Category: bk Opinions

14 May 2019
cake_blog

Is Cake, the Swiping Internet Browser for Your Phone, an Effective Tool?

If you’ve been on YouTube recently (and still watch commercials) then you may have run into Cake, the phone app that changes the way you use the internet.

It replaces the classic search result style you’ve begrudgingly grown accustomed to on your phone with fast-loading pages that you swipe left or right to navigate. Simply put, it changes the way you scroll from up-down, page 1, 2, 3, etc., to left-right. While that sounds too simple to do anything for you, a lot changes in your everyday phone use.

After a couple months of use, here’s what I think about Cake:

Pros

  • Phone-oriented. You don’t have click on a result, read it, decide it’s not helpful and click back to the results list. That’s too many steps to do on a small phone screen with your finger. The majority of internet traffic is mobile; changing pages by clicking is not the world anymore. By allowing you to swipe through your results pre-loaded, you can work quicker to find the resource you needed.
  • Customizable. You can pick your own browser base (e.g., Google, Bing, etc.), which selects a specific algorithm when loading which type of results first, such as by relevancy, popularity or webcrawling. After you get use to the functions, you can customize it further to what you want to see. Also, the classic results list is still there if you swipe left. If you need the list to find a certain website or if you can’t deal with the swiping, it’s still there and is fully functional.
  • Time-saver. You don’t have to wait anymore for the pages to load. Cake has multiple pages load at once and brings the finished pages to you first, meaning you don’t have choose an option, then wait for it to load. It happens in the background.

Cons

  • Limitations. There aren’t enough browser base choices. Yeah, it gives you the main ones, but most browsers have chosen algorithms. If you don’t use one of the ones listed, you may have to do some research on how the search results are shown. Since the results appear in order of loading speed, this can also affect the search results, meaning you’ll have some variations in that algorithm. While you can filter your results by date on the main search page, doing so doesn’t permit swiping through results for that particular search.
  • Higher data use. If multiple pages are loading whether you need them or not, you can expect additional data use. Keep in mind if you don’t have access to wi-fi often, you may have to limit your use or up your data plan.
  • You remember how annoying the world can be. If you use the internet all the time, you know that some sites are rampant with mid-scroll pop-ups and sudden URL redirects to pages try to trick you with fake prizes. Those of us who have become internet-savvy typically avoid 90% if these by skipping over the clickbait search results we recognize as culprits. With Cake, your once again subject to pop-ups and unexpected redirects, only you can’t side-step them so easily. Since the pages autoload in Cake and you swipe through them, you may find this side of the internet will appear more often. Eventually, however, you can pick-up modified avoidance habits with some practice (e.g., fast swiping).

Conclusion

While I use it on my breaks to swipe through pop culture topics and news, I haven’t made it my go-to internet source. I feel this is subjective, though, because I’m a heavy internet user and typically need specific sources and multiple browser types for research (which is generally time-filtered); I know enough about the internet to know Cake is fun and efficient, but not yet an “end all, be all” app, and not something that can use for professional projects. However, you’re more of a curious internet user just perusing topics, you will definitely enjoy this.

Rating: 3 out of 5

 


About Effective Tools

As you continually shift your technology expectations to match your lifestyle—fast, optimized, automated—your fellow humans are working to match it, one advancement at a time. Check out our opinions on the new tools relevant to your life.


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

 

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

12 Mar 2019
memes_blog

It’s a Meme World Out There

buzz

Buzz has it right, memes are everywhere. I go on Facebook and what’s the first thing I see on my timeline? A meme. I open up Instagram and the first three posts in my feed are memes. (I say that like I don’t enjoy it – but I actually do.) In fact, it seems like I go on social media more nowadays to get a laugh at all the memes on my feed, rather than to see what all my “friends” are up to. But I digress.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a meme is “An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.” Richard Dawkins first coined the term “meme” in 1976 to describe a trait passed “from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.” Anyone who has spent some time on the Internet could probably point out a meme.

grandma

…Ok, maybe not.

As a millennial interacting with a brand, I am more likely to stop and look at a meme or image than I am to watch a video, sign-up for something, or read a blog (ironic, considering this is a blog — thanks for reading). Memes are low investment, don’t take a lot of time to read or process, and, in a world where time is more valuable than ever, that is appealing.

 

Why do memes resonate with younger audiences?

      1. Memes are relatable.

One of the main reasons millennials like memes so much is because they are so relatable. They poke fun at clichés, current events, and the not-so-pleasant realities we all face every day. We connect with or relate to the meme on some level, which is why we laugh, share and feel the desire to show all our friends.

meme1

meme2 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Memes are relevant.

Memes are trendy. The internet loves them, and so do we. As consumers, we gravitate towards what is current and applicable to our culture. This is why memes go viral — they are contemporary, and we like poking fun at relevant themes and issues. And who doesn’t love being “in” on an inside joke?

