Fun Friday Post – We Bring You Sock Sock Jokes

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 12.20.28 PMYou’ve heard of knock knock jokes, right? They’re a bit silly, very punny and usually good to share with an all-ages group. When you need to lighten up a crowd, especially at a family gathering, knock knock jokes can often do the trick.

As we’ve just started working with Canadian sock designer and manufacturer, Socks by William and in anticipation of a photo shoot, we’ve got an office filled with socks. We’ve been having lots of fun with them, using them to bundle up for winter, wrap gifts, and generally enjoying these high-quality garments. Even though they’re meant for men, the ladies of Horse & Cart have been enjoying them too!

And so we’d like to introduce you to “William” our sock-puppet host who generates “sock sock” jokes upon demand! Share these corny but tasteful jokes at your next holiday party and knock everyone’s socks off with laughter ;)

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.08.28 PMAnd even though this one isn’t a “sock sock” joke, I just had to share it:

Q: What kind of socks does a pirate wear?

A: Arrrrrgyle!

Go get your sock sock jokes on!

Video of the week: Choose Your Winter

nike_logo_wallpaper_for_mobile_iphone-t2Let’s face it, winter is here and we cannot do anything about it. It’s easier to be lazy and snuggle with your warm, cozy blanket with a bowl of chips and hot chocolate, while watching TV shows all day. An easy excuse to hibernate than to exercise.

“Is winter out to get us?” the Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd as a weatherman says.

The weatherman then presents various winter sports that features athletes who train and perform during winter, whether you are out in the soccer field or inside an ice rink. He also, ironically describes the effects of the cold on a human body by exaggerating of what would ‘happen’ to you. His corniness adds a flair of comedy to the campaign while simultaneously showing athletes how Nike’s new line is efficient.

Additionally, the ad is promoting Nike’s new line of products called ‘Nike Hyperwarm.’ The ads show how their new winter gear is beneficial and effective, how the fabric is made to keep you dry, and warm, and their fit is streamlined so you can have full range of motion, effective performance and are comfortable.

The approach is to tackle a dilemma that everyone faces during winter whether you are a professional athlete or not. With Nike Hyperwarm, everyone can keep training and exercise harder. “You can’t choose the weather, but you can choose your winter,” Nike stated. Basically, as their slogan says, “Just Do it.”

Dr Pepper Ten - It's not for women

Dr Pepper thinks men deserve their own diet soda. Because they are men, and not women.

It has been 3 years since Dr Pepper launched their campaign for their Dr Pepper Ten product. The Texan brand created by Charles Alderton in the 1880’s is the oldest soda brand in the United States (it’s one year older than Coca-Cola). The recipe has been always based on 23 flavors, making it neither a root beer, neither a cola. The Dr Pepper Ten also features these 23 flavors but with only10 calories, or as they like to say “10 manly calories”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zza3GqEL5B0

This video puts us in the action straight away, with a guy in military gear running through the jungle. He is being chased by some bad guys, acting like Schwarzenegger in Predator or like Stallone in Rambo. “Sylvester Schwarzenegger” as I’ll call him, grants us with a “Hey ladies !” while running until he stops, lean against a tree to ask “Enjoying the film?” just before punching a snake. He starts running again while saying “Of course, not!” and quickly after, “because this is our movie!” during his jump from a cliff to a car.

It is only been 10 seconds, but we already know where this is going. An “alpha male” commercial with a bunch a testosterone and guns… Quite a stupid cliché for both genders, don’t you think?

Just after jumping into the car, his buddy starts driving, but not before he carefully puts on his seatbelt. Safety first! Then, we will think about this misogynist attitude. He says while pouring his can of Dr. Pepper TEN into a glass “And Dr Pepper TEN is our Soda, it’s only 10 manly calories but with 23 flavors of Dr Pepper”. While crushing the can, he adds “It’s what guys want, like this” he throws the can behind him at the direction of the 3 bad guys on motorcycle to trigger a huge net that stops them.

Then he points a finger at the camera, winks and shouts “catchphrase!” to follow up with a “so you can keep the romantic comedies and ladies’ drinks. We’re good!” and drinks this grey can full of Dr Pepper but with only 10 calories in a macho way while taking off in his car. To end the ad, the final shot is on the can, with an explosion in the background, where the tagline shows “it’s not for women”.

Accordingly to Dr Pepper, they wanted to show men that a diet soda isn’t only for woman. Unfortunately, it is rude to both genders. Men can feel outrage that we need an action movie to make us believe that diet soda is okay to be drink, while women can be furious about this demeaning ad. Since when do only men like action movies? Since when do women only like romantic comedies? How does Dr Pepper feel justified in making such a statement on a nationwide commercial?

You might be eager to defend them by saying that this commercial is a satire, but I truly think, that the use of clichés are not the best way to stop misogynist attitude. On the contrary, by airing them, you are legitimizing them.

