Category: Interactive & Technology

Keeping Up With Culture: How to Stay Relevant

June 16, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

Our strategy intern, Sarah Mitty recounts her most memorable sessions at the Northside Festival.

Our culture is constantly evolving. Each day is a whirlwind of new consumer behavior trends, technological achievements and political updates. Keeping up with our world is challenging enough, how are brands supposed to ensure their output is culturally relevant? Last week, I attended the Northside Festival where some of the brightest minds in innovation discussed how to accomplish this feat.

Think Tech The amount of exciting new technology discussed at the conference was mind blowing. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality platforms, a hyper-technologized future seems very close to the horizon.

Alex Chung, the CEO of GIPHY, was confident that augmented reality would be standard in four years. This means it will likely be integrated into all parts of life from music (a hologram Justin Bieber performing a concert in your bedroom) to sports (player statistics popping up in front of your eyes) and beyond. This leaves the question: What is the cultural value that AR technology will provide? The panelists, Alex Chung (GIPHY), Sofia Dominguez (Svrf), Raj Advani (Viro), Bill Marino (Uru), and Matt Hartman (Betaworks) debated the ideals of communication versus entertainment. […]

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3 Keys to Creating Content that Gets Noticed

June 15, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

At the Northside Festival, Shutterstock, the stock photography company, sponsored master classes by experts in the technology, design and production industries addressing different facets of content. The sessions we attended were taught by Lauren Reddy, Director of Audience & Development of T Studio (of The New York Times), Theo Ernstsson, CEO of Alpha, and Jason Schickle and Jesekeena Hahn of Shutterstock. The main takeaway from the sessions was the importance of creating content that would truly add value to a user’s lives. While each speaker represented different vantage points, courtesy of the industry they were speaking on behalf of, it was unanimously agreed upon that content is the future of marketing.

1. Be useful Nowadays, as a consumer, we have our pick of options. Any product or service, no matter its obscurity or location, is within arm’s reach due to the advances in technology. As technology continues to impact and shape a consumer perception and loyalties, how is a brand supposed to stand out in its value proposition? By being consistently useful. Theo Ernstsson’s session, ‘How to Cut Through Bullshit to Create Great Products,’ proposes that experimentation and execution was the path to usefulness. He believes that by rapid iteration […]

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CBX @ Northside

June 14, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

This year, we sent a group of CBXers to the Northside Festival, the innovation-centric conference in Brooklyn. The sessions featured brands and speakers spanning industries in technology, food, media, entertainment and politics discussing a wide variety of topics from AI, entrepreneurship, President Trump & James Comey, Instagram, and feminism to name a few. Whether it was discussing how technology would advance society, the implications of scaled information or how to innovate to tell better stories, regardless of industry, the root of all discussions rounded back to two fundamental questions: What are we creating and who are we creating it for?

Our conclusion was this: As brands and agencies (and the people who shill for them) attempt to decipher how to operate in our changing times, both in business and society, it is clear that connection is what we are all seeking. At CBX, we pride ourselves in creating content, in various forms and delivered in various ways, with the belief that connecting to the lives of people is what matters most. In creating content made to share, inform, entertain and sell, we are informed and inspired by culture. It is when circumstances are uncertain, unclear, and sometimes even tumultuous, that […]

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What Next? 2016 Predictions for Naming and Writing

February 16, 2016 — Jennifer Vasilache

In our last post, we looked back on naming and verbal trends for 2015. Now it’s time to look forward. In this first piece of a series of four blog posts, we share our predictions for what naming and verbal trends we can expect to see more of in 2016.

In this edition, technophile meets word-nerd. This is where CBX Verbal Strategy experts track the latest, most advanced, I-can’t-live-without-it devices and technologies unveiled by industry insiders in the New Year. We are excited and inspired by these cooler than cool innovations, and we are decoding their names to find out what’s hot in technology naming trends this year. Here is what we’ve seen, and what we would love to see going forward.

Super. Human. Technology: Show Your Human Side Move along Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest topic this year. AI is the graceful technology that gives computer systems human-like capabilities such as visual as speech recognition. AI is fast-moving into the mainstream and our everyday experiences, which we see reflected in the names. Say hi to some friendly new faces in AI: Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, Arlo Q the connected home camera, and Lily the drone. So […]

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Blue Flame

June 26, 2014 — Thom Unterburger

Guess whose phone we won’t be talking about (much) next year

It would be easy to dismiss the timing of last week’s announcement of the Amazon Fire smartphone as a cheap attempt to deflect attention from all the bad PR Amazon has been getting lately. Yet, even if it were true, that would be the only cheap thing about it. Turns out the phone is super expensive, especially considering its vendor.

Anyone who follows Amazon’s business knows it is the most horizontally expansive retailer out there and that it deliberately doesn’t make much money on anything. Instead, Amazon is playing a very long, low-margin game of nickels and dimes from repeat consumption across as many product lines as it can offer, at scale. With over 200 million credit cards on file, it will make it up in volume, the story goes, which is why creating as many Amazon shopping venues as possible (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Kindle) is key to its model.

To wit, when Jeff Bezos introduced the Kindle Fire tablet in the fall of 2012, he said, “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.” That’s smart positioning against an […]

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GoPro: A Marketer’s Dream Brand

February 4, 2014 — Joshua Books

If you haven’t had the good fortune lately of experiencing an extreme and adventurous POV video in one of your news feeds, you’re missing out. GoPro, a fast-growing, U.S.-based camera company, is revolutionizing the way people capture life experiences and see the world.

