#deleteUber 2.0

#Delete Uber was a movement not so long ago (2017) where people in the thousands deleted the app after a series of incidents fundamentally related to a travel ban by the current US administration. (https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-deleteuber-protest-hundreds-of-thousands-quit-app-2019-4)

It was a turbulent time for the company, and having worked there at the time, I can vouch for the fact that Twitter and Facebook was buzzing with the #deleteUber hashtag. (And so were our anxiety levels)

Uber took a bold step to redefine the painful past of its history by reimagining #deleteUber in context of the conversation about inclusion and systematic racism.

“If you tolerate racism, delete Uber”.

I believe that it is bold to go back to the scars of your past and re-look it in another light. Having said that, I believe that Uber needs to do more to actually play a more significant role in the tangible outcomes for the  “Black Lives Matter Movement”.

Being a part of the conversation and echoing your voice in one sentence is simply not going to make the cut anymore. I hope that along with this campaign Uber pledges more support and financial commitment to the cause, without which it just would seem like a hopeless attempt to be “a part of a trending conversation” without proof of believing in the core of the movement.

There is a lot to be done in terms of racial equality in the world and I hope brands take leads and bounds to not just be part of a conversation but support the movement at a much deeper level along with the right campaigning and messaging.

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Wake me up

“Jagao Jagao Nescafe Pilao” : Wake Wake up, make me drink Nescafe.

Nescafe has always stood for the one solution to wake you up, sometimes even more effectively than your loud, head bursting, blood sucking alarm clock.

In this ad – the two worlds of wakefulness integrates into the brand colours of Nescafe.

Wake up. Start up. Turn on that ignition.

Get Going, Get Moving, Get Shaking, Get Nescafe-ing.

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Don’t do it.

Nike addresses the issue of  racism in the United States in a thought provoking statement.

Don’t pretend that America doesn’t have a problem. We all need to be a part of the change.

For a brand that has always stood up for ‘Just do it’, took a step back, played on they brand statement and spun it around to stand for ‘Don’t do it’.

No Home

The world has come to a stand still. And somewhere I wonder if we have built more apathy or empathy? Has the world come closer together or has it fallen away?

Do we care about the same problems that existed before the pandemic? The homeless are still homeless with much less care than ever before.

Contextualising this to the world today, the most hard hitting statement hits you at the core when you read “If I could stay at home, I would”.

Those Instagram stickers that say “Stay home” for some people truly means “No home”.

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Demand a change now

Winter is coming. But, is clean air coming?

Well, that change can only come in the future if we start now.  Let’s play the long game here. If we demand a change now, we can see a change in 10 years from now.

The graphics below shows the dire impact of our current activities on the environment. And for all the non-believers yes, there is a direct impact of our actions today into the future tomorrow.

Let’s venture into the alternate reality of our future. A future where we can breathe clean air and without forest fires and melted ice caps.

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With Love from Pizza Hut

When McDonald’s decided to shut shop until the beginning of may in Singapore due to the circuit breaker initiatives.

Pizza hut stepped up to show love to McDonalds in a well hearted post with 2 pizza slices.  In the fast food business, brands have historically gone head on head with each other with cut throat, aggressive advertising messaging.

Although we are all social distancing, some brands have yet again shown that in some ways, the world has come closer together.

Take care, ya’ll.

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Coca-Cola is distancing too

As governments, celebrities and influencers make strong statements about the importance of social distancing, brands are speaking up too.

Coca-Cola, a brand that has much chanted the name of being united together since it’s early brand inception days has now come out strong to put spaces in its own logo to land a singular message – ‘Staying apart is the best way to stay united’

Distance can be a wonderful thing too.

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Why do the dishes?

Let’s call it for what it is: We all have those “I can’t be bothered cooking especially because of that cruel dish-cleaning-phobia”. Everytime you get those lazy feels, you want to press a button and get some grub – Some fries and some bergs.

