Fun Friday Post – Our Favourite Scottish Referendum Memes

In case you live under a rock, or were perhaps hiding out somewhere in the depths of the Scottish highlands (debatable), Scotland held a referendum yesterday to determine whether the country should separate from the United Kingdom. In the end, the result was no separation. The result also produced some pretty excellent Scottish referendum memes. So without further ado, here are some of our faves:

Brendan Sera-Shriar: while a lot of the Scots were saying “aye or die”, now there’s a lot of angry Scots who are very angry for the referendum not going their way.

Aye or Die

Angry Scottish people

Brendan Tully Walsh: look, David Cameron has acted like a snivelling twit to the Scottish people about this whole issue. They’d better stick to their promises though!

Snivelling David Cameron

Leila Nathaniel: Batman is doing the talking points just like Facebook does – by slapping people in the face and yelling loudly!

Batman votes yes

Moniba Ali: the end result for Scotland, as best portrayed by Grumpy Cat.

no freedom

Drew Everett: Pretty much how the “Better Together” campaign went.

freedom or a mystery box

 

Josh Camire: Natural enemies, or just really angry people?

Scots - natural enemies

Paula Washington: If Scotland did separate, is that how they would join the European Union? Seems like a really bad way to get invited…

Scotland wants to join EU

 

Does Coca-Cola Exploit Workers with ‘Hello Happiness’ Campaign?

“Hello Happiness,”a video posted by Coca-Cola in May, features migrant labourers in Dubai trading their bottle caps for three precious minutes on the phone with their loved ones back home. The video can easily be mistaken for a serious documentary. It opens up with south-asian workers lined up at predawn waiting for the van to come and take them to work. The video continues by showing us their working conditions, their work clothes, their sleeping arrangements, men crowded on the floor of a small room during mealtime. All being migrant labourers from countries such as India and Pakistan who came to Dubai in search for a brighter future.

As the video progresses, the men begin to tell us that they love and miss their families, and wish they could hear their voices more often. We later learn that these workers make merely six dollars per day, and it costs nearly a dollar per minute to call home, making phone calls quite rare. This is were Coca-Cola provides their help and connects people across countries, and provides them with a few minutes of happiness.

In March, Coca-Cola installed five special phone booths in Dubai labor camps that accepted Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins. More than forty thousand people made calls using the machines, 134,484 minutes of calls were logged. In April, after the machines were up for about a month, the company took them down.

The humble gesture by Coca-Cola has left the workers extremely happy. You begin to see their happiness visually in the video, the screen begins to brighten up and the workers explain how delighted both them and their families back home are since they can now contact their loved ones more often.

“The Hello Happiness initiative pays tribute to the hard work and efforts of these labourers and serves as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation,” the company said.

The video has been viewed 2,796,367 times, and has received close to 15,000 likes. But, more than 4,000 people have given it a thumbs down. Most of the comments on YouTube praised the marketing campaign as creative, innovative and charitable. “A brilliant marketing idea that give back and continues to promote itself, naturally,” one user wrote. But others criticized the company for exploiting the labourers, and forcing them to buy a bottle of Coke to use the phone. “This isn’t charitable in any way. Just plain marketing,” another user wrote. “It would have been charitable if they made them call for free or used any bottle cap.”

Users began to question the phone booth campaign. Is Coca-Cola helping to minimize the troubles of migrant workers in poor working conditions, or are they adding to the exploitation of migrant workers in the Middle East and Asia? Coca-Cola is not only using low income workers to advertise their product, but they are also forcing them to buy a soft drink themselves at nearly a tenth of their typical daily wages. The ad also normalizes and glorifies the hardship faced by migrant workers.

Although the criticism is understandable, Coca-Cola’s initial intention behind this product is to directly associate the company with happiness with the desire to help the community and make Dubai a better place to live in by supporting though, hard-working migrants. A simple phone call can transform a lonely day into an exciting experience. “Hello Happiness” has impacted many lives by adding a spark of happiness to each one of them!

