“Inspiration Hour” was one of those great ideas that started off with a bang and ended up like so many others – pushed off, rescheduled, skirted. When you’re on the hook for great ideas and have campaigns to plan, it becomes too easy to ignore your own internal marketing efforts (Or as my mom used to say, “The cobblers children have no shoes”). True, the team has managed to pull off Bike in Theaters and amazing dinners, so not all is forgotten, but as the work ramps up it comes down to priorities…more of a reality than an excuse.

That said, we were excited to bring back Inspiration Hour to Manifold on a recent Thursday. In a nutshell, Inspiration Hour is where everyone at Manifold stops everything they’re doing and meets for an hour to share with the crew things that have inspired them over the recent weeks – great campaigns, interesting stories, and inevitably cool videos that have tickled that creative nerve. A format like this felt ripe for a blog post, and we’ll continue to use this space to share what we’ve found (and talked into the ground).

Leslie kicked it off with a simple site, qualified by “my friend works here,” which made it no less interesting. The site is an agency for directors that uses a nice, sparse design to focus purely on the video content. Good stuff – it was universally agreed the logo is very cool too.

www.resetcontent.com

Next up was Jenny, with another nod to friends – these are old Ventura running buddies from her days at Patagonia, with letting us know that “this is what my life looks like when I’m not here.” The video was so well done – we all nodded our heads and agreed that a good edit and good music can making taking your kids to the park look pretty punk, and this was no exception. What is it about Vimeo? Something about their player (or maybe it’s the video compression) that makes videos really pop.

We moved on to my moment of inspiration, which was more about conversation than inspiration. TJ Lang, a guard for the Green Bay Packers and recent victim of the disastrous refereeing between The Pack and the Seahawks on last Monday night’s game, set the Twitter record for most retweeted tweet (just squeaking by Justin Beibers previous record). With a perfect storm of celebrity, timeliness, and reach, this simple statement went viral.

https://twitter.com/TJLang70/status/250455217332711424

I lamented that I was recently flying cross country where the experience was absolutely HORRIBLE (cancelled flight, 2 hour delay, unforeseen layover and a middle seat), and I wanted to blast the carrier via Twitter, but held back for some reason – unforeseen consequences in the heat of the moment and all that. Kelly pointed out that with a marketing mind, I’m more likely to curate my communications than just let it all hang out, and she’s right – but it must feel nice to have that much instant reach with one simple statement.

When it was Becca’s turn to share, she went with a classic. While we’d seen it, in a testament to how good it really is we all eagerly watched it again. If you haven’t seen TNT’s “Your Daily Dose of Drama,” it’s a must see.

Everything about this video makes it a classic – the intro, to the build, to the sheer randomness and the absolutely brilliant payoff, it’s one of the best viral videos ever made.

Kelly shared a Venture Beat article on the recent news of Google unveiling the first “Underwater Street View.” While clearly more novel than useful, it’s a breathtaking display of Technology, and reinforces Google’s undisputed dominance in the mapping space. It’s also clever PR, as the timing was suspiciously perfect – a majority of recent articles positioned this new feature as Google’s continued drive to innovate versus Apple’s recent high profile stumble with their own maps offering.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/25/google-unveils-first-ever-underwater-street-view-and-its-amazing/

We concluded this Inspiration Hour with Sean’s choice, “A Toy Train in Space.” With the recent spate of DIY “I’m sending my camera into space” memes, this motion graphics professional brought his own unique twist to it, mentioning in the YouTube description “My son’s been attached to Stanley since he was two, and they play, sleep and do everything together. I animated Stanley’s face with After Effects and Photoshop to bring him to life how I imagine my son sees him.” He took a simple idea and added a lot to it by doing very little, garnering over 3mm views in 10 days.

It’s always a great meeting, and thanks for reading this far. Feel free to share your own recent inspiration in the comments below.