Agencies, CultureDecember 15, 2018

Marketing plays a monumental part in any business and is key to its survival. Here’s a look at recent Branding Fails that Made History.

Without advertising and publicising, a business could disappear into irrelevance and be completely forgotten—worse, however, is the damage that can be caused by poor marketing choices.

At best, these choices can be a simple mistake—cause for a quick laugh—which is then swiftly swept under the rug and forgiven. At worst, they are heralded as tone-deaf and leaves one wondering, ‘why did they think this would work?’ and ‘how on earth did this get approved?’

One of the worst in recent years is Pepsi’s advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian family.

Amid rampant protests featured in the ad, Kendall Jenner appears to triumphantly and heroically put everything to a standstill—with a can of Pepsi.

The ad shows a blatant misunderstanding of protests amid the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, and exploiting a serious real-life issue to promote a brand was met with widespread criticism, to the point that an SNL sketch parodied it.

An apology was issued by PepsiCo, and the ad was removed.

Adweek reported that Edward Boches, Professor of advertising at Boston University and CCO at Mullen Lowe, said: “Ridiculous ad … Shows no awareness of the protesters’ mindset or environment. Feels completely dishonest and contrived.

Was clearly done by people who have not attended a protest or spent time on the streets and have no understanding of the pent-up anger.” According to Brad Jakeman, former President of PepsiCo, the ad “was the most gut-wrenching experience of [his] career.”

The ad went on to be widely regarded as the biggest marketing disaster of 2017.

As Brandwatch reports, there was a 21000%+ increase in mentions, with more than 427,000 mentions of Pepsi on various social media platforms on April 4th alone, and April 5th gaining an additional 1.25 million mentions.

What these and many failed marketing campaigns have in common is their focus on social issues and politics, as well as untimeliness.

While these topics can be handled well, a misstep can cause unintentional backlash and do a company far more harm than good.

When making branding decisions, its best to ask if it’s worth the risk—or if it’ll benefit from a bit of extra research into the topic it attempts to handle.

Agencies, Culture, DesignDecember 12, 2018

Last Rites get a Rise with New UX Experiences

How to revive funeral rites through the creative use of experience design

The most exciting thing about experience design is its potential to improve everyday life. Beyond setting click paths, designing pretty pages, and ensuring flow, the job of an experience designer is to take a step back, look at the world, and figure out how rising digital behavior can better it by enhancing, enabling and easing pre-existing human behaviour.

To illustrate this point at the recent Adobe Creative Jam in Montreal, I talked about Fragment, a start-up project that aims to transform one of the most difficult moments in life: its end.

Reviving funeral rites in 3 crucial stages

1. Involving the community

2. Creating engaged remembrance

3. Assisting in the mourning process

Using UX for lasting, life-changing results.

Design, UnfilteredDecember 06, 2018

Four Non Profits Get a Helping Hand from the University of North Georgia

University of North Georgia students devised a complete advertising plan for four lucky nonprofit organizations as part of the graphic design for advertising class. Nonprofits were The Bridge Foundation, Buckhead Christian Ministry, Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF), and PAWS Atlanta
University of North Georgia students devised a complete advertising plan for four lucky nonprofit organizations as part of the graphic design for advertising class. Nonprofits were The Bridge Foundation, Buckhead Christian Ministry, Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF), and PAWS Atlanta.

Marketing with little or no budget. Reaching a younger generation that gets its information through social media. Finding creative ways for people to volunteer their time or donate their money for a worthy cause. These are a few issues nonprofit organizations deal with on a regular basis.

And so four Georgia nonprofits received some assistance this fall when University of North Georgia (UNG) students selected them as clients for their graphic design for advertising class.

University of North Georgia students in the graphic design for advertising class taught by Mark Taylor, a part-time adjunct faculty member for visual arts at UNG, devised an entire advertising campaign for four nonprofit organizations. The campaign included designing a logo and direct mailer, generating a magazine or newspaper ad and an outdoor billboard, crafting a 15-second radio ad, and producing a 15-second television storyboard concept.

AgenciesDecember 05, 2018

Conversational Interface Prompts Policy Signups for New Insurance Company Branding

“By using a redesigned application process from Work & Co, Haven Life increased mobile applications by 112%, tablet applications by 59%, and the total number of policyholders by 76%,” said Forrester in a new report that highlights winning strategies for conversational interfaces.

“Crafting a differentiated product that combines a human element with a fully digital experience is a challenging task,” noted Haven Life’s Head of Design, Leslie Kang. “We needed a partner that would match our entrepreneurial spirit and could create exceptional experiences. Work & Co showcased a unique ability to offer original and engaging solutions, like the conversational application, while also iterating quickly based on customer and team feedback.”

Nine months after Haven Life’s relaunched its digital channels, the insurer is seeing a surge in customers, Forrester Research reports.