20. Old is the new new

Why is it that getting something new is so exciting? Americans have so much junk lying around, and yet, we always want more. I’ve noticed this most with women and clothes. We always hate what’s in our own closets yet the second we can borrow a friends shirt, for example, we get all excited like a kid on easter who found the egg with money in it. I love to watch people go through my stuff and see their eyes light up at something they find interesting after I’ve discarded it because of time.

This has got me thinking lately because new years is coming up soon and I know that everyone is headed to the gym to fulfill their new years resolution of getting thin. Gym memberships are going to spike, and so are at home work out tools like weights and treadmills. The funniest thing to me is that out of nowhere, by purchasing a new bulky, expensive machine, suddenly everyone is in the mood to lose 20 pounds. We all ridicule the bride that thinks she’ll magically get in shape just because her wedding is soon, yet everyone else does it all year round.

This frustration might have also been sparked because my boyfriend is positive that him buying a bike block (a device that turns your road bike stationary so you can use it in your house) will make for the best workout. He doesn’t bike. But buying this will change that, of course.

(sorry darlin for calling you out… love you)

 

Let’s get back to primitive living shall we?  Start with re-wearing an old shirt and sporting it like its 2011. Or maybe getting crazy and try running, outside.

 


19. Shame, Shame

I’m not sure if this is an appropriate time to post this quote, since my previous blog was about Kia, but it’s too good to ignore.

“The worst thing that can happen to a bad product, is good advertising”.

 

So far I can only think of the ShamWow, but I think the quote is backwards for this invention…

 

 

 

Im on the look out this week for bad products with incredible advertising. More to come on this post, hold on tight.


18. Kia’s new direction

Has anyone else noticed Kia Motors’ new audience they’re targeting? They eased their way into a cheaper demographic with their “kiefer kia princess” which gained them the unfriendly association of “cheapness” but I have a feeling that this has been their plan all along. Kia cars have a hard time getting recognition when they’re competing against the big dogs so they needed an edge to push sales. Companies like Toyota and Honda already have a long-lasting relationship with their clients and, with their good history record, most of those people don’t plan on changing brands for a while.

So what did Kia do to try to get their name out there? They directed their attention to young drivers. Genius. Who else has disposable money, makes bad decisions and likes shiny things?!

Their new cars are cheap and stocked with everything and they knew that this audience doesn’t care about performance, so they glossed up their steel and sold it with furry animals dressed in bling, rocking their heads to hip-hop.

Since 2007, new car sales have dropped about one million per year, leaving 2011 at only 5.7 million sold. People are always going to still be buying things, but they’re starting to look for ways to make their dollar stretch and Kia saw that as an opportunity. Kids are drawn to the new high-tech devices and the sleek new look that Kia offers. By switching up simple things like tail lights to a more modern look, and adding simple tech savvy appliances compatable with the most popular hand-held device (yes, the iPhone), you grab the short attention span of young buyers that want a new toy. 2011 has been Kia’s best year in sales to date, and I think that’s due to smart strategy. They looked at economy stats and predictions, demographics and product remodeling to make for a positive shift in their sales- and it worked.

Trust me, I’m not trying to sell a product here, but I can appreciate a good strategy plan when I see it.


17. “Here is boring”

 

A world with no ads- a topic that has been covered before, but it has me really looking at things differently lately. I can’t imagine walking down the streets and just seeing blank walls. Or walking down isles in stores and just seeing white boxes with black labels. Our entire perception of the world would be drastically different, which would inherently change how we think and do, well, everything.

Personalities are brands, and we gain those personalities from the things around us. So if the world was a blank slate, we would be one boring civilization.

I picture our homes to looks similar to this.

 

Definitely not somewhere I picture kicking off my shoes and watching the game. Nor do I wish to walk down the streets and see boring logos and empty spaces where art could be hung. I like to see brands personalities shine through. We all judge a book by its cover, and by book I mean product.

Thinking about living in such a bland space has me even appreciating graffiti. I say we all grab markers and hit the town running. Ok that’s probably a disaster but take that advice metaphorically. Make your personality burst through a room. Blind people with your colorful words and ideas and watch a masterpiece appear.


