Advergaming- The advertising value video games can offer

Advergaming_webThe very best advergaming is actually a playable, interactive game that happens to include promotional messages.

Video games are designed to keep you in that sweet spot between happiness, frustration and progressive skill development. You just want to keep playing and playing. So, naturally, hardly anything would be more frustrating than advertisements plastered all over the screen, annoying promotional pop-ups or full-screen video commercials interrupting your gaming flow. That’s why you might think that marketing and video games don’t mix well. Yet advergaming exists and is very much alive.

advergaming-hero-imageThe difference between gamification and advergaming

Gamification is the combination of marketing strategies with classic gaming techniques to keep you engaged with the brand or product. When you compete with your friends for Foursquare Mayorships, collect points for My Starbucks Rewards or play McDonald’s Monopoly, you’ve been lured in by gamification.

Advergaming might sound similar, but it’s not the same. It means developing an actual game for the purpose of marketing. There are three main types of advergames:

MCD Farmville1) Advertising inserted into an existing game

Have you played Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U? Did you notice how you can race with Mercedes cars in the game? That’s product placement right there. Back in the 90s, the rising wave of popularity of video games had advertisers salivating over all the possibilities to place brands and products in your favourite video games. What followed were games like Zool, a platformer where an alien ninja ant fights its way through a sweet world of candy — sponsored by ChupaChups — and Cool Spot, which had players jumping and running around…with the 7-Up mascot.

2) Full games for desktop computers, consoles, or mobile devices

The restaurant chain Chipotle released a free iOS game called The Scarecrow in 2013. Marketed as an enticing game in which the player breaks up a monopoly, it not-so-subtly promoted the company’s values. Regardless, The Scarecrow was a huge hit with fans. Players downloaded the game more than 250,000 times in just four days.

3) Games on a company’s website

You might think of these as branded mini games, which you’ll find on sites like Candystand. But successful advergames on the web go beyond throwing together a bit of flash animation. Ubisoft’s video game Watch Dogs is set in a dystopian future where players hack cameras and mobile phones. To promote the game, Ubisoft produced the website WeAreData*, which offers infographics and real-time visuals of geo-data from Paris, London and Berlin.

HOW WORKWEAR INSPIRES HIGH FASHION

Marie_Antoinette_roseLet them wear workwear:

Back in the 18th century, Marie Antoinette was famous for having her very own little farm in the gardens of Versailles. The building included animals, a mill wheel and a barn. All specially designed to make the queen feel like she was in the countryside instead of the palace’s premises. She would even wear outfits inspired by the theme which included muslin chemises with sashes and straw hats. As you can imagine, much like the stiletto-wearing McDonald’s employee, these delicate dresses were anything but what country people actually wore at the time.

Humble beginnings

It was during the 20th century, to be exact. We first saw T-shirts make the move from the US Army to the silver screen where heart-throbs Marlon Brando and James Dean popularised the item. If you want to find out more about the history of the T-shirt, check out our infographic.

 

Marlon_Brando_in_Streetcar_named_Desire_trailerHow Jeans became labor workwear to High fashion

In a similar fashion, denim has got its roots in manual labour. The first pair of jean trousers were born in mid 19th century when American tailor Jacob W. Davis was asked to create a pair that would sustain harsh conditions. He made the garment from the sturdiest cotton he had available at the time and put copper rivets on the seams that often tear apart on the garment. Seeing a business opportunity, he contacted his cotton supplier Levi Strauss & Co. for a partnership and together started a company that would eventually become Levi’s.

Current Trends:

Fisherman

Just last year The Guardian wrote an entire article on how “Fisherman” was the new ‘It’ thing in menswear. Cable knit jumpers, beanies and wader trousers are all part of the trend.

Construction Worker

Among their predictions for 2017, streetwear blog Highsnobiety listed workwear as one of the biggest trends of the year. Think of overalls, bright colours and combat boots.

Business Casual

Some may argue that office attire isn’t technically workwear, but any clothes you have to wear for at least twenty hours a week falls into the category in my book.

Recent collections from brands Gosha Rubchinskiy and Prada showcased outfits inspired by business casual. The first draws inspiration from a young post-Soviet Union workforce while the second has got a dash of 70’s flare.

THE TIPS OF RENTING RESTAURANTS FOR EVENTS

Restaurants are some of the best places to host events at. They know how to serve large groups of people and their staff is used to perform under pressure. That being said, not all of them are created equal and even if they were, not all restaurants work for every occasion.

budgeteBudget

As a general rule, venue and catering should cost less than half of your overall budget. Keep that in mind when looking for a restaurant to host your event.

