Evermind Your Stress and Sleep Better with Device

Evermind is a science based approach to wellbeing for iOS and Android devices. It looks at things like stress and sleep deprivation and how they impact your mental health and physical wellbeing.

Usually when a company is promoting something like what Evermind provides they turn to typical visual strategies where you show a stressed out individual and the factors that got them to that point. Evermind took a different approach.

Teaming up with Device they created a storyline that uses abstract visuals and animation, paired with a calm voice over and some subtle sound design. The result is really, really well done, and very engaging. Both videos below held my attention and left me intrigued and wondering more about Evermind – which is exactly what they were supposed to do.

Acting as the main character in the story, the white sphere introduces us to the main causes of stress in working environments. Performing as the individual in society, our protagonist explains us the app’s main goal: overcoming stress by managing the factors which usually provoke it, the “stressors” (read: tight deadlines, excessive self-demand, traffic jams…). Travelling around a highly abstract universe, the white ball progressively collides with the “stressors”, identified with an anguishing curved-texture, the ones which block our protagonist’s movement and harm its inner balance. Depicting only synthetic shapes along with a colourful and warm graphic style, the story aims to symbolically convey the benefits that some specific stress-tackling techniques can bring to increase the individuals’ wellbeing.

From Device

Adobe “Honor the Heroes”

A few weeks back Adobe, the graphic design software giant launched a new microsite that honors the frontline workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with the video below, the site contains 120 illustrations created using their software. There s a link out to the Instagram site where additional images (not all are in the original vein that Adobe started with) are being uploaded with the hashtag #honorheroes. Each of the images is a CTA to the illustrator’s Instagram account where you can get the back story on the individual that the illustrator chose to feature.

The microsite is simple but could have done one thing that would have made it better. A link to a location where you could donate to the cause. I say this because Adobe has this at the top of the page.

“Adobe is supporting the COVID-19 efforts with over $3 million in donations to organizations that provide vital assistance to our communities across the globe.”

Failing to add a url to a donation site from both the microsite and the Instagram accounts was a missed opportunity. to do more.

The illustrations are great though.

Say, Man, Let’s Get Really Toasted for a Change.

Does anyone really need a $400.00 toaster? I’m not sure. I mean I make my toast in the oven using the broiler because I don’t want a toaster sitting on my counters and my cabinets are filled with other stuff. Even if they weren’t I’m not sure I’d buy a $400.00 toaster. Never the less, if I were in the market for a toaster and money was no object, this is the toaster I would probably pick.

This is the BALMUDA toaster from Japan. Why is it worth $400.00? Let’s take a look and see. This toaster until recently was a Japan-only product designed to create the best toast in the world by adding water into the toasting process. That’s right water, and if you think it will make your toast soggy, you’d be quite wrong.

The water serves a special purpose, it uses steam technology and precise temperature control to bring out the best in every kind of bread. By pouring a small bit of water into the toaster at the beginning you allow the air to heat more rapidly while creating a layer of steam that envelops the bread as it toasts the surface. This traps inner moister in the bread and keeps the flavor from escaping. The end result is the best toast in the world according to BALMUDA. At 400 bucks it better take Wonder Bread and make it taste like something crafted by Italian bakers with centuries of history behind them.

The BALMUDA gives you four choices for toasting, one for each one hundred dollars you spend on the toaster. Sandwich Bread, Artisan Bread, Pizza, and Pastry modes. There is also an oven feature for cooking things like au gratin potatoes. Oven mode doesn’t use steam.

From a design perspective, the BALMUDA toaster looks great. A clean minimal design with easy to read controls. A small footprint of 8 by 14 inches. 3 color choices, black, dark gray, and white. There is a set of instructions across the top at the back of the toaster and that’s about it.

From a toast perspective I’m going to have to take BALMUDA’s word for it because I don’t own this toaster, won’t be buying this toaster, and haven’t had any toast made with this toaster.

There is a guy on YouTube that swears this is the greatest invention of all time. He has one, and he makes some serious toast with some serious Japanese bread in his video. I have to admit, the toasted bread looks pretty amazing, and I’m sure it smells great too. I’m still not convinced anyone needs a $400.00 toaster, although during the stay at home order during the Covid 19 pandemic, it might actually make life feel better.

