Archive for 2015
From movies like “What Women Want”, “Advertising Rules” and “How to get Ahead in Advertising”, to popular series’ like “Mad Men” and “Two and a Half Men”, the advertising industry has earned itself a bad reputation for being an alcohol-consuming, drug-abusing and sexually ambiguous field to work in. And, apparently, it pays well.
Wait… What?! Where do I sign up?
But all is not as it seems in the land of honey and dreams…
The hours are long and taxing. There are always tight deadlines and, more often than not, you’ll be working late hours and on weekends. There are clients that don’t appreciate your creative thinking, and at times you have to bin your brilliant idea to simply give them what it is they asked for. Working with a creative team of artists can be trying too.
Even just entering the advertising industry can be difficult, since you’re competing against a combined percentage of 75% B.A. or B.Com students in South Africa. Just to get an intern position, you have to prove that you are exceptional, passionate and willing to work hard for next to nothing. Even then, you might not make it.
Then, while you’re trying to make a name for yourself by winning a few awards for creative excellence, you also have to keep up to date with creative and social developments. You have to know what is trending and innovative, while also understanding your target market and how they think… In both traditional and online media.
The advertising industry is also highly affected by the state of the economy: advertising budget is usually the first a company cuts down on during difficult times. This can cause a vigorous up-and-down job market for those in advertising.
However, there are many perks too. The office space and culture is stylish and interesting. Agencies tend to keep things casual and comfortable, allowing for a creative thinking space. There are often fun things around, like game consoles and fridges filled with cold drinks.
The dress code is relaxed and casual - you are only expected to dress up for important meetings and when you see clients. Otherwise, whatever inspires you, goes. You have full reign over your creativity, and thinking in a contemporary, out-the-box way is encouraged all the time. There is no such thing as being weird here.
Yes, late hours are expected. But it can often lead to the best work. Most advertising agencies make it a fun, social occasion, leading to some great work as a result. Besides, your clients - yes, the same ones that requested a 3-day project to be done in one evening - often recognises the effort. Get ready for many “Thank You’s” on the phone.
“Regardless of our quirks, we’re all problem solvers motivated by challenges and the opportunity to influence people. We’ll put in countless hours because we want to put in countless hours. We challenge each other to be better at what we love to do,” says Jarred Leslie, Art Director at Decimal Agency.
Speaking of clients, you get to meet great people with different needs and different knowledge basis. In the advertising world, you will never go home without having learned something new. The variety adds excitement to life and the fast-paced environment appeals to many people. It is definitely not a career that the cliche "same old, same old" would apply to.
Leslie agrees with Michael Geneseo, Client Manager at Pulp+Wire in Portland, USA, “The range of clients and industries we work in, and the fact that every client has a different set of challenges that requires fresh thinking and renewed perspective is pretty awesome. It’s very satisfying being able to implement solutions that help people and promote businesses.”
Advertising agencies also tend to recognise their staff’s work more often than in any other industry. They often celebrate their achievements, and they tend to be rather social with their clients, building good relationships and partnerships. Career growth happens rapidly, and if you work hard, you will definitely be rewarded, unlike other fields where you may wait decades before being promoted.
The field of advertising is changing rapidly, with the use of social media, Internet marketing, and other new technologies that come along. You will know and understand the newest technology before most of the world has an inkling of its usefulness. Advertising requires you to be knowledgeable about everything. From understanding how industrial machines work, to knowing what Kim Kardashian named her new son.
I guess the old cliche of “Work Hard, Play Hard” is most true in this industry. What is most definitely not true is saying that advertising is nothing but a way of trying to convince you to buy something you don’t need.
“Advertising and design, at its best, isn’t about lying to the consumer. It’s about cutting through the noise in order to tell a unique story and ultimately letting the consumer make a decision.”
At Decimal Agency, we are passionate about telling your story. Obstacles, long hours and hard work is seen as part of the process of creating work we are proud of. Always. We don’t conceptualise over 3 martini lunches. We do it as a team to get everybody’s expertise and input in there. We don’t believe in smooth talking. We believe that advertising is about a unique blend of art, science, and narrative, which doesn’t exist in any other field.
Oh, and we do have a pretty cool office space…
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo
On the 16th of December we observe the coming together of two of South Africa’s major historical events to celebrate a new, reconciled nation.
Coming into effect after the 1994 democratic elections, on the 16th of December 1995, The Day of Reconciliation plays a very significant part in South Africa’s history. Tasked with promoting reconciliation and national unity, the new, non-racial democratic government pulled together two historical events from opposing sides to form a public holiday that represented a promise of a shared future together, regardless of race.
Before the rise of a united South Africa, the 16th of December was celebrated by most Afrikaners as “Day of the Vow”. On this day, in 1838, the Voortrekkers took on the Zulu nation in a fight for land. With the aid of gunpowder, the 470 Voortrekkers faced an army of over 10 000 Zulus and emerged victorious, thus vowing to commemorate the day for generations to come.
In 1961, however, Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed. The “Spear of the Nation”, as it is translated, was known as the military wing of the African National Congress, and was launched to fight the Apartheid government through aggressive resistance. This was decided after the Sharpville Massacre in 1960 in which several peaceful protestors were indiscriminately shot at by police.
