Category Archives: Industry Happenings

Brands Take a Stand


With today’s world becoming increasingly socially conscience, companies and brands are turning to a pro-social approach to engage millennials and fuel the conversation revolving around societal issues. Brands are evolving their image by taking a stand on social controversies, a trend that The Guardian says will be “positively explosive” in 2015.

Brands are breaking the mold on social advocacy, a traditional approach that The Guardian explains as a “Look what we’ve done, now buy our stuff” mantra.  Instead, brands are now reaching out and asking their consumers to stand with them in their social fights, and to become a part of social movements.  This call-to-action technique allows brands to be more engaging, and this urgency for ethical behavior is described as “politically disruptive” and “inspiring.”  The focus has ultimately shifted from what companies do internally, to their stance on important societal issues; however, with this shift, brands find themselves under constant scrutiny to practice what they preach, making the pro-social brand difficult to emulate.

Sarah StackhouseExamples of companies that are utilizing this advocacy-tactic include Coca-Cola and Always.  Coca-Cola joined the conversation on online-bullying and negativity in the media with its 2015 Super Bowl commercial. Always joined the fight with their #LikeAGirl campaign, which won Adweek’s title of “Best Ad of Super Bowl XLIX.”  The campaign promotes feminism with its redefining of the phrase “like a girl.” The advertisement addresses the derogatory connotation of the phrase and encourages society to rethink the offensive expression.  With leading brands such as these emphasizing social responsibility and encouraging others to join, the pro-social brand movement continues to ignite conversation and evolve the industry as a whole.

With 2015 being “the year of the pro-social brand,” societal issues and taboos will undoubtedly continue to surface with more and more brands declaring their views.  Does a brand’s stance on social issues affect your perspective of their product?  Do you think companies are making the right move by stepping in on these conversations?  Share your thoughts with us!

The Influence of Digital Media

The advertising industry has recently seen a huge shift to digital media. A higher percentage of advertising budgets are being spent on digital media, and it is gaining more attention from consumers. Many advertising and public relations firms are also now offering additional services such as interactive media services, which helps to attract more clients.Continue Reading

Why Klout is Changing Online Communication

Why Klout is Changing Online Communication

What if I told you that your influence online would play a vital role in your future career and success? This shocking statement is what Klout believes to be the new truth of today. Klout is a San Francisco-based startup that measures social influence, reach, and engagement. The company began when CEO, Joe Fernandez, cameContinue Reading

Web Design Trends: The One-page Website

Web Design Trends: The One-page Website

In design, they say you should never jump on the bandwagon or stay there, because the trend might change tomorrow and your work will no longer be relevant. In web design, this is especially true. The Internet is constantly evolving, and nobody really knows what is next. However, a new trend has arisen that IContinue Reading

Gotcha! Prankvertising ‘Scares Up’ Awareness for Marketers

It’s just a normal day. You’ve fallen into your weekday routine, nothing interesting to speak of. Then, on your walk into the office, zombies suddenly attack you! Or, a telekinetic psycho interrupts your morning coffee as she destroys the café around her with her mind! Or, a devil baby pukes you up on your newContinue Reading


Technology is incessantly changing with every second of every day. Every moment of our lives is updated, recorded, photographed and, for lack of a better word, tweeted to the general public. Different industries, companies, and organizations have begun adapting to this new worldwide trend. Recently, social media’s eyes have turned toward a huge world spectacle,Continue Reading

JCPenney’s Super Bowl Tweets – A Hail Mary?

