MarCom Winner, Column Five

Winner: Column Five Media
Title of Entry: “Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling”
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Website: http://www.columnfivemedia.com/book/
Category: 77. Book

The Power of Visual Story Telling

Let’s face it. We have all had the task of communicating a topic or point that is either too vast or too difficult (boring?) to get our point across in just words. This world has us texting, tweeting, and face timing so fast we can barely hold our attention longer than 5 minutes.

What was I talking about?  Oh, right. Visual Storytelling.

More and more PR + Communication + Marketing firms are using infographics to visually communicate their message. Larger graphics and bolder colors grab our attention. Column Five is a leader in this latest movement of infographic communication. Their graphic design is outstanding, keeping you engaged in whatever subject matter possible.

Column Five’s book gives you all the insight you need into the value of infographics and how to best implement visual storytelling into your daily marketing and communication strategies.

If nothing else, buy it for their awesome graphics. Well done.

 

 

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This Week’s Tech Gadgets – Sept. 24, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

The CordCruncher is one of those gadgets that seems useless when I first read about it but think it’s pretty cool after I’ve had a chance to use it.

There isn’t much to it: a set of earbuds whose cord is encased in an elastic sleeve. But the cool thing is that stretches from16 inches to 3.5 feet and stays tangle-free the whole time.

To stretch them out, you carefully extend the earbuds out of of the sleeve and to retract them you just hold both ends of the sleeve extended and the headphone wire shoots into the sleeve.

Then you can just roll it up in a ball and you’re all set for the next time you want to use them.

The company states that the elastic sleeve is made from a hypo-allergenic material and it works very well to give you decent sound and to conquer their main objective: keeping the headphones’ cords tangle free.

There isn’t a microphone on the cord for hands free calls, but for $20 they are more than worth the money since you get the earbuds along with a cable management system.

www.CordCruncher.com available in iGizmo White, Matte Black, Pearl Blue or Rocket Red

 

The Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic is the newest in the interchangeable optics for the Lensbaby System. I tested mine in the Composer Pro.

If your not familiar with Lensbabys, they are are system of lenses designed to capture a circle of focus surrounded by a soft blur and are available in mounts for most of today’s digital SLR cameras.

Unlike most of the other optics, the Edge 80 has a 12-blade adjustable aperture which is nice. The Sweet 35 is the only other Lensbaby with an adjustable aperture. The other have aperture discs you have to change for each different f-stop opening desired

What makes the Edge 80 different from all previous Lensbaby optics is it gives you a slice of tack-sharp focus through your image bordered by soft blur (instead of a circular sweet spot of focus.)

I used mine during a portrait session and really liked the look it gave my photos. The look combined with the ease of changing aperture and moving the slice of focus really made my session fun and easy.

www.lensbaby.com $300

 

The pocket-sized Logitech Cube is a multifunctional device that works as a mouse and as a presentation remote with a range of 85-feet.

It’s shaped, oddly enough, just like a cube so it takes a little getting us to use as a mouse since it’s nothing near shaped what most everyone would be used to.

As for the mouse features, it has a right click button in the center and a left click button up front. A USB port and a power button are on the back for keeping the internal Lithium Ion battery powered up.

As for its presentation features, it was pretty easy to flip through slides backwards and forward, once you get used to what button does what.

For example, to flip pages backward you have to flip over the Cube while clicking the main button and you press the top to go forward to the next slide or page.

It also comes with a Logitech Unifying USB adapter to plug into your computer for a wireless connection without needing any software for the mouse or to use the presentation features.

The Unifying receiver can connect up to six selected mice and keyboards at the same time. You can find specific information on which products on the Logitech site.

www.logitech.com $69.99

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.

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MarCom Winner, West Virginia University

Winner: West Virginia University
Title of Entry: “Follow WVU”
Location: Morgantown, WV
Client: WVU
Category: 246. Single Spot

West Virginia University has produced one of the most visually creative commercials seen anywhere….local television or national network.  The spot promotes the University’s diverse offerings from academia to sports.  The producers combine arresting graphics with sensational cinematography that draws viewers into the campus.  There are some great visual shots including a sequence where the camera follows the swimmer into the pool. The commercial is nicely pulled together with an energetic and fun musical score.

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MarCom Winner, New Jersey Sharing Network

Winner: New Jersey Sharing Network
Title of Entry: “Share NJ 5K Race To Save Lives Through Organ & Tissue Donation”
Location: New Providence, NJ
Client: NJ Sharing Network
Category: 151c. Special event
The New Jersey Sharing Network is a nonprofit organization responsible for  the recovery of organs and tissues for the nearly 5,000 residents awaiting  an organ transplant. The Network sponsors a 5k race every year to raise money  and awareness.  The race attracted 245 teams mostly made up of  organ recipients, those awaiting organs, and families of donors.
The  six week media blitz earned placements in print, on-line, television, and  radio.  This year the race raised $607,000, a 35 percent increase  over the previous year’s race.  Those of us who are involved in  putting on fund raising races, can appreciate the temendous amount of time  and effort it takes to make a race that successful.
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MarCom Winner, LPL Financial

Winner: LPL Financial
Title of Entry: “WomenInvest White Paper”
Location: San Diego, CA
Client: LPL Financial
Category: 143. White Paper

“White Papers” can include incredible research, but if you can’t decipher the statistics and understand the implications the information means little.  LPL Financial is a company that financial institutions and advisers turn to for guidance.