Decorations

Restaurants already have their own decoration in place. Sometimes they pay interior designers good money for them so it’s understandable when owners don’t take it very well when someone asks them to change it.

 

events-positive-lasting-impressionFeatures

As a restaurant, you can rest assured that the venue will feature everything you need when it comes to serving food, but do they have what you require to make a presentation? Are there enough energy outlets for you to connect all of the devices you must use? Do they have a screen or at least a white wall where you can project a presentation? Do they have microphones or should you bring your own?

wedding-event-plannersHolding capacity

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many events get screwed up by poor head count. The capacity changes depending on the purpose of the event, if you’re planning a dinner party for 30 people then you’ll need space for 30 chairs. If you’re having the same number of guests, but for a cocktail party instead then you can do with a smaller venue since most of the time people will be standing.

Knowledge

Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Scout the location before arranging any meetings with the owner or manager. A good idea would be to visit the place, more than once, as a customer. Go during different times, when it’s rush hour and when it’s not. This will give you an unfiltered view of the place and how it performs day-to-day.

how-to-organise-experiential-eventsMenu

Nowadays there are more people than ever who have vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free diets. Also, if you’re expecting attendees from foreign countries you should pay special attention to their customs. Depending on where they come from and what religion they follow, there might be certain things that they won’t be allowed to eat. For example, Muslims won’t eat pork or drink alcohol and Hindus usually don’t eat beef.

Place (Where it’s located)

Is it easy to access to? Does it have an easy connection to public transportation? If some of the guests are coming in their own private transportation, is there a place to park nearby?

Rate

When hosting a large group, most restaurants will offer you a fixed menu and a flat rate per person. Most of the time these will include the entire meal (including dessert), several bottles of wine and even coffee, but other times it won’t include coffee or just the meal and you’d have to pay the drinks on the side. Before writing any checks, make sure you understand everything that’s included and what’s not included in what you’re paying for. It would be embarrassing for one of your guests to order coffee, only to find out that they have to pay it out of their own wallet.

DTG PRINTING- THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY

Picking a printer is one of the most important steps we take in our journey as a customer merchandise enterprise.

DTG-top-imageWhat is DTG printing?

DTG means Direct-to-Garment printing. It is a relatively new process of printing, as it only came into play in 2004. These printers however have advanced quickly, to the point where they easily compete with screen printing. For the purposes of ecommerce, DTG printing is the best way to print t-shirts at optimal quality and speed for minimal cost.

It’s significantly easier to print small batches of t-shirts using DTG printing than it is with Screen printing. This is true even if you are printing a single shirt, you can do so at a cost that maximizes profit margins and quality, offering you much better customer satisfaction.

dtg-printer-machineHere are some of the benefits:

Full Colour Images for a Fraction of the Price.

– Unlike our competitors we stop charging you after 5 colours so you’re not punished for vibrant designs.

Rapid Turnaround.

– Due to the speed of our cutting-edge printers your t-shirt prints will be printed and ready to ship faster, giving you greater customer satisfaction.

Fantastic Quality on Light/Dark Apparel.

– DTG printers inject ink directly into each strand of the fabric, making all products pixel perfect.

Cost-Effective Prints.

– We offer a much higher profit margin for each of your products than our competitors offer, as the cost are lower.

dtg-page-bottomimageDTG Printing Process

  1. There’s an automated quality check for your design which ensures your design is the best possible quality for print.
  2. Once your design is ready for print, the order is automatically sent to one of our premium suppliers based on the location of the customer
  3. The order is received by the supplier where they add the design’s unique barcode which contains all the image data for printing.
  4. The t-shirt is then loaded onto one of our top of the line Kornit printers where the barcode is scanned.
  5. dtg-vintage-photo-collagesA pre-treatment solution is sprayed onto the shirts to make the ink stick to the fibres more easily which prevents your design from fading.
  6. Your design is then printed onto the t-shirt
  7. Our printers then check to make sure that your t-shirt designs have the best quality possible and match your original design perfectly.
  8. The t-shirts are packaged up and shipped to each customer, directly from the printing facility for the fastest possible delivery time.

Why we use DTG printers

DTG printers are the future of custom apparel printing and since they’re a recent addition to the world of printing, they still have room to become faster and cheaper to run.

However, after months of research we truly know these are the best for our customers, they give the fastest printing turnaround time in the industry and fantastic profit margins.

