Tech ReviewsThis Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – January 4, 2016

This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – January 4, 2016

I can’t get to every product I want to but there’s some really cool/great stuff here in my office. So here’s a sentence or two on a bunch of “stuff” I have here pilling up – some new, some not so new.

Bracketron  JamSpotBracketron JamSpot Bluetooth tablet stand

The Bracketron JamSpot Bluetooth tablet stand ( $49.99) does it all for tablet users.

It keeps your tablet handsfree in portrait or landscape position in angles from zero to 70-degrees. On the bottom are a pair of built-in speakers to give you much better sound than the tablet itself.

There’s also a rechargeable battery to power the speakers and when the stands not in use, fold it up and stick in a drawer.

Cost: $49.99


GOgroove’s BlueSYNC RST alarm clock

GOgroove’s BlueSYNC RST alarm clock is a great nightstand all-in-one with a dual alarm clock, NFC pairing, charging station, wireless (Bluetooth) speaker, FM radio (whats that?) and even a mic for handsfree calls.

For charging, put your device on the built-in holder and plug in your charging cable to the USB port. This lets it ( $59.99) be Samsung, Apple or whatever friendly.

A line I say over and over again is Power, Power, Power, to keep your portable electronics go-ing.

Cost: $59.99


2015-16 AVA Digital Awards Spotlight: AMF Media Group

While all the winners of the 2015-16 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: AMF Media Group
Title of Entry: “Mother’s Day 2015”
Location: San Ramon, California
Category: 104. Religious Web Video

Most everyone is the marketing communications world considers him or herself to be a storyteller. And there are a lot of good stories told. The story itself is important, but so is technique. Sometimes you don’t need dramatic music, awe-inspiring cinematography, or a riveting script to put the point across.

AMF Media Group is a California-based full service communications agency whose motto is “We Bring Message to Life.” AMF certainly did in a video titled “Mother’s Day 2015.” It’s a simple video consisting of mothers and daughters speaking to a camera while the viewer eavesdrops. The result is an emotional message framing an unique bond.

digital-pulse-australia2015-16 AVA Digital Awards Spotlight: The Pulse

2015-16 AVA Digital Awards Spotlight: The Pulse

While all the winners of the 2015-16 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: The Pulse
Title of Entry: “Telstra – For the Fans”
Location: Crows Nest, Australia
Category: 204. 360º virtual reality video

When it comes to visuals for advertising, the markers are once again moved forward. The technology has gone from standard definition to high definition, analog to digital, 2D to 3D. And now there is virtual reality. Recently, The New York Times enclosed in their Sunday paper a viewing frame to hold a smart phone that interacts with their VR app.

The Pulse, based in Hong Kong and Sydney, is one of the world leaders in immersive experiences. Recently The Pulse created a virtual world for Telstra, an Australian telco. The result is a 360 view of athletes at work set to personal narratives. More details about the project are available on The Pulse’s website.


You’ve won a 2015 MarCom Award. Now what?

marcom awards logoThe results of the 2015 MarCom Awards have been announced. After you’re done with your celebratory dance, what’s next? Don’t just sit on this international recognition – shout your accomplishment from the rooftops so everyone from clients to peers and journalists are aware of your top-notch work.

To help you get started with your promotion, here are a few ideas that hopefully won’t end with your neighbors calling the cops about noisy office neighbors.

1. Make space on the company website & email newsletters

Carve out prominent space on your website to communicate your latest accomplishment. Even a small space on the homepage showcasing third-party recognition can give your team an instant credibility boost with potential and current clients. The same applies to email newsletters.

Design pros can take readymade graphics from our library – available in JPG, PNG, PDF and EPS formats – and create customized banners for a polished, personalized look.

If you’re not a designer, fear not. We’ve got you covered, too. All the graphics look grand out of the box.


AD_728x90-012015 AVA Digital Awards Now Open

2015 AVA Digital Awards Now Open

AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication. Work ranges from digital engagement campaigns – to audio and video production – to website development – to social media interaction – to mobile marketing.

Enter your best work, today!


