3D Printing is the next industrial revolution


What if I told you that in the comfort of your own home, you could design an outfit you intend to wear to a fancy dinner function put the specification into your computer and print it out from your home just in time for that event that same day?

What if I told you that technology is available and is very close to being mass produced? Would you believe me?

As a kid, I remember watching Star Trek and there was this particular machine in the cafeteria, where customers would simply input their choice and it would make it on the spot. The ingredients would materialize out of thin air and assemble into the desired meal. Whilst this is a bit far fetched, similar is already happening. This company is selling a machine that promises similar.

All this is possible because of what is known as 3-D Printing.

What is 3-D printing you may ask?

3-D printing according to 3D PRINTING.com is “a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.”

This is achieved when the desired object is rendered in a virtual space through the use of specialized software, which enables the 3-D construct to be brought to life.

Many have lamented for years that the American manufacturing industry is on the decline, with jobs rapidly being shipped overseas and many industries closing in the wake of that. But don’t hit the death knell just yet; 3-D printing seems to be giving a lot of people hope for the future. Some have gone as far as saying that this will be the next big industrial boom. The one that will not have to bring back the lost jobs, but rather create new ones that will have an impact on an economy that desperately needs said jobs.

The applications and uses for this technology is mind blowing, with it being applicable to pretty much every sphere of life. Take for instance the health industry, the ramifications are astounding. Pardon me for using so many superlatives in succession, but this really has the ability to change life as we know it. But I digress, imagine a world where organs could be designed to match those in need, pretty much making things like organ donors irrelevant. No longer would people have to suffer for lack of finding the right organs or donors, when their needs could be addressed with a 3-D printer. Some are even speculating that this could prolong our lives if we are able to design perfect organs to work with our bodies; optimized to ensure that they don’t break down over time.

How many times have we bought an outfit online only to realize it doesn’t fit? With 3-d printing, anybody can make their outfits and the neat part is those clothes will always fit. Why? Because you design to your specifications. All you need do is input your measurements and what type of outfit you are trying to create. According to this article, the hours spent behind sewing machines will also decrease drastically. 3-D printers will take out all the effort, all we have to do is sit back and let the machine do its thing.


Could 3-d printing even solve global hunger? It’s possible. With a dearth of materials in certain places affected by famine, a 3-d printer could be the solution. We know it only requires certain materials to function. With limited resources, much can be created and effectively. Unfortunately, most of the 3-d printed food coming out still hasn’t solved the taste conundrum. But with so much time and effort going into this technology, that issue will definitely be addressed.


In conclusion there’s a lot to look forward to. As the world population continues to balloon and resources continue to decline at an alarming rate. 3-d printing offers a solution, whereas each individual is responsible for their livelihood. Everything from the cars we drive, to the houses we live in may eventually be created by a 3-d printer. The more proliferated the technology is, the cheaper it will be for the consumer. In the end, everyone wins. This is a band wagon you want to hop on.



Giant 3D printer starts spitting out a house – CNET. (n.d.). CNET. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.cnet.com/news/giant-3d-printer-starts-spitting-out-a-house/

The 3D-Printed Car That Will Drive Across the Country. (n.d.). Popular Mechanics. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/industry/urbee-2-the-3d-printed-car-that-will-drive-across-the-country-16119485

“Food is the next frontier of 3D printing”. (n.d.). Dezeen Food is the next frontierbr of 3D printing Comments. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/27/food-is-the-next-frontier-of-3d-printing-janne-kytannen/

The World’s First Lab-Grown Meat Burger Tastes Terrible (Surprise!). (n.d.). Gizmodo. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://gizmodo.com/the-worlds-first-lab-grown-meat-burger-tastes-terrible-1027385867

Kurutz, S. (2013, December 14). Taking Fashion to a New Dimension. The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/fashion/3D-Printing-Clothing-fashion.html?_r=2&

3-D Printing: What You Need to Know About the Next Industrial Revolution. (n.d.). Inc.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/aaron-aders/3d-printing-the-next-industrial-revolution.html

What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. (n.d.). What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/

Star Trek Replicator Nearing Reality?. (n.d.). StarTrek.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-replicator-nearing-reality



Patent Law Fights Are Killing Innovation


by Lagosian

 Patent laws as currently structured is killing innovation. Whilst this might be a subjective opinion, one should look no further than the current battle going on between Apple and Samsung, two titans of the tech industry to see that if more companies begin to follow in their footsteps, there can only be disaster ahead.

