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In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
We’re really looking forward to this weekend’s Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight (which is already breaking Pay-Per-View records). We also love the great creative and entertaining marketing buzz that’s surrounded the event for the past few weeks. Our favorite? Paquiao for Foot Locker. Recalling their successful ad from last year, this spot features Manny Pacquiao getting some pretty confusing news.
Enjoy the commercial and get ready for the big event this weekend!
What Sparks Our Fire: Foot Locker’s clever way to build on a prior campaign’s success
Every year marketers and brands flock to Televisions’ Upfronts, to hear the new network line ups and get a preview of the coming years television strategy. A month before the Upfronts kick off, TV networks are already sharing the spotlight–and potential media dollars–with this month’s NewFronts. Thanks to a long list of buzzworthy announcements, celebrity appearances, and corporate interest this year’s NewFronts signify the continued growth in importance of digital media and advertising. Started in 2008 by Digitas as a way to “bring together content creators, distributors, talent and brands to harness creative media opportunities made possible in the age of digital marketing,” the NewFronts conference has managed to become one of the most important conferences in the digital content realm. Brands like Hulu, AOL, Yahoo, and Google’s YouTube give presentations on their upcoming year’s content in order to attract advertising dollars. In 2008, these presentations were intended to convince marketers and agencies to shift more of their budgets into digital advertising, but as more marketers have already been convinced, the conference no longer helps marketers decide if they’ll invest their advertising dollars digitally, but tells them where. With almost 13% growth in the past year alone, digital advertising now comprises almost 30% of U.S. ad spend. This year’s NewFronts have already brought news that Hulu will pick up all 9 seasons of Seinfeld, a huge announcement that will surely draw in many advertising dollars. As the conference grows in size and importance– alongside the digital advertising sector as a whole– we will come to expect more and more of these big announcements every year.
What Sparks Our Fire: Knowing that we’ll be spending a good chunk of the month of June binge watching Seinfeld
Recent products incorporating smart technology (including bluetooth controlled light bulbs and Amazon direct-order push buttons) have inched us closer to living in “smart houses” and truly embracing the Internet of Things. These products have revolutionized how we interact with the things we use every day in our homes. And now, Bluesmart is set to create the same revolution in the travel space.
Bluesmart is the “world’s first smart, connected carry-on,” and even though the product won’t be shipped until October, it is already changing the travel luggage landscape. The luggage itself includes features like GPS location tracking, bluetooth-enabled locking, USB charging for devices, and even a built-in scale. Bluesmart’s Indiegogo page raised over $2 million in pre-sales in just 2 months. With write-ups in the New York Times, CNET, and TechCrunch, Bluesmart’s carry-on is poised to change and improve the travel experience.
As part of the marketing community we often concentrate on utilizing social media and the data collected from it, to develop campaigns and understand our consumers. However, during times of natural disasters and community crises, we are reminded of other, more meaningful uses of these platforms–to help connect people in need.
After this Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, some of social media and technology’s largest brands rolled out tools to help locate individuals and help communities understand where to direct help. Facebook launched it’s Safety Check feature, where users in the affected area can check in to tell family members and friends that they are okay. Similarly, Google launched it’s Person Finder tool, which hosts a database of people who are accounted for (the database currently contains over 6,200 records). Airbnb has set up an emergency response tool that helps those stuck without shelter to find a temporary solution.
These tech companies have traditionally done an exceptional job helping people connect with one another in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, but have not rolled out any programs designed specifically for ongoing support in the months and years where rebuilding occurs. Thinking about how social media platforms utilize data, Morgan and Caitria O’Neill of Recovers.org created flexible software that allows community organizers to prepare for crises before they occur. In their TED talk, the O’Neill sisters explain how this software works and how it came to fruition after their own experiences trying to use Facebook to organize their community after a tornado leveled their hometown (you can watch the TED talk here).
These tools are excellent examples of how the rise of social media continues to change how we as humans connect with each other beyond just the digital world.
What Sparks Our Fire: Seeing the positive impact of social media
With the rise in DSLR camera ownership, light photography has emerged as an increasingly popular form of photography. While it has traditionally been a difficult style of photography to master, New York-based designers Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan have entirely revolutionized it with just one product: the Pixelstick. The Pixelstick is a LED-lit stick that can display the “pixels” of images, as it is pulled in front of a DSLR camera with a long exposure. With the Pixelstick, photographers can create still images, or capture several images to put together into an animated video.This gives photographers the freedom to “paint” images and even video clips and gifs onto whatever real-life (dark) background they can imagine. It also gives brands an opportunity to put their logo in some creative locations. Take a look at this video and see some of the incredible possibilities.