Oliver’s Earbuzz: Our Favorite Jams of 2019 So Far…

Is it already June?

As we are staring down the second half of the year, with summer peeking just over the horizon, we’ve taken a musical look back at some of our year’s highlights.

In one of our favorite traditions, our team has rounded up some of their top musical hits and made them into the Spotify playlist of the season… We’ve added the songs that have kept our heads nodding, our hearts pumping, and our brains in beast mode as we stayed on the grind through the first part of the year. In a playlist that spans across genres, we’ve curated just a few of our faves.  

If you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration to fuel your mission, or just to get your head back in the game, check out our top picks of the season and get your groove on.

Curious to check out some of our other playlists?

Give them a listen, and then let us know what tunes you are rocking out to in the comments!

Artists We’re Crushing On: Designer Appreciation Part 8

We have the utmost respect for the crafters, letter-makers, and inspiration shakers out there. In digital marketing, incredible visuals are a crucial element of the whole package. Therefore, in this ongoing series, we wanted to give due props to the artists, creators, and designers we’ve taken note of lately. Thanks for making stuff beautiful!

1. Matt Blease

Heavily influenced by his background in graphic design, Matt produces minimalist illustrations that pack a serious punch. Bursting with warmth and humor, Matt channels his ideas in a way that’s as playful as it is bold. Having created work for high profile publications such as The Guardian and The New Yorker, and brands including Nike and Coca-Cola, he’s certainly becoming an illustrator to watch. Simple line work on a plain white background has never hit home like this before.

Check out his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattblease/

2. Elisa Sheehan

Elisa Sheehan is best known for her Kintsugi Eggshells, a collection of delicate and vibrantly painted eggshells that serve as a testament to nature’s beauty and imperfections. The art of Kintsugi originated in Japan in the 15th century. Translating literally to ‘golden joinery’, Kintsugi is the art of repairing cracked pottery with seams of gold. Elisa has applied the same technique to showcase the hidden beauty of broken eggshells, in a series she describes as “a visual representation of imperfection as a true value and where flaws are celebrated and viewed as beautiful.”

Check out her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elisasheehanart/

 

3. Toyin Ojih Odutola

Born in Nigeria and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual storyteller who explores the intricacies, malleability and complexities of identity through her drawings of enigmatic figures. Toyin’s work, rendered in pastel, pencil and charcoal, challenges traditional forms of portraiture through her distinctive, mark-marking style. Her intimate subjects, emerging from the canvas against colorful backdrops of luxury and leisure, speak to the intersections of race, class and identity. With a list of achievements that already includes solo exhibitions at major galleries such as the Whitney in New York, this is definitely an artist to keep a close eye on.

Check out more of her work on her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toyinojihodutola/

4. Lindsey Mendick

Creating multicoloured smorgasbords of gorgeous glazed ceramics, Lindsey Mendick melds comedy and color with the surreal to produce installations that are a feast for the eyes and mind. Her sculptural worlds subvert familiar, domestic objects to broach ideas of identity: what is our relationship with the domestic and how does this impact us? How does food play a role in broader political issues such as female oppression? Attention-grabbing yet deeply thought-provoking at the same time, Lindsey’s work is a celebration of life and color and a call to reflect on the everyday that surrounds us.

Check out Lindsey’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindseymendick/

http://lindseymendick.com

http://lindseymendick.com

5. Studio Zimoun

Sound and space collide in the works of the mononymous Zimoun, a Swiss artist whose sound installations are as much architectural as they are audiovisual. Using simple elements such as cardboard boxes, cotton balls and plastic bags, Zimoun builds unlikely soundscapes that make the most ordinary of objects come alive. The viewer is invited to actively experience Zimoun’s spaces, playing witness and participant to the orchestra of anomalous sounds that his three-dimensional structures create. It’s exploration on a whole new level.

Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studiozimoun/

What artists, designers, or creatives are you into right now? Let us know in the comments below. You can also see all of our other designer shout-outs here!

Oliver’s Earbuzz: Our 2018 Winter Favorites Playlist on Spotify

2018 Winter Spotify Playlist

The year is (finally) coming to a close and we’re gearing up for a nice winter break.

In our usual annual fashion, the team got together to create the perfect playlist of all of our absolute favorite songs. This isn’t your typical holiday party or wintertime themed collection of tracks – that’s not really our style. Instead, we collaborated on a winter playlist of all our top songs from just about every genre.

Whether you’re prepping for a long road trip, a cross-country flight, or even just a trip across town, we hope these songs help you get where you’re going a little easier. Happy holidays!

Check out more of our playlists here.

What music is getting you through the final end-of-year push or holiday rush? Drop your favorite 2018 tracks in the comments below!

Charitable Companies: Our 5 Favorite Brands That Give Back

Charitable Companies

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is one of the biggest times of years for consumers to bust out their wallets. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other crazy seasonal discounts and sales, it’s hard not to focus on buying things. The Thanksgiving season is also very much about giving back, though – I know, crazy right?

Charitable companies with rock-solid mission statements are among some of our absolute favorites. While much of this time of the year is racked with anxiety and stress and buying, buying, buying, it’s always nice to take a look around and appreciate those businesses that are focused on giving back. Putting your money into the businesses that give back on a local community, regional, or even international scale, makes your purchase all the more worth it.

Let’s take a look at some of our absolute favorite initiatives from brands that give back. 

