Amazing video. Great production. Drama. Excitement. Danger. Nerds!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Science is so cool!”
Amazing video. Great production. Drama. Excitement. Danger. Nerds!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Science is so cool!”
I love awards shows. They never fail to inspire and they remind me why I got into this business in the first place – to use the strategies and tactics of advertising for good. Cannes Lions recently released their list of award-winning campaigns, and this year the winning entry for the Grand Prix for Good is an example of strategic insight and creative execution at its finest.
The challenge: More than 650,000 people around the world are diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma every year. And for many of them, a marrow transplant is their only hope. Only about half find a match. That’s in large part because there aren’t nearly enough people on the Marrow Donor Registry. To make matters worse, it’s so complicated to sign up that it’s a wonder anyone’s registered at all.
The solution: To change registering as a marrow donor from something complex to simple and everyday.
Who would have thought an everyday action like cutting yourself and a slightly modified bandage box could be used to make such a difference in the lives of so many?
It’s the equivalent of Netflix envelopes, but in the form of a bandage box. It’s such a simple and elegant solution that it’s a wonder no one ever thought of it before. Which just goes to show, there are new ideas that are out there, waiting to be discovered. You just have to look at the problem in a new light. Ask different questions. Find fresh synergies. As someone at Cannes noted in this beautiful Slideshare presentation (slide 58), “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”
Last weekend, I finally got around to watching POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It was a mind bender for sure, since the movie itself is a critique about product placement in movies even as the entire documentary is being financed by product placement.
What really caught my attention though was the point in the film where Morgan Spurlock goes to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where outdoor ads have been banned since 2007. When Spurlock asks some local storekeepers how the law has changed their business, they tell him that it has forced them to innovate and develop products and services that their customers will actually want and want to talk about. Wow. That sounds like the synopsis of Purple Cow from Seth Godin. Spend more money on R&D and innovations and less on advertising.
Of course, advertising in Sao Paulo isn’t gone. It’s just changed. Sao Paulo is the world’s seventh largest city by population and the tenth largest city in the world by GDP. Clearly, business is still getting done. Ads and communications are still being made. It’s just different. It’s a classic case of necessity being the mother of all invention. In this case, the law has forced businesses (especially retailers) to be more creative about getting customers into their stores. How are they doing it? I’m not sure. They didn’t cover that in the film and I’ve never actually been to Sao Paulo.
That said, the entire premise got me thinking. What if tomorrow TV advertising were banned in America? What would we do? It may sound preposterous, but it’s not. Because every time a client tells us that they don’t have the budget for television (or a very limited budget), for all intents and purposes it’s as if television advertising has been banned. But perhaps that’s not so bad. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to be more strategic and more creative, just like they’ve been forced to do in Sao Paulo.
So how’s this for a challenge? What if, for every assignment we got, we pretended that television wasn’t an option. What would we do? How inventive and creative could we ultimately be?
Building on our community core value, 28 GSD&M employees braved the Texas heat for Habitat for Humanity projects this past Saturday. With both projects set in the east side of Austin, volunteers were tasked with pouring concrete and framing at the new construction site and painting and fence building at the home repair site.
“It was such an eye opening experience for those of us that don’t have a chance to be out there every day. We sit behind a screen most days and there are people working with Habitat 40-60 hours a week,” noted Mario Solis, account manager at GSD&M.
“Saturday was the most rewarding experience I have ever had participating in a community outreach project,” said Carol Keesee, planning operations manager. “It was hard work and it was hot; but it was also fun and very humbling.”
According to Habitat for Humanity’s website, nearly 2 billion people around the world live in slum housing and over 100 million are homeless. Habitat for Humanity is needed to help eliminate poverty by providing simple, decent shelter to those in need.
“We also had a chance to meet the family and that was really great. Got to know who they are, their background and it put everything into perspective of why we were doing what we were doing,” Solis added.
GSD&M employees also had the opportunity to work side-by-side trained builders and other local volunteers and were asked to get creative when materials were not available.
“The Habitat staff are remarkable human beings. They do this backbreaking work day in and day out and yet, they treat each day, each build like it was the first one and with enthusiasm,” noted Ann Monachino, assistant to the CEO at GSD&M. “They treat the volunteers like rock stars and always have smiles on their faces. To volunteer and work with these folks was a true honor and a life lesson for me to do more,” she continued.
“As a first-timer, it was great to see all the hard work put into the project pay off on the last day,” said Cara Maschler, account supervisor at GSD&M.
In the end, all GSD&M volunteers could agree it was a great experience and one that brought people from all different backgrounds together to do something for the greater good.
“We painted, caulked, cleaned up construction materials and even put in a front flower bed using existing materials from the property. Habitat took a little bit of East Austin history and breathed a new chapter into it with our help. I was SO sweaty and dirty when I left, but so proud to contribute and represent GSD&M in this good deed,” Maschler continued.
Science is so cool.
via The Dish
What you’re seeing:
If a slinky is hung by one end such that its own weight extends it, and that slinky is then released, the lower end of the slinky will not fall or rise, but will remain briefly suspended in air as though levitating.
[T]he best thing is to think of the slinky as a system. When it is let [go], the center of mass certainly accelerates downward (like any falling object). However, at the same time, the slinky (spring) is compressing to its relaxed length. This means that top and bottom are accelerating towards the center of mass of the slinky at the same time the center of mass is accelerating downward.
I guess I am late to the game in learning the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). When I first heard of FOMO, I thought it was some sort of new plague set to take out mankind, never realizing that I should be afraid of missing out on so many things that are happening around me and to my Facebook/Twitter/Google +/foursquare/Instagram/Pinterest friends. (Oh, wait, am sensing a pattern here.)
