gwendolyn faith is not a crayon.

Hello, I’m Gwen.

I work in advertising. I play in the kitchen.

I’m part tweenager. (Look at my iTunes playlist.)

I’m part Grandma. (Look at my oversize cardi collection.)

I’m part Romy or Michelle. (Look at the height of my hair.)

As a Christian, I'm learning how to glorify God in the everyday. To live into the status quo, like Jesus' own Manchurian candidate, and seep grace through its cracks.

I wish my life were a musical, but other than that, I’m pretty content.

(No surprise I also like to Yelp.)

The Casual Vacancy
The Explicit Gospel
Gone Girl
The Chaperone
Cutting for Stone

Gwen Daniels's favorite books »

Posts tagged "account planning"


What briefs at W+K look like.

Read on! The promo Chaitanya mentions after the jump is especially brilliant.


Influencing Human Behavior.

At a fundamental level, that’s what Marketing is all about. Think of any marketing activity  - right from the branding that you see, the product/packaging/experience (UI) design, the TV commercials, print ads, digital ads, promotions/offers - everything is essentially an effort to change our behavior in a very specific way. Given this, marketing is intricately connected to a number of other ‘behavioral disciplines’ like Behavioral Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Praxeology, Cognitive Science etc, and each year a number of research papers are published based on the intersection of one or more of these disciplines with marketing.

One such seminal research paper was recently published by Dr. BJ Fogg, (Stanford University), titled: A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design. Here he posits a simple model by name FBM (Fogg Behavior Model) that delineates 3 factors affecting human behavior: Motivation, Ability and Presence of Triggers.


(Image source: Paper by Dr. BJ Fogg)

In summary, it says, for any behavior ‘change’ (B) to occur, it needs to get the user to an activation threshold, which is a factor of:

  • Motivation: (M) Is the person high or low on motivation to perform the target behavior?
  • Ability: (A) Does the person have the requisite ability to perform the behavior (is it simple enough to be performed)?
  • Triggers: (T) Does it have the necessary triggers to instigate the target behavior?

While motivation and ability can ‘trade off’ (People with low motivation may perform a behavior if the behavior is simple enough (meaning, high on ability), and inversely, people who find a behavior being not so simple (meaning, low on ability) may perform it if they  have sufficiently high levels of motivation), triggers can happen only when they are ‘timed’ - i.e. they need to be triggered right at the moment when we have the requisite levels of motivation and ability to perform a behavior. Hence it could be instructive to qualitatively think of this relationship as: 

B = m.a.t (at the same moment)

(Image source: BehaviorModel.Org)

While he champions this model as a framework to guide persuasive design of web services, online interaction design etc I believe that it is equally if not more applicable to more traditional instances of product marketing / brick and mortar retailing etc.

Read More

What, then, pushes people toward greater honesty? While ethics lectures and training seem to have little to no effect on people, reminders of morality—right at the point where people are making a decision—appear to have an outsize effect on behavior.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely in the Wall Street Journal essay “Why We Lie

What motivates people to lie? What holds them back or drives them forward as they make a decision, however suddenly, to lie? It’s like a consumer journey!


Can Singles Live Happily Ever After?

The SocialSight team stumbled upon this great read in this month’s Elle. Author Daphne Merkin calls out a powerful tension: our society’s glamorization of the idea of “singlism” is counter intuitive to our primitive roots. We’re social animals and without social interaction, we run the risk of losing our identity as individuals:

“I’ve discovered that there is another kind of claustrophobia that comes with being in too unmediated a relation to one’s own hermetic self. For one thing, there is no one to put on your “best” self for, so you’re more likely to skip brushing your teeth before bed, say, or forgo a shower. It’s nothing radical, but the subtle softening of grooming standards comes to reflect a deeper laxity of self-care. For another, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of inertia, of not making the effort to see the movie or exhibition everyone’s talking about.”

*Photo courtesy of Elle Article

I’m fascinated by the link between identity and living alone. From a dramaturgical perspective, an individual’s identity comes from his or her audience; although I can control my self-presentation, I’m ultimately defined by my audience’s interpretation of my self-presentation. How does an individual living with someone else — a spouse, a friend, a roommate, whomever — identify his or her audience? What about an individual living alone? How does our performance of self vary based on our living situation?

So the next time you get ready to launch into one hundred reasons why your cell phone or TV or car is better than someone else’s, hesitate. Because you’re not trying to change the other person’s mind—you’re trying to prop up your own.
David McRaney on brand loyalty in You Are Not So Smart (via jumbodumbothoughts)

(via jumbodumbothoughts)


I was reading this great book, and I found out something which may be useful for economists: that moment when you make a decision among close alternatives, is purely emotional. This is what the book has to say:

It’s purely emotional, the moment you pick. People with brain damage to their emotional centers who have been rendered into Spock-like beings of pure logic find it impossible to decide things as simple as which brand of cereal to buy. They stand transfixed in the aisle, contemplating every element of their potential decision—the calories, the shapes, the net weight—everything. They can’t pick because they have no emotional connection to anything.

This is why companies are now starting to limit the variety in their product lines (the consummate example being Apple, of course), because it makes it easier to make an emotional connection and create post-hoc rationalizations about your choice. It may seem a little manipulative but this decision-making heuristic makes our lives easier; one just has to realize their cognitive biases.

It’s quite in line with the bounded rationality of behavioral economics; that people make choices rationally but only up to the extent of what they know and how they think. If this interests you, Predictably Irrational and other books by Ariely are great reads.

I read Predictably Irrational a few years ago, but three years into my advertising coursework, the book would be worth another read through a more critical eye!

Research on the so-called Zero Moment of Truth—the moment when a shopper goes online to research a product and decides whether to make a purchase—suggests consumers often make purchase decisions in-store, as they read peer-to-peer reviews on their smartphones. I wonder if emotional consumer reviews are more persuasive than more matter-of-fact or features-driven reviews. How do reviews, which so many shoppers rely on, facilitate an emotional connection, anyway, if they can at all?

Developing a communications plan for a class project with Billiards on Broadway, a local three-in-one restaurant, bar and pool hall.


In the past year or so, we’ve been witnessing the convergence of several trends – a shift in online behavior, where users of social media tend to be gravitating toward micro-social networks and smaller, more socially curated sites; the rise of micro-lending, micro-giving, and localism; the growth and innovation occurring in qualitative market research; the higher levels of participation and quality in smaller-scale forms of research; the pruning of “friends” in social networks and tightening of privacy controls, and other phenomena. While disparate in their form, they are all manifestations of a few basic principles:

    • People want to feel that they are having an impact.
    • People want smaller, more intimate, more meaningful social circles.
    • People want brand relationships with a human face.
    • Companies need to better understand their customers, in a human and not purely data-driven way.
    • Privacy is starting to matter again.

It was about persuasion, but now it is about conversation—and it makes sense, of course. No one wants to just be talked at.

Don’t forget the miniaturizing of other things as well, like desserts and packaging :D ~ cake pop, anyone?

If you don’t learn how to be alone, you’ll always be lonely, that loneliness is failed solitude. We’re raising a generation that has grown up with constant connection, and only knows how to be lonely when not connected. This capacity for generative solitude is very important for the creative process, but if you grow up thinking it’s your right and due to be tweeted and retweeted, to have thumbs up on Facebook…we’re losing a capacity for autonomy both intellectual and emotional.
From Fast Company’s interview with Sherry Turkle about her new book Alone Together

(via modernandmaterialthings)