The good thing is that McDonalds saves you from doing those hellish dishes – especially on days when you want to wear your jammies, watch a trashy show on Netflix and munch on those delicious crispy fries.

McDonalds came up with a creative that will genuinely strike a cord with that dish-cleaning-phobia. By using dirty dishes as the most popular McDonalds menu items, the message was loud and clear.

Every once in a while, you can treat yourself to skipping those dishes.

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The Big M 24/7

McDonald’s re-emphasised their 24 hours drive thru in ways that made it so clear that even the night sky can’t come between you and the the Big Mac.

By playing with lights on billboards and cars, and showcasing the dark side of the moon with the light of the sesame bun, it’s magic to see the yellow of the McDonalds shine through so much advertising clutter to make a point, straight to your craving gut.

Ronald would sure be proud. Thanks big R for being in our lives, especially late at night when the world’s restaurants bail on us.

Life pre Alexa?

Sometimes we look at our lives around us and wonder, how did we even do this before? The minute the internet goes down, Google maps is unavailable or you can’t order a taxi on your phone, you feel so crippled. It’s almost this unimaginable pain to wonder what life would be like pre-tech-necessities. (Quote: Dark Necessities by Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Alexa had an amazing, funny and dramatic take on how failed Alex-versions were before Alexa actually came along. Without really placing the product or benefits in your face, you knew it. It was amusing to see a bird being sent with a letter only to be eaten by an Eagle and then a dragon. Such was life.

Also, let’s just give +1 for Ellen and Portia together doing everyday things together. Alexa, play my favorite song. Alexa, tell me a joke :)

2020. You don’t know my kind. Dark Necessities are part of my design.

Share to Perfect

What would have the world been with more efficient sharing?

Maybe better, Maybe worse.

Would we create more?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Would it be more perfect?

Can’t say.

We Transfer did give the concept a jab though. If Steve Wozniak and Jobs go together and sent files to each other, or even still Lennon and Mc Cartney to iterate on their craft further…

Who knows? Maybe we would have had many more ‘Hey Jude’s’ or an I-watch much ahead of it’s time.

Or maybe we could just not create hypotheticals and ‘Let it be’.

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Dat’ Fizz

How can you not remember the sound of this?

Gosh, I miss glass bottles. The thrill of holding them in the shape of your hand. You can literally #tastethefeeling

Those bubbles are happiness. Any health freak can say anything they want – but the marginal utility and pleasure of a cold sip of Coke on a hot day is unprecedented.

So, open that bottle with the click of the sip of life.

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The signs are there.

The hints are there.

The signs are there.

You just need to take the extra step to understand it.

This series of communications is focused on highlighting what the true story is.

Hint: Piece together the words in red to understand what really happened. Read between the lines. Read between the white lies to see the red pain she is going through.

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Heinz is the new Corona

I think  lately I am getting obsessed with smart, witty eye catching static creatives.  And they don’t necessarily need to be print on a newspaper or magazine, a smart piece of content works just as beautifully on social platforms too.

I literally feel desperate to scroll through my feed to find one witty piece of humor on an ad that generally makes me day (Umm, yeah – that’s me).

But my love for Beer and Ketchup (not necessarily had together) brought me to love this statement-worthy-print-it-for-sure creative.

PS: That potato wedge on the Heinz bottle is equivalent to the lemon on a good, cold Corona.

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As they say, Eat Responsibly.

Cheers.

Obesity-emo-ji

“Put child obesity in offline mode” – This campaign from Brazil uses emojis to convey what obesity could look like for children today – especially if they are overarmed with cell phones.

Let the kids play (In the park).

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The Future of the World

The future of the world seems dark if we don’t make the effort to make our consumption more sustainable.

I specifically love the jarring work that WWF did with everyday screens we see and editing it to a strong, shocking message.

“Preparing to Delete” – 1000 years remaining :(

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Would you pee on this ad?