In addition to this campaign, Dr Pepper created a special Facebook page that only was accessible to men – that feature has since been removed – where they put pictures of “typically manly stuff”: BBQs, motorbikes, cars and sports.

Shortly after the release of this campaign, Dr Pepper had to manage angry customers, feminists, journalists and politicians. They had to release an apology letter and stop airing the ad soon after. Since then, sales never really took of, and the company is still dealing with this horrible commercial. They should have learned the lesson of Nestlé’s chocolate bar named Yorkie, that made quite a controversy in 2001 with this commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcjlzSod0CE

It is sometimes hard to make commercial, especially good one, but this one clearly missed an important thing: common sense. And this is why it’s featured on today’s Bad Marketing.

Fun Friday Post – Our Favourite Language Converters

Around here, we’re no strangers to fun tools, like great lorem ipsum or hilarious stock photos, and now we bring you our favourite fake translation sites for when you want your copy to have extra pizzazz. Share them with your favourite writers and see how much they’ll enjoy them!

Gizoogle

You already knew about Gizoogle, the gangsta search engine, right? Well now you can translate your site into “gangsta” all day, any day! (NSFW)

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.59.19 PMThe Dialectizer

Here’s a little known tool that works similarly to Gizoogle. With the Dialectizer, you can choose from dialects such as “redneck”, “jive”, “cockney”, “Elmer Fudd”, Swedish Chef”, “moron”, “pig Latin” and even “hacker”!

Lingo2Word

Can’t understand how teenagers text? Need to translate some kid’s email? Try Lingo2Word, which will change your plain old English into exciting 1337!

NadsatNavspeak like in A Clockwork Orange

Loved the turns of phrase and crazy language in A Clockwork Orange? Now your site can read like the famous novel by Anthony Burgess – like crazy Russian gangsters.

The Corporate B.S. Generator

Ever feel like you’re drowning in a sea of corporate jargon? Fret no more, now you too can write, speak and B.S. like the rest of them with the Corporate B.S. Generator.

speak like a piratePirate-to-English translator

And lastly, this link would not be complete without being able to translate your text into pirate-speak! Arrrggghhh matey!

images

The Classic ‘Glass Half Full or Half Empty’ Scenario Explained by Behavioural Economics

We all know the common saying, “is the glass half empty or half full?”. Normally we are talking about whether to be optimistic (half full) or pessimistic (half empty) about a certain situation. The answer we choose can reflect our mood, our outlook or even our worldview. It is a test of perception, because we all know that the same amount of liquid is in the glass no matter how we phrase it. So why does our wording or phrasing affect our outlook? Or is it our outlook that affects our word choice?

Here is an experiment:

Imagine you love really good red wine and these two options occur:

Option 1:

Someone places a glass in front of you and pours you half a glass of wine. You feel ok about this since you have some wine to drink. Maybe you even feel good about your glass of wine. The glass appears half full to you.

Option 2:

Now imagine instead the same person places a glass in front of you and pours it completely full. Just as you go to reach for it, the server grabs the glass back and pours out half of your wine and then places the half glass of wine on the table for you. Now  you feel king of upset, a few minutes ago you had a full glass of wine, now you only have half. Suddenly the glass feels half empty.

Even though both examples leave you with the same amount of wine, the emotional response is very different. In the first option you feel pretty good about the amount of wine you have and in the second option you are pretty upset that you didn’t get the full glass of wine. Suddenly you realize that there is a big difference between having a glass that’s half full and a glass that’s half empty.

This is a prime example of a behavioural trait in humans, which Behavioural Economics calls Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion is the term used to explain the theory that humans strongly dislike loosing things. One definition reads, “Loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains”.

Dan Ariely, the author of The Upside of Irrationality, puts it this way, “Loss aversion means our emotional reaction to a loss is about twice as intense as our joy at a comparable gain”. For example if you find $50 on the street versus lose $50 from your pocket, studies would suggest you would be twice as angry at loosing $50 compared to the joy you felt finding it.

This theory helps to explain why people struggle to give away old unused clothing, why people will pay $10 more to save $2, why gamblers become reckless and bid bigger and bigger hands when losing and even why people sometimes stay in unhappy relationships.

In fact it was first discovered in 1979 when psychologists Kahneman and Tversky studied the different effects of gambling on their students. The explanation for this behavioural bias lies in a specific part of our frontal lobe called the amygdala. This area of the brain is mostly associated with negative emotions and behaviors. It is the amygdala that makes us feel loss as a negative emotion.

Another explanation is the idea that humans put greater value on things which we own than things we don’t own. For instance an old tea mug might only be worth $2 on the open market but to the owner of that tea mug it is worth a substantial amount more. We become attached to things we own and the loss of them is more painful to us than gaining a similar item.

 

So how does loss aversion affect marketing and advertising?

Clever advertising has caught onto this human behavioural trait and uses it to better sell products or services.

