Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Go Ahead and Confess—Creatively

I stumbled across a brilliant and funny concept called The Creative Confessional today through Facebook. It's a site where creative can anonymously confess their industry-related sins and seek forgiveness from other creatives. You can go to the website and choose to Absolve or Condemn your fellow creative for their sins. There are some fun ones on there! Definitely a fun, creative time-waster.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fight For Kisses

It's almost shameful that I wasn't aware of this ad until last week when my non-advertising boyfriend showed me this ad shown to him in a presentation on branding at work. (I'm maintaining it's because it's a french brand—I think). It's a four year old ad that's brilliant—with a great follow through component as well. Check it out:

I'm not a big fan of the video game-like graphics for the animation, but it makes sense with the online game conclusion. It's a testament to the ad that it's still running and relevant over four years after it's inception. It's also a testament that as a girl who's razor brand knowledge stopped at Gillette, that I now know and remember Wilkinson as a brand.

Maybe it's because the ad strikes the a true note—even for someone without kids. I played this ad for a friend with a 3-year-old son. She kept laughing and saying, "It's so true though!"

The online game is pretty fun too—you can fight with such devilish weapons as pillows and teddy bears. It definitely had my non-gaming boyfriend playing it for some time. Check it out at Wilkinson's website!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Guardian's Three Little Pigs Mini Movie Ad—Does it Work?

This is a tad delayed, but I recently watched some of the popular ads from the Cannes Film Festival and this one struck a cord. It was entertaining, original and made it's point well. It falls into what you would probably classify as a mini-movie ad in that's it's a few minutes long—but well worth it!

What do you think? When this type of advert started coming out a number of years ago, I was a little skeptical that they'd fly since most commercials are not entertaining enough to hold a viewer's attention for that long. The few that I'd seen didn't fall into that category—few commercials do. This one, however, I wanted to watch a few times—not unlike the famous IKEA Lamp commercial (watch it if you haven't before).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Addicted to 'Liking'

Have you ever had the urge to 'like' something not on Facebook? A tweet? An email?

'Liking' something has become such an ingrained part of social media and our lives that I find myself looking for a 'like' button constantly. These are usually cases where the content made me smile or seemed well put together and I just want to express kudos to the author. Commenting or replying with a 'Nice job!' seems unnecessary and adding too much clutter to the author's inbox or feed.

Case in point, my boss wrote a thoughtful email to the creative department thanking us for getting our timesheets done in a timely manner and the empathy involved in doing so. It was a nice email. I wanted to 'like' it yet not clutter his inbox—but alas, there's no 'like' button in email!

Prior to the Facebook 'like' button I would have smiled and moved on, but now I want to show some appreciation for each time I read a nice email or tweet without making digital clutter doing it.

Lucky for me, my boss turned his empathy email into a blog post which was then shared on Facebook, so I got to 'like' it after all. Twice.

Have you found yourself addicted to 'liking'?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beyond Cute Kittens: Pinterest's Best Uses

Pinterest has been around a couple of years now, but it's just been in the last few months that Pinterest has really started to explode on the social media market. At the same time, I think it's getting a bit of a bad reputation—not too dissimilar from the original criticisms of Twitter. The same nay-sayers who complained that no one wants to read a tweet about what they ate for lunch are missing the mark now on Pinterest when they complain that no one wants to see them pin photos of cute kittens.

I probably should have written this post last summer, a few months after I started using Pinterest. Like many social media options, it took a little while to get used to it and figure out how and whether or not it was worth investing my precious time in. (And precious my time is! As you can see from my sad, pathetic lack of posting recently...) I must say that in the end Pinterest won me over big time and a friend's recent post got me inspired to write about it.

Pinterest's first major use for me was as a collaborative design board for a few other art directors at the agency and myself as we brainstormed a facelift for the interior of our offices. Our lobby was screaming for a makeover. However, getting even a few people on the same page was difficult—add in that we were sharing visual ideas with each other whenever we had a spare moment between other projects and you got disorganized mess of emails with jpg attachments no one could ever locate later when needed. Pinterest offered us the perfect platform to start collecting all our finds and visual brainstorms. It also offered us a centralized place to send our interior designer to share our vision for the space.

Since that first use for Pinterest, my faith in it as a platform grew and it is now my primary bookmarking platform. For someone who mostly wants to bookmark visual things or ideas, it's perfect. And no, I don't find it at all important to bookmark a cute kitten with a quote under it. It's just clutter. Pinterest is full of those types of pins, but it's also full of actually useful pins.  I think Pinterest can be quite a game changer if the wide variety of uses it offers really start to catch on. Here are the best uses I've found for Pinterest:

Online Recipe File All your recipes in one place, accessible with one click and organized by photo and easy to access from my phone = a working woman's recipe heaven.

Visual Inspiration Database I've used it countless times when I'm stuck on a design problem. I keep boards for typography design, infographic design and illustrators that I like so they're easy to access if I want to hire them for a future project.

Brainstorming Tool Multiple people can pin to a board if you invite them. They can comment, like and tag others. It allows for tons of collaboration around visual ideas in a simple way that all stays in one place. We've used it in particular for brainstorming ideas for events.