Just going by market value, both these companies are worth upwards of 300 billion dollars, yet instead of keeping their battles strictly on the products they churn out, they have in recent years been involved in a nasty legal spat that will have terrible repercussions for business and the tech. industry.

Here is a timeline of the case and what has been happening.

Interestingly, both companies have worked together in the past, and still do so but to a lesser degree. Samsung was responsible for creating some of the processors that have run in the Iphones.

Apple believes Samsung copied the design of its IPhone for its flagship phone the Galaxy series. Samsung denies that, and claimed Apple was infringing on its software patents. From there on, it’s been one side claiming the other side is infringing on its patents, whilst the other side counteracts by claiming the same.

Apple was awarded more than one billion dollars in damages, a fee that was later reduced to 450 million dollars. Samsung appealed the decision, and both sides are still embroiled in court(s) all over the world trying to one-up the other. As an outsider, I can’t help but feel disappointed that these two companies continue to resort to such strategy, spending both money and time in what many view as a needless battle.

For those who might be wondering what a patent is, below is a brief definition of what it is and why it differs from copyright law.


A patent protects inventions or discoveries. One can say it’s a form of copyright, but unlike copyright, in other to use said invention, the permission or authorization of the patent holder is required.

Also there are companies like Microsoft and Rockstar, who buy a ton of patents and then license it out to technology firms. They have no interest in creating products with some of the patents they own; rather they see them as investments that can be used to bring back money for their respective owners through procedures such as licensing.

Congress in making new copyright laws for this digital age has to think long and hard about the role of industries and corporations in deciding what’s beneficial for them and the public. One should note that just because it helps the corporation doesn’t mean it helps the public.

I have provided examples of tech giants like Apple, Samsung and even Microsoft who have used the court room and patents to generate billions instead of using the marketplace. It is very disturbing how companies now actively go out and purchase patents like we would groceries, but not because they intend on using said patents to create products that would get out into the public, but to arm themselves and prepare for any litigation and in some cases, be the ones doing the litigating. I believe when the first patent and copyright laws were created, this was not what the creators had in mind. In fact one could say this is detrimental to the economy because instead of companies and corporations duking it out in the marketplace, tossing out ideas that the public gets to decide on and benefit from, said companies and corporations would rather hoard such innovations and sue others.

A lot of the technology we rely on is only possible because of patents but if these big companies have their way, the progress that has been made in that realm is going to come to a grinding halt, as innovators will be too concerned with not getting sued rather than churning out the products required to improve the industry.





Why are Apple and Samsung throwing down? A timeline of the biggest fight in tech. (n.d.). Digital Trends. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-vs-samsung-patent-war-timeline/#!ZuJRK

Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple’s new A7 chip in iPhone 5s. (n.d.). Samsung confirmed to be manufacturer of Apple’s new A7 chip in iPhone 5s. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/20/samsung-confirmed-to-be-manufacturer-of-apples-new-a7-chip-in-iphone-5s

Pepitone, J. (2013, August 8). Apple vs. Samsung scorecard: a timeline of the patent battle. CNNMoney. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/08/technology/mobile/apple-samsung-timeline/

TechRadar. (n.d.). Computing reviews, news. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www.techradar.com/us/news/computing/how-microsoft-makes-money-from

Backed by Apple and Microsoft, Patent Troll Makes Money Off Android | Business | WIRED. (0014, January 21). Wired.com. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www.wired.com/2014/01/huawei/

How much is that patent lawsuit going to cost you? – CNET. (n.d.). CNET. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://www.cnet.com/news/how-much-is-that-patent-lawsuit-going-to-cost-you


Bringing Products to Life with Blippar




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Today, several articles were written about Blippar creating a new app for Google Glass that will allow users to have augmented reality experiences with products and print pages. I found this to be really interesting after doing research for my group project on augmented reality. I was curious as to how the app would work and what it could do for brands.

