In a world of fake news, alternative facts , and curated personas we have a hard time trusting and believing the messages from brands, and now that is slowly seeping into the world of “influencers”. Your audiences trust you as a spoke person; a thought leader in your industry. Leaders have a responsibility to develop content with integrity in context. Research, testing, trail and error are the backbone to all good messages.

The Ted Talk of veteran investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson breaks down the phenomenon of astroturf…..the creation of fake “grassroots movements” and the manipulation and distortion of media messages, especially on the Internet.

I am calling all influencers, startups, brandmanagers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, content creators, writers:  you hold the power to change the conversation. Create content with integrity. Remember to state your source.

As a client said to me yesterday while we discussed the role of influencers in content marketing: “just because I really love food doesn’t make me an expert enough to open a restaurant”. Stand in your truth people, its' hard but your audience is looking for authentic thought leaders we can trust.

The video above is one piece of the NY Times life long mission from to delivery high quality content. You can read more about the ad campaign here as they work with Droga5 as they spread the word.  I love seeing advertising do good, and content with integrity.


SSENSE “shoppable” music video

Montreal boutique just launched the very first “shoppable” music video – a site with the opportunity to buy the clothing being worn by the featured artist. The song is kinda awesome as well.

Check out the article via http://societeperrier.com/

SSENSE Launches World's First Shoppable Music Video Starring Iggy Azalea


First Virtual Store in Korea!

World's First Virtual Shopping Store opens in Korea. All the Shelves are LCD Screens. User Choose their desired items via the LCD screen and checkout at the counter in the end to have all their ordered stuff packed in Bags.

Photos and article via Bit Rebels


O.B. Tampon's Video Appology TO YOU

Got to love it when a brand is wise enough to take a problem and turn it into an opportunity to communicate with consumers. A distribution problem last year meant that OB Tampons (Johnson & Johnson) were not available everywhere. To regain trial they are providing coupons of for the product (nothing special there right?), with a personalized apology to each consumer.

The consumer typed their name into the web site, and an over exaggerated (which makes is quite enjoyable) personalized music video is song to you. I have an uncommon name, which is usually mispronounced, making me a little skeptical of the quality of this video before I even tried it.
Surprisingly the personalization was seamless, it seemed like the video was created for me....I also really enjoyed having my name sung to me. What a great way to connect to consumers online (by placing them within the interaction) and generating trial (yes, I downloaded the coupon at the end).

I have tried it with both male and female names and it looks likes only female names work with the video...way to target the audience.

Try it out for yourself:


Connecting Brands to the Consumer by Doing Good

How do you create a connection with a consumer? I have read what feels like a million branding books, blog sites, white papers that all explain the same conversion tunnels to fulfilling the needs of a consumer. But how do you make someone feel something for a brand identity? A real emotional attachment (proud to be connected to this brand), and share this information with everyone, any way they can.
I asked myself "what do my friends share with each other when it comes to a product/brand"?. Yes, when a new innovative product comes out with fancy bells and whistles it does create a buzz. So the quality and the features are huge. But, I have noticed more conversations focusing on when a brand is using their powers for good. We are drawn to brands that have added to their marketing strategy an investment in creating social awareness and helping out the world in some part. As a consumer I like being linked to these brands because I feel that I am taking action, and part of the solution (even thought it is a small part).

Here are a few good examples of brands proud to align their identities with a cause:
We have all seen the wonderful holidays ads Coke runs every year with the polar bears. This year Coca-Cola has developed white Coke cans in support of white polar bears and the World Wildlife Foundation or WWF. The white Coca-Cola cans are part of a marketing campaign aimed at protecting white polar bears and polar bear habitats.

The Cadbury Bicycle Factory’s mandate to build and send bicycles to school children in Ghan. Unlike in North America bicycles represent more than a way to have fun outdoors or a way to get some exercise. Bikes provide a much-needed mode of transportation to move food, water, and people and especially to give children access to education.

Finally there is Toms, a brand that embodies social change. TOM was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One.

I will be the first to admit that I am a consumer. I am drawn to advertising, and love to shop. But it's nice to feel like I am shopping with meaning when I can. Check out Giving Brands also if you are like me.


Smiling Clouds Float Over London

Young British artist Stuart Semple made the skies of London a little happier for anyone looking up. 2057 man made clouds with smiling faces were release every 7 seconds (lasting 30 minutes) near the Tate museum. The piece was created using helium, soap and vegetable dye.

A smile goes a long way!
Via DesignBoom


A Stroll Through History of Johnnie Walker

BBH London brings the brand to life in a mini movie that tells the viewer a compelling story of the brands' birth, development and growth.
Director: Jamie Rafn
Actor:Robert Carlyle


Amazing Venn Diagrams

My friend Lindsay found of a series venn diagrams from the interesting brain of designer, Frank Chimero.
Check them out here.


Brands that survived the Great Depression

History shows that the Depression served as an incubation period for many of the brands we now regard as iconic. Landor has a great article on strategies developed by 3 brands (Procter & Gamble, Levi and Macy’s) during the great depression. The article reinforces the idea that during a recession companies shouldn't be cutting back on their marketing efforts if they want to survive, they need to adjust to the changes of the market.

You can read the article here.


Help Save The World: Ecofont

The geniuses at SPRANQ has developed The Ecofont, a font that uses up to 20% less ink. They developed the font in hopes to increase environmental awareness.
The Ecofont works best when using font size 9 or 10. I am encouraging everyone to use it as their default font.
It is free to download here (for Mac, PC and Linux).