Fun Friday Post – The Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse

In honour of Montreal comicon this weekend, we decided to create ourselves in the image of some popular comic canon. We decided to play on the comicon theme by turning ourselves into marketing and advertising superheroes, using the forces of on-point strategy and unequivocal execution. With that, we present to you our version of the Justice League, the Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse:

The Partners:

Brendan Sera-Shriar AKA Grumpy Beard
You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, but give him some scrum cake and you’ll see what a great guy he is!

digi as grumpy beardBrendan Tully Walsh AKA Green Lantern
He doesn’t need a lantern to save lives and keep marketing fun – all he needs is his guitar!

tully as green lanternStaff:

Moniba Ali AKA Spiderwoman
Moniba weaves secure webs of code that trap clicks like nobody’s business.

moniba as spidermanLeila Nathaniel AKA Elektra
The only thing mercenary about me is my use of time and resources!

leila as elektraDrew Everret AKA Batman
He’s the sales and marketing guy Horse & Cart deserves (which is to say – awesome!)

drew as batmanJosh Camire AKA The Monarch
Ruler of the butterflies, his designs sting like a bee (as in, they are venomously legit).josh as the monarchPaula Washington AKA Catwoman
Strategic like a cat, Paula’s got your back in terms of marketing strategy!paula as catwoman Lisa Temes AKA Wonder Woman
She may not have an invisible airplane, but Lisa’s designs hone in on our clients’ needs as though she had ensnared them with Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.lisa as wonder womanInterns:

Maxime Le Noë AKA The Spirit
The Spirit is a vigilante that the cops like and admire, not to mention he’s a true gentleman, pretty great qualities for an intern to have!   max as the spiritArmando Bajares AKA Atom Ant
“Up and at ‘em Atom Ant” Armando is fast, strong and seems pretty invulnerable too!

armando as atom antGhalia Dawood as Supergirl
As Superman’s protégé, Supergirl can’t fight crime openly until Superman deems her ready – which is exactly why Ghalia is interning with us to learn more about keeping marketing fun!

ghalia as super girl…And that’s all folks! See you there!

Video of the Week: Ikea’s Bookbook

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 11.54.22 AMIkea recently released a must-see ad; a parody of Apple’s Macbook adverts. The ad is timed perfectly with the close launch of Apple’s new Iphone, making it a brilliant satirical piece on Apple and their over-the-top tech commercials. Jorgen Eghammer, the “chief design guru” introduces the ad by mimicking Apple’s promotional style,

“Once in a while, something comes along that changes the way we live, a device so simple and intuitive, using it feels almost familiar.”

The ad then goes on to “introduce the 2015 Ikea catalog. It’s not a digital book or an e-book. It’s a bookbook.”

The two and half minute ad is purposely shot against a white background, similar to Apple’s product demos. Eghammer begins to describe the bookbook’s features with exaggerated enthusiasm, some of which are “eternal” battery life, easy bookmarking by simply bending the corner of the page, and “no lag” when turning the page. This form of marketing reminds viewers of the simplicity of a regular book by introducing it as a new form of technology. By using technical terms similar to most technology based adverts, the feel of a new form of technology is given, making the bookbook not exactly the same as a book. Although the advertisement is about a catalog, it can almost be a sort of homage to all books. Today, we are so caught up with being up to date with technology; we almost forget how simple life could be.

This clever new ad is hilarious, the jokes are simple, easy to follow, and you really need to appreciate them for yourself. Mocking is sometimes seen as flattery, what has been working so well for Apple, is now working just as well for Ikea. It almost makes you want to go out and buy yourself a bookbook. And on the plus side, you don’t even have to build the catalog yourself!

Find Your Fit with U.N.I. Training Montreal

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.13.35 PM

No matter your fitness level, whatever your goal, let your fitness needs become your fitness advantage.

facility_1_fullA few months ago Chris Ince, president and owner, of U.N.I. Training Montreal contacted us about helping him re-fresh his current (at the time) website to better tell his “gym”s unique story. U.N.I. is not your run of the mill gym, their unique philosophy and beautiful facilities demanded something better. We didn’t want to just build another “gym” website, we wanted to create something for Chris that truly illustrated the expertise of his staff, their fitness philosophy, and showcased their inspiring facilities.

Objective:

Working in collaboration with president and owner Chris Ince we were tasked with designing, developing, and copywriting a new web portal for U.N.I. Training Montreal. The goal was to build something as unique as their story and help them find new members.

Challenge:

The challenge for our creative team was to create a visual story different from other fitness centers online, but still adhere to industry standards without confusing potential clients. We needed to ensure that their message of fitness was clear. We knew we wanted big, bold imagery of their facilities to help tell this story accompanied by a brand story that still resonates with fitness goers.

Technology:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.11.10 PMWe 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 tell us what you think.

