The Fun Theory – Piano Stairs

The Fun Theory – Piano Stairs

I work in the advertising industry and one of our biggest segments over past few youtuberific facebooktastic years is social media. So, user or company generated content that will be passed virally around the blogosphere, email and of course social networking sites and micro-aggregators like Twitter. Ideally they are produced at a fraction of the cost of TV and are seen by more people than the series finally of Friends in like 5 minutes.

The problem is noone has perfected it yet. There is a delicate balance in this medium of people not wanting to be marketed to and wanting better and more interesting online content.

Plus there is an argument being made that, aside from a brand touch by seeing a logo, there is no payoff for companies. Are consumers converting from viral video to purchase or at least brand awareness at rates that make it worth it? Or does the normal Youtube user go from a branded video strait to a video of a cat bathing itself in the kitchen sink, and forget everything that came before it?

I say it is worth it. Indubitably. Unequivocally. If nothing else, it shows that a company understands their customers. Where they are, what they are doing. That says a lot in the minds of the general population. Second, a well done video or app will direct individuals to websites where purchasing, more information and further brand impact can ensue. And lastly, it’s cheap. It should be anyway. And if something doesn’t work, change it, evolve it, take it down, put it back up. We live in a world of immediate gratification, corporations need to get in on the chaos. Let consumers tell you what they want either through views or comments and be open to changing to oblige.

Here’s a good example of a video, campaign, idea that is shareable, socially aware and delicately but seamlessly branded.

Volkswagen. like a whisper right there at the end. But the company’s long established brand makes sense here. It doesn’t feel forced as it would with even another car company like Ford or even BMW.

I don’t know if it is tricky editing, but I love the old guy (see photo above, or 1:23 in the video) who is going for the stairs. That guy is awesome, he’ll probably play Chopin all the way up.

I think this idea will work, and will be really interesting as it moves forward. And even if it doesn’t, 7,000 people in one day are now aware that VW is trying to make the world a little more fun.

See more of the campaign here, in German. I guess the english site is not up yet.

Ogilvy tweeted this today, which is where I saw it.

NGAGE now Hughes…

NGAGE now Hughes…

Sorry I have been out of sorts lately. I was on vacation, where I destroyed at least 5 burritos, frolicked on 2 beaches and took in a whole lot of sunshine in San Diego. Also, work has been crazy lately. We’re cranking out a website and promo pieces for Astound Sound. They’re an audio software that takes your compressed music and movies and expands the sound without stretching it. Its pretty incredible, and the work we’re doing for it is very cool. The new site should be live in a couple weeks. Here’s the banner I’m working on now, just to give you a sense.

But also, we found out a few weeks ago that my company NGAGE has merged with an agency known as Hughes, and that we are going to retain their name. Hughes has been around for more than 30 years, and has about 30 clients. Scottrade, our biggest client, will remain so for Hughes, but we are also bringing our other beautiful clients, much needed digital expertise and agency culture/brand. Here’s some of our combined work, I did some of it.

As I said, Hughes has been in existence for over 30 years, and has seen at least two generations of Hughes at the helm. They have been profitable, versatile and extremely thorough. They specialize in the front end, and the back end. The research, and the PR proliferation. We are charged with bringing them a better creative product, opening doors in the digital space and most importantly breathing some new life and freshness into the company.

The immediate question from everyone when I tell them is, “Is your job ok?” The answer is an overwhelming yes. First off, I plan to approach the situation like my job is in danger, even though it’s not. I’m going to dominate. But, lets go through the list of pluses in my court:

1. Hughes is an agency that falls more in line with my educational background (though I feel like my education may have been a bit outdated), and NGAGE has prepared me for where Hughes and the marketing world is moving. I’m covered.

2. My Creative Director will remain my CD, and immediate boss. This is huge, and if I was jumping onto a whole new creative team, I think I might be a bit more concerned. Though new creative thinking is never a bad thing, it’s nice that I am on the inside of this transition.

3. I don’t have to move offices again. Hughes (South Campus as we’re calling it) is coming here. Which means a new creative floor. Thus less shushing from the AEs and more creatives being creative; collaborating. Never a bad thing.

4. More clients. More variety. We’re like Y98 over here.

5. New people, more people. Fresh blood, fresh ideas. More business contacts. More growth potential.

So, I’ll keep you guys up to date on how I feel moving forward, but as of now, I’m pumped.

Fun work

Martin Luther King Tribute

I wanted to attempt this style  in February, and being Black History Month I chose the Rev. as my muse.

His face is made up of the words of his epic Lincoln Memorial “I have a dream…” speech.

Take a look. I am having it framed as I type.

Smoking Goat Branding

I like beer.

Beer high in flavor, alcohol and price. I brew at home, but wouldn’t consider myself very good at this point. I’m working on it.

We have friends in Louisiana who I would consider really good. I designed some branding for their forthcoming brewery down there.

The Smoking Goat will hopefully be amazing, especially if I get some good beer out of the deal.

Have a look. Then drink a beer and have a look again. Continue this process until the logo looks awesome.

New Poster

This is a poster I made for my buddy Dustin.

A classic quote from him as we drove by Effingham, IL’s infamous and huge cross.

I thought it would look good in his new apartment.

Sheltered Perceptions

I recently got the chance to work on a project for the Humane Society. Given the fact that every time I walk into an animal shelter I have to be talked down from taking home every animal in the place, I was happy to help in anyway I could.

With the majority of pet buying in the United States coming from breeders, mall pet shops and unfortunately mills, animal shelters (specifically the Humane Society) are left overflowing with pets that need loving homes. They are running into a perception problem however, and many misconceptions about shelter pets are accepted as fact, and often repeated as such.

To get past this, we decided to take the problem head on, and address the most common misconceptions individually.

Here is where we landed:

Humane Society - Misconceptions"Mutt"

Humane Society - Misconceptions - "Bark"

Lauren and Dan sit’n in a tree…

My good friend Lauren is getting married in July, and though I am extremely jealous of her fiance Dan (don’t tell my wife), I made their save the date cards.

I use VistaPrint to print these types of things. Though the quality suffers, and the rumor is that they are destroying local community printers nationwide, for the price they can’t be beat. Check them out next time you want to customize your own holiday card or invitation.

Here’s how Lauren’s STDs turned out: