In July, a bipartisan coalition of U.S. representatives introduced and cosponsored the Local Journalism Sustainability Act as part of our nation's economic recovery plans.
From the recent article in Velocitize:
"U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act in July. The bill, now sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee, has 26 Democratic and 17 Republican co-sponsors. The bill aims to support local media via tax credits to publishers and broadcast outlets, advertisers, and newspaper subscribers."
The bill provides support for a critical function of our communities – local reporting. It also provides a lifeline for local businesses to help offset the costs of marketing in local publications.
And while AAF is not actively lobbying for the bill, we do stand behind it and its mission. According to AAF CEO, Steve Pacheco, "The advertising industry (and the AAF) recognize the importance of healthy local media, not only for journalism, but as a conduit for local businesses to communicate efficiently and effectively with consumers.”
As members of our local community, where vital stories may go untold without local journalism, we urge our members to contact your representatives in support of this bill.
Article excerpts used with permission of the author. Please read the full story on Velocitize.
As part of our Let's Make Lemonade effort to help South Florida companies bounce back from the COVID-19-induced recession, we spoke with Jenny Jean-Baptiste and Kareme Shorter of Cox Media Group, Miami. They had some great news to share about the emerging trends in advertising media that companies can take advantage of during the state's fitful reopening.
Digital spending is up
Perhaps no surprise here – with much of the population sheltered at home, digital media – such as social media, paid search and display advertising – now account for a larger percentage of many companies' spend.
Some of this additional spending is directed toward efforts letting customers know that businesses are open, offering modified services or offering different hours. The rest is reallocation from other media, such as out of home.
The big takeaway: For advertisers, now's a great time to double-down on your high-performing digital channels with important information or relevant offers.
Digital response rates are also up
Interestingly, click-throughs, even for display advertising, are up during this period. "We've had partners say, 'why are my clicks up by so much this month?' which is a great conversation to have," says Jean-Baptiste.
More consumers with time on their hands is actually driving up ad response across the digital spectrum. Another factor in this is slightly better saturation and less competition providing a more effective canvas for a smaller number of advertisers.
On a more industry-specific note, for home goods, home services and food service, this trend is even more pronounced. More time at home is driving more interested in professional and DIY home improvements – and in, no surprise, food pickups and delivery.
The big takeaway: Right now, any digital spend is going to go further. The combination of emerging consumer demand from being at home and decreased competition means that every ad dollar counts for more.
Costs per click and Impression are down
This is the inverse of the point above. The combination of higher response rates and lower competition has a pincer effect on these important ROI measures. Kareme Shorter, from Cox Media says, "Right now more people are responding to advertising, while fewer competitors are vying for keywords and ad space. That's great news for our partners."
Much like we've seen in prior recessions, companies that maintain a level of advertising activity tend to make market share gain that last long after the downturn.
The big takeaway: Now is an excellent time to demonstrate return on ad spend – if you're one of the smart ones spending.
Look for exclusivity
Many companies have, in a knee-jerk reaction to uncertainty, paused or postponed media buys. If that describes any of your competitors, this is your moment to snag exclusivity within your chosen channel. Think about being the only one in your market advertising on the station where you know your customers tune in. It's like have your own custom-made exclusive sponsorship deal – without the extra cost.
jenny Jean-Baptiste says, "That's been positive news for several of our partners who are now actually increasing their spend in certain channels. Once they realize they have category exclusivity, it becomes clear quickly that this is a can't-miss opportunity."
The big takeaway: If your competitors are doing less, it's time to make big inroads with their customers. Opportunities for category exclusivity within a given channel don't come around often.
change brings opportunity
If there's one thing to take away from our conversation with Cox Media Group, it's that. The point and purpose of our Let's Make Lemonade effort is to get companies to stop reacting – and instead plan for a future that now looks different. It's a great opportunity to get some outside counsel from top agencies and media partners in our area on what you can do to come out stronger.
If you're not sure where to start – contact AAF Greater Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches. We'll connect you with resources and partners, like Cox Media Group, who can set you up for success.
Sally-Ann O'Dowd I March 24, 2020
Fjord’s latest trends report says people are moving from a “me to we” perspective. Does that hold up in a pandemic?
