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Advertise Me interviews Blue Pony

Posted: September 24, 2009 at 12:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Advertise Me: Hi Nathan, thanks for joining us for this interview.
Nathan: No problem we appreciate the opportunity for conversation.
Advertise Me: Could you please tell us a little bit about Blue Pony, and it’s history?
Nathan: Blue Pony emerged in July of 2004 as a custom content creation company. We were formed by the owners Joel and Keersten Nichols. Joel and Keersten recognized the digital trend and the industries forming and embracing new technologies. We started creating content for the entertainment industry for concert tours. Our content has been used on tour with Sara McLachlan, Poison, the Eagles, in the Movies with Alvin and the Chimpmunks, and on TV with American Idol and America’s Got Talent. Along the way we found a natural fit creating great content for other industries. We felt especially at home with the growing Digital Signage Industries. We feel quality content is a need across all industries utilizing visual media.
Advertise Me: I really like the Blue Pony Logo, how did the company come up with that name and the inspiration for the logo animation?
Nathan: Thanks, we get a lot of compliments on it. Our sister company, Apollo Design Technology, makes lighting accessories like gobos, gobo rotators, gel, and more for the lighting entertainment industry. Our owners named Apollo after their beloved horse they received companionship from for 23 years. Unfortunately, Apollo passed away last spring. It seemed natural to build the new company sporting the name, Blue Pony.
Advertise Me: In the digital signage industry, the term “Content is king” can sometimes be misinterpreted. What is your explanation for this statement?
Nathan: I look at it this way. You can have the greatest technology to playback, display, schedule, and report with but at the end of the day the content playing back is what counts the most. There are certainly other variables that must align to add to success like location and placement, but effective well designed content is crucial. If the content is not effective the viewer won’t be engaged. If the viewer is not engaged by the content it is not an effective advertisement. Ineffective advertising is not likely to be renewed by the advertiser.
Advertise Me: Thank you for that explanation. Now ,what type of content does Blue Pony supply and what is so different about the content Blue Pony supplies?
Nathan: Great looking, well designed content is a great first step. What makes it kingly is matching it to the demographic (matching the style and material to the right group), dwell time requirements (what are the conditions of the environment? How much time do we have to communicate the message?), and environment (Making sure the content looks and feels at home and not odd and awkward). We create custom tailored content with an efficient and effective design process. Our design staff is experienced with Digital Signage ads and they have developed a thorough understanding on how to create effective signage content. We believe firmly that unique, custom content is important that is why even our “stock content” offering has a custom aspect.
Advertise Me: What is the difference between stock and custom content?
Nathan: In addition to a completely custom content option we have a content line in development called, Quick Designs. A Quick Design is a base design created by our design staff. The animation can be chosen as a spring board for design and we can plug in logos, images, and different text call-outs. We can even make color changes too. When you choose a Quick Design, one of our skilled designers will ensure your completed ad will look great. We feel it is better than a “template” that inevitably doesn’t quite work for whatever reason. Plus a template will likely look just like the one the other guy bought.



We also have a line called Dash Packs and regular stock background loops. Some of our Dash Packs are themed filler material for your network. Holiday greetings and celebrity birthdays are some that we have offered. We never stop creating content, whenever we have time we work on new motion backgrounds to add to our online web library of stock content. Stock background loops are used across many industries. They are affordable and can be combined with other elements to create unique looks.

