Insights from Nebo

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September 12, 2016

Lessons from the Creative Trenches

Creative Trenches

Over the last couple of weeks, as I’ve had the opportunity to knock the dust off, dig into photoshop and do some client-facing design work, a few important lessons stood out.

September 6, 2016

Why are This Year’s Back-to-School Ads all the Same? Blame 90s Nostalgia!

90s teenage mutant ninja turtles

It doesn’t take much to get me excited about back-to-school season. Though I graduated years ago, there’s something magical about office supply stores this time of year. The smell of graphite, rubber pencil toppers and dry erase markers takes me back to the years I spent sitting on molded plastic chairs, writing my name over and over in Elmer’s Glue.

The first day of school is fraught with a heady mixture of anticipation and anxiety, which makes a perfect recipe for creative exploration. So why are all of this season’s back-to-school commercials pretty much the same?

August 29, 2016

Can You Steal Me Now? Brand Appropriation at its Best

The wheel

What do Khloe Kardashian’s Bantu knots and Oberlin College’s sushi menu have in common? You might not see the connection at first glance, but many would argue they’re both examples of cultural appropriation.

In the last year, accusations of appropriation have spawned countless think pieces and heated debates. While cultural appropriation is defined as one culture adopting elements of another, controversies ensue when a group in power exploits a disempowered culture for profit. This is why Ratatouille is rarely considered an assault on French values, but Coldplay’s recent romp through India has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Cultural appropriation is almost never okay, but what about creative appropriation? It can be found in every realm of human expression, especially advertising. It’s how the Budweiser frogs gave way to the Geico Gecko and the Michelin Man begot Kool-Aid Man. But what happens when one company appropriates a competitor’s entire branding strategy, right down to its spokesman?

August 26, 2016

Dog-Friendly Offices: 40,000 Years in the Making

girl petting dog at work

From Ping Pong tables to ball pits to closets full of LaCroix, no industries are more envied for their office perks than advertising, marketing, and tech. But there is one perk that is more coveted than them all: office dogs.

At companies like Amazon, Mashable, and Google, office dogs are redefining what it means to be a “working breed.” A quick Google search will tell you it’s because dogs in the workplace increase employee happiness and retention. They ease our stress, encourage us to take breaks, and boost our creativity. These are all fine reasons to explain why dog-friendly offices are becoming more popular, especially among creative industries. But I suspect the real reason we love office dogs is much deeper.  

That’s why, in honor of National Dog Day, I’m digging deep into the connection between canines and creatives.

August 18, 2016

Celebrating the Launch of “Creative Direction in a Digital World”

adam-book-launch-event

Some battles are fought on the battlefield. Others are fought on a Word document.

Ok, not really, but look — writing a book is hard. Like, really hard. So it’s only natural that when our co-founder, Adam Harrell, finished his first published book, we celebrated in true Nebo style with good drinks, good food, and darn good people.