From soy burgers outselling red meat at Oakland Coliseum to banana-fiber sanitary pads for rural Indian women, companies are overhauling product design in an era of “liquid” people.
It’s a time of self-reflection and changing behaviors spilling like homemade almond milk onto all aspects of one’s life, according to the Fjord Trends 2020 annual report.
An increasingly woke public is developing a “me to we” mindset, reassessing what it means to be a citizen, make money, and buy stuff. Whereas your grandfather may have said “I gave at the office,” now we’re authentically stating our values while traversing every role we play. And although the study does not account for the coronavirus, some lessons do apply.
“People are redesigning themselves on the fly,” says Mark Curtis, co-founder of Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design unit. “Self-definition is changing and becoming more liquid. People are moving away from defining themselves as consumers. Don’t get me wrong—we will continue to want to consume things—but we will be more thoughtful, with greater intent and insight on the ramifications of what we buy.”
Companies responding to such shifts are adopting life-centered design processes that consider a broad range of societal and environmental needs, not just an individual’s wants. Fjord’s point of view is inspired by writer John Thackara’s theory of designing for all life, not just human life.
The holistic view replaces user-centered design, for decades considered the paradigm for making things. Just as the dehumanizing word “servant” has left the daily lexicon, the word “user” sounds selfish and pejorative, says Fjord Global Media Relations Director David LaBar.
Now, designers must start to address people as part of an ecosystem rather than at the center of everything. This means designing for two sets of values: personal and collective.—David LaBar
One such design pioneer is Indian feminine hygiene company Saathi. It uses discarded banana fiber to make biodegradable and compostable sanitary pads, instead of relying on plastic and chemicals found in products on most Western women’s bathroom shelves.
The natural fiber is safer for women’s bodies and the planet: Over the course of their lifetime, women generate 132 pounds of plastic from sanitary pads alone, the company says.
Along with other Indian personal-care companies, and even Oscar-winning documentarians, Saathi is also helping to advance education and female empowerment in India, where traditional attitudes associate periods with shame.
In the food sector, Fjord highlights the popularity of the Impossible Burger.
Impossible Burger CEO Dr. Patrick O’Reilly Brown and Beyond Burger CEO Ethan Brown have both earned the United Nations’ Champions of the Earth distinction. Plant-based foods, the UN says, are a viable replacement for meat, which it considers a primitive “technology” for creating nutritious food. Animal agriculture is a major source of methane, a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
Impossible Burger uses heme, an iron-containing molecule in every animal and plant cell, to recreate the same smell, taste and texture of animal meat. Its primary ingredient is genetically modified soy. Genetic modification may raise some eyebrows, but according to a biotech non-profit, the mass-producing process dramatically reduces the need for pesticides.
“There’s a lot of design thinking in the product,” Impossible Burger Communications Vice President Jessica Appelgren says:
What is more interesting from a pop culture perspective is, the younger you are the more plant-based you are. You’re not associating red meat with an American identity.—Jessica Appelgren
The entertainment industry is a big backer of the company, with investors including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, John Legend, Quest Love, and Katy Perry, who wore an Impossible Burger-inspired outfit in the last scene of Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” video.
Hip hop “is a driving force in awakening the masses to plant-based eating,” Appelgren says. The community is “pretty upset about the way African-Americans are being marketed to…”
Indeed, Questlove and the company he keeps embody the “me to we” perspective when speaking out for neglected communities.
He addresses racism in the food system on a podcast produced by Foodtank, a nonprofit supporting life-centered opportunities to build a more sustainable and just world.
“It’s not by accident that the cheapest and kind of the most unsustainable foods are surrounding [certain communities] and the foods that should be benefiting you, like the foods from the earth, are more expensive and don’t seem at all appealing to [these communities],” he says in a fall 2019 Food Talk episode. As a child in Philadelphia, he says, “To even want a healthy lifestyle was financially unobtainable and literally 20 blocks away out of my range.”
Burger King, which launched its Impossible Whpper six months ago, is working to change that perception. José Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, which owns the chain, has said “plant-based food is a new platform for the brand.”
But prices needed to come down to reach a broader audience.
Last year’s premium price “limited some guests from trying the Impossible Whopper, so in January we added [it] to our core 2-for-$6 promotion,” Cil says on February’s investor relations call.
