A Force to be Reckoned with: Star Wars takes over Advertising

Star Wars began grabbing the imagination of viewers almost 30 years ago, taking over our hearts for generations to come. With the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it looks as though this Brand is becoming a force to reckon with in the marketing world too! From commercials to specialized products, to merchandise, Star Wars made it impossible to go anywhere without seeing their Brand.

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iSpot.tv which calculates media tracking each time a spot airs in any market in the Us, cites that Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilms spent over $24m placing 21 versions of the Star world Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer airing more than 1600 times across 44 networks. Adding up to an $87,881,593 in total media dollars spent!

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What’s most surprising about that this media strategy is how much consumers love it! Typically, when we see this high level of promotion it begins to have consumers over saturated with content and left with lack luster feelings regarding the film. Not the case with Star Wars, WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH!

 

 

 

Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Ready For the Holidays

Mobile has finally passed desktop use (Search Engine Watch) which means businesses will need put focus on optimizing their current websites to capitalize on the changes. A study done by comScore, shows searches made by a mobile or tablet have increased by 45%, while desktop has seen a decline compared to prior year’s data. Here are a few ways to make sure your customers have a mobile-friendly experience while holiday shopping this year.

1. Create and Adaptive/ Responsive Design
An adaptive design has the capability to detect what type of device a user is browsing on, and then generates a correctly sized page. A responsive design automatically adjusts to the size of the device the user is browsing on. Both are similar solutions that allow customers to visit your website no matter what they are browsing on.

2. Scale Down Your Design
A good mobile website has enough content to fill a screen and provide the user with necessary information, but not so much that it crams the page and leaves it unreadable. This also means making the size of your image files as small as possible to help your page load quickly.

3. Choose The Right Fonts
As simple as this sounds, a bad font can aesthetically ruin a website. Using a custom font can make your website stand out, but on a mobile device the time it takes to download those font types can actually impact the user flow. While waiting for a font to load, most users see a blank space instead of text. If you are really attached to a custom font, adjust your website’s code to display text in a default font and then re-render the page when the font has completely downloaded.

Whether you are ready for the holidays or not, shopping season is here. By creating a seamless purchasing process for your customers, you put your business in a good position to benefit from all of these changes and convert page visits into sales.

2015’s Top Design Trends

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
― Steve Jobs

This year has seen such a burst of creative energy, and with it close to being over, we thought we would take a look at this year’s top design trends. Chances are you have probably seen some of these executed on your favorite websites.

1. No clutter
Brands moved away from the cluttered pages with overflowing amounts of information, and focused on a simple, easy-to-navigate interface. Just remember, having a design style that is too minimal is just as bad as being cluttered.
Dollar a Day

2. Large (high-res) background images/video
A lot of brands revamped this year and introduced videos, and large eye-catching images. The use of these bold and 3D backgrounds, is just one example of how design is evolving.
Purefix
Woodbuds

3. Parallax scrolling
The use of parallax scrolling makes a webpage more like an interactive journey. A great use of this style is Porsche. By using parallax scrolling, Porsche gives you a history lesson, in a current and original way.
Porsche

4. Typography
Designers have been going back to the basics, and perfecting their websites with dramatic typography. Used for much for than readability, typography can tie in a website’s brand and style.
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It’s 2015-Organize Your Team Online

Due to the high volume of virtual employees, freelancers and temp workers, companies have started introducing online collaboration tools in order for their teams to stay organized. Whether you’re a forty person team, or a ten person team, it helps having a central platform to make sure everyone is on the same page. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Basecamp

If you’re looking for something user-friendly, easy to search on, and an emphasis on communication, opt for Basecamp. Created by a business that needed a non-confusing project management software, Basecamp offers an inside perspective as to what employees desire internally to quickly and efficiently complete tasks.

Pricing: $24.00-$149.00 monthly depending on the number of projects

2. Slack

Slack is an inexpensive solution capable of supporting anything from a small business to an enterprise. It offers a real-time dashboard with a direct messaging center and a straightforward task manager. Slack allows you to break up into teams, in order to streamline projects and ensure overall organization as projects transition into different departments.

Pricing:$0-$15.00 per user monthly

3. Asana

Asana was created by the co-founder of Facebook, who clearly knows a thing or two about the nature of a startup. It ranks as one of our favorites because of its customizability. Asana offers the ability to assign tasks to co-workers, set goals, create deadlines, and organize the structure of a project in a way that makes the most sense to everyone involved.

