Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing

Categories

culture

Some of Alphabet®’s Favourite Ads

We see dozens, if not hundreds of ads every day – and while some go by unnoticed, others stay with us for a long time as a source of inspiration. Working at a creative shop means keeping our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of advertising, and we thought we’d share some of our all-time favourite ads that have stuck with us.

Mark Round

“My all time favorite was this ad for EDS, a consulting firm. I’ll bet more than a few of you will relate to this if you deal with clients much.”

Tony Lyons

“I’m going old school on this one – it’s a one off, and a blast from my youth. Oooh the sexual tension! It was very risque for 1980’s Ireland. It goes to show what a huge role advertising plays in the cultural psyche. Ask anybody over 40 in Ireland to ‘put a but o butter on the spuds André’  and you’ll get a guffaw. But the ad was really a deeper reflection on a changing Irish society – less insular, more proud … and a maybe just a little bit naughty”.

And I had to also include one of my favourite taglines of all time.

Emily Watkin

“My favourite ad is called the Guilt Trip for V/Line by McMann Melbourne”

Regan Mathurin

“My favourite commercial isn’t one commercial but a series of them. To me, the Coca-Cola polar bears signify the start of the Christmas season. The polar bears have been around in print since 1922 and became tv commercials (and seasonal product branding) in 1993.”

Mike Short

“I’ve always been a fan of Buckley’s “It tastes awful. And it works.” campaign. What I like about this campaign is that they don’t use an actor or model, it’s the president of the company delivering the message. They don’t use flowery wording or imagery to talk about the product.

The tagline could have easily been “It tastes awful, but it works.” – but Buckley’s doesn’t apologize. They emphasize that the taste isn’t the important aspect of the product – the important part is that it works.”

Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing

Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing

Categories

social media

The Secret to Social

If you’ve come here to unlock the secret to effectively implementing and managing social campaigns, well… I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Because if there’s anything I’ve learned after 10+ years of community management and implementing social strategies for clients – it’s that there really isn’t a vault of secrets yearning to be opened. In a landscape that is constantly changing and evolving, the best tool in your social arsenal is good old fashioned common sense.

Content is King

Newsflash: Audiences don’t follow you on social media to be harassed with hard-sell messaging. Yes, of course you have product to sell – and yes, of course, the goal is to get your followers to buy it – but there’s a less intrusive, more engaging way to get your message across without hammering your audience over the head with ‘Buy Now’ buttons.

To truly engage your audience and keep them coming back for more, you need to deliver content that matters to them. Obviously, the type of content varies greatly depending on what your line of business is – but you should be thinking along the lines of video, infographics, whitepapers, photographs, and interactive elements that compliment your product and resonate with your audience.

Consistency + Focus

Never underestimate the value of consistency. The easiest way to stay top-of-mind with your audience is to bring them the information they want (or don’t know they want yet) on a regular basis. This doesn’t necessarily mean sharing every single day (and never post something for the sake of posting), but you should be looking at 2 – 3 times a week as a bare minimum.

Yes, it’s time consuming – anything worth doing effectively is. But every day you’re not speaking to your followers is a wasted opportunity to make that sales pitch.

My advice? Allocate some time each month to review your talking points, and implement an editorial calendar with dates and details. This, accompanied with the various scheduling features on social networks, will help alleviate the burden of deciding what you’ll talk about tomorrow and focus on the key messages that matter.

Pay to Play

If you’re apprehensive about spending money with Facebook, here’s a quick little fact: No matter the size of your audience, only 6% of them see your posts organically. So, for every 1,000 followers you have, only 60 of them are seeing your content – and that’s on your best day.

To truly get the most out of Facebook (and Instagram), you need to implement a social media budget. The budget doesn’t need to be excessive – and Facebook’s highly advanced targeting tools will ensure that you’re reaching the right people to maximize its effectiveness. $100 can be the difference between reaching 60 people and 10,000.

Listen. No, Really.

If you’re using social media simply to talk at your followers, do everyone a favour and quit right now.  Social media is not to be used as a megaphone pointed at your followers whenever you have something to say; it’s a powerful tool to be used to facilitate a dialogue and engage with them – it’s called social media for a reason.

Keep your ear to the ground about what your followers are saying about you and your brand – and use tools like Sprout Social and HooteSuite to monitor these conversations via keywords and hashtags. By actively listening, you can gain valuable insight into your brand’s public perception and what influences customers.