In the six weeks since then, the coronavirus has killed thousands of people worldwide and stirred concerns about an economic depression. Still, Fjord’s thoughts on human behavioral change remain prescient. Hygiene is the new vegan.
The U.K. government has told people to wash for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, Curtis says. “I’ve never seen people so assiduously wash their hands. That change is happening in a month.”
It comes down to the liquid idea—as consciousness evolves so does habit.
You have to meet people at a place they care about. They don’t want to spread disease and die of it…and you reframe that and tell them hand washing is the most effective thing you do.—Mark Curtis
Fjord declined the opportunity to elaborate on the future of design in a post-pandemic world. But if life-centered theories hold, private and public sectors will have to innovate new products and services, say journalism, PR and advertising students at Florida International University.
Several of them riffed on potential travel-related outcomes during a recent Zoom session replacing an in-person writing class. (The author teaches writing and media studies at the university.)
One Gen Z’er says she hopes the transportation industry will redesign airplanes so they’re “roomier” while another posits that airports may require temperature checks at all gates. Life-centered design would be critical in all such instances to achieve feasible business models, sustainability, and public health.
Likewise, travelers may proactively bring their own masks and gloves, even if airlines don’t require them, another student says. Given current shortages, manufacturers would likely need new approaches and materials to meet unprecedented demand.
“You’ll have to have a card with you to check your medical history, or wear a chip in your arm,” says another, to whom a fellow student responds: “We have no choice. If the government applies these regulations, we have to abide by them.”
The students help to illustrate how the pandemic will fundamentally change social interaction. But businesses may not have the resources to design for fear, says Matt Klein, strategy director at cultural consultancy Sparks and Honey.
“This moment will absolutely scar the way in which we view public spaces and more specifically proximity to each other in transit,” Klein says. “We’re still flying in planes that are sometimes 10 years or older. The planes and trains we’ll see in 15 years may possibly reflect this moment in time, but these designs will also have to consider the economics of the business.”
Concern about lurking germs could generate skepticism and distrust, in a world already divided in the political sense. Liquid people could dry up.
“While over time we’ll recognize how we helped each other ‘flatten the curve,’ we’ll also realize how we’ve endangered each other by not practicing social distancing and responsible hygiene,” Klein says. “This will be burned into our memory.”
If today’s hypervigilance turns into long-term paranoia, that wouldn’t be life-centered at all, as summed up by one FIU student:
Interaction is already dying because of social media. Now we’re three feet away from each other.
Photo by Photo Boards on Unsplash
Sally-Ann O'Dowd I February 19, 2020
In the ad industry, it’s our job to follow social media trends—whether it’s Facebook’s new ad campaign for groups (such as bazooka players) or bad behaviors accompanying Instagram addiction. Think: the 2017 Fyre Festival that defrauded thousands of music lovers, leaving many stranded in the Bahamas. Or, a travel couple with 25,000 followers who fell to their deaths in 2018 trying to perfect a selfie in Yosemite National Park.
What’s more, a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says extensive social media use and depression are a vicious cycle. The more time people spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed; some people already demonstrating symptoms go to social media for connection—only for more loneliness to set in.
But it’s a fictional tragedy that’s making Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri address real-life dangers simmering on his platform.
In a recent New York Times interview with Amy Chozick, he said he decided to remove likes from public view while watching “Nosedive,” a dystopian episode of “Black Mirror” in which people can see each other’s public rankings in thin air like a telepathic Google Glass. The protagonist becomes unhinged at the wedding of a childhood friend who ranks higher. She winds up in jail after an outburst at the reception.
Employees executing Mosseri’s like-hiding plan—dubbed Project Daisy as in “you like me, you like me not”—have been testing the feature for several months in six countries: first in Canada, then Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
Mosseri announced at November’s Wired25 conference that tests on U.S. accounts, including some event attendees, would begin later that month, while the Times is reporting that Instagram will “introduce” the project “later this year.” Mosseri did not respond to a Facebook DM asking for clarification on how many U.S. accounts will be affected in 2020.
While questions remain, advertising executives, influencers and casual users have strong opinions on what this means for the platform, from cautiously optimistic and cynical to downright exuberant.
“I have to commend the effort to just start to figure out, directionally, how they can change some of the behavior,” says Sarah Snyder Lyons, general manager of digital marketing company SocialCode. “Ultimately, is it going to make really big strides toward shifting the way people deal on the platform, the pressure, the anxiety? Or [go] as deep as eliminating bullying? It’s not going to solve those things.