5 Things to Know about DTG Printing

dtg-vintage-photo-collagesIt’s pretty new

We’ve come a long way in garment printing.  Back in the day they used ancient devices called screen printers.  Compared to DTG, screen printing is like trying to read War and Peace while rock climbing.  Direct to Garment printing is a relatively new technology that only began in the early 2000’s and is just now hitting its stride.  It’s a great time get involved in the DTG industry.

It’s easy but there’s a learning curve

DTG seems pretty simple on the outside.  Load the image to the computer, put the shirt in the machine, and press the button.  But there are factors that you normally would not be aware of if you’re new to the industry.  So although digital printing is much easier compared to screen printing there is a slight learning curve to overcome, but after that it’s smooth sailing.

dtg-printer-machinePrinting on light garment shirts is so much easier than dark garment shirts

Printing on dark garment shirts isn’t exactly splitting the atom, but compared to printing on light shirts it is more difficult and time consuming.  For one thing, pretreat is required if white ink is being used.  That means you have to pretreat the shirt, heat press it, print the image, then heat press it again.  Sounds a lot easier than it really is, but there’s a learning curve. The old way of doing things required you to pretreat your shirts using power sprayers and such.  Some machines allow you to only pretreat the areas you want, saving you time and money.

DTG-printingThere’s some maintenance involved

When you come in the morning there will be maintenance.  When you leave at night there will be maintenance.  If something goes wrong…. you guessed it.  There will be maintenance.  This has mostly to do with the white ink settling down in the lines and clogging up the heads, but if you keep your machine active and maintained there shouldn’t be much to worry about.  If you don’t want to take responsibility of maintaining the machine everyday, then DTG might not be for you.  The maintenance isn’t hard, it just take time.

It’s not cheap, but over time it’ll pay for itself

Getting into digital garment printing can be a huge financial risk.  The machines are expensive and the cost of supplies & consumables can add up.  OK, everything but that last part was true, but depending on how much you sell each shirt the machine will eventually pay for itself.  Everything after that is profit. Do your research first and attend a few trade shows like ISS, NBM, or SGIA.  Most of the time vendors will give huge discounts on initial equipment purchases during trade shows, saving you a ton of money.

Examples of brands using food in advertising

Roughly one fourth of social media shares are food related. Big brands have understood this and added social media to their marketing mix to generate online engagement and bring more customers through the door at their business locations.

Food VirginVirgin mobile – Social responsibility with Meal for a Meal

While social streams and feeds are cluttered with food pics, people go hungry in this world. In a campaign to Make mobile better, Virgin mobile promises to help feed those in need. For every food picture posted to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter tagged with #mealforameal, they will deliver a real meal to a person who couldn’t afford it otherwise. Meal for a meal is meant to fight food waste in a partnership with OzHarvest, a charity rescuing excess food which would otherwise end up as trash.

Kraft Foods – New Friend Requests

Kraft Foods repositioned its A.1. Original Sauce and dropped “steak” from the label. The point was to show customers that the sauce was more versatile, so they created a Facebook campaign with a video to drive awareness and sales. Their approach was original and creative, using the social network to show that the product was in a relationship with Steak but was open to other friend requests.

Food McDMcDonald’s – User-generated content with 40 together

For its fortieth anniversary, fast food giant McDonald’s focused on user-generated stories and nostalgia. On the 40together.com website, users submit their memories by writing or speaking. Their words are illustrated with colors, fonts, icons and animation and can be matched to a decade and a product. TV ads depicting milestone moments in people’s lives with McDonald’s food playing a role in each accompanied the campaign.

 

Anheuser-Busch – Buds for Buds

The beer brand created a mobile experience with a promotion to buy a friend a beer. The objective was to make Budweiser more relevant to young consumers who might perceive the brand as dated. To drive awareness, traffic and sales, they connected the online and offline. Though we spend more time with online friends, buying a beer for a buddy is a real thing if you redeem your drink at your local bar. With millions of media impressions and a lift of in-bar sales from customers, the campaign was a success.

Food Burger KingBring back Chicken Fries – Burger King

Fast food chains periodically self items on their menu, only to bring them back later and drive consumers to their locations. Social media seems ideal for marketing these campaigns, and Burger King is indeed king when it comes to viral strategy. When “chicken fries” started getting considerable mentions on social channels in January 2015, the company reacted and made a decision to bring back the food. With the hashtag #chickenfriesareback and presence on Tumblr, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it was their most social initiative so far, averaging 380 tweets a minute and getting 150,000 total mentions on social media in the first 72 hours of the campaign.