Disclaimer: PG: Parental guidance suggested – Some material may not be suitable for children.

Exception Clause: Unless you are planning to have WIP children 

Here is a crazy print ad: The one where you peed on it. HAHAA.

IKEA has been extremely bold in the recent times with their advertising. And no matter if I believe this is a great ad or not, I will give a standing ovation to the courage this would have taken for one crazy team who brought this to life. Crazy is my favourite personality trait.

Without revealing much, I’d say –  You should watch this pure output of creativity and genius with a big doze of crazy:

No (!=) blink

Japanese advertising just amazes me with the creativity, exaggeration and sense of humour.

This is a throw back to one of the craziest and most innovative advertising campaigns that ever existed. The one crazy no-blinking TV reality show.

All extreme scenarios were managed without blinking – including washing your face, kissing and feeling a balloon burst next to your eyes.

But one thing, just one thing was such an impulse that couldn’t be controlled. The satisfaction of eating Carre de Chocolate.

It reminds me of the long gummy ad (which by the way I bought literally after seeing the ad). So creative, extreme and funny.

I’m not sure if you blinked, but giggle you shall.

Eats: More fun in the…

It’s more fun in the Philippines! :)

That’s been the Department of Tourism’s Slogan that has always stuck like the way superglue sticks to your hands.

But this time, they took the fun one level up with their new high paced campaign: “Eats. More Fun in the Philippines”

I loved the honesty and the playfulness with emotions and food, together.  My favourite, coming straight from the heart that lives within my stomach was – “Sometimes we just invent reasons to eat” Haha. #truestory

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the star of the show – a giant dancing bee? Oh man, Spaghetti with sweet sauce didn’t exist in my life until Jollibee brought an unprecedented joy in my life.

Food connects us all. Travel connects us all. And the Department of Tourism connected everything. All in the Philippines.

There is nothing more Pinoy that chicken made with joy. Ace 100. Loved it!

The “Look” after the “Talk”

P&G just keeps outdoing itself, every single time.

There are so many issues that the world is plagued with that need our attention. And we need a stronger, louder voice to have that “talk”. Inclusion topics especially around discrimination, unconscious bias and racism is a sensitive line that many brands are afraid to tread. But these topics need more voices, louder voices and consistent voices.

I am so proud of being associated with marketing – Marketing in the past sometimes had a connotation that you would “trick people to sell things”. Well, maybe – maybe not. But for most part of it, not today (Overlay Arya Stark’s voice from Game of Thrones). I believe that today Marketing stands for something bigger, something larger. The real question we need to ask ourselves is – “What are the values that your brand stands for? What are the causes that you truly care about? Whose voice are you going to represent?”

“The Look” is a recent spot by P&G that powerfully demonstrates the “looks” a black man faces on a day to day basis. There are literally no words said in the commercial, just a series of looks. Say nothing, feel everything.

This campaign is a sequel to “The talk” – short dialogues shared by a black mom with her kids. The talk gives you just as many goosebumps as “The Look” in a deeply thought provoking manner.

Groundbreaking.

“The Look” | 2019

 

“The Talk” | 2018

Bare Necessities

“Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife” 

Evian makes babies cute. Period.

I swear, I just want to cuddle those little mushes of joy! I literally look forward to Evian commercials to see the jamming, rock and rollin’, tunes these cuddles are swinging to lately.

Evian has been so consistent in their brand messaging – “Live Younger” and these animated babies are always brining joy to everyone’s lives. I’m a 100% sure that even when I am 65, I’ll be rolling to Bare Necessities on the streets like this too.  (Don’t miss the rap).

No f*cks given. Hell yeah.

Jazz em’AirPods Up

Apple worked with TBWA and Media Arts Lab to create magic.

Calling this piece just an advertising campaign wouldn’t do justice to what this spot really is – An incredible work of art.

“Bounce” explores a simple premise – how you feel when you have your AirPods on. You are literally just bouncing off streets and walls, in a rhythm that synchronises with the soul of the universe.