This year, the cabinet encourages all South Africans to honour the day as we promote reconciliation, peace and social cohesion, especially in the turmoil the country is facing at the moment. The theme, “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state” will be celebrated in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape this year.
Decimal Agency wishes you a peaceful Reconciliation Day filled with joy and love on 16 December 2015.
Monday, 14 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo
With Facebook’s release of Carousel Advertising, Decimal looks at how you can use this function to get the most from your ad-spend.
Have you noticed something funny about Facebook Ads lately? No, it’s not your imagination; it’s Facebook getting clever by optimising space and making most of advertising opportunities.
In June 2015, the folks at Facebook announced the launch of new multi-product ads, especially for direct response advertisers. These “Carousel Ads”, as Facebook calls it, enables advertisers to feature 3-5 images within a single ad unit. Each image has its own description and click-through URL.
Native to mobile advertising, the mobile view allow users to swipe from left to right to their hearts’ content, while Facebook has also introduced a desktop version that encourages users to move between images by clicking on the left or right arrows.
But what are the benefits of investing in Facebook’s Carousel Ads for advertisers? Carousel Ads allow advertisers to offer more products, giving the viewer more options and information, and driving 10 times more traffic to their websites. The ads also generate 20-30% lower CPC (Cost per Click), compared to the standard link ads with a single image. The average 5.75% CTR (Click Through Rate) from a Carousel Ad is also a great incentive. The increase in placement cost is easily justified by scale and cost efficiencies.
“Carousels are a major push for Facebook,” said Don Mathis, CEO of Kinetic Social, a Social Marketing Tech Firm. “The pricing is competitive and the performances are stellar.”
Facebook lists the benefits as follows:
-Increased web traffic
-Improved conversion rates
-Stronger marketing results
-Cost per acquisition efficiencies
But, like any other Social Media strategy, to get these benefits you need a detailed plan. Carousel Ads are best used when you want to showcase multiple items/topics in a single post. Your grouped images should motivate a single action from your target market. Chad Martin from VML, a problem-solving organisation with expertise in marketing communications, interactive advertising, and design, notes that a lot of clients find success by placing a single ad on Instagram and then a Carousel Ad on Facebook. This ensures that the consumers clicking through on Facebook have already shown an interest in your product, and are now looking for more information before making their purchasing decision online.
Showcasing Multiple Tools:
Displaying Different Features of a Service:
Displaying Multiple Offers:
Showcasing Multiple Images/Parts of a Product:
Communicating Several Benefits of a Product or Service:
As a new Advertising function, this might all seem a little overwhelming. Also, the feature is only available through Facebook API application. So, if you want to get into the new trend, contact Decimal’s Social Media experts, and we can get you a VIP ticket into the fair, for a blood-pumping ride on the Carousel.
Friday, 4 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo
HIV (the virus that causes AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy. However, there are many social factors that contribute to the spread of HIV, including poverty, inequality and social instability, high levels of sexually transmitted infections, sexual violence and limited access to quality medical care.
South Africa has come a long way since HIV/AIDS was first recognised by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981. Since then, the nation’s fight against the virus has been unyielding in its goal to minimise the atrocious effects it has on those who have contracted the disease.
In 2010, South Africa increased the efficiency of its Antiretroviral Treatment Programmes, with further expansions implemented in January 2015 to bring South Africa up to date with World Health Organisation treatment guidelines.
Although the amount of people with HIV/AIDS has risen from 4.02 million in 2002 to 6.19 million (11.2% of the population) in 2015, the infection rate is declining, especially for those people between the age of 15 and 49.
In 2015, Stats SA estimated that 162 445 people had died from AIDS-related diseases. This translates to 30.5% of the total number of deaths, compared to a staggering 44.6% in 2002. The
life expectancy for people with the disease is also increasing to an average of 62.5 years, an increase of 9.1 years since 2004.
But, more than their health being affected, people with HIV/AIDS have to live with the stigma and denial related to the infection. Fear and despair often causes a delay in testing, causing the virus to spread even further. Many people are abandoned by their families or partners when diagnosed, job and property loss occur, school expulsion and denial of medical services.
Former President Nelson Mandela said: “Many people suffering from AIDS and not killed by the disease itself are killed by the stigma surrounding everybody who has HIV and AIDS.”
World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to remind people of the seriousness of the disease, and to increase awareness. On this day South Africa aims to educate and inform the general public of HIV/AIDS in order to fight prejudice and discrimination towards those infected.
We support this programme, and in order to show our support, we bring you 5 important facts about HIV/AIDS that you should be aware of:
- HIV infects the immune system, decreasing the body’s ability to fight off infections and other diseases.
- HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex, transmission of infected blood, sharing infected needles or other sharp instruments, and from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
- The best ways to prevent contraction of the virus is through safe sexual activity (using condoms during sex), getting tested for HIV and other STI’s regularly, avoiding sharing needles and syringes and ensuring any blood products you may need is tested for HIV.
- More than 35 million people live with HIV worldwide.
- Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) prevents the HIV virus from multiplying in the body, giving the body’s immune cells the ability to live longer and provide the body with protection from infections.