How you can use food for marketing your business

Food pictures
Food Image

It’s a no-brainer that a very effective and popular way to promote your business or restaurant on social channels is with attractive, delicious-looking photos to install salivating, craving and growling stomachs in your audience. Visual content is among the most consumed and shared types of media, and you will need palate-pleasing pictures for your website and social media outlets to attract hungry eyes. But beware, quality photos are harder to snap than you might think.

Know the lingo

Looking for mouth-watering words to spicy up your menu, caption your images and write compelling copy for social media? Choose the right words to showcase your food on the page and whet the appetite of customers.

Food AdvertisingSocial Media

Instagram marketing is a given for your food business. To develop personal relationships with customers on social media, encourage the sharing of their own content. Photo contests, polls about their menu or product favorites and raffles are great measures to populate your pages and streams with content from your customers.

Showcase food-related content on YouTube

A YouTube channel for your business is a great opportunity to further spread your brand and promote highly shareable content. Think about what kind of videos you can produce and share. Consider video recipes or even your own cooking channel, interviews with guests and staff, seasonal dishes and highlights, a video tour of your business, tips on cooking, local produce, preparing dishes or guides on how to hold tastings.

Food DeliveryPartner with an online delivery service

People are lazy, and in today’s world of online presence, ordering in is more common than ever thanks to mobile apps and a rising number of services offering a streamlined ordering process. When your business or restaurant does not have its own delivery service, consider reaching out to more customers by forming a partnership with a delivery service.

Leverage online reviews

Customers research food locations beforehand, so a backing of positive reviews will definitely work in your favor in attracting attention and business. Most platforms allow you to register your business and enter details about it, so it’s necessary that you do this. Customer can and will review you, if you work on your profile or not, so you should be proactive to have review platforms work in your favor rather than against you.

Check-ins and rewarding loyal customers

Swarm is the counterpart to Foursquare that gamifies the customer experience at your business location. The mobile app allows people to check in and compete with your friends. As a business owner, you can make this part of your marketing plan. Monitor your customers and offer coupons, promotions and rewards for loyal customers.

Imagining Social Media Networks as Cocktails

Here is a list of some of your favourite social media turned into drinks:

martiniMarspace

The original social network – the original cocktail. They’re both pretty much ignored by younger generations, but the couple had an impact in their respective industries that spawned a league of memorable descendants. Would there be a Facebook, twitter and Linkedin without a Myspace? Would there be a Martini without a Martinez?

Facejito

Pretty popular and everybody does it – the only problem is that if you don’t know how to prepare it, it can be a mess. It’s delicious! Don’t get me wrong. Nobody is trying to take away the tastiness from the Facejito. If you ever order a Mojito and sense a slight glare coming from the bartender.  The cocktail is pretty laborious to make. On the other hand, Facebook when done incorrectly can be a migraine for both its users and developers.

 

social-mediaLinkin Tonic

The Linkin Tonic is a drink that has become fashionable, most people respect it and everyone has tried it at least once. Not that many people recognize it’s true value. Anyone can make a Gin Tonic, but not many people can MAKE a Gin Tonic. It takes a real spirits connoisseur to consider the botanicals in the gin, and choose the right tonic water to enhance their flavour. Same thing can be said about Linkedin. Linkedin is a very powerful tool for networking and getting jobs, but most people just open a profile and let it rot, without knowing its true power.

Using-social-media-at-eventsCosmopin

A beverage with a reputation for being a girl’s drink and a “fad” – therefore not a real cocktail. While it’s true that the people who order it are mostly women, the potential of the Cosmopin shouldn’t be underestimated by neither gender. 83% of Pinterest users are female, making it an obvious target for brands with a large female audience. The network receives a solid 10 million US unique visits a month and is known for driving online sales. On the other hand the Cosmopolitan is a cocktail that became famous thanks to a little tv show called Sex & The City. Thanks to its popularity among women, many men ran away from it thinking it was a “fruity” drink, but it is in fact the best Vodka Sour around.

Twitteroni

A cocktail that’s often not well prepared and it’s a shame because it tastes so much better when it is. What is Twitter? A social network or a microblogging platform? What is a Negroni? Is it bitter or sweet? They’re actually both! It takes a fine palate to understand the true value of a Negroni and the same thing can be said for Twitter. Take a look at this list of Twitter hacks to understand how flexible this tool can be. When prepared properly, the Twitteroni is a drink that tastes better with every sip.

