2014 Digital Media Trends Round Up

Top-10-Instagram-hashtags-January-2014 Each year in digital media, trends appear that change, shape and influence the way we interact with technology. 2014 was no exception. More than ever, this past year has pushed the envelope for innovative and interactive media. Dull, flat, impersonal ads have made way for dynamic messages that blur the lines between different media and demand the need for personal, authentic stories. In our roundup, we look at some of the most important and persuasive messages that defined 2014 as a year for change, unorthodox thinking and originality. Medias’ Blurred Boundaries Billboards and posters have been one of America’s most bland, relentless and uninspired staples of traditional advertising. However, Swedish hair-care company Apotek Hjärtat took a poster and built an interactive screen for its newest Apolosophy products that brought true meaning to its phrase, “Make your hair come alive.” At first, bystanders saw a portrait image of a woman at a standstill. However, as the train approached, viewers saw her hair blow in the wind, as if standing right beside the oncoming car.

Apotek Hjärtat - Blowing in The Wind from Ourwork on Vimeo.

British Airways was an early pioneer of this method as well, deciding to take a traditional medium and creating a message that was truly interactive through its #lookup campaign. Seen in this video, the brand's billboard displayed children walking towards the plane that was taking off, along with the flight number and final destination. Not only did the company update a somewhat outdated platform, but it used an accompanying hashtag so that interested Twitter users could follow the conversation surrounding the brand’s newest initiative. Messaging Gets Personal More than ever, creating individualized messages for key audiences has become a necessity, not a choice. However, Diet Coke took it to the next level when Coca Cola Israel decided to create 2 million personalized bottle designs. An algorithm allowed for completely unique designs to be generated automatically. VP of Marketing Alon Zamir said the campaign aimed to show “Diet Coke lovers that they are extraordinary by creating unique one-of-a-kind extraordinary bottles.”

Diet Coke presents: Millions of one of a kind bottles from Gefen Team on Vimeo.

This strategy extended to other messaging as well, including unique billboards and other merchandise reflecting the individual’s specific bottle design. Call it crazy, call it genius, call it whatever you want. One thing is for sure; standing out in the mass of brands and horde of products truly takes uncommon, personalized approaches for remarkable results. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility In 2014, we all witnessed the melodramatic debacle that was #AlexfromTarget. A seemingly anonymous, well-intentioned tweet about an attractive teenage employee caused a near-instant outburst of adolescent girls who became wholly consumed and obsessed by Alex LeBeouf’s bright blue eyes and charming smile. His Twitter account shot from 144 followers to nearly 663,000 in just a few days. Though the situation garnered a few words of praise (and showed the world just how powerful and influential a dedicated army of teenage girls can be), the incident seemed to garner one huge, unanimous eye roll. alex-from-target-original-tweet-screenshot Is this what the power of Twitter has come to, some asked. The answer is no. Though sometimes we are inundated with seemingly shallow, diluted hashtags with little meaning, there are still messages on this platform that act as purveyors of change and action. As seen with the #IceBucketChallenge, hundreds of thousands of individuals took to twitter to raise awareness about ALS and used the platform to tag friends, urge others to take the plunge and unite for a cause. Overall, 4.4 million tweets contained #IceBucketChallenge and the social media campaign managed to raise over $88.5 million. Make It Good, and People Won’t Mind Consuming Your Content In 2007, YouTube began publishing year-end reports of its most popular and viewed videos. Unlike years past when low quality cat videos and the infamous “Leave Britney Alone!” clips topped the chart, this year has taken a significant turn in the support of native advertising. In 2014, 4 ads made the list—an unprecedented amount. Nike, Budweiser, and UK-based clothing line Wren all made the cut for brands that transcended one-way media trends and truly engaged with millions of audience members. All of these ads’ ingenuity, quality and unique thinking showed that individuals were willing to engage with content, even if it was paid or promoted.   2014 was the year in which changes that have been talked about were first implemented. The past 12 months have shown a rise in multi-media and cross-platform integration; a push for truly individualized messages, even on a mass level; an emphasis on using social media platforms for justice and for social good; and, lastly, a heightened interest in engaging with paid messaging. All of these trends have proven to be vastly influential and valuable. Here’s to hoping that in 2015, the online world will continue to push for content that authentically targets and inspires its millions of fans, followers and users.

