Always Fighting, Always Persisting: Celebrating International Women’s Day

We’re proud to be a female-run marketing agency full of incredible, hard-working, inspiring women.

This International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting on all of the powerful and strong-willed women who got us to this point in history. It’s our fight now, and we’ll kick, scream, and represent until our throats go dry (and then some).

We love you, women of the world!

Now, let’s go out and conquer.

Join the conversation with us on Twitter!

New Week, New Tips: 5 Ways to Avoid Failing on a Monday Morning

Mondays can be… rough. Have you ever woken up past your alarm and felt like you’ve watched your day slide down the drain? Here are some ways to avoid the unfriendly flukes that begin the moment your mind says ‘new week, fresh…’

1. Install some brain training applications.

Peak, Lumosity, Elevate, whatever design tickles your fancy – there seems to be a different app for all. Offering a wide range of nimble games to test your memory, logic or focusing abilities, you’ll have no excuse to walk into a door or accidentally feed the cat porridge.

2. Do wake up stretches.

You get up to probably sit back down again all day, right? Well, you might be stretched for time (pardon the pun) in the morning, but even a few minutes will do. Not only does this help your coordination, allowing for a freer and easier movement throughout the day, it also gets the blood flowing through your muscles to gain extra energy and sharpen that concentration.

Office laziness takes its toll, sitting has become the new smoking over decades, rest assured this also helps with posture.

3. Wait. Put the coffee down.

Trying to wake yourself up with a coffee is actually counterproductive. Basically, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol – branded the ‘stress hormone’ appearing when, and for obvious reasons I probably don’t need to explain.

This hormone is a key component of our natural day cycle, otherwise known as ‘the circadian clock’. We need this clock to help wake us up in the morning and tell us to rest at night. So when our body releases cortisol, we feel more awake. Now, early in the morning, mid-dayish, and in the evening – cortisol levels rise. Whilst the levels are high, we develop long-term tolerances (we all know what happens in these conditions) all the while, caffeine interferes with the production of cortisol. It’s just not good, okay!

4. Use wake up apps to jumpstart the day.

You really can be a morning person! There’s Wake n Shake, requiring you to literally shake your phone. It may not completely wake you up, but your arm will surely be ready for the day. Better Me will humiliate you by sharing your failure to your Facebook page EVERY TIME you hit snooze. It’s risky but tempting. I just downloaded it.

5. Write your dreams down.

Story sharing, self-evaluation, lucidity, routine check, morning motivation, need I list more? Dreams are fascinating in my eyes. Capturing your unconscious memories can serve so many purposes. You eventually create lucid dreaming, you analyse what on earth was going through your mind before you entered this and you hold a diary of these unresponsive hours for the rest of your life. Am I selling it to you? You should try it anyway, it’s constructive and meaningful.

Is everything starting to make sense now? The main purpose is to look after yourself and all the rest will follow. It seems every excuse in this world has actually been covered some way or another. So maybe you can start looking forward to a Monday now, what a treat!

If you have any suggestions for us or want to mention we have completely changed your life, please don’t hesitate to share this with us! Your possibilities are convenient – comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Whether you’re protesting by taking the day off, wearing your finest red threads, or simply acknowledging all the badass women in your life; we hope you take the time to also think about how you can reach out and support organizations that benefit women around the world.

We also love the intelligent statement made by the Cleveland bookstore the other day, and wanted to share. Talk about effective “marketing” to spread an important message.

To draw attention to female authors, a Cleveland bookstore celebrated Women’s History Month by turning every male-written book in the fiction room backward on its shelf.

Eight of the all-female employees of Loganberry Books went through about 10,000 books, a process that took about two hours. They’ll leave the books turned around for the next two weeks.

Pictures are loud communicators,” Harriett Logan, the bookstore’s founder and owner, told Heat Street. “So we are in essence not just highlighting the disparity but bringing more focus to the women’s books now, because they’re the only ones legible on the shelf.”