Example

Grocery shops in the District of Columbia tried to incentivize people to bring in their own reusable grocery bags by offers a 5¢ reward for each bag brought in. This incentive had little to no effect on people behaviour.

Next they tried a different incentive. The grocery store charge 5¢ for each plastic bag a customer required. Although 5¢ represents a small fee, it resulted in a major reduction of plastic bags.

This same effect has been replicated by grocery stores across North America with great success.

The success of this example lies in a simple shift from gain to loss. Again, people hate loosing something, even if it’s only a couple of cents.

 Example

Pet store everywhere have long known that the best way to entice people to get a new pet is to let them take the pet home for a weekend to ‘try it out’. Whether or not pet storeowners know the specifics of loss aversion, they definitely understand that idea that humans will become attached to the pet over the weekend and have a very hard time giving it back.

Adoption rates of new pets are definitely up with this technique.

 This technique also works, to a lesser degree, with trying on clothing at a clothing store, or putting clothing on hold to possibly buy later. Once people have picked something out, tried it on, and put it on hold they begin to feel a sense of ownership over the item and are more likely to purchase it.

 

Conclusions

You can see the similarities here. By framing a situation as loss rather than gain, greater motivation is generated and generally greater results are produced.

Here’s another example that came up during a conversation the other day.

How do we get people to drive more economic cars? Currently the Canadian government offers varying amounts of money in rebates if you buy an economic car. The way the rebates work is you first pay the full value of the car and then apply for rebates. The rebate comes in the mail months later. This incentive has yet to result in a radical shift by the Canadian population.

If we apply loss aversion theory to this problem we would conclude that a better solution is to discount all cars by the eco rebate amount, lets say $1000 and then make anyone who buys an non eco friendly car pay $1000 to the government after they purchase the car. People hate loosing money so this technique might help convince people to be more environmentally friendly with their purchase.

In the end we know it is all the same thing no matter how you frame it, the glass still has the same amount of liquid in it, the shopping bags still cost your 5 and the a car cost the same regardless of if you pay all up front or in two stages but humans are irrational beings, with complicated brain processing units and one this is for sure, we hate loosing things.

 


More reading and resources

http://danariely.com/tag/loss-aversion/

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/02/10/loss-aversion/

http://www.investorwords.com/16526/loss_aversion.html#ixzz3It5IaMTu

 

Delivering the kind of giving experience that we as donors would like to see

ensemble-info

Giving is all about how you feel and the team at Horse & Cart truly encapsulated this and brought it to life. – Jason Dominique, Founder & CEO

At the beginning of this summer, founder and CEO Jason Dominique was ready to create a brand identity and website for his new charity and non-profit platform Ensemble. While Ensemble does not seek to change the way that people donate to charities, it does want to change the way we find causes to donate to.

Objective

To build a brand expression for the company that would breathe life into Ensemble’s marketing materials and website. Once that was completed, our mandate was to roll out the style guide online by building Ensemble a beautiful website that would enable visitors to donate easily to their favourite causes.

Challenge

The challenge for our strategists and designers was to develop a hyper streamlined new way to donate online without actually changing the donation process. This meant keeping it  easy to use for any type of user, while maintaining a high level of trust and security. Read more about this project with the Ensemble case study.

ensemble mobileTechnology

We developed the site using ThemeFortress’s WordPress Reverie theme built on ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that the site is fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen. Taking Reverie to the next level we integrated a ton of custom features for end-user management.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Video of the Week – How Will You Remember?

remembrance_day-1Today marks Canada’s Remembrance Day. Millions of Canadians gathered across Canada to honour and remember the soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women who have served and protected the country. A ceremony is held to honour their bravery and patriotism. This includes the national anthem “O Canada,” the “Last Post” is played to begin the remembrance memorial service, which follows a two-minute silence at 11 a.m., and then speeches to show appreciation to ‘them’.

Remembrance Day marks two significant historical events – World War I that ended on November 11th, 1918 and World War II that ended in September 2nd, 1945. It is also known as Poppy Day, which signifies the red broaches of poppies that are worn by citizens on the left (next to the heart), starting two weeks before Remembrance Day. There is a poem by Maria Andrew that talks about poppies and in one of the sentences it is stated, “Red poppies can glow like bright little lamps,” which symbolizes how we will remember them. Additionally, whoever served in those harsh times, will glow bright today and honor their courageousness and devotion.

Canadian news outlets such as CTV News and the CBC have been live-blogging all day since this morning, where people have been tweeting, posting videos and pictures to acknowledge this memorial service whether or not they knew someone:

One excellent poem that demonstrates the importance of honouring this day was written by Moira Michael in November, 1918. Her words are vividly beautiful and poetical to the point that you feel the intensity of her emotions crawling out of the words.

We Shall Keep the Faith

“Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.”

Source: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/moina-michael-we-shall-keep-faith.htm

“Lest We Forget”- Let’s stand in silence and remember how our armed forces have served the country during times of war.