Monthly Archives: June 2012

GMAIL’s Unsend Feature is a Long Time Coming!

Uh oh – did you hit send too soon? Have you ever regretted something you wrote, or noticed a spelling error too late? Or even worse – sent it to the wrong person? We’ve all been there!  From time to time, it would be nice if you could take back an e-mail you just sent.

Well the time has finally arrived for Gmail users! Although this isn’t technically an “Undo Send” feature, your settings can assist you in your sometimes awkward blunders.

Regulating how many seconds your email sits in your outbox will delay emails being sent, and give you just enough time to stop it. How long do you think you need to realise a mistake, and get to your outbox to cancel your email? Gmail allows you to choose anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds.

Click Here for step by step instructions on how to set this up.

Do you like this feature? Have you ever wished for a feature like this before? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Seeing is Believing at the Cannes Lions Ad Festival

I am sure the majority of you have heard about the famous Cannes Lions Ad Festival. Perhaps you know them as the Oscars of the Ad industry. But for those of you who haven’t heard, it’s an opportunity for creative professionals to come together in Cannes France to learn and get inspired. As they put it themselves, “(this is) where the greatest industry honors are bestowed and where those pushing creative communications forward are celebrated.” (Cannes Lions, 2012).

Did you know that there were 34,301 entries this year – at over $500 per entry? That is a lot of money! Ad agencies, production companies and design firms from around the world are included in those numbers. Those who go to the festival can attend workshops, seminars, exhibits, classes, film screenings, parties, award shows and more. The opportunities and the talent are endless at this annual event.

Exciting news! There were many Canadian nominees that made the short list and some even brought home medals. The Globe sponsored two young Canadian marketers to test their skill on the French Riviera, and they brought home the bronze. More about their amazing story can be found on their website.

You can check out all of the entries and winners by category for 2012 here: http://www.canneslions.com/work/2012/

Are you wondering what our favorites were? The Solar Annual Report made it on our list! “This is the most beautiful annual report I’ve ever seen! Inspiring.” said Erinn.

The three commercial entries from BGH Air Conditioners in the TV category are by far some of our favorites though. Click Here to watch them and prepare to laugh

If you followed the Cannes Ad Festival this year, we want to know which are your favorites and why. Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

Next year’s festival will be the week of May 15-26, 2013. Enter it in your calendar!

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The Importance of Strategic Planning for Marketing Campaigns

Our “motto” is Grounded Ideas Produce Inspired Results. Any agency can be creative, but it’s the research, thoughts and rationale (grounded ideas) behind the campaign that can make it great (inspired results).

A plan is shaped by strategy. Strategy is formed by goals. Success is measured by the achievement of those goals.  When launching a new business, product or program, it is critical that you have more than just a marketing plan, you need a strategy. You can’t have one without the other.

Creating a marketing plan or statement of goals helps communicate a coherent framework that demonstrates what exactly you are trying to accomplish, and how you’re planning to do so.

The strategy is the “why”. It is critical that you do your homework and fully understand who you are trying to reach and what makes them “tick” before you create your plan.  Ask yourself; who is your target audience? How do you compare to your competition? What makes you unique?

Small Business Canada defines a marketing plan as the outline of specific actions you intend to carry out in order to gain interest from potential clients or customers. This is the next step to successful marketing; deciding which media or tactics will best resonate with your audience.

Michael Porter, author of the well-known Five Forces’ model for analysis, has this to say about defining strategy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibrxIP0H84M.

Companies often create marketing plans that are too broad. As Michael Porter mentioned, many are confusing strategy with a plan. “The steps we take; are not the strategy” (M.Porter;2009). You can never have too much information. Don’t feel like you’re failing by not following a plan the way you anticipated. It is all about experiencing the different channels of media and marketing, and then potentially coming back to the drawing board. You will eventually get to the end result. The trial and error while creating a strategic plan will provide you with a basic outline to use on future projects.

Not quite sure where to begin or how to create and execute a proper strategic plan for your business? We have the resources and team of experts that can help!

What happens when the Internet is FULL?

It used to be there was limited space for advertising in traditional media: newspapers, television, radio and billboards only had so much room to run ads. Today the internet has taken every source of traditional marketing, advertising, communications and learning and compiled into one landing space; the world wide web. But what do you do when you run out of space on the internet? I know what ICANN is doing!

On June 13, 2012 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, launched their ‘almost-anything-goes’ domain name expansion. Some of you have been waiting for this for over a decade, and the time has come!

“This is a historic day for the Internet and the more than 2 billion people who use it,” ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said during the webcast announcement in London. “The Internet will be changed forever. We’re standing at the cusp of a new era in online innovation,” he added.

What do you do when you’re trying to find a company online? Let me guess; you type www.nameofcompany.com in the address bar? Didn’t bring you to the right place? You probably try .ca next. It usually only takes 1-2 attempts, and you’re in. These new generic top-level domains are making .com, .ca and .org seem much too conventional.

But here’s where it gets even more bizarre. The competition for these new domain names is unreal! You cannot just say “Hey ICANN! I want to buy “www.funnyjokes.lol” because thousands of businesses around the world are fighting for 230 of the same domain names. Just to apply for one is $185 thousand dollars, not to mention the money that goes into the maintenance of them. You can imagine the disputes, partnerships and deals happening between organizations. However if an agreement isn’t made, domain names go up for auction. It’s hard to believe that ICANN is a non-profit organization at this point.

Perhaps we can pay thousands of dollars to get; “www.brickworks.awesome”. Or not… Is it really worth it? Is it a good business move?

What do you think? Will having so many new generic top-level domains make it easier or more complicated to navigate the web?

Check out this informative video for more information. ICANN New gTLDs

Agency? Or a Uniquely Talented Family?

Brickworks Communications is a very unique place to work. We’ve been referred to as a company, an organization, a business; all of which is true. But because we’re in the communications, marketing and advertising biz, we’re more commonly considered to be an Agency.

An agency can be defined as “A business or organization established to provide a particular service, typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties.” (Dictionary.com: Agency). I don’t care how big, or how small you are. That definition is much too stringent for my liking. Not to mention how agencies have some pretty negative stigmas attached to them; cut throat, stressful, overwhelming, money driven and impersonal. “We don’t act like a typical agency. We don’t just execute stuff. We solve problems, create ideas, and build stories for our clients.”

Although every individual in the office has their title, their roles and specific tasks; we’re a giant team! We have our online team, the “creatives”, a group of associates, directors and project managers; oh and of course the big BOSS – but there are several members within each group that really do it all. At the end of the day a client isn’t just assigned to one individual. A client of BCI is a client to all of us. We all have great ideas; we all bring different traits, skills and opinions to the table, but most importantly; we all CARE! Each and every one of us is what makes the magic happen!!

I started out by saying BCI is a very unique place to work; do you agree yet? I bet you want to work with us now. Or be our friends? How about a client? Let me tell you this; you won’t be disappointed!