Because Sex, Smiles, Sympathy & Storytelling Sell. Every time! [1]


AGENCY: PEACH, Vienna, Austria; CLIENT: (Österreichischer Rundfunk/Austrian Public Broadcasting); JOB: Image Ad; MEDIA: Print

In the world of advertising, it’s a constant battle for our attention (yes, that’s all of you consumer animals out there – including yours truly!) A feat that is increasingly difficult for brand builders in our constantly connected lives. An explosion of brands barrage us with daily messages, by the second, through myriad media channels, from traditional to social media. There just aren’t enough hours in a day for us to pay attention. Keeping up with our smart phones alone, with all the social media sites and apps that keep us connected, organized, and entertained, steal a good chunk of time. We watch less TV than the previous generation. And kids… well they watch everything on their own schedule… customizing content to their taste and schedule. TV, print and radio have been altered forever with the advent of digital media.

At its very core, Brands are hell-bent on our most prized possession – that piece of tony real estate in our subconscious minds. Our mind sets. They know they need to capture our attention first, before peaking our interest, and ultimately manipulate us into reaching for our wallets.

Amid today’s reality, where people are long on ADD and short on time (and attention), any ad’s ultimate goal is to attain stickiness. Making people remember the advertised brand, and make it the chosen one. Many an ad dollars are at stake, and low stickiness means money wasted.


AGENCY: PEACH, Vienna, Austria; CLIENT: (Österreichischer Rundfunk/Austrian Public Broadcasting); JOB: Image Ad; MEDIA: Print

My theory of attaining stickiness is the “4S’s” golden rule of:

1. Sex
2. Smiles
3. Sympathy
4 Storytelling

And while #s 1, 2, and 3 are electives, # 4 is absolutely compulsory.

Storytelling is the glue that brings it all together. It’s a given, and ridiculous to even mention it, however it’s amazing how many brands still miss it and mess up. Failing to tell a good story about why we should believe in their brands, and capture our imaginations. Countless brands have met their demise, and failed to stay relevant with the changing landscape of consumer behavior. Simply because they did not share their brand story with the world.

Research has demonstrated that SEX SELLS! Universally! Showing skin or something on the risqué side always gets noticed. Of course it may not work across all markets or cultures. The other two potent “secret sauces” are Humor – that brings on the smiles – and Sympathy, images of something compelling that tug at the heart strings and move us to tears.
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Logo + Corporate Identity | Red triangles galore''


PhotobucketBass Ale, UK; Triangle InkICare Indianapolis; AMF BowlingJustin Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles, CA, USA; Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; The Cut Creative, a creative design consulting company, Perth, Australia; Capital Assist, UK; Teorema Management Company, Russia; National Endowment for the Arts, USA; Djarum Black “Kretek” Clove Cigarettes, Indonesia; Eucrin Skincare, EU; HeadHunt, an online portal for Singapore Exeutive Search Postings, from London-based Hays Executive Search Co., Singapore; Suunto Oy, manufacturer of sports watches, dive computers and precision instruments, Vantaa, Finland; Team Daiwa Pro Fishing Championship, USA; IPAK (Kosovo Investment Board), Invest in Kosovo Initiative, Kosovo; Conference Aston, Birmingham Hotel & Events Venue, UK; Bain & Co Consulting, Boston, MA, USA; Vygon Medical Devices, France; KLAFS Saunas, Germany. 

When a simple red triangle – regardless how of its position – suffices to represent a company’s brand identity. Sometimes the simplest of ideas create the greatest impact.

To see the related blog post “Triangle compositions,” please click here.

The art of capturing an entire company’s ideas, ethos, knowledge and the future in one logo and corporate identity is an integral part of visual branding. Of course there’s more to branding than meets the eye!

Most of today’s organizations are well-versed in this most fundamental of branding-building exercises. Some are still struggling to design an identity that best represents their values and positive traits, while others come up with eerily similar-looking looking designs, albeit representing vastly different organizations, across a multitude of industries and countries.

I consider myself as a visual creature, and the past few years i’ve been on a personal mission to identify suspiciously similar looking Logos and Corporate Identities. Allow me to add a footnote, however, as I’ve learned from past experience; the opinions on the similarities are subjective, representing my views. And my sole intention is simply to demonstrate that we are all inspired by the same things. Now more than ever, thanks to the internet. Continue reading

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Quotes + Thoughts | On staying realistic


“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.

[photo: Martin Wierzbicki]

~ William Arthur Ward,
Author, Thought Leader [1924 – 1994]

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Quotes + Thoughts | Oprah on the power of the mind


“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.  

~ Oprah Winfrey

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Quotes + Thoughts | On branding agency tagline


Intense, because we believe.

Innovative, because we are resourceful.

Involved, because we care.

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Quotes + Thoughts | On hiring the right people

I LOVE the great quote at the end if the Branson article, from Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai at the IoD Conference in London (quoting Apple’s Dan Jacobs) about making sure you hire (and fire) the right people:

“It’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”

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Destination Branding | Düsseldorf, Germany [2]

Logo_City-of-Düsseldorf_REBRANDING_dian-hasan-branding_DE-2As with my previous blog posts on Destination Branding, here’s a look at another excellent example. Düsseldorf, a medium-sized city in Germany known as the country’s fashion capital. Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with a total population of 11 million people. The city itself is home to about 500,000 people.

Here’s a look at some of the marketing collateral material that was created for the campaign. The brand identity and brand communication strategy was designed and executed by BBDO Germany.

Inspiration: Logopogo; Logo Web Play; Art Nectar

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