posted 10.30.2014 by Spawn
Digital Trend

It seems Internet users are becoming increasingly nostalgic about the good ol' days of Web 1.0 and their calls for a revival are being answered. Ad-free Ello, Facebook's new forums app Rooms, and other chic, lo-fi platforms like are offering users the internet experiences of yesteryear. Read more here.

Brave Brand

Brand recognition be damned, Diet Coke uses an algorithm that allows their label printers to "think" like designers and create more than 2 million unique labels for their latest batch of soda. The sales results are in, and they look good. Read more here.

Ad Trend

Tumblr launched video ads Tuesday. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced their projection that Tumblr will generate $100 million in 2015, a $87 million increase over Tumblr's performance in 2012. Read the full article here

Digital Education

Anchor Text - The visible, clickable, text in a link

posted 10.28.2014 by Spawn

Your grandmother was “liberated” because she could dress like a man. Your mother was a “super woman” because she could do it all. But today’s woman isn’t looking for validation by being more like a man, or by being indestructible, she actually cares less about impressions and more about self satisfaction. When marketing to women who are active in outdoor, you have to drop the gender-speak and just sell the product.

If you Google “outdoors women” you’ll get 156 MILLION results. There are hundreds of groups and organizations around the country formed by like-minded women exploring the outdoors, and the general consensus among them is that their outdoor time is their personal time. This is where they drop the shackles of their normal lives and just enjoy themselves. Sure they may share salmon recipes, but more often they’re sharing the location of a great fishing hole, or the best place to take archery lessons.

Sell to Outdoors Women

Selling outdoors to women is a challenge. You have the sense, maybe more than with other products, that outdoors is a man’s world, so to sell to women you have to sell to the liberated woman, or the super woman, or find that specific feature that is “woman friendly.”  But you’ll be heading down the wrong trail if you take that route. The fact is that women who enjoy the outdoors are women who … enjoy the outdoors. It’s actually that simple.

Forget the clichés and focus instead on selling the product.  Sell the activity that goes with the product. Sell the experience. The real experience, not what you imagine a woman would think of the experience. It’s important to empathize because men and women are different, but when it comes to enjoying the outdoors, they’re probably more closely aligned than not.

So what’s the trick for marketing your outdoors ware to women? Put yourself in her shoes.  Just, make sure they're hiking boots.

posted 10.23.2014 by Spawn

Is your loyalty program relevant? If your idea of a reward is offering a general discount on products, then your customers are barely noticing you - offers like these just aren't relevant anymore.

A Benefit For Someone's Lifestyle

Over the last few years, customers have been gravitating towards experience-oriented shopping. You may have already seen this for yourself with any store that's offering classes, in-store activities, or temporary sales stalls at events in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations.

Online shopping offers the experience of ease and convenience. If you're going to compete with that, then offer something that benefits your customers' lifestyle. The crux of this is how much you can afford to offer - customers who can earn big rewards can also be offered more creative loyalty programs.

Know Your Customers

If you don't have a Buyer Persona, it's time to make one. This will tell you who your customers are, what experiences matter to them, and what rewards matter in their lives. From there, it's a simple cost-benefit calculation: how much can you offer them with the rewards they've earned?

Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to improve customer satisfaction. People who associate your store with a great experience will care about you far more than they would a store that simply sells them their equipment.

Keep the rewards simple, relevant, and diverse - options are good, but complexity is bad. Clearly state any restrictions that a reward may have - concert tickets, for example, should have an age warning if the event itself has one, while bring-your-own-gear events should have an obvious list of everything people should pack.

