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FIRST THINGS FIRST, we made you guys a playlist of the jams that carry us through the work day. Now we can all listen and it’ll be like we’re hanging out.

Back to normal programming. 

Useful news for this week

Twitter is testing full-length images. Cooool.

The primary message of this Campbells and LA Rams collaboration is, “lunchtime is your halftime.” Honestly, it’s not anything Earth-shattering by way of marketing. BUT it gives us an excuse to remind you to take time to eat during your work day for pete’s sake.

This Axe video introduces a new Axe formula that smells just as good but makes the wearer slightly less irresistible. It’s needed because after everyone’s been cooped up for this long it would just be irresponsible to send people out with regular Axe on, they say. We just thought you could use a chuckle.

We had low expectations for the Facebook smart glasses, Ray-Ban Stories. And yet, after watching the release video, we might add them to our Christmas list? Yikes. As marketers we’re paying attention to see if this kind of thing affects how our audience interacts with our products or social accounts. Plus, this is sure to bring up more talk around privacy and ads (will FB one day show ads on these?).

How digital marketers can channel flow to be more productive 

This Search Engine Journal article focuses on flow, basically how to get “in the zone.”

They recommend:

  • Writing out a to-do list the night before
  • Eliminating distractions/notifications
  • Planning out blocks of time for getting in the zone

That’s good stuff, but here are the two tips that got us the most excited.

ONE: Leverage the challenge/skill ratio

Even if you do everything right to get into a flow state, it won’t work well if you try to dig into a project that will feel crazy overwhelming or even a project that’s too straight-forward. You want to aim for projects that are 4% more challenging than you’re comfortable with. Here are their examples of projects with 4% more difficulty:

  • Tweaking the copy for one initiative to be bolder
  • Applying a new technique to your design process
  • Considering keywords a few difficulty points higher than usual

TWO: When you hit a wall, don’t keep struggling
Apparently our flow cycle goes like this:

  • Struggle
  • Release
  • Flow
  • Recovery

When you’re in the “struggle” phase, it’s like devil’s snare. You have to relax or it will only kill you faster. So don’t continue to struggle. Instead, do something to hit your mind’s refresh button. You could belt a song, crank out some jumping jacks, or grab a snack.

We all want to be a bit more productive, so give it a shot.

Marketing lesson from the Blue’s Clues 25th anniverery video

Did anyone else live their whole life believing that Steve left Blue’s Clues because he had gotten into hard drugs, shaved his head, and joined a screamo band? Hmmm…must have just been a rumor that floated around our elementary school. Well, you probably saw his 25th anniversary video, which was a hit.

We saw some lessons in it for marketers.

1. It’s really powerful when a brand can create something that feels genuine instead of synthetic. For us the video’s sense of authenticity made it magical.

2. Consistent branding can make your customers feel safe. Did you notice that the video was full of familiar aspects of the original show? The wallpaper background, Steve’s shirt, the format of Steve talking to us as if we were there interacting with him.

If your company serves your customers well (big ‘if’ there), and if your branding is clear, then you can use that branding to elicit an emotional reaction from your audience.

3. Attuning to your audience’s language also creates authenticity. We loved Steve’s sign-off, “You look great by the way. Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s working.” We loved it because it sounded exactly like what one of our old friends might say to us (because we are looking good right now).

When you tell your company’s story in ads, on landing pages, in blog posts, are you speaking to them in a familiar voice and grounding them with consistent branding?

    Our best guess at what a marble statue’s soul looks like

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