Blippar is a successful start up company that creates augmented reality apps for smartphones. They have been very successful so far. Basically, the app user is able to find a product or print page that is Blippar compatible, fill their screen with the image, and the image comes to life, giving animation and information to the user that would otherwise be unknown. Some brands that are already Blippar compatible are Heinz and Coca-Cola. The technology is currently being used to find more information out about products, but it could be used for so much more with its introduction to Google Glass. In an article from Quartz, Rachel Feltman notes that the popular entertainment tool of augmented reality can serve educational purposes. During her interview with Ambarish Mitra, CEO and co-founder of Blippar, he mentions the example of being at the natural history museum and using the app to see more information about the exhibits or using the technology for medical implications.

We already know that Augmented Reality and Blippar are amazing and innovative pieces of technology, but what makes them even better is that they are now available on Google Glass, which will eliminate the smart phone that creates a barrier between user and AR. With the glasses, the user will have a seamless experience with Augmented Reality, able to view any type of information at their disposal with full integration.

Even though the technology is brilliant, Google Glass augmented reality is very much so a niche market. Google glasses are not set to hit main stream outlets until next year, but Blippar and other versions of augmented reality applications will be ready when the product is opened up to the mainstream market.

As of now, many brands are using Blippar to connect to their viewers via their smart phones. They are launching augmented reality campaigns, releasing secret information and sales, sneak previews of new collections and so on. While most of Blippar’s clients are large brands, they do not plan on bombarding people with advertising messages. The messages will not pop out at people using Google Glass or provide distraction. Users can choose to use the app by saying ‘ok, glass’, and then they will be able to view whatever it is that interests them. In the future, the company would like Blippar to become a platform for users to create their own content, like a Wikipedia for Google Glass. Personally, I am skeptical of this service. We all know how skewed information can be on the internet, so it seems risky to allow anyone to writing anything on an augmented reality platform. The product is very intriguing but only time will tell how well it plays out in the market after Google Glass becomes a more mainstream part of society.


Reshaping culture from behind a pair of glasses

Google Glass looks and sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi dime novel. Its sleek, futuristic design tucks a slim webcam-like device away on the top right corner of a pair of glasses. Fittingly, it comes in colors with names like shale, tangerine and sky. Glass allows its owner to take pictures and videos, ask for directions, send a message – all without lifting a finger. According to Google, Glass will even give “answers without having to ask” (Google, Glass).

And it looks absolutely ridiculous.

At least for now.

On Wednesday, On the Media blogger PJ Vogt posted a short reflection on a Google Glass and a 33-year-old NPR story. Vogt admits that he thinks Glass looks “pretty silly,” but after hearing an interview with one of Glass’s designers, he started to wonder about other portable technologies that seemed ridiculous at first (Vogt, 2014). So Vogt dug up a 1981 NPR story about Walkmen. The parallels are uncanny. Interviewees told the reporter that Walkmen are “obnoxious” (Profitt, 1981). Others said that the new technology “causes people to isolate themselves from their experience,” that they are like “putting blinders on” (Profitt, 1981).

Today, it’s a different story. I look around on the L, and most of the riders have tuned out the world with their iPods and iPhones. There’s nothing new about a personal music player we carry with us. Wearable technology, however, is still untamed territory. A personal assistant that perches on your glasses seems a little too 1984 for some of us.

As technology evolves, our society evolves with it. Those on the forefront introduce a new idea, and as it is adopted, culture crafts the etiquette surrounding it. This week’s class reading had a prime example of this: a California driver pulled for speeding over while wearing Google Glass was cleared of charges (Watson, 2014). There was reasonable doubt that the device was in use when the driver was pulled over, the judge ruled. The lingering question, however, is whether Glass will be treated like any other type of screen used while driving.

