Our Blog

Subscribe you will

A Note on Data Mining

By Phil


As we go about our daily searches, site perusing, email (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) and YouTube Russian dash cam videos we are refining who we are to all those that watch. But who is watching and what are they doing? “They” being Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, pretty much any search engine you use and most sites that you visit.

Tracked/mined data is used to give users better search results, targeted ads, restaurant recommendations, map locations, directions and more. It is extremely useful and we trade our privacy for these convenient free tools.

If we don’t want to be tracked or data mined, we don’t have to use these services. Pay for an email address (Rackspace Email), calendar, or use a search engine that doesn’t keep tabs on you (DuckDuckGo). There are always options.

So no problem, right? Well there is something new that is happening with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Google’s threat of bringing gigabit fiber to cities is forcing a change that is of some concern. Google fiber users will continue to have their Google services (Gmail, Docs, Calendars, etc) mined, however the rest of their traffic will now be open to data mining also. This data won’t be attached to specific users but will instead be demographics mining. So far, this isn’t a huge deal but it is a shift.

As a result of this competition one ISP now offers competitive internet speeds at reduced cost by having users opt-in to marketing plans. The opt-in allows the ISP to data mine ALL traffic from the user that is not secured end-to-end (SSL Encryption – https). Let me say that again. ALL your traffic, not secured, will be data mined. ALL. Amazon searches, emails, even incognito windows, any unsecured packet sent through your ISP is now fair game to learn and market to the user directly or via one of their third party advertisers.

Before you sign on the dotted line to get that reduced cost internet access or that sweet free tablet, read the fine print and research any parts you don’t understand. You might be getting more than you bargained for.


Explaining Sensitive Subjects with your Animation

By Andrew


As we’re all aware, the emotional impact that a simple visual can unleash shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just compare the reaction you instinctively have to reading the words “child slavery” versus seeing a picture of an emaciated child wearing tattered clothes chained to a wall wearing a price tag around her neck. This power to elicit a passionate response, and hopefully a desired action, is why animated explainer videos are such a useful tool for non-profits and other causes. But heeding Uncle Ben Parker’s admonition about power, we found ourselves wrestling with two main concerns when tackling explainer videos for sensitive subjects:

1. Will this trivialize the topic?

Of course you want to be respectful of the gravity of the subject, but some, in the west particularly, view graphic representation as merely cartoons and therefore a child’s medium, not worthy of more serious subject matter. We recently experienced that reaction to an explainer video we created about Post 9/11 Veterans for the George W. Bush Institute.


The 2nd commenter obviously resonated with the message but seemed a bit skeptical about the medium.

2. Will this offend anyone?

Sensitive issues, by their very nature, make people uncomfortable and are hard to talk about, let alone illustrate. So choosing to take on that task means you’re walking into a minefield of potentially misinterpreted symbolism and unintentionally offensive metaphors.

So how do you navigate this tricky terrain without tripping any land mines? Well for us, we’ve found it useful to take a cue from the Master of Suspense.



Ask “What would Hitchcock do?”


Since we know how potent pictures can be, there’s a temptation to want to be overly descriptive with our depictions, when sometimes implications could be more effective. The master storyteller was well-known for his restraint in what he chose to show on the screen. Yet no-one would deny that the reactions to his shower scene or shadowy murders were any less visceral than if we saw every stab wound. Some might argue that they were even more powerful because of what we didn’t see. Having the viewer fill in the insinuated gaps can lead to a more effective emotional experience.

This idea of leaving something to the viewers’ imagination came into play when we were tasked with the challenge of depicting the practice of child prostitution. Considering the revulsion that it evokes, we had to approach it in a way that the audience’s disdain was focused on the reality that this is happening daily, not on how we chose to illustrate it. Being explicit, of course was not an option, but going too subtle could run the risk of having no emotional impact at all. So the challenge was finding that middle ground where the implication of a grotesque action is obvious without being grotesque itself.

child prostitution early sketches

Early sketches for the child prostitution scene ranged in overtness.

