As an avid Star Wars fan myself, I have been known to dress up in character around the campus once before for a past assessment. So, you could have imagined my excitement when I found out that we were heading to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition at the Power House Museum, on Wednesday the 27th March, as a part of our Story and Narrative Class.
And surely enough, I was not disappointed.
This excursion honestly couldn’t have been more spot-on to the previous class discussions we had around identifying character archetypes within story structures. And whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, you would have just as easily appreciated the technology and the storytelling that was behind the exhibition, along with the amazing movie props and memorabilia that went with it.
For those of you who don’t know what Star Wars Identities is about, it is an exhibition that allows users to create and explore the forces that shape our own individual identities through a series of digital interactive stations. It is from this that we as a class answered a series of personality questions that related to our own genetic makeup, occupation, friends and choosing whether or not to cross over to the Dark Side (I mean, hey, it wouldn’t have been a true Star Wars exhibition if it didn’t have this choice at the end.)
The technology used at the exhibition also aligned well our Bachelor of Digital Media course, as we answered questions through digital wristbands (similar to that of a Fitbit) touching the characters, and individual scenes from the movies, to slowly form our character’s identity. Through each characteristic, there was also a story behind it that was told through a headset and would only be heard once we stood in a particular part of the room.
It is safe to say that this exhibition could not have been more relevant to our learning. We witnessed first-hand how digital technologies enhanced the storytelling experience that was Star Wars Identities.
It’s always a thrill celebrating the outstanding marketing and creative work from this year’s Advertising and Digital Media students at Macleay College. Some exciting new careers are off to a great start!
Congratulations to Digital Media student Michael Loader for his recent publication on Medium. This piece was written for the ‘Analysing Effective Experience’ Assessment as apart of User Experience at Macleay College, Melbourne.
A quick background
Rubadub Records is a Glasgow-based record store & label that opened its doors in 1992. To music enthusiasts, collectors and DJs, Rubadub is iconic — particularly in the spaces of electronic music.
The store is widely known for its ability to introduce quality & undiscovered techno, house, disco, reggae, hip-hop (and everything in between) to the wider community.
These days, the store’s output is easily reachable beyond Europe with its online store that sells both records & music equipment such as turntables, modular synths & drum machines.
This means people like me (I am a bit of a fan) who live 16,000 km away, can easily access the goods.
As Green Hill highlight in their case study, there was no point simply recreating the online store in app-form when the mobile-site was already perfectly functional.
The mobile application had to have its own purpose. It needed to be a space where music-heads can discover fresh releases in a organic and random way.
“We tried to recreate the shop experience where you get fed tunes you wouldn’t normally listen to.”
Rubadub’s co-owner Wilba Sandieson mentions over email.
Music for heads and feet
The apps intention is to deliver an experience that mirrors the way one would flick through vinyl, select a pile and then listen to those records in a physical brick & motor store.
While this is a ecommerce app in which one user-journey ends with a purchase , I personally feel the success of the app comes down to the listening, discovering and the overall ‘digging’ experience, rather than the quantity of sales.
So, let’s have a look…
Initially I (the user) am greeted with two clear options, Sign in or Sign up.
The apps ecommerce system was purposely integrated with the existing site meaning account holders of Rubadub.co.uk already have an account.
Additionally, this means all payments through the app go through the same system as the website. Meaning no further stock work on the backend for the Rubadub team!
Anyway, as a new user, I select Sign up.
I fill four form fills, tap the boxes, enter the information. Done.
Already in, no email confirmation needed ✓
Next appears a four slide series that introduces the app and its features.
Intro: Logo and clear copy that delivers the purpose of the app.
Listen: Recognisable ‘sound icon’ and copy informing me of the ‘swipe’ function as well as the exclusive value I should expect in the app (ie: staff favs).
Save: introduces ‘❤’ icon— a bookmark style feature that allows you put aside your favourites. This also feeds the algorithm data about your personal music tastes, allowing it to cater for you more accurately as time goes on.
Buy: Informing you of the store function and ability to purchase records for delivery.
A nice trustworthy and contrasting blue button then leads me to get started, LET’S GO.
For me, the UI works nicely. The minimalistic layout keeps things simple and obvious. It roles with the model of a typical music player so things straight away feel familiar.
Additionally, the small use of colour provides the cover-art with the spotlight. The music playing is the most important factor here so this makes total sense.
The detailed description (INFO) is a nice touch that sits discretely as a pop-up that you can quickly exit back to the track (The 2 minute music previews are never interrupted).
The nav-bar sits nicely as the footer making it in thumbs-reach no matter what sized device you own 👍
Any call-to-action buttons relating to purchases are green — this makes the action you are taking very obvious throughout. The ‘listen again’ is a great addition as most people may not remember every saved record by name or visual alone.