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451 Fall Internship Project: Working with Team Jane Doe Inc

Jane-Doe-Logo Being an intern at 451 Marketing is the perfect opportunity to learn about your field of interest in a real world setting and apply that knowledge in a semester long intern project. This semester, we had the pleasure of working with Jane Doe Inc., the only statewide, non-profit, sexual and domestic violence advocacy and membership organization in Massachusetts. Our main objective for Jane Doe Inc. was to create a campaign for their annual White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon Day takes place on the first Thursday of March and is a day that invites men and boys to be part of the solution in ending violence against women by taking a pledge. quote After taking in all this information, I started thinking. I am two years out of college, have worked two professional jobs in unrelated fields, had multiple internships, and I felt it was the time I proved something, not only to myself but to my peers, colleagues and the client. I volunteered to be the account manager. [caption id="attachment_10741" align="aligncenter" width="210"]That's me! That's me![/caption] This gave me a title, a designated role, and the opportunity to get the experience I’ve been waiting for. I decided I was going to take this role and act as if I was spearheading an actual campaign. I wanted to give it my all and really put my skills to the test. There were eighteen of us working within the company in five different departments: internal marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, consumer PR, and hospitality. [caption id="attachment_10742" align="aligncenter" width="565"]team_internact Team Jane Doe Inc consisted of Lizzie Blumenthal, Justin Warshavsky, Cara DiFabio, Piper Annese, Aneesha Joshi, Kelsey Dielman, Kelly O’Connor, Elise Yancey, Ivy Hou, Taylor Rock, Hilary Bokoff, Yvonne McLenithan, Shivani Pandya, Sean Naughton and Kelsey Dielman.[/caption] Our initial thought was to complete the work that was expected of us, each working on our tasks individually. But once those wheels started turning and our meetings turned into brainstorming sessions, daily updates, and free flowing thoughts, we became a unified group. Beyond the group meetings we also had a lot of help along the way. To make sure our hard work was on the right track we were able to present and meet with the client prior to the final presentation. This allowed us to get feedback and make sure we were meeting their needs. We also had the opportunity to present to several executives who work at 451 Marketing and get their professional opinion on the work we had done. I found those meetings to be very eye opening, it was always helpful to get a second point of view, especially from someone like AJ Gerittson. A few weeks ago we gave our final presentation and the client could not have been happier. It was a lot of hard work and constant communication but it definitely paid off. As the account manager I learned a lot about what 451 does as a whole. From internal marketing to hospitality there are so many departments that allow the company to be so universal, which is something I really commend and am glad I was lucky enough to experience.   **Written by Consumer Public Relations intern Taylor Rock, graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in public relations.

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Pantone’s Color of the Year, Auto Password Change, FOBO, 219 Year-Old Boston Time Capsule

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Top Story: Pantone's Color of the Year (Which Nobody Likes)

Marsala

Since 1990, Pantone has selected a Color of the Year, a decision that singlehandedly shapes everything we see, buy or use for the next 12 months. This year’s color, Marsala (Pantone 18-438), is the hue everyone is supposed to be going crazy about. Except there is one problem: they aren’t. In its announcement, Pantone explained that the color “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.” The color is supposed to reflect the nature of a “robust and earthy wine red” that would assimilate nicely into any cosmetic, fashion or home setting. However, consumers were not seeing the same emboldened vision as the global color authority - many likened the color to a rusted nail or “the crust that has formed around the mouth of a ketchup bottle.” For a list of the internet’s most creative interpretations, we have rounded up the best and the brightest in scathing analogies:   For more examples, Fast Company has compiled a full list of comparisons, including “your 85-year old aunt’s favorite pantsuit” and “a spice factory worker’s bath water.”