We explored various ways of symbolizing sexual commerce and our choice in this case was suggestive ladies’ legs seductively dangling behind window shades. We felt that the juxtaposition of those icons of sexuality with our innocent child character created the right amount of tension without being too overt. Then, to further hint at the menace facing the child, we had a hand slowly lowering the shade of her window.

Our 1st stab at the storyboard

Our 1st stab at the storyboard for this scene tried to add an e-commerce aspect

Final scene used in the explainer video

We then settled on a more simple scene with the price tag hanging around our characters neck connoting the commerce aspect.



Soldiers returning from war is another potentially tricky subject we had to tackle recently. For the Post 9/11 Veterans video mentioned earlier we had to show the alienation some soldiers feel as they return to a public that doesn’t understand them. Our 1st stab at this involved the use of icons representing different spheres of civilian life (e.g. church, school, work etc.) and showed dots, representing people in those contexts, literally moving away from the soldier icon whenever it approached.

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 1

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 2

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 3

This approach at the sequence literally showed the isolation of the returning veteran.

This overt approach evolved into a more subtle scenario of a parade for a lone soldier. The adoring, waving hands and confetti eventually fade away leaving the soldier alone as his head slowly lowers, he gets smaller and the background closes in on him.

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 4

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 5

Post 9/11 Veterans storyboard 6

The revised storyboards chose a more subtle depiction while also humanizing the returning soldier

In earlier drafts of storyboards for this same animation, we depicted the idea of the physical injuries of war as bullets tearing across the screen as if they were tearing flesh. Later this was revised to a less gruesome but more heroic depiction of soldiers carrying a wounded brother off the battlefield.

911Vets_Artboard 8 copy 10


Post 9/11 Veterans - battlefield scene


Restraint also came in handy on an explainer video we did for UNICEF, where child sexual abuse was again the topic. In early sketches we explored several different ways to illustrate a particularly unsettling scene; the most extreme of which involved showing the back of a man motioning as if he was unzipping his pants in front of a cowering girl. In the end we again borrowed from Hitchcock, deploying shadows as a device to suggest malice and used a creepy, menacing figure revealed as a shadow through a crack in the door.

Sketches for the child sexual abuse scene

Sketches for the child sexual abuse scene

Final frame for the child sexual abuse scene

Final frame for the child sexual abuse scene

UNICEF_forced sexual behavior gif

It’s called graphic for a reason, right?

We know that the point of using motion graphics as an explanatory tool is to be as communicative as possible and in most cases that means being as symbolic as possible to get the message across quickly. However, as we learned in dealing with explaining some thorny issues, using motion graphics to insinuate rather than overtly depict can be just as efficient. It’s a tough job animating sensitive subjects but when it counts sometimes less is really more.

The full explainer videos I used in this post are below:

Worldvision: No Child for Sale


UNICEF: Adolescent Health


The Bush Institue: Post 9/11 Veterans


Filed under: Explainer Video


Our adventures at Southern Fried SXSW 2014

By Andrew

Photo by Fresh Behavior Media. Freshbehaviormedia.com

Opening an office in Austin has some obvious great perks, not the least of which is proximity to all the fun happening at SXSW. This year we were pleased to be involved with the state of Georgia’s plans to attract attention to all the cool things happening in our fair state. Dubbed Southern Fried SXSW, the shennanigans started at the Majestic and culminated in a great street parade complete with Georgia lanterns and 14 foot puppets. A fun time was had by all, (as you’ll soon see in the pics below) and no doubt there was a lot of great attention garnered for the region. Can’t wait to see what they get up for 2015.



Notice the classic SXSW seated pose to the right.


Photo by David Seeney of Fresh Behavior Media

Photo by David Seeney of Fresh Behavior Media. Freshbehaviormedia.com



Photo by The Nebo Agency


1st there was a bit of dancing…

Photo by David Seeney of Fresh Behavior Media. Freshbehaviormedia.com


Then when the lanterns came out, the party really started.