Fun Friday Post: Our Faux Landing Page Roundup and What’s Next

As both Brendan & Brendan and now as Horse & Cart Agency we’ve put out a lot of great landing pages. Especially the landing pages about ourselves that are total jokes. We like to see who “gets it” and who doesn’t, and show that even though we’re a serious business and agency, that we don’t take ourselves so seriously. It’s important to be able to take a step back and laugh at ourselves and the industry from time to time. We’re not stopping anytime soon, but here’s a collection of our greatest hoaxes.

zenpersand
zenpersand was an April Fool’s joke. Taking on flat design and faux-Buddhist hocus-pocus we decided to play a joke on everyone and call ourselves “the agency formerly known as Brendan & Brendan”. Not many people got it, but it was a treat for those that did get that we were playing around with the concept of agency folk with huge egos and zen lifestyles.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.44.56 AM

The Boys of Lost Forgotten
On International Goth Day, we decided to celebrate in true goth style. We created a “band,” an “album” and riffed on every goth stereotype we’d ever seen and laughed about. Looks pretty good for a band page too!

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.42.25 AM

Two and a Half Beards
This one happened after CT and digibomb took their sons to Mount Royal. It was a hilarious and fun day where the boys got to be boys and the men hung out. After they took this picture we realized this would make a great premise for the pilot – big men with big beards, taking care of their boys. We created the synopsis for one episode, named the production company “Ampersand Productions” and most people were really into it!

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.42.40 AM

derp designs
Some designs we’ve seen require no explanation. They’re just terrible. With Josh joining the team, we’ve been using that word a whole lot more, and finding the funniest “derp designs” we decided to create our own fake design agency page. Using the cheesiest techniques we could find, we created… derp designs.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.42.04 AM

What joke faux-landing pages should we put together next?

An Epic WordPress Migration Gives Redbooth.com a Face Lift

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.30.25 AM

Many months of hard work and collaboration have culminated in an epic migration to WordPress Multisite and a design refresh of Redbooth.com

About 7 months ago Redbooth joined our family of clients and it has been an exciting and wild ride! Initially we were tasked with helping their marketing team design and develop a handful of landing page campaigns to help with their brand pivot from Teambox to Redbooth. Our relationship quickly grew and so did our mandate. What began with a series of simple landing pages turned into, what we call, the “Epic Migration” of their web portals from Harmony CMS to WordPress Multisite.

I won’t bore you with all the sticky details that led us down the rabbit hole of sys-admin, IT, data migration, content audits, custom theme and plugin(s) design and development, and a long list of migration to-do’s and challenges. Sufficed to say, we made it!

With a new web architecture in place and WordPress humming along we are only now at the beginnings of helping Redbooth re-define their brand story through design and code. With this comes the first of many steps – a new home page for Redbooth.com

Objective:

Working in collaboration with Redbooth’s marketing and executive team in California and their development team in Spain we were tasked with a re-design of the Redbooth.com home page. This is the first of many steps that will breathe new life into what is already an award winning online collaboration tool.

Challenge:

The real challenge was technology. Over the past few months we’ve developed a workflow with their team in terms of communication and process. Our biggest challenge was helping their development team in Spain migrate from Harmony CMS to WordPress Multisite.

WordPress Multisite, in particular, was new for their team. And having their platform, Redbooth, run along side within the same architecture posed many challenges. As with any new project the best way to get off on the right foot was to put together a solid plan.

Before we even began thinking about a new design, it was crucial that we devise a strategic, step-by-step, plan of attack. We began with exporting data from their current system, which required some custom plugin design to import it into WordPress – there is no Harmony importer! Then we needed to replicate the current site UI/UX in a WordPress theme. Our biggest challenge here was moving from a static Harmony CMS Bootstrap theme to a dynamic WordPress Foundation theme – not easy!

Then began the process of determining what content stays, what goes, and what needs to be created. We spent a few months helping them re-organize all their content and formulate a new sitemap for Redbooth.com

Of course I’m skipping over a few steps for the sake of this post, but the entire process from start to launch took nearly 3 months. Which brings us to the new Redbooth.com facelift.

Working with their marketing and product development team we sat down with our designers and began the collaborative process of re-imagining the “home page”.

We’re excited about the future with many new designs for other pages and portals that are currently in progress and can’t wait to see all of our visions come to light as Redbooth continues to re-define their story – of course we’ll keep you posted :)

Technology:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.31.50 AMWe 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 tell us what you think.