Where Businesses are Advertising is Changing

The advertising and marketing industry has been stood on its head in the last month thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic. The economic situation is unpredictable, and the timeline for normalcy seems to be weeks if not months away. The changes that advertising and marketing are experiencing now are manifesting themselves in some very specific ways. 

Because so many cities and states are sheltering in place or have limited exposure rules, there is very little incentive to advertise at all. What is the point of doing a media buy if your target audience is missing during the local commute drive time? Why buy outdoor if the volume of traffic on freeways and local roads has been reduced by two thirds? If the audience isn’t there, the reason to advertise vaporizes.

Yes, people are watching TV, either trying to escape the nonstop news about the pandemic or get more information about it. The problem is, a large portion of popular content is gone. Every major sporting event in the United States has been canceled or delayed. The Olympics are on hold. Live event shows have been postponed, and all of these will remain in limbo until things have settled down and returned to normal.

Typically when a crisis forces people to stay home media consumption skyrockets. The Nelson group has found that it doesn’t matter what the source is consumption goes up, whether it’s live TV, streaming, internet, mobile gaming other channels. And while the news is attracting a larger audience base these days, most advertisers don’t want to position their product or service in relationship to the news on the Cover 19 pandemic.

So, Who is Advertising Changing?

The hospitality and entertainment industries for sure. Retail as well. These venues in many cases simply can not open their doors to the public. And those that continue to advertise are now being extremely sensitive with their messaging. You don’t want to come off as though you don’t care or understand the nature of this crisis. Pitching a product or service against the backdrop of a global pandemic could have long-lasting ramifications for your brand.

And What is Being Advertised?

Covid 19 has disrupted more than our socializing and work habits. It has made it more difficult to ship and receive goods. The global supply chain for many products has been ground to a halt or slowed significantly. Look at what Amazon is doing. They have refocused on high demand items, and restructure shipping priorities to hone in on medical supplies and household staples while slowing the shipment of nonessential goods. If an economic downturn settles in over the next few months, we might begin to see a shift in consumer demand and what brands decide to promote as well.

With he world in such an unsettled state at the moment, how can marketers and advertisers make effective marketing strategies and move forward?

What Does the Data Tell Us?

With the ground shifting on a day to day basis it’s easy to look past the data and simply react to the need at hand. “How quickly can we get this?” “We need X right now.” Being reactionary at this point in time is going to yield fewer gains than looking at your data and building a strategy based on it. Especially data that is updated daily and analyzed. Looking at end-of-week or end-of-month analytics will be too little to late. That historical information might mean very little in rapidly changing circumstances.

Update Your Approach

So much of what we do and know has changed in the last month or so. Your team’s focus has probably changed, as well as how they are producing and executing. Content and messaging have shifted as well. Media buy is probably focusing on different channels in an attempt to have the greatest impact from your spend. This is where your data becomes mission-critical. Why? because it can show you if you are being effective or if you are failing. Even the best creative will fall short if it isn’t delivered in a channel that reaches the right audience with the best impact. Using tools like Twitter Enterprise can help you understand how your brand is being perceived, how your product or service is being angered with during all of this. 

During periods of uncertainty, it’s imperative that your team pays attention, asks questions, and listens closely to what your target audience is saying in order to be responsive, and present relevant and engaging content.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball.

In times of crisis, it’s easy to get distracted and become more reactionary to the situation. Remember the phrase “Cooler heads will prevail”? There is so much truth in that statement. It’s easy to get caught up on everything that is happening in the world these days. Keeping a level head and your eye on the ball is a really good approach to the situation. Concentrate on the things you can control. Be that reassuring.

It all comes down to this, if you are in the business of advertising or marketing, pay attention to your data and analytics and use that information to provide relevant contentment and messaging to your target audiences. You should be doing that anyway, but now more than ever. The Covid 19 pandemic is altering the way we do business and will continue to do so long after we get the “all clear” message. This has the potential to reshape the marketing and advertising industry for an extended period of time if not permanently. 

Think about this. Most of us are working from home. How many businesses are going to see this as a chance to reduce overhead and allow people to continue to work from home after the pandemic ends? (refer to paragraph two and think about the impact over a longer period of time)