Photo by The Nebo Agency


So of course we couldn’t be left out




To the streets!


Photo by the Nebo Agency

Photo by the Nebo Agency


We even got Wolfman Violinist in the mix.



Photo by Brian Rudolph

Photo by Brian Rudolph






Photo by Brian Rudolph

Photo by Brian Rudolph


Photo by the Nebo Agency

Photo by the Nebo Agency



Photo by The Nebo Agency

Photo by The Nebo Agency


Filed under: Community



By Alison


They matter.

We have one around here we call the Holiday Mailer. It’s our annual flexing of the collective brain for our brand. And while everything we do is really an exercise in branding, this end of the year project  is one we look forward to. It’s a combination of highly enjoyable and maddeningly stressful, but the results are always worth it, we think.

It all begins, usually some time in October when  Halloween still seems a way off, never mind the cluster of holidays in December. This year, it all started with a box. Several boxes, actually. Susan built one. So did Drew. And I’d totally show you one except you’d be deafened by the howls of these creatives wailing in agony that I posted something quite so… Rough.

Anyway – we all tested them thoughtfully and though we had been sure it was where we would begin, we ended up launching in another direction and in the end we decided to combine some rather old technology with something much, much newer.

A book, with a hidden tale behind the familiar Holiday story which would be revealed in a series of animated shorts.  And in order to watch those, you’d have to whip out your phone and scan the QR code on each of the spreads in the book.

Speaking of… Ta-dah! Books.


(And speaking of process, three sets of parents were polled on exactly what the BEST shape for the book might be. Baby head circumference and parental arm length turned out to be the critical axes in the geometry calculations. I think that would make a valuable infographic, you know.)

And there were a bunch of other steps and decisions and discussions in between. Of course.

Like – we  needed a hero for our hidden tale, a sort of a regular guy, but with some additional qualities…Like his own Twitter Account.


And we needed a villain, but not too much of a bad guy. Here are a few iterations for the coveted cameo.


See what we did there? Who could risk an homage to that internet super-celeb? Not us. Oh-my-goodness-no. (And she was thrilled!)

And because we can’t resist an Easter Egg, or three we hid some familiar (well, familiar to us artifacts in a couple of the spreads.) Which is a nice segue into, well, some of the spreads.


On the bedroom wall is our 2010 Holiday Mailer, the  Jingle Bells Letterpress Poster .


Parents everywhere agree, you can try but you can’t keep the kid’s toys from taking over. On the side table is a View-Master, aka the 2011 Holiday Movie View-O-Rama.


Is that a set of Matryoshka dolls there on the mantle? No! Close. It’s just us reaching back in time to the 2008 Holiday Mailer.


Final spread just for fun.

And if you’d like to watch the tale within the tale – here you go!

Of course, just getting the animations completed and a website built and a book published were not the full list of steps from concept to completion. Oh no.

The final step of the Holiday Mailer Decathalon is… The assembly and mailing!

Always a mad dash to the finish. We started out with an accompaniment of Christmas Carols, but around the half-way mark we needed Bob crooning “Everything’s gonna be all right” to help us hold it together.


And we made kids everywhere proud with our level of commitment to the packaging process, neatness be damned.


Stop in the name of love? Sorry – there’s no time.


So. Many. Glue. Dots. Did I really cut those out individually when a strip of three would have been more humane? I did. It’s a long story. Not quite as long as the amount of time it took to peel off all those little squares of paper though. It was a mistake. I apologized. A lot.


And one final Easter Egg for you for making it the whole way through this long blog post – and it comes with a warning – Brace! Your! Ears! And test your reflexes!

2005 Snowman Game

Someone at the office has the high score – but it sure as heck isn’t me.


Filed under: Branding, Design, How we work


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)

By Alison


I woke early on the morning of April 27, 1994. I’d been up late with friends, celebrating the life of photojournalist Ken Oosterbroek who had been shot just 9 days before in Thokoza. I was tired, and hung over, but I meant to vote in South Africa’s first democratic election, and I figured I should probably get there early.