With new technological strides, social norms and legal statutes try to keep up. Julie Watson, the reporter who wrote the AP article covering the Glass case, questions where responsibility lies when devices and humans clash(Watson, 2014). What legal precedent do judges fall back on when a driverless car crashes into a 16 year old’s 1999 Subaru Forester? Is Google Glass a dangerous distraction or a useful GPS system?

Thirty-three years from now, as some new technology is pushing society’s limits, a new generation might look back and laugh at our attempts to fit this whole new frontier into existing societal constraints. The Glass driving bans being introduced right now in New Jersey, West Virginia and Delaware may be repealed or tightened. We don’t know just yet. But as Pingree and Gitelman pointed out in New Media 1750-1915, part of the appeal of new media is the ability for a culture to claim and cultivate it. This is our chance to tame Glass or move aside and let it take over. The consequences are as unpredictable as the Walkmen’s three decades ago.



Vogt, P. J. (2014, January 29). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.onthemedia.org/story/google-glass-dorky/

Watson, J. (2014, January 17). California motorist cleared in google glass case. Associated Press. Retrieved from http://bigstory.ap.org/article/woman-testify-against-google-glass-citation

Google. (Producer). (2013, February 20). How it feels [through google glass] [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1uyQZNg2vE

Google. Glass. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.google.com/glass/start/

Technology in Dystopian Novels

Dystopian novels have become very popular, and many are gaining popularity through their movie adaptations – just a simple Google search will bring up a slew of novels such as Divergent, Fahrenheit 451, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner. What I have noticed in all of these up and coming novels is the almost overbearing presence of advanced technology – and I wonder just how much this technology influences the dystopian themes of these novels.

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In Divergent, a novel by Veronica Roth that is a soon-to-be movie, the setting takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago with a rigid political system designed to keep the surviving population in check. This novel is riddled with advanced technologies, mostly centered around different serums developed to further police the factions of people. These serums range from a truth serum to a simulation serum that interacts directly with the individual’s thoughts and memories to create an alternate reality once they are injected.

In the classic novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury the technologies present also focus on a close interaction with the surviving population – this time it is an earpiece that is designed to manipulate the individual’s thoughts in such a way as to distract them from forming their own ideas.

In the very popular Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the technology present is less dependent on the characters and more dependent on controlling the entire population as a whole. For example, the technology is found in the elitist social strata in the form of advanced weaponry, security features, and new luxurious innovations to make a high-end life even easier than it already is by furthering the socioeconomic gap.

And finally, the novel The Maze Runner by James Dashner has a similar technology as The Hunger Games – where the technology is not directly in contact as with the first two novels I mentioned, but is more present in the surrounding environment. In this novel, the technology is seen in the very setting of the characters – in the skyscraping and ever moving walls of the maze itself and the mysterious mechanical creatures that haunt the maze.

Of all of these novels I have mentioned, they are all dystopian and they all include advanced technology that is perceived in a negative light. I wonder if this negative view of technology in these novels is like a foreshadowing of what is to come – not in the sense that technology may someday be used to control us, but that whatever new forms of technology that may someday exist, they may be used as agents of corruption.



Amazon. (2014). Divergent (Divergent Series). Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Divergent-Veronica-Roth/dp/0062024035/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391051336&sr=1-1&keywords=divergent

Amazon. (2014). Fahrenheit 451: A Novel. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Fahrenheit-451-Novel-Ray-Bradbury/dp/1451673310/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391051276&sr=1-1&keywords=fahrenheit+451

Amazon. (2014). The Hunger Games (Book 1). Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Book-1/dp/0439023521/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391051215&sr=1-3&keywords=hunger+games

Amazon. (2014). The Maze Runner (Book 1). Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Maze-Runner-Book-1/dp/0385737955/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391051076&sr=1-2&keywords=the+maze+runner

Skype Creates Connections


Skype has been one of those companies that his been able to profit on peoples yearning for contact with loved ones. Skype is a video chat software that allows for real time video conferencing with people who can be situated all around the world. Skype recently launched a “Stay Together” initiative, which asked consumers to tell their stories about their long-distance connections with people. Customers were asked to post videos explaining their story and how Skype in particular has helped them keep a close relationship with the people they are not able to see in person.


