Hyperreality on a budget

I've flown with the pelican and I can tell you, it’s exhilarating.

I’ve flown with the pelican and I can tell you, it’s exhilarating.

Reality’s fine for the everyday world, but sometimes you need something a little more stimulating and rewarding. Well, you’re in luck. Now you can experience a type of hyperreality — a mixture of physical and virtual reality that enables you to expand your mind while exploring unattainable vistas.

Hyperreality was just the next logical step in our compulsive quest for new experiences. With instant access to unlimited information, we had to ask: How do we add value? With an enhanced hyperreal visual experience. And it’s pretty accessible for all of us.Read full post...


Is Google Glass half-full or half-empty?

They’re only available (at $1,500-plus a pop) to select Explorers — Google’s own handpicked beta testers.

They’re only available (at $1,500-plus a pop) to select Explorers — Google’s own handpicked beta testers.

Depends on whom you ask. Google Glass will either be the biggest game changer in wearable technology, or a creepy Big Brother bust that sends people running for the exits. For those who’ve been living under a rock, Google Glass is essentially a smartphone worn as glasses.

It’s got 13 functions including hands-free camera/video/phone, Internet links, voice-activated text and commands (“OK, Glass, take picture.”), all in a heads-up display that keeps your eyes on the road or whatever/whoever is in front of you. You can even have prescription lenses. But you can’t have a pair yet. They’re only available (at $1,500-plus a pop) to select Explorers — Google’s own handpicked beta testers — who will gladly let you bid for theirs on Amazon or eBay.Read full post...


Responsive images on the responsive web

responsive-images-termsYou’ve probably heard about “responsive web design” by now. Hopefully you’ve been able to incorporate this into any new web projects you’re working on, and you’ve already converted — or plan to convert — your existing high-value or high-traffic websites.

While responsive web design has been universally accepted and adopted, it does have a dark side: responsive images. I’ll explain what this problem is, how it’s being solved and why it’s yet another reason to let experts help you with these issues so you can stay focused on your content and ultimately your core business.

To understand the problem, we need to get a little technical. Here are some handy terms to know (refer to the diagram for some visual assistance):Read full post...



People will complain about privacy even as they don their Google glasses and other wearable computers.

People will complain about privacy even as they don their Google glasses and other wearable computers.

It’s January, and everyone’s fancy turns to predicting the future. Okay, maybe not everyone’s, but that’s what you’ll hear a lot about this time of year. December is for looking backwards and January is the forward-looking month.

JWT, a division WPP Group (formerly known as J. Walter Thompson), always makes predictions about marketing communications in the new year.

This year, JWT writes that people have been motivated by what’s called FOMO (fear of missing out). And it has been one of the main drivers (besides convenience) in our adoption of communications technology. We have also given up a great deal of privacy in exchange for always being in the know. It’s not that we wanted to give it up; it was just part of the bargain. JWT thinks this is the year we the consumers will take some of our privacy back. It’s what tech blogger Anil Dash calls JOMO (joy of missing out).Read full post...



Representative pixel resolutions

Representative pixel resolutions

There’s a new TV format looming on the horizon. It’s called 4K TV. You may have seen a commercial for a Sony 4K TV last night, as I did while in the middle of composing this post.

4K, you say. What the heck is that?

Well, in this case it refers to video resolution. More precisely, it refers to the vertical resolution — not the horizontal resolutions that are more commonly used, such as 1080p (1920 pixels x 1080 pixels) for high-definition video. 1080p tells us that there are 1,080 lines of resolution stacked one atop the other like pancakes. The “p” means that the lines are displayed “progressively” from top to bottom, unlike on old-school CRT screens, which display every other line.

In contrast, the 4K resolutions are approximately 4,000 lines of vertical resolution stacked side-by-side like books on a shelf. This is four times the resolution of current high-definition video.Read full post...


You want to live life in the fast lane. Plus you want to text and drive.

I guess the next step will be cars texting each other while driving themselves.

Move to Nevada.

That’s where you can get behind the wheel of a self-automated car. On March 1, 2012, Nevada legalized the use of automated cars on its roads — the first state to do so. Nevada has also given Google the first-ever self-driven car license in the country.

Google’s self-driven cars rely on video cameras, radar sensors, lasers and a database of information collected from manually driven cars to help navigate, according to the company.

Read full post...

10 steps to creating effective landing pages

To create a better landing page, follow these 10 steps.

So, you have marketing tactics driving people to your website. Great! The next question most marketers ask is, “How can I make the site work harder for me?”

1. Identify business goals.

Before you can figure out how to make a landing page work harder, ask yourself, “What was the business need behind the campaign?” Lead generation, patient education, engagement? Answering this will help define a call-to-action (CTA) to engage visitors on the landing page. It will also help you find effective ways to measure how well everything is working.Read full post...

Is the Three Clicks Rule dead?

The problem isn't "too many clicks" — it's "too many wrong clicks".