If a record is out-of-stock, the user will be notified well before they can purchase, avoiding any frustration.
As for the actual discovering of music, it does well.
Shown in the image above, tapping the white arrows pans through the different tracks in a particular EP (in this case Krikor’s Pacific Alley In Dub).
Swiping left takes you to the next (random) record awaiting, while swiping right simply takes you back to the previous piece of music.
This allows you to effortlessly find new music, save it and then continue discovering all in one, uninterrupted flow.
The app has done an amazing job at expanding the Rubadub record searching experience beyond the walls of the Scottish shop.
While it clearly cannot replace the feeling of physically flicking through records, talking-music with staff or whatever moment of serendipity real-life throws at you, it certainly delivers as an awesome digital alternative.
I am personally excited to see where they take the application next with more features planned to be added.
I also look forward to what the future brings as other stores and businesses in the vinyl community embrace new technologies.
From the heartwarming to the note worthy, Adam Davidi from The Guardian Australia, compiles the ads their contributors liked the most this year…
Tiny Dancer, John Lewis Home Insurance Picked by: Jim Carroll, former UK chair, BBH
Advertising home insurance isn’t easy. It belongs in the “boring-but-important” category of expenditure. John Lewis focuses on the human value, not the material cost: you’re insuring your home, not your house. And it dramatises the ubiquitous risk of disaster, not its rare occurrence; thereby reinforcing the product’s importance and at the same time keeping us on tenterhooks. It’s all executed with such elegance and warmth: the expressive choreography, the pigtails and glasses, the brother’s look, the teetering vase, one of Elton John’s most moving songs; and the charming Tiny Dancer herself. Perfect.
Superhero: I Want to Be, Thai Life Insurance Picked by: Geoffrey Colon, group product marketing manager, emerging media, Microsoft
In 2014, Thai Life Insurance ushered in storytelling that really pulled at the heartstrings with their ad Unsung Hero . It’s an effective mechanism in a world of noise. In 2015 they followed up with another story, this time pulling at our heartstrings with the theme that our parents are our superheroes. When you’re watching these ads for the first time, you have no idea what the product is but you get sucked in and by the end, you realise a company’s cultural message can be strong even with products as bland and boring as insurance. If they can do this, why can’t technology companies or non-profits that have powerful missions? This is the best ad of the year because hopefully it will influence other industries to take note and use stories that help entice social sharing because of the underlying message.
Beyond Utility, Lexus Picked by: Jerry Daykin, global digital partner, Dentsu Aegis Network
My favourite ad of 2015 isn’t exactly one advert but 1,000. It doesn’t tell an emotive story, feature fancy production or special effects and you’ve probably never seen it. In fact, I can almost guarantee you didn’t see 999 of the executions. Lexus’s Beyond Utility ad campaign gives us a glimpse of the future of personalised advertising, with a thousand subtly different short animations created and served to millions of consumers based on their individual passion points and interests. Sure the storytelling could be better but as a first step into this new world it’s an eye-opening start.
Choose Beautiful, Dove Picked by: Mark Evans, marketing director, Direct Line
Dove smashed it this year with its Choose Beautiful campaign. Challenging women from around the world to walk between two doorways marked “beautiful” and “average” it received a polarised response. But I loved it for the fact that it was so true to the incredibly simple but powerful insight that many women do not see themselves as beautiful, but did it in a completely different way to previous Dove campaigns such as Real Curves and Real Beauty sketches. If I take my teenage daughter’s strength of response as a barometer then Dove definitely hit the mark.
The Flag of Flags, Norwegian Airlines
Picked by: Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation, Havas Media US
There is a T-Shirt I love. It states: modern art = I could do that + yeah but you didn’t. The very, very best advertising doesn’t have the “I could do that” part.
For me, this print ad for Norwegian Airlines is an example of that. The best advertising is a concept so incredible, so rich, so smart, so deep. It’s still on brand, it’s not smart for the sake of it, it’s not ads for ad people, it’s hard working, it gets a pricing message across in a smart way, while building the brand.
My favourite ad of the year is also the most viral ad of the year; in fact, the most shared ad of all time. What I like about it is that it is a classic piece of brand advertising created by an ad tech brand. In all of this talk about ad tech interruption and ad blockers and how science is driving out art from advertising, it takes one of the proponents of algorithmic advertising to execute what is a brilliantly crafted, single-minded, adorable film that builds affinity with the brand it promotes. Ad tech plus ad agency working in harmony, “together, but not the same”.
You Can’t Get Any More Ribenary, Ribena Picked by: Amy Kean, regional director, strategy, Mindshare Asia Pacific
It’s rare to find an advert that is part favourite, part arch nemesis, because you cannot get it out of your head. Seriously, I haven’t slept for four months because of this ad.
