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December 11, 2008

Mothballing Marktd, Evolving PSFK

by Guy Brighton in Ad Biz, Automotive, Brand Experience, Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Discipline, Electronics, Entertainment, Event Marketing, Fashion, Food & Drink, Gaming, Guerrilla Marketing, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Influencer Targeting, Market Research, Media & Publishing, Media Planning & Strategy, Mobile Marketing, Music, Online & Web Services, Online Marketing, Outdoor Marketing, Packaging Design, Product Design, Public Relations, Retail, Sector, Sports & Fitness, Telecom

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We’ve made a decision to stop publishing on Marktd. Despite making changes to focus on the creative/marketing ideas sister site of PSFK.com, we are still unhappy with the quantity and quality of the site.

Marktd started life as a subscription site called IF! which offered ideas to marketers about how to promote their products in a fresh, modern way. It was fairly successful and we got a good number of people pay the $25 subscription - but we felt that the subscription stopped it being read by a large group of people. A few months back we decided to stop the subscription and relaunch the site as Marktd. Since then interest in the site hasn’t really picked up. I would suggest that this is because of a number of reasons:

* We just aren’t that interesting in marketing and advertising. Personally it’s been 7 years since I had a full time job in advertising and the longer time goes on, the less interest I have in the field. Combine that apathy with the fact that only one or two of the regular writing team have ever worked in advertising.

* Many of our readers who work in marketing and advertising don’t seem to be that interested in only reading about marketing and advertising.

* When we do find exceptional marketing ideas that we are interested in, they tend to end up on PSFK.com anyway.

* We launched Marktd because IF! just wasn’t good enough. We’re closing Marktd because the site just didn’t meet our standards.

Maybe one day we’ll think about relaunching it - maybe with a sponsoring partner. From today, the Marktd email newsletter and RSS will change to PSFK content. We’re hoping that the existing Marktd readers will get even better creative ideas content as a result.

Thanks,

PF

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November 20, 2008

Hands-on with the Engaging Ideas Card Pack

by Nicko Margolies in Brand Experience, Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Market Research, Media & Publishing, Media Planning & Strategy, Outdoor Marketing, Packaging Design, Product Design, TV Advertising

A while back, we wrote a short post about the Engaging Ideas Card Pack and mentioned, “We haven’t gotten our hands on the full set, but it looks like a neat package for a broad range of ideas.”  Well, now (thanks to Rob Fox) we’ve gotten our grubs on the entire pack and sifted through the stack of colorful cards.

The first impression is that they look like a deck of large novelty sized playing cards printed on thick stock cardboard.  The front side of each card is an image meant to invoke the message or activity presented on the back.  For the most part, the full card formatted images are stellar, ranging from iconic art and expressive photography down to some painfully low resolution and pixelated images.  However, given the goals of the cards to engage employees through practical exercises, this is a rather minor point.

The 52-card deck (not including two jokers) is meant to stimulate positive discussion through identification of business goals and ideals.  The cards are divided into three general categories: Discover, Design and Deliver.  In this hierarchy of inspiration the cards build on each other by slowly introducing more complex activities, interspersed with straightforward tips.

The themes that appeared the most were honing the effectiveness of leadership, identifying core values and honing the business environment to suit the challenges ahead.  Here are two sample cards that we think embody the entire project:

21.  Distributed Leadership

We tend to think that leadership is something that happens at the top.  True, but what is perhaps more true is that acts of leadership happen across and throughout business, day in, day out.  Identify these acts of leadership, encourage them and communicate them widely.  Doing so helps to demonstrate that all people can offer leadership and will also help acts of leadership to flourish.  This exercise also begs an answer to a fundamentally important question necessary to achieve higher levels of engagement: what does your business recognize as leadership?

48.  Heartstorming
A success factor for any engagement effort is to discover, design and deliver better ways to connect emotionally with people to inspire their commitment and action.  To help accomplish this make “heartstorming” rather than just brainstorming, a core aspect of your business’ problem solving and change practices.  Demonstrating difference, “heartstorming” will help to uncover and build stronger emotional connections by focusing groups on questions like:

  • I love it when…
  • I get a kick out of it when…
  • My heart beats faster when…
  • I’m energized when…
  • It frustrates me when…
  • I feel undermined when…
  • I’m intimidated when…
  • I feel powerless when…

The Engaging Ideas pack is clearly based on solid business research and extensive experience in the corporate environment.  Stagnation of ideas is the clear hurdle targeted by the collection and we applaud the stepping-stones proved for those slow to innovate.  Overall, the package is a collection of ideas that won’t be revolutionary to those knowledgeable, but gives a beautifully formatted package of ideas to those hoping to give the friendly push to coworkers or employees.  Engaging ideas is a careful and successful balance between professional business pursuits and playful corporate connections.

