Social media as a channel for communication and collaboration is constantly evolving. In particular, savvy digital consumers are always quick to explore new ways to use various social media platforms to meet their individual needs, ultimately creating unique experiences within their online communities. These inventive uses of social media can sometimes inspire ideas for new features and even entirely new platforms.
An example of a creative use of social media I’ve recently come across is by Edmonton-based fine artist Glen Ronald on instagram. In recognition of his relatively strong following on the free photo-sharing program/social network, Ronald has taken advantage of the opportunity to sell his original drawings and paintings to instagram users by intermittently holding auctions right on his profile.
While eBay still exists as the leading online auction website, I would argue that in this particular circumstance instagram provides a much more personal space for Ronald to interact with prospective buyers and fine art enthusiasts alike. In addition, instagram offers an equally (if not more) instant response, since consumer engagement happens in real-time.
Although I doubt that instagram will introduce an auctions feature in the near future, Ronald’s distinctive use of the photo-sharing program certainly raises an important question about the core needs social media users hope to fulfill through their digital experiences. Ultimately, social media platforms (and brands operating in the digital space) that are aware of, and more importantly, remain responsive to these needs will succeed at delivering better digital experiences for consumers.
Google recently launched a marketing campaign to promote its newly rebranded app store, Google Play, using this simple, yet creative video.
In a rather impressive feat, this ad promotes Google Play by combining the relatively antiquated versions of the app store’s various elements: a standard-issue telephone is used to represent a cell phone; an actual book to represent an e-book; a projector to represent a TV; and a rubik’s cube to represent an online game.
In addition, this ad follows a growing trend by Google to use handcrafted materials to promote its various products and services.
Inspired by a visualization project from my Creative Thinking and Problem Solving class, I decided to create an infographic on myself to use as visual self presentation which incorporates my persona, interests and past experience.
Click here to see the image in its original size.
The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is currently using this creative and compelling ad to raise awareness of the need for more foster families for youths between the ages of 15 and 17.
The ad, which was developed by Try/Apt, combines the deep metaphors of journey, transformation and connection. The ad’s message is shown through the eyes of a girl drawing herself as she grows older. In her drawings, she shows herself move from a state of happiness as a child to a state of isolation and sadness in her youth. In the background, we also see plants and butterflies transform into trees and birds.
It isn’t until towards the end of the ad that the deep metaphor of connection truly comes into play. Still through her drawings, the ad shows that having caring foster parents will redefine this young girl’s story by putting her on the path to a bright future. As such, the ad ends with the following line: “It’s never too late to help someone on the right track.”
In addition to the deep metaphors at play here, the ad is also operating on a very high context. No words are spoken throughout the ad as it relies heavily on the strong visuals and the rather compelling Canon in D, one of the most famous pieces of music by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel.
This concept choice for the ad is particularly interesting because Norway, along with a few other Scandinavian countries of Northern Europe, is traditionally seen as a low context culture. It demonstrates that audiences can be receptive to concepts that use message styles that deviate from their known cultural context.
In an attempt to build a stronger relationship with its developers, Google is inviting them to record videos and share their stories. In particular, Google wants to find out what inspires them and what being a developer means to them, in hopes of improving support and ultimately launching an online community specifically for developers.
The spot featured above promoting Google’s open source project immediately reminds me of JJ’s visual self presentation, which had a very similar do-it-yourself, pop-up card style. If I didn’t know better, I would say that Google stole JJ’s idea. However, it’s rather encouraging to see that the ideas and concepts we are developing in our Creative Thinking and Problem Solving class actually have a place in the real world.