16. Biking straight to city hall

If this comes to Portland, I’ll be the first to protest taxes on bikers. They use the road just as much as we do- why aren’t we making bikes get registered so we can tax the owners accordingly?

http://www.missionmission.org/2011/11/07/crosstown-bikeways-plan-calls-for-big-green-bike-lanes-running-straight-up-the-middle-of-valencia-street/


15. Dislike

We’ve been talking a lot in class lately about how much influence the internet really has over a product/company. I believe it started with Tom as your first friend on Myspace. That lonely number on your friends list made you instantly want to climb to the top. I remember in high school accepting whoever and whatever until my “friends” list held more digits than most guys exaggerate in their little black book. Then along came facebook which gave people a re-do on their social image. I think that’s when most of us realized that having too many friends was more pathetic than desirable. This whole social networking is a Goldy locks experiment. The next friend-ster site will probably only allow the Dunbar amount- which is juuuuussstttt right for our minds to comprehend. (make sure to actually read into the Dunbar number, it’s a fascinating theory).

Now companies feel the social pressure to gain “friends”. Have you been noticing on most websites that annoying box that wants you to link it to your preferred networking sites?

 

I suppose companies want to display your new friendship. Maybe by clicking “like” you made that company feel all warm and gooey inside.

…or now that company is using your “like” as a pathetic stat to make it seem like their products are amazing because so many people “like” it.

friends can be twofaced.

 

 

 

 


14. Branding Quiz

 

“In 1984 design planner and theorist Jay Doblin of the respected Doblin Group noticed how brands have become paramount to corporate identity in the minds of consumers. To illustrate the power of effective brands, Doblin created a quiz out of fragments of national and global logos, which he flashed on a screen a few seconds at a time. Doblin called the quiz “Frags.” Here we’ve updated Doblin’s 28-year-old quiz with some contemporary logos. See if you can name the brands based on the close-up portions shown. You will probably be surprised by how many you can identity — a compelling argument for why distinctive graphic branding, applied often and consistently is key to a strong identity program.”  Information and photo courtesy of: http://sozadesigns.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/brand-frags/

 

I was given this quiz in a journalism class given by Professor Ryan at the University of Oregon and haven’t stopped thinking about it. Not only are we given a fragment of each logo, they aren’t even in their signature colors and yet the entire class passed flawlessly. This is the perfect test to see how prevalent branding is in our culture and how much it penetrates into each and every one of us. For fun I’ve been keeping track of slogans and testing random people to see if they know who they belong to.  Branding permeates further than just a slogan or symbol though, think about how you feel after reading each tag line, and the associates you have from just these few words:

Just do it

Once you pop you just cant stop

Get more, pay less

Great taste, less filling

Have it your way

I’m loving it

It’s all inside


13. My Vision for Branding

Brand thinking is a constant value that molds itself to each generation differently. It used to be that brands were one dimensional. Flat, generic ideas that had a difficult time expanding to its viewer’s diversity. This is not to discredit all advertisements from the past decades, since there have certainly been some revolutionary creators that have influenced the market to where it is today but there are undoubtedly a new set of obstacles that give branding a whole new meaning. Teressa Iezzi explains in her book The Idea Writers, “One of the challenges of today’s copywriter is telling a story across multiple platforms, and involving the consumer in that story” (29). You simply can’t send out a message in hopes that it will get heard. With the new wave of technology, people can now tune out ads and avoid them all together much easier. This is a curse and a blessing; we now have to work harder to reach people, but it also means that when we do, it will have a larger impact. Instead of shooting blank concepts, there has to be a purpose behind it. Iezzi supports that claim by explaining that, “the more basic part of interactive is to make people feel something” (72). Adding an emotional connection to the foundation of branding is the critical ingredient to a successful advertisement.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the perfect campaign that has had the most influence over what I consider to be the new standard for brand thinking. With their client Haagen Dazs , they demonstrated how to link together the relationship between a brand and the people who use it.  Honey bees were becoming extinct and without them we would lose many of our natural recourses, which happens to include ice cream. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners went the extra mile to exhibit the correlation between their product and a necessity in everyone’s lives. Using a wide variety of media platforms, Goodby was able to send out a positive message that, “after one week after launch the campaign generated over 125 million impressions. More than their goal for the entire year” (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners). They created a story that transformed communities, schools and corporations by walking away from conventional advertising. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners knew that one option was to showcase a new feature of their ice cream, but instead they reached out to their audience. They took it upon themselves to make a difference and spread passion. This is brand thinking.

Luke Williams teaches his strategy in Disrupt to help get results that Häagen-Dazs saw by beginning the thought process with, “seeing things as they are and asking, ‘Why?,’ or dreaming things as they never were and asking, ‘What if?’” (18). Williams wants to “disrupt” typical thinking in order to shift branding into the new era. “Disruptive hypotheses are designed to upset your comfortable, business equilibrium and bring about accelerated change in your own thinking” (18). Asking the right questions in the beginning of your branding strategy will lead to stronger answers in the end. Good campaigns don’t erect form simple observations and close-minded questions. It comes from the innovators lifestyle of seeing the world from a different view than the typical person.