Know what I meme…? 😉

meme3

3. Memes are familiar.

When I look at a meme, three things can happen; I think it’s funny and laugh, get confused because I don’t understand it, or simply not think it’s funny and go back to my endless scrolling. In any case, I took the time to stop and read the meme, because the content is familiar to me. I already know that this image is something that could potentially entertain me and make me laugh, so I take the time to look at it. For example, who doesn’t know about Grumpy Cat?

meme5

 

So the question lies: Should memes be used in your social media marketing strategy?

Consider your audience.

If you’re trying to reach younger audiences, showing your company’s relevance and humor through memes might bode well for you. We already know millennials love trends and we like to see the brands we follow staying current as well. On the other hand, memes are usually packed with sarcasm and irony. Many non-millennials may not find this humorous or appealing. Meme humor can often come across distasteful, which can turn some people off to your brand.

One example of a brand that has done this well is Glossier. Glossier is a beauty company that targets millennials. They know their audience, and they apply their own relevant content around makeup and skincare to tie the meme back to their brand.

Consider your brand.

What tone of voice does your brand normally speak? A brand that is playful and sarcastic could benefit from sharing memes. A more serious, corporate brand might just confuse their audience with a meme, either by the impudent humor or the unfamiliarity of the content compared to typical posts by the brand.

Look at Barkbox. They have capitalized on their lighthearted tone of voice on their social media to show they are approachable and relevant. In fact, I don’t even use Barkbox (nor do I have a dog) and I gave them a follow because I got a laugh out of their content. That’s a win.

Consider the meme.

Before posting a meme, you should also make sure you have interpreted it accurately. Because of the satirical undertones of many memes, you should double check that the meme you’re sharing is appropriate for the message of your brand. Memes can quickly become inappropriate and offensive when not shared in the right context. Know Your Meme explains the meanings of many popular memes so you can always know what your meme is talking about before you post it.

When deciding whether memes are something you should add to your brand’s social media strategy consider your audience, your brand, and the meme itself. Doing so will save you time, credibility, and possibly even embarrassment. Focus on crafting the best strategy for your brand, rather than just hopping on the next social media trend hoping for results.


About the Author

Breanne Avedikian is a Junior Art Director and Graphic Designer at bloomfield knoble. She focuses on layout and print design and maintains visual brand consistency for our clients. A Starbucks addict and California native, you can find her watching movies, listening to country music or petting the dog at the party. And just ask her how much she loves Texas!

Connect with Breanne Avedikian
facebooklinkedin_25x25

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

06 Feb 2019
podcasts2_blog

Dr. Techlove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Podcasts

I don’t care who you are, podcasts are pretty dope… and they’ll suck you in faster than an episode of Botched on a sickday. Try it; trust me, you’ll never look back. [Sidebar: the editors/producers at the E! and Bravo networks are some of the best in the game… fight me.]

Podcasts, if executed properly, can be just as addicting and binge-able as some of the most well written — and some would say “poorly written, yet somehow successful” — television series out there today. There’s a certain familiarity with listening to podcasts and listening to traditional radio in that you’re consuming the program via audial avenues; however, podcasts offer something a bit more than their heard counterpart: near-complete content control.

podcastingThe universal definition of a podcast, as provided by Wikipedia and endorsed by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), is an “episodic series of digital audio files, which a user can download and listen to.” This concept of downloading “episodes” and easily digestible programs that fall within niche and nuanced interests allow for each user to individually curate their own library or playlist of content specifically targeted to their own preferences.

If you didn’t catch on right away, allow me to point out that the term “podcast” is a direct variant of the widely understood concept of “broadcast,” in which content is blasted out into the airwaves and received by those who tune in via compatible devices. We participate in broadcasting nearly every day through our televisions and radios, but broadcasts have to be just that…broad. There’s not really an efficiently feasible way to target specific users in a television or radio setting, so the content must be malleable, flexible, and not too distinct. Conversely, the etymology of “podcast” likely stems from the advent of the Apple iPod in the Early Aughts as it was hitting the tech scene and becoming adopted by more and more people. Thus, a new means of targeted content distribution swept the nation, and a cute pun was born.

If you asked me two or three years ago how I felt about podcasts, I probably wouldn’t have been as favorable. I tend to project some sort of undeserved stigma toward new-wave media technology—especially the ones that challenge my routine or require me to purchase specific hardware. Technically, podcasts don’t require much more hardware than your typical smartphone and a pair of earbuds, but still, I was reluctant to adopt them as a regular means of content consumption.

…that is, until I heard about Serial.