Tech ReviewsThis Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – October 19, 2015

This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – October 19, 2015

Tech reviews of Jabra’s Eclipse wireless headset, Xventure Xolar5000 Sport portable battery and G-Tube portable Bluetooth speaker.

Jabras Eclipse Wireless Headset

Jabra-Eclipse-wireless-headsetThe Eclipse wireless headset is the latest and greatest from Jabra, one of the best companies I know for this type of accessory.

The first thing you notice upon picking it up is how small, light and simple it is. It fits in your ear so comfortably there’s no need for those annoying ear hooks or wires.

It’s no surprise how well it works since I’ve tried dozens of other Jabra products and each has been at the top of the product line.

With the Eclipse, you get incredible noise-canceling quality without having to mess with any settings. For a portable headset, the sound is flat out amazing, Jabra calls it music quality and after trying it on my playlist, that statement is accurate.

As for phone calls, I’ll just call them crystal clear.

The instructions say its “intuitive,” which in my mind translate into simple and easy with just the press of a sensor. If customization is your thing, the Jabra assistant app is for you, allowing it to work toward your needs.

A quick-start guide walks you through the setup, which includes the voice, language, mute settings, reading text messages to you and even using Siri and Google Now.

The app even helps you find the Eclipse if you misplace it. Each time you power up and use the headset, its position is geotagged so it can be mapped and hopefully found.

A portable charging case is included to give you an extra seven hours of talk time on the go, in addition to the internal 3-hour battery.

Price: $129.99


Idea Hall2015 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Idea Hall

2015 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Idea Hall

While the winners for the 2015 MarCom Awards won’t be announced until Oct. 30, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: Idea Hall
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Title of Entry: “Roll Real Estate Development Video Brochure”
Category: 19. Brochure

Idea Hall is an Orange County-based, full-service agency specializing in branding, marketing, public relations and video. The company’s clients range from the Alzheimer’s Association to the Boy Scouts to real estate and financial institutions.

A real estate development company recently approached Idea Hall to produce a brochure highlighting a new project. To be sure, this is no ordinary brochure. It fuses print with digital to create a new marketing experience. The design is simple and stylish, and the video is compelling, utilizing both live action and animation.

Final Deadline Header Tomorrow-01Final MarCom Deadline Tomorrow!

Final MarCom Deadline Tomorrow!

statuettesEntries are flooding in and judges are well into the process of evaluating what we expect will be another year of about 6,000 entries. If you have waited until the deadline to enter, you should get your results no later than Friday, October 30.

If you have already entered, you may get your results earlier. As soon as your results are posted to your My Account, you will be notified by email.

New for 2015 is a redesigned Winner’s list. Each winning entry will now receive its own page. Title of entry, category and company information will automatically be posted to the page along with a link to the entry file (only if permission to display was granted during the entry process). In addition, entrants can go back through My Account and add any credits, project summaries or information that would enhance the listing.

All materials pertaining to results, such as notification letter and summary of entries will be available as printable documents through My Account and will no longer be mailed.

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the-california-state-university-header2015 MarCom Awards Spotlight: California State University

2015 MarCom Awards Spotlight: California State University

While the winners for the 2015 MarCom Awards won’t be announced until Oct. 30, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: California State University
Location: Sacramento, CA
Title of Entry: “#standwithCSU: An integrated, yearlong effort to fully fund the California State University”
Category: 154c. Communication Plan

Communication plans can take many shapes and perform many functions. Perhaps the hardest task is to entice people to provide money in hard economic times. This is what the California State University faced when trying to increase its budget while the state was cutting back. The university system, the largest public four-year school with more than 447,000 students, was seeking an additional $97 million from the state’s legislature and governor.

The money would enable the university to admit 12,000 new students, three times what it would be able to if the extra funds were not approved. Demand for education has been high the past five years, as the CSU was forced to turn away between 20,000 and 30,000 qualified students each year.

Utilizing door hangers, lapel pins, op-ed pieces, and red socks, the two-year #standwithCSU campaign swayed elected leaders to vote for the proposal. Governor Brown signed the budget on June 24, 2015, marking the first time in 10 years that the CSU budget request was fully funded.