Welcome to Ideas That Spread!

For those of you who have known me for a while, Ideas That Spread was the name of my first blog from 10 years ago and I'm bringing it back, as it still rings true and this is the place where I will synthesize all of the incredible ideas that are floating around out there.


Please note that anything I post on this site is my opinion and does not reflect the views of my employer or any of my clients.

Robots and the Future of Marketing

My 6 year old son's dream is to go to MIT and make robots that help the world. He wants to make a refrigerator that transforms into a robot chef that will cook, serve and clean for you and then pop back into a refrigerator at night. He also wants to make a robot that will pop-up from the sidewalk when a homeless person is walking by and give them a basket full of food. His brain is always thinking about robots that help our world and make our lives easier, if you watched Oscar Winner, Big Hero 6 than you know that nerds, science and robotics are the future, duh ;).

Right now our vision of robots is skewed based on books and science fiction films, most of us think that robots look human like, they walk, talk, and dance and generally are competing with humans in appearance and function.  The reality is that robots look much more like the arms you see in a factory making cars, or the semi-annoying voice you hear when you call the cable company when you want to trouble-shoot your WIFI, or source code of computer program.

There are over 1,000,000 robots in the world with half of them in Japan and just 15% in the US. Out of these, about 50% of those are making cars while the rest are assembling products, doing surgeries, bomb-detecting, cleaning up toxic waste, serving us online ads, content and doing the stuff that many humans don't really want to do or can't do as efficiently. 

So what does that mean for us as marketers and brands? How can we embrace this robotic future?

We see this robotic trend emerging at trade shows, events, in-store and pop-up stores with the whole goal to pull us in and get our attention. Brands are integrating robots into their marketing experiences to stand out and connect themselves to the future, in fact there a many companies out there that will rent you robots for this purpose.

Content Creation
Publishers and brands are using robots to create custom content for their sites and social channels, they scrape sports scores, weather and other topics to automate content delivery for their readers. Brands have also used robots to respond to fans in social media during the Super-Bowl. Some people describe this as marketing automation but remember robots don't have to look human or even have a physical presence.

Nowhere is robotics so prevalent in marketing than online advertising. There are robots right now watching you read this article and soon you will go somewhere else and a robot ad will appear next to you. There are robots crawling the internet looking for patterns and selling those patterns to the highest bidders through Google ad-words and other ad buying systems. They all speak the language of algorithms and its your job to understand the basics of this language in order to be successful.




Will Cinemagraphs Take Over the World?

Try to stop looking at the following cinemagraphs -aka- super produced gifs for brands:


There is a big trend brewing out there that is taking the power of gifs to the next natural place. It's called Cinemagraphs and sounds all fancy, but you may have just noticed that they are beautiful and mesmerizing. The trend for brands to jump in is making its way to Facebook and Instagram by trying to hack autoplay and make you stop and become hypnotized by the beauty and simplicity.

Sitting Is The New Smoking (Hint It's Killing You)

If you have ever met me in person I have a hard time sitting down for too long. I'm generally a relaxed person, except when it comes to movement. I'm always walking around the office at a fast pace and I tend to walk everywhere for hours at a time. Whether I'm traveling or exploring Brooklyn on foot, I'm always on the move. I have a hard time sitting through a long movie like "Boyhood", or taking a plane when I can't get up and walk up and down the aisle a few times or stand in the back galley chatting with the crew. I think you get the point, I have the natural inclination to not sit too much and I think that it's healthy, but I'm always looking for ways to improve.

If you have been following the evidence and research about sitting and the latest trends for standing desks, you might also think twice about sitting all day and mix up the types of chairs you sit on and how often you sit. Instead of trying to grab a seat on the bus or subway, stand, instead of having a long meeting sitting have a standing meeting. Set your computer's printer on the other side of the office, switch your favorite chair once in a while or sit on the floor.... so many possibilities...

New and Improved - Advertising Backstory

One of my favorite podcasts is "BackStory with the American History Guys". They do an amazing job of breaking down things that are happening today and explore the real history over the past three centuries to provide a perspective that helps ground you in the real reality of today's media hyped environment. I have many favorites but their latest episode hits homes for Marketers. 

New & Improved - Advertising in America - This episode is critical for any marketers to understand the history behind advertising and PR and tackles questions like: When did the industry come into being? What makes a great commercial jingle? And how do you sell America on the idea of lunar exploration?

