Category Archives: Advertising News

2017 Pantone Color of the Year: GREENERY

PANTONE 15-0343
A refreshing and revitalizing shade, GREENERY is symbolic of new beginnings.

GREENERY is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of GREENERY signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

GREENERY is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.

This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of GREENERY in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally.

A constant on the periphery, GREENERY is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

A life-affirming shade, GREENERY is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

What is the PANTONE Color of the Year? A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.

Nature’s neutral, GREENERY is a versatile “trans-seasonal” shade that lends itself to many color combinations & can easily cross over fashion, beauty products – as well as – graphic design applications.

Welcome…PANTONE GREENERY!

 

 

 

 

2016: What’s New in Advertising?

Consumers will expect even more from advertising.

The content will need to be increasingly honest, relate-able and contextually relevant in order to help shift perceptions. With the continual evolution of in-stream ad products, the need for strong content will only increase. Brands producing content that feels taxing will fail, while others who understand the platforms for which they’re creating content will thrive, gain consumer trust and achieve social currency. The key here will be the shift away from the mindset of content as a window-to-window strategy and more as a perpetual way of speaking to the consumer through different lenses.

Art and design will continue to be a strong part of every aspect of advertising, but there will be an increased emphasis on data to help drive creative decisions.

The combination of science, art and design will be used to test and learn to see what resonates. This methodology will increasingly become the primary way ‘big bet’ creative decisions are made, specifically in the form of video advertising. … Creative direction will be less focused on driving traffic back to a single destination, but rather on a holistic but distributed approach where many pieces of content are adapted to reach people where they are, specific to the devices that they’re using.

The big shift will be thinking about the future and the new technology that allows marketers to tell their story in unique ways. Through this, there may be older forms of ad models that are reinvented, but the focus will be on the new mediums and how they can best be utilized.

There will be an increased awareness that there needs to be an adaption of the insight for the platform, which means that marketers will increasingly rely on creatives to be experts in all aspects of the evolving social space.

 

 

Pantone’s 2016 Color/s of the Year!

A softer take on color for 2016…
For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz (13-1520)
and Serenity (15-3919) are chosen as the PANTONE Color/s of the Year.

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent.  Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.

Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.

The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.

“Joined together Rose Quartz & Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer rose tone & the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order & peace.” Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

8 Recent Digital Marketing Stats

Below are 8 interesting digital marketing stats posted recently posted in AdWeek.

1. Facebook users are becoming lurkers.
34% of Facebook users posted a status update during the third quarter (according to GlobalWebIndex) – meaning 66% didn’t post one at all during a three-month period. Down from 50% of users updating their Facebook statuses during the same period the year before.

2. Social network usage is on the rise.
Facebook users were using an average of 2.5 social networks in 2012, that number has since increased to 4.3 social networks. (according to a recent GlobalWebIndex report)

3. YouTube vs. Facebook.
200,000 consumers were interviewed across 34 markets for its Q3 study. While Facebook has the biggest worldwide membership of any social platform, it is not the most-visited social platform – YouTube is. YouTube is No. 1 for visitation, with 81%  of respondents having gone to the video platform at least once last quarter compared to Facebook’s 80%. (again, according to a recent GlobalWebIndex report)

4. Wearables usage to double.
By the end of this year, 39.5 million U.S. adults will have utilized wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, a 58%  jump over last year, according to data from eMarketer, which expects wearables usage to more than double by 2018 to 81.7 million users.

5. A good review is important.
41% of those surveyed by Social Media Link say it takes between one and four digital product reviews to get them to buy.

6. Are we addicted to our smartphones?
58% of Gen Y consumers consider themselves to be addicted to their smartphones. The company’s mobile-minded report also said that 66% of millennials are likely to contact a business by placing a call versus 22% who are likely to use social media. (Invoca report)

7. A note from Wall Street.
Mobile might be the future of marketing, but Wall Street could be more impressed. “Mobile Internet” stocks were down 15% during the third quarter. (recent Digi-Capital report)

8. Cookies are more than a snack.
When asked what their single most important source of data for insights creation will be two years from now, 30% of clients and 27% of suppliers chose “consumer-specific data collected passively.” The most common example for “passive data” is the use of cookies on a consumer’s computer to capture Internet browsing history. (GfK and the Institute for International Research (IIR) surveyed more than 700 market researchers  and suppliers)

If you are interested in hearing more digital marketing stats & how they might apply to your business’ bottom-line be sure to contact us.

