March 13th, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENT: The LMA Your Honor Awards program — recognizing excellence in legal marketing by promoting projects and programs that provide innovation and return on marketing dollar investment — awards the first place Advertising – Campaign honor to “IP for a New Age.”
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I always loved that phrase, and have a postcard somewhere around here with a great shot of a neon cowboy grinning above the illuminated type/art. A PR Director from a past life turned me on to it and it has stuck in my head ever since. She said it as “a Texas thing” and I believe her. And when it’s time to bring it out, it’s time.
Which brings me to a bit of good news and braggin’ stuff. Just heard that some great work — well, we ad and marketing folks sure thought so — will compete for the highest honors in the Legal Marketing Association’s annual competition. Now you may not be familiar with the “Your Honor Awards,” but with more than 200 entries this year there’s a lot of buzz and excitement around the event. Winners will be announced in April and we’ll see then how this trade group responds to an approach that took a real turn from leather-bound books, bronze scales and every kind of play on poor blind lady justice.
Cheers to forward-leaning marketing and messaging and creative that brings it home. May the best campaign win!
February 26th, 2013
In its first year, TED’s Ads Worth Spreading challenged the global advertising community to produce ads that inspired thought, consideration, action, reaction and, not least, sharing. 1,000 entries netted 10 winners, and an annual event and honor was created.
This year, ad submissions were organized into six categories: Talk, Social Good, Cultural Compass, Creative Wonder, Brand Bravery and Education. Other changes included the refinement of overall process and elimination of the open entry system. In the end 10 ads made the cut and were deemed to be “ads worth spreading.”
“The best ads are excellent content — driven by ideas. Culturally relevant content with strong storytelling has the power to spark change, raise awareness, and communicate new ways of thinking,” noted Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships at TED.
“The ads selected have a common thread around human connection,” says Carnegie. “They create contagious emotion around wonder, imagination, culture, humor, and ingenuity. We think it is an exciting beginning of a larger conversation about brands as curators of content that creates a playful connection.”
December 12th, 2012
The winners of the second annual Interaction Awards were announced on December 6, 2012 and will be honored at the Interaction Awards Ceremony, held during IxDA’s annual conference, on January 29, 2013.
A list of 75 short-listed entrants from 17 countries was reviewed and a group of 25 standouts — recognized for their excellence in interaction design — were chosen as the 2013 winners. Top winners will be announced at the event and in the class of: Best in Category, Best Concept, Best Student, Best in Show and People’s Choice Award.
The 2013 Interaction Awards winners are:
Making daily activities more efficient
- 10,000ft, Artefact
- FreshBooks for iPhone, FreshBooks
- MyFord Mobile for Ford Motor Company, IDEO
- Nike+ FuelBand, R/GA
- Practice Fusion iPad application, Cooper
- Rehearsal: an App for Practicing Musicians, Kirsten Southwell/North Carolina State University
Capturing attention, creating delight and delivering meaning
- 21 Balançoires, Daily tous les jours
- Chrome Web Lab, Google Creative Lab
- Fiiiit, Ke Zhao/Beijing Sport University
- Gundulas Stories – an interactive learning environment, Fabian Gampp/HTWG Konstanz
Enabling people to go beyond their limits
- 100 BPM, Maxime Dubreucq + Doris Feurstein + Shivanjali Tomar + Natalie Vanns / Umeå Institute of Design
- Nike SPARQ, R/GA
- Nike+ FuelBand, R/GA
- Sonivivi, Daim Yoon/Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
- Teemo, Ammunition
- ZocDoc, ZocDoc
Encouraging self-expression and/or creativity
Facilitating communication between people and communities
- Honolulu Answers, Code for America
- JK5, Ilari Laitinen + Enni Koistinen / Lahti Institute of Design
- Obama for America Mobile Campaign, thirteen23
Re-imagining, completely, an existing product or service by creating new behaviors, usages or markets
December 1st, 2012
Having spent the last two months in an extraordinary place, this clip and project featured struck a very deep chord in me. I typically use this space to share what I’m thinking — and this is no exception. I hope this strikes you and sparks your thoughts as well. Peace.