LPL recently studied a niche market in their realm…women.  The White Paper breaks down the role women play in personal and family investing.  Using crisp language, a simple design layout, and descriptive graphs, LPL lays out what advisers need to understand to capture that segment of the financial market. >LPL Financial Whitepaper

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MarCom Winner, CRC Marketing Solutions

Winner: CRC Marketing Solutions
Title of Entry: “Be a Heart Hero”
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Client: United Health Care
Category: 14c. Advertising Campaign
United Healthcare partnered with Woman’s Day magazine to not only raise awareness of heart disease, but to prevent it.  CRC Marketing Solutions, an integrated marketing communications agency based in Minneapolis, created a direct marketing advertising campaign with the catchy phrase “Be a Heart Hero”.  While most creative would hit you over the head with the seriousness of the disease, this campaign takes a different tact.  The series of ads utilizes crisp writing, joyful photography, and simple,colorful graphics that attract your interest and still get across a very serious message.    >Be A Heart Hero 2012
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MarCom Winner, Martin Retail Group

Winner: Martin Retail Group
Location: Birmingham, AL
Client: Fifth Third Bank
Category: 271c. Radio Campaign

It’s difficult enough to create an engaging, memorable radio campaign.  But when your client’s name is “Fifth Third Bank”…well.

Martin Retail Group, with offices in several cities, is one of the largest advertising agencies in the country.  The auto industry accounts for most of their business, but the agency also services insurances companies and big box stores. The series of radio commercials entered into the MarCom uses humor to deliver the message.  The voices and sound effects harken back to an earlier day.

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MarCom Winner, Deveney Communication

Winner: Deveney Communication
Location: New Orleans, LA
Client: Windsor Court Hotel
Category: 7. Magazine Ad

Advertisers rarely get more than one chance to grab readers flipping through a magazine.  The ad needs not only to be eye-catching, but engaging.

Deveney Communication in New Orleans is a boutique agency with large and small clients, national and local.  The agency was tasked with promoting Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans as a destination for weddings.  The “big easy” is many things, but not necessarily a bride’s first pick for her big day.  Deveney created a timeless ad that is as much a painting as a picture.  It serves as wedding invitation for bride, groom, and family.

Windsor Court_Wedding Ad

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This Week’s Tech Gadgets

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman
The iHome iD55 is another of those cool-looking portable stereo docking systems the company produces and like the others, it sounds great.

It features a sliding cover with a black faux leather top that unveils all the controls and a dock for Apple iPad, iPhones and iPods.

The great desktop sound comes from a pair of high-quality speakers packed into both ends of the system.

It measures 15.35″ W x 6.69″ H x 3.54-inches, weighs 2.64 lbs and runs on AC power or four AA batteries (not included).

The flexible dock connector lets you dock just about every Apple device.

As far as working with the new iPhone 5 connection, a company representative emailed me that “iHome has a line of new products that will be out in the coming months (by early 2013) for iPhone 5 and the new iPods.  However, virtually every product they’ve released with the old 30 pin dock will still work with the Lightening adaptor Apple is releasing.”

The iD55, like most every other iHome docking system, has an AUX (3.5mm) in port to connect with most any media player as well.

www.ihomeaudio.com $79.99

 

I never thought specs for a keyboard would include hand washable with dishwasher soap but the Logitech K310 keyboard lists just that.

The new USB keyboard is built with Rubberdome key technology and is advertised to withstand a washing in the kitchen sink submergible up to 12-inches, so I did just that.

After drying it off (a critical aspect) I plugged it back in and it worked perfect. It’s also built with drying holes on the backside for easy drainage.

The keyboards numbers, letters and other characters are laser-printed and UV coated so they won’t come off after the washing but I’d be careful and not use an abrasive surface to scrub them clean.

It’s not magic but it’s really impressive and well worth the investment for many desktop coffee drinkers.

As for how it functions, it’s a full sized keyboard with F-keys, a number pad and low profile keys advertised to last up to 5 million keystrokes.

A small cleaning brush comes attached to the bottom of the keyboard for quick cleaning of dust and dirt.

www.logitech.com $39.99

 

The LifeProof NÜÜD case for iPad is another way to take an electronic device in the water or to just protect is from any damaging environment.

The case is designed to meet or exceed IP-68 and Military Standards, which allows it to withstand inclement weather or to be submerged in water up to 6.6-feet deep for up to 30 minutes.

Just picking up the case, you can feel how durable it is but follow the instructions, which encourage you to test out the case in water before installation.

It’s also shock proof to withstand small drops but that’s something I’m hesitant to test out so I’ll just take their word for it.

While your new iPad or iPad 2 is encased, you get full access to the tablets’ home button, volume control and the headphone and charging ports.

The critical aspect of the tablet is the touch screen and while the heavy-duty case is on you still get full access to the screen, which is built with what’s called naked screen technology

www.lifeproof.com $149.99

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.

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