Take this lion safari for example:

In 2002, Nick Woodman, GoPro’s 38-year-old CEO, created a waterproof wrist camera as a way for amateur surfers to photograph their antics riding waves (at the time, only their professional counterparts were professionally photographed). The tiny, portable device became affectionately known as “GoPro.” After selling initial GoPro models out of his van to surf shops all around California, he later raised enough capital to create a smaller, more technologically sound product.

A budding entrepreneur, Woodman later used his GoPro to hone his video-making skills on the Formula One racetrack. While event staff tried to charge him $100 for a rental and recording fee, Woodman kept recording… and the rest is history.

Today, the GoPro brand has risen to impressive heights with professionals and novices alike. It has secured high-profile athletic sponsorships with such legendary surfers as Kelly Slater, and remained a favorite among countless content creators on YouTube. It’s even […]

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Love at first type

May 6, 2013 — Eliza Sadler

“You’re not on OkCupid? Why the hell not?” Two years ago, a colleague of mine, her mouth agape, eyes widened and brow furrowed, posed this challenge about dating in an online age: “How else are you going to meet people?”

At the time, her concerns, and the prospect itself, seemed ridiculous. Little did I know that swarms of New Yorkers had already hooked up via digital means.

So here goes my “Hi, my name is Eliza and I have ‘dabbled’ in online dating” (cue awkward shrug and eye roll) confession.

During the time that it’s taken me to become just partially cool with the whole thing, online dating has rapidly transformed.

No longer are people motivated out of desperation, a hook up or dare we say, companionship. Now, it’s all about the tribe. It’s about knowing what you want and clinging to people most like you. It’s about the shared band (or brand) of people. The mystery for the most part is gone (#tear). Just look at the new, tribe-specific sites popping up today:

– If you consider yourself a classy lady (their words, not mine), specifically, an Ivy League student, aspiring model or young actress, and you want a […]

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How to Innovate Like a Successful Startup

November 15, 2012 — Sandra Creamer

 

Twitter did it. So did Instagram and Fab. Some of the most successful technology startups in recent memory have one thing in common: They’ve applied principles of creativity, innovation and design to their process in order to arrive at a winning idea.

If you’re wondering what’s in these companies’ secret sauces, just know that the ingredients are exactly what we practice in the creative agency world. Here are some centered design principles used by recent Silicon Valley startups to turn their brands into huge successes.

#1. Don’t be afraid to create a beautiful experience.

Fab was originally a niche social networking site, but they later pivoted based on a single insight: People want beautiful design in their everyday lives.

The fact that we are multisensory creatures should be a lesson to brands: When developing a new idea, prioritizing how design can enhance the overall experience is key to success. This might encompass the website experience itself, or the presentation of that experience (e.g., the look, tone, and feel of any and all of the brands’ visual elements). Fab capitalized on this fact, as did Pinterest, and both became online sensations as a result.

Key takeaway: When thinking about how […]

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Branding in a gif.fy

July 30, 2012 — Lulu Carter

 

Nothing makes me laugh quite like a #whatshouldwecallme .gif that mirrors my roommate’s reaction to someone changing her 90’s playlist in the car, or one that calls to mind the feeling of selfish despair, after I have discovered that my last single friend in New York City found a new boyfriend .

There is something so on point and discerning that .gif provides, other than filling the void of bland text humor. Not only has the self-deprecating theme of whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com allowed thousands to relate on a more personal and honest premise through animated visuals, it has also inspired so many people to re-blog these notorious .gifs, possibly distilling a “truer self” along the way.

The flood of new .gif based Tumblr sites:

dontsonsultme.tumblr.com howdoiputthisgently.tumblr.com wheninnewyorkcity.tumblr.com)

are essentially branding situations rich in emotional context through visual personas and facial idiosyncrasies. These .gifs run the gamut of highlighting our darkest hours, daily victories, and subtle annoyances, entertaining “a day in the life” spectacle that most of us can identify with.

From the beginning of mankind, we have attributed complex meaning to facial expressions, an extraordinary and progressive trait unique to human beings. Expressions have always served as a chief social device for emotional […]

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Instagram or Instabrand?

May 8, 2012 — Joshua Books

The $1B acquisition of Instagram by Facebook a few weeks ago is testament to how valuable digital space is in the 21st century. Brands of all different natures are jockeying for additional awareness across a multitude of social networks. 50 million users have downloaded Instagram, for free – and that’s not stopping anytime soon, gaining approximately five million more users per week. Like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, Instagram has become a creative vehicle for communication and interaction, globally.

Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Cole Haan to the Boston Celtics have Instagram accounts. I recently attended a concert series called Cosmic Opera that ran a contest in which Instagram users who tagged #CosmicOpera and posted theatrically dressed photos of themselves at the show could win tickets to future concerts. And thanks to the application, I can wake up on Monday morning knowing that electronic music artist Skrillex ate mashed potatoes and asparagus on his tour bus in Dublin at three AM, then smoked a cigarette.

All this begs the question: Does having an identity (like Skrillex or Cosmic Opera or even Joshua Books) in the digital space make you a “brand,” and are your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, […]

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