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo
Jarred Leslie, Decimal Agency’s Senior Art Director, opens up about his passion for creativity and art, and tells us about getting lost in nature.
According to Dictionary.com, advertising is the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service or need.
For Jarred Leslie, Senior Art Director at Decimal Agency, advertising is much more than that. To him, creative advertising is the soul of branding a business. And without creativity, that advertising might be bland and insignificant.
Leslie says “Our clients come to us for the design and development of campaigns that will sell their services. We use creativity and strategy to come up with the best message in order to achieve this.”
Sitting down with Leslie, I am a little shocked that such a young, obviously-trendy man has so much knowledge about the industry. Leslie has a bubbly personality, something you would expect of somebody that is in advertising. His passion for creative excellence is very apparent as we discuss his love for all things artistic, creative and advertising-related:
Tell me something interesting about Jarred Leslie that the average person would not know?
I love the outdoors and living on the edge. Apart from my passion for advertising, I love extreme sports, especially Motorbike riding. In order to fuel my adrenaline-addiction, and strangely to escape the pressures of everyday life, I try to ride on- and off-road as much as possible. I find it clears my head and prepares me for the week ahead.
What do you love about the advertising industry?
Advertising is a very social, relationship-based industry. I love meeting with people and helping them grow their business in a creative, artistic way. Each client has a story, and I love bringing that story to life. Also, there is never a dull day in advertising: every day presents a new challenge.
What do you do at Decimal Agency?
I manage Decimal’s design team to ensure that the creative work we do for our clients meets their specific requirements. I also ensure that the work is on par with my highest standards: I don’t approve work that I wouldn’t want for my own company. However, I don’t agree with backseat driving, so I try to do as much as I can from a design and strategy perspective, while still giving my team the creative freedom to explore their own ideas.
What do you do FOR Decimal Agency?
Being an Art Director is more than just managing a team of creatives. It is about building relationships with clients, earning their trust and advising them on the best artistic direction for their Marketing communication. I also work hard to inspire my team to grow, explore and be better than their best.
What tools do you use in your career to achieve your goals?
Apart from the obvious creative programs and design equipment, I find that time management is probably the most important tool for me. I have a lot to get through in one day, meeting clients and reviewing work, so managing my time and following a concise diary is essential. I also believe in doing research in order to ensure that I am aware of what our clients’ competitors are doing, what the trends in the industry are and what new innovations there are that will help improve our service.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I get inspiration from various mediums, but the thing that makes me think more creatively than anything else is being challenged with a new concept, or cracking an old problem. My colleagues help a lot with this: as much as I try to inspire them each day, they challenge me to grow and be better too. We learn from each other on a daily basis. Of course, a nice smoothie also helps every now and again.
In your opinion, what was the best campaign you headed, and who was it for?
The 2014 Soviet Summer Campaign was by far the most exciting campaign I have been part of. I learned a lot with that campaign. We traveled to Tzaneen and did a photoshoot in the forest. In order to add some authenticity to the shoot, I brought along a Honda 1977 750 4-stroke motorbike. It is a classic and added just that extra zing we needed for the campaign. However, on my way to the location, I got lost and missed the shoot. Luckily I had briefed the team the previous day, and everything went smoothly without me. It just goes to show: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
What are the 5 things you do that benefit Decimal Agency’s clients?
- I am courteous and always make sure I listen to the client’s needs and requirements
- I am spontaneous, which means I try new things often. This keeps my work and ideas fresh and trendy
- I go beyond the call of duty to ensure our clients are more than happy with our service and the work we deliver
- I under promise and over deliver: breaking a promise just to look good isn’t what I am about. I prefer surprising or clients with great work that turns heads and makes sales
- I meet deadlines. There is nothing worse than missing a client’s deadline. Advertising is about timing, and meeting that expectation is a very important requirement to being a good Art Director.
Where do you see Decimal in 5 years?
If we can maintain the pace at which we are growing now, I see Decimal Agency becoming one of South Africa’s leading advertising agencies. We have a lot of potential, and a lot of passion. That’s all you need to succeed.
Friday, 27 November 2015
Posted by Minimoo
- Above The Line Advertising
- Below The Line Advertising
- On The Line Advertising
- Beautiful Designs
These are just a few of the thing we CanDo to turn your business from good into better, and better in to best.
But Decimal Agency feels that we CanDo even more than that. We can make a difference in other people’s lives, and we can spread some joy over the festive period. That’s why we have started our own “CanDo” initiative.
From 18 November to 18 December 2015, we are collecting cans of food for those in our community that are less fortunate than us. We would like to do all we CanDo to collect as many cans as we can. We have even instructed our staff to donate a can of food for every day they come into the office. And, what seems like a small act each day, can potentially do great things.
Here’s What You CanDo:
If you want to get involved in this project, you can bring a can of food every time you visit Decimal Agency. Canned dog food, canned vegetables, canned meat, canned soup, even canned aliens. Whatever you want,you can bring it here. Or, if you can, you can donate a case of cans (or more) to our “CanDo” initiative.
