The Curse of Steve Jobs’ Ghost

Category: Communications,Jacksonville Ad Agency,Media • August 14, 2013

All that being said, the company has failed time and again to innovate in recent years.  QUICK…name your favorite Apple innovation in the last two years (don't worry, I'll wait).  Do you hear the sound of that void of nothingness?  The great innovative company may have lost its panache when Steve Jobs left this mortal plane.  Year after year and quarter after quarter, they rehash the same devices with upgraded hardware to stay competitive in markets that THEY CREATED.  Not only are they not leading innovation anymore, but the price point on their merchandise is far too high and their software is incompatible with everything on the market.  This means that Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and all the other heavy hitters can crank out the latest and greatest smartphones and/or tablets while implementing Google's Android OS.  The only telecommunications device that uses Apple's operating system is Apple and that's why everyone waits 2 years for a new phone that isn't even competitive with what's out there right now.  I miss you Apple, so this is my plea for your return to normalcy, to innovation, and to listening to what customers want and being ahead of the curve.

The Future of eSports

The greatest achievement of the International 3 is that the prize money was entirely fan-raised.  DOTA 2  (Defense of the Ancients 2), is a sequel to a popular modification to the Blizzard game Warcraft 3, with Valve developing the successor. DOTA 2 is a free-to-play game, with micro-transactions for cosmetic and non-essential items. This payment model has become an increasingly popular trend in the gaming industry, and while risky, huge profits have been made by game companies when implemented correctly.  For the third tournament, Valve decided to test the popularity of the event with an in-game item for sale called the Compendium.

The Compendium gave a number of cosmetic items, as well as a way to interact in the tournament with a betting system, information on the teams and players, and up to date statistics. In addition to the Compendium, Valve put rewards for the number of money raised with different prizes once money goals were achieved. The total money raised by players was over 2.9 million dollars by 290 thousand people purchasing the 10 dollar Compendium, all of which was given to the top 8 teams.  This made for the greatest payout ever in a single eSports event. The gamble has paid off for Valve. With the prize money raised, Valve could focus its money on the event which raised production values to new heights. The International 3 is proof positive that eSports are viable sports, and evidence of how effective crowd sourcing can be.

Update Your iPhone Settings!

Category: Creative,Jacksonville Ad Agency,Media • March 18, 2013

Then it occurred to me that virtually nobody changes their default iPhone settings for their ring tone or their text alerts…myself included.  That all came to a grinding halt on Saturday, and I chose the new setting “Sherwood Forest” for my text alerts.  It's a beautiful tone that features a medieval trumpet, the kind that would signal to people that royalty was approaching.  That's what I love about my ringtone, it's almost celebratory.  The important thing is that it's unique and that I know that my phone is the one getting the alert.

AntiSocial Media

Category: Advertising,Media,Social Media • October 31, 2012

Connecting with an audience is the most important goal an advertiser needs to accomplish.  Beyond pushing your agenda, your message and your product… you need to connect with your consumer on their level in order to make your brand or product relevant to their daily lives.

This desire to make a connection inevitably and quite naturally found itself taking over the internet. It makes sense…  Go where the people are.  You cannot get through a single work day without logging on, so why not focus advertising energy to those sites which are visited most.  But, how can you make your efforts social and interactive?  Many have found their answer to be: By incentivizing! How many businesses have you liked simply because you liked them?  Or did they have to ask you to, boasting some sort of promise? Do you still visit those websites or has the social media realm captivated your attention?

This brings me to my title for this piece, AntiSocial Media.  I believe, as I said before, that social media is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless.  And while its title implies a form of communicating which promotes social behavior, it, in fact, diminishes our abilities to be social, connect and interact on a personal level.  What’s the need for calling your college buddies to catch up when you can view their lives on the internet, look at pictures of their wedding and see their kids grow up in the posted family photo albums…?  No need to call your friends about buying that new house, just post it and they can take the tour themselves!

This reminds me of the car commercial where the daughter says her parents aren't really living because they don’t have any friends on Facebook, all the while, they are out enjoying their lives while she is sitting at home socializing on her computer, alone.
Through all this quick and easy connection comes a very real disconnect far greater than I think we would like to admit. What’s more important, living your life for you, or so it fills your wall nicely?  Do you take pictures for yourself anymore, or has personal photography reduced itself to the sole purpose of showing off?  I hope we can get back to a healthy balance of communication where we can supplement our lives with technology but not replace it entirely.  Unfortunately, it has become so common, that to not have a presence means you don’t exist.

We continue this trend because “everybody else is doing it”, and I certainly have nothing against the platforms themselves, just what human nature has done with them.  So, we do what we have to, to prove that we exist and that our clients do as well – but I look forward to a time where advancements improve our abilities, instead of hindering them.

Mad Men Marketing to Participate in Park(ing) Day!

We plan to convert one of the metered parking space in front of our 111 E. Bay Street location in Downtown Jacksonville into a living room area in order to play a DVD series marathon of the AMC Drama Mad Men, and invite the passing public to take a seat and enjoy.  We are excited to take part in this national movement to transform regular parking spots, even if only for one day, into public spaces, so that anyone can come by and relax in a formerly hectic environment, for free.

Park(ing) Day will be held in Downtown Jacksonville on Friday, September 21st from 10am – 5pm.

For those of you who don't know much about Park(ing) Day, here's a brief description taken directly from the website

Providing temporary public open space . . . one parking spot at time.

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more open urban space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

So, come join us, take the load off and spend your lunch hour, break time, or walk about…  watching a great TV program in the privacy of your very own public parking space living room!