Is Technology and Data Spooky?!

Let’s be real. Technology is getting creepy. It’s the scary teacher from grade school that somehow always knows what you’re doing even when she isn’t even looking at you. It seems to be watching our every click spanning the vast universe of the Internet. Companies are focusing on developing technology that processes all of our data to make inferences that could help them turn us into customers, or more importantly, into advocates for their brand. Recently, a brand we’re all familiar with, Netflix, held a competition that rewarded a million dollars (no one we knew won to note) to the group that could create an algorithm that could create better movie suggestions for their members.

It is becoming more and more noticeable to all of us we know; the advertisements on Facebook are generated by endless data based on your profile and pictures posted. Did you notice if you’re wearing a certain brand or piece of clothing that you’ll somehow get an ad with that same information in it? It’s all about targeting, but that’s almost scary targeting! (They’re watching you)!

We have now a developed generation that focuses on individuality, and this evolution inspires us to publicize ourselves on social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, among others. The science behind this data as stated above is rapidly growing due to the high demand of how to use it despite how complicated it is. Going back to the Netflix competition, out of the thousands that entered their competition, only two teams were actually able to create algorithms that improved movie suggestions by ten percent. Acquiring data is easy, but making successful inferences from all of that data is the hard part. But even the smallest improvement can make a large difference by using data properly, which is why companies aren’t afraid to invest.

We’ve been thinking about that a lot on our end here at B Culture Media. How can we help the industry understand what to extract, or more importantly, what to put in place to make that extraction of data all the more usable from the get-go? And, how can we help them understand to the ‘T’ what their target audiences’ want so that all those ad monies are spent wisely. We feel it’s a bit like being Beauty from “Beauty and the Beast” and you have all of this amazing food enticing you to “be their guest”, but instead of that cute dancing cake, now it happens to be advertisements for billions of things you can put into practice to give you lots and lots of data…but, at the end of the day, what does that all translate into? Sales? Growth? Advocacy? What are you Mr./Mrs. X Brand actually searching for?

That’s what makes us understand that we’re circling around back to the technology/data days that existed before the Internet craze started. We need to fully understand the depth of a business, what they need to accomplish, and put into place strategies and metrics to ensure that the “cool” marketing recommendations using innovative technology will actually help an entire organization meet their business goals. Big data is useful, spooky targeted ads are useful, but you have to understand first as to why it’s useful and what you want out of it. I mean, of course besides tracking traffic to a website and the numbers of fans on social channels… those are easy!

@natbdold

@claudiavon

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Would You “Like-A-Hug”?

What’s better than logging into Facebook, to discover that there’s a new message in your inbox, or a dozen friend requests waiting for your approval? Social media has become an integral part of our lives, something that we literally thrive on.  But what would you think if the social media craze turned physical?

A project by designer Melissa Kit Chow, does just this. The “Like-A-Hug” jacket combines Facebook, design and fashion, creating a groundbreaking piece. Let’s say someone likes your recent post about cute cat hats; for every comment or like the jacket inflates, giving the person wearing it a “hug”. Did you just receive a “hug?” With a simple hugging gesture – send the hug back to the person who sent it to you.

Ideas like this take social media communication to the next level. Rather than just reading comments from your loved ones, get hugs that really show their feelings and affection for you. The future of social media and technology is still a mystery but thanks to Chow’s “Like-A-Hug” we know warm hugs and fuzzy things are in store.

@BCulture_CourtB

30 Ways in 30 Days: Sseko Designs

 

How often have you heard the old phrase “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”? Be it that this popular phrase is totally true, Uganda-based company, Sseko Designs has put a whole new spin on the saying. According to their August campaign, 30 Ways in 30 Days, obviously there’s more than one way to style your sandals.

30 Ways in 30 Days encouraged Sseko sandal owners to share their personal sandal style and learn a few new tricks from others along the way. Women were asked to upload a photo showing off their sandal fashion and share it with the Sseko community. The campaign also featured a contest: each week, one lucky winner won an Exclusive Sseko Style Pack, including a $100 gift card and a mystery gift. Everyone who submitted a picture was rewarded with a 15% discount code, redeemable on the online store. This ‘mystery gift’, an accessories line, was finally revealed after the contest end date and will definitely continue to foster and promote the creative spirit of the brand.

The sandal’s simple design paired with beautiful patterns, shades trendy pedicures guaranteed all entries were unique and original, and now with the launch of an accessories collection, the possibilities are endless. Dubbed by the company as the “ultimate styling competition”, the style campaign put user-generated content at the forefront, allowing individual style to remain the center focus. The sandals are gorgeous but with some creativity and ingenuity – the sandals become an eye-catching fashion statement. Never run out of style inspiration with Sseko Designs’ 30 Ways in 30 Days.

 

@BCulture_CourtB

Back-To-School Mobile Fashions

With millions of students heading back to school, lets take a look at school themed phone cases. From favorite toys to your favorite subjects – see how technology, education and creativity collide.