The “Stay Together” campaign is a very smart advertising tactic for Skype. The videos uploaded manage to attract and hit home with consumers who are going through the same thing and it also brings awareness to other consumers who are not familiar with how Skype works.  One of the stories Skype decided to highlight was that of Sarah and Paige, who are both from different countries and have never met each other outside of Skype. What makes their story unique is that both Sarah and Paige were born without their left arms. Skype allowed them to form a bond that they were not able to have with other people. Skype has been able to advertise their ability to create connections with people. This connection Skype allowed them to create has made their quality of life better. 

Advertisements like these connect people on a personal and emotional level. This advertisement in particular went viral and has caught the attention of national talk show host like Katie Couric. When advertisements go viral, profitability for the company is almost always certain. 


As a consumer, I can relate to the emotional appeal this advertisement exhibits. Having been away from home since June, I rely on Skype and Facetime to keep in contact with my parents and siblings. Talking on the phone, and texting is nothing  compared to being able to physically or in this case digitally seeing someone you miss. Although my story is different from Paige and Sarah, the same idea that Skype keeps people connected is relevant. Skype has done a great job at providing a service that people want to use. Its advertisements show the good their software can bring people of all different backgrounds, and situations. The emotional appeal has kept consumers interested and others interested in what this company can do. It is important for companies to uses advertisements that appeal on several levels to consumers in order to stay relevant in the market. 



Nudd , T. (13, November 04). After skyping for 8 years, two girls with a special bond finally meet sarah and paige’s story. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-after-skyping-8-years-two-girls-special-bond-finally-meet-153609

Happy Halloween- Star Wars + Verizon

I love themed ads.  Verizon recently launched their Halloween themed ad.  And I felt it was very creative.  The commercial was just launched in the last two weeks.  Verizon decided to take a family and put them all in costumes to go out trick or treating and through the latest Verizon technology they could map out the path they were going to be taking and when and what houses to stop at. 

The all the family members, even including the dog was wearing a Star Wars themed Halloween costumes.  They were either characters or even ships from the movie.  I loved the family aspect of the commercial.  They are sending a wholesome message that trick or treating is supposed to be a safe activity for everyone. And an activity that can be done together. 

The technology that is used in the commercial includes tablets, new smart phones and even a wrist watch “communicator”.  Uses their snazzy communication devices they can communicate with other people trick or treating and compare the best locations and paths to take, by who is giving out the best kinds of candy and who is giving out dental floss.

I found minimal feedback on the commercial itself.  Many different bloggers or forums are discussing the commercial.  Saying how costume choices may not have been a legal choice and they Verizon could be sued.  However I don’t agree with any of this as of now.  I just feel like the commercial is supposed to entice the audience and target market, which in this case is everyone, which is why they chose a family, of different age groups. It shows many different devices in different ways and that anyone can use them. As far as the costumes, it just ties into the very essence of Halloween.  I don’t think there was any intention to disgrace Star wars, or to use something illegal.  And quite frankly the costumes are awesome, and may even boost star wars costumes this season. 

laughs boost security

Security technology has advanced in great strides, but is not widely advertised.  I mean, how do make “security system” sound exciting?


When I think of the word Security, I think of safety, protection, and reassurance.


Princeton’s wordnet defines security system as “(computing) a system that enforces boundaries between computer networks.”


A recent campaign in Minneapolis made an excellent point:  Once a week, a paint crew was hoisted to repaint one side of a billboard from green to red and finally to blue.  The text on the ad reading: ‘“Paint Drying,” says text on the billboard. “Admittedly more interesting than explaining malware prevention.”’


I don’t know about you, but this sounds a little confusing to me. (Coming from someone who does not know too much about technology.)  It all sounds like something I need, but do not know much about.  It is such a serious topic, Security.  We use security software everyday on our laptops and PCs.  So how do I choose which company to use?


