Monday, January 8, 2018

Brockhampton, Onomatopoeias & Ad Tricks

Weekly Update 2018-02: The internet's first boyband Brockhampton creates the soundtrack to our exploration through onomatopoeias as a brand tool, and being tricked by Instagram ads for fake shoes.

Music: Brockhampton
Labeled as “the internet's first boyband”, Brockhampton has been making big waves this past year. Created from a post in an online Kanye West fan forum, the seven members of the band come together to create music that is extremely catchy but also a magnetic mix of lyrics and production. Their music feels really authentic, especially considering their self-brand as a boyband. Not to mention, the fact that someone (the lead Kevin Abstract) could post in an online forum and create a successful band is pretty interesting in and of itself.

Favourite tracks include Bleach (also the fave of three band members), Boogie and Liquid.

So many Sketch tutorials! It's actually gotten to the point where I had to open up Adobe Illustrator for something and felt a real pang of frustration because I just wanted to work in Sketch. It took less than a week to change my opinion about design tools by this much. Muchos gracias again to Pablo Stanley for his wonderful videos. Maybe I'll check out his non-Sketch tutorials. Seriously, he could teach me anything.

I also bought a Metropass last week. Honestly, admitting to myself that I needed it for January (and probably February) was really hard. I rely on my bike not only economically, socially and physically, but emotionally and mentally above all else. Accepting that I am not going to have the chance to use it for probably two more months is frustrating to say the least. In any case I haven't had a Metropass in about ten months so the feelings of having a superpower are coming back to me. And January 2018's version has ~sparkles~.

You can't really tell but the A in the circle on the top left is sparkly and two-tone brown/pink! It works quite well.

This is a week of making the “friendship rounds” – catching up with someone pretty much every day of the week, including a design chat with Marjorie before drumming starts up again on Wednesday. And at the end of the week, Alison comes back to Toronto to visit! So I'm keeping it light.

Random Thought: Sound As Brand
You may be familiar with the term ‘onomatopoeia’, meaning the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle). I have been noticing the use of onomatopoeia as a tool for creating a strong brand lately, and wondered if there was a pattern to its use that could be repeated.

Take Tic Tacs for example. They're basically a household brand by now, and I believe it has to do with the sound they make inside their little clear box. The more Tic Tacs you eat, the more empty space there is in the box, which makes the sound of them hitting against each other louder as you empty the box. And of course, Tic Tacs are named for this sound. You hear the tic-tac sound, you remember that your box of mints is almost finished, and then you buy more! Simple.

Tic Tac isn't the only example of onomatopoeia as brand, Schweppes has also been using this tactic. Their line of ginger ales and sparkling waters invoke a feeling of carbonation and lightness, and the name itself reflects this same feeling.

Schweppes likes a good portmanteau as well.

Finally, the brand Nespresso is probably one of the more clever ones I have seen. If you want to ask for a regular espresso, what do you say? “May I please have an espresso?” Say that out loud. It sounds the exact same as asking, “May I please have a nespresso?” Of course the brand is not as established as something like Tic Tac, so people may not think about Nespresso when they think about espresso, but the trick is pretty ingenious anyway.

Inspiration: Ad Tricks
Continuing on the train of interesting advertising techniques, check out this winner:

Original image from a tweet by Blake Robbins.

Don't keep trying to get that hair off your screen; it's part of the ad! Depending on what device you're using to view this blog post, it may have a varying effect. The original Instagram ad, posted by Chinese shoe company Kaiwei Ni, includes the hair in the hopes that users will swipe to remove the hair from their screen (but will then be taken to the website as a result of the interaction). 

After making the rounds on Reddit's r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, the ad has since been taken down from Instagram because of its trickster ways but I still think it's a great idea. One Reddit user leaves us with some important words to live by when it comes to hair on your screen: “Always blow, never swipe.”

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