Thanks again to Rob for taking the time and money to ship a sample pack across the pond.

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Our New Book: Good Ideas In 2009

by Guy Brighton in Automotive, Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Electronics, Entertainment, Fashion, Gaming, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Market Research, Media & Publishing, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing, Packaging Design, Product Design, Retail, Sports & Fitness, Telecom

good ideas in 2009

Team PSFK are pleased to announce our second book! At this time of year we’re supposed to produce a trends report for 2009. When we all sat down and chatted about it, we thought such a report would be so gloomy and rather depressing. We didn’t want to write about things like ‘trading down’ or ‘discreet consumption’! We wanted to talk about all the inspirational ideas we read and write about every day, we wanted to spread the positivity, we wanted to encourage you to re-ignite the world. Honestly.

So we created Good Ideas In 2009. The 80 page click-to-print book features nine Good Ideas and manifestations of them. We write about design, mobile, collaboration, digital, social media, the long term and much more. Click through to the Blurb site and you can get a sneak peek.

The books are $50 for the softback and $60 for the beautiful hardback. If you’re considering buying reports for your company or just books for your coffee table, we ask you to consider Good Ideas In 2009. We’re rather proud of it. We hope it inspires you yo make things better.

Good Ideas In 2009

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November 7, 2008

Burger King’s “Have It Your Way” Enters World of Fashion

by Scott Lachut in Ad Biz, Brand Experience, Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Event Marketing, Fashion, Food & Drink, Guerrilla Marketing, Online Marketing, Product Design, Viral Marketing, Web & Technology, Youth Marketing

Taking a page from their customer friendly food service model, Burger King recently took “Have It Your Way” into the realms of D.I.Y. fashion.  A collaboration between 5 designers and artists tasked with reinterpreting elements of Burger King’s icons and logos culminated at an event held in Chicago on October 24th.  The gathering invited participants to take part in the studio creation process by silk-screening the final designs onto their own clothing in any combination they chose.  Essentially, a clever form of marketing that allowed Burger King to subvert their own image, while at the same time maintaining recognizable aspects familiar to their wider audience.  The company has also pushed this idea a step further with Burger King Studio, a site that takes the hands-on experience and introduces it to the online space.  Users have the ability to design their own T-shirts using the same details from the out-of-home event with additional levels of customizable options available, promising the uniqueness you want without fear of “getting ink all over yourself.”  Additional happenings have already been scheduled for November 7th and 21st.

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November 3, 2008

The Translation of an American Icon: Bat-Manga!

by Scott Lachut in Creative Thinking, Design, Media & Publishing, Packaging Design, Product Design

In 1966 the original Batman television series found so much success in the U.S. that it was eventually exported overseas.  When the show aired in Japan, the audience was so enamored by the Caped Crusader that the publisher of Shonen King, a popular boys’ magazine at the time, contacted DC Comics to license the rights to the Dynamic Duo.  They would go on to create their own original Batman stories interpreted through the lens of Manga.  Though the run was short-lived, lasting for only one year, the comics presented an interesting twist on the Batman paradigm, offering entertaining glimpses into the ways culture gets co-opted and consumed abroad.  Even with a larger-than-life icon, some nuances inevitably get lost in translation.

Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, a new book by graphic designer Chip Kidd, fellow collector Saul Ferris and photographer Geoff Spear, collects these little read Batman adventures together for the first time, complete with English translations.  In addition, the volume contains an exclusive interview with Jiro Kuwata, the pioneering artist and author of the material.  Also worth noting is the fact that the hard and softcover editions have been published simultaneously.  This is an innovative approach that seeks to capture the widest customer base, while building in exclusivity for true fans by including additional content and other perks inside the hardcover version.  Needless to say, a beautiful designed product that adds another chapter to the continuously evolving fascination with the Batman.