Cutting through the “noise” revealed as top social media program challenge

Cutting through the “noise” has been revealed as the biggest social media challenge facing B2B brands, according to B2B Marketing’s 2015 Social Media Benchmarking Report.

38% of respondents cited cutting through the “noise” as the main stumbling block when it came to social media.

Companies are also struggling to determine their social worth, with 35% encountering ‘difficulty proving ROI’.

However, the study also showed only two in five (40%) senior managers expect their social media channels to accurately demonstrate ROI, while 34% rarely or never expect any proof in regards to ROI.

Yet, respondents were largely confident in their ability to improve ROI over the next year, with 55% expecting a slight improvement and a further 23% anticipating significant gains.

Other significant challenges for social media marketers included ‘lack of time’ (30 % and ‘lack of strategic planning’ 25%).

The report also revealed just 35% of companies use paid-for social media monitoring platforms, perhaps explaining why marketers are struggling to present comprehensive analysis.

An over-reliance on standard website analytics could explain some reservations, with
75 % of companies using platforms such as Google Analytics, which only focuses on web traffic from social rather than audience breakdowns, engagement and interactions.

Let’s look at some of the statistics:
– Only ½ of marketers say social media is an important part of their marketing:
56% critical or important, 44% of some importance/limited importance or no importance
(Interesting note: not much has changed since 2014 when 62% said critical or important & 38% said of some importance/limited importance or no importance)

– Marketing allocates: 12% of budget & 20% of time on Social Media

– Marketers are focusing on reach, rather than engagement:
16% use Social Media to interact, 69% broadcast own content, 13% direct conversations

– Top challenges: Cutting through the “noise”, followed by difficulty proving ROI & finally, lack of time

– Most B2B actively used platforms: 76% Twitter, 71% Linkedin, 47%YouTube

– Most effective B2B platforms: 58% Linkedin, 24% Twitter, 9% Facebook

– Most effective content formats are: Infographics, videos, images
(Interesting note: the most used content formats are: Links to longer content, videos, written copy)

– Measurements to measure success: 56% web visits, 58% interactions, 42% downloads of content

Contact Debbie @ Radsick Ad Group to plan & implement your companies 2015/2016 Social Media Program – we can help you cut through the Social Media “noise” – saving you time & getting a greater ROI.

 

 

 

Cheers to Pantone’s Color of the Year

Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year will be Marsala:
A naturally robust and earthy wine red.

PANTONE-18-1438-TPX

 

 

 

 

Designers always eagerly await Pantone’s December announcement of its Color of the Year, predicting which hue will be ubiquitous in the year ahead.

The executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, further elaborates:
“While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

 

 

Print Design in 2014

If you believe print is dead, then you’ll be amazed to see the inspiring collection of print trends presented by Cubicle Ninjas! It’s always exciting to see new trends emerge in the print world. From typographic “lock-ups” to luxury printing, check out the latest print design trends for 2014.

WHAT’S HOT?

Type-Only:

Type-only designs used in print speak for themselves. It’s free of embellishments and the message is straight forward.

Image-Only:

Image-only layouts with little or no type look striking in print, and the images don’t get lost behind words.

Full-Page Typographic “Lock-Ups”:

Typographic “lock-ups” is a great way to organize type in a clean and readable layout.

WHAT’S NOT?

QR Codes:

The problem with QR codes is they’re often times not used properly. Why place a QR code on an ad in an underground subway with no reception, for example. All in all, majority of designers don’t favor them.

THE NEXT FAD

Luxury Printing:

Print layouts with luxury printing shine bigger than designs printed on mediocre material.

Double Exposure:

Double exposure is an edgy trend that gives your print projects a dramatic feel.

10 Web Design Trends You Can Expect in 2014

There are many exciting things that 2014 has in store for us who live, work, and produce the World Wide Web.

Last year, we looked at the 10 Web design trends for 2013. Many of the trends that were spotted last year are still around today and will undoubtedly take off into 2014. After all, that’s why they are called trends and not fads, as trends tend to stick around for a few years while fads are only hot for a very short time.

Let’s look ahead and see what kind of new(ish) Web design trends we can look for and be inspired in 2014.

1. Non-boring typography
It’s great to see more designers experimenting with different types of type. One trend with type we can expect to see in 2014 is fonts with personality.

“Fonts with personality” are fonts that feel like they can stand on their own. They are not your standard serif or sans-serif font. Designers are starting to find different fonts to add to their arsenal that add a little personality and uniqueness to their designs.

We expect to see many more websites in 2014 getting away from very simple and overused typefaces and finding some with personality.

