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Author: Justin Farrugia

Microsoft’s Edge Logo

Microsoft’s Edge Logo

Remember my final goodbye post for our good old friend Internet Explorer? Well here’s it’s successor’s newest logo. What do you think reader? Do you marvel at the beauty of the curvature that the designer has executed, or do you taste barf in the back of your mouth as you remember the load times from previous versions of IE.

It’s obvious for all to see that the design brief and the concept development Microsoft chose to pursue was based off of the latest iterations of the IE logo, with that infamous halo around that damn lower-case ‘e’ we hated so much. If I’m being honest the Edge logo looks like a negative space design of a desk lamp sitting casually on a desk. The curve at the bottom looks kind of unfinished and disproportionate. In short, I fucking hate it.

Why did Microsoft rebrand Edge this way?

I dunno. Beats me to be perfectly honest. I honestly thought that Spartan was a cooler name for the re-branding of a new fresh shiny browser which would appeal to a younger audience. However, I get what Microsoft are trying to do. You see, as a designer, the first thing you’ll do is bash the  aesthetics. Even though I began to cringe once I set my critique-ready eyeballs on that monstrosity where everything from consistency to thickness begin to look all wrong, the logo is there for familiarity.

So really, for that instant connection for whoever uses IE. All they see is that blue lowcase letter ‘e’ and immediately their minds would say ‘Oh look it’s the interwebs!’ (and hopefully they move their cursor onto something better). Now why would people want to be familiarized with a brand that’s been called ‘slowest browser’ over and over again.? Well we shouldn’t forget that Microsoft isn’t building this thing on top of IE, Spartan/Edge has an all new rendering machine which will undoubtedly include the richness of Windows 10 integration.

In all honesty, I see this as being a huge bet since being affiliated with the worst browser of all time, might kind of blow up in Microsoft’s face but then again for familiarity’s sake, it’s also pretty bold. Let’s just hope Edge won’t plague our souls like Internet Explorer did.

It’s A Match! Tinder And Bud Light Team Up

It’s A Match! Tinder And Bud Light Team Up

tinder

The time has come where Tinder has launched its video advertising platform to start monetizing. All of us knew, that even though the concept was cringe-worthy and not really original, because there’s frankly too much already, Tinder’s ease of choice was what really made things interesting. Marketers must have been grinding their teeth day in day out to see when they could do once they could jump onto the Tinder train.

Recently, Tinder swiped right to  Bud Light’s request to market themselves on the infamous online dating app that everyone seems to have stories about. Following up on the successful ‘Up for Whatever’ ad which made its debut last year, Hugh Cullman, Bud Light’s director of marketing, tells AdWeek “There’s a lot of synergies between the Tinder audience and the audience we’re looking for”.

BudLight is trying to promote its #UpForWhatever campaign by posting a video ad that will appear to those aged 21 and over (don’t worry granny you’re invited too!). It will select 1000 people that have swiped right and those chosen will get to party for a weekend in BudLight’s fictional town of Whatever, USA with presumable ample supplies of one of America’s most unassuming beers.

Of course since this video advertising thing is a whole new space for Tinder to explore, both companies have collaborated to create custom video lengths over the course of the campaign for preliminary testing. The ‘interval’, if you want to call it that, is four to five swipes and then an ad, at the moment. However since this process is still in its earliest days, things will definitely be shaken up.

Now in my eyes, this is a good move for both companies. Tinder, being the new kid on the block, and BudLight just want to jump onto the social media bandwagon, even though the former has fared poorly in opinion as this collection of GIFs will tell you.

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Now, since I’m in Europe I couldn’t really get to be chosen to enjoy a booze so I’ll be settling for disappointment that comes with the swiping. But it’s not all doom and gloom!

Apart from Tinder’s first monetization effort, that being Tinder Plus, the video advertising push that’s being made is interesting for creatives within the marketing space. Even though these companies seem like an odd couple, expect Tinder to be experimenting and promoting their video services with some other wacky companies.