You're Wearing the Wrong Socks - 2015 Tech Trends

There are a number of start-ups that specialize in fitness technology blooming out there and they are there to help the regular fitness minded individual assess how they move and train, its not just for the Ivan Drago's of the world now. We are moving way beyond just monitoring your vital signs with wearable devices to a much deeper look at your form and the way in which you move to improve upon quality of your work-out, health and life. 

Here are a few of the companies diving deep into this space:

Sensoria smart socks are infused with comfortable, textile pressure sensors. They inform you in real-time when you are striking with the heel or the ball of your foot. Monitor your foot-landing technique as you run. Visualize the foot heat-map on the Sensoria Fitness mobile app.

Moov differentiates itself in both hardware and software. While tracking your step counts and calories reminds you to get out and get active, Moov is able to translate your exact movement into coaching capable of bringing your fitness and workout experience to a whole new level.

LEO translates complex information from your body into simple and actionable recommendations, and notifies you when something is amiss.

There are a bunch more, but I think you get the point! You're doing it all wrong on your own and you need help!

Watch this space!!



Creative Trends 2015

Shutterstock taps into its vast gallery of music clips, videos and 47 million images to pull out the best in design trends for 2015.

Here are some interesting creative categories from blurred backgrounds, to line icons, to turning the perspective on its head, the best way to stay current and stand out is to jump in a take advantage.



Double Exposure

Top Video Trends:

Aeriel - Drone Video - a la OK GO




Trends in images in Social fall in the following categories from left to right:
Reflection, Floral, Nature, Collection of Objects, Watercolor, Macro and Soft Light

Overall the whole trend report is very well done and a fun way to differentiate your brand with current trends.

Never Stop Exploring

There seems to be extreme climbing walls popping up in experiential quite a bit these days, remember the Ikea Billboard in France from September? This time it's North Face and it's in S. Korea, only this time the stakes are much higher.


Shoppers in S. Korea faced this challenge in a terrifyingly hilarious stunt by The North Face and South Korean agency Innored titled "Never Stop Exploring."

Unsuspecting customers at this pop-up North Face store were startled when the floor below them slowly began to disappear, and they were forced to grab on to the walls, which happened to have rock-climbing holds attached to them. Then, a perfect North Face item descends from the heavens, just out of their reach, and a 30-second timer appears.

As you look to create sharable video content based on experiential events you should be thinking about the best way to create surprising reveals, shocking/fun content that can be shared back and help build the brand.

Watch the video:

This message will self destruct in 10.9.8...

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says ads will soon appear on the disappearing-message service, monetizing the business valued at $10 billion earlier this year. The ads will center on its "Stories" product, which gets 500 million views daily.

Connected to this announcement:

Unilever's Dove is using an uplifting theme to venture into advertising on Snapchat. Unilever is looking to engage girls in the campaign by asking them to share their insecurities with Snaps that, once faded, "make room for positive thoughts.

You should consider using Snapchat as a way to connect to millennial's - here is a great article on how other brands are using Snapchat. 


Bonus: Download the app now to get a sense of how it works! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapchat/id447188370?mt=8

It's A Mobile, Mobile World - Part 1

I wanted to share some learning, case studies and insights from my recent attendance at the SM2 Innovation Summit presented by the Mobile Marketing Association here in New York. As you may already know the world is mobile and clients are asking for more and more ideas that make mobile a central piece of the campaign, not just an add-on but a core concept. 

Current State of Mobile in Numbers:
7 billion people in the world / 7.1 billion mobile phones
We check our mobile phones over 100 times per day
80% of Facebook users access through mobile at least 14x a day
66% of people multi-task on mobile while they watch TV

Key Takeaways
- Almost every presenter spoke about creating unique personal USEFUL one-on-one "Experiences".  The term "Experiences" was the buzzword of the conference.

- They also spoke about "The Mobile Mind Shift" - The expectation that I can get what I want when I want in my immediate context and moment of need. This is why marketers need to capitalize on "Mobile Moments" - A mobile moment is a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what they want in their immediate context.

- "Not all brands are high-touch, but all must strive to be." -  This simply means that everything you do as a marketer should strive to be mobile and allow people to use their device to connect personally with your brand. 

Case Study Inspiration

- Instagram - Mercedes Benz uses Insta to promote its new GLA models to reach a younger audience. They started off with its #ThingsOrganizedNeatly theme, encouraging users to post photos of items organized in neat and effective ways. A custom mat in the shape of the cargo area of the GLA was provided. Second theme #GLAPacked asked users a simple question: What would you pack in your GLA?

Some cool images and more: http://allfacebook.com/facebook-instagram-mercedes-benz-gla_b134919

More to follow!