2. Flat design
Oh Apple, how we love thee.

Last year we said that more than likely, Apple was going to shake its Skeuomorphism, and boy did they ever. With the release of iOS7 came the design aesthetic most commonly known as “flat design.” While dropping drop shadows and gradients often seems like a good idea in some cases to give a more updated look to things, Apple took it to a whole other level by dropping pretty much any design element it could.

Apple has for a long time been a trendsetter, and what Apple does, the rest of the world seems to follow. iOS7 has been out for a while and already there are a flood of sites coming online every day with new “flat” designs. We don’t anticipate this trend ending in 2014.

3. Large hero areas quickly killing sliders
If you asked us what is the #1 trend in Web design today, this would be it.

Large hero areas (the “intro” area, often an image with a little amount of text, at the top of a website – a borrowed term from print design) on website home pages are running rampant and it is a trend we don’t see going away either in 2014. They are quickly taking over real estate on websites where sliders used to reside.

Either it be a simple blurred photo in the background with a heading centered in the middle, or a more elaborate one. Hero areas are quickly replacing sliders as the new attention-grabbers, and they are becoming increasingly creative and elaborate.

4. Heavier focus on mobile
Now that responsive Web design is becoming more common place, we are starting to see websites dig deeper into our mobile lifestyles.

Designers are increasingly working on keeping their sites functioning on mobile devices, but developers are taking it a step further to help along with the fact that so many more devices are accessing the Web, and so many more users are using their phones to browse the Web.

Wondering what some things are being done? Integration with social media, asking for email subscriptions, long scrolling sites, and fast loading sites all help make the mobile Web a friendlier place.

5. Videos in place of text
Why read about it when you can watch it? Something else you will start seeing all over the Web (especially in hero areas) are videos.

Videos are becoming easier to produce, and easier to share not on your website, but on social media as well. While some may argue that videos don’t belong on a website home page due to the large amount of data they take to load and run (especially on mobile devices and internet with data caps), videos are an effective way to communicate something technical or new when words just don’t cut it.

Plus, many video services such as YouTube allow you to track how many views it got, allowing you to better plan your content for your website.

6. Long scrolling sites
We’ve become comfortable with scrolling through a website to read and find information, and now with websites using more design techniques such as increased white space and responsive Web design, long scrolling sites are starting to appear again.

Several years ago, it was common to have long scrolling sites that where slammed with content. Well, now we are seeing long scrolling websites but the content is more organized and in a much easier format to digest.

7. Simple color schemes
We can’t have a post on design trends without talking about color. In 2014, we will see a lot more website with very simple color schemes. And by simple, we mean really only one or two colors.

Some websites being launched now are using very little color, or even forgoing color all together. White, black, and everything in between are popular color schemes now, and adding just a hit of another color, such as red, adds drama and impact – all things that garnish attention when used in the right way.

8. Simplified content
We’ve kind of hit on this throughout this post, but while 2013 seemed to be the year of King Content, 2014 will keep the king humble and down to earth. Simpler content will dominate 2014 and beyond as we design our websites.

Simplified content means short bursts of content, a la Twitter style. Over the years as a population, our attention spans have become shorter, so designers have compensated for that by putting content in short bursts instead of long narratives.

Not many areas on websites these days (except blog posts) have more than about 250 characters. It is because it is easier and faster to read for users who like to scan the page.

9. Dropping the sidebar
This is more for blog or magazine-type sites, but many of these sites are experimenting with dropping the sidebar all together. This allows for a more visual impact with content (and easier responsive Web development).

Imagine this: you reading an article without things flashing, crowding, or otherwise buying for your attention. Designers understand this and are working to make your reading experience more pleasant by getting rid of these distractions and expanding the content of the article to take over the page.

10. Manipulated imagery
While it is easy to just throw any old photo on your site, it is a little more difficult to manipulate  it into something different. In 2014, we will see more images that have things such as color overlays, blurred images, or even images that are reminiscent of Instagram images with filters.

BONUS: Crazy, sexy, cool stuff
This will be the trend that we hope never ever dies. As the Web grows and becomes more involved, and as more things are developed, designers and Web developers are going to get their hands on them. If you thought parallax scrolling techniques were cool, just you wait.

Expect to see many more things hit the Web in 2014, such as the use of HTML5 to animate different parts of a site.  Just don’t go overboard.

 

Creativity Sparks a Greater ROI

It’s a question often asked of any advertising professional:  “what’s going to be my return on investment?”  While there are many metrics for measuring ROI, measuring the ROI of creativity itself if perhaps the most important consideration.