Pricing (Premium): $21.00-$834.00 per month paid annually

Pokemon IRL

For those mid-twenties Pokemon Master dreamers who always wanted to catch ’em all but were all too aware of the fact that Pokemon aren’t real… you can dream again. Nintendo is making your wishes come true with Pokemon Go – an app that lets you actually track and catch these critters via GPS. They’re hidden all around you and you’re able to locate, catch, and train your beloved Pokemon just like you did back in the day.

You can even use your newly trained Pokemon to battle against other people! This is all made available to you on the free-to-play, real world Pokemon app on Android and iPhone. The game will also come with in-app purchase options (presumably things like better pokeballs and potions). You can get really fancy with it and get a smartwatch-like device called Pokemon Go Plus that will allow you to command and control your newly trained companions better.

This video released seems to hint at the possibility of having bigger events bringing multiple “players” together to defeat a megaboss – in this video, Mewtwo. There isn’t a precise release date for the Pokemon Go app yet, however it will likely be making its debut sometime in early 2016.

While we’re fairly certain it won’t look near this good in real life, it’s still a nice idea and our inner child is pumped for this.

Landing Leads With LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a strong location for lead generation.

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There are several ways to utilize LinkedIn in a way that can turn it into a lead generation machine.

  • Use keywords like you would on a landing page or blog post to increase your exposure across the platform. Determine which keywords you want to be found for, and then strategically place them across your LinkedIn profile.
  • Use the platform to be a thought leader in your industry. Be able to share your knowledge and be willing to show what you have to offer in order to get what you’re looking for. Curate original content that inspires conversation and actions from your target audiences. It shouldn’t be constant self-promotion, instead, focus on providing value and inspiring conversation. Either post on your blog and share it via LinkedIn, or post directly on LinkedIn’s publishing platform: LinkedIn Pulse.
  • Reach out to connections. Find out what you’re connecting for and where the common ground is. Spark a relationship and create something that can be long-lasting and productive. Be personable and show an interest in something about their life. With older connections, re-engage them by sharing valuable articles or promotions to build meaningful relationships that will last.
  • You can get visible on LinkedIn other ways apart from keywords, try being active in the LinkedIn Groups applicable to your industries and be sure to show up in LinkedIn’s live stream. Provide thought leadership conversations in groups to start discussions and become a champion in industry news. Comment on posts in the stream to be visible there as well.
  • Connect with your clients and business associates. While it may seem obvious, remember to make an effort to connect with them and actually reach out to establish those relationships further as well.

Commonly Misused Phrases

Do you get the urge to cringe and loudly correct someone when you hear them say “irregardless,” or “exspecially?” Are you someone who didn’t see anything wrong with the use of those two words? If you’re in the latter, we have news for you: those aren’t words.

There are just some sayings that constantly get misused. Maybe you heard it wrong the first time you were told it or were told it wrong and no one ever corrected you, or maybe you just don’t know the difference between moot and mute. We’re here to make sure you can keep up with the best of the grammar police by clearing the air on some commonly misspelled and mispronounced phrases.

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Apple’s Keynote: What Now?

Apple has done what it’s famous for doing yet again: big reveals at their September Keynote address. This time new products, new accessories, and new features were abundant along with the typical “S” upgrade to the iPhone. In case you missed the live event, here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s latest products:

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Phones

Tim Cook made sure to mention that the iPhone brand was now the “most popular in the world,” as he revealed the updated s models of iPhones. The new devices look like their 6 counterparts as typical with the s updates, but are equipped with some hardware and software updates unique to the upgrade.

  • 3D Touch (force touch)
  • A 64-bit A9 chip
  • 12MP back camera with 4K video recording
  • 5MP FaceTime HD and Retina Flash
  • Quicker and improved Touch ID
  • Support of up to 866 mbps of WiFi and 300 mbps LTE
  • Pre-orders start Sept. 12 and the devices will launch Sept. 25
  • 6s and 6s Plus will start at $199, and $299 on 2-year contracts
  • Apple launched its own upgrade plan which will allow consumers to upgrade to a new phone every year for a monthly fee starting at $32/month
  • New Rose-Gold finish

 Up Close With Force Touch

Force Touch brings a whole new way to interact with your phone that makes sense. The devices have the new ability to sense your touch force to save taps and time to get you to what you want more quickly. Preview an email, access apps, and more without actually opening apps.