Apple’s core in all aspects including it’s product, design and marketing has revolved around the principles of simplicity.

“Bounce” is a brilliant execution of a simple idea and can literally get everyone to want to jump in joy watching this. Don’t miss how the protagonist bounces off the walls to the top of the building – I recently watched SpiderMan (Far from home) and the resemblance of superpowers is uncanny.

Well, I might not have spidey webs, but I sure as hell can get em’ AirPods.

Whopper Diamond

“Our way is love”

Burger King is one of my favourite brands that always seems to be re-writing the books in terms of what marketing in today’s world really is. It’s not selling, it is really standing up for something, fearlessly.

Burger King turned a whooper to ashes and made a diamond out of it. In a touching heart warming story between 2 men (Dima and Alvar) who got an opportunity to get married in Germany, Burger King took a strong position on LGBTQI rights.

The evolution of brands started with logos, USPs, Identities, purpose and as the world we live in get’s more divided – has evolved into really taking a stand for what brands believe in. (Think about it – It’s a big shift from the 4P’s that Marketing really started from).

I’m glad that more and more brands are really championing their position on certain issues. Haters going to hate, but I strongly believe that “Love is Love”. And nobody can take that away from anyone.

Movement for Movement

Transportation needs to be way more inclusive than what it is today. And although we are a long way away, Grab in Indonesia definitely took the first step to make transport safe and reliable for differently abled people.

Grab and Rexona partnered together for a holistic initiative around “Movement for Movement”. Several initiatives were rolled out including a dedicated fleet of cars, trained driver parters and a voice activated mobility assistant (designed by Rexona).

Through the “Gerak” mobile app, users would be able to speak or chat with it in order to find the nearest places that are disabled-friendly. Users could also book a special GrabGerak vehicle to their destination.

Many people question the long term implications of such activities but I believe that every positive step in the right direction is a positive change. And that a single light bulb can light up an entire city. The onus is on all of us to be true activists of inclusion related topics for everyone in all aspects of life – because really, this world can only be better, together.

 

 

 

#Deliverthelove

Fathers are our rocks. They have been pillars of support through time – there for us in moments that count, teaching us, guiding us and sometimes letting us make our own mistakes.

My has been such a huge cheerleader in my life and for this I’ll forever be thankful. Amazon, this Father’s day built an amazing campaign that urges everyone to deliver love to dads. Delivering love for moments that matter, no matter how small – from teaching us how to ride a bicycle, to holding us during our first swim.

Happy Father’s Day.

Snickers Airways

What’s 4pm without a Snickers?

And in that case, what is an in flight meal without Snickers? Always hungry on a flight? Well, you have a cure.

Snickers partnered with one of China’s biggest domestic carriers, China Eastern Airlines, to develop a hunger-free flight – Snickers Air.

 

Hey Mom!

Hey Mom! That’s a phrase we have all grown up saying – All our questions have been directed to Mom to help answer them all.

‘There is nothing in the world that mom doesn’t know’. Similar to the Thank You Mom Campaign that was done by P&G that connected everyone to the master brand – Google repositioned itself this year in a campaign that touched all our hearts.

There is no love like Momma’s love. Let’s make that a tap away.  ‘Google Home – Give your original helper, a little help of her own’.

In a world where most of us live away from our families, we need to take out time to stay connected with them – sometimes just telling them, thank you mom for everything you have done! <3

So to my mom – #Heymom, thank you!

 

The Powerless Queen 👸

In a game of chess, the Queen is the most powerful piece. She can move everywhere in all directions as long as no-one is blocking her.

This analogy is so close to reality, especially in today’s world. Give her strength, she will win and make you win too. Take her powers away and no matter how powerful every other piece is, you will lose.

The campaign by WatConsult aimed to raise funds to donate to Project Nanhi Kali – an NGO that supports education for underprivileged girls in India. 

