Bring on the Snark
Adashmore Creative reflects on a cluster of a year
Just like last year, all of us at Adashmore Creative wanted to take some time to profess what we’re thankful for. Granted, we’re not taking the traditional approach and waxing poetic about our love for turkey, family gatherings and that gloppy gelatinous cranberry sauce that slides out with can marks intact while making obscene noises. Rather, we want to give thanks for not being a part of some serious marketing and design fails that happened this year. Ahead, enjoy our take on a truly baffling year. One that not only tested our profession, but pretty much tested everything.
Keeping Brands Real
Phones that explode. Changing a beloved recipe. Banks inflating sales. Politics. There are lots of marketing lessons to learn from this year. While I’m sorry it took some extreme circumstances, I’m glad I now have well-known, recent case studies to support the need for brands to be authentic.
Chief Creative Officer
Let Me Sing You A Ballot
We just had an election, the only time that we probably even think about ballots. Of course, I think about ballot design! Did you know that tons of ballots — over a million — go uncounted in every election because of user error? That’s usually a result of bad design. I’m thankful that we’ve come a long way since the chad fiasco of 2000, but there’s always more to do — and it ain’t easy. Legislators elected with a badly designed ballot (like this gem) won’t likely want to change it. Voting machines are more than a decade old in 42 states — a decade old, when Amazon’s website looked like this. There are different processes and laws across jurisdictions, so applying good design can be hit or miss. Sigh. If only it could be as easy as swipe left, swipe right.
You guys, it’s these effing cups again! To you and me, they might just be vessels meant to hold hot (lukewarm) and expensive beverages. But to other people, they are political statements, the wrong colors and a source of serious and actual contention. Don’t get me wrong, Starbucks has had campaign ideas that majorly failed (because who DOESN’T want to take a quick minute to discuss race and other serious topics with their barista when it’s 6 am and the line is out the door) but let’s all just calm down about the cups. Whether it’s green or red, the actual source of frustration should be that you paid $5 for a coffee you could have made at home. Now that’s misdirection at its finest!
Getting Back On That Horse
Wells Fargo, one of the most traditional horse-drawn bank brands in the nation, tried appealing to students by steering their future. Clearly, to Wells Fargo, the future is science. Becoming a ballerina or an actor is a non-achievable dream that has no place in the real world of “sciencey” test tubes and ferns. Within minutes of the ad promotion, there was so much backlash on Twitter, that Wells Fargo immediately issued an apology.
Oof – just stick to the horse and buggies.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
This year I am thankful for the amount of celebrity news and gossip that I follow. People may think it’s a waste of time, but at least I didn’t mistake Whoopi for Oprah.