Sarah Koenig from the "Serial" podcast
Sarah Koenig from the “Serial” podcast — produced by This American Life

De gustibus non est disputandum: This is a Latin maxim meaning “in matters of taste, there can be no disputes.” I cannot account for your particular taste in what you find interesting; however, the inaugural “season” of the Serial podcast is what hooked me on the format. If you’re not into “true crime” or investigative murder-mysteries, then it may not be your cup of tea. But if you are looking to venture into the world of podcasts for the first time, then I would absolutely recommend Serial as an engaging starting point.

The Serial podcast is structured like many podcast series: long-form, episodic documentary. During the initial run of the show, an episode with a runtime of about an hour is released onto a podcasting platform (like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, etc.) each week. This amounts to usually 10-15 episodes that cover one story. The art of the “tease” is thoroughly and systematically employed, keeping the listener engrossed in the narrative and eager for each new episode. This style of programming reminds me of how Netflix was able to capture the streaming attention of its users by organizing and logistically serving what is perceived to be seamless content. For this reason, you may find yourself binging hours of podcast episodes during your daily commute. Likewise, the aspect of flexibility also proves to be a huge advantage in the medium. Listeners can pause and return to an episode at any time, which gives more control to the user. The emergence of this capability had a similar revolutionary effect that the DVR system had on the television industry.

There are other formats and structures to podcast programming, such as the talk show (sports comedy, etc.), narrative fiction, and informational/educational. While the gritty and suspenseful chronicling of Serial is what originally hooked me on podcasts, my passion for learning ultimately inspired me to look at other shows. That’s when I found Stuff You Should Know, which is an informational program that spends one episode (anywhere from 20-90 minutes) on one topic.

Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark from "Stuff You Should Know"
Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant and Josh Clark from “Stuff You Should Know” on HowStuffWorks.com

SYSK (as it’s known to those familiar) is a true podcasting treasure that challenges your perspective and general knowledge of subjects ranging from “How Royalty Works” to “How Decapitation Works,” or even “How Frostbite Works.” These are just examples of the diverse, yet interesting topics you might not know a lot about. And likely for this reason, SYSK has proven to be one of the most downloaded podcasting programs of all time with over a thousand episodes available.

Podcasts are free to download and subscribe to. So how do they monetize and sustain their content/business model? Advertising… duh. Just like any piece of media that appears to be delivered at no cost to the user, podcasts take advantage of advertising as a means to sustain a quality product. There are also other methods of monetization, such as a “giving” format through the use of donation services like Patreon. However, short one-minute commercial breaks are the most widely utilized form of “advenue” — get it? Like “ad revenue.” I digress.

Regardless of what you’re into, there is likely a podcast out there that satiates your listening appetite. This increased niche-ness allows for a wide variety of outreach opportunity. Advertisers can tap into this diversity and build tailored media plans that target specific shows that align with what their ideal consumer profile would listen to. This concept is routinely executed in radio and television; however, the arrival of podcasts as a formidable competitor to the status quo built by the foundations of radio and television has provided advertisers a different, yet effective avenue to reach their customers.

So instead of queuing up “Crank That” by Soulja Boy on your way home from work today or tuning your radio dial to that smooth jazz channel as you sit in the Wendy’s drive-thru, maybe try browsing the catalog of over 600,000 shows in the vast realm of podcasts. You may find something you really like… and take back the control of your content.

 


About the Author

andy-edwards-headshot

Andy Edwards is the Director of Digital Services at bloomfield knoble. He possesses the hybrid skills of a strategic business executive and a creative, problem-solving designer; someone who is a catalyst for transformation and the agent of cultural change.

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Jan 2019
being-heard-on-twitter_tom-blog_copy_blog

Just How Loud Do You Have to Scream to Be Heard on Twitter?

I’ve decided that I hate social media. I’ve joined neither Facebook nor Snap. I am on Instagram, but only to share vacation pictures with my family because I’m too lazy to sort and share photos with them after my trips. I gave up on LinkedIn because I find the timeline poorly designed and I’m not looking for a job anyway. I also stopped reading (and generally writing) blogs because I don’t care and don’t think other people do either. So, if someone besides the Director of Communication for bloomfield knoble is reading this, you have my permission to bail out now.

Well, if you’re actually still reading, then I have to admit that I used to really be into Twitter. I mean really into Twitter. I would post all day — use hashtags, join conversations, try to influence conversations (for or against depending on the topic) and more often than not, complain about some injustice against me (real or perceived). At one point I had nearly 100,000 followers.

And then a funny thing happened. I got bored. I’ve already shared with you that I’m quite lazy, so it didn’t take long for the novelty of Twitter to subside. I went from Tweeting a lot to now-and-then and then that became infrequently until it was pretty much never. I lost nearly all of my subscribers but honestly didn’t care. Most of my friends had given up on Twitter too – either also moving away from social networks in general or moving to a different platform. As such, I simply let it fade from memory and forgot about it.