If you weren’t captivated by the game played by the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks during this year’s Super Bowl Sunday, the buzz on Twitter might have caught your attention. With advertisements being the real highlight of the Super Bowl (in our eyes), many brands extended their advertising reach by live tweeting during the game.Continue Reading

[B]e the [B]est you can [B]e 11.07.13

Since [B]eyonce will be in the bluegrass state in about 3 weeks, I though I’d share some tips that everyone should consider when [B]eing the [B]est you possible.   1.     Find a way to stand out from the crowd.   Beyonce spent a large part of her career (16 years to be exact) in a group.Continue Reading

Advice to Creatives Starting Out 11.1.13

Throughout my time at WKU, I have learned a lot about what it takes to be a creative in the advertising industry. It takes motivation, creativity, determination, dedication, curiosity, but most of all hard work, a lot of hard work. It takes long hours learning techniques to execute your idea. It takes weekends of researchContinue Reading

You Have No Idea Who’s Watching 9.27.13

I had the rare opportunity to get breakfast with Daniel Houghton this week. A photojournalism graduate of WKU, Daniel made his first mark as an amazing digital storyteller.  He would wake up early each Saturday morning in college and simply go out looking for a story to produce and distribute. Strong dedication, if you askContinue Reading

Fads in Food Marketing 9.15.13

Marketing in the food industry is quickly boarding the gluten-free bandwagon. According to Advertising Age, General Mills alone now offers more than 300 gluten-free lines, and many other companies are starting to follow now that the Food and Drug Administration has officially mandated standards for gluten-free labeling. According to Packaged Facts, by 2017 the U.S.Continue Reading

Be Bold and Get Noticed 09.12.13

Recently I read an article about a college student entitled “3 Things that an Intern Reminded Us About Marketing Before He Even Started Here.” The article detailed how John Donahue was able to land an internship by engaging an agency via twitter in a very bold way. In short, he noticed that the agency hadContinue Reading

Create Content in 6 Seconds, Go! 3.19.13

It may seem impossible to engage consumers in 6 seconds, but the new mobile app Vine begs to differ. Developed by Twitter, Vine is an app that enables users to create short video clips that can be easily shared on many different social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Currently the app is freeContinue Reading

Rebranding the Advertising Industry 3.1.13

After recently reading an article detailing the burgeoning talent crisis in the advertising industry, I was struck by many of its observations. Negative views of the industry, insular thinking regarding recruitment efforts and various other reasons were all listed as potential causes for this drain in the talent pool. Among the many suggestions cited toContinue Reading

Ethics vs. A Good Story 12.10.12

As the semester comes to a roaring end at Imagewest, students are faced with several tests, papers and projects. A story from the New York post reminds us as we leave for Christmas break to always be ethical in all aspects of journalism. In crisis situations, proceed with your moral ethics leading and remember yourContinue Reading

Six Reasons Media Strategy Should Come Before Creative 10.12.12

Recently, I read the article Six Reasons Media Strategy Should Come Before Creative by Anthony Young on Ad Age’s website and I thought it was an interesting read to share. Media strategy refers to the strategic planning of when, where and how advertisements will be delivered to the public. The job of a media plannerContinue Reading

Did Social Media Help End the NFL Referee Association Lockout? 10.1.12

The NFL season has started off with inexperienced referees, while the permanent refs stand their ground after the league proposes pension freezes and questions their pay. With the controversial call Monday night during the Packers vs. Seahawks game that caused the Seahawks to win, twitter was blown up with comments on the horrible call fromContinue Reading

Making Headway with Hype 4.20.12

My career as a web designer thus far has been overshadowed by one obstacle, that obstacle’s name is code. Code was like a disease to me. It was something that I had hoped one day to come to terms with and be able to manage and live with. Do not get me wrong, I amContinue Reading

Online Grassroots Movement: Ignite Social Action 3.27.12

It’s easier now, than ever before, to turn an idea into a meaningful movement. “Social action” is natural for those who recognize the value of service, helping others and devoting themselves to bettering the world, despite the issues involved. The challenge is harnessing that personal motivation and turning it into a widespread and impactful movement.Continue Reading

Attention spans on the web are getting shorter. 3.20.12

“Why?” There’s a lot of information out there. “Duh.” But it’s not too much information; it just needs to be conveyed more effectively. “Okay, but how?” By cutting the fat off your content and using more than just words to convey your message. “How? Tell me!” Interesting design! Design is all about communicating quickly andContinue Reading

