Archive for October 2015

Decimal Heads Back to the Future Too

Decimal Heads Back to the Future Too

Imagine sitting at your desk today, minding your own business, finishing that report your boss needs so desperately. Then, suddenly, a silver DeLorean appears out of nowhere, and out steps the two weirdest characters you have ever seen…

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 Succeed

Christmas Advertising: Decimal Plans to Succeed

It’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

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

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?

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

Honouring the Legends

Decimal: Honouring the Legends

Everything 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

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