Until recently, when I got really mad at my pest control company for a real (not perceived) injustice. I was so mad that I hopped on Twitter just to vent my frustration and (in my imaginary world) start a movement among the masses that had also been wronged by said company. Together our voices would force change as our postings became a trending topic which would go viral and then spread across different media and social networks. Satisfaction would be rendered. Justice would be mine!

Except, of course, none of that happened. No one joined the conversation – not one like or reply or retweet – not even from the brand itself as I’m not sure they even monitored their unverified account anyway.

I wasn’t surprised that my Tweets got no traction – I have few followers now – many of whom I suspect are inactive as well – and although I structured the posts properly (tagging the brand, using a hashtag) it’s just background noise in today’s world of political topic-driven social media. However, as a Behavioral Economist, I was interested in just what I would have to do to be heard on Twitter.

As an advertising agency, we at bloomfield knoble have been chasing the dream of going viral forever, but no amount of math or predictive analytics can really account for the irrationality of humans. Nevertheless, I was curious about how to measure – beyond the analytics Twitter provides – how one could analyze impact on a social network. A bit of research and some investigating later, I came across an excellent paper in the Journal of Physics by Natya Taniarza, Adiwijaya and Warih Maharani at the School of Computing, Telkom University, Bandung, Indonesia. Their paper, Social network analysis using k-Path centrality method, gave me some great insight into why my Tweets (in particular) don’t matter.

Here’s the abstract to their paper:

“k-Path centrality is deemed as one of the effective methods to be applied in centrality measurement in which the influential node is estimated as the node that is being passed by information path frequently. Regarding this, k-Path centrality has been employed in the analysis of this paper specifically by adapting random-algorithm approach in order to: (1) determine the influential user’s ranking in social media Twitter; and (2) ascertain the influence of parameter ain the numeration of k-Path centrality. According to the analysis, the findings showed that the method of k-Path centrality with random-algorithm approach can be used to determine user’s ranking which influences in the dissemination of information in Twitter. Furthermore, the findings also showed that parameter influenced the duration and the ranking results: the less the avalue, the longer the duration, yet the ranking results were more stable.”

The paper is worth reading and I’m not going to do justice to their research, but here’s the bottom-line – specifically as it impacts me. Basically, a person needs a lot of followers (which I don’t have anymore) or needs to wield influence in a group (node) of people who are likely to participate in the conversation – or are also connected in different groups where they wield influence.

It’s like the gossip game. If I have a small group of friends, but they have no friends, then even though I shared – our little circle is as far as it goes. However, if one of my friends is in another circle of friends – and that person tells that circle – and someone in that circle tells another circle – pretty soon a lot of people have heard. This is actually common-sense in a way. Anyone that has ever been on social media gets how this works. It’s not the process that can be hard to understand – it’s the measurement.

The big buzzword for the past couple of years has been “influencer marketing.” Brands know they need to have an influencer but understanding who – and how much to spend – and what the return-on-investment could be – is a vital part of marketing. Understanding that influence doesn’t move in a straight-line and utilizing the learning in Taniarza’s paper may be an important factor in projecting success.

Anyway, all the math showed me was that no one cared that I was whining about my pest control company, so I gave up on my dream of Twitter vengeance and decided to vent my frustration against their company by firing them – convinced that the $29 per month they were losing would cripple their business economy. Yeah, that’ll show ‘em! Who’s with me?

#Vivalarevolucion

Sources:

Taniarza N., Maharani A., Maharani W. Social network analysis using k-Path centrality method. IOP Publishing: International Conference on Data and Information Science. IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 971 (2018) 012015. dos: 10.1088/1742-6596/971/1/012015. (Natya Taniarza et al 2018 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser 971 012015)

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

18 Dec 2018
product-placement_blog

Product Placement Impacts You — Even When You’re Aware of It

Alternate title: How product placement can affect everyday decision-making — more specifically, how even I, a self-aware, independent individual [accidentally] fell for a fictitious character’s recommendation after re-watching the 1995 rom-com Clueless, and thereby proving that product placement can be more than just a joke.

In the world of American entertainment, we are no strangers to product placement. It’s become so integrated into our society that it gets made fun of ironically — with more product placement. From subtle appearances like Nike in Back to the Future 2 to Wayne’s World’s infamous scene where they don’t want to sell out with Pizza Hut and Reebok, we are immersed in advertisements.

[Side note: I know those are both 90s movies, but that’s the recurring theme of this post. For something more current, check out the product placement overload in Man of Steel.]

Product placement ads add small reminders called brand recall to your life. And if used strategically, they can act as a referral that vouches for the product.

U.S. product placement increased 13.7% in 2017 and continues to grow. This is because product placement has a pattern of very positive results. Now, you may love them, or you may make fun of them with your friends, but that’s the point. You’re talking about the brand, which is what the company wants — to be at the front of your mind.