Guerrilla Marketing: What is it? 2.28.12

Guerrilla Marketing. Not to be confused with gorilla marketing. It is a term us advertising folk toss around quite frequently. So, what is it? How is it used? Well, think back. Have you ever seen a billboard that was so off the wall that you couldn’t look away? For instance, Rentokil did a billboard forContinue Reading

Cinemagraphs, What Are They? 11.17.11

My situation is quite different from most. I’m a current Advertising major, with a minor in both history and film studies.  This may seem odd, but it all stemmed from my love of film. Oh yes, that’s right, I am a film guru. I spend most of my spare time learning all I can aboutContinue Reading

Content Optimization 10.12.11

It has been an ongoing debate for a while, but I would like to say: content is more important than design. As an interactive/graphic designer I feel the need to make things look nice and pretty. Making things look presentable is wonderful, but more importantly than that, is making sure that the design matches theContinue Reading

They “Unlike” Me, They Really “Unlike” Me 9.29.11

Social media. Ever heard of it? Of course you have. It’s the buzzword of this decade and many people believe it is the solution for almost anything. As a future PR practitioner I’ve learned social media is the new frontier. Everyone needs social media, right? Does a client have Facebook and Twitter? No, well thenContinue Reading

Coming soon: 2015 – 8.2.11

According to Dennis Woodside, Google’s Senior Vice President of American Sales, in 2015 we will be able to receive the web anywhere and everywhere.  He talks about how advertising is now engaging with the consumer, instead of bombarding them with advertisements. The old advertisements that were only a one-way channel will now decrease to fewerContinue Reading

LinkedIn: Most Valuable Network for Business 7.5.11

Since 2003, LinkedIn has been connecting professionals and companies all around the world. It is currently the world’s largest professional online network with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries. LinkedIn can help businesses find new contacts to expand their network, grow their business and gain free publicity. All of these benefits areContinue Reading

Worldwide Social Networks 6.23.11

The team is researching daily, as we prepare for our trip to Paris, France. An area that we are researching more in depth are social networks. Usually when people think of social networks, they think of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Since we will be working for an international organization, the team has to thinkContinue Reading

With Social Media, Consumer Interaction is “Like Butter” 4.25.11

The emergence of social media has undoubtedly changed the way our society communicates with one another; Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other Social Media Websites have broken down the communications barrier between companies and consumers by serving as an outlet for a new kind of two-way communication. However, many companies make the ignorant mistake ofContinue Reading

Five Trends To Try That Won’t Haunt You Later 2.28.11

If have a pulse, chances are you’ve heard the buzz around social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube and you’ve probably read a million and one different reasons why you should be on social media, but haven’t really explored what you should post on social media. Steve Rubel and David Armano recently released “InsightsContinue Reading

Wading Through the Social Media Pool 2.16.11

Linked-in, Twitter, Facebook, Oh-My! These buzz words in the industry have sparked an international discussion and for good reason. Social media is changing the way companies and consumers communicate with one another. While some companies have jumped right into the enchanted forest of status updates and retweets others have remained reluctant to dip in theContinue Reading

Super Bowl XLV – The Real Game 2.10.10

Sunday night, among all the parties and the heated rivalries, the ninjas at Imagewest found time to sit down to watch two things, Super Bowl XLV and of course those infamous Super Bowl commercials. This year, like every year before, we all got more than we bargained for. The Super Bowl, notorious for both streamingContinue Reading

Logo Mojo 12.6.10

While working with Imagewest this semester I have learned the importance of corporate identities and branding of companies. Through this, I have learned the effectiveness of a logo. A logo is one of the most important elements that are commonly overlooked by many companies. A logo creates a first impression and also represents what aContinue Reading

Impress Yourself 12.1.10

With graduation quickly approaching, it is imperative that seniors develop a strategy to acquire the job they desire.  There are several aspects to consider in setting yourself apart from the competition and giving yourself a fighting chance.  In economic times that could be better, there is a shortage of jobs and an abundance of applicants. Continue Reading

