Heart: Four-ish Months In Review
Earlier this summer, I penned a post exclaiming that I was “quitting advertising”, and it caused a brief, and rather silly stir. We got some funny press, I got the pleasure of being misquoted, and the whole thing lasted for about one full rotation of the internet’s attention-cycle (roughly three days). By now, I’m sure that post, and I, have generally been forgotten.
But while that little bit of excitement has run it’s course, what we have set out to do with Heart, has not.
Our first four-ish months were a learning experience in so many ways. We stumbled face-first into some unique and profitable work, only to then fall backwards out of other equally unique, and potentially profitable jobs.
We made new friends and clients, we made some of our own furniture, and along the way, we made as many mistakes as we did interesting things.
Overall, it’s been an invaluable education, and one I wouldn’t trade for anything.
And as we head into the new year, we’ve gained a strength and excitement that will propel us forward. We have clarity of vision and a sense of purpose.
As one our our smart friends and mentors said, we’re “modern, lean, agile, unencumbered, honest, hungry, and idealistic”.
I couldn’t have chosen better words myself, so I just stole his.
Our refined focus in 2014 will be on our ability to create beautifully designed brand experiences - spanning digital, analog, and everything in-between.
We think there is massively rich opportunity to transform businesses by rethinking the way advertising dollars have traditionally been allocated. Viewing the standard marketing line-items as opportunities for long-term investment in the future, versus short-term expenses tied to the present.
We see the power and the possibility in brands that consider and choreograph every possible encounter into a single, beautifully designed narrative - regardless of format or channel.
We see the strength of experiences that come from aesthetic and communication systems, that ensure each moment between brand and person, is connected, thoughtful, and deliberate.
We see the continually disruptive nature of digital, and we have a deep love for the timelessness of the physical.
And we see the promise of a magical future that lies in our ability to literally connect the two.
As Claude Debussy said,
Music is the space between the notes.
Most of all, we’re excited to work with forward-looking, brave, challenger brands and people, that seek to define the future instead of trying to predict it.
The new Heart world headquarters. (at Heart)
Miami from above. See ya next fall.
Requisite morning flight, sunrise shot. (at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS))
You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart– even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And, that will make all the difference.
The flight left and arrived late. Passengers didn’t seem bothered. Those who went to carousel 6 of the baggage claim area were greeted by an electronic sign that read: Worchester
JetBlue takes off in Worcester
Classic Classic Worcester.
CREATIVING SO HARD with @alphabetarm and @yearofthebird
Purposefully Shitty Banner Ads
Thomas and I were just talking about banner ads, after I read this Digiday post on swapping billboards for banners (a tactic I totally agree with by the way).
And it got me thinking about three instances in which really (intentionally) terrible banner ads, did something that well-designed ones almost always fail to do. They got people’s attention.
Instance #1 - This one is from a little while back, and involves a sloppy MS paint version of a banner, pitted against a properly designed version. Guess which one outperformed?
Instance #2 - Louis CK, who now aside from being my favorite comedian, is also my favorite media disruptor, is running this ad to promote some of his newest content.
Instance #3 - Back when I was helping get Pangea Media up and off the ground, we were literally doing everything ourselves, in house. Coding, writing, designing, media buying, everything. And as is often the case in a small company, I found myself outside of my comfort-zone, and designing a banner ad one day (which is not my forte). My masterpiece is below, and to this day it is the single best piece of content I have ever created in terms of performance. It drove nearly 65,000 SIGN-UPS in a single day. Not impressions, not clicks, but full registrations on a silly IQ test.
If stuff like this works, why then, do we bother pouring time into meticulously designing banner ads? Fussing with copy, and calls-to-action, and wasting piles of money on things that people have become trained to ignore?
The “reach” of banner ads is more like “misses”. All that data and targeting. All that precision and insight. It’s like having a laser-guided, smart bomb system that drops an evaporating mist. The target remains untouched and oblivious.
Why Highway Billboards Beat Web Banners for Brands
G R A V I T Y - Fan made movie poster !
Three screens, three #EPL games at once.
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock…