Category: Digital

18
May

Break Your Creative Bubble

 

 

 

zachary-nelson-192289 (1)Oishii’s Kate Canada Obregon was recently asked to talk about diversity for The Drum News. As you might expect from Oishii, she challenged peers to break creative conceptual bubbles, the safe zones for creating content for audiences. Audiences are tired of safe and simple recycled creative. Whether a creative advertising campaign or brand visual refresh, audiences want new ways of seeing their world.  Telling good stories means stepping into the many shades, values and geographies and telling our collective history. We’re not talking art or design that speaks from on high, tucked away in a museum. A successful promo can act as a window into the ways we are  bound together under a community, country, politics and culture while giving an unexpected burst of inspiration. Audiences will continue to ignore commercial creative work unless it can satisfy. inspire and sustain.  Here’s to crafting the art between story and design, telling poignant and diverse stories for us all.

 

09
Feb

As Technology Evolves, Humans Still Want A Good Story.

Recently, our Co-Founder and CCO Ish Obregon shared his thoughts on the state of our industry for POST Magazine’s January print issue. Read on as Ish explains why he thinks our industry is being “compressed”, even as it grows, and how we can best wield technology’s power. 

Promax_Conference_Open_Thumbnail_Alt

If I can describe the state of our industry in one word, it would be compression. The high-end quality VFX once reserved primarily for feature films and TV shows is now a mainstay in other sectors, such as commercials and on-air promos. Financially, it’s become cheaper, faster and easier to create a blockbuster-level VFX for smaller projects.

Recent college grads and others who didn’t have access to the latest technology before are now able to command top VFX jobs, while clients are demanding high-end creators to work at a lower-end pay scale. Everything is increasingly being compressed into this middle ground; however, I see this as a positive. There’s a push for innovation that goes above and beyond the standardization of what was once considered leading edge technology. It forces our industry to develop more practical creative processes, tools and systems, and embrace promising new means of content and platforms, such as VR, AI and data mining for design, and propel the evolution of creative culture.

Promax_Conf_Final PROMAX LOGOS _6_09_16.00_01_40_05.Still007One major area of growth is our deeper understanding of human behaviors, regardless of what technology we use. It’s important for companies to understand the viewer, user or participant’s POV and their psyche, because it all comes back to how you tell the story. You can create a beautiful sci-fi film using the best tools available, but when you combine these visuals with a well-told story, it becomes a much deeper experience that far surpasses the luster and gloss of new technology and VFX. Audiences want to be swept away not only visually, but emotionally. Now, we’re masters of those techniques, but the question is, what are we going to do with them?

I think most companies do a good job of keeping up with technology. However, in order to best wield its power, we must remember that technology can never replace our story — and that tools and tricks should never be our crutch. Only after you’ve established a strong foundation that distinguishes who you are and what you stand for, will technology enhance the narrative journey you create for others. True innovation happens when the forces of culture, creativity and consumerism collide. We’re still telling the same stories we always have, but we’re just using new tools to tell them in a different way.

28
Oct

Goodbye Vine: What We Learned from Vine Sensation Ian Padgham

In honor of yesterday’s news that Twitter will be shutting down the 6-second video platform Vine, we wanted to revisit our interview with Vine artist sensation and Twitter animator/producer Ian Padgham, where he gave us insight into how we can all be more creative, even in 6 seconds. 

At Oishii Creative, we believe design thinking can’t be constrained; it fuels innovation and helps us think big. In our Think Like A Tourist series, we explore life at the intersection of creativity, thinking and technology. We recently asked Vine artist sensation and Twitter animator/producer Ian Padgham about what inspires him, and how he makes six seconds feel so dramatic, engaging and big.

What artists or music inspires you in your work? Why?
Albrecht Dürer, M.C. Escher, Bill Watterson, Bob Ross.

When did you start working on the Vine platform? What attracted you to it?
The day it came out. I liked the ability to produce content immediately and share it just as fast. Nothing saps the creativity and joy out of a project like months of meetings and revisions.

How does Vine compare to other mediums?
While Vine is little more than animated GIFS with sound, there is something truly special about the platform. This is partly due to the community, and partly due to the fact that, at least initially, it was a production toolkit with incredibly limiting parameters. That has since changed, but I think the ethos of DIY ingenuity continues to set the tone.

Which project do you find most inspiring and creative?
Projects that have no precedent and no goal other than creating something delightful and different.

What inspires you as an artist? Where do you find your stories to capture/tell?
I’m not a huge fan of the word inspiration. It feels like it’s saying that something out there is giving us a hint of what is cool, like we need to find a muse that will show us the way. I think stories and ideas just come from letting our minds off their leashes and letting them roll around in the park.

In 2013, observers pointed out that Vine was built on “constraints.” It allows you make edits and stitch them together for a story. You’ve worked out Vine’s constraints and taken shots and motion into a new medium. What does your process look like?
It depends on the Vine. Some Vines I make up as I go along, literally letting the animation flow out frame by frame without forethought.

16
Jan

The Future of Television

Image Credit: Creative Commons, Jiri Zraly

Image Credit: Creative Commons, Jiri Zraly

Television was once lauded as a groundbreaking medium, but as we’ve entered an age of seemingly exponential growth in media technology, that status has become questionable. Surrounded by competition being broadcast on every screen imaginable – from sources that were previously unimaginable – to some, the perception today is that television has become slow to adapt to technology, and media companies are more interested in competition and gobbling up competitors, or monetizing views rather than charting the future of entertainment.

There are glimmers of truth in these observations, but gleams do not illuminate the totality of change going on in broadcast and cable television. Let’s step back for calculated pause. Perhaps the issue isn’t television’s tepid use of technology, but more our FOMO and impatient mindset as it concerns digital media. Our impatience is blocking our full appreciation of market conditions.

We are bombarded with hourly news about the latest digital and television content deals. We attend industry conferences where everyone is busy speculating about digital and television competition and convergence. And the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue is, “when will television catch up with new models of distribution?”

But by focusing on this question, we’re not appreciating the fact that television’s history is still active and ongoing. Also, in our excitement to move forward, we may be overestimating the success of new distribution platforms. Netflix has not shared ratings for its hot shows House of Cards or Orange Is The New Black, but the buzz nevertheless, quickens the tempo of conversations. Our impatience tells us that the content is out there, but . . . what? The buzz amplifies our impatience, which feeds our prevailing mindset.

There are two ways of understanding the future of television, first from the technology side: how to best deliver content whether through VOD, SVOD or over-the-top services. Secondly, through the targeted content side: understanding what type of programming people want to consume. Most consumers are not deeply concerned with the hardware companies that control the physical gadgetry; most would also rather consume interesting and meaningful programming.

From this perspective, it’s the content that seems everywhere, and media companies are the competitive foot-draggers. At a recent New York Television week, a panelist said that there’s endless programmable content out there, but this may be a bit of an overstatement. What is out there are silos of niche audiences. The prevailing logic is that the mother brand, the larger company where television’s legacy still makes it king, is what ties them together.

And while we’re placing so much emphasis on the evolution of digital media, i.e. the second-screen, studies show that, so far, at least, viewers are using new technology either as supplemental or in partnership with traditional viewing, not as a replacement. If we look back in American economic history, during every epoch of industrial transformation, the successful companies made strategic moves while the losers acted too quickly. Caution is not always a losing strategy.

From a brand perspective, television shouldn’t lose sight of audiences, who they are and what they want. Media empires, broadcast and cable companies must forge relationships with audiences, create conversations for smart and busy viewers using new demographic, trends and ethnographic research.

Needless to say, broadcast and cable television is cautiously charting its future, and that future it is happening right now. At this moment, companies are thinking, planning and iterating how to deliver content to anyone, anywhere and across any screen. Amazing opportunities exist. You’ve got to know where to look.

01
Jan

Oishii Creative Interviews Vine Sensation Ian Padgham

At Oishii Creative, we believe design thinking can’t be constrained; it fuels innovation and helps us think big. In our Think Like A Tourist series, we explore life at the intersection of creativity, thinking and technology. We recently asked Vine artist sensation and Twitter animator/producer Ian Padgham about what inspires him, and how he makes six seconds feel so dramatic, engaging and big.

What artists or music inspires you in your work? Why?
Albrecht Dürer, M.C. Escher, Bill Watterson, Bob Ross.

When did you start working on the Vine platform? What attracted you to it?
The day it came out. I liked the ability to produce content immediately and share it just as fast. Nothing saps the creativity and joy out of a project like months of meetings and revisions.