It was amazing to see how every single player who played including global grandmasters, lost with the powerless queen. Believe that you can win? Check out the game here: https://www.powerlessqueen.com/

I definitely lost. And as a society, if we aren’t educating the girl child, we are losing too.

Burn dat’ ad.

One of the bravest brands out there is Burger King. When it comes to stretching the limits of innovative marketing and reinventing themselves consistently – my vote will always go to Burger King.

They took things to another level this time – by using augmented reality to wait for it – Burn Ads from the BigM. Apparently, McDonalds had their out of home ads everywhere, so instead of competing on expensive out of media space, Burger King earned love by getting people to download their app, have an interactive experience and generating a ton of earned media. Sneaky? Yes. Brave? Yes. Smart? Yes.

Guess that Mc Donalds ain’t loving it no more.

Work Life Balance

Monster.com – the job portal site has nailed down on one key use case why people should consider changing jobs.

Work-Life Balance. 

What I loved was taking a specific use case and exaggerating it to a humorous level – a use that that is beyond the generic narrative. It’s no longer about changing jobs because of a bad boss or career growth or more money. It’s about changing your life to give more time to other dimensions such as relationships.

This awesome spot demonstrates how consumed you might get in office that the solution to all problems is perhaps – following best practices, more 1:1s, team building activities.

I have literally watched this 15 times and laughed ever since. (Hint: It’s probably because I talk like this at home too.)

 

This little Duck

If there is one permanent magical place in this world today – it is Disneyland. I still remember going to Disneyland in Orlando and seeing all those childhood stories come to life.

All those stories and characters – they all live in Disneyland. Together. It is the place where Magic truly get’s real. 

Disneyland Paris shares the story of a ducking that also is inspired by all those Donald Duck stories growing up as we were. Seeing Donald Duck in real life – it’s eyes lit up. So adorable!!

You know the one thing I always say – Gotta turn up your magical <3

Love this spot so much. The child in my is thrilled.

 

McRecruitment

No experience needed. Phew.

Seeing that literally every job including a university level graduate program needs 2-3 years of work experience now – it’s a big relief that no work experience is needed for something atleast.

And no work experience like how? Haha!

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Oh Come-on! Fries and Oreo Mc Flurry could actually be a great innovative combination. Trust me, I know.

Midnight Crisis

Levels of Hunger:

Level 0: Sort of Hungry

Level 1: Really Hungry

Level 2: Hangry

Level 3: Midnight Crisis

So, What happens in the middle of the night when you are getting “hangry” and it sort of  starts feeling like a midnight CRISIS? Well, food better be on it’s way.  And fast.

Dominos has some outdoor billboards to remind us that when you are in the midst of a midnight crisis, Pizza’s should be at your door before you know it.

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Dominos – Saving lives, at-least until 4am :)

 

Walmart of the future (is here)

Remember all those things they were saying about how tradition retail can’t disrupt the amazon’s of the world. Well, there are a few bold ones that know that they need to evolve. And evolving, they are.

Walmart is rebuilding it’s business model to cater for groceries of the future – a cross between the online and offline world – The new drive through, if you will.

Order online, Zoom in and pick up your groceries for the evening. Zoom and then boom!

What’s amazing is reinventing yourself requires courage but also needs a voice. You need people to know that you are here – integrating with the future. What better way to do it then, use the most famous cars that we have all grown up watching?

Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Jurassic Park, Transformers – You watch them and the 70s, 80s or 90s kid in you is strong and alive.

Walmart isn’t building for the 18 year olds of today, Walmart is building for everybody else – people who are between “I want to see what is coming to my door step” but “I could use the convenience of technology if it can save me time”.

Not only do I love this campaign, Kudos for Walmart as a business for bravely reinventing itself AND putting itself out there with a message that clearly I will never forget.

Zoom. Boom. Bam.