At the end of the year, we will donate these cans to a registered charity of YOUR choice:
The Johannesburg Children’s Home (http://www.jch.org.za/)
Ark Animal Shelter - Puppy Centre (www.arkanimalcentre.co.za/)
Johannesburg Dream Centre (http://www.johannesburgdreamcenter.org/)
SPCA Johannesburg (http://www.jhbspca.co.za/)
You can tell us which is your preferred charity, and we’ll make sure they get your donation.
WE CANDO IT!
Friday, 20 November 2015
Posted by Brey
12 November 2015 - DMASA honours South Africa’s most creative and inspiring 2015 Direct Marketing campaigns.
Recognised as one of South Africa’s most prestigious Direct Marketing awards, the Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards celebrates innovation, creativity and strategy within the direct marketing industry.
Launched in 1998, The DMASA (Direct Marketing Association of South Africa) recognised the need for a high-profile event that would not only honour excellent work, but would also provide the Direct Marketing Industry with networking opportunities and informative workshops. The name was chosen to symbolise the ability to aim and find your target successfully.
“Direct Marketing is a vibrant and innovative industry,” says David Dickens, head of DMASA. “Direct Marketing stretches far beyond coupons and mail shots. In fact, the challenges with the post office has pushed the creativity of the industry out of the box.”
However, quantity did not affect quality this year, as many of the judges ruled the results phenomenal:
“I would say that if we get our timing right and enter into the equivalent of the Assegai Awards in the USA (The Echo Awards), we would walk away with many awards.” noted Winnifred Knight, an Advisory Board Member of the Direct Marketing Association in India.
With the quality of work, a number of entries received honourable nods. However, the big winners of the evening included Gloo@Ogilvy with 9 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze and 3 leader awards; Demographica walked away with 5 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze awards.
In addition, Liquorice / Publicis Africa not only took home 7 awards, but also received a nod for the highest overall rating - The Nkosi Award.
Emily Shaw, Digital Strategist at Liquorice boasted: “We are surprised, but delighted at being awarded this honour. However, if it were not for brave clients we would not be in this position.”
Highlights included the much anticipated and highly competitive company awards with Gloo@Ogilvy receiving “Agency of the Year”, Standard Bank taking “Brand of the Year”, Elizabeth Lee Ming winning “Direct Marketer of the Year”, and Darryl Joubert from Intimate Data chosen for the “Hall of Fame” award.
This year, an additional award, “The Black Spear”, was also added for those entries that achieved more than 94%, with 4 different agencies receiving one each.
All entries were individually scored by an expert panel of judges and the final scores were audited by an independent auditor.
With the standards set, Decimal Agency has accepted the challenge to submit its work for next year’s Assegai Awards. An Assegai Award does not give honours for extravagant production values or enormous budgets. Rather, it recognises breakthrough strategy, creative brilliance and outstanding results in all Direct Marketing media, from mail and print to digital, from mobile to broadcast. It rewards effective, measured marketing.
These are the core-values with which Decimal Agency creates each of our winning campaigns for each of our clients. And while we don’t do it to earn prestigious awards (your success is award enough for us), recognition for hard work is always appreciated.
Thursday, 19 November 2015
Posted by Minimoo
Well, are you?
If you suffer from Paraskevidekatriaphobia (a fear of Friday the 13th), then 2015 must have been a particularly bad year for you. However, with Friday the 13th happening thrice this year, you are not the only one feeling a little unlucky... And it's happening again this Friday!
Friday the 13th can evoke fear among the public, causing people to avoid doing things they would normally do. This includes big activities, like getting married, or more medial things, like going to work. This has an adverse effect on sales, especially for the travel and events industry. According to online statistics, business revenue in America can drop by as much as $900 million on this day.
Unless you’re in the film industry, or selling rabbit’s feet, Friday the 13th might not be a good day for your business.
How It All Started:
While history is a bit unclear about how the superstition started, we do know that it has been around for a while now. In fact, the number 13 has been considered cursed across the world for thousands of years. The number 12 is historically considered the number of completeness, while its older cousin, 13, has been seen as an outlier. There are 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, among many incidences of the pattern historically.
Friday the 13th was also discussed in the popular 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code. In the book, a connection is drawn between the slaughtering of the Knights Templar by the Church and Friday the 13th. Historically, the arrest of Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, did occur on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, however the association between Friday the 13th and bad luck is thought to be a modern interpretation of the event.
Even Wall Street has had a bit of bad luck on Friday the 13th. In Oct. 13, 1989, Wall Street saw, what was at the time, the second largest drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in history. The day was nicknamed the Friday-the-13th mini-crash.
These days, the number 13 can have a huge impact on regular life too: some buildings don’t have a 13th floor, while some cities don’t even sport a 13th street. Airports don’t have a 13th gate, and even the medical profession won’t stand for a Room 13.
Turning Your Luck Around:
Luckily, South Africans aren’t that concerned about the superstition, and it doesn’t impact on the economy too much. However, Decimal has a few ideas on how you can turn this day of bad luck into a massive marketing opportunity.
- Offer a lucky discount of 13% on all purchases instore
- Hide a lucky omen in your store, and publish clues on where to find it on Twitter and Facebook. The person who finds it, wins a lucky prize.