I knew the polling station was near to the garden cottage I rented, a church. I wasn’t sure of the exact location, but I didn’t bother with my contact lenses, just grabbed my green ID book, and walked down the street until I found the back of the line.

I was sure I’d be done in a few hours and I’d get back to bed  It was around 5am. But there we stood. Shuffling slowly forward. In front of me, a black woman, a live-in maid, dressed in the uniform so many wore, a neatly pressed pastel-colored house dress, with matching head scarf and a white apron over the top.

We stood for a long time. A very long time. Turned out we were miles from the church, or kilometres, we did things metric, you know. She kept my place when I went home midmorning to get sunglasses and contacts. I kept hers when she home to serve lunch.

By late afternoon, we were finally snaking around the building. And we could see people coming out, many having voted for the first time in their lives, singing, dancing.

Eleven hours in a line to vote. Many waited longer, had to come back the next day, the day after that. Close to 90% of the population showed up to cast their ballot over those three days in April.

I was at an event last night, and as the lone South African in the room, I had a lot of conversations about Mandela. Mostly I told people how it felt that he had pulled off an absolute miracle at the time. For all of us. That it still does. A largely peaceful transition of power from oppressor to oppressed. Amazing.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

Indeed. Words to live by. This extraordinary man will be deeply missed I do not think the world shall see his like for many, many years.

Hamba kakuhle, Madiba. Go well.




Filed under: Inspiration


Strategy Matters

By Alison


On the weekends, I sail with a friend. A mechanical engineer. An inventor, a maker, a strategic thinker. We set out from various concrete boat launches, all of which are designed for fisherman, for pleasure boaters in their craft large and small with motors and the ability to slow down, back up, turn on a dime independent of the elements.

Not the case for us. It’s always tricky getting the catamaran out and it’s a lot tricky coming back in. Because cats are designed to beach, to just ride up hard on the shore That’s not an option for us. So we need strategy.


He sees the wind and weighs it against the flow of the tide. Calculating just when to turn, is late this time, maybe early? We have to miss the bridge that the mast would surely lodge under, but also avoid the fisherman who just jumped ahead of us not realizing that we are on final approach.

It’s a big picture view, and it all has to be considered, even though what we’re aiming for is an area just a few feet wide. And the strategy is never the same of course. How could it be? The context and conditions change every time. He figures it out, barks out the steps, and we execute. It’s a lot like what we do for our clients at Paragon, but without the barking.

Good strategy matters, but it isn’t easy, and it’s a fairly new idea, at least in the advertising arena. In October  McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm,  released a study on the communication strategies used by B2B companies, which found, to a great extent, that these companies weren’t talking about things their customers cared about. At all. Bad strategy.

Look at the discrepancies between what these 90 global B2B brands considered important compared with their customers when it came to assessing of brand strength. Something enormously important.

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 2.12.10 PM

Themes such as social responsibility, sustainability, and global reach, which many B2B companies cast in a leading role for brand imaging, appeared to have a minimal influence on buyers’ perceptions of brand strength. The inverse was true, as well: two of the most important themes for customer perceptions of brand strength—effective supply chain management and specialist market knowledge—were among those least mentioned by B2B suppliers. Honest and open dialogue, which customers considered most important, was one of the three themes not emphasized at all by the 90 companies in our sample.”

How B2B companies talk past their companies, McKinsey Quarterly

Here’s another case of strategy gone wrong. Companies, like Pepsi and Target have in recent years asked their customers to help them choose where they should send their charitable donations. Seems like a great idea, no? Giving your customers a real stake. Allowing them to really engage. Not so, according to a recent Cone Communications Echo Research study.


In fact, the study found:

1) Choice reduced impact.

Only 39% of consumers supported companies that offer cause marketing with choice of cause compared to 61% of consumers who supported companies that make a long-term commitment to a focused issue over time.

