We sure love our food at Fusion…
One of my favorite things about working at Fusion is being part of a great team. We respect each others unique personalities and strengths, which help us work well together. Although we are a very hard working team we are also a very fun loving team and a lot of times that fun revolves around food, and the fact that we all like to eat.
When we started planning the design of our new building, one of our first concerns was that we needed a larger kitchen with a proper stove, as the microwave we had been using for the past 10 years wouldn’t allow us to bake things like fresh cinnamon buns, croissants or cupcakes.Thankfully, we have a bunch of eaters on our management team so we now enjoy a fully functional kitchen in our new office.
After being in our new space for over a month we thought it might be time to christen our new kitchen with a lunchtime potluck. At first we didn’t know if everyone would be interested in contributing to the lunch or if we could all organize our schedules so we could eat together, but we soon found out that for all of us, this potluck was a priority. So this past Wednesday if you entered Fusion right around 12pm you were greeted with a range of aromas wafting from the kitchen. Our team diversity was reflected in a wide variety of dishes such as perogies, curry chicken, enchiladas and goulash - quite the feast for a middle of the week lunch. Needless to say, we were all extremely full after lunch.
The first potluck was such a hit that we plan to have more and potentially even create a Fusion cookbook.
Although, we may also need to also create a Fusion fitness regime if the potluck lunches become a regular monthly occurrence…
Are You Pinterested?
A friend sent me a link the other day for a site that I had, up to that point, not yet been using. Maybe I'm behind the curve on this one, but for those of you like me who have not gotten involved in this particular social media/sharing platform, Pinterest is an application which allows you to create personal moodboards, store them online and share them with your "followers." When you sign up, you drag the "Pin It" icon to your quick links bar in Firefox or Safari (apparently it is more complicated in Internet Explorer - but who's still using that anyway? ;). After doing this, anytime you see something you like on any website and want to add to one of your mood boards, you simply hit "Pin It" and there you go - you've now declared your love for this item and can share that with all of your friends and admirers who are no doubt stalking your Pinterest account waiting for you to see something you love so that they can love it too.
All jokes aside, I did sign up for this a couple days and though I have yet to really get into it, I like the idea of having an online place to store things that I want to save as reference or inspiration rather than pulling them into folders on my desktop. The item links right back to the source, saving you from storing urls. When you log in to your account, you can see the boards of people that you "follow", and it's fun to see what has caught the eye of my sister in Toronto or my sister-in-law in Calgary lately. Pinterest gives you the option of linking to your Facebook account, taking the sharing a bit further. This might be where I draw the line, as I'm not sure I need to broadcast to all of my friends everytime I see a pretty letterpress card or a haristyle I might want to try, but maybe that's just me. So what about you - are you Pinteresting?
Map out your Winnipeg weekend
For those of you that scour the internet, combing through pages and pages of design blogs looking for that one dose of inspiration, you’ve undoubtedly come across a well known blog known as Design Sponge. And if not, please take this as your formal introduction.
Unbeknownst to the average Joe but definitely making strides across the world in popularity, Design Sponge is the creative individual’s mecca for all things design. It ranges from interior, industrial and graphic design to product guides and DIY projects. And let’s not forget the ever popular columns such as “In the Kitchen”and “Biz Ladies.” This week it’s the latter which has garnerd much attention here at Fusion.
Our little city of Winnipeg has been put on the map, so to speak, as it was featured Tuesday in the “City Guide” column of Design Sponge. It is with much ado that I announce the author who has sparked the hearts of so many Winnipeggers into prairie pride during these cold winter months. Thanks goes out to our very own copy writer extraordinaire, Lenore Hume. Readers around the globe now know what a vibrant and culturally diverse city Winnipeg is. Stand up and take a bow Lenore for a job well done!
Please stop by Design Sponge to read Winnipeg’s newest city guide.
Is Social Media taking over Traditional Media?
It appears not. At least not yet.
Social media, while growing in influence, may not be as influential as many believe after listening to Twitter and Facebook media coverage. A recent study by ForeSee Results, which I read about in Marketing Profs, an exceptional marketing information website, shows that email and most traditional media, such as TV, Newspaper, Radio and Magazine ads still beat social media by more than double.
The interesting finding was that the 5% of shoppers who were influenced by social media are highly likely to purchase.
The study also found that previous familiarity with a brand is most likely to create a high score in positive experience (80 on a scale of 100). Promotional emails and word-of-mouth both scored 79 as did both ads on social networks and instant messages from friends. You can find more on this study at Marketing Profs.
Facebook way ahead
It seems that online shoppers like Facebook the most, even if they say it doesn't influence them much. Facebook was visited regularly by 66% of online shoppers, followed by Youtube at 22%, Twitter at 11% and MySpace at 10%. All are up by 11 to 22%, except MySpace, which is down by 33% in preference by online shoppers.
They're talking about us...
As I watched my favourite sports game of the year (unless World Cup Soccer is on), I gasped, just a bit, not alone I now realize, at the Groupon commercial starring Timothy Hutton and a few anonymous Tibetan actors. It was one of those "what did he just say" moments. "He didn't, did he?"
It was a week for these kinds of things. I didn't experience this other event first hand, a Kenneth Cole Tweet, but he jumped into the same quagmire, the increasingly provocative, socially disturbing new order of sensationalist marketing.
Groupon's Superbowl ad began with a dramatic, seriously intoned mention of the potential extinction of the Tibetan people, and then abruptly segued to actor Timothy Hutton in a restaurant sharing that Tibetan refugees DO make exceptional fish curry that he enjoyed with 200 Groupon customers at a great volume discount. Kind of funny if you had enough Superbowl beer in you that your good-taste monitor was just a little bit foggy.
Just a week before, famous and infamous clothing designer Kenneth Cole tweeted that their newly launched online designer collection is rumoured to have caused the uproar in Egypt. He tweeted it directly into the stream of political tweets capturing and reacting to the immediacy and danger of the deadly uprising.
In my mind, both promotional events cross a fuzzy and ever-shifting line, kind of like the San Andreas Fault...about to go boom. And I know that I might attract arguments with numerous advertising pundits around the world about the inherent impact and awareness benefits of crossing that line. In fact, I have had similar discussions with my own advertising team, where a creative concept's impact, reach and ability to strike a chord were at odds with the brand's decency, integrity and the danger of it being uncontrollably reshaped by the concept's controversial lob.
I've always gone back to the brand's essence for answers to these arguments. To its soul. If the brand is well-defined and understood, the guidelines for proper conceptual speak are clearly evident. You just know how to carry on. You know what is right. You speak in your own character and personality.
However, these companies have sold their soul to the devil of social impact and mass awareness. They utilized very serious and emotionally piercing human strife as a foundation to layer their tongue-in-cheek creative concepts upon. And that devil raises its seductive head regularly in creative concept development. It's a quick and dirty, easily mass-provoking short-cut. It's easy to grab attention by engaging and playing with issues that cut to the core. But, you have to consider where that leaves you.
I'd rather be Volkswagen about now.