EV

I worked with Electronic Vision in editing and copywriting the content for its new site. While I came to EV when this site was almost complete, it was fun to get started on its own transformation and be a part of the team that edited and looked over all of its own awesome stuff.

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Creative Spot Blog:

Can You Keep Up? Marketing to a Younger Generation

Posted on June 15, 2012 for The Creative Spot Blog

Generation Y, sometimes known as Generation We, Millennials, the Echo Boomers, or Generation Next, are said to have birthdates falling roughly between 1980 and the mid-1990s.

They have also been dubbed Generation Sell—an expression coined by New York Timescolumnist William Deresiewicz— marked for their association to media, sales, the Internet, and Ronald McDonald.

The role of the younger audience is gynormous. According to the market research firmcomScore, “The 79 million Millennials in the U.S. have an estimated purchasing power of $170 billion dollars per year, making them a highly attractive segment for brands to target.”

The impact of social media has been made pretty clear (about 81 percent of Gen Y consumers use Facebook everyday), but there’s more strategy to utilizing it than simply allowing users to ‘Like’ a page. Generation Sell is marked by a general devotion to small businesses and start-ups. Even large corporations, such as Apple Inc., have modeled more personal-looking marketing models to reach these younger consumers. Social media marketing to younger generations involves heavy reliance on related principles, such as the spread of ideas through word of mouth. For example, a retweet about a product from a friend will mean more to a person than simply seeing a tweet from a company.

MTV Scratch is a unit of Viacom that researches and works with brands about connecting to younger consumers. The New York Times explains how General Motors works with Scratch in marketing their vehicles to the younger generation of buyers because they “just do not care that much about cars.”

In a 3,000 participant survey of consumers with birthdates from 1981 to 2000, Scratch asked which of 31 brands each participant preferred. “Not one car brand ranked in the top 10, lagging far behind companies like Google and Nike,” the Times explained.

As Scratch senior vice president Anne Hubert put it, “Automakers are realizing that if they do not adjust to changing youth tastes, they risk becoming the ‘dad at the middle school dance.’”

Gen X and Gen Y are expected to overtake Baby Boomers in wealth by 2018, according to a 2008 Wealth Management study by Deloitte financial advisors. Deloitte’s project to help wealth managers connect with these generations includes tips in marketing such as offering transparency, simplicity, promotions of nonfinancial value, and developing messages that appeal to ‘emotional considerations’ such as environmental concerns.

It is no question the younger audience plays a crucial part in the marketplace and further holds great potential in being marketed to. While Generation Sell is often referred to as stubborn or hard to please, it is also a generation used to quickly-accessed information and a comfort with technology that is to be taken advantage of.

Creative Spot is working everyday to capture all age groups through research, focus groups, and strategizing ways to best meet consumers and target audiences that fit each client individually.

To find out more about what Creative Spot can do for your younger customers, set up a consultation today. You can contact us by email at info@creativespot.com, or call us at (614) 280-9280.

 

Bike Source News:

Specialized Launches 2013 Product Line

For years, Specialized Bicycle Components has been known for developing top of the line bicycle technology, and its 2013 product line falls nothing short of this reputation.

Glenn Derene, Senior Technology Editor at Popular Mechanics Magazine, explains that when people are at the peak of athletic performance, technology is sometimes what makes the difference between an Olympic gold and an honorable mention.

Derene used the S-Works Trivent Shoe as an example of this technology during an Olympics segment on The Today Show. The shoe is pre-locking, optimal for switching from swim to bike in triathlons. It slips right on and the rider then turns a dial to bring the heel into place, cutting huge chunks off of transition time.

NBC Sports featured the S-Works McLaren TT video during the Tour De France time trial broadcast. Specialized worked with McLaren Automotive to produce the aerodynamic time trial helmet. The video shows clips from the wind-tunnel testing lab and S-Works’ collaboration with McLaren in computation fluid dynamics, a process that predicts necessary measurements based on what McLaren already knows about auto racing, Specialized aerodynamicist Mark Cote discusses the incredible savings of energy: from these helmets, ten percent of total power riders expend is being saved.

There has also been a lot of buzz online about more of Specialized’s 2013 line. Bike Rumor discusses new shoes, helmets and other gear. All helmets will have a Trifix strap assembly with a quick and simple fitting mechanism. The new Toupe Pro saddle with Adaptive Edge design has outer edges and corners that flex and bend to the rider’s body.

BikeRadar highlights some of the new features in the 2013 road bikes, including the Roubaix SL4, which comes in three size models, each with its own independently-fitted forks. Specialized’s new Cobl Gobl-R spring-style seatpost on the Roubaix SL4 creates a combination that BikeRadar calls “the most compliant, greatest deflecting, sharpest handling, Roubaix that Specialized have ever built.”

Come in to BikeSource today to check out these and more of Specialized’s new products!

Newsletters

Part of my job at Ohio University’s Ping Center was to create a newsletter for the employees every month. I wrote stories, profiles and highlighted upcoming volunteer opportunities and socials for the employees. The newsletter was a fun gig. Here are a few of my favorites.  