2) Choice caused paralysis

Having too many options actually lead to people to stall and avoiding making a choice at all. They disengaged completely.

3) Choice lead to more regret

Anxiety and second-guessing were frequently the result, completely ruining people’s experience of these charitable campaigns.

4) Choice lowered perceived value

High company-cause fit became more difficult to achieve the more cause choices that were offered, which in turn resulted in consumers seeing less value, and being less likely to contribute.


Effective strategy, focusing in on the audience and what they’re really looking for, what they care about, how to truly engage with them, and determining where best to meet them to talk about this is critical to avoid these kinds of disconnect. It requires constantly reframing the question, the strategy, and always, always from the customer’s perspective.

We have a little glassing to do on one of the hulls where our strategy failed us one time and we careened hard into the dock. I may or may not have been at the helm at the time. We’ve (I’ve) not made that mistake again.

Strategy. Something we’re always working to do better at. At Paragon also.



Filed under: Marketing


Avoiding the workflow tangle

By Alison

At the end of each work day, I roll up the many teeny cables I use, including a set of head phones. Hey – it’s always great to come in to a tidy desk. Funny thing though – every morning when I come to unravel the carefully coiled ear plugs the go from neat loop…




total snarled up mess in a matter of seconds. My process, apparently, is flawed. I’m moving from organization to total chaos. Not good.

Happily, this is not the case with our work projects. We’re in a busy time right now – you know how it can be – sometimes things are quiet, and then just as quickly, everyone calls with a project. Managing those efficiently is absolutely critical to the success of our client’s projects, and by extension, to us as a company. We’re small, and something of a little diaspora, with a designer in Athens and a team in Austin, so we need to be able meet and share – and we get a great deal of that done virtually.

We have tools we love – Basecamp cloud-based project management software that allows us to all access the project from wherever we are, messages in one place, files and attachments etc. Skype, Harvest to track hours so we can circle back after projects are done to see if those time projections we made at the front end were accurate, realistic.

Let’s take a look at the bigger picture though. Here are some stats on projects and how companies do at managing them:

  • Of 10,640 projects from 200 companies in 30 countries and across various industries, only 2.5% of the companies successfully completed 100% of their projects.

PricewaterhouseCoopers study

  • An analysis of 1,471 IT projects, found that the average overrun was 27%, but one in six projects had a cost overrun of 200% on average and a schedule overrun of almost 70%.

Harvard Business Review study

Cost and time overruns also have a profound effect on national economies. One estimate of IT failure rates is between 5% and 15%, which represents a loss of $50 billion to $150 billion per year in the United States. Another study estimated that IT project failures cost the European Union €142 billion in 2004.

These come from a very interesting two-part series in the Gallup Business Journal on why projects fail, and how to avoid that. The central question asked being as project management becomes increasingly prevalent, and the tools and processes and schools of thought increase, how is it that we’re doing so badly at it?

This traditional approach to project management emphasizes developing complex guidelines to manage projects across all phases — from implementing phase reviews, performance metrics, and project steering committees to creating risk management dashboards.”

How to Run a Successful Project – Benoit Hardy-Vallee

Turns out, people make the difference. An engaged group will throw their efforts into ensuring the success of a project. Here’s where being a smaller company, with around 50% of our staff being principals, and the remainder being genuinely focused on the team’s success, and so by extension, our clients’ success works well for us. Corporate culture plays a huge role here. It’s the people, not just the tools we use, the processes we have developed that turn out to be the better way for us when it comes to managing projects. We’re willing to burn the whole candle to make sure things get out the door working when we said they would. 

As for my earphones – turns out there is a better way for that too – last night – the figure eight method! I look forward to stress-free unraveling in the morning!


Dude. It totally worked! A great lesson in – hey if something looks good but still doesn’t work, start looking for another way.



Filed under: How we work


Bridging the gap between Designers and Business-types

By Andrew

photo 1

Last Saturday I attended an educational session held at the Creative Coast’s Secret Headquarters entitled What Can Designers and Business Folks Learn from Each Other?. The presenters Peg Faimon and Glenn Platt tackled the issue of the apparent gap between what designers and MBAs learn in their respective halls of academia.