Photo: Rotten Tomatoes

It’s probably been about 10 years since I sat down and watched Clueless, but I was thinking about how Paul Rudd doesn’t age… and well, here we are. As I watched this funny movie with my developed marketing mindset, three things stood out:

1. Some of the product placement goes unnoticed because it fits the setting. These are stores in the mall, shopping bags, cars, etc. And honestly, it’s perfect because it fits the setting of the movie: wealthy teenagers in 1995 Beverly Hills, California. Of course, they’ll go to a mall and wear designer clothing. Seeing them immersed in fashion makes perfect sense.

2. There is blatant product placement [that felt out of place] just twice.

First is when Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is looking for a potential girlfriend for her debate teacher, we watch her first-person perspective as she makes her way through the teacher’s lounge. Suddenly, she gets distracted by a Snickers bar — then pauses and returns to her mission.

The second is a Mentos commercial when Ty (Brittany Murphy) turns on the television and watches/sings along with the classic 90s Mentos commercial song (i.e., “Mentos fresh and full of life”).

Both are slightly awkward, but surprisingly fit the characters, so I let it pass.

3. The majority of the product placement is spoken. From designers like Calvin Klein to breakfast foods like Special K, the script is filled with product name dropping left and right, but always causally. So casually, in fact, that I can’t even guarantee that these companies/people are placed advertisements, or just used to fit the story.

My favorites include:

    • “Buns of Steel” exercise videos
    • Marky Mark (now Mark Wahlberg)
    • CliffsNotes
    • Snapple (lemon-flavored)
    • Billie Holiday
    • Hamlet (specifically the 1990 version, which Cher only watched because of Mel Gibson)

 

Fast forward to this morning, as I stopped at the drug store to get a few things. As I was deciding if I should get a soda to take to the office, I passed by an end-cap full of Snapple. I stopped and knowingly thought This is what Cher would have with her lunch. I must admit that it is way healthier than soda.

I opted for peach over lemon, but I still made the purchase based off a fictional character’s preference — not even from a blunt visual like the Snickers bar, but from a fly-by comment about Snapple.

How did this happen? As a female young adult living in a city, I am its target demographic. The advertising in this movie was aimed at me and others who essentially idolize Cher, or maybe young Alicia Silverstone. (I did binge watch old Aerosmith music videos after the movie.) Maybe it was a little bit of that, but don’t forget one of the most important steps in the consumer journey: Consideration (or Evaluation). I’m trying to drink healthier, and I was triggered by the end-cap to recall a memory of someone saying they liked Snapple. I then rationalized it with the consideration that it actually was a healthier alternative to soda.

Opportunity met brand awareness and familiarity to solidify my decision to purchase. Looking back, the name-drop worked a bit like word-of-mouth marketing — a recommendation from someone I trusted.

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

01 Aug 2018
walking-dead_google

America Loves a Hero with a Familiar Face, Even in the Zombie Apocalypse

 

Image result for rick daryl walking dead amc

The Walking Dead may not survive upcoming major cast changes, and I’m worried that this is the end. Such as in the recently cancelled Once Upon a Time, an adult Disney adventure drama, and Scrubs, a comedy drama set in the everyday world of doctors, some characters become too entwined in the story for tv viewers to feel okay with their departure [despite an in-show reboot or character replacement]. At some point, you lose enough of your main cast that it doesn’t feel like the same show anymore, and this is the ultimate hit or miss. In the case of The Walking Dead, it has been confirmed that Rick will die and be replaced as leader by Daryl in Season 9. Is this a potential threat for the show?

There’s a chance that The Walking Dead may go the fate of Game of Thrones. I mean, they both aren’t scared of killing off characters… or are they? Granted, The Walking Dead has cut main characters, but with Rick standing in the center alive and, er, well, the core team can withstand the deaths and the viewers. If you think back to the show Lost, the writers were so afraid to kill off their cast that they brought them all back with lazy twisted finale. It’s understandable—why would you want to upset your fans after all this time, which is really why we’re in the situation we’re in. They want the show to continue and they’ve gone as long as they can with Rick. It’s just been too long.

I will say, though, that The Walking Dead keeps it more fresh than Supernatural (Why is that still going?!), when it comes to villains and general story.

Image result for the walking dead amc lion

With long-running shows, the audience tends to fall in love with a cast/characters just as much as the shows themselves. Due to this, shows have specific formulas that stand strong, even in an apocalyptical setting; the main one being the familiar gang in a series of uncomfortable situations, which is ALL of the aforementioned shows have developed.