This is actually part of an ad campaign for Webroot, a malware company. After conducting a poll they realized that people didn’t want to hear all the technical jargon.  They wanted to know what they were getting from their security providers in plain and simple English.  Although this campaign is a little self- deprecating, it hit a strong chord with many individuals (such as myself) who tend to shy away or get scared of the fancy lingo normally associated with the product.


Many security companies have started adding humor to their advertisements.  This not only makes for an interesting advertisement, but it opens up the target audience for security software to a much broader audience.


Bitdefender, and anit-virus company has partner with Fredo&Pid’jin, a web comic known for it’s edgy humor.


Companies use security to protect themselves on a greater scale from thieves, or virus.  We even use security software through security systems in our homes, to protect out families and possessions.


Below is a video where a security technology from GE, take and interesting spin on a scene from the move Lassie.  This is the scene where Lassie and his young friend find themselves face to face with a cougar.  But don’t worry Kung Fu Fighting Lassie will protect you!


(r.d.) Retrieved from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=security system

Newman, Andrew Adam. . Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/22/business/media/22adco.html?_r=0

Souza, Victor. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/bitdefender-taps-quirky-humor-fredo-pidjin-comic-experimental-advertising-project-1689318.htm

Funny Security Technologies Advertisement !!!!! ### Epic – YouTube. (2013, April 29). YouTube. Retrieved September 5, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq7KbAqah1g

Link to Fredo & pid’jin comic : http://www.pidjin.net

Apple Lives On *UPDATED

On September 10, 2013 Apple will host its highly anticipated annual release event in Cupertino, California. Here they will introduce new products into the market. This years speculations are that two new iPhones will be introduced. The first being the iPhone 5C which according to leaked images and rumors will be offered in a variety of colors as well as be built with plastic materials which will lower the price. The second iPhone, which is expected to be called the iPhone 5S, will feature a faster processor, better camera, and fingerprint sensor for the home button. The iPhone 5S is also rumored to be available in a gold color. Third rumor for the apple event is the release of a possible new Apple TV. The much-anticipated iOS7 is also expected to finally make its appearance to the public.  

With all this new technology expected to be released, Apple has done its usual secretive yet suggestive advertising, which spawns the many rumors behind the event. Apple events are always some of the most highly anticipated and covered technological events. This means Apple receives a lot of advertising whether it is intentional or not. For example, many technology websites have been continually writing about the possible releases which in turn sends users to the Apple website to research more. Thus, the coverage Apple receives whether it is negative or positive generates a steady stream of talk and advertisement for the company.


One of the more creative ways Apple has advertised their event on September 10th is by releasing an image of the Apple logo in front of what appears to be bubbles in all sorts of colors, with the caption reading “This should brighten everyone’s day.” Simple yet elegant advertisements like these rile up Apple fanatics because it implies that something is to be released that will surely satisfy those waiting.  Yet, because the advertisement does not have any specifics as to what exactly will brighten up consumer’s days, Apple consumers become more eager to purchase or at least watch the event. 

In the past, Apple ads have always included simple, sentimental teasers that give the illusion that the product is a one of a kind that cannot be competed with. Even though Apple ads tend to be simple, they are all meant to sell the consumer a product.  Colors, music, captions, and logos all play a part in attracting the consumer into paying closer attention to the ad and falling in “love” with the product. For example, a recent T.V. ad for apple shows a variety of different people of all ages and ethnicities, doing everyday things all while a simple tune is played in the background and ending with the narrator of the commercial stating that the “signature” of Apple is everything. Ads like these tend to hit an emotional side for the consumer; the commercials goal is to relate to the consumer in every way. In this commercial, it almost feels as though everyone with an Apple product is a family, everyone is connected in some sort of way. With Ads like these, Apple has created a loyal fan base that remains true to their preferred company.






