And the winners are …

February 8, 2016 / Advertising, Branding
super Ad Bowl

Well, it’s Tuesday after the Super Bowl, and our team has weighed in on their favorite TV commercials. Here’s our collective top 3. See if you agree:

First place: Jeep’s “Portraits”

Taking a more classic and unconventional twist, Jeep’s commercial quickly rose to our number one spot out of all the Super Bowl ads with its unique chronological portraits of Jeeps and their influence on the public over the past 75 years. This tribute and celebration marking their 75th anniversary was concluded with the slogan, “We don’t make Jeep. You do.” This beautiful commercial helps to once again enforce the idea that a brand is not a brand without its consumers.

Second place: T-Mobile’s “Restricted Bling” featuring Drake

On a completely different spectrum of the Super Bowl commercials, T-Mobile’s parody of “Hotline Bling,” which included Drake and his notorious box, also ranked as another top favorite of ours. From Drake’s hilarious facial expressions, to the obvious sarcasm and the sly way T-Mobile mocked their competitors, this was an easy choice for us. We especially enjoyed the end when everyone climbed into the box.

Third place: Doritos’ “Ultrasound”

Despite the growing controversy surrounding this Super Bowl commercial, Doritos’ in our opinion, has once again delivered another outrageous advertisement that has gotten everyone talking. It has become routine for football fans around the nation to anticipate what crazy, comical and creative commercial Doritos will produce each year and this year they have certainly outdone themselves.

If you are looking to score an awesome commercial or advertisement for your brand, organization or product, contact us.

A titan of typography.

September 22, 2015 / Design
Frutiger typography design

Adrian Frutiger, one of the great type designers of all times died this month, in his home in Switzerland at age 87.

Mr. Frutiger created some of the most widely used fonts of the 20th century — seen daily on signage on city streets, in airports and in subway stations. For him, the whole point of type was for it to be inconspicuous “so you’re not aware it’s there”.

His best-known fonts include Univers, Avenir and Frutiger, the one bearing his name, considered to be one of the world’s best signage typefaces because of its legibility and “clean” design.

Mr. Frutiger’s obituary in the New York Times had some very interesting points about typography we think are worth sharing.

“A font is how the sounds of language meet the eye, and each character has its own anatomy, temperament and needs…A type designer is obliged to reconcile the often competing imperatives of form and function, for a font that is especially beautiful may not be especially legible, and vice versa. Postmodernity — in which words are read not only on paper but also on fleetingly glimpsed road signs and electronic screens — has only amplified the problem.”

Typography continues to be exceedingly important in helping branding experts like us create unique and compelling identities and communications for our clients.

In addition to legibility concerns, every typeface has a distinct personality and identity — and can impart meaning by virtue of how it looks and reads.

Thanks to Mr. Frutiger, we brand designers have a rich palette of choices to work with. He will be missed and his legacy will certainly live on.

What’s in a name?

December 18, 2014 / Branding
cheerios naming branding

Cheerios, the nation’s largest cereal brand, is introducing a new variety called Cheerios “Ancient Grains”. Containing quinoa and other healthy grains and seeds, it’s aimed at slightly older consumers who are looking for healthier snacks and products with simple ingredients that contain more protein and are gluten-free.

The term “ancient grain” refers to grains or seeds that have their origins in ancient times — and haven’t been modified over time by plant science.

But is it smart for General Mills, the makers of Cheerios, to actually use that term in the name of the cereal? Doesn’t it have connotations of old, stale and even geriatric?

Bringing ancient grains to the mainstream cereal aisle may be a good thing. But couldn’t the company think of a more inspired name — one that doesn’t have so many problematic implications?

A word of advice: When you’re naming a new product, don’t just describe what it is or what it does. Inject some emotional appeal into what you call it.

“Ancient Grains” may prove very successful for General Mills, but it certainly won’t be because of the name.

Photo:  Vasili (Creative Commons)

Brand leadership

November 13, 2014 / Branding
brand leadership

Starbucks has done it again: lead by example.

In previous blogs, we have applauded the company for its social responsibility and corporate citizenship. And now the coffee brand has a new initiative centering on members of the armed services.

Following the publication of CEO Howard Schultz’s new book, For Love of Country, the company has launched Onward Veterans. It has pledged to hire at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018, in an effort to help our unsung heroes and their families make a successful transition to civilian life.

Starbucks has not only branded and defined the coffee experience in this country, it’s redefining what it means to be a corporate citizen. This leading brand exemplifies brand leadership in every sense of the term.

A great company doing good — in today’s cynical world, this may be the best kind of branding of all.

Photo:  Ed Yourdon (Creative Commons)