1. Relive your Etch-n-Sketch days with this Iphone case courtesy of iFoolish. Having a dull moment? Flip your mobile to have a full functioning Etch-n-Sketch toy at your fingertips. But put it away before the teacher confiscates it!

 

2. Never forget those masterpieces you made in art class with this creative Iphone cover. Available on Etsy for around $10, the case is also available in black and white.

 

3. Kate Spade joins in on the back-to-school craze with this composition IPhone 4 case for $40.00.

 

4. Getting hungry? Maybe this cover will satisfy those mid day chocolate cravings. Featured on Etsy, this phone cover is perfect for snack time!

 

5. Make your mobile a dual device with this $20 Etsy retro cover. Flip your phone over for a fully functional calculator – just in time for math class.

 

6. Stay ahead of the class with this pencil box inspired Iphone cover from Etsy for $15. Never have to borrow another pencil – just a pencil sharpener.

 

7. This adorable cover is perfect for teachers. Order the customizable cover at Zazzle to express your love for children’s art and your students. The stick figure is also available as a man or woman.

I just realized – school was not this fun when I was growing up.

@BCulture_CourtB

The Great Survey (AskMen): The Internet Age

AskMen recently polled men in various subjects from drink orders to fashion statements to careers. The Great Male Survey 2012 Edition gives a good insight into the male mind, especially into some aspects of the digital age.

According to AskMen, 79 percent of men still prefer to pursue women face-to-face, but a surprising 21 percent prefer online interactions, a nod to the ever-growing online dating world.

64 percent of those surveyed have a neutral attitude towards technology. Around 48 percent check their emails by the minute, up until lights out. 64 percent check their social feeds first thing in the morning. The poll didn’t ask how many men use Facebook – what’s your guess? Less than 5 percent don’t use or have one at all? Over half of the respondents said that a glance at a potential mate/date’s profile page is the extent of pre-stalking he will do. 47 percent don’t care if their partners are friends with their exes on Facebook, and 55 percent keep exes in their network after a breakup.

10 percent of men surveyed admit to Googling their date’s name pre-date, but word of mouth, and a recommendation from a friend is preferred (49 percent).

18 percent admit to sexting to keep up a woman’s interest, another 18 to spark interest. Don’t worry ladies. 83 percent of men say that they would never share sexts with a friend (17 percent would…).

Last one: “Which social media outlet do you think is the most useless for men?” Answer: Pinterest with 35 percent.

@BCulture_Matt

Elevating How You Can be Seen. Heard. Known.

SHK (Seen. Heard. Known.) is a subsidiary project of B Culture Media. The new site that just launched this week, SeenHeardKnown.com, is a content-rich online magazine, which will be a major differentiator for the agency (and vice versa).

SHK will be another way for the clients on the agency side to be elevated with our main intent to further help the brands we work with become a culture, and also for BCM to become a culture in and of itself as well…

What does that really mean? The term “culture” according to Wikipedia, “in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.”

What we’re trying to accomplish is to make the brands we work with and the “symbols” they’re tied to, be representative of digitally engaging experiences for the world, and also to ensure so that no matter what part of the world a brand’s target audience lives, the way that they’re interacted with becomes a part of their stakeholders lives every day both online and offline.

That is why SHK was born under the direction of Ralph Jovine, CEO of B Culture Media, and SHK’s Editor-in-Chief, Rachel E. Sutton. Sutton says, “I will always love the feeling of holding a magazine in my hands and turning the pages. Regardless, I truly believe that the future of publishing will be delivered at its best via a digital platform. This is why I am so passionate and excited about the launch of SHK, and working under the B Culture Media umbrella to make it a success. Our environment continuously merges creativity with the technology and strategy of today’s marketplace, giving us an advantageous platform to make SEENHEARDKNOWN.com standout in the world of online editorial.”

SHK will provide a free platform for our agency clients, if the synergy is right, to allow for further promotion whether the goal is to extend brand awareness, directed advertising at our readership, or to support specific campaign initiatives. The B Culture Media team sees this as a great way to bring together those persons that we call “Culture Spotters” (those always vying for what’s hot and what’s now), and truly integrate an entirely different experience by having the agency and online magazine come together in a collaborative effort.  

SHK will cover a multitude of topics including: Fashion, Music, Beauty, Entertainment (film, television, festivals, etc.), Lifestyle (luxury, travel, food, nightlife, etc.), Editorial (direct category to see all self-generated fashion/feature editorials), SHK TV (all vidoes), and Street Style (including nightlife style). All of this is original content designed by the SHK team, with the sharing of ideas and talent with the agency. 

Sutton says, “SHK is inspired by the celebration of today’s ability to merge traditional editorial aesthetics with the quickness of new media. With an online — yet visually driven — platform, SeenHeardKnown.com plans to penetrate the world of style through fashion, music, beauty, design, entertainment and lifestyle.”

SHK has officially launched on all social channels as well, so please go check us out there, too!

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@natbdold