Crossover: Budweiser Is Owning It.

Last week I wrote about the Whatever USA campaign from Bud Light in a roundup of great projects at various budgets. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a bit absurd and the typical big brand, big budget waste of money. Many big campaigns are, but when I started researching the campaign for my article, I realized just how smart Budweiser’s whole range of current campaigns are.

Instead of trying to reinvent themselves like many aging brands do, Bud Light has just decided to own it. From their #upforwhatever campaign, promoting the idea that Bud Light is good for any occasion, to the #WhateverUSA town takeovers, they are taking the idea of an everyman’s beer seriously.

5 Books to Help You Break Out of Your Creative Envelope

Universal Principles of Design
125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design

by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler

Universal Principals of Design

If one book exists that can help you step out of a design rut, this is it. Now, when I refer to design, I mean real design from start to finish, not just producing a piece of work based on a spec. The book is essentially a textbook, but it does a great job of getting you back to the fundamentals. So, instead of obsessing over why your color swatch is not working, you think bigger picture about why your overall approach is not working. Anyone who has gone to school for anything from graphic design to interface design has probably already learned most of the concepts in this book, but it is a great way to get yourself back to basics if you haven’t been in class for a while.

Video Projects that Kick Ass at All Budgets

While the cost of production decreases, often the quality doesn’t increase as a result. To produce a TV commercial in the ‘60s, you would need a film with a crew on site just to switch out the reels on the cameras. Then the film would need to be developed, and before non-linear editing systems, film was manually spliced together.

Now, with the decrease in production costs, many producers are killing it— regardless of budget. Large-scale productions can do the most innovative things with their budgets. Little guys with shoestring budgets are biting at the heels of the big guys . The beautiful thing is that we can expect more from everyone. Here are a few that are kicking butt at different levels.

Why Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans Theory Is More Relevant Than Ever

Do you remember what your MySpace profile looked like? I couldn’t, so I looked it up. It’s gone. I don’t remember how many friends I had; I know it was actually quite a lot, at the time I was massively promoting the profile for my expedition. One of our crew members had 100,000 friends. At the time that seemed powerful to all of us. MySpace seemed powerful—for a time, it was.

Gamechangers: How a Small Online Publication Got Anthony Bourdain’s Attention

In our Gamechangers series, we shocase innovators and agile creatives out there doing a lot with little resources or changing our ideas about what content is and how it can be delivered. This week, we explore Roads and Kingdoms’ digital publication. 

How You Access the World’s Biggest Dataset Using Think with Google

Every day, we are A/B tested, our behaviors logged, our clicks processed through algorithms, our locations turned into heatmaps; we are numbers to giant machines trying to understand our behaviors. What does all this data mean? What can it really tell us? Think with Google, a eloquent industry roundup of insights, trends and analysis, is trying to fill the gaps and share the vast dataset that is Google.

Whether you’re a non-profit looking for better ways to raise money or an ad agency in need of an edge on the next digital campaign, Google has hundreds of articles and insights to supercharge your next endeavor.

TWG-w-text

When Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, their mission statement was simple: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” influenced by the motto, “Don’t be evil.” In the 17 years of the company’s rise to the behemoth it is today, they have been living that motto, changing the world with product after product—offered for free or very little cost to the masses.

While many companies line their pockets selling data and metrics, Think with Google, just like the rest of Google’s offerings, if free of charge. They have tons of awesome videos and the insights in all of their content run across industries. And it’s not just Google geeks telling you what they think. Google is pulling together perspectives from leaders in all content categories, from restaurants, to automotive, to high-level statistical analysis—and it is good.

cookbook-calendar_infographics

See the larger pdf: cookbook-calendar_infographics

So, how can you use it?

Go to the Tools Page
Whether interested in something simple like the most trending YouTube videos or a detailed dig into consumer behavior when purchasing online, the tools page is an ever-growing list of valuable tools you can use to better understand society’s behaviors in the digital world. You can do learn about everything from search trends for recipes by month to what it takes to make an unskippable ad. TWG lets you get into Google’s head—and as with most of Google, it is overwhelming how much there is to dig into.

Browse Content By Platform
Content on TWG is very well organized. It can be browsed by industry category, but, more importantly, you can look for content based on a specific platform. Want to see what Google has regarding mobile interface? Looking for a better way to engage on social? Find it here. This is a great way to not get stuck in your industry rut and see what other forward-thinkers are doing with new technology.

Learn About Google Products You Should Be Using
Whether a deeper dig into Google analytics or an introduction to AdSense, TWG gives you insights on both what their offerings can do and how other people are using those offerings. It’s not everyday that a company gives you this level of resources to get more out of their products.

Inspire Your Creativity
With different series of articles showcasing awesome work in creative industries, TWG has tons of great ideas to help get those creative juices flowing. Click on the creative tab to see the latest.

TWG is geared toward marketers, but a quick glance is interesting for anybody who wants to learn more about what’s happening on the Web.

Time Traveling with the Ad-Man’s Desk Book

“Direct mail advertising is an increasingly popular form of publicity.” Quotes like this are what make history so awesome. Today, direct mail is a decreasingly popular form of publicity. While still in wide use, any forward thinker in advertising is likely not upping the amount of direct mail they produce. It is truly inefficient and expensive in the 21st century, but Jack Watson’s grandfather would have argued differently in the late 1940s.

Crossovers: NPR Is Taking Video by Storm

Multimedia, a buzzword about a decade ago, is now the norm. Once a pleasant surprise to see video on the same page as text or a comment forum after a piece of content, the idea of multimedia has evolved from something exciting to something expected. We consider a website substandard if we can’t interact with it and other users on that site.

Why Good Designs Starts in a Word Processor

Scope creep is something that plagues many industries, but creative work takes the cake for being the most ambiguous when it comes to expectations. In the design phase, client feedback (you know, words like “clean” or “modern” and phrases like “make it pop more” or “that is not at all what I explained to you”) can turn a great contract into a money pit for your firm. Managing expectations is tough when you start in the wrong place.

Gamechangers: Honoring Content Creators Breaking Away from the Norm

I have no memories of the days of giant ad agencies, martini lunches, and art departments that actually used sketch books to create ads. I never had anyone like Don Draper as a boss. I wasn’t even alive in those golden days of huge budgets and captive audiences. Times have changed—dramatically—since the advent of instant communications, online video, Google analytics, and follower counts. Things are more efficient than ever but somehow often more ineffective than ever.