You'll be able to create loyalty programs that are truly relevant when you know your customers and offer rewards to benefit their lifestyle.

posted 10.15.2014 by Spawn
Digital Trend
Most companies focus their digital marketing efforts on social media heavy hitters like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. But now Linkedin, a social network traditionally thought of as only useful for job seekers and recruiters is throwing their hat into the ring as a digital marketing competitor.
Read why here
Brave Brand
People have a hard time sitting through five seconds of pre-roll on YouTube. How will they react to almost six hours of it? Virgin Airlines made a creepy, long, pretty damn boring video to find out. The point? If you wouldn't sit through the entire film, why would you pay money to experience it in real life? Read more and watch the video here.
Ad Trend
Netflix finally released some data about their viewers and their habits. Currently there isn't any advertising on the streaming website, could this information release be hinting at a future change?
Read the full article here
Digital Education
DNS: Domain Name System. DNS resolves a domain name into an IP address. An IP address is a unique string of numbers that identifies each computer to communicate over a network.
posted 10.15.2014 by Spawn

Are you that guy at the campsite who has to check your Facebook feed before bed? Can’t take a jog without snapping a quick pick to Instagram? We all do it – Using social media to enhance our outdoor experiences. But we also like to feel a sense of balance. Like we’re not spending TOO much time on social.

So, what's going on?

As it turns out - and honestly, we weren't surprised by this one - people aren't very happy if they spend ALL day plugged into their social media networks.

Over the last several years, values like serenity, simplicity, and balance have become an increasingly important aspect of people's lives - and it's hard to get those things in the frantic, fast-paced world of social media. The great outdoors remain a refuge from the noise, clutter, and stress of a connected life... even when you're actually bringing your device with you and avoiding a total disconnect.

That's not actually a bad idea - the primary purpose of a phone is still making calls, and it's good sense to have a way to contact others if you're alone in the wilderness.

It’s all about balance

First, restrict the times or amount of time you allow yourself to use social media. Instead of checking the phone every time it alerts you to a new post, turn off the audio alarms and only check it once every few hours.

Next, use technology and social when it actually does enhance your experiences outside, like sharing favorite fishing spots, learning more about the group meetup, encourage friends to get out and play, too.  

Also - Balance it. You don’t HAVE to post a photo every 15 minutes. Maybe every hour?

Finally, just make sure you’re getting outside!

posted 10.10.2014 by Spawn
Digital Trend.

HTML and CSS are the foundations of the web. HTML  is the language used to tell your web browser what each part of a website is. CSS is the language that gives those web pages their look and formatting. HTML is the architecure. CSS is the interior design. Now more than ever, it's important for EVERYONE to know a little bit about this stuff. Read why here.

Brave Brand.

Cheerios released this amazingly heartwarming ad of a wonderful same-sex couple and the daughter they adopted. The ad, titled, "The Cheerios Effect - André, Jonathan & Raphaëlle’s Story," comes from Cheerios Canada, owned by General Mills, who is no stranger to controversial ads. Well done, General Mills! Watch the video here.

Ad Trend.

What do millenials really want? Well, 50% of them don't own a TV; 60% didn't want this years' Super Bowl; and 80% own an iPhone. They shop for clothes at the thrift store and prefer reading hard copy books over e-readers. So reach them through mobile and social. Find unique ways to reach them out of home (and in the thrift or book store).
Read the full article here.

Digital Education.

Deep Linking: Deep linking exists when a user clicks on a link and is taken to a page that is not the homepage, but another page that exists within the site's structure. The land page where the user is taken to is usually one that is not easily found within the site.

posted 10.06.2014 by Spawn

Advances in technology are always offering a new way for children to interact with the world - and now, technology is starting to get back to nature with programs and apps that help kids interact with the environment.

How Is This Happening?

Most developments are focusing on creating an augmented reality - such as identifying the plants and animals seen through a device's camera and allowing children to learn by touching that object on their screen. In many cases, the overriding goal is to offer a degree of fun and excitement for children whose minds are going a mile a minute.

Each time a new product comes out, someone else focuses on offering something even better. Technology has always developed this way, and it's not surprising that many of today's most capable minds are focusing on appealing to children.