Some People Are Heartless

Some People Are Heartless

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The interwebs has provided me an extremely vast number of reasons why I should both feel ashamed of calling myself human, and also be proud of our existence. Unfortunately, as the title might point out, in this case its the former.

The agency that produced this was Leo Burnett Toronto, a Canadian subsidiary of the Chicago based agencies which boasts the title of being one of the largest worldwide agencies. All thanks to this guy. Anyways back to the commercial.

Jimmy Kimmel started the trend with his series of ‘Celebrities Read Mean Tweets‘. He put a face to the unsavoury activity of people insulting celebrities, even though they are people just like you and me. The series showed that Twitter, even though a platform meant to connect, can also be a place of deject. Naturally the trend got popular and people started making videos for all kinds of professions, from pornstars to teachers.  If you haven’t seen Leo Burnett’s take yet, here it is:

Why are you talking about this?

Well reader, before I start my occasional chatter, can you answer me this question. What does home mean to you?

  • A roof over your head?
  • A place you go to wash, eat and sleep?
  • A place where you go to at the end of the day to see your family?
  • All of the above? (I thought so)

Just imagine not having any of this. What would you do reader? And yet there still exists heartless tweets that plague the social networks we spend hours on such as:

When Homeless People Read Mean Tweets Everything Becomes Much More RealWhen Homeless People Read Mean Tweets Everything Becomes Much More Real

I literally couldn’t believe me ears when I heard some of them.  Now some of you might say, ‘hey Justin what if I actually helped these people but they chose to drink or smoke, what was the value in any of that?’. Well I’m glad you asked. By doing that you’ve given them the privilege of choice, something which not all of us have.  I’m not trying to be some armchair critic who lambastes humanity from a distance, I’ve gone ahead and donated so that maybe the smallest thing I could do can make a difference. And I suggest you do that too. Don’t be heartless, get involved.

Capture

 

 

Slack gets hacked

Slack gets hacked

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Before I start my occasional chatter, you should know Slack is not just another start-up with security issues. It was said to be the ‘email-killer‘ by The Verge and rightly so, users can send any document type whilst communicating with their respective team-members via the oh-so cherished hash tag . It was valued at being worth $2.8 bn, so yeah it’s pretty important. Sandwich Video, another awesome start-up, pretty much summed Slack’s ease of use in this explainer video that they produced some months ago.

Cool, so what happened?

On their official blog, they recently confirmed that there was unauthorized access to their database storing user profile information. Thankfully they go on to mention that no ‘financial or payment information was compromised’ and also that a small number of individual users were affected.

The company said that it had introduced two-factor authentication as an additional security step, which requires users to type in a code sent to their mobile phone or tablet to access the app. A password kill-switch was also made available for team owners which according to the blog post allowed for both “instantaneous team-wide resetting of passwords and forced termination of all user sessions for all team members (which means that everyone is signed out of your Slack team in all apps on all devices).”

So, if you’re a Slacker head on to the help site to set up the necessary authentication and for the hackers I leave you with a GIF from one of my favourite TV series, the Office.

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EDIT: After learning what happened to Slack, I read an article stating that Slack weren’t the only victims. The others included British Airways, GitHub and Uber.  Due to my undying love for anything visual, here’s another GIF depicting how I feel about the matter. On that note, good day, reader!

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NSFW: Your competitor is a dick, literally

NSFW: Your competitor is a dick, literally

ibm-penis-hed-2015[1]Would have come in handy for Apple back in the day, notice the ‘I’

You know those other losers who are trying to outsell you. They think they’re so smug with their dumb bright coloured vintage logo. They think they’re some Wisenheimer with the number of happy clients they claim they have and the coffees they drank, oh poor babies save them from doing mediocre work!

Now when it comes to business , everything that seems even remotely mean is usually kept behind closed doors. Or else done through quirky comparative advertising and then be called a clever bastard, like the guys at Burger King or Pepsi, who’ve been doing this stuff before I was even born.

