Category Archives: design

Cannes Young Lions 2014

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The Cannes Young Lions 2014 competition for creative teams under 28 has just opened (deadline is April 4). In past years, digital entry levels have unfortunately never  reflected the size of our industry or the depth of talent within it. I have been Chairman as well as juror of this competition and have seen and written about how teams have struggled to enter top quality work. The entry levels reached only 25% of the Print entries which in light of where the work is going, didn’t make any sense.

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Reasons for it were twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it was (and still is) challenging to succinctly explain a digital campaign. Keeping the core idea separate from the complexity of execution is a skill that not every junior team has mastered yet. Secondly, the competition had until now required the teams to actually build their concepts. Which had to be in the format of display banners. This “smallest common denominator” approach led to a watering down of concepts. Teams entered what, according to their technical skill level, they thought they could actually build in Flash and HTML.

In 2014 it it is now no longer required to build the concept a.k.a. a display banner. This is going to broaden the scope of the ideas significantly, for both the local competition and the international version in Cannes, France. Reactive’s young ones in Melbourne and Sydney will challenge themselves to be among the best young digital creative teams in Australia. And I am looking forward to their results.

If you feel like you got what it takes, stop lurking behind your more senior colleagues. Enter, win, make your way to Cannes and take out the prize for best digital creative team in the world. But before you practice your acceptance speech, you should probably start by entering the first round before April 4:
http://www.newscorpaustralia.com/young-lions-digital-competition

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Tractor Design School

If you lead an agency or marketing department, you know what the bane of our industry is: it is starved of really good digital talent. Talent that can fuse genuine, explosive creativity with systemic thinking. The ‘systemic’ part means that these people know a lot about and can use existing digital formats, e.g. media, video or social content. And then combine these two realms to create new, innovative solutions.

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One of our new recruits at Reactive actually took a course in Digital Design at Tractor last year, a school established to address this lack of creative, digitally-savvy newcomers. And this year, with help from us and some other industry heavyweights from places like DT, R/GA and MentallyFriendly, Tractor is growing up to become an accredited school. Some of the sessions will again be led by one heck of an inspirational teacher-posse, in the shape of my colleagues Gabriel, David and myself.

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Additionally raising Reactive’s profile as a place of excellence for digital creativity is my mate Tim Kotsiakos, ECD of Reactive in Melbourne, on the advisory board.

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If you want to invest into your own career, sign up. Courses start March 3. If you already know a lot, why don’t you give back and offer your help in the shape of talks, playing host or other course support? Those digital superstars of tomorrow won’t grow on trees you know.

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Experience the Experience! How we digital agencies explain what we do.

So are you ready to ‘experience the experience’? Because you will quite often hear it from us digital agencies: We have to get the brand-, product- and service-experience right. The ‘customer experience’ and its special subset, the ‘digital customer experience’. Plus the one you might be more familiar with, the ‘user experience’. These three ‘experiences’ have spawned popular new job titles. They are combinations of ‘user interface’ (UI), ‘user experience’ (UX) or ‘customer experience (CX) with an appendix of -designer, -architect, -strategist or -developer. Apart from job titles, this experience work is also producing new deliverables like ‘experience maps’. Below you see a simplified example we created, describing the sometimes emotional roller coaster customers go through when buying into a brand and product.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 5.55.54 PMOther examples of our digitally enhanced experience work is our The Most Powerful Arm

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or AustralianOpen’s Social Shack.

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It’s interesting to look at how agencies and digital product companies describe this ‘experience’ offering in their own marketing. Our own Reactive site throws back no less than 548 search results when you look for ‘experience’. Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 6.30.00 PM Have a read of what other firms use to describe very similar things:

  • DT Digital – “We create Customer Experiences that connect brands with people.”
  • Razorfish AU – “The Digital Experience Marketing Agency” with their international unit of “Emerging Experiences
  • Nurun – “We apply human-centered design to help businesses thrive in a connected world”
  • Huge – “We create experiences that transform brands, grow businesses and make people’s lives better”
  • Grow – “Grow is a digital agency with a passion for big ideas, little details, and a better approach to creating world-class interactive experiences”
  • Method – “We design integrated brand, product and service experiences”
  • MercerBell – “We’re a Customer Experience Agency”
  • eConsultancy– “Customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity for 2014”
  • Adobe – “Measure and optimize digital experiences to accelerate marketing  performance”
  • Sitecore – “Sitecore is a platform for driving one-on-one engagement at every touchpoint. Know every customer. Own every experience.”