 

So why do so many businesses play it so safe when promoting their brand?  It’s not fear of the unknown, or even a low tolerance for risk.  Instead, it’s because some don’t fully understand how truly important creativity for creativity’s sake truly is.   If they did, they would do everything in their (and their creative team’s) power to set themselves apart from their competitors in creative, memorable ways.

 

In 2010, England’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising published a study called the “The link between creativity & effectiveness.”  In it they provided a thorough analysis of 435 campaigns studied over a 16-year period from 1994 to 2010.  The report revealed something we creative professionals have always known in our gut – that creativity fuels a greater return on the advertising dollar.  In fact, they discovered that creatively awarded campaigns are 12 times more efficient at increasing a brand’s market share.  Some 77 percent of these campaigns had television advertising at the heart of their success.

 

The report’s summary concluded, “while creativity cannot be defined or prescribed, its effects can be measured and creative ads tend to be enjoyable and involving, and different than other advertising.  They tend to stimulate an emotional response.  Effective ads also tend to generate these responses – and they are also likely to be well branded.”

 

That’s been my experience as well.  When writing a radio spot for ReNew Life Formula’s Diet Start Cleanse, the lead character was a bathroom scale.  He pleaded with his owner to try it and it would help her lose weight, thus making his “life” easier.  We used the voice of Jay Kiernen, (the voice of the cartoon cockroach who screamed “RAID!” at the end of that monumental and long-running campaign), to do the voiceover.  It was a brand and a product worthy going that extra mile, and they were savvy enough to embrace it.  Click here if you’d like to give it a listen.

 

TCS PAP pool cleaner adThen there was this ad for Pinch A Penny Pool, Patio and Spa about automatic pool cleaners.  The brand is built around the notion that pool cleaning is as easy as child’s play, and children were predominant in all advertising.  Plus, children and pools naturally go together, and many pool owners have children in the home.  This ad took a rather mundane topic, automatic pool cleaners, and tied it to the brand in a fun, fresh way. It was engaging, immediately easy for adults with children to identify with, and reinforced a strong sales message.  Such approaches have helped build this brand into a pool care powerhouse, and they are still true to the children and family oriented approach to this day.

 

And that’s the true value of creativity. It has the power to turn the mundane into the exceptional.  Which is why more and more corporations are harnessing the power of creativity to get the best out of their people.  Take, for instance, General Electric.  GE was able to increase patentable concepts by more than 60 percent after its engineers and designers completed a two-year, in-house creativity course.  Participants in Pittsburgh Plate Glass creativity training showed a 300 percent increase in viable ideas compared with those who elected not to take the course.  At Sylvania, several thousand employees took a 40-hour course in creative problem solving.  The ROI for that course was $20 for every $1 spent.

 

Hewlett Packard was an early adopter of creativity training.  The company invested more than $2 billion in R&D in 1999, and generated more than 1,300 patent applications.  The net revenue from their investment in creative thinking? A whopping $42.37 billion that year alone.

 

So the next time you’re thinking about doing a mailer, sending out some email marketing, placing an ad, posting on social media, or filming a TV spot, don’t just think out of the box.  Make a new box to be in.  The return on your investment will be highly rewarding, both emotionally and monetarily, and motivate you to continue to supercharge your brand identity through creativity.


Blog post created by Jennifer Frazier/The Creative Stable

 

 

Direct Mail Withstands the Test of Time in Today’s Digital World

Some historical facts:
– Ben Franklin created the first direct mail-order catalog 239 years ago
– Neiman Marcus sold a $1.44M submarine & a $1M diamond necklace from its 2007 direct mail holiday catalog
– Sears Roebuck & Co. sold over 70,000 homes by mail-order from 1908-1940

Today’s facts:
– The average adult in the US receives 40lbs of annual direct mail or 16 pieces per week
– 69% of Americans shop from direct mail catalogs
– Direct mail generates a 31.3% ROI for customer acquisition & 37.5% for customer retention
– 10% more consumers visit a brand’s website in response to direct mail over email
– 48% keep direct mailings for future reference
– 56% believe printed marketing materials are “more trustworthy”
– 2X the number of respondents age 18-34 believe direct mail will never be replaced by
online messaging compared to 20% of those over 55
– Over 30% people read the P.S. 1st
– 20-25% of target customers will return a form
– The average response rate of B2B & B2C consumer mailings: 4.4% direct mail as compared to .12% email
– Citigroup, JPMorganChase, Discover Financial Services – are among the top 5 firms to use direct mail