Tool of the Week: Auto Password Change

Security Passwords: random, complicated, often forgotten and akin to a morse code of numbers and letters. That is how most of us, plagued with the annoying yet necessary burden of keeping an arsenal of these for our online security, view them. God forbid one errant code is forgotten, in which we will have to click the “forgot your password?” button, where it will lead us to our email, then to a confirmation page, where we will have to make up a tediously annoying combination of your birth date, current pet’s name and favorite food or past time. Are you having horrifying flashbacks of this painful yet all too familiar process? LastPass and Dashline feel your pain, too. That’s why these two tools are helping to automatically change and store passwords. LastPass LastPass’ Auto-Change and Dashlane’s Password Changer are essentially the same: Both services contact the website, where it automatically logs you in and then changes and stores a new one. It saves the new code to your account so you can access or change it at your will.   Still, both services offer a few unique modifications that might determine which service is better fitted for your needs: LastPass lets subscribers automatically change passwords when a site might have been hacked, while Dashlane lets you change all passwords with a single click. Dashlane At the moment, both platforms work on over 75 sites, including Amazon, Twitter, and other social media favorites. Both security systems come at a cost, but with recent hacking scandals becoming a norm in the digital age, keeping personal information private can be priceless.  

Under the Radar: FOBO (Fear-Of-Being-Offline) Is Real

FOBO Despite being constantly connected to our phones, tablets and other screens of use, many of us would like to believe we could go for a few hours without posting a new photo on Instagram, looking for snaps from our friends or scrolling through our Twitter timeline. Yet, a new “Coming of Age on Screens” report from Facebook indicates otherwise: 70% of teens and young adults say they need to be connected wherever they go. 14 year-old Michaela said,
If I couldn’t share photos or videos, it would probably make a big impact on my life because normally the first thing I think when I take a photo is where can I share this on and when can I share it, so if I don’t have anyone to share it with or anyone else to see what I’m doing or what the photo is of I’d feel really upset about it.
As with all generations, many teens feel deep anxiety when separated from friends; But now, in the digital age, “being with friends” actually has nothing to do with physical orientation at all. Instead, connecting with others in real-time means liking, sharing, retweeting and following. The study explains:
Before the Internet and mobile technology were widespread, young people passed notes in class. Now they text. Teenagers used to tape up photos they liked. Now they post those images to Facebook and Instagram. Moments once written in diaries are now shared on blogs and messaging apps.
FOBO 2 Though FOBO is often seen as a trivial, shallow anxiety, young adults’ interaction with mobile devices indicates reliance - or even a need - to truly share in experiences with their peers.  

Around the Hub: Boston Time Capsule Discovered From 1795

  A time capsule placed by Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and Williams Scollay from 1795 has been found, buried in the Old State House! The time capsule’s location was found when workers were originally trying to pinpoint the location of a water leak. The State House News Service further reported that this time capsule was unearthed once before in 1855 during repairs to the State House. This time capsule is the oldest of its kind in Massachusetts, according to NECN News. Its contents? The Old State House, now a historic museum, was home to another time capsule, found earlier this year - which dated back to 1901. The 1901 time capsule contained letters, newspaper articles and photographs. During the 18th century, the Old State House was home to a great deal of arts and the location of many historical events.

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28 Top Digital Media Strategists to Watch in 2015

unnamed From Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Prize winning work and the grand opening of One World Trade Center to the Ebola outbreak and Ferguson riots, 2014 was a year of epic highs and devastating lows. From the final episodes of long-standing shows like The Colbert Report, How I Met Your Mother and Sons of Anarchy to the crowning of Germany as World Cup Champions, there was plenty to keep the world buzzing. Traditional and digital media became even more entwined as people made mobile devices an essential component of their daily lives. Connectivity was a given, and marketing professionals from all industries are transforming their craft. As we stand on the cusp of the New Year, we present you with our 6th annual list of top digital media strategists to follow as they reveal and react to what is sure to be an exciting 2015.  

