Tuesday roundup

tues-roundup2

Once again, looking back over the week that was, and sharing  a collection of stuff that grabbed my attention – usually focused on branding, behaviour change, strategy and creative. But really, it could be anything.

1. Three Ad Delusions

A few choice words by The Ad Contrarian. He cuts through some of the worst tendencies of the ad industry. I especially liked his comment on the industry’s obsession with millennials.

“You know all the awesome millennials we see in car ads? In the US, people aged 75 to dead buy six times as many new cars as people aged 16 to 24. Do you really think it’s a good idea to avoid these people?”

2. Why I write

I stumbled across this interview via Slate Culture Gabfest. Horatio Clare answers the question Why I write. It’s 13 minutes of great storytelling – honest and inspiring.

3. Road painters

It turns out watching paint dry can be incredibly beautiful. This new film profiles the craft of painting traffic instructions on roads.

The background behind the video is just as impressive. Glasgow based design studio O Street wanted a new brand that would better reflect their focus on “authenticity, collaboration and getting our hands dirty”. So they engaged with a local roadliner crew to create an entirely new font. There’s a great write-up of the new brand design elements over at It’s Nice That

4. Doctor’s prescribing novels

From the UK comes an innovative new scheme where Doctors will be able to prescribe novels for teenagers with mental-health issues. Chosen by mental health experts, there are 35 books included in the scheme. The Reading Well for Young People is aimed at 13 to 18 year-olds and provides a recommended reading list for support on mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety, self-harm, bullying and exam pressure.

5. Escape to the Artic

A stunning video showcasing the incredible wildlife photography of Vincent Munier. Worth escaping for just a few minutes

6. The Alphabet of Light

A modular way to build an alphabet of light. Stunning design by Artemide

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Tuesday roundup

roundup

Looking back over the week that was, and sharing  a collection of stuff that grabbed my attention – usually focused on branding, behaviour change, strategy and creative.

1. Distracted driving

A very smart idea, perfectly executed. I love how it makes the invisible visible. It’s also using the power of social norms to change behaviour. While it’s showing that this behaviour is far more common than people might imagine, it’s also reinforcing the fact that the majority of people aren’t doing these things. The takeaway – if you are someone who texts, talks on the phone etc, you’re part of a dangerous minority.

2. Call a random Swede

A client who is being rewarded for embracing a genius idea.

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3. Tackling obesity

When it comes to healthy eating and nutrition, food labelling can play an important role. Unfortunately it’s an area where there’s a distinct lack of clarity, and, let’s be honest, an embracing of confusion. Of course, people are free to eat what they want, but that choice should be an informed one. And labelling can help. So the idea that resurfaced last week of using exercise comparisons to help people translate the impact of calories would be a wonderful initiative. It’s been talked about before – I wrote about it a few years back. Let’s hope we can start employing simplicity and smart design to make it easier for people to make healthy choices.

4. Sports Talk Radio and men

I stumbled upon this fascinating little podcast via the CBC’s Podcast Playlist. The good, but mostly problematic side of the industry.

5. Good design and healthcare

A great little episode via CBC Spark on how we can make healtthcare more human.

6. Remembering Zaha Hadid

Vitra Fire Station – 1994. Zaha Hadid’s first built project

Zaha Hadid was an inspiring and creative force in architecture. I was lucky enough to visit the Vitra Design Campus last year. While there, we did a tour of the Vitra Fire Station that she designed in 1991 – a remarkable building. In this story from The Guardian, architects speak out about her success and the sexism that she confronted.

7. You’re alive. Do you remember?

And from Germany, this wonderful campaign for Hornbach. Refreshing, unique, hilarious, and inspiring. They’ve got to the emotional core of what it means to build and create something yourself. To Do-It-yourself.

8. Words I hate

It’s not enough that we have to endure the word disruption in countless presentations and talks from so called Futurists, trendspotters and the like – as if it’s something new. Now we get to enjoy fancy acronyms.

How to get young people to vote

I really like this TEDx talk in the UK by Rick Edwards. Focused on a common challenge that has been widely covered in many countries and regions, he makes some simple recommendations. Best of all, he avoids some of the common and incorrect perceptions spread by the media – e.g. that young people are lazy or apathetic.

And like all good ideas that are effective in changing behaviour, he starts by giving people the benefit of the doubt. Most people after all “want” to change. Most of the time, it’s our job to make the change easier, or as the Heath brothers always say, “shrink the change”.

Feel first

As always, people need to feel first before they’ll do something. Emotion first, action second.

When you take the time to understand what makes people tick, find a genuine connection to your brand/ organization or stand for something bigger than yourself, you’re halfway there. Here’s a few stand-out examples.

Lurpak – a simple brand of butter became the champion of good food

Omega Co-Axial Chronometer – took my breath away the first time I saw it

Bald Cartoons – proof that truly creative ideas matter, with the power to help make the world a little better

HBO GO – the perfect demonstration of why a truly great insight makes the difference

The world’s toughest job

Save the Children – not your typical “one second a day” video

Waitrose – the story of a boy and his carrot

Three – ending on a happy note, the sillyness of the internet captured through the freedom of a spring ride on a bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top #8 Sunday Reads – #12

Sharing a few bits and pieces from the last week;

1. Great write-up on the so called Ministry of Nudges in the UK via the New York times

At the core of nudging is the belief that people do not always act in their own self-interest. We can be undone by anxiety and swayed by our desire to fit in. We have biases and habits, and we can be lazy: Faced with a choice, we are more likely than not to go with a default option, be that a mobile ringtone or a pension plan.

2. Another reminder via the Economist of the power of emotion in advertising – in part inspired by the thinking of Daniel Kahneman, a champion psychologist.

3. Here’s an elegant way to define the power of behavioural economics – by defining what it’s not – via Ideas42

4. A beautiful film that communicates the message of sustainability – Work Wear, by Patagonia

5. Great series & partnership between W+K and D&AD. Called I wish I’d done that, it features some the best in advertising and design talking about work they wish they’d done. In this example from W+K, founder Dan Wieden shares a wonderful idea focused on shifting cultural attitudes toward climate change.

6. A beautiful and respectful film to help build awareness for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – “Because who is perfect?”. Created for Pro Infirmis, an organization for the disabled, the idea is original and confronting yet thought provoking.

7. In this lovely idea by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, “touch tours” are being offered for visitors who are blind and visually-impaired.

8. A perhaps my favourite video of the past few weeks. The folks at RSA created a charming and inspiring animation of a talk by Brené Brown in which she describes the difference between empathy and sympathy. Via the always brilliant Brain Pickings

Bursting the bubble

One thing I often focus on when thinking about behaviour change is the bubble. So much of our behaviour is driven by the people and things that surround us – our physical environment and culture, our friends and colleagues, and the wider community. All of this contributes to a type of bubble that informs our world. We each have a bubble, and it creates a special type of social norm that drives and reinforces much of our behaviour. So unless we find ways to crack open this bubble and reveal other, often larger bubbles, people will continue to feel supported in their behaviour – whether, for example, we’re talking about smoking, binge drinking, mob riots, or immunization.

One project I worked on in 2011 was the 15andfalling anti-smoking campaign. The bubble we focused on cracking was the one that told kids that smoking was popular – in fact, they believed that 50% of young people smoked. The actual smoking rate was far different – 15%, so we set about breaking this bubble, and building a greater sense of resiliency for young kids to resist.