“But it indicates to me that the platform wants to get ahead of what YouTube found itself in…after having such a massive role and scale and then advertisers finding out they were showing up next to hate speech.”
Or, Instagram is making up for its parent’s sins. Facebook has been the subject of outrage since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its decision to allow fake political ads. Likewise, Mosseri could be taking a cue from Justin Rosenstein, who has stated publicly that he regrets creating Facebook’s like button.
Matt Klein, director of cultural strategy at marketing research firm and consultancy Sparks and Honey, is skeptical of Instagram’s intentions, saying it’s an effective PR play.
“They’ve made their money and developed an incredibly impressive career, and now they’re saying ‘whoops, let’s make this right,’” he says of the social media tycoons. “The coincidental timing [reflects] the conscious reckoning in Silicon Valley.”
The young generation’s collective desire for superficial approval can’t be stopped so easily, says Marc Landsberg, CEO of creative agency SocialDeviant. Some Instagrammers have been known to dress up as if they’re going clubbing, post some selfies, undress, and go to sleep. He compares the trend to a waterfall that can’t go backwards while Klein sees Instagram as a drug supplier. If people can’t get dopamine spikes from likes, “you find another drug dealer.”
“The vanity metric ends up being really dangerous for people,” Landsberg says. “Removing likes is an important but insignificant step.”
On the positive side, it appears the public’s desire for authenticity is growing organically.
“In the last six to nine months, SnapChat has gotten traction,” Landsberg says. It’s what Instagram used to be—“unfiltered, unvarnished, you’re in your sweats, up early, up late. It is the opposite of ‘how great my life is.’”
Eric Sanchez, with 381 Instagram followers, proves Landsberg’s point.
While Mosseri’s posts are littered with spam about blocked accounts, @erics640 wrote him around the time of his Wired announcement and a trip to Asia.
“Please take my likes away!!!” he commented after Mosseri posted a photo of his Tokyo team. “It makes the experience feel more inclusive and I engage with the content I love without the negative pressure of feeling like everyone is competing on what is supposed to be a leisurely social platform. Also it seems the content that people post has improved as all of the fake follower people are gone.”
At the other end of the spectrum are paid influencers such as L.A. designer Amy Royland, the woman behind @afashionnerd, an account with 136,000 followers. For years she dedicated herself to blogging and taking photographs on her building’s rooftop to build social currency; now she earns between $250 and $6,000 for each post on behalf of a brand.
Through it all, the pressure of acquiring likes has limited how frequently she can post; she’s needed to wait up to two days to maximize the public’s affection for each piece of content. Without the pressure, she can post three times a day.
Instagram’s decision is “amazing,” she says. “If brands want to know our engagement we can always see it on our end and screenshot it and send it over. I don’t think that’s gonna be an issue at all.”
Developers are also innovating to adapt to Instagram’s changes. If, for example, influencers don’t want to have to send pictures to clients, they can use Socialinsider’s “Return of the Likes” app, available in the Chrome Web Store. The app—which makes public likes reappear—has garnered about 3,000 downloads since December.
In the page’s overview section, the firm explains: “Instagram has stopped displaying the number of likes and comments in some areas—that makes the life of a Social Media person very complicated so we thought about lending a hand.”
The emergence of workarounds shows the relentless need for external validation, says Sparks and Honey’s Klein. If Instagram is serious about changing consumer behavior, then the company needs to communicate directly with everyday users, he says. Aside from the conference announcement and the NYT interview, neither Mosseri personally nor the company has said anything; nothing about Project Daisy appears on Instagram, the blog, or anywhere else on the corporate site.
“They need to say, ‘this is why we are removing it,” Klein says, “and explain why [people] are better off without it.”
This is all too late for Jacqueline Jimenez.
Five years ago this month, members of South Florida’s social media community gathered for a memorial and a walk on the beach to honor the 28-year-old marketer and blogger who died by suicide on Jan. 27, 2015. On her Instagram page, which is still live, she called herself “The Innovative Consultant and Public Speaker.” She had 546 followers.
Her friends continue to run the Jackie Jimenez RIP Facebook page, where people post tributes and content related to suicide prevention.
