Author Archives: Ben Hock

Using Bad Press to Educate the Masses

A couple weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors finally found out they would be playing the Utah Jazz in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. To many Warriors players, the news came as a disappointment, but not because they were concerned about facing the Jazz in a seven-game series. The confident Warriors were simply hoping they’d be spending their off nights in a more exciting city than Salt Lake.

Read more after the jump…

Even Professional Designers Need a Creative Outlet

As the director of creative services at CenterTable, my goal is to make sure our clients have all the tools they need to visually tell their stories. I love the variety of projects I get to work on and all the amazing businesses and nonprofits I’m able to collaborate with. Telling meaningful stories is what inspires me to become a better designer and a more creative problem-solver. However, for a long time I’ve missed telling my own stories through art and design. Read more after the jump…

Stop and Think Before You Post

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Some of the world’s biggest advertisers have created public relations disasters for themselves by entrusting the wrong people with their social media accounts, not thinking critically about what they were posting or tackling issues they shouldn’t. Treat this as a reminder to mitigate backlash on social media by solidifying your voice and keeping content consistent with your brand. Always do research when you are unsure about what you’re addressing, or don’t address it at all. Finally, don’t mix up Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg. C’mon man!

Social Media Fails

Entrepreneur: The 12 Worst Social Media Fails of 2016
Entrepreneur offers a reminder of what big brands did wrong last year, and the fallout that ensued. Although many of the examples seem unbelievable, they could easily happen to any brand that doesn’t take the necessary steps to fortify their messaging.

Twitter

The Verge: Twitter Might Build a Paid Subscription Service for Power Users
Brands and news organizations will likely be able to pay for an optimized version of Tweetdeck that will allow them to more easily access analytics and alerts. The company is currently conducting a survey with select users to see what new features would be most welcome.

Digital Trends: Twitter Says It Shuttered 377,000 Accounts that Promoted Terrorism
Twitter has been accused in the past of not doing enough to combat extremist activity, but its most recent transparency report states that it closed nearly 377,000 accounts between July and December 2016 due to material promoting terrorism.

Instagram

Digital Trends: Instagram Is Rolling Out New Safety Features, Will Blur ‘Sensitive Content’
Although it hasn’t specified what “sensitive” means, Instagram is attempting to avoid unwanted content from appearing on users’ feeds by placing filters over images that might be offensive.

On the GFM/CenterTable Blog:

Project Highlight:

cocd-website-featuredCenter for Out-Of-Court Divorce | Website Design & Development
Our team brought COCD’s brand guidelines to life by incorporating photography that exemplifies their mission and advances their message to key audiences. And, as a new organization, our team continues to work with COCD to optimize and update the website to suit their needs as they grow.

Fake news? Fake support? Fake Instagram? Rest assured, this is the real Weekly Reads!

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People often filter themselves to appear a certain way in different social situations, some more drastically than others. We adapt to fit into all the little worlds we reside in throughout the day. But what about how we present ourselves in the digital world? Just like in the real world, some people are their genuine selves online, but many others use that space as a way to live the life they wish they had. If we do filter ourselves online, at what point do we, as humans, fool ourselves into thinking our digital persona is our true self? Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Snapchat and Instagram Continue to Battle for Advertisers

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The competition between Snapchat and Instagram has been heated since Instagram unveiled its Stories feature in 2016. Since then, the two have been fighting to gain control of not only users, but money generated from advertising. Currently, Snapchat and Instagram Stories both reach about 150 million people a day. With a similar audience size, Snapchat and Instagram have to differentiate themselves to advertisers through their ad capabilities, something that both companies are constantly working to address.

Read more after the jump…

Pantone Picks a Cheerfully Optimistic Shade for 2017 “Color of the Year”

groundfloor-media-pantone-color-year-2017Every year, the Pantone Color Institute selects its “Color of the Year,” which is the color it feels best encapsulates the mood and attitude of the coming year. After what many (including me) have felt has been a tumultuous year, Pantone decided on a cheerful, yellow-green shade as the color of 2017. Introducing, Greenery (aka Pantone 15-0343): Read more after the jump…

Holiday Movie Color Palettes

The red and green color combination is synonymous with Christmas. Any time those colors are used together, the viewer will inevitably think of the holiday season. Color combinations also act as identifiers for movements, campaigns, brands and countries. The rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ community. Pink has become the color of breast cancer research and awareness. Tiffany & Co. is known for its specific shade of turquoise.

All visual designers have to be aware of how color adds nuance to our work. For example, an illustration in a cool palette could evoke completely different feelings than the same illustration in a warm palette. Color has a profound ability to act as a storytelling mechanism in art, and especially in film. In particular, filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Tim Burton are known for their distinctive use of color.

In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve taken scenes from six of my favorite holiday movies and simplified them into color palettes. Can you guess what the movies are just by looking at the colors? Some are easier to pick out than others. The answers are below.

christmas movie color script How the Grinch Stole Christmas Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Small Brands Can Gain Traction by Targeting Their Perfect Customer

Small brands are discovering that they can grow by targeting the customers that big brands leave behind. By discovering niche audiences that industry giants ignore in advertising, small companies have found a way to thrive while also making their customers feel unique. Meanwhile, Reddit is punishing trolls, Uber is infringing on customer privacy and Netflix finally allows content to be downloaded for offline viewing.

Social Advertising

Entrepreneur: What Small Brands Do That Big Brands Can’t

Small brands are cropping up and taking advantage of customers who feel left behind by big brands. Many of them are using social media to target their unique customer, allowing them to grow intelligently with a fraction of the advertising budget of their larger competitors.

Read more after the jump…

The Storytelling Power of Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs became more accessible than ever when Apple created its GIF keyboard for iOS 10. The addition offers users a fun, easy way to interact with friends on mobile that has further broadened our digital forms of expression. GIFs provide us with a visual way to describe how we’re feeling. My wife knows exactly what I’m trying to say when I send her a simple GIF of Michael Jordan crying, or Kim Kardashian rolling her eyes. Though sending these types of GIFs is an entertaining form of expression, they don’t even begin to show how powerful animated GIFs can be as a storytelling device. Businesses have an opportunity to use custom-designed GIFs to help tell their story and expand their reach. There are many super-talented artists creating amazing GIFs that transcend how most people view the medium, and companies should take notice. I’ve listed some of my favorite artists below:

Read more after the jump…

The NFL’s Social Media Policy Won’t Fix Their Ratings Problem

The NFL recently decided to ban teams from posting gifs and videos from games on their social media accounts. Under the new policy, a team can’t post footage before or during games and may only retweet or share media that has already been posted on social by the NFL. This new move has prompted some teams to poke fun at the league by using creative workarounds to distribute game news to their fans and followers. It’s also made some people wonder if the NFL instituted the move to help increase viewership after a downward trend. The NFL seems to think that by restricting access to video on social, TV viewership will increase and all their problems will be solved. What the NFL doesn’t grasp is that restricting access to video on social media is counterintuitive to growing the NFL as a global game.

Enter the NBA. Read more after the jump…