Stern, J. (03, September 13). iphone 5s and 5c? apple event scheduled for sept. 10. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/apple-iphone-5s-5c-event-set-september-10/story?id=20140770


Guglielmo, C. (03, September 13). Apple to host special event sept. 10 with invite hinting at colorful new iphones. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/09/03/apple-to-host-special-event-sept-10-with-invite-hinting-at-colorful-new-iphones/



Technology and the Retail Space

AT&T’s Chicago flagship store on the Magnificent Mile (Photo from AT&T)

Christopher Heine recently wrote an article for AdWeek.com titled: “The Store of the Future Has Arrived (and No, It’s Not Apple): How brands are digitizing retail.” In the article he talks about how AT&T, Audi, and Pep Boys are using new technology to revolutionize the consumer experience in the places where they buy merchandise.

When describing the AT&T store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, he says that customers are “sprinkled with what AT&T calls “innovation sounds”—perhaps best described as raindrops going pitter-patter on a digital rooftop interspersed with wind chimes producing cyber inharmonic spectra.” Heine says that the “AT&T flagship attracts an estimated 30,000 customers per month, many drawn in by bells and whistles.” The store boasts an 18-foot video wall with motion sensor software, a section devoted to music apps, a Nissan Leaf that is used to show how parents can use apps to monitor their teens’ driving, and another section devoted to showing how to use apps to track home security. Surely enough activities to draw people in and keep them there for a while, which leads to more product exposure (and hopefully more sales).

Nissan Leaf Display (Image from Fast Company)

Even the point of sale counters have been revamped at the AT&T store. Heine says the “store has only one traditional retail counter, and the cash registers are tucked away in stylish wood cabinets. Sales associates access the registers not with a key but via biometric fingerprinting software and not while standing behind the tills but, rather, while sitting on a couch face to face with the customer.” This approach brings in an element of luxury to the checkout process and makes the transaction more intimate because consumers are sitting down with sales associates instead of being separated by a counter. It is a great way to further develop consumer relations and create a story that consumers will remember and share with friends.

The high level of technology incorporation is a nod to how Apple has set up their stores for years now, but they are no longer the only savvy retail space on the Mile. Other retailers are catching up and going beyond the example set by Apple. As society becomes more and more involved with its technological life, consumers will continue to expect these kinds of revolutions from retailers. They want the bells and whistles as well as a more personalized experience. I think it is an interesting time to watch the face of retail to see what kinds of changes will be made over the next five years as retailers compete to have the coolest store space that appeals to consumers while drawing them further into the fold to becoming brand loyalists.

Global Marketing Challenges

Freddie Laker, the VP of global marketing strategy at SapientNitro, and Hilding Anderson, the research and insights director at SapientNitro, wrote an article titled “Five Challenges For Tomorrow’s Global Marketing Leaders: Study,” which is posted on Forbes.com. In the article, they address five challenges that were identified in a six-month CMO Global Marketing Readiness Study that was conducted by SapientNitro and finalized in September 2012:

  1. Disruptive technologies
  2. Globally connected consumers
  3. Localization revisited
  4. Multi-channel misses
  5. Organizational structures

The first problem, disruptive technologies, deals with the onslaught of new technologies emerging today: “from social media and mobile apps to in-store digital experiences and mobile payments.” Laker and Anderson indicate that “just 20% consider themselves ‘very knowledgeable’ about technology, yet by 2017 these CMOs will purchase more technology than their CIOs, according to Gartner.” CMOs today need to be comfortable and highly knowledgeable about emerging technology because it is such an integral part of advertising today. Companies without a tech-savvy CMO will flounder in the marketplace compared to their competitors with highly specialized technological knowledge.

The second problem, globally connected consumers, deals with highly knowledgeable consumers using technology to change marketing rules. SapientNitro research shows that “82% of senior marketers feel that interconnected consumers have broken down the barriers between global and local marketing.” This means that instead of focusing campaigns separately on local and global markets, marketers need to learn how to target both markets in a single campaign and even in single ads. Consumers today are used to getting all information instantly and have short attention spans, so ad campaigns need to quickly and effectively spark their interest while optimizing the few seconds of attention they gain from consumers.