On the cartoon show The Jetsons, Jane Jetson is a full-time housewife (although the show was set in the future, it was written in the ’60s). She would push a button, and a robot vacuum cleaner would pop out to clean the rug or mechanical arms would place a fully cooked meal onto the table. That is until, in one episode, she gets “buttonitis” — stress from pushing too many buttons. Ridiculous — or is it?Read full post...

To CMS or not to CMS?

There are huge advantages to using a CMS, but some of these features also bring disadvantages.

As a Technical Director at AB&C, I’m mainly involved in the technical production for our web projects — from landing pages for specific campaigns to websites for hospital systems. For the last few years, we’ve been doing much of this production in a content management system (CMS), a web-based application that enables us to give our clients design templates that they can fill in with text and pictures.Read full post...


De-visualizing Data: The MINI Camden’s Mission Control dashboard tells you like it is

MINI introduces new technology

Clear concise data visualization can truly be a game-changer. The difficulty comes in finding the best way to present your KPIs in a way that is quickly and easily digested.

To celebrate 50 years of motoring mayhem, MINI has introduced Mission Control as part of its limited-edition Camden package. In their words: “By bringing the engine, HVAC and central systems to life via three distinct personalities, Mission Control sets the stage for the future of motoring.” Read full post...

Are you a mix tape, or a playlist?

Traditional marketing tactics may be like your old mix tapes.

Traditional marketing tactics may be like your old mix tapes.

It seems like only yesterday. I wanted to catch the attention of that special person and I knew the perfect way to go about doing it — the mix tape! A combination of all those songs that would tell her exactly how I felt and why she should want my company as much as I wanted hers.

Times have certainly changed. Now you wouldn’t make a mix tape, or even a mix CD. Now it’s all about the playlist.

Are business relationships really any different?Read full post...


Will online marketing and social media kill the jumbotron?

Can mobile media compete with the jumbotron.

Can mobile media compete with the jumbotron?

These days, it seems like everyone is asking whether something is about to kill something else: “Will html5 kill flash?” “Will the iPad kill Kindle?”

So, with tongue firmly in cheek, I thought, “I gotta get in on this killing spree.”

In my daily romp through my normal news sites, I stumbled upon an article about a guy named Fred Ehrhart who is taking advantage of online marketing’s incredible targeting capabilities to ask a question usually reserved for jumbotrons, billboards and banners being towed behind airplanes: “Will you marry me?” The ads are all long gone, but they directed his potential bride and anyone else who clicked to this landing page.Read full post...

Cab rides will never be the same!

Marketing via a NYC cab

Marketing via a NYC cab

The old adage in New York City is never watch the road while being driven in a cab (I use the word “driven” loosely). Well, over the past year, that advice has become a bit easier to follow — LCD screens have been added to the backseats of NYC yellow cabs! Now, the once white-knuckled passenger can sit back and relax while catching the latest movie reviews, learning about the hottest new restaurants and, of course, watching countless marketing messages, specifically directed toward those of us who find ourselves bracing for the next brake-screeching halt or other equally surprising evasive maneuver.

From H&M to HBO, from Starbucks to State Farm, advertisers of all shapes and sizes are making the most of our commute, and are finding ways to engage with us as we sit in the comfort of a “pleather” bench seat. At times, I even find myself ignoring that blinking red light on the Blackberry or the melodic tones of the iPhone ringer (no, it isn’t Miley Cyrus) and instead directing my attention to the center console for some good old-fashioned digital entertainment and marketing messages, while doing 90 MPH down 9th Avenue!

Here’s a clip showing how Corcoran, a high-end real estate group, uses the in-cab screen to promote property listings with an interactive delivery. And the next time you’re hurtling down 9th, remember — keep your eyes off the road!


And now – Nowism

The emerging trend of Nowism.

The emerging trend of Nowism.

Instant gratification is nothing new. For years, we’ve had instant coffee, microwave ovens and FedEx. Today’s attention-deficit-disordered generation has taken this institutionalized impatience even further with iPhones and BlackBerrys — the information superhighway is right at our fingertips. With iTunes we can find any song, movie or TV show as soon as we want it — then put it on our iPhone to take wherever we go. And digital cameras — remember film?

Now comes a social movement called Nowism. According to trendwatching.com:

Consumers’ ingrained lust for instant gratification is being satisfied by a host of novel, important (offline and online) real-time products, services and experiences. Consumers are also feverishly contributing to the real-time content avalanche that’s building as we speak. As a result, expect your brand and company to have no choice but to finally mirror and join the ‘now’, in all its splendid chaos, realness and excitement.Read full post...

The browser wars are back on.

The browser wars are on!

The browser wars are back on!

Remember the browser wars of the late nineties? Half the online population thought “Netscape” actually was the Internet and Microsoft was just starting to take the Internet seriously.

Of course, Internet Explorer emerged the victor and whether you’re in the camp that faults Microsoft’s heavy-handed tactics or the camp that recognizes Netscape’s failure to innovate, there’s probably some truth in both.

But now the war is back on. Except it’s not a browser war, it’s a “rendering engine” war.Read full post...