Digital Marketing

8ru8rggikw4nfq426tfk_400x400Jason Falls, Founder at Social Media Watch, (@jasonfalls) Falls’s straight talking nature provides honest tips about digital marketing and social media.       twitter_headshot_400x400Tom Fishburne, Founder and CEO of Marketoon Studios, (@TomFishburne) In his past time, he creates poignant cartoons on the world of digital marketing and advertising.         Soph_400x400Sophie Brendel, BBC’s Head of Digital Communication, (@sophiebr) Brendel pairs her personal views mixed with tech news, innovation and – of course – the latest in BBC happenings.   DrnivgBJ_400x400Jessica Northey, (@jessicanorthey) If you’re a music junkie interested in social media, get your fix here.         makemoneywithablog_400x400John Paul Aguiar, (@JohnAguiar) Aguiar helps businesses and bloggers alike turn social media content in to monetary results. He was also listed as one of Forbes top social media bloggers in 2013.  

Media

OjrKkBl9_400x400Jennifer Preston, VP of Journalism at Knight Foundation, first social-media editor at NYTimes, (@JenniferPreston) Preston’s news heavy twitter feed gives followers a large does of the latest and greatest in media consumption.     b02a4bc429cd7238f2590a5442987374_400x400Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia Journalism School professor, (@Sree) Sreenivasan is a professor at Columbia who pairs the latest digital news with his academic insight.   JohnnyPress_400x400Jack Shafer, Slate media columnist, (@jackshafer) Shafer is a well-regarded columnist that translates his amusing, bright writing style into 140 characters. Follow him if you like your media news with a large does of sarcasm and witty commentary.        

Public Relations

zHMcm833_400x400Stephanie Florence, Edelman, (@StephanieFlo) Florence describes herself as a PR girl who can “talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo.” Check out her page for honest and personal stories about the world of public relations. katie3_400x400Katie Gerber, 451 Marketing West Coast Vice President of Public Relations, (@ktgerber) Gerber's quirky tweets have no bounds: she addresses everything from clip art to Grumpy Cat.         3d9e26c96cb33b39f81050799243b43fRichard Laermer, CEO at RLM PR,(@laermer) Laermer is a media junkie who addresses “all things askew”. Visit his twitter for the latest in thoughtful quotes and quirky commentary on the latest in digital news.       onItfsvn_400x400Sarah Evans, Chief Evangelist at Tracky, (@prsarahevans) Evans offers valuable opinions on the latest digital trends and tech items.   6aa133d760e590182fd1a65ee87cf110_400x400Mark Ragan, CEO at Ragan Communications, (@MarkRaganCEO) Leave it to the head of Ragan Communications to offer the best in digital media and communication news.     V3UP3WJO_400x400Ashley McCollum, VP Business Development & Communications, (@McCollumAshley) As the Chief of Staff at Buzzfeed, McCollum’s commentary on media news is anything but banal.

Technology 

new_pic_jbat_400x400 John Battelle, Founder and Chairman of Federated Media, (@johnbattelle) With Battelle’s tweets, he shares a lot of information with little words. Check out his page for the latest musings in search and technology.     18ce4b3eb08868f444a2596942dcb7af_400x400Chris Anderson, Wired magazine editor, (@Chr1sa) If you consider yourself a geek, Anderson’s twitter feed is your new home. Follow him if you love getting the inside scoop on the latest tools and tech.    