Retro Logos and why do they work so well?

The terms ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ are similar, but they’re not the same and if you happen to work in the design world, you must not confuse the two of them.

RetroWhat is the difference between retro and vintage?

As there is no formal regulation regarding these concepts, they tend to change depending of the source, but these seem to be the most accepted.

Retro design is any contemporary design that features elements from the recent past. For example Ikea’s Fillsta lamp is a good example of retro design because it’s style is from the 70’s, but it’s produced today. On the other hand, vintage refers to design that was produced anytime between 20 years ago and the 1920’s. These are products that were made in the past and have somehow managed to survive to our days. Anything that has been made, designed or produced before the 20’s is considered an “antique”.

Retro VintageWhy does retro design work?

Back to basics

Retro designs are usually simpler that contemporary ones. One of the main reasons being that in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s designer had less resources to work with and therefore it was all less complicated. For instance, for a really long time printing in full color was impossible or just too expensive. That’s why the older the design, the less colors it will showcase. We tend to admire simple design that works because, as any person who has studied design can tell you, it is harder to create something simple that works than something complex that does the same.

VintageNostalgia

Brands and marketing agencies have been using nostalgia to sell us stuff for years. Some may see it as cool way to bring back something we love, while others think it’s a manipulation of our feelings. Entertainment industries like Disney and Nintendo are experts in this type of marketing. Through this technique, they’ve kept alive characters that debuted 20, 30, 40 and sometimes even 50 years ago. It is no coincidence that we’ve been seeing so many remakes and superhero movies lately. Nostalgia is a big incentive to spend money on a movie, that may not be that good, but we still enjoy because it reminds us of our childhood.

Admiration

Graphic design fans in particular tend to admire the designers of the past because of their hard work. Nowadays we tend to equate graphic design with Adobe, but Photoshop didn’t make it to the personal computer until 1985. This meant that mockups were done by hand, which took days if not weeks to complete. The thought and research process had to be much more carefully planned. A single mistake could take projects back days if not weeks.

When the digital revolution came it meant that designs could be completed in a fraction of the time, but it also meant that anyone that could get their hands on the software was able to produce a flier. And that was just the start. Nowadays websites offer free applications that generate logos and sometimes a computer is not even necessary with apps that allow you to be creative in your smartphone or tablet.

Some of the worst marketing fails from recent years

Unfortunately, ideas don’t always translate and some of the details that make a campaign great can get lost during production.

heinz-2015-marketing-failuresHeinz Tomato Ketchup links to porn

Even big brands can make blunders. A German gentleman had the misfortune of being redirected to a hardcore porn website when he scanned the QR code on the back of a Heinz bottle. This happened because the company let the website expire and then an even ‘saucier’ organisation bought the domain name. Your meal is ready!

IHOP Restaurant likes them big

We bet the IHOP community manager learned their lesson after they tweeted this attempted joke. Needless to say, it upset quite a few people. Eventually, the tweet was removed, but after hours of no reaction from the company had passed. Lesson of the day: Want to be controversial? Want to make fun of a touchy subject? Great, go ahead, just be prepared for the consequences and act fast.

Heineken beerBudweiser promotes date rape

The Bud Light slogan was one of the biggest marketing gaffs in terms of ignorance and attitudes towards rape. How anyone could have written these words and not seen the implications is beyond me. The slogan suggests the beer is for a ‘certain type’ of woman who is carefree, gets drunk and doesn’t care what happens to her.

Shitto Hot Pepper Sauce

This product from Ghana may just do what it promises on the label – depending on how hot it is. Described on one website as Gourmet Pepper Sauce, Shitto does translate to pepper in the Ga language. Clearly someone didn’t do enough research on how this would be read internationally.

Wolkswagen-marketing-failure-2015Volkswagen doesn’t care about the environment

Although not hilarious, we think this one is worth a mention because it is always thrilling to see the giant ones fall. Just in case you were on your yearly trip to Mars, Volkswagen had emissions cheating software installed in their diesel cars between 2009 and 2015 to show lower nitrogen oxide emissions than they were actually emitting. This falsified engines into appearing cleaner than they actually were.

Coca-Cola doesn’t get Russian geography

As seasoned professionals at the top of the marketing game, you might think that Coca-Cola would have a team of people ready to make sure everything the brand sends out is spotless. But somehow, this Russian ad slipped through their fingers.

To outsiders, it may look just like a snow-covered map of Russia. To Russians, it’s clearly missing Kaliningrad, a city annexed after the end of World War II.