The most influential speaker I’ve encountered that spoke upon this idea is Scott Bedbury, who believes that, “when we are fully present we don’t miss very much. We become better marketers, leaders, lovers parents and citizens”.  More importantly, Bedbury emphasized the importance of bringing honestly to all of your work. Branding is like the air within in our lives, it surrounds us everyday and most of us take it for granted.  We need air to survive but through time people have generated smog that is slowly suffocating us. Branding has to be cleaned up and supported by likeminded people that want to change its image into a healthier one.

There are many skeptical of the positive power that the media can have over our culture because branding is so heavily prevalent which has a major influence on what we do and how we think of every level. “Advertisers are aware of their role and do not hesitate to take advantage of the insecurities and anxieties of young people, usually in the guise of offering solutions” (Kilbourne, 2); however with campaigns like Häagen-Dazs, produced by Goodby, we can see the evolution of branding becoming a more beneficial source to society. I am personally placing the pressure of turning mass communication into a platform of constructive energy in order to help shape, and impact the world into a better place. As the creative ad genius of our time, Bill Bernach, puts it best: “All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.”


12. A little about me

How it all began:

I remember those brutal days back in middle school when you felt like your whole world was coming at your faster than a stampede of loose ostrich (hu?). There was so much pressure to begin shaping your life, and I felt the immense weight on my shoulders at all times to find out what my career should be. So many things depend on what you do as a child. They make all the fun careers end in your early 20′s, like athletes, movie stars and models, so as a 15 year old I was constantly placed in front of my count down clock of opportunity to get with it. Every activity I did, watched or read about I asked myself “Can I make money doing this? Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? Where will this lead me when I’m older with a family?”  Talk about stress for a youngster.

So I laid out everything I’m good at, and things I like to do. I’m creative. I love people, and I love life. Crap, I’m going to be poor.

But then I realized I can do something that’s going to change the world, and it all started with an embarrassing movie: “What Women Want” starring Mel Gibson. Yup, this is when I realized I wanted to go into advertising.

I had been dancing around the idea of creating things for people, and getting to use my imaginative, fun and outgoing personality to accomplish big goals but I didn’t know what the title was for that. While I watched Mel Gibson research a product inside and out, and get to design a concept for a community that related to it, I realized that I belong somewhere and that somewhere was in an advertising agency.

So here I am, I’m ready to create something. I’m here to make an imprint in the world and most importantly, I’m here to share the love of life.


11. Is easier more work?

We all know about the buzz for the new iPhone 4S showing its face for the first time with newer features that are unlike anything else on the market.

The new things that make this new device exceptional is the new dual processor that makes for a faster internet connection and what have you. But what people are really excited about to brag to their friends is the new Siri feature which is a voice sensor that allows your phone to do much of the work your fingers used to have to do. Instead of typing in a text message, or having to spell out names of restaurants in your GPS, you can now speak into your phone and it will write it out for you. Pretty amazing. And as hard as it is to find fault in this, the little person in me that loves to play devils advocate manages to find something to criticize.

Do you think that the more products we place in our lives to make things easier are actually obstacles that make more work for us?

I heard the most absurd complaint the other day that sparked this idea. As I was drifting in and out of consciousness in class, my teacher announced, “I was lazy, so I didn’t fast forward” while talking about using her tevo.

How spoiled does our generation, let me correct myself, entire society, have to be in order to be satisfied?! I remember when I was younger and thinking about how cool it would be to fast forward during slow movies or be able to pause live TV and here we are with that full luxury and now we complain that hitting one button is too much work. Absurd.

The same goes with the iPhone though. We have an amazing device that can do things that we’ve never even dreamed imaginable, and yet now that the “newness”, which is about a week, has worn off I find it inconvenient at most times to use my siri because even though technically it’s less work to talk into my phone hands free, there are still aspects that are “more work” for me- mainly the risk of it typing something i didn’t enunciate correctly and then I have to start all over when I could have typed it in manually the first time.

These “extra steps” that have been designed to make less work for us are ruining our mindsets of what is productive and what is enjoyable. At what point are we going to let devices enjoy our lives for us? Perhaps we already are but it’s difficult to see while immersed so deeply in our technology filled lives. I’ll ask my phone and see what it comes up with…