Advertising

3cf4bed9cb5e434ecbe97df2bf4cf973_400x400 Mark Duffy, written for buzzfeed and vice (@copyranter) Known as the “most acerbic ad critic”, Duffy does not spare words in taking down some of the most notable ads in big branding.       Newman_Passage_400x400Dave Trott, Chairman of The Gate Worldwide, (@davetrott) Trott's Twitter account gives the best advice from chapters out of the book of campaigns and advertising.   Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 3.09.52 PMMartin Weigel, Head of Planning at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, (@mweigel) Weigel’s playful and sarcastic tweets offer a refreshing take on some of the most serious global and advertising news.     f43efb67d690165e4c0003ca3fa2694b_400x400Ryan Wallman, Wellmark head of copy, (@Dr_Draper) Wallman has been lauded as “the great advertising cynic”. Look to him for bitterly honest commentary on the world of advertising.   3z51wU6G_400x400Jerry Daykin, Global Digital Director at Carat, (@JDaykin) Daykin shares his thoughts on digital campaigns from top brands, comments on advertising from peers and competitors.       009e520Andy Nairn, Founding Partner of Lucky General, (@AndyNairn) A veteran of the advertising industry with more than 20 years of insight and a funny bone to boot. KvxdX8oX_400x400Brian Carter, SEO and PPC manager of Fuel Interactive, (@briancarter) Carter shares some advice from his newest bestseller, The Cowbell Principle, as well as what’s happening in the advertising and copywriting industry.    

Thought Leaders

nxWHbd5s_400x400Claudine Collins, Managing director at MediaCom UK, (@ClaudineCollins) Collins gives us a peak into her world as a managing director, which includes jet-setting, networking and the wonderful insights that come from it.   EGIvr5w7_400x400Paul Frampton, CEO of Havas Media UK, (@Paul_Framp) Frampton's feed is a mix of marketing news and sensible branding philosophy.       l_d5gZno_400x400John Legere, CEO and president of T-Mobile US, (@JohnLegere) Legere’s tweets are brimming with pride and inspiration. Look to him for positive quotes and original musings (oh yea, and T-Mobile updates).   Dear @Twitter, please develop a sarcasm font! Brilliant, right?? — John Legere (@JohnLegere) December 8, 2014     aIAaCkaJ_400x400David Armano, Managing Director at Edelman Digital Chicago, (@armano) Armano’s candid nature gives an interesting view into the day in the life of a managing director.   7c04cb9ff22a8b28fa1c5bb5c6533179_400x400AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner, 451 Marketing, (@AJGerritson) Gerritson joins the list as an experienced marketer who shares his insights on the industry through a variety of media outlets.    What do you think of our list? Let us know who is on your list - tweet us at @451Marketing!

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Internship Chronicles: My Experience at 451

14000_685289114922680_1650220303657588784_n A semester at 451 will give any intern a taste of agency lifestyle, marketing, and the opportunity to work in a fun environment. The program structure offered several opportunities to learn and contribute to the team's success. This provided a wholesome experience to learn, to improve the skills you might already have, and to apply your knowledge on an actual project. By working closely with my supervisor and attending the intern Coffee Break Academies (coffee and pastries included, yum!) I was able to learn so much about my department and the others in the agency. My supervisor asked me specifically what topics I wanted to fully grasp and then made sure I had the opportunities to do so. I sat in on meetings and brainstorms, which was a great way to see how the team goes about creating its strategies and reaching its goals. The intern supervisors were always willing to meet with interns, whether they were on their team or not, to answer questions or to offer thoughts and advice. As college students, especially as seniors, we're constantly seeking to know more about the industry we may choose for a career. Working at 451 provided a whole group of industry experts to learn from, and meeting with the supervisors offered one more person's input to consider. I enjoyed the Coffee Break Academies because I liked to see what else happens at 451. Because cross-team integration is such an important component to success, seeing how the other departments work together was a perfect model for the intern team to follow when working as a mini agency for our final project. 10301278_685288001589458_6652243375182870313_n Working on the Social Media Team was the perfect balance of work and play. Team lunches or coffee breaks allowed me to get to know my co-workers outside of the office, and completing tasks for each team member allowed me to see how different roles play into the team structure. Having a grasp on the social media strategy, I then contributed to the social component of the intern project with a solid foundation to build from. Having an actual client to develop a strategy for was a really unique experience. The entire group of interns worked together, contributing to the part of the project that paralleled the department where he or she worked. This was a really cool way to see a real-world scenario of how the departments work together for their clients. The internship experience at 451 Marketing provides great opportunities to learn, but even more importantly, it gives the opportunities to apply that knowledge.   **Written by Social Media intern Hilary Bokoff, Business Administration major at Boston University (2015).

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