- Feature Friday the 13th related products on your Social Media sites. These can include items such as umbrellas, black clothing, etc.
- Donate 13% of your to a charity organisation - somebody will be feeling very lucky
- Feature an “unluckiest winner” contest online, where the person with the unluckiest day wins a grand prize.
- Have a lucky draw with 13 winners from different stores, or different clients.
- Offer a Baker’s Dozen special where the customer gets a 13th product free.
Of course, with Decimal you’ll never have to experience an unlucky day with your business. We use creativity, passion and knowledge to turn threats into opportunities, and bad luck days into the best day of the month.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Posted by Minimoo
Networking: the simple act of making and nurturing connections with a group of people we socialise with, share resources with or who help us enhance productivity. Well, it used to be simple.
Before Social Networking, our “network contact sheet” consisted of our family, neighbors, friends and a few acquaintances we met through our cousin. If you were really high up in the business chain, it might have consisted of a rolodex containing various business cards from potential business partners you met at a networking do.
Then came online Social Networking: First AOL and Live Journal, then more complicated systems like MySpace and Facebook. Whatever it was called, it changed the meaning of “getting your name out there” completely.
Since its start in 2003, LinkedIn has become the largest Business Social Network in the world. LinkedIn boasts over 380 million users, and is growing with 2 new users each second. LinkedIn reaches over 200 countries and territories, with each user visiting the site for an average 17 minutes per visit. LinkedIn also has over 1 billion endorsements…
Sounds a bit better than a rolodex, doesn’t it…
The point is this: If your business is going into 2016 without an active LinkedIn profile strategy, then you should probably get out your rolodex and give Decimal Agency a call.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your business if you do:
- Finding Qualified Prospects for Your Business: By reviewing the contact lists of your current clients (and friends, if you want to be cheeky) you might find a few good leads. Ask your clients if they would be willing to forward a recommendation email to them. Minimise your client’s effort by writing and designing the mailer yourself. Not only will it grow your word-of-mouth business, but your client might also be pleasantly surprised by your emailer.
- Expanding Your Marketing: By using your LinkedIn profile, you have a big opportunity to increase the reach of your current marketing efforts. Not only is it the perfect platform to reach a group of individuals interested in you and your business, but it is also an effective way of building positive relationships with them. LinkedIN is an excellent communications platform, helping you keep your current and potential clients updated with your latest moves.
- Developing Your Contact Network: Once you are registered with LinkedIn, you can send everyone you know a personalised message, inviting them to connect with you. The personalised message allows you to remind them where you met, and how you are connected already. You can also give them good reason why building a closer relationship with you will benefit both your businesses. You can also import contacts from your other Social Media platforms, as well as your email networks. Join in on the thousands of relative discussions on LinkedIn too. This will attract attention to potential clients too, and will show them you are really interested in staying up to date with what is happening in your industry.
- Creating Additional Marketing Opportunities: LinkedIn offers many offline marketing opportunities. Not only does it provide opportunities for speaking engagements and media appearances, but the people who follow you will have access to your blogs, podcasts and videos - whatever other marketing platforms you can’t fit on your business card.
- Making Sure Your Company Website is Current and Up-to-date: In order to run a successful LinkedIN account, you need to have a dedicated team that will ensure responsiveness and interaction. You will need the latest technological hacks in order to show your followers how dedicated you are to your trade - Decimal Agency has a dedicated Social Media team that ensures your profile always looks good and is always displaying the latest news, trends and finds.
The current trend in business is using LinkedIn to find qualified, interested prospects that will be interested in your business. And visa versa… This is not about to change anytime soon, and if you want to continue to grow your business, using this powerful platform is definitely advised. Talk to Decimal Agency today about setting up your LinkedIn profile and watch your business become an online Socialright!
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Posted by Minimoo
Decimal Heads Back to the Future Too
Impossible? If you’re an avid Back to the Future fan, then it isn’t at all!
Whether you’re a fan or not, the second film in the 1980’s Back to the Future Trilogy is known as one of the best films ever made. Starring Michael J. Fox as the adventurous Marty, and Christopher Lloyd as the outworldly “Doc”Brown, the film won the Saturn Award for Best Special Effects and a BAFTA Film Award for Ken Ralston, the special effects supervisor, an Internet-voted 2003 AOL Movies DVD Premiere Award for the trilogy DVDs, a Golden Screen Award, a Young Artist Award, and the Blimp Awards for Favorite Movie Actor, amongst many others.
The story starts of where the first one ends, on October 26 1985. Marty McFly has just arrived back from his trip into the past when Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown arrives in his flying DeLorean time machine and persuades Marty McFly and his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, to come back to the future with him to help their future children.
And this is where it gets interesting. They arrive on October 21, 2015, where they find the future littered with new gizmos and innovations that the 80’s generation could only dream of. From flying cars, 3D advertising and online communication to hoverboards, perfect pepsi and self-lacing shoes.
Today we celebrate that date, and we look at how accurately the producers of the film predicted the future, 30 years ago.