But don’t forget to get in touch with us at Reactive first, after all,  548 ‘Experience’ search results don’t lie.

Take a Break for PauseFest

Only sometimes do I wish I resided in Australia’s OTHER city, aka Melbourne. PauseFest is one of those reasons. Apart from its good branding and art work, it features delectable content and experiences.

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Continuing their strong momentum from 2012,  PauseFest features everything from cool installations, games, music, animations and interactive design to creative panels about startups and the wider digital industry. Under the title ‘Masters of the IndustryReactive’s co-founder Tim O’Neill will panel it out with some other Melbourne luminaries. Among them my friend and ex-colleague Dave King from The Royals and Erminio Putignano (ex FutureBrand, now PUSH Collective).

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Check out all the speakers here and get your tickets here.

Web Directions Respond Conference with Reactive

This week, our fearless Creative Technologist Drew Schrauf takes the stage at WebDirections Respond. It’s a “Festival of Responsive Web Design for designers and developers of the multi-device Web”. So it’s basically unmissable – unless you still code in tables or consider responsive publishing some sort of copywriting style. International thought and practice leaders like Brad Frost and Jason Grigsby grace our shores, so snap up one of the last remaining tickets here.

WebDirections

Our relationship with Maxine and John from Web Directions has grown with hosting some pre-conference BBQs and speaking at smaller events like ‘What Do You Know?’ and now continues with our Drew presenting on the tricky subject “Picture Perfect: Tackling the Responsive Image Dilemma”
http://www.webdirections.org/respond2014/#drewschrauf

drewI know how chuffed Drew is to be invited to speak and I am happy that Reactive is able to contribute to such a cutting edge tech event in Sydney.

8 AIMIA finalists for Reactive

2013 was a busy year for our teams all over the world – and it shows in the recent list of AIMIA Award finalists. Reactive has been shortlisted in eight categories for five separate projects. 8 finalists is already a cool result – if I’m not mistaken the best agency in the running. But to score those across 5 different projects means we are excelling within a broad range of digital : from mobile shopping apps, social media on the tablet, innovative use of on- and offline, to massive websites with strong retail and CRM functionality.

AIMIA, the Digital Industry Association for Australia, has represented the digital content, services and applications industry in Australia since 1992. Currently in it’s 20th year, the AIMIA Awards consistently recognise work of an exceptionally high standard. And this year’s shortlist is no different.

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We’re extremely happy to have scored the following finalist nominations across a range of our work:

ANZ Buzz Sydney Festival

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Cultural or Lifestyle

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Coles Feed Your Family iPad App

  • Best of Tablet – Retail & eCommerce

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Coles Supermarket Website

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Retail & eCommerce

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The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented 

  • Best Cross Platform
  • Best Digital Advertising or Communication – Government & Non-profit
  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Government & Non-profit
  • Best Social Media – Best Use of Social Media

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Nissan Australia Website 

  • Best of Websites & Online Services – Retail & eCommerce

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Please wish us luck and maybe see you on the night of April 3rd ?

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Design and Colour Trends 2014

Recently istock approached creatives from around the world, including yours truly, to collect the strongest trends in colour and design: Pantone’s Color of the Year and Top 10 Hot or Not. Remember, you heard the challenge for ‘better flatness’ here first.

Both surveys are now published as handy info graphics. Study them and you’ll surely be  #winning at your next creative presentation in 2014. As a cheat sheet (or cubicle poster), you can download both info graphics as PDFs: Color of the Year / Hot or Not

PANTONE® Color of the Year 2014 Predictions Infographic, November 2013

Infographic: Top 10 design trends, November 2013