It’s the title of our blog, but sometimes even we have a hard time expressing just what it means to “live an engaged life.” Well, as you can start to get a picture of from the entries here, an engaged life can be many things. We tend to focus on the outdoors because that’s where we crave to be when we’re not at work. Yes, we do a lot of skiing here in the winter, but its mostly a matter of living life to the fullest. It may be broom-ball one evening or ping-pong another (while we embrace the outdoors, there are just some times during a long winter when indoors is the only ‘doors you can handle). And sometimes we cram and tuck in every bit of activity we can around the work-day: “dawn-patrol” on Teton Pass for first tracks in a foot of new this morning and tubing with the kids on the King after work—now that’s a good day!
The engaged life also includes our community; particularly, our families and friends. We’re all very lucky to live in such a great place and be engaged by our surroundings, but to share the experience with our loved ones and to see our kids grow up immersed in it is quite rewarding. The sense of community is strong here and we feel it when we talk to our neighbors, go out for dinner, meet during Rotary, or read the paper. Sure, as some claim, we all—especially our kids—miss out on some of the culture and diversity found in a metropolitan setting, but I’ve lived both and in this day and age I wouldn’t trade for my kids the experience of growing up close to the outdoors for any amount of citified livin’.
Ah yes, and then there’s work. Sometimes perhaps a bit too much of it, but we do what we do because it needs to be done, we love what we do, and we’re lucky enough to be able to do it here. All of us here at Circumerro are creative professionals in our own way. Some of us have given up more fiscally rewarding career paths in order to live here. But just because we live in the mountains doesn’t mean we are any less engaged professionally than our peers in the big city. Our clients are everywhere, and while we live in Jackson Hole, we work in the world. We’re just lucky to be here, and we celebrate it by being “engaged” in all that we do.
At Circumerro International Headquarters (*ahem*), here in Jackson Hole, we speak the shop-talk-jargon of “Brand Identity” every day.
But when working with clients, we’re sensitive to the overuse of vaguely understood industry buzzwords. They can sound presumptuous and inflated. But in some cases, an industry term is useful in summarizing an idea that is difficult to articulate.
Coincidentally, yesterday, such a term crossed my path three times. At Circumerro International Headquarters, anything that happens three times warrants a BLOG entry.
The term is Wordmark. As defined by The Dictionary of Brand (yes, a real dictionary published by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA), a Wordmark is: the brand name as represented by a distinctive typeface or lettering style; a logotype.
If you find yourself calling your company’s mark a logo and then following-up with an explanation that it’s really just a word, not the kind of graphic one might typically think of as a logo (e.g. the BMW roundel, the Apple Computer apple), then I would consider making use of the term Wordmark. Easy right? As a matter of fact, you might also notice that your company (and certainly the majority of the top 100 brands in the world have) a logo and a wordmark. Hmm.
Thanks for reading.
Don’t these people have something better to do (for you)?
A State Police bomb squad officer in Somerville removed a device from a McGrath Highway column on Wednesday. (CJ Gunther / European Pressphoto Agency)
Viral Marketing. It’s become the topic of the week (“it’s HOT!”), what with the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” (or, for those in the know, ATHF) debacle in Boston. In case you hadn’t heard, New York-based marketing firm Interference, Inc.—known for their guerrilla marketing efforts—placed a number of electronic boards (similar to the classic children’s toy Light Brite) featuring characters from Cartoon Network’s “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” in so-called strategic places around the city to create a viral buzz about the show. Apparently a subway worker, not quite clear on the concept, mistook the “electronic device” for a bomb. Long story short, a large part of the city of Boston and its public transportation system were shut down while authorities “defused” the suspect devices.
Two weeks ago, in a parallel universe, 22-year old design student Todd Vanderlin “had just left Lucky’s lounge in South Boston when he spotted what looked like an alien glowing on the side of a bridge. He pulled out his digital camera, photographed the illuminated plastic figure, and posted the images on his blog,” so says boston.com.
Yeah, that’s right: two weeks ago.
Now, there’s no telling if the Lite-Brite-like thing in the subway was there for the two weeks (or longer?) that the one Mr. Vanderlin saw was, but you’ve got to wonder if the folks who identified the item in question as an explosive devise are really on their game and even on the lookout for real threats in a “post-9/11 world.” Oh yeah, did you hear that Boston was only one of ten—yep, count ’em—ten cities targeted in this campaign?
But back to the marketing. There are many questions we can ask about and—I’m guessing here—things we can learn about this real-world tragicomedy.
The news sites are talking about the legality of the [fill in the blank: “hoax,” “prank,” “stunt,” “misadventure,” etc], while the blogosphere and other (perhaps more thoughtful) media have delved into the deeper ethical questions. (Thursday’s Talk of the Nation committed considerable time to the topic.)
One thing’s for sure if you’re following any of this on the Web: there is a wide generation gap between the ages that see this endeavor as a kind of advertising message and those that see it as a threat. Duck and cover anyone?
Meanwhile, as they wait for their stories to unfold, the two “artists” who take responsibility for placing the devices in Boston can thankfully find some humor in the gravity of the situation they’re now in: During their arraignment they reportedly had difficulty keeping straight faces when Assistant Attorney General John Grossman described the items at the root of the mayhem as “bomb-like devices.” (They pleaded not guilty to charges of “placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct.”)
Good luck to them.
Meanwhile, we wholeheartedly engage in discourse about the unintended results of this unconventional type of marketing campaign and continue to poke around the edges of the discussion about original ways to market in a world that absorbs everything and changes by the nano-second.
Oh yeah, and in the category of “there’s no such thing as bad PR,” the current Ebay bid for one of those Lite-Brite things: $3,150.