Gamification
Online video is exploding and quickly becoming the must-have engagement tool across marketing platforms. 
 
User-generated content makes up 30% of the media content consumed by millennials in terms of time spent, at 5.4 hours per day, according to a new study from Crowdtap, Ipos Media CT and the Social Media Advertising Consortium, based on a survey of 839 U.S. adults ages 18-36. If you want to influence key decisions, leave a lasting impression, or increase your reach – film is the format of choice. 
 
Today, the expansion of video specific social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are changing how we consume beyond YouTube and Vimeo. Brands are seeking ways to differentiate and incorporate tricks and tips from successful Vloggers (video + blogger). Here’s a look at the trends shaping this platform. 
 
Simplexity: Taking a modest subject and invigorating it with multifaceted visuals, artistry, and technique or simplifying a complex concept by presenting the information in a digestible manor.  Here’s video from Tasting Table that conjures this trend with a simple egg technique. 
 
 
...
 
Arthouse: Blending the line between art and inspiration, this theme is all about beautifully executed videography with a hypnotic pace and saturated elegance. Often used by luxury brands, this style is all about minimal marketing. In this example below, Nowness takes on the role of curator in distributing original content about Haas Brothers’ creative process while gaining viewer loyalty as an authentic indulgent medium.   
 

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Gamification: Applying game design thinking to non-game applications such as in this campaign by Carlsburg to incentivize fans in bars to order and tag photos on Instragram to increase the time patrons in that bar can get half-off lager. The excitement is clearly contagious. 
 
 
 
Of course, relevance is key. Our project for butter LONDON at New York Fashion Week is a perfect example of how this powerful medium can educate and tell a story.  The videos increased awareness among fans while supplying national media outlets with polished embeddable content that delivered the brand message and helped reporters narrow in on specific trends. 
 
Take a look back at our behind the scenes videos, which garnered over 18,000 total views, here
 
 
{Source: Media Post}
 
pastry mashup
DonutMuffin
Foodspotting: The hybrid DonutMuffin at the Ferry
Building Saturday Market in San Francisco. 
 
 
Six stories you need to know before you hit the water cooler...
  • Hybridification: Are pastry mash-ups a real treat or half-baked? NYTimes
  • Farewell: DailyCandy will shutter next week. Racked
  • Retail Intelligence: Bricks-and-mortar stores are looking like physical websites. Financial Post
  • Transparency: App lets consumers find out if cosmetics contain toxic chemicals. Springwise
  • SmartCommerceShazam for clothes finally exists! Racked
  • Design Diligence: Novel eye-tracking study improves label designs. Food Navigator
 
 
Citrus
Citrus Gradients
{photo: Wright Kitchen}
 
 
If you have noticed a plethora of citrus – you’re not alone.
 
In fact, there’s a good chance that you might have seen, pinned, or liked the photograph above. It’s by artist Brittany Wright, of Wright Kitchen, and she uploaded it to Instagram on January 26th. Since then, it has received 1.79k likes.
 
But that’s not the end of this colorful gradient citrus story.
 
According to Brittany, three separate Instagram accounts and a facebook page, with a combined following of 500,000 fans, started using her photograph as if it was their own. We’ve seen the screenshots to prove it – and it’s very easy to identify the stolen image because there’s a small thin line at the top of the frame where it should be white.
 
And then it went viral. Over the past two weeks, since she became aware of the copyright infringement, she’s contacted countless brands and bloggers in an attempt to have the fake removed.  As of today, there are 304 results for the photo via Google Images (you can report unauthorized usage of this image by emailing Brittany here).
 
To make matters worse, the photo was further altered. Here’s one horrendous example where an unknown graphic designer took liberties with the image to promote a Belgium shampoo company.
 
 
We met with Brittany yesterday in an attempt to shed some light on the impact of copyright infringement and to understand if she second-guesses future posts in a post-citrus-era. Turns out, she’s quite open to individuals’ use of this image as long as she is credited. It's the blatant theft without permission that's the most disturbing. 
 
“The biggest satisfaction I get is when people interact with my art and I miss out on that when this happens. I legitimately care.”
 