Let her “slip” from your hands

Here is a cultural saying in India: “Ladki Haath se nikal jayegi” – Which means that if you don’t control her, she will slip out of your hands.

And needless to imagine, this leads to a painful slippery slope – girls are not encourged to study, not encouraged to pursue a career, instead – She is simply taught that one day she will get married and take her of her in-laws.

This cultural acceptable since decades has been a systematic reason why women are not in the running for most things including representation of women in schools, work and in leadership positions.

Mahindra Rise,  a foundation for the Mahindra conglomerate kickstarted a movement that really makes you rethink the meaning of “a girl slipping out of your hand”.

From a negative connotation, they simply twisted it to something different – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you let you girl slip from your hands and help her realise her dreams?

Having my roots in India, and my wings outside:  this story is personally quite hard hitting.

Home Alone 2.0

One of our favorite movies growing up was Home Alone. I still remember loading those DVD’s up, sitting in a circle with a group of my girlfriends and laughing so loudly at all the mischief when you are “home alone”.

I loved how Google re-created Home Alone just when the main protagonist – Macaulay Culkin is now 38 years old instead. He still seems familiar, the scenes of the house are exactly re-created and bring back a gush on nostalgic hormones running through your skin.

There is only one difference – The house is integrated with the Google Home Mini, Home Pub and Pixel Smartphone.  HA! Genius!

Memories <3

X out Fake News

Spread Joy, Not Rumors.

Taking social responsibility and educating everyone about how fake news spreads so rapidly is so important. Many times, we don’t realise that we are part of the system that fuels the fire.

I believe that Whatsapp India took the bold move to be deliberate in their communication to stop the spread of fake news. Be like Kavya who helps people understand that if that content didn’t originate from you, it is important to validate it before sharing it.

In a world where forwards happen with just a click of a button, we all have to take up more responsibility to ensure that these channels of communication remain clean and reliable.

I really enjoyed the pace of the creative and messaging – “Spread Love, not Rumors” hits the nail on the head with a strong social message in a fun and relatable delivery (remember the times, people in white suits would preach us about the right ways of life?)

Museum Of Laundry

LG launched a series of videos in an interesting twist to Laundry stories – A museum of Laundry.

Every piece of laundry that is messed up actually leads us to eventually not use- make it a cleaning cloth – throwing away clothes. But what about the death of these clothes primarily because of poor laundry techniques?

I loved the concept of a series of laundry items that just keep getting added to almost like a museum of antiques.

The centre piece has a strong product go-to: The actual washing machine with a two part load. Let’s be honest – we separate our whites, our undergarments etc and do multiple loads. Product is on point. But the messaging – super on point too.

Diwali for it’s true emotion

Diwali is about many things – lights, sweets and family.

But most of all the true emotion of Diwali lies in lighting up other’s people lives in our own small way.  Just beyond the celebrations, it stems from a pure emotion of wishing well for everyone around you.

This Diwali, HP showcased a story of a young boy lighting up the life of the lady who actually sells those diyas. Have we ever thought about what they are possibly feeling while selling those diyas on the streets? In a beautiful story, the short film takes people on the journey of what the protagonist (the diya seller) feels and goes through during the auspicious celebrations – trying to sell diyas and get by so she can celebrate with her family as well.

HP highlighted what Diwali really stands for – no fancy parties, dinners or card games. More than anything, I just loved the essence of the festival through this storyline. This spot really did showcase Diwali for it’s true and pure emotion.

PS: I cried a little when I watched this.

Nest Away in tunes

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An upcoming property rental portal in India came up with a rather quirky way of positioning their value proposition: Paying for a home vs allowing your children to pursue their hobbies.

 

I thought it was a great spin to an otherwise, very boring message. We are moving to a rented economy which frees resources that can be used for so many other things like paying for your own and your family’s hobbies. We are an experience economy and the music teacher’s take on it was just funny and truly drives the point home.