How does Vine compare to other mediums?
While Vine is little more than animated GIFS with sound, there is something truly special about the platform. This is partly due to the community, and partly due to the fact that, at least initially, it was a production toolkit with incredibly limiting parameters. That has since changed, but I think the ethos of DIY ingenuity continues to set the tone.

Which project do you find most inspiring and creative?
Projects that have no precedent and no goal other than creating something delightful and different.

What inspires you as an artist? Where do you find your stories to capture/tell?
I’m not a huge fan of the word inspiration. It feels like it’s saying that something out there is giving us a hint of what is cool, like we need to find a muse that will show us the way. I think stories and ideas just come from letting our minds off their leashes and letting them roll around in the park.

In 2013, observers pointed out that Vine was built on “constraints.” It allows you make edits and stitch them together for a story. You’ve worked out Vine’s constraints and taken shots and motion into a new medium. What does your process look like?
It depends on the Vine. Some Vines I make up as I go along, literally letting the animation flow out frame by frame without forethought.

03
Oct

Oh My, Look at the Time

Image via n4bb.com

Image via n4bb.com

When the biggest brand in consumer electronics revealed its newest ground-breaking product, the Apple Watch (so far, the brand is breaking its “i” naming trend, staying away from the moniker), earlier this month, the internet went wild. The long-rumored watch — speculated on since 2010 — was finally available for consumers to view, and purchase, sometime early next year for $350. A small price to pay compared to the $1,500 and awful aesthetic of Google Glass and with voice- and touch-activated functions that allow users to check email, call contacts, look at photos, track exercise, and yes, tell time, all with stylish interchangeable bands.

Now, wearable technology is nothing new. We’ve had bluetooths since 2000 and digital hearing aids, technically a form of wearable tech, since the late ‘80s, but in fact, as Mashable reports, it was tech geeks in the ‘60s and ‘70s trying to cheat casinos who are credited with pioneering some of the first forms of wearable tech.

But, outside of computerized wristbands and even rings, mostly used to track fitness levels, while wearable technology has quickly been gaining ground, nothing has broken into the laymen’s market yet. Yet. Looking at how Apple changed the cellular communication market, making smartphone ubiquitous with cell phone, or really, even phone, and considering their enormous database of loyal customers, if anyone is primed to crack open this market, it’s Apple.

And, the consumers are ready for it. According to a poll done by GlobalWebIndex, 71% of 16- to 24-year-olds would like to own wearable tech, which the poll defined as smart watches, smart wristbands or Google Glass. And according to the same study, 64% of global internet users say they have worn or would like to wear a piece of wearable tech, with men dominating that number at a 69% affirmative rate and women at 56%.

As marketers and creatives, we’re always being asked to anticipate “the next big thing” or being bombarded with what the media has dubbed “the next big thing” (Anybody employing holographic teleconferences yet? Didn’t think so.), so sometimes, we can be most blind to designing our campaigns for emerging platforms. Just look at how long it’s taken us to crack the mobile market, and how clueless many big brands still come across on social media, and you’ll see that as much as this industry loves something shiny and new, they don’t always understand how to use it to best serve them or how soon to become a part of it. The best strategy we can have for wearable technology is to figure out ways to experiment with it now. Maybe it’s a one-off stunt as part of a bigger campaign or maybe it’s an in-house experiment. Whatever we do, we need to do it fast because as soon as that Apple Watch gets strapped to your client’s wrist, they are going to be asking how you can get them a marketing presence on it.

Wearable technology is going to be a whole new platform to us. A more intimate version of mobile that will open many doors, and present an equal number of challenges, but isn’t that the fun of it? In this business, I’ve seen enough tech trends come and go to see that wearable tech isn’t going anywhere. Whether it comes in the form of an Apple Watch, a more accessible version of Google Glass or the product of a startup founded by someone who hasn’t started high school yet, soon, it’s going to be second nature to us to strap on our tech. We don’t need to anticipate this as a trend, we need to embrace it as a new part of our lives.

 

08
Mar

14
Jan

The New York Times Refresh Is About More Than Aesthetics

NYT redesignThis week, one of the world’s most respected newspapers, The New York Times refreshed and re-launched their digital platform to mostly positive reviews. Fast Company characterized the visual refresh as somewhat exciting compared to the previous decade-old design. Others pointed to the back-end changes, re-styled pages and “sections” and navigation adjustments as necessary moves to moor the company in the rough waters of decreasing sales, increased competition and slackening advertising rates for digital newspapers.