1. Pura Vida Bracelets

Who doesn’t love stylish, handmade jewelry to complement a holiday outfit? Pura Vida Bracelets is one of our all-time favorite charitable companies, with a mission to help support simplicity in life and the incredible craft of artisan jewelry and other goods. “Pura Vida” means “pure life” in Spanish, a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Following in line with this philosophy, the organization gives artisans full-time jobs while also helping to fund close to 200 charities around the world. With each purchase, Pura Vida donates 10% of proceeds to important causes affecting our planet.

Head to the Pura Vida Bracelets website here

2. Sudara

Being a women-run agency, our hearts are always with the millions of women around the world who are being held against their will in many capacities. Sudara is one such business that is actively fighting against slavery and sex-trafficking in India by providing women with safe opportunities to learn skills and move towards long-term careers. By offering real hope and true opportunity to these women through living-wage jobs, skills training, Sudara is helping women to gain more control of their lives and open up their futures to even more possibilities.

Head to the Sudara website here

3. Warby Parker

Being able to help someone see is a true gift in this world. So many communities around the world don’t have access to the kinds of vision care that’s needed to support a healthy, happy life. That’s why Warby Parker has stepped in to help bridge that gap and offer better vision to more people in need. With their charitable system, when you purchase a pair of glasses through their store, a donation is made to one of their non-profit partners who will help get someone set up with a fresh pair who really needs them.

 

Head to the Warby Parker website here

4. House of Light Goods

In the country of Mexico, there is a poverty-stricken crisis going on, with unemployment, imprisonment, and other important elements playing a role in the absence of many fathers. Unfortunately, this leaves mothers without the right resources or funds in a vulnerable place in trying to care for their children; this is where House of Light Goods comes in. A non-profit small business that provides real employment opportunities to single mothers in Mexico, House of Light Goods offers a safe place to work, and spaces for children to learn and play, funded by the purchase of a handmade scarf.

Head to the House of Light Goods website here. 

5. Amazon Smile

While Amazon is one of the biggest, most high-performing companies in the world, we can’t deny their influence on giving back. When you shop through their Amazon Smile portal, you can automatically have .5% of your purchase donated to charities of your choice! With absolutely no change in the overall price for you, the buyer, Amazon is set up to help you give back to organizations like the ASPCA, American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, and many more.

Head to the Amazon Smile website here.

 

Are you a company looking for charitable activities to launch in 2019?

Get in touch with our team – we’d love to talk shop and help brainstorm ways for you to give back!

Creepy Meets Creative: The Best Halloween Marketing Campaigns We’ve Seen

halloween marketing campaigns

Halloween is here, and it’s the perfect time for businesses to get creative about dressing up their marketing campaigns. Whether through video, a challenge or even a well-orchestrated scare-prank to showcase the true quality of a product, really great marketing campaigns are interactive, engaging, and get people jumping into action — literally.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite Halloween marketing campaigns (of all time) just in time for the spookiest day of the year!

Burger King: The Nightmare King

What gives you nightmares? Is it losing your teeth? Falling into an infinite abyss? What about a burger that gives you actual nightmares? Burger King just released a burger for this year’s Halloween campaign that was scientifically proven to give their consumers nightmares. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this study. Over a period of ten days, scientists tested their “subjects” and invited them to try the specially combined ingredients and monitored their sleep. What they found was that REM cycles were definitely impacted. Nightmarish? For your own results, you’ll have to give it a try!

M&Ms: An M&Ms (Interactive) Ghost Story

In M&M’s Halloween Campaign last year, the candy giant created an interactive ghost story that was released in weekly installments. Why the weeklong delay?  The campaign, targeted at older kids, relied on a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style poll that allowed viewers to choose what happened next in the spooky tale. Whichever choice generated the most votes would be the next plot twist. Viewers shared the story all over social media in anticipation of the next week’s installment in the sweetest countdown to Halloween that we’ve ever seen.

LG: Fake Elevator Floor Prank

What better way to showcase a product than to show it in action? LG thought of a way to showcase the realistic color and sharp quality of its new IPS monitors by creating a fake floor, with picture quality so realistic it was actually terrifying to its users. As the saying goes: “So Real it’s Scary.”

Svedka: Halloween Curse

Can you think of anything more terrifying than being followed? Svedka can’t either, and it’s for this reason exactly that their creepy marketing campaign from last year works. Once you start scrolling through their site, the banner follows you everywhere you go online. Everywhere. The only way to break the curse is to pass it off to someone else by filling out their info in the creepiest lead capture imaginable. Creepy? Yes, definitely. But also scarily creative, and a tiny bit genius.

Oreo: The Oreo Laboratorium

Who says all Halloween campaigns have to be scary? In this adorable campaign from Oreo back in 2014, it relies on user-generated content (UGC) to drive its creativity. It’s as interactive as it is loveable and makes for a really great campaign!

Budweiser: The Budweiser Halloween Takeover

In one of the best campaigns we’ve seen, Budweiser is capitalizing on the fact that there is still a growing market for Halloween in countries outside of the US. In this campaign, it employs popular singer Kehlani to create a full Halloween anthem just for them, so that all 17 countries where Budweiser is sold can associate the whole holiday with their brand.

Ready to Knock ’em Dead?

If a marketing campaign isn’t getting your heart going, then it’s probably not going to inspire your clients, either. These Halloween campaigns are creepy, creative, and make the best use of the season.

Want some ideas on how to build up a marketing campaign for your business that kills it any time of the year? Don’t be afraid to get in touch with us!