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October 31, 2008

Are Brands Subliminal Performance Enhancers?

by Orli Sharaby in Ad Biz, Brand Experience, Market Research, Product Design

Many people will remember a study some months back suggesting that exposure to the Apple brand enhanced one’s creativity. Apple users rejoiced; everyone else gave a collective “hmph” and shrugged the study off as fluff. But NY Times Consumed columnist Rob Walker now highlights further studies that seem to prove the same point - as well as a larger one, that exposure to brands overall can have a significant effect on our performance in many aspects in life.

Walker singles out the Speedo warm up parka that was originally designed for Michael Phelps until consumer demand prompted Speedo to manufacture the jacket for purchase. Thousands have already been sold - but unlike the $550 consumer version of its LZR Racer suits that Phelps wore while swimming, the parka will not actually make people faster. Or will it? Walker quotes Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor of marketing and psychology at Duke, who lays out how this subliminal effect might work:

“The trick is, the first time you wore the warm-up parka,” it wouldn’t have any effect, he says. “Because you’d realize, Oh I’m being ridiculous.” Wear it often enough, though, and you’ll probably stop ruminating about it. “Below the level of conscious awareness, you’d put the jacket on, and what’s activated in your mind is maybe Michael Phelps going very fast,” he continues. “And those things could actually kick up your motivation to go faster.”

NY Times: Subconscious Warm Up

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Russell Davies On The Development Of Pre-Experience Design

by Piers Fawkes in Ad Biz, Brand Experience, Creative Thinking, Design, Product Design

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Over on his site, Russell Davies has started to list some thoughts about design, marketing and service. He promises a series of thought-provoking posts and the one he has up there already is worth a good read. In it he says:

These are the bits of the average large organisation that we creative industries folks encounter: Three silos, doing design or content-type stuff, marketing-type stuff and some sorts of aftersales. And no silo ever talks to any other because the process almost always proceeds steadily from left to right.

…However, it should be noted that people actually experience the product in a different order. People’s experiences of most big-time consumer products starts with the communications / marketing / whatever you want to call it. The experience starts with the thing that gets built second. This, I suspect, is why we’re not seeing more people actively doing something like pre-experience design. It’s not because integrating marketing and design thinking isn’t a good idea, it’s because it’s organisationally / politically impossible.

This may not have been a problem in the past, but as more and more products ‘informationalise’ it’s going to become more of an issue.

Russell Davies on Design Engaged

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October 30, 2008

EcoLounging with the GreenSeat

by Nicko Margolies in Branding, Creative Thinking, Design, Entertainment, Event Marketing, Music, Outdoor Marketing, Product Design

Nothing ruins an outdoor concert or film screening quite like sitting on the grass for hours, hunched over like a barely opened mollusk shell.  But with the GreenSeat, sore backs are now a thing of the past.  Made from corrugated cardboard, the chair is a cheap, recyclable way to alleviate long episodes of sitting.  At this point, it’s been pitched primarily to eco-friendly audiences, but considering that the chair’s construction offers great potential for advertising placement, we can only hope it will be popping up in venues worldwide.  The simple all-in-one design incorporates a seat cover and handle and when not in use, lies completely flat.  It’s one of those ideas that are so innovative it begs the question, why didn’t we think of that?

[via TrendOriginal]

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October 21, 2008

Milk Marketing in the 21st Century

by Nicko Margolies in Ad Biz, Branding, Food & Drink, Market Research, Media Planning & Strategy, Packaging Design, Product Design, Public Relations, Youth Marketing

The dairy lobby has always been a powerful force in America, but recently they saw their classic ad campaigns overtaken by cartoon characters that children more readily relate to.  These new school cultural icons easily sway children in purchasing choices.  The proliferation of SpongeBob snacks or Spiderman cereals drove Big Milk to form a modern marketing group known as “Milk Media.”  In the venture’s first deal, school milk consumption increased 34% after the implementation of Disney’s Doug into the milk campaign.  While milk has enemies, they certainly have fans in the federal government who wish to promote the milk alternative to sugary foods. The New York Times reports in the Consumed section of their Magazine:

The goal of Milk Media, Long insists, is not to advance the interests of pop-culture products; the goal is to leverage their power to promote milk consumption. “You can have Shrek beating the drum for 500 different sugar products or the Transformers saying, ‘Drink milk and roll out,’ ” he says. “I think we’re doing a lot of good.” In other words, he sees Milk Media’s approach as responding to the realities of the kid-culture marketplace.

[via Murketing]

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About Marktd

    Marktd aims to inspire an audience of creative minds in the marketing and advertising industries and beyond. It is published by PSFK. contact us.

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