Keen on Green: Pantone Announces 2017 Color of the Year

It’s official. The 2017 color of the year is green, according to Pantone, the color experts who have been surveying world trends for decades to determine which color best captures the global moods of the day.
 
Pantone describes this year’s color, officially called Greenery, as a “zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.”
 
Green has long served in fluid roles ranging from calming neutral to vibrant virtuoso—and it pairs beautifully with many other colors.
 
It may reflect a desire for balance in a modern world, appealing to the human yearning to experience the beauty of nature. It also suggests vitality, rejuvenation, and growth—all attributes humans are drawn to quite likely because they suggest hope.
 
When we choose colors for a creative project, we use color theory to evoke certain brand attributes that fit our client’s visual strategy. Green has often been our choice when we want to evoke healing, calm, peace, growth, vitality, and freshness. As the most restful color for the human eye, its pervasiveness in nature makes it a color with broad acceptance across demographics. And as is always the case, the shades of green evoke different nuances.

Here are two examples of how we used greens to convey freshness in Key Technology’s annual report. As an international manufacturer of innovative food processing equipment, they make it possible for companies to deliver fresher food products.
 
Expect to see more of this color in fashion, products, and graphic design in the year ahead.
 
We like their choice this year, but what do you think? Is this a color you’d be happy to see more of?

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Campaign Microsites Are a Must-Have to Increase Your Ad Results

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

Campaign-based microsites are websites with a custom URL that generally live outside of your corporate site and are created for one reason: to support a brand campaign.
 
They’re more effective at converting leads to sales for several reasons:

  1. The campaign promise is immediately obvious. Send users to your company website and you’re likely to lose them. Why? Because it’s too hard for them to find what the campaign promised. Even a few seconds looking for the item advertised will result in abandonment.
  2. Microsites often have far more design options than most corporate sites—which means they can often be more visually arresting. And good visuals help sell.
  3. Analytics for the campaign are easily viewed by agency and client, allowing the agency to make continual updates that improve SEO. This is faster, more efficient and effective than having a go-between.
  4. There’s just one call to action—and it’s the one that supports your ad campaign.

Don’t let your ad campaigns fall on deaf ears. Insist on a campaign microsite for any significant advertising campaign.

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How Internal Communication Can Prevent Physician Burnout

Engaging physicians is vital—and an area of internal communication that is too often neglected. While health care professionals have a strong impulse to help others, daily work can sometimes make it easy to forget this. That's when engagement slumps, burnout happens and the drive for excellent quality and service wanes.
 
The antidote? Stories. Not just any stories, but stories that show how a peer is keeping the impulse to serve awake. Stories that remind people of their purpose at work.
 
Watch and see for yourself. Were you different at the end of this remarkable story?

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Nike Steps Beyond “Just Do It”

Not anyone can pull off a successful multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, but having access to the biggest names in sports is a good place to start.

Over the years, Nike, Inc. has used many of the world’s top athletes in their campaigns, but for the Olympics, they altered their strategy. For the 2016 games in Rio, Nike released their “Unlimited” campaign—which was executed to perfection.

Their first video, “Unlimited Future,” pans to a room filled with babies in cribs sporting nametags like: Neymar Jr, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Mo Farah and Zhou Qi. Actor Bobby Cannavale walks in and begins a Rocky-esque speech about how life isn’t fair, you don’t get to choose the circumstances in which you’re born into, but how you can determine your future—a future of greatness.

The stage and thesis are set for the campaign, and the message is broad. The campaign features one athlete per video with themes like:

  • Champions weren't born champions. They were born babies.
  • Life isn’t about finding your limits. It’s about realizing you have none.
  • Youth has no age limit.
  • Limits are only limits if you let them be.

These cleverly play off everyone’s motivation for greatness and desire to succeed. It’s uplifting, inspiring, and energizing. While this message that could be delivered by Adidas or Under Armour and be received just the same, it was Nike that did it.