Startup Weekend Barcelona: We’re Mentoring!


Hey Barcelona startups (and the rest of the world, really…) — we’re excited to share that our Chief Left Brain, Attiya Abdulghany, has been selected to mentor and coach at Startup Weekend Barcelona Global Edition. 

So, what’s the event all about?

“Startup-Weekend Global Edition is a weekend during which more than 200 cities run the same program. Over 15,000 attendees will do the same as you during this weekend. We will connect live with them, their coaches and mentors. So this weekend is not only about the Barcelona community, but the global community!”

Startup Weekend offers the chance for startups to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation. This awesome 3-day event can help you:

  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship
  • learn the process for going from concept to creation
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs
  • join or build an all-star team
  • and a whole lot more

Do Not Promote: Your Brand Can Wait, And Why It Should

Photo by Scott Heins

As a marketer, I try to be sensitive of time and place. In a variable state there is an appropriate moment, and visa versa. This week has worn us all out and emotions are high, so bear with me as I call out some frustrating behavior, on the corporate blog no less. There might be many of these pieces floating around the internet after this week, (and truly, I hope there are) but brand marketers and those who profit from promoted ads need to re-think their message at this time. Or best, turn it off.

In my own aftermath of discovery, and social media scrolling, finding out about the tragedies of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police shootings in Dallas, I was utterly dismayed at the lack of respect that brands, agencies and overall promoted social media platforms have in place for incidents of national crisis.

There is, at least at Oliver + Sons and at other agencies I’ve worked, an instinct among marketing teams to postpone and remain silent on social media during moments when people need news or comfort, or something other than consumerism and product updates. I would never want to associate a client with anything but total understanding of the humans that they serve. And sometimes that’s to be silent — for their own benefit, but mostly for the fact that we too are human and sifting through feed ads, promo emails and advertising are equally off-putting and insulting when all you want is to understand what happened and how to help.

I urge my marketing comrades to shut it all off. In the moments following intense breaking news, once I typically remove myself from personal shock, my first order is a call-off on all consumer-facing communication. This is not a time for flash sales, pandering blog posts or tweets about the next new thing.

This is a time to let your audience know you’re in the same moment with them, and it’s always better to say nothing than to sell anything.

If I could, I would make it mandate for social-posting outlets to have a Humane Voice Alert. Yes, I am talking to you; HubSpot, CoSchedule, Buffer, Twitter and Facebook Ads etc. Issue a warning to your larger brand marking teams – say, by way of an alert pop-up? – that maybe today might not be the best time to try to grab the sale, generate leads, or simply do business. With respect, if a brand or client wants to reach out in a different way with a message that sympathizes and consoles, I applaud and do my job. But a “Summertime Bonanza” will not be the message I ever send. And you can fire me on that.

Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP

My clients are good people, their brands are personas. Treat your brand like a person you find on social media. There are deeper consequences of promoting a message that is tone-deaf to the culture it exists in. On the surface, there is the following fall-out, which is the easiest to see and the least problematic. Deeper down, there is a subliminal aversion to the brand identity, which affects the efforts, time and money of those working to make and sell your products. And finally, there is the desensitization of pushing an agenda without acknowledging the context of your consumers, which is both insulting to them and morally questionable.

I’m not saying don’t do your business. Let’s all go to work, but let’s not throw it in anyone’s’ face while they are mourning or protesting. The country, and your audience, needs collective consolation and reflection more than 20% off your goods and services. The definition of tragedy, and the way a crisis is handled by those with the megaphone, can be subjective. But, I think as marketers, we can tell when the tide has shifted from personal feeling to total crisis, and if you can’t then… well, I’m pretty sure this is not the job for you. There are no rules to this concept, but there should be gut-instinct and empathy.

Let’s call out these companies that are participating in the conversation for their own benefit and push larger platforms to take a moral issue with running a campaign without letting those advertisers know it is doing so in a time when social media is needed for the premise of which it was created: community over corporations.

Love over hate. Humans over consumers.