Monthly Archive: March 2011

Have You Flexed Your Creative Muscles Today?

In January, Intel launched a series of “Visual Life” mini-documentaries to help spur demand for its 2nd generation Core processor.

Now the brand is back with a new new film that features legendary designer Michael Wolff of Wolff Olins.

I like how Wolff describes his creative muscles–curiosity, appreciation and imagination–and how he routinely exercises them. Wolff also delivers a spot on take on brand identity:

A brand is really a way of remembering what something is like for future reference — something you value, something you feel attracted to. The job of a brand identity, how you package all of that — the purpose, the vision, what it does, what it brings — how you make that so that people can take it and receive it and value it and treasure it and choose it, that’s the whole process of branding. That’s what it is.

Source: Maria Popova at Brain Pickings

Creating Digital Experiences Is The Name Of The Game

Tomer Tishgarten, vice president of technology at Engauge, writing in
Mashable, argues that Microsoft’s Kinect technology is well on the way across the chasm from hardcore gamers to mainstream adoption, in part due to an intense interest from marketers.

Microsoft’s newest periphery for the Xbox 360 recognizes voices, captures facial expressions in real time, and can even tell players apart. But the marketing potential of Kinect extends far beyond video games, Tishgarten believes.

“In the near term, marketers could leverage Kinect technology to create eye-opening trade show displays and in-store promotions. Freed from the gaming console, the technology can draw people into an immersive, interactive experience.”

BK is one big brand that jumped on the Kinect early. I don’t know how successful BK’s Kinect promotion was, but by all accounts the product, which debuted in November 2010, is a run away success for Microsoft.

The company predicted sales of 3 million units by the end of 2010. Instead, they sold 8 million in two months.

Bit.ly Can Help You See How Content Is Being Shared

Matt LeMay is writer, musician and coder. He’s a senior contributor at Pitchfork and Platform Manager at bit.ly, a link shortening service.

Media Bistro caught up with LeMay and asked him some great questions about web analytics and how to refine the content you’re serving up to better meet your audience’s needs. And what brand is not serving up some form of content marketing today?

Your audience is not who you imagine it is, I promise. It’s a really exciting time for (web) analytics right now, because we used to have to think about our audience and imagine. With real data, you don’t have to make those kinds of assumptions any more. You can find out what you need to and act on it fast.

I don’t pretend to understand how to use all the tools bit.ly offers, but I do want to learn more. Because you, or I, might be really great at making apple pie, and very happy making apple pie, while our audience is actually hungry for peach cobbler. It’s the kind of thing every marketer needs to know.

Digital Fitness Instructors: So, That’s What We Do

B. Bonin Bough is PepsiCo’s Global Director of Digital and Social Media. He’s in Austin this week for his 8th South By Southwest Interactive experience.

He asks a great question from the stage, “How do we get organizations to digitally adapt?”

“Digital fitness is the ability to adapt to changes in the digital environment. How do you do digital fitness? The same way you do physical fitness. It requires training, commitment, it requires rigor, it requires you to push beyond the point where you want to say no.”

If you’d like to see and hear more from Bough, Mashable caught up with him at the 92ns Street Y in New York City last fall.

Client Showcase #8

Portland agency, ID Branding, recently hired me to write copy for their client, Bonneville Power Administration. Bonneville supplies power to many smaller utilities in the Pacific Northwest and also provides energy efficient programming to their partners to help curb the region’s use of electricity.

Between now and next July, there’s a big push to get commercial lighting switched out to the latest, most efficient bulbs and ballasts. Bonneville created two concurrent year-long campaigns–one targeting lighting contractors and the other directed at end users who lease or own warehouse, retail and/or office space.

Here’s a look at a few of the direct mail post cards (front only) that will be going out:



Here’s a program overview piece that lighting contractors will deliver in a packet to their prospects and commercial customers:

The campaign also includes regular email updates, Web updates, leave-behinds for the contractors to use, a July-to-July calendar with key dates and more.

I worked closely with Sarah Cline and Josh Berger from ID’s design team and with Matt Neupert from the account team on this project.

You Don’t Have To Work For The Man, To Read His Playbook

Steve Strauss, author of The Small Business Bible, used to work for The Man and he believes in learning from The Man.

“The Man hires MBAs, lawyers and consultants, and those smarties come up with a lot of very good ideas. So one thing I consistently tell small business people is that we should cherry-pick the best corporate ideas we come across,” says Strauss.

To get another point of view, Strauss asked Shawn Parr, CEO of Bulldog Drummond in San Diego to outline some things small businesses can learn from big businesses.

Parr says:
1. Be amazing at execution.
2. Be strategic and forward thinking.
3. Don’t lose touch with your customer.
4. Hire the best.
5. Study their motives.

Regarding his first point, Parr says, “It’s especially important for early stage companies to be deliberate about planning the journey – from development to sale to satisfaction, and to figure out what steps are needed to get there.”

Amen. And let’s hope figuring out the necessary steps includes the creation of marketing plan, even if it’s more draft than plan. Early stage companies tend to be very operational, so it’s not easy to halt, and refocus on marketing, but how customers experience the product or service is almost as critical to the enterprise as the product or service itself.

via: American Express OPEN