Advertise Me: How does the company source content material, e.g images, video footage etc?
Nathan: Many times the material is supplied by the customer. They may provide a logo or product images. Because we have an in-house production company we are able to acquire our own stock video and photography. Furthermore, we have access to many royalty free image sources for use in our content.
Advertise Me: In this digital age, content can be easily sourced from the net and some businesses and customers don’t realise that they are breaching copyright laws when using someone else’s content. What are your thoughts on this and does Blue Pony track where their content ends up?
Nathan: We can’t stop it no matter how fancy we make the code. However, we are protective of our clients’ content and not every ad we produce makes it to our website. The entire process of ad development happens securely within our client preview portal. Everything is secure and access is only granted to the necessary individuals. In addition we offer our customers free mock content that we have developed. We learned quickly that most digital signage networks just need something to show their first clients by way of example until we build up a content portfolio that they can use for future sales.
Advertise Me: Could you please briefly explain what steps and processes are involved when developing content.
Nathan: I’d tell you but then I’d have to… No problem. We use all the usual software one would come to expect from a video, motion graphic design house. The differences are that we invest in the top of the line workstations that render video files pretty quick. We stay up to date with costly plug-ins, new fonts, and equip our production team with the best tools for content creation. That being said the process in brief goes like this. You contact us for content, we ask a few questions about your requirements or have you complete our content request form. The form gathers the details we need to determine a price to develop your content. We then generate an estimate and send it to you for approval. Upon approval of the estimate we schedule your content for production and email you a link to the project directory we create. This directory is where you can upload assets for production and it is also where our designer will place a preview for you to review your content. You would receive a link to review the content and would be able to provide feedback directly within the content timeline on the preview page. We implement any revisions you request and seek approval on the content. Upon approval we prepare the output file exactly to your specifications. You then can download your final content directly from the project directory. And repeat!
Advertise Me: From past experience, how long should the content be displayed on the screens for?
Nathan: It really depends. Site research might reveal the average frequency of visitors. If they see it once or twice that’s great. But if they have already processed the information and see it too many times they will tune it out and ultimately ignore the screen altogether. Two Weeks would be a sweet spot, in my opinion, but it does depend on the venue.
Advertise Me: What makes Blue Pony so different from all the other content providers?
Nathan: Experience, Customer Service, Quality, and Value. Customer Satisfaction is really important to us. When you engage Blue Pony you don’t just get a designer, you get an entire team of professionals who understand your business technology and goals. We realize without our customers success we will not succeed.
Advertise Me: What has been the most successful and challenging content developed thus far?
Nathan: Interesting. Hmm, well it is all challenging to determine how to best develop the next piece, but that’s the fun in it. Success? I hope the majority of our ads have had a shining moment but we rarely get to hear of there stardom. We seek feedback for our clients and get it from time to time. Bust most of the time we are like the auto repair shop and only hear from the customer when a new set of tires are needed.
Advertise Me: Are you able to share some general pricing information with our audience?
Nathan: Sure. Generally speaking all of our ad pricing is based on a rate of $135 per hour. That only is helpful to know if you have the other variable…How much time? On average a standard 20 second motion ad will cost $350. A premium ad of the same duration might average out at $500. What’s the difference between Standard and Premium? Purely time. If a premium budget is specified by the client we give our designer more development time which in turn translates to a more refined or sophisticated content piece.
Advertise Me: This is our final question that we normally ask all of the people we interview. What do you see as the next “BIG THING” in digital signage?
Nathan: Interactive signage and deeper integration to the personal technologies people carry, like cell phones, ipods, ect.
Advertise Me: Nathan, thanks for taking part in this interview and we hope to speak to you again in the near future.


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About Blue Pony?

Blue Pony is a premier digital content provider for limitless applications who produces custom as well as stock content.

About Advertise Me:

Advertise Me

Advertise Me is a privately owned Australian company specialising in all aspects of digital signage solutions.

Our team of highly skilled professionals is able to introduce innovative ways for businesses to communicate with their intended audiences for a variety of purposes including informing, educating, entertaining and selling.

You can expect us to:

  • offer the most affordable and cost effective solutions tailored to your specific business needs.
  • provide you with concise and accurate information and will ensure that you understand and are comfortable with our proposals.
  • strive to make our clients happy and successful.

We have partnered with a number of key reputable organisations and will continue to build further partnerships to deliver the most effective solutions for our customers.

Visit our website at for more information.


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