The Unlimited series of films inspires viewers to push beyond the limits of what the world says they can do—a move that parallels what Nike is doing themselves by evolving beyond their “Just Do It” tagline.

Nike tells us that greatness is something everyone is capable of, and whether we believe them is beside the point, because either way they’ve created a tether between greatness and their own brand.

Image Source: YouTube

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What If?

Sometimes you have to challenge your most basic assumptions to find a truly creative solution. Take Greek artist Petros Vrellis, who departed from his usual technology tools and used a single thread to recreate this Renaissance painting.
 
What assumptions could you challenge this week to advance your creativity?

Source: BoredPanda.com

See video here.

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Great Design Is No Longer a Luxury

In some circles, great design is still considered a luxury. But more often than not, this idea is a fatal flaw for a brand.
 
Today’s consumer has sophisticated visual tastes created by the most creative communicators in the world. Their reference point for this is not just your competitors—it’s every message they get from any industry.
 
This is why great design is actually a brand differentiator. Great design provides instant visual cues about your brand that affiliate it with other brands familiar to the viewer—allowing them to decide in as little as a second if they want to further engage with you. The more oversaturated people are with information, the more they rely on these cues as short cuts for adjudicating a product or service. It’s simply an efficient way of navigating information.
 
Here are some common mistakes brands make when they don’t embrace this important truth:

  • Spend heavily on a media buy, but use so-so stock images and design that send the viewer packing after one look.
  • Spend millions on a new building and cheap out on photography. A top-drawer architectural photographer will bring a wow to your image that will pay off handsomely.
  • Invest in new technology or services, then depict them on a visually inferior website.

It’s better to go with less in other areas than to settle for also-ran design.

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Hello Yellow: Say Hi to the Color That Shouts

Colors create a reaction in our brain, and yellow, more than any other, gets noticed. It’s the color to use if you want to get someone’s attention—particularly when paired with high contrast colors like black type.
 
But like all colors, it has its place. According to Print, you’re less likely to see it on apps and websites than book covers, taxis and caution signs. It signals anything from cheery to danger, so has to be used with care.
 
But on a shelf of books, your eye will surely move first to the yellow ones, which may be why yellow is having a resurgence in book covers.
 
Can you see yellow being used in your company?

Image Source: Print Magazine
 

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Why Good Ideas Aren't Enough: A Message To Leaders

Most leaders can see a vision for their company that will help it thrive. But the next step is the hard one—how to get these critical ideas adopted—and executed?
 
Here are some tips:

  1. Create a strategic communication plan that lists the key messages, how often and when they’ll be delivered, and who will be responsible for each.  It doesn’t have to be complicated—just clear and executable.
  2. Deliver the vision of the destination before you go into the how. Paint a picture of how life will look after the idea has taken hold.
  3. Use language employees understand. Corporate-speak adds weight that drags down a message, so if you struggle with this, have an outsider review it and point out places where this is occurring.
  4. Make it personal. How will it impact them? What exactly should they do differently now?  What is their role in success?
  5. Use the media they relate to. Is it a video on a mobile-friendly site? An e-letter? A forum? (And yes, you’ll need to use multiple ones.)
  6. Engage the senses. Today’s employee is saturated by visually rich messages—so an overworked text-heavy power point isn’t going to have the impact you need. Great visuals are now essential. And to kick it up a notch, use video to bring motion, music and sound and dramatically increase the impact of your message.
  7. Understand their world. Employees get too much information—but not enough inspiration. Connecting your ideas to their sense of purpose is the best way to inspire them.
  8. Keep it short. Employees like their information in short, snackable formats that they can ingest quickly.
  9. Repeat it. Yes, over and over and over. By the time you’re weary of saying it, it will just be gaining traction.
  10. Listen. Communication is a two-way street. Employees should have some way of submitting questions and ideas that get answered. 

These tried-and-true strategies will absolutely help your ideas spread. What other tools are helping you get your ideas heard?

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