But why is that even an issue?” you ask. Well it’s hard to ignore just how much attention the importance of design in the business world has received in recent years. However, the light speed of change makes it hard for education programs to stay current, causing an ever-widening chasm between what graduates know and what the market needs them to know.

There are specialty programs cropping up like the stanford d.school, and certainly more integration is happening in standard design and MBA programs , so there’s reason to be optimistic. But in addition to the evolving curriculum, public sessions like these are so important for professionals like myself who aren’t in a position to go back to school. These  public forums, books, podcasts, online classes form a good ecosystem of further education to help bridge the gap.

So this past weekend’s session set itself the BHAG of giving Designers a condensed  MBA and Business types an appreciation for what Designers are taught.

Naturally, I was particularly keen to hear from the MBA side since that’s where my knowledge is the weakest. So here are:


My Selections from The Condensed MBA

(or Biz Concepts every Designer / Entrepreneur Should Know that can fit into a 1 hour presentation)

  1. Being 1st matters less than Being ON TIME
    For example, the tech for the iPad and tablet-sized computing in general had been around for at least a decade, but there was something special about the timing of the iPad that made it the success that it is now. So don’t let the fact that other competitors exist in your “space”. Having the right execution for that idea at the right time might be what sets you apart. Look at Reddit, they weren’t the first social news site but who else can rightly boast of being the front page of the internet right now.

  2. (Biz Words) Fixed Cost vs Marginal Cost
    Fixed costs are spent up front, you can’t avoid them, they’re just the cost of doing business in that field. Marginal is the cost of “making 1 more”. This is really what matters as far as profits are concerned. Plus side: for digital products, this is $0 since duplication is essentially free. You’ll need to know this later.

  3. A Rear-view mirror is useless (most of the time)
    There was some discussion as to whether this lead to a disregard for history or precedent. What I took from this though, was that history shouldn’t be the only reason for doing something. “Because we’ve always done it this way” is not a good enough reason for proceeding down a particular path. This was what allowed Intel to pivot away from the increasingly competitive memory chip business where marginal costs (see, told you) were being driven down by Japanese competitors. The story goes, that Intel’s higher ups considered what they would do if they faced the exact same conditions but weren’t a burdened with what they’ve always done before. The decision to change was a no-brainer.

  4. Eventually it’ll always be about Cash
    Recent Tech IPOs aside, the metric that will always matter in the end is Cash. Sure users, downloads, traffic and press mentions are great metrics, but if those don’t lead to revenue at some point, then you don’t have a business you just have a great idea.

  5. Keep Presentations short, and meetings shorter
    Nuff said.

  6. Have a focussed, tangible North Star,
    This is a  sentence mission statement (ideally 8 words) that keeps your business focussed and makes decisions easier. Not necessarily a public-facing tagline, you use this statement more as an internal litmus test with which you measure any potential opportunities. Southwest, for example is notorious for sticking closely to their mantra of being “the low cost airline”. So any decision is weighed by determining how it helps them become or remain the low cost airline carrier. If it doesn’t, no matter how attractive, it’s seen as a distraction from their North star.

  7. Read all of the things

  8. Look for ways to help everyone you meet
    The most effective way of making use of networking is to bring something of use to the relationship. People respond more favorably to people who’ve shown their usefulness, rather than those who seem to be asking for something.

  9. Work should = FLOW
    Strive for high skill , high challenge in the workplace. Particulary insightful if you’re a manager of other designers. Hire high skill workers and keep the challenge level high. In fact, hire people better than you.

  10. Solve Problems, don’t just deliver products / services
    Always think about what value you offer your customers / clients rather than just the final output. You don’t just sell hammers and nails, people need a hole in the wall and that’s what you facilitate. This is more than just a marketing / messaging trick it insulates you from obsolescence if hammers ever go out of style or get replaced by newer hole-making technology.