“We would work together,” says Karla Campos, owner of The Mompreneur Center, which provides marketing and other services to women-owned businesses. “She was happy, motivated—someone you’d think would never do such a thing. It started going downhill because she wasn’t getting likes…She didn’t feel successful; she was comparing herself to others.”
Jimenez, who lived in Boca Raton, left a suicide note stating she felt “lonely” and “ignored,” Campos says. Yet BocaNewsNow.com, which does not regularly cover suicides, did cover Jimenez’s death because she was “notable.” The site refers to her as a “social media expert and consultant” with more than 3,000 Twitter followers.
A couple months before she died, she posted a motivational phrase with a pretty lavender background: “Be an encourager, the world has enough critics already.” She didn’t take it to heart, in the end.
It’s taken Campos years to get over her friend’s passing. If she could talk with her again, she would tell her to not take social media so personally. “She wasn’t where she wanted to be and felt people were ignoring her,” she says. “We were all trying to get our businesses up. We were not trying to hurt her.”
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Reprinted from Starmark.com
The possibilities for augmented reality and virtual reality in fundraising are huge. After all, allowing donors to see your vision come to life, quite literally, is a powerful way to win allies and big donations.
Put architectural renderings to use
Facilities that are building or expanding will have architectural and design renderings as part of the planning process. Taking this 3D artwork and turning it into 2D marketing is kind of a waste. Allowing donors to explore a new space before it’s built is a perfect application for immersive VR at fundraising events – or for phone-based AR that makes a big impact while being more portable and accessible.
Stand out from the crowd
When raising money, a big part of the challenge is getting donors to relate to your project. AR and VR are great ways to add impact to you story. Our last eTip covers how AR effectively stands out in social feeds, which are notoriously cluttered environments.
Conversely, most fundraising efforts are, let’s face it, still fairly analog in an increasingly digital world. Because these technologies are not yet widely used in the sector, they provide an effective way to stand apart from other organizations and causes vying for attention from donors.
The economics make sense
We covered the fact that AR and VR aren’t as expensive as you might think in our article about how to sell your first AR project. But we’re happy to discuss it here, too, because it really is a no-brainer. Tools like this absolutely will help you secure extra funding. And when closing just one additional donor equates to six or seven figures of additional fundraising, the investment in a reusable, refreshable AR or VR fundraising platform makes excellent sense.
For more on this topic, you can also check out our South Florida Business Journal article on how to start small in AR, VR and 360 video.
According the the 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies), there are roughly 13,000 integrated marketing agencies in the U.S. Starmark is one of 1,000 or fewer who are Agile. Today, one of those agencies was featured in The Wall Street Journal. Hint: it’s Starmark.
Work & Family reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Sue Schellenbarger, interviewed Starmark President, Jacqui Hartnett, Chief Digital Officer, Brett Circe and Associate Creative Director, Jacob Edenfield, about the agency’s four-year journey embracing Agile. It’s a topic of interest for companies large and small looking for ways to build higher functioning teams and attract higher caliber talent.
Agile is about creating mutual understanding with clients
It has been four years since the agency moved from a traditional waterfall approach to following Agile Methodology.
This far along, Starmark still encounters many connections, prospects, clients and partner agencies who think Agile is a project management fad, a simple process change – or worst of all – an easy button that management can use to makes work quicker and cheaper, according to Brett Circe. “In reality, it’s just more efficient because we have a better shared plan with our clients, and that means we make better use of their time and marketing dollars. We cut out all the stressful, expensive rework that makes projects drag on at the end.”
"What every new client and new employee needs to understand is that there are real benefits to better up-front planning. Our roadmaps are built and informed by the group of experts who will actually do the work. As a client, you walk through what success looks like with the people who can get you there."
Brett Circe, Chief Digital Officer, Starmark
Agile workstreams have transformed the way the agency workS
Starmark is divided into two independent, multidisciplinary teams, called workstreams. Each of these workstreams is made up of a variety of experts – from front-end and back-end developers to art directors to copywriters – to serve the needs of a specific group of clients. It’s an obliteration of the department silos that are typical of a waterfall approach.
Clients benefit because they have open communication and contact with the experts doing the work throughout the process. As part of the article, The Wall Street Journal interviewed Starmark client, Brandon Hensler, from NSU about his experience with Starmark and Agile Methodology.
