The Much Revered Uniform Resource Locator

I had this conversation yet again last week. The question came up once again:

Why do we have URLs on adverts?

It really cracks me up when a URL is on a banner ad. Isn’t the point of a banner ad — you can just click on it and to the site?

Print applications, though, are my major gripe. Ever been driving down the interstate at 70 miles an hour, when you come upon the most amazing billboard (ha!) and been so moved that you release the steering wheel to type in the URL posted in the lower lefthand corner only to die in a fiery crash as you careen off a cliff? No, me either.

Or been walking through an airport, see the catchy short URL on a duratran and miss your connecting flight because you were so terribly engaged with the ad’s web content? I didn’t think so.

My favorite URL is on a podcast or tucked inside an audiobook. Isn’t there are smarter way to help people get additional information rather than rattling off a long string of characters that even the world’s best typist won’t be able to catch?

Or better yet, why even bother? In this day and age it should be evident that if someone wants more information about something a company is offering, it can be found online. If the message is good enough, people will actively search for it themselves.

Focus your energy on creating those messages, and quit hanging your hat on the URL.

Week Links #15

Hire only “the best”
Hire super stars to work with you because that’s the only way to drive real change and sustainable innovation.

Ad agencies don’t represent the country we live in – and this needs to change
As a creative leader, one of my ambitions is, obviously, to find new ways of doing things; reshaping products and services that might be perceived as tired, haggard, boring. In order to achieve creative greatness today, we must strive for greater inclusivity in our teams – not simply focus on diversity.

8 WRITING TIPS FOR DESIGNERS, DEVELOPERS, AND OTHER NON-WRITERS
Even if you’re not a writer by trade, you’ve probably written something at some point today—an email, a text message, a lunchbox note. Everybody writes.

Four psychology principles every UX designer should know
There’s a darn good reason why there are so many PSYCHOLOGY+UX articles floating around. User experience design has its conceptual roots in cognitive and behavioural psychology.

Type in Couture
In an interview with rock critic Lester Bangs in the 1980s, writer and punk musician Richard Hell said, “If you invent yourself, you love yourself. The idea of inventing yourself is creating the most ideal image that you could imagine.”

Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation
Ask a bunch of people who subscribe to design thinking exactly what it is, and you will get a bunch of answers, each of which varies just enough from the last one to give you the answer you’re looking for: There is no single, unifying, common definition of design thinking.

Why Design Thinking Works
Whether you are experienced with design thinking or have only just heard of it—strap in because we are kicking off a series covering many aspects of design thinking.

Extreme Constraints and Curiosity Lead to True Innovation
Boundaries force you to find truly new solutions. For your next project, remove a given like a big budget or access to electricity to push your ideas further.

Now That I’m 50, Here’s What I’ve Learned About Achieving Success That Escaped Me at 25
Hitting the big fifty requires reflection almost as a duty. So I focused mine on what I’ve learned about success since being half my current age.

8 strategies to embrace the future of content marketing
Just a few years ago, you could post 1, 2, 3, 300 blog posts on your website; furiously direct traffic to them through all your social platforms; amass zillions of inbound links; target a bunch of keywords; aaand easily rank on Google. Controlling your message and gaining customers was (well, almost) a piece of cake. No longer.

Ad Legend George Lois: Magazine Covers Are “Trash Today”
The iconic designer didn’t mince words in a recent interview, arguing that technology is “helping to destroy creativity in advertising.”

Your Own Personal Time Machine
5 Simple Ways to Recover the Lost Art of Note Taking

THE FRIDAY FIVE: GREATEST COPYWRITERS
As S3’s copywriter, I’ve had some pretty challenging briefs during my two years at the agency. Being asked to pick the five greatest copywriters of all-time, however, stands out as my most challenging one yet. After all, how do we define not just great copywriters, but the greatest copywriters?

3 Quick Lessons in Creative Leadership

Lesson number 1 came in through my Twitter feed this week from Mr Brian Collins:

I am one of those likes and retweets.

Nothing more needs to be said.

Lesson number 2 comes from Nick Law’s interview this week on Design Matters. I won’t even begin to attempt to distill all the great nuggets of juicy goodness packed into this 50 minute interview —  there’s too much to take away. My advise is to listen once, then listen again and this time take notes. Then listen 3rd time to fully burn into your brain permanently.

Lesson 3 is my advice. After you’ve absorbed all of the above, put on John Coltrane’s Blue Train, close your eyes and grok on what an amazing leader you will be.

Week Links, #14

Proof That Design Is Good For Business, In 8 Statistics Design is being severely underutilized by manufacturers, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Dada Movement: 5 Lessons For Today’s Designers For us, art is not an end in itself, but an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.

The Rise Of The Content Artist … Vaynerchuk will be remembered as the one guy who banged down all barriers and pushed people in that direction. The guy who spoke in a language nobody at the time had heard of or seen before. Shakespeare did the same thing.

Craig Oldham on honest advice for graphic designers, industry frustrations and being yourself Just in time for a new wave of confused and bleary-eyed creative graduates, Craig Oldham – one of the most influential designers in the UK – will release his new book, Oh Sh*t… What Now?: Honest Advice for New Graphic Designers, published by Laurence King.

3 Steps to Create Magical Marketing No one will respond to any old email or marketing campaign anymore. You have to stand out, and stand out as an actual human.

Want to Be a Great Leader? Become A Psychologist First Being a leader is a very demanding task, both physically and mentally. You need to be a good business person as well as a great psychologist.

5 Simple Ways to Hack Instagram Marketing The social network is a marketer’s dream, but it’s filled with clutter. Use these creative ways to cut through the noise.

Tribute: A legend who was never dull, ordinary or safe Dave Trott remembers Paul Arden, the maverick creative who rose to become one of the British advertising industry’s great talents

Tech designers should be licensed, says Silicon Valley designer Mike Monteiro Technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Snap Inc. employ some of the most sought-after designers in the world to help them build their products. These designers, using all the tools at their disposal, can wield enormous power, influencing what we click on, see, hear and buy. Their choices decide how we interact with the internet.

Why agencies must make room for innovation No duh.

Miles Young’s 13 Ad Predictions Making predictions can be a fool’s errand. David Ogilvy knew that, which is perhaps why, at the end of his famous book Ogilvy on Advertising, his list of 13 predictions for changes to come to the advertising world was preceded by a note stating that doing the list was not his idea, but his publisher’s.

The Real Business Value of Branding by Jonathan Fisher In a Harvard Business Review article penned by American Entrepreneur Dan Pallotta, one short sentence succinctly captures the essence of branding: “Brand is everything, and everything is brand.”

How To Design An Emotionally Intelligent PowerPoint Presentation It’s not about sleek graphics or the presentation software you use. It’s about whether the story you tell resonates with your audience’s needs.

In Defense of Design Thinking, Which Is Terrible

The Age Of Creativity Walk into any ad agency in the world and in 10 seconds something will become obvious. Everyone is young.

How Creative Agencies Can Compete with Consultancies – as Thought Leaders The “surge of suits” raiding the creative realm continues to expand, with four consultancies (Accenture Interactive, Deloitte Digital, IBM iX, and PwC Digital Services) now ranking among the world’s largest “ad agencies.”

How to Develop a Zen Mind 11 Lessons from Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Need to Get Your Message Across? 13 Essential Reasons to Use Visuals
Stop writing and start showing what you mean