 

 

 

 

UX Design be like (Guest Post)

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When the iPhone came along and made touchscreen-led mobile browsing truly mainstream, it was a fatal blow to the horribly-complex desktop websites of yesteryear. You might be able to get away with a dense and almost-unintelligible layout on a big screen, but it simply won’t fly on a pocketable device.

And it’s really Apple’s approach to design that has shaped the internet of today.

We all know now that usability is among the biggest factors when you’re trying to keep a user around, particularly on the smallest screens, and minimalism has become the name of the game in the user experience (UX) community.

But what does a good minimalist UX look like, exactly? What do top brands like Google, Apple and Microsoft get right more often than not? Let’s break it down.

An Ocean of Negative Space…

Negative space (also sometimes known as white space) is a catch-all term for the empty space between page elements, and if you go by sheer coverage, it’s the biggest part of every UX journey. It’s the canvas on which the internet is painted.

Back before everyone understood the importance of negative space, websites were built by technical experts with no appreciation of good design. They were packed with functions, stats, information and stylistic flourishes, and nothing had any room to breathe. As such, if you didn’t know exactly what to expect from a website, you weren’t going to have much luck using it.

Thankfully, standards caught up with user requirements, and now any website that doesn’t space out its content is just asking for a high bounce rate and low search rankings. Check the lead image: Google knows you’re there to do a search, so it gives you a search bar and a couple of buttons. That’s it. No filler. No distractions. (They’ve learned a lot from Apple over the years…)

…Dotted With Jewels…

You’re ready to design your website, and you have so many design elements to choose from. There are banners, buttons, paragraphs, tables, drop-down menus, links, slideshows, videos, animations and more. But minimalism demands harsh criteria: if something doesn’t add serious value to a page, it doesn’t get included.

Are you on a product page? Something style-centric like a watch or an item of clothing? Then sure, include a glossy high-resolution product image that dominates the page. It warrants the space. Otherwise, get it out of the way. It’s just taking up space, slowing the page speed down, and detracting from the worthwhile content.

Remember that the X stands for ‘experience’, and you need to deliver an experience that’s good within the context of the purpose of your website. If a user shows up looking for information and they get pretty images, they won’t find them too helpful. Every single section of your site should be something the user wants to be there.

…And Built Around Delivery.

There’s a solid reason behind every intentional website visit. We go to ecommerce sites to order products, forums to discuss topics, news sites to learn about what’s going on, and image sites to look at nice landscapes and dream of beach vacations. With millions of websites available, a site either delivers on its promise or loses your attention.

That’s why the best possible minimalist website does one of two things in every single fragment of its user journey:

1 – Deliver what the user wants.

2 – Deliver a clear route to what the user wants.

 

It’s very simple, but that doesn’t stop plenty of websites getting stuck wheeling out vanity features and thinking they can dictate what the users want to see. They can’t. It doesn’t work. The moment the user can’t see what they’re looking for or how to reach it, they’ll give up and head elsewhere.

Templates Make Minimalism Easy

Minimalist UX design is difficult to perfect, absolutely, but it’s also incredibly easy to implement well because it isn’t often about adding things— it’s mostly about leaving them out. If you have a website that’s lacking a really important feature, then yes, you’ll need to add it, but otherwise you can move towards minimalism by simply stripping away anything that isn’t needed.

If you don’t even have a website yet, then it’ll be even easier for you because of the proliferation of pre-built templates. You can start setting up a web boutique through a store builder and go live with a free minimalist theme that provides all the functionality you need, or throw together a basic site and pick from numerous great WP theme options that will barely need configuring if you’d rather not put in much design work.

Minimalism isn’t just a must-have design approach for the user— it’s also a massive time-saver for the designer, and a technical win for SEO and web hosting. There’s no good reason not to migrate your UX efforts to a more minimalist standard, so make sure every feature you include fully deserves its place and you’ll quickly achieve greater levels of user engagement.

A huge thank you to Patrick Faster who wrote this Mooketing exclusive Guest Post.

Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips

Dream Crazy

“Don’t feel like you need to be anybody, to be somebody”.

 

Please tell me that Nike is giving you the goosies, the tiny hair on your arms standing up, feeling electrified by the tenacity of the human race and the endless obstacles that you can conquer. You ought to be feeling those things by just the power of this ad.

It’s absolutely mind blowing. It reminds me of the Apple’s – Think Different campaign: giving the highest respect to the crazy ones, the misfits, the people who changed the world.

The human race is a story of continuous victory through the pains and struggles – picking ourselves up with the greatest falls. I am inspired, truly by the meaning behind this campaign – going so much beyond shoes if at all.

Sometimes I have questioned, the power of brands and human connection.  But this campaign is a great reminder that we are all in this together – taking the human race forward.

So, “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they are crazy enough”.

Amen.

Measure your content Marketing

Slide2

You’ve got a whole bunch of awesome content. People are commenting and liking your posts in hordes. You’ve figured that using cute cats in anything you write is well received. You start to wonder what your life would have been if you were a cat instead. Oh, distractions! You snap back into thinking about great content and wonder what’s the real impact of all this effort, all these likes and these cat memes.

Content marketing is an integral part of the marketing mix. As it continues to be able to demonstrate the value on business outcomes, it becomes a heavier and heavier investment.

To create content that people love and enjoy is probably the most important metric. But beyond that, how do you understand the value that it is driving for your business? What is a framework to think about the effectiveness about content marketing? What are the right metrics to use?

Goodbye likes and shares, hello pirate metrics.

I love the pirate metrics because it is so easy to understand, so intuitive and just badass.

Assuming you have setup all the right UTM tracking, let’s deep dive into the framework that I believe works for everyone – AAR (just like the pirates say it).

(A) Acquisition

How do your customers find you? How do they know about you? How do they end up subscribing to your future content? It’s the beginning of your relationship with them and you want to always be aware of what channels are driving this for you. Perhaps it’s word of mouth, conferences, sharing content on Facebook or tweeting quite often. Whatever works for you, it’s surely worth knowing the how.

(A) Activation

How do they first try your product? Or in many cases, what makes them tick? If you write a blog, how do you become a part of their weekly ritual? It’s probably the aha moment when they connect a particular subject matter to you.

(R) Retention

The holy grail of content? Having your users come back to you over and over again. You have brought them into the circle of value – always providing more and giving more.

Retention patterns are starting to understand who consistently comes to you and why but also why some people are not coming back. Retention is a great gauge for the lifetime value that you can provide to your readers and make your one time visit into a long lasting love story.

So, what does this all mean for me?

A) Write for each part of the funnel

You want to be sure that you are writing not just to acquire people, but also to activate – move them to their ‘aha moment’. Think about how different people are simultaneously moving through the funnel and be deliberate to write for each part of it.

B) Measure correctly

If you are not measuring, how will be you be able to understand the value of your work? Be sure to tag (all source, medium to the URLs) and measure all your content and understand the implications across the pirate metrics. Many times you might find that you have too wide an upper funnel and too narrow a lower funnel.

C) Problem solve for drop offs

The AAR framework will give you the ability to understand where people are dropping off in a very simplistic framework. Try to understand why perhaps a specific group of people aren’t coming back to your content pages and start perhaps catering to their needs or questions. A great starting point is to understand who is leaving and then test consistently to understand what makes them tick.

Pirate On: The AAR framework is a very versatile way of measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing. Spend 15 minutes to customise it for your business and you will be amazed by the laser sharpness that it gives to your entire content marketing strategy. Aye, Aye Captain?

 

This post was originally published on joe-escobedo.com. Joe is recognized as one of the “Top 20 Content Marketers” worldwide and awarded the “Most Influential Global Marketing Leader” at the World Marketing Congress. Joe has helped countless organizations and executives transform from unknowns to superheroes online.