"Meetings at Starmark can be brutally honest. But that results in something better than our initial ideas – because Starmark has a whole team from different disciplines working with us."
Brandon Hensler, Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing Communications at NSU
Instead of projects moving from a group of project management generalists to a creative department and on to production, all the while accumulating scope creep and rework, every project is now roadmapped by all the experts needed to ensure success – and then those experts walk through the plan with the client. Now work gets reviewed with clients during every two-week sprint, so the black-box mystique of the agency fades away, in favor of a more transparent, more experimental, more aligned approach that makes big, ambitious projects go much more smoothly.
Daily check-ins replace endless daily meetings
One of the most important aspects of Agile for advertising and marketing agencies is to start every day with a high-value team check-in meeting, says Jack Skeels, owner of Agency Agile, the company that consulted with Starmark throughout their transition. During the check-in, the team members share relevant accomplishments, schedule time to collaborate or review work in progress, discuss blockers and make a shared plan for the coming day. It’s one 15-minute meeting that eliminates the need for constant status update interruptions, stop-bys and chats about when to expect work or schedule a review.
“When a team meeting is done right, there are few things more inclusive and soothing."
Jack Skeels, Owner, AgencyAgile
It’s called the most important meeting of the day for a reason. With a set of shared commitments, the team is free to follow its plan for the day, working individually and in groups to accomplish the work they set out to do. This is called flow time, and at Starmark it runs from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This leaves time in the morning to align and time in the afternoon for updates. The majority of the day is unimpeded time designed to be free of unexpected interruptions. For clients, this means a greater focus on their work, more frequent work reviews and better visibility into how each story within the project is progressing.
Continuous improvement is part of the Agile package
Four years in, Starmark is still improving its approach with a retro at the end of every two-week sprint. It’s a time to share announcements, celebrate the work accomplished and an open forum for every member of the company to discuss ways to work better together in the future. This week’s Wall Street Journal article is sure to be a topic of conversation.
"Obviously, we’re incredibly excited to be featured in The Wall Street Journal. More than that, though, we’re using this as a reminder for ourselves and our clients to celebrate making this shift. Yes, we’re asking something of each and every client to come on this journey with us, but the results are better work and better working relationships. That’s what we’re celebrating today, most of all."
Jacqui Hartnett, President, Starmark
Read the article at The Wall Street Journal.
This content is republished from Starmark.com.
On Thursday night, a group of about 30 advertising and marketing professionals got together for the latest event in AAF's ongoing series, Change the Narrative. The event was hosted by New York-based diversity and inclusion advocates Reema Mitra and Bennett D. Bennett with the theme of equipping young people to exercise their voices and their influence to build an industry that better represents the public it serves.
Good advertising is an exercise in empathy
At its most fundamental, marketing is an exercise in empathy – a company and a customer finding common ground through a problem, a product, a service or a cause.
So, what happens to good advertising and marketing when the industry loses touch? That's the question at the heart of AAF of Greater Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches Change the Narrative event series.
The first event in the series, held in August 2018, focused on learning about – and from – six of the many female agency owners and leads in the South Florida area. As a region, we're fortunate to buck the trend of male-dominated agency culture that has inspired movements like #MeToo and the 3% Conference.
Thursday's intimate, Q&A-heavy event focused on helping young people, inarguably the backbone of marketing departments and advertising agencies everywhere, to understand the role they have in shaping our industry's more inclusive future.
What we learned
Helping yourself is an important part of helping others. As a person of color, LGBTQ+ individual or member of another under-represented group, it can feel like it's your burden to speak for and advocate for whole groups – often because you're the only one at the table. During the Q&A, both Bennett and Reema shared their experiences as accidental advocates in these situations, as well as their advice to not forget about your own career in the process. After all, creating more diverse board room tables requires those who are already there to stay there.
Savings are your escape hatch from a toxic environment. Have a financial safety net before you find yourself trapped in a toxic environment. Some places are beyond your ability to save. Some aren't worth saving. But you are. Having a rainy-day fuck-off fund provides both comfort and the ability to exit a bad situation while you calculate the next good move, rather than leaping into a new job without really looking.