Extending Customer Service

Like it or not, your social platforms are viewed by customers as a direct line to air their grievances and ask questions – and they expect to be answered in an appropriate amount of time. Gone are the days of phone calls and emails – now, customers expect a reply to a tweet within minutes.

It’s absolutely paramount to check your accounts every single day so you don’t miss any opportunities. Ensure that your followers get their questions answered and their concerns addressed.

Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing

Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing

Categories

culture

Inside the Studio

The creative team at Alphabet® took some time out from working their magic for clients for a little Q&A to give you a taste of what inspires and motivates them!

Meet Yang Li, Senior Art Designer; Christopher Chai, Graphic + Motion Designer; and Cindy Lagarde, Senior Production Artist.

What’s your favourite project you ever worked on and why?

Yang Li

“My favourite project was the House of Commons branding. The project is very complex and challenging, it had a lot of limitations and I had a lot to learn, at the same time, the client were open-minded and trusting of our opinions. I worked with a historian, illustrators and a photographer to create the core brand image. The research process was also very interesting which included consulting with the historian about the parliament architecture, going inside the bells and organs behind the peace tower, not to mentioned the privileged entries to the House of Commons Chamber to find inspirations. Most importantly, the new brand system will help the people who serves the core of our democracy on a day-to-day basis.”

Christopher Chai

“My favourite project that I’ve ever worked on was the “Unreal Museum” project, it is a virtual interactive museum built with Unreal Engine 4 and the LEAP motion gesture controller by a buddy and myself. We conceptualized the idea then carried out the production of the project within 2 weeks. We pushed ourselves to learn a multitude of new skills such as 3d modelling, texturing, and sound design. Those in combination with our design and user experience skills, we managed to built and showcase our interactive experience at Digifest 2016 hosted at the Corus Entertainment Centre in Toronto. It was a tough few weeks with little sleep, but in the end we were definitely proud of what we have managed to accomplish.”

Cindy Lagarde

“My favourite project to work on was the Fill-a-bus project through the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum.  It was a pro bono job to help less advantaged children in the National Capital Region learn about the importance of agriculture, science and nutrition. It was the first time I got to co-ordinate a project.”

Why did you choose design as a career path?

Yang Li

“In my last year of university, a team of us did a project called “healthy kids toolkit”. We created a online resource centre helping parents and teachers. I realized how design could really help solve problems for everyday people and make our society better. Starting that point, it was love at first sight, after 12 years in the industry, I still could not have imagined doing anything else. Everyday is different, every hour is a challenge, but it’s worth every minute of my time because I believe design help us communicate better which creates positive change.”

Christopher Chai

“I see design as a beautiful way of communicating an idea. Sometimes ideas aren’t meant for words and speech alone, and that’s when beautiful designs come into play. Effective and purposeful design can help emphasize communication and simplify an idea, so the opportunity to create eye-candy as a career path was too good not to follow.”

Cindy Lagarde

“When I was in high-school I didn’t have the grades to become a mad scientist – graphic design has a been very satisfying alternative.”

Why did you choose to work at Alphabet®?

Yang Li

“I choose to work here because I believe in the company and the people. I like that we are a smaller firm with a relaxed environment despite the large volume of work, people are always going the extra mile and really care about the projects. We all work together for a much bigger goal than ourselves, that synergy is the Alphabet® culture.”

Christopher Chai

“When I chose to move up to Ottawa, I had a few companies in mind to reach out to. Alphabet® Creative was my top choice when I was contacting places. I loved the company’s design aesthetics and when I started working here, it’s apparent where that comes from. Everyone here is fun, energetic, and full of creative ideas. There hasn’t been a day I haven’t looked forward to work. I’m excited to see what’s more to come!”

What’s your dream design project?

Yang Li

“Designing for an event with spectacular fireworks and light show broadcasted around the world…and I am not speaking of the Olympics or the Super Bowl.”

Christopher Chai

“My dream design project would to to incorporate interactive experiences and great design to form something truly immersive. Whether that be Virtual Reality or something more, I’ve always wanted to create an experience that people can be truly immersed in.”

Cindy Lagarde

“I think promoting the San Diego Comic-Con could be an awesome dream job.”

Patrick BissonDirector, Content Marketing