The dark side of social media theft has left a mark – and caused Brittany to seek legal council – but she will continue to embrace social media to share her art. It’s a pretty strong statement for an artist who switched careers to follow her passion, spends hours of her spare time at Uwajimaya contemplating the perfect selection of citrus, and carefully styles her shots in her Seattle apartment after work. And, by the way, she's twenty-two years old. 
 
Next time you consider showing your appreciation for graphics or photography, we suggest that you consider self-financed artists like Brittany before posting. Not every project comes with a budget or sponsored advertising. 
 
shoppable video
 
 
LVMH-owned Nowness debuted its first shoppable video today featuring five Sadler's Wells dancers and products from Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, La Perla, Kenzo, Maison Martin Margiela and Haider Ackermann
 
The "motion touch enabled" piece allows the audience to select items or designers stored in the background of the video and directs users to purchase on third-party websites.
 
Many retailers, such as Barneys New York and Juicy Couture, have experimented with shoppable shorts using technologies to shorten the path to purchase and translate views into sales, but this marks new territory for the luxury editorial platform as they shift toward monetizing the site while staying true to a highly-creative and differentiated platform.
 
With digital storytelling as it's foundation  the lack of banners, sidebars or introductory commercials is refreshing. We love the sophisticated, seamless, and artistic approach to advertorials because it optimizes the viewing experience. 
 
 
Looks like we weren't the only ones perplexed with this booth.
 
We're thrilled to support local businesses by purchasing apparel, accessories, beauty products, and home goods at the American Express Holiday Popup in Seattle but the clunky positioning of social at the very back of the concept was just plain odd and a total retail afterthought. 
 
Why would you share your favorite moment at a popup with a machine instead of your social community?
 
Croissant X Doughnut
Babette by Ba Bar
 
We learned that Ba Bar was crowdsourcing a name for “The Pastry That Shall Not Be Named” from Seattle Met five days ago and thought we’d have a crack at it with our naming partner-in-crime, Kathy Cain of Cain Creative.
 
Yes. There are people, consultants, and agencies that name everything from products to brands for a living. Much like baking, name-crafting involves skill, research, testing, and patience. Developing a recipe and producing a delicious pastry worthy of national exposure is a beautiful art. And we believe that the result of all that work deserves an equally ambitious and memorable name.
 
As paid professionals, we’re betting social capital on our concepts but will only be submitting one option free of charge. The remaining options – each with a separate direction – will remain our collective property and will be available for purchase. We did this because 1) we love Ba Bar 2) it’s a free gig and 3) we were fairly confident (based on our past experience with the naming process) that as soon as the media published the contest, opportunistic people would begin mining the content submitted on Ba Bar’s Facebook page and scooping up domain names for their own use, which could lead to even more haggling and threats of litigation. Sadly, those are the perils of a public suggestion process in the current environment.
 
In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be known that we are frequent diners and individually know Ba Bar co-owner, Eric Banh, well enough to say hi and chat but not well enough for him to know that we do this type of thing for a living. 
 
Here’s a play-by-play of the past 5 days, under an extremely tight deadline.
  • Nov. 6th – Dream up this crazy harebrained idea. Review all names submitted on Facebook to date. Explore parameters and competitive landscape so as to not overlap with other Croissant Doughnut hybrids and avoid future litigation. The following names were eliminated from consideration because they are currently being used as an alternate name for Cronut™:  Cro-doughs, CroNot, Crö-Dough, Doughssant, Dosants, Doissant, Frissant, Froissants, The Cronetto, and Big O.
  • Nov. 7th – Individually create a first round of names using our own unique blend of special sauce and magic dust (by working independently during this phase, we avoid influencing each other’s perceptions and ideas). Evening conference call to discuss how the name might fit with the current Ba Bar bakery/restaurant menu and brand.   
  • Nov. 8th – First round review. Assess both lists and segment by the most believable, unique and likeable options. Evaluate distinct concept paths based on research: French influenced, mashup fun (portmanteau), spoken cadence (witty, quick, simple), and ladylike (many popular pastry names denote a touch of femininity). Select top 10 options from 100.
  • Nov. 9th – Meet at Ba Bar to taste “The Pastry That Shall Not Be Named.” Second round review based on taste, smell, emotional hook, and environment.
  • Nov. 10th – Final review. Conduct preliminary research using the Internet, telephone listings, and other media to determine suitability, to see if the names we’re considering are currently being used by competitors, and whether the names can be legally protected. Select one free name. Narrow remaining names and purchase website domains for the extra concepts (available to Ba Bar or other bakeries for a naming fee). Publish this blog post and submit our name on Facebook at 10pm. 
 
