PepperMill February 2018

Tim’s Goin’ Down a Rabbit Hole

I asked someone recently, “How’d you learn to do that?”

Their answer, like I’ve been hearing frequently of late, was, “YouTube.” It’s a magical resource that we have at our fingertips. Is there anything that can’t be shared on the platform?

You can virtually learn anything on YouTube—exactly what the founders had planned. Want to get the kids off the couch and noses out of their phones? How about a little paper mache?

Want to excel as a street performer? Learn some sweet ways to sharpen knives? Fillet a fish?

What about music? Type in any artist or song title and you’re likely to find several selections. Sometimes it’s the original artist, but my favorite encounter is when you find a great cover version of one of your favorite songs. There’s Daryl Hall with Finger Eleven from his Live From Daryl’s House show singing a haunting rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” If you search “Live From Daryl’s House” (a rabbit hole I go down often), you’ll find many more classics like Train sharing the stage to do “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.”

Want to see Jack White, The Edge and Jimmy Page discuss the birth of Kashmir? Here’s a very cool excerpt from a documentary called “It Might Get Loud.”

I thought, “What can there be on a legend like Dean Martin?” Well, there are plenty of songs, but also classic clips from his appearances on Johnny Carson. This one is from 12/12/75, when he talks about going to Frank Sinatra’s 60th birthday party.

Speaking of 60th birthdays, I had mine last week. More than any birthday before it, this one was very reflective. All my life I’ve heard aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents talk about how things have changed in their lifetimes. Glad I’ve always had running water (unlike my grandparents), that I got to experience a moon landing at age 11, all the way up to having 1,300x the computing power in my phone than on the rocket that put those men on the moon.

Now we can enjoy just about anything a video camera can capture and we post to YouTube. Pretty cool. What’s next?

Tim Padgett

Here are two gems from Arthur C. Clarke

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Client Spotlight: MSCI Scholarship Platform

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) is a trade association for companies in the metals value chain—including metals producers, distributors and processors.

College scholarships are a powerful benefit of membership. They are available to the children of employees of MSCI member companies.

MSCI needed a way to organize 30 different chapter programs, collect student applications, automate letters of recommendation, redact identifying information, assign judges, consolidate scores and notify entrants of their results.

It was a big challenge, but we already had a head start. Pepper Group customized our AwardStar™ platform to meet MSCI’s exact requirements.

AwardStar has numerous applications. For example, it’s been used by Nielsen and other businesses to encourage employees to share their success stories and best practices.

To learn more about AwardStar, take a look at this two-page PDF. And if you’d like to see how this powerful tool can help your organization with awards program management, contact us today!

George Couris

Eight Tactics to Help Attract and Retain the Best Talent

Smart business leaders are using marketing skills to positively influence their talent brand. And with great success.

What is your talent brand? It’s what your talent thinks, feels and shares about your company as a place to work. A strong talent brand can help you reduce cost per hire by 50%, reduce turnover rates by 28%, and increase profitability by 16%, according to LinkedIn and Gallup.

Your company’s ability to attract and retain talent is a tremendous competitive advantage (or disadvantage), so building a strong talent brand can be incredibly important. We call this process Talent Marketing.

The challenge is that it’s complex. How can you see the entire picture? What are the best approaches? What are the priorities?

Can something that complex be simplified?

Well, in 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick identified the framework of life itself—DNA. The most amazing part, though, is that they figured out how to present the entire complex concept in only five minutes.

So when we were setting out to develop a new talent marketing framework, we took this as a challenge. In 2017, we figured it out. And, amazingly, we have also distilled this complex concept into a five-minute package.

OK, it’s not exactly DNA, but in an environment where there are currently two job openings for every job seeker, it might actually have more impact on your business.

Please take a look at our SlideShare that demonstrates the key areas that will help your company attract and retain the best people possible. (5-minute read)

And if you're interested in getting some help executing any of these tactics with exceptional creativity, energy and impact, please give us a call.

George Couris


Top 5 Digital Ads From the Creative Suite

For the fourth digital ad in a series of five, let’s take a quick look at social media and how companies are using it to stand out. Many times, ads are lost while people scroll through their feeds. Snapchat and Instagram get around this by adding video stories. These stories are short and fun, but require a lot of user attention. Watch how Bacardi uses its first Instagram story to embrace the user’s natural tendency to skip back and forth.

Joe Whittington

360° video: VR Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics are finally here and a revolutionary investment in resources from Intel is bringing many of the events to you live in full 360 VR! To whet your appetite, NBC produced the video below to show a glimpse into some of the preparation involved in being an athlete on Team U.S.A. I loved seeing the strength training, virtual sledding and jumping!

If you do move forward with experiencing the events over the next two weeks in VR, you’ll be able to choose from as many as six viewpoints. You can watch the director’s cut, or pick your own angles. Highlights, stats, athlete backgrounds, and more info will all be available for free with the NBC Sports VR app, powered by Intel® True VR. There are a wide variety of devices supported by the coverage including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality, and Daydream. Download the app now!

Playback of 360° videos is most immersive if you have some form of a Google Cardboard viewer and can open the video in the YouTube app on your smartphone (email me if you don’t have a viewer and I will send you one). You can still have a lot of fun without one though by making the video full-screen in your Chrome browser and clicking and dragging with your mouse to explore.

Did we spark any ideas about how to involve 360 in your business? Reach out and we’d love to talk with you about it!

Want more? Check out our Pepper Group holiday 360 offering.

Todd Underwood