You could do that, or else you could just dish out 25 dollars and have some designers morph a dick into your competitor’s logo. The guys that came up with this ingenious idea, have, in my opinion, created the funniest cash cow known to mankind. It’s called Penised.com and everything about it is just plain glorious. Their about page is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. It’s basically an embedded video showing a scene from Superbad where it shows Jonah Hill’s character dick-drawing fetish. Perfectly reasonable, right?

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Android Wear is different, not the same.

Android Wear is different, not the same.

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Naturally with the release of Apple Watch upon us, you’d expect Android to ramp up their marketing. And they did just that in their latest cheeky commercial which was debuted at SXSW Interactive. Quick sidenote, before I start rambling. This ad was directed by Alexei Tylevich and produced by the gifted creatives over at Droga5.

Choreography was the dish of the day, as a host of talented artists danced away to the beat of Shamri’s On The Regular. Other than the dance moves, which I’ll never be able to do in my lifetime, the other important part was the diversity of the products. Not one watch was the same in terms of form factor or design amongst the host of aspects involved.

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Internet Explorer: A final goodbye

Internet Explorer: A final goodbye

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Way back when, Microsoft tried to rebrand the browser you loved to hate as a platform that sucks less and the online leader of an emerging hipster regime. All the marketing budget that was spent on trying to bring Internet Explorer back to life seems to have gone down the drain as marketing chief Chris Capossela confirmed the inevitable. Microsoft has pulled the plug on one of it’s brainchildren paving the way for Project Spartan.

Why should you care?

Well, to be perfectly honest, we were kind of shocked even though we knew it was coming. It’s not like we’re deep into crisis mode and we don’t know what to do with our lives.

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Instagram Goes On A Ride

Instagram Goes On A Ride

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Source: http://www.viralblog.com

All aboard the carousel! Instagram have recently updated how a user interacts with a brand and the adverts they release, by the magical power of tapping/clicking. Yep, took them long enough. But let’s give them credit for the other feature they’ve implemented which is the carousel feature. Now you might say that interstitial advertising is an old concept, but you might be missing the bigger picture.

How it works

This feature only works on the new Carousel ads platform which was launched last week. It’s stated on the Instagram for Business blog that they are ‘introducing this new format on a limited basis’. So don’t get your knickers in a twist just yet, it’s just a beta at the moment. Sadly at the moment it’s not available for user posts which kind of bugs me but hey it’s being improved. Now you might go ahead and say, ‘hey wait a minute this is like the slide-y thingy on my Facebook news feed’. Well that’s true average reader! But then again, we both know that Zuckerberg’s brainchild wasn’t meant for photo-sharing.

The way this works is that users are able to swipe right on images and at the end of the carousel they can learn more about the product or service being advertised. It seems like something really unimportant & obvious but I think most people underestimate the marriage of the visuals and the link to the key information. You’d be thinking, how have Instagram made so much cash and have implemented this just now? Well you got me there average reader.

Why am I fanboying over it?

Personally, though I’m excited for how the industry in general is opting for more interactivity and dynamism, valuing brands’ stories rather than just sales strategies. Compelling beautiful stories is the way to go for marketers and Instagram has realized that (finally). They take users on a ride as they learn not only about what they’re buying but how/where/when it was made. Long gone are the days where everything is kept behind closed doors.

The best thing about all this is that both marketers & designers will be forced to get their creative juices flowing. Brands can use it not just for the sake of redirection but also to tell better stories about themselves. Even though it might spell the end for the print industry, as one of my favourite gurus said, I can’t imagine the ROI that one can get from investing in these dynamic products.

You can watch the video they put up over here.

Google’s Oscar Ads

Google’s Oscar Ads

oscars-winners-hed-2015[1]Source: Adweek

As the stars shined brightly in Hollywood, and the awards were dished out you’d expect a tonne of brands trying to capitalize with branded tweets and campaigns as they try their hand at real-time marketing. And that’s what happened.

Huge brands like Lego, Coca-Cola and Dove, naturally, got involved. Another giant we mention a lot here at Techno-Speak got in on the action, that giant is of course, Google. Their real-time marketing stunt that promoted the movies that won their respective Oscar awards was pretty innovative to say the least.

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