1. Augmented Reality: A cross between a digital binocular and a smartphone, Doc walks around with a device that gives information about people as they pass him. It might seem completely outlandish, but is actually not half as advanced as some of the online information devices we have today, like Facebook Face Recognition, Google Glass and Microsoft’s HoloLens
2. Self-lacing Shoes: Nike has done it again using the movie as inspiration to design the first pair of self-lacing shoes. The shoes are an upgraded version of the 2011 Nike MAG, a limited-edition replica of McFly’s sneakers. The new footwear will feature “power laces,” in which motorised rollers in the shoe’s sole sense weight and tighten the laces when someone steps into the shoes, according to Nike’s patent. How cool is that?!
3. Pepsi Perfect: Your prefered drink on command would be a really handy device. Especially when the game is on and you don’t want to miss that try while you’re getting a drink you don’t like. Well, Coke managed to design just such a machine in 2009. With over 100 drink selections, it covers pretty much every taste, and all you have to do is press a button. Pepsi, on the other hand, has released a Limited Edition Pepsi Perfect bottle, designed to look exactly like the one in the movie. However, at $20.15 a bottle, I would rather keep to my favourite drink on command.
4. Player-controlled Games: Looking back on the arcade games that were played in the 80’s, I think we can all agree that technology has evolved dramatically. While the movie doesn’t actually show the predicted gaming-technology, Microsoft’s Kinect has proven you don’t need to use your hands to be a pro, especially in its Xbox One Iteration.
5. Mobile Payments: This is one technology where we have gone even beyond what BTTF II predicted. In the movie, a man tries to convince Marty to donate money to his cause. He pulls out a mobile device that requires only a fingerprint to process the payment. Credit & Debit Card transactions, anybody? We even have online applications like PayPal that don’t need a card to make a payment. As for the fingerprint technology, you can find that on various smartphones today. Apple Pay also uses TouchID as part of its payment security system.
6. Home Automation: When Jennifer enters her future home, she is welcomed with voice-controlled lights. This feature seems commonplace these days, and doesn’t just include your home. Xbox One can control your TV viewing by voice very well. Samsung’s SmartThings can also detect when you are home and can will start the kettle before you’re home.
7. Flat-screen TV’s: In the 80’s we were given boxy, unwielding cathode ray tube TV sets - big devils that took over the entire TV-room. These devices have become collector’s items, as you will rarely find a home that doesn’t sport a huge LCD flat-screen TV mounted on the wall these days.
8. Movie Sequels: In BTTF II, the producers lovingly joke about JAWS 19 showing at cinemas. At the time, the joke was funny, and everybody laughed. But, while JAWS 19 hasn’t seen the screen, movie sequels and remakes are jumping up left, right and centre. Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Batman…
9. Flying Cars: Yes, I hear you saying that we don’t see cars hovering next to us in traffic. But don’t be too disappointed just yet. In 2013 Terrafugia announced the development of the TF-X, a battery-charged hybrid tilt-motor vehicle that is rumoured to be the first flying car on the market, in 10 years time. However, AeroMobil, a Slovakian manufacturer, has unveiled a prototype vehicle that can go from car to aircraft in a second (maybe more). If this counts, then the vehicle will be available for sale in 2017. Expect it to cost a lot....
10. Hoverboards: This is my personal favorite future concept. Teenagers hovering in the sky, performing unbelievable tricks… While every teenager in the world does not yet own a hoverboard, legendary skater Tony Hawk recently tried a prototype. In development for over 10 years, recent breakthroughs have allowed various companies to put their own spin on the hoverboard. US company Hendo Hover has developed the first operational board that hovers about an inch off the ground, using four hover-engines. Not very practical. The Lexus Slide Hoverboard, however, works much more like the movie-version, but requires a magnetic skatepark to operate. It’s just a matter of time, skaterboys.
30 years ago, none of these technologies seemed possible. In fact, the concepts were laughed at and joked about. However, today we live in a world where nothing is impossible. In the next 30 years we might have tablets that replace meals entirely, artificial intelligence making our lives easier, homes on Mars or telepathic capabilities made possible by a chip implant.
Decimal embraces these changes and rejoice in the evolution of science. But more than that, Decimal strives for positive changes and growth in the advertising industry. That’s why we bring you innovative designs, strategies and developments, to ensure your business will be at its peak in 30 years from now.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten
Christmas Advertising: Decimal Plans to SucceedIt’s almost Halloween; a time where we dress up as monsters, vampires and Kim Kardashian. But the scariest thing about Halloween is that it means Christmas will be hitting stores like Chuck Norris hits a dent in a wet cloth.
Businesses are gearing up for their piece of the Christmas pie, while consumers are getting ready to start spending their money. With credit cards being whipped out at a moment’s notice, good deals all abound, boredom shopping picking up and last minute spending on expensive gifts, South Africa’s Christmas spending is likely to boom this year.
However, aiming for stores alone might not be the best idea. 51% of consumers are reported to use their phones to purchase a product, and the largest purchases for the festive season are going to be digital.
In addition to this, 71% of consumers will be using Social Media to search, research and compare products for the best deal.
With all this potential for profits, you can be sure that advertising and marketing will be saturating the market; ATl, BTL and OTL. This is the season where failing to plan will lead to planning to fail.
