The Death of Desktop

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Design & Marketing

It may be too soon to declare the desktop dead, but for marketers it may as well be.

If you are still building digital marketing creative primarily for desktop, you’re likely either irritating your customers or failing to reach them entirely.

There is one caveat: if you are a B2B company and you are primarily selling to people during the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, your customers might be on desktop. Indeed, it is probably because so many of us use desktops and laptops at work that we fail to comprehend how significant the shift to mobile has become.

Consider these stats from last year: 63% of all website visits were from mobile devices (nearly two thirds), up from 57% the prior year, and total time spent on websites via mobile increased from 40% to 49%

Read more stats and what it means for the new creative process over at the Polymath agency blog.

Advertainment: How brands are using stories to engage audiences

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Design & Marketing

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a fun and memorable Christmas song. But, it’s easy to forget that the story was created by Montgomery Ward department stores.

The idea of using stories to draw customers is not new. Stories have a way of engendering affection, and affection is a coveted asset. But if you’ve paid attention in recent years, you’ve surely noticed a revival in this approach to advertising, from Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches to Apple’s “Misunderstood” Holiday spot (or, because I’m a new dad, this perfectly executed tear-jerker from Coca Cola). Labeled “sadvertising,” commercials like these were effective at grabbing attention, spurring conversation, and ultimately creating loyal followers.

But why now? What is it about this particular moment that has spurred interest in storytelling?

To read more, including videos from Nike, Kate Spade, and REI, hop over to the Polymath agency blog.

Valspar is on point with #ColorForAll campaign

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Design & Marketing

Check out this short video featuring colorblind individuals who are able to see colors for the first time. It’s a feel-good piece, but more than that, it’s a great example of effective content marketing by Valspar paints.

Content marketing has become a buzzword that brands have latched onto as the age of Google and social media have flipped the traditional advertising model. Where brand communication was once a one-way megaphone through which they could reach customers, they must now also position themselves to be found by them.

The two-pronged strategic response to this change is:

1) Strengthen your SEO (search engine optimization)practices that help consumers literally find you

2) Create content that will be be liked and shared by your target audience.

Some brands have checked their content marketing box by hosting a blog and keeping their Facebook and Twitter feeds active. But the days of easy gains from social media are over. If you want to stand out from the cacophony of brands vying for attention, you have to raise the bar on creativity and quality. Brands have to think about what really makes people care.

Valspar nailed it with this project. Instead of telling you all about their paint products, they’ve partnered with EnChroma, a company that creates lenses to correct colorblindness. They’ve told a story about people who have been given a new way to see the world because of color. This demonstrates a company that understands its brand and its relevance in the lives of people.

The video is extremely sharable, regardless of whether I have any vested interest in paint. They’ve created what feels like a non-profit advocacy campaign within a for-profit business. It even has its own website.

The goal here isn’t necessarily to drive visitors to the Valspar site—though it surely will. The real goal is to increase the brand’s name awareness and engage audiences in a story brought to you by Valspar. Next time you are preparing to lay a new coat on your bedroom wall, you’ll already have a distant emotional connection with the brand.

This project took time. They had a strategy, planned it out, and executed excellently. It’s impact will be worth a thousand blog posts. Bravo, Valspar!