Shopping Tool
Pinterest's built in price snipe makes for easy price comparisons and the click through allows for quick and easy purchasing. If you shop online and especially if you’re shopping for something based mostly on look and price (like a couch), it’s fantastic. It's not too far off from Amazon's universal wish list idea.

Reference Tool One of the most popular ways to use Pinterest is as reference, mostly for household tips, tricks and organization (most Pinterest users are female). There's a fair amount of DIY and craft ideas, it just depends on what your interests are.

As you can see, Pinterest can offer uses far beyond cute or funny photos. Its organization and sharing structure offer many different ways to share and brainstorm visually. I never would have guessed that I was in need of a service like Pinterest, but now that its here, I think I'd have trouble going without it. And that is the marking of a future internet success.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Walgreens' Charity Check-In Special

Foursquare check-in specials are old news. Don't get me wrong, I love extra savings etc. that I often get from Foursquare specials, but I rarely see anything new or creative with their usage. Until today.

I had to stop at Walgreens over lunch to pick up a prescription and checked-in. I'm pretty terrible at remembering to check-in at places I run errands at, but today I remembered and was pleasantly surprised by the Foursquare special Walgreens was running.

My check-in just got someone needy a free flu shot voucher. Nice. Granted, there's no way to make sure that Walgreens follows through, but it still made me feel good about it. In a way it was nicer than getting something free, especially if it's something random I didn't really want in the first place.

Kudos Walgreens and a great new usage of the Foursquare Check-In Special!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Obama Continues Great Online Campaign Strategies

It's no secret that in the 2008 presidential election broke some records. One of them was the amount of grass roots fund raising and social media campaigning that Obama's campaign pioneered. Its success was, no doubt, a huge factor in his successful run for president.

Since 2008, politicians from the local to the national level have embraced social media and online marketing with the same fervor. You would now be a fool to run for even local office without an active and relevant Twitter account and Facebook page. Which brings us the 2012 presidential election and an interesting question:

How is Obama going to top that?

More specifically, now that every Republican nominee will use similar tactics, how is Obama's campaign going to stand out as different? His unique, cutting edge way of campaigning was such a large part of how he got into office and raised millions of dollars in $5 increments, one wonders how he'll top that. How he'll continue to get that kind of attention and support now that the idealist 'Hope' fervor and marketing differentiation that helped carry his first campaign is gone.

I was surprised and interested to see one of his new tactics emerge already:

Donate for a chance to dine with the president.

How cool is that? For any amount of donation, you can put your name in the hat to dine with the President. Its a standard sweepstakes, but twisted such that it fits campaign goals.

I find this to be a great tactic for a few reasons. First, if you're a liberal and an Obama fan it's your chance to schmooze with the President, get your ideas heard first hand like the top end campaign donors do—but at a much more affordable price. Even if you're an independent, someone not sure if they're going to vote for Obama let alone donate, it still seems to be a tempting offer. For $5 I can see a few otherwise non-donors dropping a few bucks for the chance to be heard first hand by the President. And finally, it's just pretty cool to meet the President, even if you don't agree with his politics. Tack the shear fact that, love him or hate him, Obama will go down in history books for being the first black President of the U.S. and it's quite an offer.

What do you think? Is a tactic like this going to up the amount of donations to the campaign? Or is it just a cheesy ploy?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Time Magazine Reaches Out ... To Gamers?

Time Magazine is doing an interesting cross promotion with video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by lending it's iconic cover template for a faux cover claiming 'World Stands On The Brink' while Wall Street smolders in the background. Time apparently even helped art direct the cover.

Time says that it's involved in the cross promotion in order to reach a new demographic of customers, while critics have a hard time seeing it really reach gamers and in the meantime it dilutes the brand image. I think Time isn't far off in how their trying to reach a new demographic—the usage of the magazine is appropriate and similar to how it's used in say, product placement in a movie for example. I don't think this treatment necessarily dilutes the brand image any more than that would. If anything, it's reminding them of Time's iconic place in the realm of news magazines.

But there is a catch—if Time is looking for growth in magazine subscriptions and not just awareness we have a problem. Why? Because I don't think too many gamers are the types to buy paper news magazines. They're much more likely to get that news online and given the constant dialogue about the best way for newspapers and magazines will be able to monetize their online operations as print declines. But that's another story...

American Express's Social To Mainstream Media?

American Express is running an interesting commercial highlighting customer's tweets about how they spent their customer rewards. It's a fun, feel good campaign though I would have loved to see it even more a couple of years ago. American Express is not the first to do a campaign like this, but they are still relatively few and far between. I also thought this one was pretty well executed. Check it out:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Check In To Space

I had heard, in the infancy of Foursquare, that you could check in to outer space. I looked for it on my Foursquare app, thinking it might be one of those global check ins—because, you know, Earth is in space, right?—but I couldn't find it. Apparently I needed to be in a space ship—or a 7-Eleven.

Yep, you heard me. 7-Eleven is offering you the opportunity to check in to space at a 7-Eleven store. And they're giving you the opportunity to win a space experience! Okay, well a Zero-gravity flight at any rate. You're more apt to win free tickets to the movie Super 8, for which they are offering this cross promotion.

Yes, it's a bit hokey, but fun nonetheless. I'd stop by a 7-Eleven just to have that on my Foursquare history, would you?