This is not to say that some shows overcome this their loss [although some were better than others]:

  • US Office: Michael Scott (Steve Carell)
  • Cheers: Diane Chambers (Shelley Long)
  • Charmed: Prue Halliwell (Shannen Doherty)
  • Three’s Company: Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers)
  • Game of Thrones: Ned Stark (Sean Bean)

But most end up dying after just another season:

  • That’s 70s Show: Eric Foreman (Topher Grace), then Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher)
  • Two and a Half Men: Charlie (Charlie Sheen)
  • The X-Files: Fox Mulder (David Duchovny)
  • Spin City: Mike (Michael J. Fox)
  • Grey’s Anatomy: Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray)
  • The O.C.: Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton)

With so many characters gone from The Walking Dead, is Daryl a strong enough character to take the helm? He’s a fully-developed personality and beloved by fans, but leaders usually have a love/hate relationship with their audience. This is due to the small, yet impactful decisions that only they get to make that cause internal conflict and future plot points. Are we sure Daryl can survive this? I wonder if it will feel more like a spin-off than the next season. With the ratings falling as they are, this could be the final choice that ends the show.

On some level, I do want the show to end. How much torment too much when it comes to the end of the world? If we are to assume there is never a cure, do we have to watch every last character die? Honestly, maybe this should be end of the show, with its this-might-as-well-happen ending.

I also can’t help but wonder, if this was done years ago, would the audience be more acclimated to the dead of a leader, or would the show have ended sooner?

Sources: All photos by AMC.

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

 

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

03 May 2018
dallas-film-festival_culture_050218_google

Here’s Why I’m Going to the 2018 DIFF This Weekend, and You Should, Too

Sometimes it’s not about work. To clarify, in this blog representing my company, work is important, but so is the work-life balance as an individual person, and as a team. I feel like the big projects can wear you out as a group; unwinding back to routine is hard, and sometimes even that can make us all exhausted.

For me, this is challenging, as my job is 80 percent detail and structure, 20 percent creative. I also tend to take on extra projects because I think I have the capacity, even if I don’t. Hyper-attention and dedication is embedded in my soul. This leads me to the point of this blog, which is that I am psyched about the Dallas International Film Festival. And if any of that sounds like you, you should be, too!

I’ve been living in Dallas now for about 2 years, yet I’ve run into a problem. When I get to spend time outside of work, I don’t want to read or write (sadly, because I do it all day) and being physically adventurous is not something I enjoy on the whole. I’m not a homebody, but I love movies and music and typically spend my time at home watching Netflix or listening to records. If I go anywhere, it’s to see a movie or listen to / watch live performances. I feel like all my friends and I do is watch the same movies we’ve always seen and get at the same restaurants that are nearby and moderately priced.

So when my coworkers here at bk began to talk about the Dallas Film Society and the Dallas International Film Festival – partly because they love to go each year, and partly because we got to do some commercial spots for the event itself – I was elated! It’s an annual 8-day festival that celebrates the wonderment of movies as a cultural phenomenon that starts tonight, so I don’t even have to wait for it.

First off, the commercials turned out awesome (Check these out!).

Second, something that combines film and light social interaction with my friends and coworkers seems right up my alley. This gives me something new to do, somewhere to go, and something that actually sounds interesting to me! In fact, I was checking out their list of films and here’s a list of a few random things that caught my eye:

  • Bo Burham, a rising comedian who focuses on introspection, is listed as a director. I mean, when? What? I must know what his directive style is.
  • A short film that stars Nancy from Stranger Things. Her real name is Natalie Dyer.
  • Harvey, the black and white 1950s move about the 6-ft rabbit that only one guy can see.
  • Hair Wolf, that has the following intriguing description: “In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster.”
  • And June, the story of “An immigrant Chinese wife tries to fit in at her husband’s graduation reception in 1950s America.”

There’s also political films, Texas-based films and several cultural films. As well as the big premieres: Shock and Awe, the 25th anniversary screening of Jurassic Park, and the 40th anniversary screening of Animal House.

It’s time to get us out of our ruts and go to the festival – grab your team (or any day, really, because it’s 8 days in a row!) You can buy tickets to see specific movies for about as much as you’d spend at a theater, so you can pick what you want and leave the rest. Or make this the week to remember for 2018 by getting passes and going to the premiers, parties and drinking from the open bar in the filmmakers lounge.

 


About the Author

amanda-lovewell-headshot

Amanda Lovewell is a copyeditor for bloomfield knoble. She works to keep the brand voice intact for us, and for our clients. She lives for any form of artistic expression, especially music. One day, she would love to travel creating short stories about her misadventures.

Connect with Amanda Lovewell
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

22 May 2017
poor-design-decisions-35__605

For those who say ‘Design doesn’t matter’

Recently, someone asked me what I like about being a graphic designer. My wheels started spinning because there are so many reasons. Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with color and typography, design, in my humble opinion, affects almost every aspect of our lives. Design is not just about making things look pretty (although, that is part of it). Design is about functionality, making things work or read a certain way so anyone can understand.

For instance, have you ever seen a parking sign that had so many words and symbols on it you couldn’t read at a quick glance if you’re allowed to park there? That’s because the sign was poorly designed. What about a door that says “Push” but has a pull handle? Bad design. Or the image above where the insect poison and cooking spray look the same?

