The Banner Ad

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One thing I learned in school was that designers need constraints. Without constraints, it’s too difficult to define the problem that needs to be solved. Tell a designed “do whatever you want!” and that’s just going to cause problems. Tell them “I need a logo that incorporates a sword, a monkey, and the color blue” and you’re more likely to get some good results.

I’m not sure if that’s all true or not, but it’s an interesting concept. What else is interesting? This banner ad for IKEA. Watch the video to see how a simple banner ad became something much more clever than a simple animation.

April 25, 2012 · Posted by in misc, web  

Media Training 101

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Earlier this week, we hosted a media training session for a handful of clients. We invited the “trainees” out to our office for the full sneaky reporter, camera-in-your-face session. And it was fun—for us. In honor of that session, here are some basic tips to keep in mind if you ever find yourself in the media spotlight.

  • Remember to smile
  • Be brief and to the point
  • Think in “sound bites.” Prepare answers ahead of time as you would for a job interview. Make sure to cover your key messages in your responses.
  • Stay in control of the interview. Use bridging techniques to bring it back to the point you’d like to make.
  • Open up closed questions by expanding upon your answers
  • Never lie or say “no comment”
  • Remember, nothing is ever “off the record”

As you might guess, there’s a lot more that goes into media interviews, but those are some of the most important points to keep in mind. And don’t forget to relax and have fun!

April 20, 2012 · Posted by in pr  


Digital creative agency Holler decided to push the boundaries and moved their entire web site to a Pinterest account.

So are these guys on the bleeding edge, or just looking for some publicity for a stunt?

This is only slightly interesting to me because it’s just another case of using a tool for unintended purposes. If you’ve ever used a butter knife as a screwdriver you know what I mean. Since the early days of the World Wide Web, I’ve seen people use web sites for things the developers never imagined. It’s just how things work. When the first blogging tools came out (which were specifically for creating a series of chronologically ordered posts) people found ways of creating entire (traditional) web sites out of them. It’s been done.

As for getting rid of your site and moving it all to Pinterest, others have done similar things… killing off their sites and moving to Facebook, or Myspace, or whatever came before. I see it as a “flavor of the day” thing, and not a long-term solution. Putting your trust that a new service (you have no control over) will be around in 5 or 10 years seems a bit risky, and I know digital creative agencies are all about “taking risks” but I also know that providing clients with solid, time-tested advice is a good strategy.

[Hat tip to Mana for finding this one.]

April 16, 2012 · Posted by in branding, misc