask you to input your own data and give you a personalised output can often turn out to be successful creative formats.

Placements included Huffington Post, The Mirror, Stylist and The Daily Mail.

Data Visualisations

Salary Vs Happiness – Michael Page

For Michael Page, a recruitment site, we created a graph detailing the salaries for a range of professions and how happy people in that profession are. During our research phase we discovered a data set on the BBC which highlighted vicars as being the happiest people. Using this data, we created an interactive scatterplot, where you can filter by industry. The Mirror used various views of this graph, and added annotations to create its own story.

Tech Giants – Simply Business

With so much discussion around the wealth of tech giants, a comparison of their purchasing habits made for an insightful visualisation. Our piece looked back over a 15-year period, showing when Apple, Amazon, Google, Yahoo and Facebook sped up and slowed down their spending, and who acquired who.

The design challenge here was fitting so many data points onto one screen. A filter by category feature makes the acquisitions more manageable to digest.

TechCrunch featured the piece on its homepage, which helped lead to over 2k Facebook likes on the piece itself and over 10k on the TechCrunch page.


We Print Memories, O2 video – Photoworld

Stretching our skill set even further, we made a live action advert for Photoworld that was shown before gigs at the O2 arena. We worked with a video production company and filmed footage at the O2. The target audience was middle-aged friends on a night out, with the emphasis on keeping the memories forever.

The hardest part of the video creatively-speaking was the transition of a photo from a phone to a printed book. The footage was also shot at Christmas time, but it was important to make sure the final cut worked at any time of year.

If you would like to see more of our creative work, take a look at this blog post by my fellow designer Matt. You might also want to check out this post by our content strategist Hannah on creating a framework for pitching creative ideas.

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