Can A Hoodie Increase Brand Equity? Nick Bowersox | September 12th, 2016


Image credit: Twitch


In 2014, video streaming platform Twitch announced that they were launching their online store with one product: a purple zip-up hoodie with the Twitch logo on the left chest. To those outside the gaming world, it was just another hoodie. To attendees of gaming conventions and tournaments, it was a chance to own a benchmark of gaming exclusivity.

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The Most Underutilized Question in Web Design Lauren Nelson | September 8th, 2016



Web design has come a long way since the days of Angelfire chaos. We’ve learned a lot about what appeals to those surfing the web, and how they use their sites once they get there. Those lessons gave rise to a moniker that’s all too familiar these days: UX.

In truth, the user experience designer has always been around. It’s just that before we woke up to the fact that our design should revolve around the user, they were web designers. And even if the term wasn’t part of the vernacular yet, designers were taking into account the user experience even then. Perhaps they weren’t as successful as one might hope, but let’s be clear: UX is not a new idea.

The fact that the significance of UX has risen in the minds of those judging and making decisions about web design is certainly positive, but even so, the perspective remains limited. Yes, we’re moving beyond our personal preferences in favor of contemplating the broader demonstrated preferences of our audience. Yes, we’re making it a priority that folks can easily discern how to get to what they want. But there’s one question we should be asking when we consider UX, and rarely do.


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Fresh from the SPRING: indio Audree | September 8th, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for indio. Check out more great work on indio’s profile page.

Nicely done, indio, nicely done!



Why Diversity in Marketing is SO Important Lauren Nelson | September 6th, 2016



In Season 3 Episode 5 of Mad Men, Pete Campbell finds himself in a tough situation. He needs to pitch a new strategy to client Admiral Televisions. Their sales are flat, and they need to turn things around quickly. After a little bit of research, he finds that the television sets are very popular among lack consumers, and tries to sell a more diverse advertising approach to the client. In the end, they reject the strategy, because as Campbell’s boss puts it, they have “no interest in becoming a “colored” television company.”

The plot was fictional, but it was an echo of things that were actually happening during that time period. After World War II, Pepsi was looking for a way to compete with Coca-Cola and failing miserably. The CEO at the time decided to buck tradition and heavily target black Americans. Major initiatives were rolled out, black sales reps were hired, and some of the country’s first black models got their big break. It was a massive success… until it wasn’t. As Tanner Colby wrote for Slate in 2012:

Black consumers, intensely loyal to institutions that showed them respect, turned out in droves. The campaign was a great success. It was so successful that it had to be killed, and quick. While Coca-Cola remained wholesome and All-American, Pepsi was becoming known as “nigger Coke.” Fearing a total collapse among white soda drinkers, at a conference for regional Pepsi bottling executives in 1949, the otherwise progressive Walter Mack took to the podium and said he would not let Pepsi become, in so many words, “a nigger drink.” His top black sales rep, who was in attendance, got up and walked out. Shortly thereafter, the company’s black marketing efforts were quietly scuttled. In 1953, singer/actress Polly Bergen was rolled out as “the Pepsi-Cola Girl,” a fresh-faced, lily-white makeover for the brand.

Talk about ugly.

Times have changed, of course. Perhaps not as much as we’d hoped, but at a minimum, marketers have become less cowardly about embracing diversity. And thank goodness.

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The Creativity Conundrum: An Ugly Mix of Endorphins and Self-Sabotage Lauren Nelson | September 6th, 2016

Whether you’re a graphic designer, marketing executive, or entrepreneur trying to launch the next big thing, we all have something in common: we’re creative souls. That creativity may not always manifest in the same way, but without an active imagination, none of us would ever achieve anything worth anything. Though science certainly plays a role in our work, especially in the era of big data, it’s still that spark of madness within that helps us truly shine.

And engaging in creative work isn’t just a really cool profession — it should also help your emotional and mental well-being, which in turn should help your work. It’s a cycle of wonderful. Psychologists and researchers have found time and time again that creative activity can help diminish stress and anxiety while boosting endorphins. And who couldn’t use a few more of those in their system?

So, in theory, we should be really, really relaxed.

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Rise of the Creative Robots? Not So Fast Lauren Nelson | September 1st, 2016

The idea that one day everyone’s jobs would be taken over machines is nothing new. In some ways, it’s already happened. The industrial revolution displaced any number of jobs by automatic a great deal of blue collar labor.

As scientific development has expanded, though, what was once a rough economic transition for labor markets has been extrapolated in the context of AI, or artificial intelligence. From the 1921 play R.U.R. by Karel Čapek to The Matrix, there’s been plenty ink spilled on the possibility of machines eventually displacing us all — perhaps violently.

It makes for some fun entertainment, to be sure, but it’s always been readily seen as fictional. The past few years, however, have made what once seemed fanciful eerily plausible. And there’s nothing creepier than seeing a human-like robot talk about killing all mankind.



Don’t worry folks. It was a joke.

(I hope.)

That hasn’t stopped groups like the Future for Life Institute from issuing dire warnings like this one about the potential consequences of AI run amok. With big names like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking associated with the group, it’s enough to give one pause.

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Fresh from the SPRING: connexis Audree | September 1st, 2016

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for connexis. Check out more great work on connexis’ profile page.

Nicely done, connexis, nicely done!


What Marketers Can Learn from Stranger Things Lauren Nelson | August 31st, 2016

If you’ve been living under a rock this summer, you might have missed the phenomenon that is Stranger Things. If you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest you stop reading this right now and go watch it immediately. Like, now.



But if you’re, say, working at your desk and likely to piss off your boss by pulling up Netflix, here’s the low down: Stranger Things is a horror series dealing with the disappearance of a young boy, the appearance of a strange and powerful young girl, terrifying things that go bump in the night, and the struggles of those around town in dealing with all the craziness.

It’s wonderful storytelling sure to give you more than a couple nightmares, but it wasn’t just a compelling tale that propelled it into the stratosphere of fandom. It was the setting and subject matter. The show is a throwback to the 80’s in the most beautiful way, and I’m not just talking about the now infamous synth-riddled soundtrack. The adults in the room bring to mind memories of The Big Chill, while you can’t help but think of the famed Brat Pack while watching the hormonal and fumbling teens. And the kids — the undeniable superstars of the show — will have you thinking back fondly on movies like Stand By Me and Goonies.

Its own distinctive narrative appeal aside, this is just one of the latest in a recent string of highly successful nostalgia porn. From Mad Men to Downton Abbey, audiences continue to clamor for shows depicting times gone by. They’re not all successful — Pan Am is a good example of a flop — but by and large, folks like taking a fictional stroll down memory lane.

I know, I know. I can hear your thoughts from here.

What on earth does this have to do with my marketing!?!

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9 Entrepreneurs Who Are Killing It With Their Twitter Profiles Jason Byer | August 31st, 2016

Twitter background image real estate is too precious to waste if you want to portray your brand quickly. Need some ideas to stand out? Take a look at what these 9 entrepreneurs and innovators are doing.

Click any image below to see the Twitter profile.

1. Show your product

Gabriala’s product photographs very nicely and shows she is concerned about her brand image. Seeing all the product instantly boosts her credibility that she offers a real product.

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2. Establish authority 

Fabienne’s quote both establishes authority and quickly summarizes what I should expect by engaging with her. The live photo showing the mic establishes her as a speaker with experience.

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3. Make it emotional 

Steve’s company, Classroom Champs, connects students with professional athletes. This simple photo conveys their mission and the excitement of the kid’s faces instantly makes you want to learn how you can get involved.

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4. You in action

If a picture are worth a thousand words, Holly’s Twitter image is worth a few thousand. This collage shows she is connected, professional, athletic, esteemed and fun; all aspects an entrepreneur attempts to promote.

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5. Keep it simple

As a fashionista, Beth keeps her brand on point by offering a sleek photo highlighting her name. The white on black conveys a sophisticated and elegant approach.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.08.23 PM


6. Highlight your creativity

With the competition in the food blogging niche, Rachel can’t serve up a bland Twitter image. This custom image combines action shots with her creations laid out in a way that speaks creatively.

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7. Promote your platforms

While the guys from Escape with Wolves are active on Twitter the real magic happens on their photo and video sharing platforms which they promote from the background image.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.09.06 PM


8. Highlight your name

Instead of just throwing your logo on a plain background make it look professional with a creative touch. Peter’s choice makes it clear from his creative image choice that he wants to offer more than just standard service.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.09.56 PM

9. Keep it Timely 

Matt, CEO of, uses the Twitter real estate to promote the recent move into New York. His direct to camera pose is inviting and feels like a personal message to check out what is going on with the company.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.22.23 PM


Want a creative image designed for your Twitter? Check out starting a graphic design project on crowdSPRING and choose from the ideas of hundreds of designers vying for your business.


A Marketer’s Ode to Gawker Lauren Nelson | August 29th, 2016

After 13 years, 202,370 posts, 16 million comments, and no small amount of controversy, Gawker is dead.




After losing a lawsuit against Hulk Hogan over the publication of a sex tape in which he featured, Gawker Media was bought up by Univision. Though many of the sites under their umbrella, like Jezebel and Deadspin, will live on, the always controversial is being shuttered.

There’s good reason for this. The Hogan lawsuit is just one of many being litigated at this moment, and after a number of posts that drew public ire, the prevailing sentiment was that the name had become toxic.

I admit I’ve had conflicting feelings on this. I wouldn’t count myself among Gawker’s fans. The outing of unknown mid-level execs doesn’t seem to serve the public interest in the way we hope the Fourth Estate would. But I’m also disturbed by the idea that a man with a vendetta and deep pockets could shut down an entire media organization. Like I said, conflicting feelings.

Many more have written many, many think pieces on the death of Gawker, and the role that Gawker played in the evolution of digital media. As Farhad Manjoo put it in the New York Times:

Created in 2002 after the dot-com bubble, Gawker was far from the first online news site; it wasn’t the first blog or the first network of blogs, either. But in many ways, Gawker Media — which included Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, Lifehacker and several other sites in addition to — was the first real digital media company. It was the first publisher that understood the pace, culture and possibilities of online news. And it used that understanding to unleash a set of technical, business and journalistic innovations on the news industry that have altered the way we produce, consume and react to media today.


The most important innovation Gawker brought to news was its sense that the internet allowed it to do anything. It was one of the first web publications to understand that the message was the medium — that the internet wasn’t just a new way to distribute words, but that it also offered the potential to create a completely new kind of publication, one that had no analogue in the legacy era of print.

There’s a lot of truth in those words, but as I read them, it struck me that Gawker didn’t just change the way we produce and consume news. It also paved the way for bolder, more dynamic marketing.

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