The third problem, localization revisited, deals with consumer diversity. Laker and Anderson indicate that “coping with the diversity of “global consumers” that also have strong regional subcultures is regarded as a challenge by 75% of senior marketers.” Therefore, ‘global’ campaigns really need to be tailored for local cultures because a single ad does not target even an entire country. With digital marketing, it is easier today to modify creative pieces for different target areas and broadcast them across multiple channels.

This leads us to the fourth problem: multi-channel misses. Laker and Anderson say that “a full 37% of senior marketers don’t believe that their marketing activities are fully integrated across digital and traditional channels.” Marketers need to find a balance between utilizing large multi-channel digital campaigns and targeting localized global consumers. Optimizing creative and financial capital for the biggest bang across multiple channels will be key to the survival of many ad agencies.

And the final problem is organizational structures. The old ways of separating the executive power in a company between several branches does not work anymore. So many departments are integrated and have overlapping responsibilities that it is difficult to maintain a functional operation if the department structures remain segmented and segregated. The SapientNitro study suggests that “56% of marketers agree coordination between digital and traditional marketing teams is more challenging than five years ago – silos and a lack of coordination are getting worse just as the need for collaboration is becoming greater.” Companies need to find an organizational structure that allows fluid collaboration and avoids unnecessary segregation between and among departments.

All companies need to analyze their threats and opportunities in these five areas in order to be leaders in their field. The thread tying many of these issues together is new technology. Current CMOs and marketers need to be willing and able to educate themselves in order to keep up with the ever-changing technological playground if they want to play in the major league.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/08/21/five-challenges-for-tomorrows-global-marketing-leaders-study/

Social Media & Advertising

Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have been around for the latter part of the last decade, primarily. These websites allow people to sign up as users and connect with friends and family. People share intimate information regarding the daily activities of their lives on these sites. They also share links to books they like, articles they read, music they listen to, political and religious viewpoints they agree with, and products they love and hate. Businesses have realized that there is a social power that can be harnessed in these sites and utilized in a way to get the site users to interact with brands and promote their message/product.

Forbes.com recently published an article, How to Triple Your Success Using Social Media Advertising Platforms by Neal Rodriguez, which illustrates how companies are utilizing Facebook’s ad program to boost sales by targeting their key psychographic areas. The article specifically studies a company called Tektronix who hired an advertising agency called aimClear to help with increasing traffic on their website. Rodriguez notes that:

“Tektronix also used Facebook ads to increase the traffic to its blog content pages. As expected, its traffic level to its blog significantly improved to 3,747 visits referred from Facebook in the most recent month while using Facebook ads; from 64 visits that it welcomed from its Facebook unpaid posts in the month prior to using Facebook ads. The conversion rate generated from unpaid Facebook traffic welcomed by its content pages was 1.8 percent in the month prior to using Facebook ads. The conversion rate increased to 5.9 percent in the most recent month while using Facebook ads.”


The founder of aimClear, Marty Weintraub, breaks down his process of utilizing Facebook into three steps, as illustrated in Rodriguez’ article:

1) Ensure that your content is appropriately packaged using the Facebook Open Graph

2) Develop your content with the objective of helping people as much as possible

3) Targeting Facebook users based on various interests including but not limited to media consumption habits, professional roles, cultural preferences and more

Rodriguez also says that when you are using social media to advertise, the focus needs to be on collecting contact information and getting people to subscribe to or like your page or get on an email list. He says the reason for this is because “with an engaged following, you create an endless line of opportunities to recoup your investment in the advertising every time you publish new content. Moreover, now that everybody’s a “journalist,” with the immediate ability to tweet, post on Facebook, or launch an online publication with WordPress or other type of open source content management system, when something is worth citing, you’ll have an active user base of publishers that are likely to link to your content.”

Using social media to advertise is more about telling a story about your brand and getting people to subscribe to your brand and less about getting immediate sales. If you build your story and get people engaged with your brand, you build awareness about your brand, which will lead to word of mouth advertising and then funnel into more sales from an informed and loyal customer base.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/05/01/how-to-triple-your-success-using-social-media-advertising-platforms/