Samsung vs. Apple

I wrote this for all my friends who are either Apple or Samsung fans.

I own an iphone 4s but I love Samsung‘s collage of commercials over the last few months.

This ad was particularly good because they injected sweet musical love of Curtis Mayfield but it was that intimate connection of the everyday kind of person with Lebron that made this add so appealing. As you saw a superstar athlete acting more like the average consumer than perhaps what you would assume to be the life of a millionaire celebrity. This makes the viewer feel comfortable with Lebron. What the viewer internalizes is that Lebron is a metaphor for the phone itself. As he is adaptive in his roles, a leader amongst his peers, and a superstar in his arena of life, suggesting to consumers that “the next big thing” or Samsung’s phone which is “already here” does all these things.

Now compare this to an ad that failed to make a connection with its audience.

Apple has created some incredible ads in the past but they have simply missed the target in relating to their intended audience, which is why these ads were pulled from the net.

I’m not saying that I’m converting to Samsung but rather that a poor ad can create doubt within a consumers mind about the product they are subscribed to. Not good Apple… not good.


How do you make your message stand out? CONTRAST

If someone ever asked me at what element of design continually delivers a winning message for a split second I consider how appropriate it would be to play out a flash mob of Micheal Jackson’s Thriller before explaining the concept of … Contrast!

It becomes simple to see why contrast pulls your eye towards the message when you appreciate how to differentiate between what you don’t want your audience to see and what you do.

When placing two colors together notice how complimentary colors give the best visual contrast.  Be careful though although colors may be complimentary to one another they can appear to vibrate. This can easily distort or change your message. The best choice is to accent a main color.

A great way to tell if your contrast levels are accurate are to put your image into a grey scale setting, as suggested by William Beachy in Become a Master Designer: Rule Three: Contrast, Contrast, Contrast.

The following disco tech album by Parov Stelar reveals how using shade inside your color spectrum can further enhance your image with some appropriate shading.

What a sexy tune this is.

Expert or spambot?


It seems like everyone on social media is an expert in something – even the spambots have their niches. However, most “experts” on social media are just that: self-proclaimed “experts on social media.”

Twitter, for example, has about one bajillion people who tweet night and day about their expertise at social media. The interesting part is that it becomes almost impossible to differentiate them from spam bots: they have no personality, and they rarely offer anything other than social media “tips” or links to their seminars.

There is a ton of trash and spam on Twitter, so we should all strive to appear like communicative human beings on it, right? Especially if the point is to (eventually) sell something to our listeners? So why are so many self-professed social media experts morphing into bots? Have they also reached a critical saturation point in regards to tweets about tweeting? Don’t fret, for I have a theory:

*Dramatic Pause*

They have forgotten the entire point of social media.

Yeah, eventually you might want to sell something to someone. Sure, your services are probably tops, and you’d like everyone to tell their friends. Yes, that branding strategy you paid thousands of dollars for suggests that you should engage in certain social media tools, but do you know why?

Two-way communication.

Just dumping information on some social media platform in the hope that someone is going to pick it up isn’t going to get anybody anywhere. Social media isn’t a two-fold flyer that sits passively in a mailbox.

The terribly ironic part is that our social-media-expert-friends have probably been (relentlessly) tweeting about this exact point.


(Images courtesy of and Hubspot Blog

iPod related deaths

There is an intense campaign running in Australia in response to the epidemic of teen deaths related to crossing the road while listening to iPods. Apparently, it is a really big deal there.

I first wondered if the jarring nature of the images was the only thing that caught my attention, or if there was something else under the surface. I think it’s both. They are visually arresting, impeccably designed, and they reference images we have seen before.

iPod outline

Iconic campaign

Time spent travelling taught me to be uncomfortable wearing headphones while walking about; I felt like they dulled an important awareness of my surroundings, and the visible chords made me a target of theft. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy being snuck up on.

I’m not the norm though, especially among my generation and younger. My people are the ones trying to get your attention: the hi-vis-vest-wearing-worriers who want people to check left, then right, then left again before crossing the street (although I can look the other way in regards to jay-walking). This Australian campaign is from my people. It is disturbing, but I gather that’s the point.

What do you think? Do these images reference TBWA/Chiat/Day’s iconic iSilhouettesi campaign?


(photos courtesy of and