 

A Newer, Better Camera (Again)

Camera Apple is making a move to become a leader in cellphone photography. The new phones will showcase 12MP iSight Cameras that have the capability of shooting video in 4K. The front-facing cameras will feature a 5MP HD lens with try-tone flash to allow better selfies in low lighting. There is also going to be an additional feature that’s new and different called live photos… Which kind of makes us think of Harry Potter, but it is high-def photos stitched together with audio.

The iPhone Upgrade Plan

Upgrade Take this carriers. Apple is providing it’s own upgrade plan that ensures those gotta-have-it Apple fans can have the newest phone in their hands every year. You can choose your carrier and the phone comes to you unlocked. The plan includes AppleCare+ and will start at $32/month.

Apple TV

A re-designed and re-imagined Apple TV was also in the works for this release event. The box itself looks relatively the same, however it comes loaded with a new app store, OS and multitouch remote, and updated features such as Siri to make Apple TV a seamless device for users.

You can use Siri to find specific things such as “that one episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton” as Tim Cook explained.

The new TV starts at $149 for a 32GB version and will ship sometime in October.

iPad Pro

iPadPro

Apple has created yet another iPad, the iPad Pro boasting a 12.9″ screen with enough space to allow “full-screen” split multitasking. The device has some other features that set it apart:

    • 12.9″ screen with a 2,732 x 2,048 display
    • 6.9mm thin, weighing only 1.57 lbs
    • Starts at $799 for the 32Gb model
    • Powerful new A9X chip that’s 1.8x more powerful than the previous A8 chip
    • 10-hour battery life
    • 8MP iSight camera
    • Touch ID
    • Powerful four speaker audio

 

Apple Surface iPad Keyboard

Keyboard This may look a little familiar to some Microsoft fans, but this iPad is coming equipped with a “smart keyboard” that will be a part of the cover and will connect via the new magnetic connector on the iPad Pro. It costs a hefty $169.

Apple Pencil

Another accessory for the new iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, which is a precise stylus that is “accurate to the pixel.” Another $99 for this!

Oh Yeah, the iPad Mini 4

iPadMini

This was kind of an afterthought at the event and Apple basically just said it has the running capacity and power of the iPad Air 2 now.

New for the Watch

The watch which was recently revealed, is getting new gold and rose tone finishes for the sport model, and new designer bands from Hermes, along with some new apps.

Facebook: Your Fantasy Football Quarterback

Are you ready for football season with your very own Fantasy league ready to play? If not, good ol’ Facebook might be able to help!

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That’s right, you heard correctly, the social site is here to lend a hand in getting your leagues up and running quickly! How you might ask?

  • Use Facebook’s friend-locating tools to find new league team members. Create a Facebook group to allow a central place for group updates, league organizations, and friendly banter.
  • When it comes to draft day, use those groups to poll the league members and find a day that works for everyone to get together and use that group to get the draft going in real-time.
  • Friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? Use the social platform as your backyard BBQ, your sports bar, your living room to get the experience of constant competitive fun even off-site. Use it to offer helpful tips or tout your team’s stellar performances. Create on-going commentary live while the games are in action.
  • Use Facebook’s events tool to schedule real-life get-togethers for MNF at the local bar, or a watch party and co-worker Joe’s house.

Now, who’s ready for football season?

Google’s New Look

Google is infamous for shaking things up, and today is no different! With a cute little animation, Google’s revealed a clean new logo design!

Google’s reasoning for the update originates from the growing number of devices Google is used on. With tablets and watches and countless others platforms being introduced into the Google world, they wanted to update something that reflected their ability to be there for you no matter where you needed them.

Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).

The update to the logo includes other useful components such as a Google mic that will allow you to interact with Google through talking, tapping, or typing. They have also done away with the little blue “g” icon and updated it to a colorful, cleaner version that matches the new logo.

OGB-INSIDER-BLOGS-GoogleLogox2-AnimatedWhile this isn’t the first time Google has made updates to its logo, and they even say it won’t be the last, they’re confident this update is a strong reflection of how they’re there to work for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome, and more.