Very. Bad. Design. I’m all for brand consistency, but that’s just dangerous.

Remember in 2015 when Steve Harvey announced the wrong name for the winner of Miss Universe? Look at the card he was reading from…

miss-universe-1

At first glance, it’s a bit confusing. And whether the card was the reason for the screw up or not, there probably would have been a lot less confusion if the card was more appropriately designed and laid out.

Poor design leads to confusion, frustration, and even embarrassment in Steve Harvey’s case. If your brand is associated with flawed design or faulty functionality, it could cost you, in more ways than one. I think good design often gets overlooked because it does what it’s supposed to do: deliver the right message or function properly. As a designer, I constantly try to be more aware of what good design looks like and how it functions, and can appreciate it more.

Being a designer is both a blessing and a curse. I flip through a magazine, and I don’t look at the pictures or read the articles. I applaud the layout, column, and grid structure. I buy certain products over others because I like the packaging design. And I can’t go to a restaurant without admiring or gawking at the typography and hierarchy on the menu (it’s a sickness, really).

Putting my design-related OCD aside, I love being a designer because design impacts our lives positively or negatively every day, and I want to be a part of creating positive experiences. I’m relatively new here at bloomfield knoble, but I’m glad to be a part of a team that supports and understands the intricacies and importance of good design.


About the Author

Breanne Avedikian is a Junior Art Director and Graphic Designer at bloomfield knoble. She focuses on layout and print design and maintains visual brand consistency for our clients. A Starbucks addict and California native, you can find her watching movies, listening to country music or petting the dog at the party. And just ask her how much she loves Texas!

Connect with Breanne Avedikian
facebooklinkedin_25x25

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

15 Jan 2017

Caveat Empclicktwittor

The same machines that help us better target can also hurt us.

Caveat Empclicktwittor is me pretending I remember anything from high school Latin class, but I’m going to loosely translate it as, “beware what you click on Twitter” because it turns out that the same machines that help us better target customers can also hurt us. Nevertheless, I love Twitter. It’s my favorite social media platform. Admittedly, it’s the only social media platform I use, so I may be a bit prejudiced, but fortunately I’m not the “social media person” here at bloomfield knoble, so I don’t have to use any others.

One of my favorite things to do on Twitter is to craft tweets that will generate engagement (likes, retweets, comments, etc.). I get a rush every time I see that little dot next to the Twitter logo on my iPhone. It’s not exactly an obsession, but I will admit that I have annoyed Jeff Carrington, who is the “social media person” here at bloomfield knoble, a bunch of times to learn best practices and methods that improve my chances of generating engagement. However, I know I’m not obsessed, because I don’t troll and I don’t (usually) tweet at autoresponders. I love interacting with people on Twitter and having conversations at 140 characters with people I don’t know perfectly fits my generally anti-social behavior. So if you’re tweeting to me, or even just about a topic I like, it’s not unusual for me to jump in.

Unfortunately, that may be about to change.

I didn’t grow up with social media, but I understand it. I know how to spot clickbait and phishing, where crooks try to trick people into clicking links to malware or sites that steal personal information, is common on Twitter. So as much as I love seeing that dot on my iPhone, I know better than to fall for the obvious. Or, I did. According to Sally Adee, writing in NewScientist, a machine learning system that reads our past tweets to craft personalized traps could make clicking links that show up in my Twitter feed even riskier.

Some criminals take the trouble to tailor their phishing tweets to specific individuals by hand – known as spearphishing. For example, (and it’s been suspended, so I don’t feel like I’m helping out the enemy here), @NatWest_HelpTC was a scam account that responded to anyone tweeting a customer service question at NatWest Bank’s real Twitter account. The imposters direct users to a fake NatWest site in an attempt to harvest bank login details. Success rates for spearphishing are estimated to be around 45%, but it’s also time consuming. Banks shouldn’t count on the difficulty of phishing protecting their customer though – researchers at Baltimore security company Zerofox have shown that spearphishing can be done automatically.

By mining people’s past Twitter activity, their mating learning system first hunts down a target. It looks for high-profile or well-connected users – such as those who list a job title like recruiter or CEO in their profile – and people who are particularly active. Zerofox’s Philip Tully says they also targeted people by looking at the hashtags they used in their tweets, as well as what the person likes to retweet and the times they are most likely to be using Twitter. Using this information, the algorithm generates tweets that the individual is likely to click on – and behold, personalized clickbait.

The team tested the system on 90 people and managed to trick more than two-thirds of them into clicking the link. The team thinks that the approach could reach far more people with a greater success rate than handcrafted approaches. They also say the system would work on other social media sites, including Facebook. the work was presented at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last month. But it’s not just about clicks. A recent study from Columbia University found that 60% of people don’t click or read the links they retweet. Tully says that’s a boon for the technique his team is warning about – no look retweeters are effectively laundering the scam tweets, giving them a sense of legitimacy and making it more likely that others will click.