August 14th, 2011
The Gap is rolling out their new marketing campaign just in time for back-to-school in a style that’s more back-to-the-future. The campaign is the first major marketing push by Gap Inc. since a management shake-up in February ended with a new brand president, chief marketing offer, and ad agency.
“1969: L.A. and Beyond” is composed of 30- to 90-second online documentary-style videos centered around the goings on at its denim design studio in Los Angeles. Print ads support the urban fashion mashup as well. Taking the show on the road, “Pico de Gap” vintage taco trucks with celebrity chefs will hit New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, tweeting locations for each.
While food trucks have become a coast-to-coast craze, boasting everything from sushi and dumplings to street sweets and schnitzel, Gap is sticking with the “original” food truck that started the now nationwide trend. “The idea of Pico de Gap — and the taco truck used in our fall campaign 1969: L.A. and Beyond — came about one night when I was having dinner with our 1969 design team in downtown L.A.,” said Seth Farbman, Gap’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s these types of everyday moments that shape who we are as people and inspire the product we design for our customers. We thought it would be an unexpected, engaging way to share a little more about ourselves and the experience we had that night.”
To create an authentic aesthetic, each Pico de Gap truck was hand-painted and includes a replica of a vintage Gap ad and neon sign from the ’70s. Customers can check out the latest 1969 fall denim styles on display while enjoying tacos for a $1.69. With proof of a same-day Gap denim purchase, the meal is free.
Gap’s campaign launches in a back-to-school season in which consumers are expected to cut back spending because of economic woes and rising prices. Not good odds for a brand struggling to regain position — and profits. The once-leading brand is up against a half-decade of shrinking sales and shrinking stature.
Seth Farbman, CMO since 1Q 2011, says the campaign is not a quick fix, but an effort to drive sales and revive Gap’s image, which he says has “lost a bit of relevance.” Farbman says the focus of the campaign — jeans — is appropriate because they have been one of Gap’s strengths, accounting for about a quarter of the Gap brands revenue.
“This is the start; one step. This campaign begins to put us on the right course,” Farbman said. “Longer term, it starts a conversation about the brand.”
June 20th, 2011
Rob Gatto, CEO of Pointroll (provider of digital marketing services for interactive advertising), recently posted an article on Ad Age’s Digital Next titled “It’s Not the Size, It’s How You Use It.” Provocative title? Yes, but perhaps not in the way that first comes to mind. If you’ve been tasked with creating effective online display ads you know that it’s not easy to break through the on-page chaos of content, advertising, lists of “relevant” links and enough visual noise to make even the most driven user to click off and away. How you use the space you’ve been “given” is the ultimate challenge.
Or is it?
Gatto goes on to support his title with this bold statement: “Putting the Creativity Back Into Online Display Advertising.” He asks us to consider that it’s not the size at all, but the stuff inside the IAB approved pixel width and height. Maybe you’ve been schooled to believe — and to create toward — the concept that online display and disruption don’t play well together. Studies have shown that synergy between on-page content and display ad content, and by that I’m referring to look-and-feel or “creative,” increases the click-through of these ads. So what are we to do when challenged with injecting our work with creativity? Well, the author’s got an answer for that too.
He suggests that new ad formats might be well and good in engaging users and improving the user experience but size is not the solution. He insists on “a resurgence of creative.” And in his insistence he indicates what that might look like, using four broad categories where creativity can, and must, have a place in redefining what is possible with online display advertising. See if you don’t agree.
Redefine Creative for Digital Advertising
As the digital landscape evolves from a small number of circumscribed touchpoints to a more fluid experience across devices, locations, and activities, campaigns must shift their focus from platforms and formats to people: finding the right audience wherever it may be, and delivering creative that audiences will respond to.
Engage Consumers with Dynamic, Interactive Creative
Invite consumers into an ongoing brand relationship that both fits their current context and experience, and actually adds value to one or both.
Measure, Optimize, Repeat
As campaigns span platforms, so must our approach to marrying creativity with analytics. Constant technological and creative innovation is key.