Decimal has you covered. We have a successful Festive Strategy that will ensure you get your consumer’s mouths’ watering for your products.
1. Start Early: With all the expected communication happening over the Festive Season, and with it happening sooner and sooner lately, make sure you have everything in place as soon as possible.
2. Christmas Callers: Communication is key during the festive season. Especially when it comes to Customer Services. Make sure your consumer knows they can get hold of you over the festive period, and where.
3. Website Revamp: With online sales rising the way they are, you want to make sure your site is up-to-date and fighting-fit.
4. Talk to the Hand: More and more consumers are being influenced by Social Media. Add some value to your products by using these sites (a complete strategy online Social Media strategy that includes Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to remind them of special offers, products and services, and competitions you might be having. Don’t forget database and email messaging.
5. Pay-per-click: Seasonal pay-per-click advertising can help you reach new customers. Think about increasing your relevant SEO keywords, and rewrite your ad campaigns to suit.
6. Golden Oldies: Remember that concentrating on your existing customers will yield more profits than searching for new customers. Think of ways to make their Christmas better, such as loyalty discounts, free upgrades, etc.
7. The customer always comes first: Show your consumer how much you appreciate them and go the extra mile to ensure their Festive Season is special.
8. It’s all about the USP: Look at putting emphasis on your unique benefit. There are loads of discounts and specials going around, but if you can communicate your unique offering in a unique way, then you have 9 feet in the door already.
9. Timing is King: When planning your strategy for the festive season, make sure that everything is do-able on time. Printers, manufacturers and media houses will be under big headlines, so make sure you are prepared for the Christmas-onslaught.
10. Staff Training: This is not a time where you want your staff to be confused. Preparation is everything, so consider refresher training and giving them additional information about new offer. This will ensure that your consumer feels well-informed and happy with the excellent service.
Just like Santa’s main reindeer, Decimal Agency is here to help pull you through the most important time of the year. Using our Festival-Strategy, we help your business plan for success.
Monday, 19 October 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten
Decimal Howls At The Moon
“Well, it’s a marvelous night for moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘neath the cover of October skies”
Van Morrison, Moondance
October nights are upon us, but the 27th of September 2015 did bring one of the most beautiful night-time views South Africa has seen. An event that will not happen again until 2033.
Known as a “Blood Moon”, we look at why this breathtaking view graced us with its presence:
- The Blood Moon is better known as a “Supermoon Lunar Eclipse”.
- This event has not happened since 1982.
- An eclipse occurs when the light of the moon is obstructed by the earth between the moon and the sun.
- The moon must be completely covered in Earth’s shadow for a total Lunar Eclipse to occur.
- The Moon was plunged into darkness for 1 hour and 12 minutes.
- The partial eclipse lasted for 3 hours and 20 minutes in total.
- The term “Blood Moon” is used because of the moon’s coppery-red colour, caused by the dispersing light from all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falling on the face of the moon at mid-eclipse.
- The September 2015 total lunar eclipse aligns with the feast of the Tabernacles: a Jewish festival that commemorates God’s provision in the Wilderness and looks ahead to the promised Messianic age.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten
How to be a Better Client for Your Agency
When you hire an Ad Agency to do your advertising, you expect to get better than the best work from them. This is understandable: you are relying on them to grow your business and build your brand. But to get consistent, breath-taking work, you need to understand how to be a better client.
Here are 5 tips to becoming your agency’s most valued partner:
1. Start at the beginning: Do your homework and choose the right agency that will meet your needs. Research their heir current clients and projects to get a better idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are.
2. Recognise their efforts: All agencies want to do a great job. Trust your agency, and their expertise, and allow them to apply their knowledge to your campaign.
3. Work with your agency, not against them: Discuss and manage your expectations from the beginning. By making your needs, desires and goals clear, your agency will have a clear view of what you define as success.
4. Listen to your agency: Any relationship has its ups and downs, and there will always be a few debates. Just remember that your agency isn’t always trying to be a know-it-all, they just have a differing point that they would like to get across to you.
5. Give your agency time: Let’s face it, there will always be last-minute projects that need to be done. But keep these to a minimum. The less time you give your agency on a project, the less chance you have of getting a good result. Reasonable deadlines mean your agency can give you a wider range of solutions, concepts and possibilities.
Posted by Jared Kisten
Do You Like Facebook’s New “Dislike” Button?
After 9 years of begging and pleading, Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, finally announced that Facebook is developing a ‘dislike’ button for the popular social media site.
The new addition to Facebook will allow users to express their ‘dislike’ of a post, as opposed to the very popular ‘like’ function currently available.
Zuckerberg said of the button: “People have asked about the dislike button for many years. We’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this, and we will deliver something that meets the needs of the larger community.”
For years Facebook has dismissed this idea. In 2013 Bob Baldwin, Product Engineer for Facebook, reported that the company will not be looking into designing this feature. “Actions on Facebook tend to focus on positive social interactions... I don’t think adding a light-weight feature to express negative sentiment would be that valuable.” said Baldwin. Zuckerberg also said that he wanted to avoid a Reddit-like style systems where likes vs. dislikes outweighed each other below someone’s posts.
