Perception Vs. Reality

chris frank st. louis

As Rolling Stone magazine just put itself up for sale, it's interesting to look back at one of their more iconic ad campaigns aimed at broadening their readership. The "Perception Vs. Reality" campaign sought to generate more advertising revenue by using visual metaphors to show who the typical Rolling Stone reader actually was—not who he/she was thought to be.

At that time, the brand still had a large and engaged audience of readers, but ad buyers tended to dismiss them as dope-smoking hippies who weren’t a valuable target for ads.
— Katie Richards | AdWeek

The ad reads, “For a new generation of Rolling Stone readers, expressing your individuality does not mean wearing your birthday suit to a rock festival. During the past 12 months, Rolling Stone readers purchased more than 80 million items of apparel, setting the trends and shaping the buying patterns for the most influential consumers in America. Your media buy looks conspicuously naked if you’re not exposing yourself in the pages of Rolling Stone.”

Source: AdWeek

Cozy Cotton


Specializing in furniture, art, cooking products, linens, and other home accessories, Cozy Cotton is a Korean online shop focused on home furnishing. Tom Jueris spearheaded this beautiful packaging and branding project for the company. His elegant combination of all-caps serif, italic, and handwritten fonts create a personalized and upscale feeling, further propelled by the simple yet luxurious photography.


Source: Abduzeedo

DekoRatio Branding & Design Studio


Located in Budapest, Hungary, DekoRatio Branding & Design Studio is a mecca for interior design, epitomizing the intersection of influence and inspiration. From their basic identity to their sliding doors that cleverly change messaging written on the wall behind it, no stone was left unturned in this beautifully and brilliantly designed space.

The DekoRatio office not only provides an experience to its visitors, but also acts as a showroom for interior design. The space is divided into two parts in the angle of a "K": an industrial space and an all-white office space. This division speaks to the studio's ability to execute brand strategy and also to produce signs and prints.


Source: Behance

Red Bull Music Academy BASS CAMP


Ben Ali Souheil created this stunning poster series for Red Bull Music Academy BASS CAMP. Using geometric shapes interwoven with musical iconography and elements, Ben created a series that spoke to the event's fusion of medieval and modern inspiration.

This design story came together in what I think was the centerpiece of this project, the limited-edition canvas posters named after the 7th note on the musical scale.
— Ben Ali Souheil

Source: Abduzeedo

The Current State of UX/UI Design


Today's consumer spends much of their time online, and as such, the importance of UX and UI design is ever-growing. Not so long ago, UX thinking was limited by the capabilities of the devices we used. Today, however, in a world where our devices capabilities' seem limitless, UX has begun to encompass something greater: front-end design, animation, and generally speaking, a higher level of UX thinking.

The following series of examples were designed by uixNinjaNischal MasandTushar SainiRafzin p and more. These mobile transitions and animations display the direction that UX thinking is headed, including micro-interactions, which the user may not notice directly but subtly enhance the user experience.


Source: Abduzeedo

Blockchain's Role in Advertising

Blockchain is a technology that enables an anonymous, decentralized record of transactions. As consumer's, we've grown to understand that today’s digital ad industry revolves around Google, Facebook and Amazon. Blockchain has the power to address some of ad tech’s most challenging issues. This technology will enable the advertising industry to cut waste, target the right people, reduce the advertising load and deliver fewer, more timely and more relevant ads. 

By utilizing blockchain, advertisers and marketers will be able to anonymously track a customer across platforms and therefore deliver personalized ads without any personally identifiable information or costly contracts across media empires.

Source: AdWeek

Unilever Threatens to Pull Advertising


Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, is threatening to pull advertising from Google, YouTube, and Facebook if the tech giants don’t rid their platforms of extremism, hate speech, and fake news. Unilever spent $9 billion globally on advertising last year. And with more of those dollars moving to the digital space, Big Tech depends on those billions if it wants to keep growing.

Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate.
— Keith Weed | Chief Marketing Officer

Source: Gizmodo

YouTube & Brand Safety


After nearly a year of complaints from advertisers concerned about their ads appearing alongside questionable content and a slew of its biggest influencers going rogue on the platform, YouTube is revamping its policies for how creators make money off of their videos.

Over the past year, YouTube has tweaked several of its policies, upping the requirement for channels to hit 10,000 views, for example, and adding more staffers to vet videos. Still, brand safety has quickly become a more mainstream problem for brands.

While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.
— Paul Muret | VP of Display, Video & Analytics at YouTube

Programmatic Premium Ads
YouTube is now manually screening each individual video for Google Preferred channels, which should cut down on the number of lone videos that make their way through YouTube’s programmatic pipes. According to Google, Google Preferred channels and videos in the U.S. will be vetted by mid-February and will be finished globally by the end of March.

Moving Beyond Views
Now YouTube channels will need to amass 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in a one-year period to run ads. Both new and existing channels will have to meet the new requirements, which go into effect on Feb. 20.

Tiered Media Buys
YouTube is rolling out a three-tiered system for brand safety that allows brands more transparency into where their ads appear. One option caters to brands that are sensitive about where their ads appear. On the other end, a broad-based option lets brands buy ads across a bigger section of videos. The middle option—which is the default option—plays between, with targeted ads that still reach a significant number of channels.

Source: AdWeek