Professional Calling Card 11.22.10

Breaking into the professional world after school is not an easy task. When I finish college I do not want a job, I want a career. When I began school at WKU I did not know what a professional email address was, or why it was important. An email address is a direct reflection ofContinue Reading

Your Turn 11.8.10

Who supports your business? What have you done for them? I am not talking about how you sold them something, or provided them a service. What have you done, to give back to them, for using your business for their needs? Your community is who makes your business successful. They are the ones who useContinue Reading

Forgetting Flash 11.5.10

During my first semester as a web design student, I was introduced to Macromedia Flash. I was shown examples of Flash portfolio sites: twinkling, rocking, and moving around erratically. Immediately, I had mixed feelings about the software. People today don’t want all the gimmicks and tricks that come along with Flash design. They want streamlinedContinue Reading

Some Insight From John Bell at Ogilvy 10.25.10

How does a college student, majoring in Public Relations, find out where the PR industry is headed? With everything changing in the industry, this is something that is on the minds of more than just college students. Lucky enough for me, one of my classes gave me the opportunity to interview someone in this industry.Continue Reading

A Little Birdie Told Me 9.14.10

When Twitter first started growing in popularity, I barely took notice.  It seemed silly (not to mention a little self righteous) to have a social network devoted to updating people about my day, hour by hour.  Besides my family and close friends, who really cared if I was eating a strawberry pop tart or watchingContinue Reading

Graffiti Makes an Impact – Is it Art or Crime? 6.30.10

Graffiti has been a recent topic of discussion, and the focus of many photos in Spain. While some graffiti is more complex and artistic in style, “tagging,” or the painting of that artist’s name, is one of the most common graffiti styles. I have seen graffiti on both modern structures and historic sites, some ofContinue Reading

The Cloud 4.20.10

Not even five years ago, a majority of the applications and programs I was using on my computer were run from and stored on its internal hard drive. Programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Kodak Easyshare were all staples of my computing experience. Each one of these programs was purchased and came with aContinue Reading

Thoughts on Designers and Writing Code 2.23.10

The hot topic in web this week has been designers writing code. Multiple arguments for and against, have popped up since Elliot Jay Stocks made a now infamous comment on Twitter: I'm shocked that in 2010 I'm still coming across 'web designers' who can't code their own designs. The first post in response to thisContinue Reading

Google Wave: Changing the Way We Collaborate 2.11.10

Communication is constantly changing in an effort to become simpler and more efficient. Right now, there are dozens of ways to communicate on the Internet, most notably through e-mail, instant messaging and social networking. The capabilities these services provide us are wonderful; but at times, going back and forth between them can become a bitContinue Reading

Impatient Users Are Driving Design 2.2.10

"Interface is the new brand. You could have the best content in the world, but that doesn’t matter if the interface is bad," said Dale Herigstad of Schematic. With the launch of the new iPad and the push towards heavily interactive websites, user-friendly GUIs, or Graphical User Interfaces, are becoming a must. People’s patience forContinue Reading

Get Your Brand Online: A How-To Guide 10.05.09

Moving a brand online is a complicated task, but Imagewest has been doing digital marketing for years. As a web designer at the agency, I help carve out our clients’ online spaces, including Web sites, e-mail marketing, and social networking. Here are a few key reasons why bringing your message to the web is important:Continue Reading

Words of Wisdom from a Communication Sage 9.25.09

The advertising and communications industry is changing so rapidly that keeping up on current happenings is a constant feat. On Wednesday, September 9, Douglas Tanton, a native of Canada, our northern neighbors, paid Imagewest a visit. Tanton has more than 20 years of expertise in international non-governmental organizations, non-profit, and corporate communications. Educated at YorkContinue Reading

Education Measures Up Around the World 6.26.09

In today’s society, it is crucial to equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge before entering into the advertising and public relations business world. Imagewest has always wondered what type of education a student across the globe is getting in comparison to the students here at WKU, and if it even compares? Our questionContinue Reading