Learn the future…Save yourself now

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Every now and then something piques interest in my inbox. Here’s this week’s gem.

The opportunity to “Master essential skills to build digital competencies…”. But only if you’re a Beginner with a free day. And a Union member with fifty bucks to spare instead of the usual $300…

I think I might just sign up so that I can help write the e-enabled AI for the writers of the future. e-enabled AI with poor grammar skills and the inability to write with emotion.

The Digital Transformation continues!

Long live the e-Revolution then.

 

 

 

Focus Interruptus

Interruption. Distraction. Miscommunication.

These three words seem to determine our working lives at the moment – indeed for some, even our personal lives.

With the proliferation of channels of communication and information, you’d imagine we would get better at getting our message across.

From the good old face to face meeting to the telephone call to the instant feedback loop that is WhatsApp messaging, chat and #slack, with emails in between, the reality is that we’re not.

Fractured conversations. Half thoughts and less than insightful text messages puncture our working days and nights.

Apparently after an interruption, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task” according to Gloria Mark, study lead at the University of California Irvine in a study released in 2015…

Instructions are fragmented. Ideas are ill-defined. In the pursuit of speed, we are sacrificing brevity for insanity.

Indeed, one blog recently talked about how every work block should be no longer than 10 minutes. Ridiculous as it sounds, that’s hardly enough time to clear your mind of any distractions, to barely scratch the surface of a particular project.

Nowadays a large part of our time is spent deciphering half-formed responses. Interpretation is often misunderstood and even misinterpreted. Context is everything. And nothing.

If everyone is as interrupted and distracted as we are, then we have a serious problem.

So let’s cut the chat and get back on message. Focus our efforts on clarity. And our brain cells on creativity.

For in the words of Bill Bernbach, “Is creativity some obscure, esoteric art form? Not on your life. It’s the most practical thing a businessman can employ.”

 

 

Thanks to https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/client-designer-whatsapp-conversations/ for the pic.

LinkedIn. Where you can meet yourself.

A few months ago, I tried to sign in to LinkedIn from my iPhone. I must’ve used the wrong email to sign in and ended up creating an entirely new account.

Here’s the result. LinkedIn introducing me to the person I know better than anyone: myself.

Of course, this is just one if the issues that we face in the age of AI and algorithms. There are many more – including thinking that machines will ever fully replace us.

Yes, machines can take the donkey work over, with our blessings. But there’s much to be said for the human touch.

Now I just need to figure out how to remove my doppelgänger. Watch this space.

Spot the difference

Here’s a print idea created way back in the early 90’s at DMB&B for client Burger King.

As you can see, it’s a tongue-in-cheek topical piece we created on the day of the fire at Burger King Robinson Road to apologize for the restaurant closure. The premise was simple. While we know our loyal fans love our flame grilled flavours, occasionally we burn the food…

The client loved it. Too bad they didn’t have the money to run it. Nor did the agency.

Fast forward to today and here’s the same tongue in cheek approach using a series of fires at Burger King restaurants around the world to celebrate the chain’s heritage and point of difference.

BS_ItalyIt’s just picked up the Cannes Gold Lion in Print.

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What separates them?

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Not the theme or the sentiment. Both use humour to celebrate Burger King’s flame grilled flavours. To create an opportunity. To tell their story.

The answer is 26 years.

Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer, Grey, South Africa and Print & Publishing Lions judge said DAVID’s Grand Prix-winning campaign was “playful, authentic, and (had) a sense of being a little more edgy. Embrace your imperfection. It was brave and young, created in a social media age.”

Which just goes to show that there’s no such thing as a new idea.

Just new ways to say it with more reach. Chapeau to Burger King and the David team for making it happen.

Top dogs wanted. Patience rewarded.

The Blak Labs Grad Challenge is back! So fetch your 5 best pieces of work and send them to talktous@blaklabs.com before end of June 1, 2017.

If your book gets our tails wagging, then you could be the top dog that wins an 8 week internship at Singapore’s leading independent creative agency.

We can’t promise it will be a walk in the park. But hey, you gotta start somewhere!

 

 

Up for your first real brief?

The Blak Labs Grad Challenge continues in 2017. If you’re a recent NAFA Graduate, we’re throwing you a bone. The chance to win an 8 week internship in one of Singapore’s leading independent creative agencies. Fetch your 5 best pieces of work and submit them to: talktous@blaklabs.com before end of day June 1, 2017.

 

Waning Influence

The web has empowered so many individuals in so many different ways. And now the social web has truly exploded that potential.

YouTubers, Instagrammers, Facebookers and all sorts of other-ers (including the Chinese We Chatters and Weibo-ers) have sprung up everywhere. They appear in your feed like uninvited guests occasionally. And while their posts are pretty inoffensive, here at Blak Labs, we think clients are wasting their money paying for their influence.

A few recent examples.

The first, a humorous take down by Aaron Wong, suggests better ways for influencers to earn airmiles – that’s his thing. You can read it here.

The second? We’ve observed that influencers who post about how much they love travelling with a particular credit card tend to drop followers per brand post.

Posts either side of these endorsements have at least 3K likes or more and numerous comments. The brand-related posts lose at least 2k followers.

Last but not least – the fashionable instagrammer. Again, a store signs on a bunch of influencers to lend some sparkle to their charity shopping event. Among them, one very fashionable instagrammer who shall remain nameless.

Thing is, beyond the two posts about said charity event and an appearance in one paid-for promo piece, there was no ‘real love’ for the client, nor evidence of actual brand loyalty. And again, the posts for this brand fared less well than others.

Followers see through these thinly veiled endorsements and IMHO, each goes against the grain of ‘authenticity’ that these influencers purport to offer. And while like celebrities, we have to marvel at their ability to be “famous for being famous”, we find ourselves wondering what credibility do they offer?

And when you know that certain influencers receive huge payouts for a single tweet or post (up to US$100k or more), then this form of endorsement just looks even more ridiculous.

Because in the blink of an eye, they’ll stick something else up to get more thumbs up. And your post will disappear down their feed into social oblivion. #justsayin