The best thing I ever did in all of my entire college.

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It was something like 4 o’clock on a Thursday morning. I walked to the kitchen and pounded my head on the counter until coffee magically came out of the machine. I looked at the assortment of bags packed on the floor by the front door—my cute Vera Bradley duffel looked funny hanging out with my fins and snorkel. I headed out the door towards the Aquatic Center with bright eyes. Athens, Ohio had been kissed by one of its first frosts of the year, all the more reason to get the heck down to Florida. As we packed up the trailer and everybody put themselves back to bed, I reviewed what had engulfed my stress for the nine weeks prior: OU SCUBA.

“Did you know SCUBA is actually an acronym?”: the only thing I actually knew about it going into the class.

Our first day was like an episode of “1000 Ways to Die”—SCUBA edition. The instructors sat us down and told us anything and everything that could go wrong while we’re diving. Like how your skin could fall off, or how you could get bubbles in your blood and your skin would fall off, or how the bends would make your skin gross right before you died, or how a shark could come up behind you and tear all of your skin off.

Then we signed a release form.

I immediately called my expert diver boyfriend crying. We had planned a big dive trip to the Dutch Caribbean with his family for Christmas break, but I wasn’t about to go near any water after this first class.

Somehow, I managed to make it to the swim test.

And to the next class.

And to the next pool lab.

And I kept going back, learning something new every time, going out of my comfort zone every time.

The next nine weeks of class gave us more information and practice in the pool than any other introductory SCUBA training I’ve ever heard of. We learned a lot of badass techniques that most divers don’t know—like different kinds of dives, swimming to the bottom of the pool and clearing our mask (getting the water out) all in one breath. We learned how to dive down, gear in hand, and put it all on underwater.

The instructors were total characters, but they also helped you keep calm, while pushing you to push yourself. I have never had a professor genuinely care so much about my success in a class.

At the beginning of pool labs, I was struggling getting my ears to clear on my way to the bottom of the pool—if you don’t clear your ears, the pressure builds up, and the pain is unbearable. My instructor brought me solution for swimmer’s ear the next day.

One instructor had me pushing myself harder than I ever had before. He couldn’t believe how horrible I was at holding my breath. (which, was actually quite horrible.)

“Are you an athlete?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m a runner.”

“Then why do you have no lung capacity to hold your breath?”

“Because when you’re running, you’re allowed to keep breathing.”

We figured out my incapacity to hold any air in my lungs was directly correlated to my incapacity to relax longer than a half second. (Picture me underwater: I’m the guy from Accepted who they finally get to meditate when they put him in a straight jacket.)

“Relax,” he’d tell me. Until I practiced just sitting at the bottom of the pool and letting myself forget that I couldn’t breathe, I was very horrible at relaxing.

It’s funny to me how often many people, upon finding out I was taking SCUBA diving, responded so very cynically. “Oh, I would never take that class. I’m too scared.”

The irony of their responses is that my reason for taking SCUBA diving is exactly that. I was scared. I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to push myself well beyond my comfort zone. I wanted to poop my wetsuit.

I wanted to let myself relax.

And I’ll admit, I had to go into the aqua center a couple times outside of class to practice sitting at the bottom of the pool.

It sounds ridiculous, but I got so good, in fact, that the lifeguards were on the edges of their seats, praying they wouldn’t have to come in after me.

The final consisted of a written test and a pool test. And then we had the option to head to Florida for a check out dive to get our certification. (Well, hell yeah I’m going to take an opportunity to be excused from my classes and go to Florida in November.)

If you had told me in August that I would be SCUBA diving through pitch-black caves in just a couple months, I’d have called you a liar.

But there I was, kickin’ it with the manatees.

Taking SCUBA diving at OU isn’t for everyone. But everyone should take a course that scares the skin off of them. Whether you are a macho dude who’s taking Women’s Gender Studies or you’re an arachnophobe taking Spider History (that’s not actually a course), everybody should be pushing themselves beyond that box called comfortable that we like to live in.

My trip to the Caribbean was the greatest of my life. I dove 100 feet underwater to see the remnants of a shipwreck. I swam through beautiful reefs. I got to ask rainbow fish what it was like to star in every child’s favorite book.

I learned more about myself in SCUBA diving than any other class I’ve ever taken in college. And I couldn’t have done it if I hadn’t let myself get a little scared.

*This story was published in the opinion section of The Essay Magazine.

January

January

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Cover Story: Preparing for a Packed Ping. This was an editorial I wrote directed at Ping Employees to stay positive when the fitness center is at it’s busiest time: Resolution Season.

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE FIRST COUPLE WEEKS BACK
are a couple of tough ones for Pingers. We’re trying to fight the sickness of
winter blues, the sadness of leaving our adorable dogs back home and the
stressfulness of new schedules and profs. On top of that: The Resolutioners.