Choosing one name, as opposed to three options, to represent our personal experience without the input of the client was difficult. That said, here are our reasons for presenting the name Babette for public consumption:
 
  1. It contains a reference to Ba Bar.
  2. It's a short and friendly name.
  3. It's unique and unexpected.
  4. It's easy to read and easy to say. 
  5. It's a woman's name, which is a long-standing pastry tradition.
  6. It's a tribute to the brilliant and dedicated fictional chef created by Isak Dinesen in the story Babette's Feast. And it's an expression of our belief that whether they are world-famous and influential or simply world-class and dedicated to their art, women chefs rule.
 
According to the Ba Bar Facebook page, the winning name will be announced on Tuesday, November 12th.  If we win the naming contest, we want to share the love by donating our prize, 100 versions of said pastry, to the patrons of Ba Bar. 
 
Easy as that. 
 
--
UPDATE 11.13.13: Congrats to Ba Bar on resisting the corny mash-up naming approach and staying clear of all of the names submitted on Facebook. Double Happiness 喜喜 is a great selection and proof that naming, especially in a public forum, can be challenging. Our name received an honorable mention and we undoubtedly influenced the decision making by writing this post about our process. 
 
Walking Stories
 
Blame it on Italy.
 
We couldn't resist sharing the trailer for Salvatore Ferragamo's 21-minute feature, Walking Stories, with you. The story, starring Kaya Scodelario and Lauren Hutton, will be shown in eight episodes on a bi-weekly basis on Ferragamo.com. 
 
 
The journey starts in Florance and spans three cities that each represent a distinctive aspect of the fashion house. We love how the themes of travel, food, and culture are increasingly represented alongside fashion. View the episodes here.
 
 
 
Instagram
Instagram
 
The latest step in further democratizing photography and, perhaps, devaluing the professional photography industry has launched for iOS devices. SnapMyAd enables consumers to link their Instagram account and allow third party users – such as marketers or businesses – to purchase images.
 
Another feature includes a promotional space for companies to collect/use pictures from contests or events, while rewarding fans with perks or discounts from the brand for likes in exchange.
 
There is something absolutely fantastic about gaining access to Instagram photos from an advertiser's standpoint, which has now become a totally legitimate resource. But it’s hard to imagine amateur photographers with iPhones truly making a living through monetization via SnapMyAd.
 
As friends and admirers of natural lighting, perspective, and the art of editing – it’s important, if not vital, to point out how mobile and digital photography has turned an industry upside-down.
 
Is it our cultural or moral responsibility, as content creators and consumers of social media, to better understand the impact of such applications on society? Or are you happy to snap away and pocket the cash for a photograph, regardless of the consequences? Let us know your thoughts via twitter or facebook
 
 
{source: Springwise}
 
Meat & Bread Vancouver
 
Food is the way to the soul. Or is it the eyes?
 
A new study released today found that the pleasure derived from eating food may be seen in the eyes – at least that’s what they found by using electroretinography to measure dopamine in the retina. Read more about the small study from Drexel University’s department of nutrition sciences in Philadelphia here.
 
No wonder there are over 32 million photos of #food on Instagram. And just think what might happen if all of those users fired up their dopamine by taking a bite of their food before clicking the shutter – could reward-motivated behavior, like eating a porchetta sandwich from Meat & Bread in Vancouver, actually make mobile photography and editing skills better?
 
While the majority of adults in the US are plugged into some sort of social media outlet, not all of them are used in equal measure, and not all of them are used by both genders equally.
 
Take a look at this infographic, published by InternetServiceProviders.org, that depicts the virtual world of online interactions.
 
Social Gender Infographic