Avoiding the trap isn’t always easy, but keep your operating system up-to-date; have a virus-protection program running on your system, and – especially if you are reaching out to customer service – only click on links offered from the verified account. As an agency heavily involved in social media advertising, we are very careful to avoid content that sounds like clickbait. While we would love to get a 45% success rate, we try to mitigate the potential fury of customers on social media that fall for scams. Unfortunately, like in the case of NatWest, it’s hard and spearphishing attacks have plagued them – and others – as long as Twitter has been around.

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

01 Nov 2016
2016-07-16-13-23-24-225x300

Turns out Tweens are, well, different.

The next generation of consumer is even more different than you think.

My 11 year-old son makes me insane. Don’t get me wrong, I love him more than anything, but after watching him walk around with a trash can on his head the other day, I’m starting to think that maybe . . . just maybe . . . there is something wrong with him.

Fortunately, I’m lucky enough to have unrestricted access to a cognitive neuroscientist – his grandmother.

I was quickly (a) assured that there is nothing wrong with my son; (b) that I was way worse in terms of making my parents insane; and (c) that, duh, he’s a kid.

Quick side note – people here at bloomfield knoble know that I have a tendency to explain Hawking / Einstein when asked, “what time is it?” Well, if you think I’m bad, you should meet my Mom. Here’s what I learned about Tweens and early Teens: Adolescence is a period of human brain growth and that from about 12 until 14 the brain’s cortex layers thin down probably as a result of pruning out unwanted connections between neurons, while important neurons gain a sheath that helps transmit signals more quickly. I was directed to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America titled, “Adolescence is associated with genetically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome.”

While I am more familiar with physics than biology, I thought I would take a look and uncover the mystery of youth. I was kind of excited, not just because I would like to figure out what is going on inside my son’s brain, but also because we at bloomfield knoble have had the opportunity to work on many projects that involve marketing to the parents of children. Let’s be honest about our industry – it’s not just advertising to the parent, it’s also getting the child excited about the product enough to help encourage the parent to make a purchase. So I’m pretty confident that this new research could really help us better understand the next generation of purchaser and position us as an agency to get ahead of the curve.

I made it through the abstract.

How does human brain structure mature during adolescence? We used MRI to measure cortical thickness and intracortical myelination in 297 population volunteers aged 14–24 y old. We found and replicated that association cortical areas were thicker and less myelinated than primary cortical areas at 14 y. However, association cortex had faster rates of shrinkage and myelination over the course of adolescence. Age-related increases in cortical myelination were maximized approximately at the internal layer of projection neurons. Adolescent cortical myelination and shrinkage were coupled and specifically associated with a dorsoventrally patterned gene expression profile enriched for synaptic, oligodendroglial- and schizophrenia-related genes. Topologically efficient and biologically expensive hubs of the brain anatomical network had greater rates of shrinkage/myelination and were associated with overexpression of the same transcriptional profile as cortical consolidation. We conclude that normative human brain maturation involves a genetically patterned process of consolidating anatomical network hubs. We argue that developmental variation of this consolidation process may be relevant both to normal cognitive and behavioral changes and the high incidence of schizophrenia during human brain adolescence.

So I called my Mom back, who, having heard from me twice in the same week presumed that something was terribly wrong, to ask for a summary of the report. It turns out that kids are different. Not just different, but different. As in, their brains aren’t like ours. Playing – even if it seems pretty nonsensical to adults – is training their brain to process information. Lack of focus is the brain creating pathways to different files that form foundations for future reasoning. Doing stuff that seems, well, stupid, is just a part of growing up. What we, as adults, perceive as a lack of common sense, is really just the brain shedding – or adding – layers of information.

I asked my Mom about ways that we, as an agency, could better market to Tweens. She chuckled (or snorted, either way it was a verbal dismissive gesture) and said that while market research may generate some observable results, the simple truth is that adults no longer know how to relate to kids that age – our brains simply don’t work like that anymore. Furthermore, asking a kid to come up with an ad for kids doesn’t work so well either, because it forces them to process information differently. In other words, asking a kid to come up with an ad will get the kid to stop acting like a kid and start thinking (or trying to think) like an adult who is problem solving. My Mom said that the best examples of success in her trials had always been to watch kids at play and observe. Enough observation may reveal certain patterns of behavior that could be used to identify opportunities for engagement.

I decided to give it a try – rather than let my son make me insane, I decided just to observe and try to identify a pattern that we could use on our next project. That lasted about 20 seconds because my kid declared himself a human Nerf gun and shot a dart out of his nose.

I think we’ll just avoid marketing to children in the future.

 


About the Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect with Thomas Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

 


Who is bloomfield knoble?

bk is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bk provides a one-to-one approach.

Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at (214) 254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.