2 years later, Zuckerberg has changed his tune, and the button has almost reached testing stage. However, he says the ‘dislike’ button is not meant as a negative feature:
“What people really want is to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment.” notes Zuckerberg. Using news reports such as the Syrian refugee crisis or the death of a loved one, Zuckerberg said that the ‘like’ button did not always convey the the user’s true emotions on the subject.
However pure his intentions are, and even though it works on other less-personal sites, there are a few negative aspects to this.
Raffaele Mc Creadie, owner of Decimal Agency, says: “The function carries a few complications with it. It is too easy to interpret the response as an insult against the user who posted the comment or article. Also, paid-for ads might get drowned in a sea of ‘dislikes’, disencouraging companies to use Facebook advertising. Social media is an important part of online advertising, and Facebook is the biggest performed of all.” In addition to this, psychologists are noting that Facebook would become a platform where individual posters will start to feel less confident about themselves. “The word ‘dislike’ has a very strong, negative connotation. Receiving dislikes for your most intimate posts or selfie photos will foster a feeling of not being liked, or not being good enough. Trolling has also been an issue on social media sites lately, and people might abuse this feature to further their own negative agendas.” comments Mc Creadie.
Has Facebook made the right decision in answering the call of its users? Let us know what your opinion is on the matter.
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten
Decimal: Honouring the LegendsEverything in life is derived from a legend: the story of a person that is handed down from generation to generation, and respected by all that follow.
For maths it was John Nash,, Blaise Pascal, Pythagoras and Isaac Newton. Scientists talk about Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Archimedes and Albert Einstein. Artists find their inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Michelangelo.
But who were some of the biggest game-changers in Advertising, and what did they do?
1. David Mackenzie Ogilvy: Born on 23 June 1911, Ogilvy was a Gaelic-speaking Highlander. He started his writing career by selling AGA cooking stoves door-to-door. Because of his success in this, his employers asked him to write an instruction manual on how to sell the stoves. Thirty years later, Fortune Magazine editors called it the greatest sales manual ever written.
After showing the manual to a London-based Advertising Agency, Mather & Crowther, Ogilvy was employed as an Account Executive.
In 1949, Ogilvy started Ogilvy, Benson and Mather on the principle: the function of advertising is to sell, and successful advertising for any product is based on information about its consumer.
10 years later, Ogilvy had built one of the biggest Advertising Agencies in the world and was dubbed “The father of advertising”. In 1962 Times Magazine crowned him “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry”. His advertising principles were based on research, actual results for clients (rather than seeking creative recognition), professional discipline and establishing “the Big Idea”. Principles that are still applied to advertising today.
2. William (Bill) Bernbach: Bernbach was born in America on 3 August 1911. Growing up in the Bronx, Bernbach worked hard to get his degree in English, with additional subjects in business administration, philosophy and music. In 1933 he was given the opportunity to run the Schenley Distillers mailroom, which lead to writing his first advert for Schenley’s Cream Whiskey. The advert reached the right people and Bernbach was moved to the advertising department.
In 1940, Bernbach started working as a Copywriter for the William Weintraub Agency, followed by a position at Grey Advertising where he was promoted to Creative Director in 1947.
Frustrated with the predictability of the agency’s work, Bernbach wrote the following letter:
“There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this sort or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there’s one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.”
By 1949, he teamed up with Ned Doyle and Mac Dane to start DDB, where he served as the creative engine of the agency. DDB grew to become the 11th largest agency in America by 1976.
However, Bernbach’s contribution to advertising wasn’t just commercial. Noted for his devotion to creativity and off-beat themes, characterised by simplicity, Bernbach has made a lasting impact on the creative structure and principles used in advertising agencies today.
Historians have also credited him with being a major driving force in the Creative Revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s. In 1969, Bernbach was named “The Top Ad Agency Executive”.
3. Leo Burnett: Leo Burnett was born on 21 October 1891 and started his career running a dry-goods store with his father. He opted to study for a degree in Journalism and finally graduated in 1914. Hi first job was as a reported for the Journal Star in Illinois.
In 1917 Burnett made his first of many moves to Detroit in order to become the in-house editor for Cadillac Clearing House. He was later promoted to Art Director. Burnett was offered his first position in an advertising agency, McKee, after he had moved to Indianapolis. He said of the founder “He gave me my first feel of what I have come to regard as the "warm sell" as contrasted to the "hard sell" and "soft sell."
In 1935 Burnett founded the Leo Burnett Company and created world famous campaigns, such as Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Tuna, etc. He also garnered relationships with multinational clients, including McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
Known for his use of corny language, Burnett used a dramatic realism and soft sell approach in order to build brand equity, rather than sell products. He believed in finding the inherent drama of products and presenting it in a warm, emotional way.
This lead to Burnett being named, by Time Magazine in 1999, as one of 100 most influential people, and creating a very different approach to advertising.
Taking the influence of each of these legends into consideration, Decimal aims to learn from their contribution to successful advertising today. By researching, thinking out the bos, or just taking a more emotional stance. Decimal hits the ball out the ballpark to sit with the Giants of Advertising. We turn our good into better, and our better into best.
Friday, 2 October 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten