Post it notes on white board for Lighting Chat

Weekly Lightning Chat: Nebraska tourism campaign & more

Each Tuesday morning, we convene for a caffeine-fueled “Lightning Chat” about the past week’s hottest news. Through cross-functional input and debate from different teams – designers, developers, strategists and anyone else that’s in the trenches on a daily basis – we aim to find new perspectives and “lightning bolt” ideas about branding and marketing. Here are a few topics we covered this week, and why we think they matter.

1: The State of Nebraska’s New Marketing Campaign

What Happened: The Nebraska Tourism Commission launched a new campaign that directly combats negative stereotypes about the state, featuring the slogan, “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

Our Take: It’s certainly more provocative than the state’s previous slogan (“Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice.”), and given that the state ranks dead last on the list of places tourists are considering for their next vacation, drastic disruption was probably the right idea. Love it or hate it, the bold and snarky messaging paired with beautiful imagery of the state’s landscape has made a lot of people think differently about the state. And miraculously, without even launching any ads in market yet, the creative alone has won Nebraska millions of dollars in free publicity once it went viral. Audiences had mixed, but mostly good reactions about the new ‘tude.

Nebraska tourism ad
[Source: Nebraska Tourism Comission]

2. Delta’s New Facial Recognition Kiosks

What Happened: Delta Airlines is rolling out facial recognition kiosks to shave time off travel. You’ll soon be able to check-in, drop checked bags, get through security and board the plane…using just your face.

Our Take:  Although several of us said “no way” would we give our faces over to be scanned anytime soon, it was a good reminder that brands should exhibit a clear benefit to the consumer (i.e. “passengers will save an average of nine minutes”) before asking for personal data.

photo of TSA agents and passenger
[Source: Delta Airlines]

3. Animal Planet Released a New Logo Design

What Happened: The green wordmark (designed in 2008) has been replaced with a new, blue, elephant that’s meant to emphasize the curvature of the planet.

Our Take:  We love elephants and all, but why narrow down the whole animal kingdom to just one?

new animal planet logo

4. Apple’s Bagel Emoji Controversy

What Happened: Apple released a new bagel emoji, then quickly changed the design in response to outrage from New Yorkers that called it a “monstrocity.”

Our Take: Apple’s rapid response made the whole exercise feel more like user testing than the typical design release. As we watched the new Animal Planet logo design tanking with social media audiences this week, we couldn’t help but wonder if they did any user testing…

apple's bagel emojis before and after

[Source: Apple/Emojipedia via BI]

5. Brands Rush To Embrace Male Vulnerability

What Happened: Just for Men and other grooming brands like Axe, Dollar Shave Club, Gillette, Harry’s, and more are all shifting tack to show a softer side of the male species.

Our Take: We didn’t think much of these ads until we put them in stark contrast with the overly-macho, crude ads from less than 10 years ago made by the very same brands. Much like the Nebraska Tourism campaign, Just For Men’s decision to break down traditional stereotypes about their products (or rather, the people that enjoy them) was effective in grabbing attention, broadening audiences and creating a more emotional connection. 


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