  11. (Biz Word) KPI -Key Performance Indicators
    If it’s not measured it’s not managed. How will you know if you’re succeeding if you don’t keep track of the important metrics that indicate success? If downloads are the true indicator, then why are you measuring Twitter followers?

A list of Business buzzwords was requested during the discussions,
here are a few to get started:

Also, I thought I’d throw in some business podcasts I listen to that could be helpful:



Now here are:

My Selections from the Condensed MFA for Business Types

  1. Get comfortable with killing your darlings
    The phenomenon known as The Crit in design school develops an ability to view critique as a helpful tool rather than a personal attack. Feedback used wisely, can only improve your ideas. This requires a measure of humility to think that the 1st idea you present isn’t the best idea or at least isn’t the best form that idea will take. There’s always better and sometimes you can’t see it. Based on the group discussion around this topic, it seems this is something business and marketing types “just need more practice at.”

  2. Design is as much about Strategy and Process as it is about aesthetics
    The popularity (some would say over-popularity) of terms like design thinking, service design or experience design has at least introduced the biz community to the idea of design as a systematic, albeit flexible, process rather than just a group of creative types sitting and waiting for inspiration to strike.

The Concluding thought seemed to be that as the bridge between Design and Business gets firmer, the higher education programs will need to merge. The presenters saw a future where MFA and MBA grads share an interdisciplinary knowledge set where MBAs are more design-savvy and MFAs are more prepared to contribute in the boardroom not just the studio. They’re even co-authoring an Experience Design curriculum. So keep an eye out for that.

Click here to view all the slides from their presentation.

Filed under: Community, Design


Leveraging the List

By Alison

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 11.37.36 AM

Yo, Mr White!

Last weekend’s Breaking Bad finale drew 6.6 million watchers, the most in the show’s history, and Ad Age reported this week that advertisers paid up to $400,000 for a 30-second commercial for the final episode.

But one brand got in on the buzz without a big broadcast media buy, and may have even positioned themselves favorably with a younger demographic. All via a free ad on Craigslist, a site visited by around 60 million people from the U.S. alone each month. Potentially more eyeballs than the finale attracted.

From Creativity-Online:

Just hours before the finale’s start on Sunday, real estate marketer Century 21 took to the web with a clever digital stunt: placing a phony ad on Craiglist for the New Mexico home of the main character, Walter White. The three-bedroom ranch style house is listed as an “Albuquerque Palace Waiting for You” at a price tag of $150,000. 

The ad copy is hilarious – “Water heater replaced in 2009. Secret crawl space great fun for kids. Near airport. Great local schools with dedicated teachers who take an interest in students.”

There’s an associated campaign on Twitter and Facebook too – perhaps something has shown up in your feed today.

Craigslist began as an email list of events in San Francisco by Craig Newmark, a computer programmer in 1995, as a way to stay in touch with friends. Today users in 70 countries around the globe post more than 100 million classified ads each month. Of those listings, more than 2 million are job ads.



Filed under: Just for fun, Marketing



By Alison

Friendship Pander Oxymoron?

Fear Pester Ominous?

Forward Pact Overblown?

No! For Print Only.

And they featured our 2012 Holiday Mailer Elemental Deck of Cards. Yay! Thank you so much!


FPO COmment

Launched in 2009 — and now in its second iteration FPO is a blog dedicated to printed stuff – as founders Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit put it:

“An opportunity to celebrate the failure of print to die.”

It’s one of six sites launched by UnderConsideration LLC — others being Speak UpBrand NewQuipsologiesThe Design Encyclopedia and Word It  — that have been part of the growing dialog in design and the broad appreciation of the practice made possible by the reach of the web.

It’s always great to be recognized by folks whose work we respect – we’re just tickled. Oh – you can also buy a deck for those Card Heads on your gift list.

Also – it’s a good reminder… Christmas is just around the corner. (What?! Already?! I know!!)

Guys – have we put this onto the schedule yet?