Broward and Palm Beach counties have a lot going for them. The cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ friendliness and immigrant communities in both counties are advantages we often take for granted. Because we are so diverse, the real challenge comes down to finding ways to recruit and co-create with broader communities.
You have more power than you think. The most resounding note of the night was the recurring theme of not underestimating your power and influence. Oftentimes, it can feel lonely to be part of an underrepresented group. But being one of a few doesn't mean your voice matters less. Bringing a unique point of view is an asset at almost any company.
About the speakers
A firm believer that digital transformation creates business impact, Reema Mitra is passionate about using digital to make brands culturally relevant and change the way people interact with them. Outside of the office, Reema spends her time mentoring women from diverse backgrounds and advocates for positive changes in the advertising industry. She is most passionate about changing the ratio through giving women she hires and mentors the support to confidently become strong voices in the industry.
Bennett D. Bennett is a writer and futurist born, raised, and still based in NYC. Most recently, he was the US staff writer for global marketing trade The Drum, covering agencies, the media landscape, and special topics in creativity and innovation. Prior, he spent over three years at BBDO New York as a copywriter, working on roster of brands including FedEx, CVS Health, Bacardi, Visa and AT&T. Since his time as a MAIP Fellow in 2013, he’s been listed as one of the 4As 100 People Who Make Advertising Great, an ADWEEK Young Influential, and honored as a 2017 MAIPer to Watch. He’s also sat on advisory boards with the AAF, 4As and ADCOLOR and spoken at and moderated panels at Advertising Week and the 3% Conference.
We want your suggestions for speakers and topics for our next Change the Narrative event. Please send all recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in getting involved in the diversity and inclusion activities of AAF, please contact the email address above.
Written by Jacob Edenfield
The barriers to entry for augmented reality and mixed reality are lower than they’ve ever been. To avoid getting scooped by your competitors, now’s the time to take these technologies seriously and start investigating how you can incorporate them into your content and marketing approach.
Let’s use a food metaphor. Everyone loves a good food metaphor.Augmented Reality (AR) is a digital layer that augments reality by laying on top of it. Think of it like the icing on top of a cake. The icing augments the cake by being on top of it. AR apps for your iPhone or iPad are good illustrations of this. Check out this delicious one called ARport that we produced recently.
Mixed Reality (MR) is digital material that can be mixed in and interact with physical objects in reality. Think of MR as icing in a multi-layer cake. You can find delicious icing surprises throughout the cake. And those icing layers stay stationary within the cake. They “know” that they’re sandwiched between layers of cake and that they should remain flat and in place. If a baker puts two layers of icing within the cake and walks away, those layers of icing remain there even if the baker walks away. MR is best embodied by the Microsoft Hololens, where digital objects can be placed within physical reality in a way that’s context aware. It can make a tiny dancer spin on top of a table because it understands that a table is a solid object.
Spatial Computing (SC) is digital material that can interact with and appear to modify physical reality in complex ways. Think of Spatial Computing (like what Magic Leap One offers) like you’re a baker whose cake picked up a slicing knife off the stainless steel prep table and is now battling its evil twin to the death.
With spatial computing, an immersive, character-driven experience is possible within your physical environment. The cakes understand that they are on a table top. They understand that they are made of sponge material and icing. They can interact with other digital objects as well as physical objects in a way that seems sensible and physical.
Enough about cake. What do I do with these realities?AR is widely available through iOS and Android devices, so if you’re looking to put an enhanced experience in the hands of millions of people, then an augmented experience is a way to have your cake and eat it too. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
Now, if you want to create a richer, more customized experience in an expo, trade show or event environment, now you’re able to take advantage of the more complex MR or spatial computing possibilities that require specialized hardware devices. Because of the hardware requirements, these realities aren’t as ubiquitous as AR. But they pack a big punch because they are novel. If you’re looking to make an impact and be remembered, MR and spatial computing are great options that deliver above and beyond VR or 360 video.
Get cookingAs we mentioned at the top of the article, the time is right to jump into AR, MR and SC before someone else in your market beats you to it. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our article on How to sell your first AR, VR or MR project to your boss and get promoted.
Augmented reality and virtual reality have been around for years. And new hardware advances have also brought new technologies like spatial computing, mixed reality and 360 video into the fold, as well. If some of those terms are new to you, check out our infographic: Which reality is right for you?
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