To Serve, or to Sell, that is the question.

As marketers, we are mostly programmed to SELL, SELL, SELL! However, in this day and age, it seems it’s more effective to serve. Recent studies (according to us) show that consumers are more interested in receiving information that will educate and enrich their lives. They want a story. Content. An experience. Something usable beyond just a “buy this now!” call-to-action.

To do this, we must think about our engagement strategy, and look for ways to immerse our audience in the brand, rather than simply sell it. We must tap into the emotional sensibilities, and bring their normal, everyday experience to life in a way that serves a bigger purpose — to create an unbreakable bond, that ultimately results in sales.

robot-1797548_1920

Here are some ways this is being done…

  • Virtual Reality: Create a new world to experience your brand (Check out what Tom’s did)
  • Augmented Reality: Bring the retail experience to life wherever you are (See how the IKEA Catalog enables you to place furniture in your space before you buy it)
  • Bots: Brands becoming personal assistants (Casper gives you someone to talk to on those sleepless nights)

There are many partners out there specializing in these methods (Blippar, LSTNR, Moth+Flame). And if you want to proactively bring new, impactful ideas to your clients and consumers, we suggest you tap into them.

So don’t get stuck in the world of selling. It’s a one-dimensional way to drive engagement and conversions. Change your approach. Be multidimensional, it will serve you well.

What Sparks Our Fire: Taking the initiative to find new ways to turn simple ideas into ones that serve a bigger purpose.

 

Nebulous To Tangible In 4 Steps

neurology

How do you turn a nebulous goal like “be more creative” into something tangible? Everyone has vague goals at one point or another, and they’re especially common in the creative marketing, branding and advertising industries. This week, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson published a small tool on Harvard Business Review‘s website, designed to help you reach your nebulous goals in 4 steps.

The tool takes you through four rounds of questions that help you first name the goal, then define sub-goals and what actions will be taken (by whom, when, and where). In addition to this, the tool asks you to create an “if, then” plan, which, as Dr. Halvorson explains, “[humans are] neurologically wired to make”. Essentially, under the specific sub-goals and tasks that you need to complete, you are asked to write a sentence detailing “if x, then y”. By framing actions this way, we are working with our neurological inclinations to accomplish the tasks that comprise our larger, vaguer goals.

Check out the tool here, and see what ambiguous goals it can help you nail down.

What Sparks Our Fire: Turning goal setting into goal accomplishing

Marc-eting 101: I Want To Be Scared

Scary-Halloween-Wallpapers

 

This week marked the 12th annual Advertising Week New York conference– a week-long celebration and exploration of topics relevant to the advertising, branding, and marketing industries. After attending events throughout the week, we asked our President, Marc Sampogna, what his best experience was at this year’s AdWeek NY.

As Halloween approaches, discussing something “scary” is never more appropriate. At this years AdWeek NY, I experienced some interesting topics and conversations. All of which uncovered insights that I’m sure I’ll use at some point in my day-to-day. But one in particular really resonated with me, and that was with Seth Godin (sethgodin.com). Now, I’ve seen him speak a number of times, and have read some of his books, e.g., Purple Cow, All Marketers Tell (Lies) Stories, etc., but something about this talk hit me in a different way… a good way — in a way that gets lost in the world of marketing and creativity these days. He spoke about “fear”, and that if you, the agency/creative/strategist/etc. aren’t afraid, then you’re not doing your job (Insert resounding agreement and praise here).


Why is it that we filter down our ideas, and dilute the creativity out of them just so they’ll do something average? Well, it’s, as Seth stated, because “average is what reaches 100 million people”. Average is mainstream. Average is a sure thing. Look, from a business perspective, I get it, we gotta sell tickets, put asses in the seats, move shit off shelves, etc. But for f#@ks sake who the hell wants to be “average”??!! I sure as hell don’t. I want to be scared. I want to be afraid. I want to take risks. I want to hold nothing back. Put myself out there and do things that make me uncomfortable. Because if it means that the ideas I put forth are genuine, and inspired from within, then whether it fails or not, I can move ahead knowing that I stayed true to what matters to me — not being average.

Ain’t Got No Type

type

Love Times New Roman? Have a passion for Helvetica? Good news for designer geeks: You can now wear your favorite font as eyewear.

After the initial success of their first line, Wieden & Kennedy Tokyo and Oh My Glasses have collaborated to launch a new line of TYPE glasses, glasses inspired by different fonts, with names like Garamond and styles ranging from “Light” to “Bold”. Times New Roman is one of three new models that made their debut at a Tokyo pop-up shop last week.

Each pair of TYPE glasses are meant to reflect characteristics of their respective fonts, like lines, curves, and shapes. Each font also comes in “light,” “regular,” and “bold” to denote thickness of the frames.

“As the choice of typeface affects expression in written communication, subtle design differences in eyeglasses frames change the impression of the person who wears them,” Wieden & Kennedy Tokyo state on their website.

What Sparks Our Fire: Products that finds new ways to showcase beautiful elements of design.

The New “Viral”

viral

Vaccination has been a highly controversial topic in recent years, resulting in a slew of “Anti-Vaxxers” and the School Vaccination Law in California, which mandates that children that attend public school must be vaccinated.

British Columbia’s ImmunizeBC and agency Rethink Vancouver have teamed up to create a unique mailing campaign to promote vaccination, appropriately called “Viral”. The trailer for the campaign states that “Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet, but as you know, it’s making a comeback.”

However, the kicker is the actual mailing campaign: when exposed to sunlight, the UV-responsive ink on the paper appears suddenly in a rash of bright red spots, reminiscent of–you guessed it–measles. The alarming card shows how fast measles can spread, and reminds recipients that “not vaccinating your children puts us all at risk”.

This comes after particularly alarming reports of measles spreading throughout the United States, including an outbreak at Disneyland, and reminds parents to vaccinate their children or risk them being a public health hazard.

What Sparks Our Fire: Ingenious campaigns that post important public health reminders