Ribena nailed it for me this year with their new millennial positioning and an integrated creative that was clearly designed with the textbook E4 viewer front of mind. It’s weird (rabbits with sunglasses), it’s compelling (ridiculously addictive soundtrack from Tiger Monkey), and it’s voiced by the guy that played Holly in Red Dwarf. Every inch of this ad is cool – if your idea of cool is hedgehogs with top hats and mine is. Forgetting brand metrics and big data for a moment, if your ad can make people think and talk, you’re doing something right. The surreal is underrated in advertising, but it definitely gets people’s attention and I can’t wait for the sequel.
High School Girl?, Shiseido Picked by: Tham Khai Meng, worldwide chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather
Gender fluidity is not widely seen on TV, so it was refreshing to see the Shiseido High School Girl? commercial showing the issue in loving close-up. The transformation is all done with Shiseido cosmetics, which are used to turn a classroom of schoolboys into schoolgirls. Directed by Sho Yanagisawa, it’s a dream to watch – an audacious concept matched with brilliant camera work, direction, sound design and editing. It’s one of those spots that are so good you seek it out to watch again.
Celebrate the Breaks, KitKat Picked by: Deirdre McGlashan, global chief digital officer, MediaCom Worldwide
My favourite ad of 2015 was the Celebrate the Breaks campaign from KitKat. I love this campaign because it brings together the right moment (break time), a clever play on the word break and a very specific product feature the brand is well known for. Then it incorporates the product itself with the 72 types of breaks featured on the packaging as well as the hashtag #mybreak moulded into the actual chocolate bars. It’s a great example of a total brand experience, bringing together the marketing experience with the product experience, because that’s how we, as regular people, encounter brands.
Unstoppable, P&G Picked by: Lindsay Pattison, global CEO, Maxus
Advertising today has to achieve the right balance of consistency versus speed, being both relevant and cleverly placed. But when a campaign nails this while also inverting damaging historic stereotypes, it becomes a truly worthy endeavour.
For me – and countless others – Always Unstoppable smashed it for 2015, with its clear demonstration of how society limits girls. The ad, directed by Lauren Greenfield shows girls breaking up cliché written boxes to underline the frustration these young women feel at being pigeon holed. It’s a powerful call to action with its deservedly angry girls. Not only is Unstoppable a great piece of work in its own right but it manages to build on the previous Always campaign Like A Girl which was widely and justly rewarded.
White Squad, MTV Picked by: Sanam Petri, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy
There were lots of great ads in 2015, but for me the most interesting campaign was one done for MTV called White Squad. It was created as a way to advertise a documentary on racial injustice in America and while many found it controversial, I thought it was one of the best social-issue campaigns in recent memory. It’s not often you see a satirical ad about social injustice – especially with so much turmoil in the culture to underscore it. Sure, it may have raised a few hackles when it was released. But after all, isn’t that sort of the point?
Keep Britain Tidy Picked by: Richard Shotton, head of insight, ZenithOptimedia
Keep Britain Tidy’s anti-dog fouling ad is a brilliant example of the application of psychological insights to advertising. The copy is based on experiments by Newcastle University which prove that displaying images of eyes, by making us feel watched, reduces anti-social behaviour. In a clever twist the ad uses eyes that glow in the dark, the very time most dog fouling occurs.
Will this ad win any awards? No. Will it change behaviour? Yes. That’s enough to make it my ad of the year.
Man on the Moon, John Lewis Picked by: Susan Smith Ellis, chief marketing officer, Getty Images
For me the best ads are the ones that engage the viewer by telling a story. The best demonstrate what we call “the end, end-benefit” – the end-benefit being the impact of any one advert on how that brand makes you feel. The Apple ad Music Every Day (2013) is a spot on example of this concept.
This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, Man on the Moon, is one of 2015’s finest. It is visually beautiful, wonderfully cast, and uses storytelling to show us the often lonely existence of the elderly, and the power of connecting. Never heavy handed, it draws the viewer into the film. Imagery powerfully utilised.
Look at Me, Women’s Aid Picked by: Sarah Speake, chief marketing officer, Clear Channel
This year, it’s been exciting to see so many great examples of out of home media using technology and creativity together to create beautiful, emotionally impactful advertising experiences for consumers.
A personal favourite was Women’s Aid’s interactive Look at Me campaign. The ad, which showed an image of a bruised woman, used facial tracking software to recognise when passers-by were looking at the screen and would then trigger a live copy change. When people payed attention to the ad, the on-screen bruises would visibly heal, showing how we can all make tangible changes in the fight against domestic violence.