We generally like the design and navigational changes. The look and feel of the refreshed home page is less like the “swarm” of ink of the old design and presents a clean, measured and even engaging experience. With the new navigation features, scrolling through an article no longer requires clicking and reloading into new pages, which made for a choppy reading experience. But beyond the aesthetic, and even the functionality improvements of the refresh, what we find most interesting about the new site is what the changes say about the status of The Times in our culture and the newspaper world.

“We are seeing a company retool and experiment in the laboratory of design, media and branding, and in the end, this is about larger strategic issues,” Kate Canada Obregon, Oishii’s Head of Research and Strategy explained. “The New York Times is actively pursuing its once coveted leadership role in our changing world, and is using the discipline of design to get there.”

Oishii’s President and Chief Creative Officer Ish Obregon agreed, pointing out how even small details like the new smooth integration of the comments alongside the articles, which he says creates a “rich and textured” feel to the reading experience, is all part of a bigger news delivery goal. “From a design perspective, this is a very small step toward a blog look, without losing the power and stature of the new,” Ish said. “And great design strengthens the delivery of news.”

The Times has arguably been one of the most important leaders in the distribution of news. As it wields such formidable power, it also creates and shapes expectations about reading, how we get our news and how we recognize what’s important.

The New York Times redesign is a way for it to once again be a leader in reimagining news, reading and information delivery. Its role has always been to report facts, tell stories and inform us about our world, but in this new digital era, it’s also subtly taken on another role – to deliver “all the news that’s fit to print” through a fresh, innovative and powerful design harnessed through the most creative use of technologies.

01
Nov

Same Old Story: Why Technology Will Never Outpace Good Storytelling

Image courtesy of imaginarycollection.org

Image courtesy of imaginarycollection.org

At Oishii, storytelling is at the heart of what we do. Whether we’re launching a new brand, redefining an existing one or creating a 360-degree integrated experience, storytelling drives every one of these projects. The rise of digital technology means more opportunities to get your message out – more than we’ve ever had before. But with these new platforms also comes the fear that the rise of digital storytelling will fundamentally change what we do, shifting it into something unrecognizable. After all, if we can’t foresee it, then how can we adapt and excel with it?

But the key to good storytelling is older than any technology. No matter how many new ways we come up with to tell a story, the fundamental core of it remains the same: a good story is about connecting, be it to a character, an emotion, or, yes, even a product. Worrying that the story is dead just because the mediums for it have evolved would be like worrying that we’re no longer capable of love just because people use dating sites to meet someone.

Good storytelling transcends the platforms we use to deliver it, ensuring that no matter what technological changes we see, if your story is well told, engaging, and, most importantly, provides a value to your audience – be it informative or entertaining – it will make that connection. All of the companion Twitter feeds and carefully-timed video series in the world are not going to give your audience a reason to care. So, before you start wondering whether a Pinterest board or a sponsored Buzzfeed article is the best delivery medium for your story, make sure you’re telling a good one.

05
Sep

Yahoo!’s Logo Redesign: Yet Another Highly Overrated Option?

yahoo

This morning, Yahoo! unveiled its highly anticipated new logo, on the heels of “30 Days of Change,” a project in which it unveiled a new logo each day—displaying each one on its homepage and throughout its network in the U.S. Oishii Founder and Chief Creative Officer Ismael “Ish” Obregon says that creating and designing or updating a logo provides an opportunity to refresh a company perspective and demonstrate vision and vitality.

In the competitive tech landscape, boldly speaking through a logo is an effective way of speaking about the future of a company. So does the new Yahoo! logo measure up?

“You can measure the strength of a brand by its ambition and reach,” says Ish. “I always ask myself, ‘Am I designing with the company and its future top of mind?’  Does the Yahoo! logo change much beyond its sans serif font? Is it merely a default change? There’s thinking and innovation going on here…and this may be a step toward a coming design revolution at Yahoo! But companies, in general, need bold action like a logo departure to show their internal thinking and innovation. One of the best examples is when Apple changed its rainbow logo into a sleek and modern representation of its product design and vision.”