Being of a generation that was raised to use cell phones (car phones back then) only in emergencies because of the high cost of the calls, I would never have imagined that I could be using my cell phone to keep tabs on so many people! I only recently discovered that I have attachment issues with my iPhone (when I left it at home one day and felt the need to hold it and peruse every app for at least 30 minutes to see what I might have missed). But at least I now have a name for the malady. And I am not a lone sufferer, it seems.
However, this raises a question. Are we missing out on life around us as we become more attached to our mobile devices and social media and less attached to going out and living? I am not convinced of this yet as I love all the benefits that social media provides. I can keep up with past students, high school friends, trends and current issues that face our society. And the fact that social media is available on mobile phones, we can share while out and about and living the grand life. No longer do we have to wait to get home to load all of the pictures of our fabulous outings. We can load a couple of well-taken shots right from our phones, just enough to make our friends jealous and give them a serious case of FOMO.
Do you suffer from the Fear of Missing Out? Do social media and mobile devices provide a newer way to try to keep up with and outdo others?
This is Scout and I spoil her. This weekend I spent two hours researching dog food simply because she seemed indifferent to the food I was feeding her. I figured she must not like it very much so I set out to find something she would like. Big mistake. Once I started looking into dog foods I discovered just how poor the quality is of most brands. Shocking. How dare they make dog food not fit for a dog? Anyway, I found this amazing site, dogfoodadvisor.com, that lists most the major brands and many you’ve never heard of. They have a simple five-star rating system and break down and describe every single ingredient in each brand reviewed. Incredibly informative. The biggest surprise? Not that the name brand “healthy” dog food I was giving Scout was anything but healthy. No. The big surprise was that the Costco brand food made by Kirkland has four stars and is “highly recommended.” I’ll be buying that in the future. In the meantime, I mixed a bag of Blue Buffalo Wilderness in with the rest of the junk I was feeding her. Scout is a now a much more enthusiastic eater.
PS: The pic of Scout is from when she was six weeks old. She’s now seven months old and a solid beast of a dog. And a sweetheart.
There once was a time when memorable campaigns were built on the backs of big television budgets. The creative idea – big, brilliant and buzzworthy – was rooted in the television script. And even though more and more digital channels have come online over the past 10-15 years, there’s been a tendency in this industry to treat those channels as add-ons, with television still doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. The thinking in the industry has been, in other words, “Let’s first figure out what our big idea is on television and we’ll figure out the digital extensions afterward.”
The problem with this approach is twofold. First, when the main idea is thought of in the context of television, with other channels/ideas bolted on afterward, the universe of ideas/touchpoints inevitably bends to the television concept. Second, when television is the main idea, a much larger media budget is required, often resulting in an inefficient allocation of media dollars overall.
That’s why, at GSD&M, we prefer the following approach.
When the big idea is media agnostic, we can more effectively leverage all the assets we have at our disposal, making every dollar of our media budget count. Second, with a fully integrated big idea, each channel feeds the other channels seamlessly and effectively, creating deeper consumer engagement at every touchpoint.
This is the power of beginning with a big idea. This is why big ideas still matter. Because in a world where media is increasingly fragmented and budgets are getting tighter, a super-smart, fully-integrated big idea can make all the difference.
Images courtesy of GSD&M.
June 15, 2012
Posted by Oscar Llarena
Funny thing about the average consumer: They don’t think like marketers. In most cases, when the time comes to make a purchase, the approach a consumer takes can either be described as a “Hunter” or as a “Gatherer.” The Hunter is typically a person who is ready to purchase. They know what they want and have decided to complete their purchase and will do so where they feel comfortable, either online or on land. On the contrary, a Gatherer can be categorized as an individual who is still searching for additional information before transforming into Hunter mode and completing the purchase. Additionally, Gatherers tend to visit multiple sites and retailers in order to ensure that they are getting the best deal or value.
But what does any of that have to do with brands and their behavior online and on land? Everything. While consumers will never praise a brand for providing a seamless transition from their website to the brick-and-mortar store, they will gladly avoid a brand for having a bad online site or, even worse, a physical space that does not provide a good experience. In addition, consumers who are presented with barriers to research while on a brand’s site are more likely to avoid the brand’s physical space as well. As one study shows:
Shoppers on average consult about four websites for price and feature information. However, half of them end up buying in brick-and-mortar stores.
While consumers are more likely to purchase offline, roughly two-thirds begin their searches online, using a combination of search and the retailer’s own website.
Bottom line is that as a retailer, you have to consider both the virtual and physical spaces. Your virtual world is just as relevant as your store in the local mall. When marketers are able to convince users to actually consider a product with an advertisement, it is crucial for the online experience to be simple, clean and one that reflects the brand look and feel. It isn’t enough to simply have a web presence anymore. Retailers must have a site that is mobile-friendly and allows for richer engagement with the brand. And in the case of consumers in Hunter mode, a solid e-commerce experience is crucial in assuring that the consumer does not decide to open another window and see what your competitor down the block is offering as well.
Great article that does a good job of explaining why people love of video games. In a nut shell the six moments that make video games worth it are:
1) When you truly feel power for the first time
2) When a piece of “Victory Music” plays
3) The first time you see an awe-inspiring enemy
4) The first time you see the universe running without you
5) Reaching the other end of an impossible level
6) Mastering the rhythm
Personally, I love discovering the trick to a level or challenge and the feeling, oh the glorious feeling, of godlike powers when you’re a high-level character smashing through bad guys. Sooooooo satisfying.