Make an Impression
With so many ways to understand and target audiences, so many ways to reach them, and so many ways to channel our creative energy from mobile and tablet to social to out-of-home, we have an unprecedented opportunity to put our creativity to use in service of the brands we represent.
June 13th, 2011
If you haven’t heard about the stolen laptop and the deadbeat dude that boosted it, you’ve been asleep at the wheel, my friend. There’s a Tumblr page with blow-by-blow descriptions of the theft, the lack of help from the local cops and — wait for it — images of the thief taken with the on-board camera by an installed app built to identify just such an evil-doer.
Such Astroturf marketing is becoming more common at the same time it’s becoming less distinguishable. And to those in the biz who make it their work to blur those lines, we salute you. Who hasn’t had the client request for a “sure thing viral campaign”? Who hasn’t hoped that a bit of creative “magic” will take off and rack up hits in 6-digits and then some? To all of us, here are some stealthy contenders aggregated by Todd Wasserman and Mark Book. Can you tell which is which?
Evan Longoria’s Crazy Bare Hand Catch (Gillette)
How To Hack Video Screens On Times Square (Limitless)
Walk On Water (Hi-Tec)
Kevin Durant Is Moving In Right Now (Nike)
Bike Hero (Guitar Hero)
Are You My Man In The Jacket? (Witchery)
Rear View Girls (Levi’s)
Butterfly Attack (Qualcomm)
Danish One-Night Stand (VisitDenmark)
May 18th, 2011
Logo Lounge’s annual survey of logo trends is a great resource for researching what’s hot, what’s not, what’s timeless and what’s flavor-of-the-month. The selects for 2011 are no different: the lounge folks have gathered a comprehensive collection of color, shapes, effects and general direction.
If you are about to embark on a strategic redesign or you’re creating a visual identity from zero, this work will show you where others have gone — and sometimes many others — and what solutions hit the mark and which fall short. Bookmark the Logo Lounge site. Join and become a contributing member. Check out the catalog of books for sale. Enjoy.
April 28th, 2011
If you’ve ventured into Facebook as an advertiser — social marketer, I should say — you know the hell that awaits as platform changes fly out from nowhere, guidelines vaporize before they can be found and apps that promise relief do little but confound your efforts. Well, you can rest now, weary Creative, for the fine folks at Facebook (actually a new crew brought in to create this new initiative) have brought you Facebook Studio.
This community site is “a place to celebrate the agencies and marketers who are creating and innovating with Facebook.” Actually, it’s an online space where agency creatives can submit work on behalf of their clients, comment on and “like” the work submitted by others, and with enough positive feedback make it to the “Spotlight” position and then on to the “Awards” area. For a publisher/portal that’s pretty much stayed hands-off when it comes to giving guidance and forewarning on rules and redesigns this would appear to be a welcome — and much needed — change.
“We need to do a better job of engaging with agencies,” said Blake Chandlee, head of Facebook’s newly formed agency relations team, adding that the site will focus on best practices and highlight quality campaigns uploaded by the creators.
One quick read, however, of the comments on a recent post shows that Facebook will need to do much more than throw up a creative “contest” and stroke those agencies that stuff the ballot box, so to speak. I pulled up the “Most Liked” and “Most Shared” tabs on my first tour of the site and was not surprised to see a Coke campaign sitting in the number one position. The beverage brand seems to have cracked the code early on and typically appears in how-to resources for “Build Your Brand on FB” along with other brands with enough firepower to make the social network “work” for them.
If your client does business in a highly regulated industry you may be charmed by the display of love and appreciation for “good” creative. Aren’t we all? But it’s something altogether different when you’ve finally convinced your financial services or pharma client to dip a toe into social and you’re on your own in navigating the space. It has not been uncommon for those of us adventuring out to be “on hold” indefinitely, given conflicting instructions or none at all, or surprised to find (just when we thought we had it down) that wholesale changes had upended our efforts. Made for quite a rocky ride.
It’s been a week and already there are plenty of submissions to review and remark on. Time will tell if this becomes the resource that is so sorely needed or if it’s just another creative cul de sac for self-reflection and snarky comments. Facebook’s continued involvement, pro-active engagement, assistance, and active listening will be the first hints that this might be real help and not hype.