Sparks June 2010 -

Sparks June 2010

In the News

Hitler in pink
The world is abuzz with outrage over an Italian advertisement featuring Adolf Hitler wearing a pink uniform. The 18′-tall billboard ad, created for Italian clothing company New Form, features Hitler in a pink uniform with a heart on its armband. Accompanying the image is the slogan “Change style. Don’t follow your leader.”

While the ad certainly grabs attention, it is a brand-buster for the Sicilian fashion store. Zerocento, the ad firm that devised the campaign, says the billboards encourage teens and 20-somethings to question their leaders. As others have pointed out, the rationale is hypocritical, since it comes from a business trying to dictate fashion trends.

Zerocento is moving forward with the campaign regardless of the international outcry, with the next round of ads bearing Chinese dictator Mao Tse Tung.

The lesson? Get attention for your brand through quality and integrity, not through offensive ads that alienate your target market and the rest of the planet.
Learn more

Currency for a collapsing country
Designers frequently complain about the ugliness of US currency and hold up Euros and pound notes as examples of form + functionality.

A recent blog post at the American Institute of Graphic Design investigated examples of currency from the Weimar Republic era in Germany. They show an unusual use for money: as social commentary as well as marketing.

Texting trumps email
A recent Ball State study shows that 97 percent of college students now send and receive text messages, while only about a quarter of them use e-mail or instant messaging.

The study, led by journalism professor Michael Hanley, also found that smart phones account for 49% of mobile communication devices on campuses.

The lesson? If you want to reach college students, get your Twitter on!
Read on, MacDuff




This month’s winner: Bridget O’Keefe!
Our VisoVerbo champ wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a digital print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

IUB School of Education Distance Education
We were contacted by the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Education Distance Education program to help guide it through a transition period. While some online learning courses were well-established, others were just starting. While some courses had established a strong word-of-mouth presence, others had no recognition. And while everyone involved knew that marketing the program was critical, it was difficult to know where to start.

Our task was to find a way through the confusion and establish a clear course of action for their marketing efforts. To that end, we conducted extensive interviews with Distance Education staff, conducted preliminary market research, and investigated peer journals for trends.

From this research, and in cooperation with our clients, we developed a strong marketing statement to help guide the overall messaging of any campaign. We then listed the various marketing options available to the program in order of priority, explaining the pros and cons of each approach. This resulted in a brief, prioritized list of “next steps.” We consulted closely with our clients on how best to implement the recommended solutions.

After thorough vetting, our recommendations went to the dean and an action plan was developed. Our clients are pleased with the results and we are delighted to have made a difference for them through our marketing consultation.