Disney Is Involved, Too

The Disneynature Explore app is just one of the recent offerings in this field. Interactive playmates allow children to explore a magical landscape created by Disney - and the app takes it a step further by creating trails to follow on the screen and helping children safely navigate the outdoors.

Meanwhile, the app allows children to share and show off the pictures they make. Unlike standard camera photos, most of these pictures will be showcasing the things a child finds most fascinating about the outdoor world. The positive reinforcement children receive by doing this - including their parents enjoying the pictures - is enough to stimulate children and keep them interested in going outside at a time when most of them are continually fixated on their mobile devices.

As these apps are proving, you don't need to separate children from their devices in order to help them develop. You just have to help them use technology to engage with learning and exploration in the real world.

posted 10.02.2014 by Spawn










Advertising & Marketing Trends.
  • PayPal & E-Bay are splitting ways. Read about the break up here.

  • Ello is taking the social media sphere by storm. It is the new "Facebook killer" but there have been plenty before. Will they succeed? Check out the Ello explosion here.

Digital Trend. "There's an App for That"

What app craze is next? Home remodeling. Why drive to multiple stores or scour websites when your app can use image recognition technology and pattern identifiers to search millions of products from thousands of stores? Oh, and then you can just click to buy. Read more about these apps here.

Brave Brand.

This gem of a GE Commercial featuring Jeff Goldblum

Digital Education.

Breadcrumb links: Links, usually on the top of the page, that indicate where a page sits within the hierarchy of the website.

posted 09.29.2014 by Spawn








The world of shopping is changing, and customers are thinking in new ways. The convergence of online and offline shopping experiences can be a surprisingly powerful tool for re-branding your company and driving sales. This can sound intimidating, but the truth is that it's becoming easier than ever before to leverage the difference and start bringing customers back to physical locations. How, you ask? It's all about the customer's experience.

Experiencing the Difference

Convenience is the number-one goal of online shopping.Online retailers like Amazon are so focused on it that they’ll now start shipping products to you before you even buy them. Yes, really – it’s called "anticipatory shipping". The goal is to reduce delivery time to your front door by predicting items you might purchase based on previous orders or searches, then suggesting items already in transit and holding them at a hub near you until your order arrives.

On- or offline, the experience customers get matters, and what you’ll do to take advantage of their shopping tendencies depends on what you’re selling. Take a cue from what L.L. Bean did when they decided to move into the Mall of America: rather than limit themselves to products, the retailer is offering hands-on classes and workshops for shoppers of all age groups through their Outdoor Discovery School.

Designing for the Convergence

Your ultimate goal? Send the message that shopping with you is easy, convenient, and what customers need to solve the problems they face.  If you're not sure how to begin taking advantage of the converging online and offline worlds, try offering a few events of your own. You might be surprised at how quickly brand loyalty will build when you start anticipating - and answering - the questions your customers have.

posted 09.24.2014 by Spawn

Just in time for the Facebook announcement that they will soon start charging users, Ello announces their new anti-Facebook, anti-ads social network. This could be the beginning of a big change in social media.

1) There's a mysterious new, anti-Facebook, anti-ads social network called Ello. Ello's goal: to offer a digital platform that offers great communication channels without requiring users to accept ads and data-mining in return. Read more about Ello here.

2) Tim Horton's, in Canada, transformed a residential home into a coffee shop overnight then used social media to spread the word. #TimsNextDoor Read about it here.

3) Volkswagen uses Funny or Die for "native advertising." The result: some pretty funny stuff to a targeted audience. Check it out here.

4) Rumors that Facebook is going to start charging users starting as early as November of this year! Many have been forecasting the death of Facebook. This might be the last nail in the coffin. Read more here.