Every January, Ping is packed with the
kids who spent every fall night at the South
Green courts that don’t feel like hooping in
the winter wind anymore. Those who haven’t
put foot to elliptical pedal their entire tenure
at OU come crawling out of the woodwork.
Everybody’s made a January 1st commitment
to that beach bod by Spring Break
(which by the way is a gracing us a little early
this year…woo!) Ping is going to be packed.
My advice for dealing with this often
dreaded extra crowd? Stay Positive.
As a Pinger, you are not only swiping cards
and sanitizing sweat stains. Take this New
Year as an opportunity to make someone’s
resolution become his or her way of life.
It takes some guts to push oneself
into shape, and if a patron feels even a
little motivated by the Ping Staff, they
will be more likely to stick around.
New Year’s Resolutions have become
the bane of January— pretty much a joke
to a lot of people. “Another thing for me to
start and not finish” we say (subsequent eye
roll included). It’s a snapshot into the human
condition—the constant drive we have
to turn ourselves into better people, yet the
ironic constant laziness we welcome into
our homes with failed attempts at Resolution
Greatness. Ask someone in the middle
of July how their New Year’s Resolutions
are going and he or she will call you a name.
But for the last couple years, I’ve attempted
to make my resolutions count. I’ve thought
of things I want to do: spend less money,
eat fewer cakes, shower more, road rage
less. But what’s made me keep them is finding
a tangible way to really reach my goal.
For 2012, I decided I wasn’t going to
spend a single dollar at a fast food establishment;
my goal was to eat healthier and
spend less money, but I also found this to be
a way to not support an industry I didn’t really
like. I could have made my goal something
like this: “Don’t eat burgers and fries,
but chicken is okay and salads are okay and
if you haven’t had a Frosty in a while that’s
okay too and also if it’s McDonald’s Monopoly
then you can have one medium soda
a week in case it’s Boardwalk and if there’s
a full moon or you’re really stressed you can
have burgers and fries too.” That’s a lot of
gray area. So I just cut out any spending. If it
had a drive-thru, I wasn’t driving through it.
And here I am twelve months later and still
fast food free! (I probably won’t eat it this year
either, but now it’s really just out of fear that
my body isn’t used to it anymore and I will die.)
New Year’s Resolutions can be legit. They’re
just like goals. I’d encourage you Pingers to
not only set them yourselves, but to promote
them to patrons. If somebody checks out a
plyo box and starts banging their head against
it, maybe give ‘em a tip or two on exercises
they can do with it. If somebody’s in the corner
of the weight room crying in a ball because
they’re so lost and ‘JUST WANNA GET IN
SHAPE AGAIN’ maybe direct them to a machine
(One can only pray that this doesn’t
actually happen). Be supportive and positive!
It’s okay to complain to other Pingers
(in the privacy of the Sup’s office) about
the crowds, their cutoffs or the reek of your
new Ping sweatshirt (that you patiently
waited three months for) after an hour in
the weight room. Business can be stressful!
But I would encourage you to set a
little work goal yourself: Be encouraging
to the Resolutioners. Make a difference!
Chances are, as history tells us, Ping
won’t be as busy by the time February
rolls around, but that’s okay. If a few
people have felt encouraged and excited
about the awesome feeling from a great
Group Fitness class or an excellent workout,
I think we’re doing something right.

Sol Restaurant brings Cuban Fusion to Athens

This article was published in The Essay Magazine on October 4, 2012: 

Take a turn into the alley at 33 N. Court Street and you’re greeted by Cuban music, growing in volume as you approach Sol’s front entrance. When you walk in the door of the Cuban Fusion restaurant,

you’ve entered an atmosphere like no other in Athens, Ohio.

As Sol owner Todd Wilson describes it, Sol is “a place where people can feel like they’re on vacation without having to leave Athens.”

Cuban-fusion cuisine got its name from the many cultural cuisines combined to create it, including Spanish, Carribbean and African. The meat is the central part of the dish, blended with vegetables, rice or beans.

“Everybody I know that has ever tried Cuban food loves it,” Wilson said, “It’s fresh, it’s different, but familiar enough ingredients that you’re not freaked out.”

Wilson grew up in Athens and met his wife here in grade school. His wife was born in Miami, Florida, where her parents had immigrated to the US from Cuba. They then moved to Athens. She and Martin moved to Miami in 1994 after they graduated from Ohio University. They spent ten years living in Miami, the Cuban-Fusion center of the United States, before moving back to Athens and starting Sol.

Sol began as a street buggy and opened it its new location on February 2 this year.

The restaurant has been using various local food products in its cuisine since it opened. Because of this, Sol’s menus and specials are constantly changing with the seasons and what is available locally.

For example, a recent dish offered was a shrimp avocado and mango salad that used a dressing made from Ohio’s own pawpaw.

“You can’t get that anywhere else,” Wilson said.

The restaurant has a bar with drink specials and dancing late on weekend nights. From 10:30-11:30pm, Sol hosts Salsa lessons with Cuban appetizers available, and from 11:30-2:00am, there is a DJ and open dancing on Fridays.

Sol is unique to Athens for its cuisine, its atmosphere, and its vacation-esque nightlife.

Check out Sol’s website at www.solrestaurant.net for menu updates, special events, and photos of the Cuban Fusion Cuisine.