Nominees for the 2013 Webby Awards

On Tuesday, the 17th Annual Webby Award nominees were announced. The Webby awards highlight the who’s who of internet superstar-dom, and winners are chosen based on votes cast by world wide web.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising & Media, Online Film & Video, Mobile & Apps, and Social.

After sifting through the nominees, here are a few of my votes:


Websites: Best Visual Design

Nominee: http://www.blacknegative.com
Organization: http://www.immersive-garden.com
blacknegative 2blacknegative 3blacknegative 1


Interactive Advertising & Media: Online Commercials/Individual

Campaign: Hashtag Killer: WaterisLife
Nominee:
https://www.showcasedwork.com/HashtagKiller/Anthem/
Organization: DDB NY

Hashtag Killer 2013-04-11 10-14-40


Websites: Best Writing (Editorial) / Features & Design

Name: The Verge
Nominee:
https://www.theverge.com
Organization: Vox Media

The Verge 2013-04-11 10-58-56


Social: Experimental & Innovation

Name: CNN ECOSPHERE
Nominee:
http://www.cnn-ecosphere.com/case
Organization: Heimat Werbeagentur GmbH

CNN ECOSPHERE 2013-04-11 11-35-39


See them all, and vote for your favourites:

Visit: www.webbyawards.com
Fan: Facebook.com/TheWebbyAwards
Follow: @TheWebbyAwards

TED’s Ads Worth Spreading 2013

For the third year in a row, TED Initiatives has published it’s top 10 Ads Worth Spreading. Below are a few of my personal favourites.

“The dream behind this initiative is to find ads that communicate ideas with consumers in the same way that TED wants to communicate with its audience.”

In my opinion these ads all share the same few elements that make them so successful: the attention grab, the emotional affinity, the big idea, and more importantly the connection – the way all of these fundamentals come together to leave the lasting impression.

“Finding Your Understanding”
Brand: Expedia
Agency: 180 LA

Travel can take you out of your comfort zone and change your perspective. On this trip, Artie Goldstein travels across the country to attend his daughter’s wedding, a journey that tests him and ultimately changes him in unexpected ways.

“Follow the Frog”
Brand: Rainforest Alliance
Agency: Wander Films

So you want to save the rainforest? You could give up your job, your family, your life, and start a movement with the local tribesmen of Nicaragua. Or you could follow the frog.

“Meet the Superhumans”
Brand: Channel 4
Agency: 4Creative

In life, we all have obstacles to overcome. But, the champions of the Paralympics didn’t let anything get in their way. This powerful ad shines a light on the incredible strength of human determination.

“Three Little Pigs”
Brand: The Guardian
Agency: BBH London

If the fairytale of the “Three Little Pigs” was to take place today, how would a 24-hour press cycle and social media change the story? Discover a new twist on an old tale as today’s media dissects the supposed innocence of the pigs.

Letter: To a Future Woman in Tech

Stacey Mulcahy, who is the lead developer at a Brooklyn-based digital creative agency Big Spaceship, wrote this letter when she received a phone call from her niece on her 8th birthday, telling her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

To a Future Woman in Tech: http://futurewomanintech.com/

“I hope that you find yourself as lucky as I, working with people who are respectful, encouraging and inspiring. Find people who want to raise you up, rather than keep you down.”

TechnoStress: 5 Quick Fixes to Give Your Brain a Break

TechnoStress

technostress

Main Entry: technostress
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a feeling of anxiety or mental pressure from overexposure or involvement with (computer) technology
Usage: computing

Dictionary.com, “technostress,” in Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon. Source location:Dictionary.com, LLC. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/technostress.Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: February 13, 2013.

1. Integrate the Old School

Written List

We rely so much on technology in our day-to-day life that we often lose sight of how valuable doing things manually can be. Something as simple as using a pen and paper to make lists, or picking up the telephone instead of writing another email can make a huge impact on shifting focus, and reducing brain strain.

2. Switch It Up

eCard_ProcrastinationTake a walk, stretch your legs, do something different! Changing your surroundings and atmosphere can help you re-gain focus and accomplish tasks more effectively. The brain like any muscle needs rest. Often times, you notice that great ideas can come to you when you’re least expecting it. When we expose ourselves to new surroundings or find a change of scenery for few minutes, we can access other parts of our brain that may have been lying dormant before.

3. Stay Hydrated

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Sound too easy? The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress. more >

Like other muscles, eyes need water to stay hydrated in order to prevent strain, which can often lead to other annoying problems like headaches and fatigue, so do yourself a favor and keep a glass or jug of water by you all the time. Coffee addict? Make sure you’re alternating between water and caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.

4. Want to Improve Focus? Look at Cute Baby Animals

SONY DSCIn a recent paper PLOS ONE published by researchers at the University of Hiroshima in Japan, it’s suggested that looking at pictures of baby animals could actually improve your concentration and focus. In three experiments, people who looked at pictures of cute baby animals outperformed people who looked at pictures of adult animals and people who looked at neutral objects. Researchers concluded that “viewing cute images has a positive effect on behavioral performance in tasks that require carefulness. The effect occurred not only in the motor domain but also in the perceptual domain.”

5. Have Fun

Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun. – Colleen C. Barrett

Done 032a

Stress triggers are different for everyone, so find simple things that make your day that much more enjoyable. Find a fun motto that motivates you to crush tasks and see the bigger picture. My personal favourite and iPhone wallpaper…

Life Throat Punch

Want more? Check out 10 Cures for TechnoStress by Julie Carlson via Remodelista

Super Bowl XLVII Ads That Are Already Buzzing

Advertising’s largest day of the year is on it’s way, but some companies have already started to leverage the hype by releasing teasers and ad spots before the big game. Here are a few of my favourites so far:

 

Doritos® – Goat 4 Sale — Crash the Super Bowl 2013 Finalist


Sunny Side: 2013 Volkswagen Super Bowl Teaser Video with Jimmy Cliff (Get Happy)


Beck’s Sapphire | 2013 Super Bowl Commercial — Super Bowl 47


Coke Chase 2013


Best Buy Teaser – Asking Amy

“The Era of Cognitive Systems” – Computers that think like humans?

Cognitive Computing IBM
Image IBM.com/Synapse

In a recent article by Paul Bloom, IBM’s Telecom Research, he discusses the new era of computing systems, those that actually take into account our physical human senses. IBM has released information on it’s new cognitive computing project called “Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE)”, where they explain the belief that a computer CAN be made to think like a human. If someone has posed this question even a couple years ago, you might have thought it’s possible one day in the distant future, but IBM says “how about 5 years from now.”

“By reproducing the structure and architecture of the brain—the way its elements receive sensory input, connect to each other, adapt these connections, and transmit motor output—the SyNAPSE project models computing systems that emulate the brain’s computing efficiency, size and power usage without being programmed.”

In a series of “Cognitive Computing” videos, researchers share 5 predictions that they believe will change our lives over the next five years. Do we believe that we will be able to experience what an object feels like through a smartphone? Will computers be able to understand and interpret what they see? Will a baby monitor be able to tell us exactly what a baby’s cry means? The exponential rate at which it seems computers are “learning” to take on human roles suggests that these predictions might just become a reality, and even faster that we have ever imagined.

Find out more about IBM’s SyNAPSE project.