5) Digital Education. Always hearing digital buzz words but not really sure what they mean? Each week, we'll share a new glossary term with you so you can be digital pros too! This week... Heading tags (H1, H2, H3 etc) are standard elements used to define headings and subheadings on a webpage. The number indicates the importance, so H1 tags are viewed by the spiders as being more important that the H3 tags. Using targeting keywords and key phrases in your H tags is essential for effective SEO.

posted 09.10.2014 by Spawn

The New Apple phone and watch take personalized technology to a whole new level. The latest announcements from Apple continue to evolve this brand's equity in an extremely competitive category.  IKEA's video strategy "drafts" off Apple, using tongue-and-cheek humor to get a bit of attention from the new Apple announcement. And Kraft strategically pairs advertising and content, ultimately gaining  higher ROI from the content, than from its ads.

1) Apple announces the new iPhone 6. Read 10 things you need to know about it here. (The new watch is pretty awesome, too!)

2) They are not the first to spoof an Apple ad, but it's pretty funny (and interesting to see a non-technology company using the Apple announcement this way). IKEA plays off of the new iPhone announcement with a one of their own, introducing "a device so simple and intuitive using it feels almost familiar." Check it out here.

3) Content gets four times better ROI for Kraft than ads. Thinking of its value the same way they think of advertising defines Kraft's "worthiness" strategy. Read the article here.

4) Ever heard of extreme unicycling? Yeah, us neither, but apparently it exists (and looks pretty epic with a GoPro!). Check it out here.

posted 09.08.2014 by Spawn

There’s been a lot of talk about how teens and college kids are deserting Facebook. Heck, even the President made reference to it. But according to, Facebook is still the dominant social media site among the age group. Sure, there was a slight decline (3%) in usage, but “the book” is still used far more than any other social site. So, if you’re a marketer and you’ve been thinking about abandoning “the book”, don’t jump ship yet. The site still has plenty of potential for reaching your teen audience. For more on this, click here.

posted 09.05.2014 by Spawn

The juicy trends of the week.

How will individuals and marketers document and delight with Instagram's new Hyperlapse? Never underestimate the power of packaging to stimulate the senses to believe something that isn't. And, Alaskans, get set for the highly anticipated grand opening events at UAA's Alaska Airlines Center. (And come see what might be the first drive-in movie of your life — or least the first you've seen in decades!)

1) Instagram has HYPERLAPSE now. Fun stuff. Read more here.








2) Packaging messes with consumers' heads and Miller Lite knows all about it. Read more here.

3) Trending video. It's 13 minutes but you will not regret watching it. WATCH HERE.









4) Please check out the NEW Alaska Airlines Center website here and all of the upcoming grand opening events especially the DRIVE IN MOVIE and HOWLAPALOOZA.

5) Digital Education. Always hearing digital buzz words but not really sure what they mean? Each week, we'll share a new glossary term with you so you can be digital pros too! This week...

Above the fold. The content that can be seen on a screen without having to scroll down. In Email Marketing, this refers to the portion of an email that can be viewed in the preview pane. Used to be that you wanted all your important content above the fold. These days, that trend is changing as we are getting more and more used to the endless scrolling site (think Facebook, Instagram, etc.). So, don't worry about the fold anymore! Challenge the fold! Maybe we'll coin a new term.

posted 08.06.2014 by Spawn

Remember when you were a kid and you went into a mild (or possibly deep) depression when summer break ended? Well, while kids may despise this time of year, marketers love it. The back-to-school season is second only to the holidays in terms of consumer spending. And advertisers are spending big bucks on back-to-school keywords to get a piece of the pie. What are some of the most lucrative keywords? Find out here.

posted 07.18.2014 by Spawn

Everyone’s heard the horror stories. A brand kicks off a social media campaign only to be blasted with unexpected, unflattering, and embarrassing feedback from users. This is the inherit risk of social. There is no filter. People say what they want to say.  And there’s nothing you can do about it. And in the case of Airbnb, people said their new logo looked like a certain lady part (they used slightly different words, of course). Remember, social can be your best friend. It can do wonderful things for your brand. Just watch out for the pitfalls. Expect them. Plan for them. Avoid them. Otherwise, you just might end up with a vagina logo dilemma on your hands. And who wants that kind of baggage?

Read more here.