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 "advertising"

You see, we’ve come to define ‘social’ in unintentional Orwellian double-speak. ‘Social’ has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for centuries. Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define ‘social’ as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking.

'Social' is what happens when someone posts personal information—photos, thoughts, announcements, favorite songs, jokes—on the internet and another person comes along and clicks a thumbs up icon or a star or a heart. If someone’s really 'social,' they’ll even type a comment or reply.

Kids aren’t leaving social networks. They’re redefining the word ‘social.’ Rather, they’re actually using the word with the intent of its original meaning: making contact with other human beings. Communicating. Back-and-forth, fairly immediate dialogue. Most of it digitally. But most of it with the intent of a conversation where two (or more) people are exchanging information and emotion. Not posting it. Exchanging it.

Bailey Lauerman’s Cliff Watson on the evolution of social media—which, following teens’ lead, we increasingly define not as static, interface-based URLs and apps but as straightforward messaging services. Insightful (and funny!) food for thought for anyone who works in the marketing realm!

(via wearethedigitalkids)



Ads with a New Purpose by Ogilvy & Mather for IBM’s Smarter Cities campaign

view video

Ohb-sessed with this simple but stunning execution that brings to life IBM’s mission to create solutions that help cities all over the world get smarter in order to make life in those cities better for everyone.

In another brilliant initiative that underscores the company’s mission, IBM researchers redesigned the bus routes across Ivory Coast’s largest city using data from mobile phones

(via yaknow-yanow)


Important implications for anyone trying to appeal to parents, especially moms, these days.


Intrigued by a study showing parents were no happier than non-parents, Jennifer Senior, a contributing editor at New York magazine, traveled across the country to observe how—and maybe even ascertain why—too many parents make themselves miserable in a quest to raise smart, happy kids.

Newsweek spoke with Senior about her new book, All Joy and No Fun, which explores the many mysteries of the modern family, including why mothers can’t relax, and why neuroscience offers better child-rearing advice than any parenting book.

The Parent Trapped

Anthropology teaches us that in every culture, miniatures possess the power to unlock imaginations. Whether it’s a dollhouse, toy truck, or some other tiny talisman, miniatures look and feel real, but their size gives us the permission to suspend disbelief, daydream, and play.

Remember The Nutcracker? In between pirouettes, a toy nutcracker comes to life, defeats an evil mouse, and whisks the heroine away to a magical kingdom. That, in a nutshell, is the story we implicitly tell ourselves about our miniature computers—one of youth, freedom, and possessing the key to a much larger world.

From the Google study The Meaning of Mobile, which we discussed in a Google meeting at work today

Like the miniature kitchenette or car that unlocks infinite ideas in a child, our pocket-sized mobile phones serve as a portal to possibilities. With our mobile phones in hand, we can experiment with our identities, trying different personas and experiences to find the best fit, and make meaning of the physical world around us, recording and discovering memories that make a place significant.

The best brands will build experience that leverage what mobile truly means to us.



NY PBS Creates Ads With Fake Reality Shows | EW

Epic. Here’s lookin’ at you, TLC.



So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts… 

Read More

read this. seriously. so on point.

Thinking critically about Dove’s latest campaign.

(via krisisisipoo)

I’m 107, y’all! Merrill Edge’s new Face Retirement online app encourages users to picture themselves at old age. (Glad to know even in my old age, my blunt bangs’ll still stick out like Alfalfa’s after a day without washing.)

I actually had trouble distinguishing between Me at 23 and Me at 47. Does that mean I’ll look good later or I look rough now?

For the record, I think lipstick helps.

Regularly checking their 401k balance may be enough motivation to make some people save for retirement—but others need something a bit more visceral, Alexandra Owens writes on Face Retirement, a new Bank of America/Merrill Edge website with 500,000 users and counting, gives you a preview of what you’ll look like (sun spots and all) by the time you get a timeshare in Boca Raton, and it’s supposedly scaring clients who don’t even need eye cream into early savings.

People who saw age-enhanced images of themselves were more likely to save more for retirement, compared to those who weren’t exposed to their future selves,” Alok Prasad, the head of Merrill Edge, said in a recent interview. Considering that in this month’s Allure Aging Survey, 50% of women said their biggest worry about advancing in years is feeling less attractive, this strategy makes some sense, because it forces us to visualize and think ahead. (Yes, you too will in fact grow old and will have to deal with everything—financial and facial—that comes with it.)

I’m still a spry 24, so I decided to try out the website, because how bad could it be? As it turns out, pretty bad. Seeing my jowls drop and forehead crease did make me think about proactive measures—just not the ones Bank of America intended (namely Botox, retinol, and sunscreen). I asked some of my coworkers, ranging in age, to play along, and they agreed that the image didn’t scare them into being more fiscally responsible, unless you count saving up for a facelift. (Trust me, I now know I’m going to need it). We also agreed that the most disturbing age was 57. As one person put it, “I expect to look ancient when I’m 87, but 57? I looked like I belonged in a nursing home, and I really still want to be vital.”

The website does have some pretty frightening tips about the cost of living. But while the prospect of working as a barista at 70 should be more terrifying than age spots, logic apparently can’t compete with a gnarled crone face staring right back at you.

Have we forgotten that being social means connecting with the people in your life? In today’s world of growth hacking and viral marketing, we have taken social to mean acquiring likes and followers so that we can post a photo to Facebook or a quip to Twitter. Most often we forget the forgotten half of being social: intimate conversation.

Since we tend to communicate intimately (email, conversations, etc.) much more than we post to Facebook, it’s shocking that most products and brands are missing such a core growth channel to achieve success.

The nature of conversation that your product or content generates is strongly defined by the nature with which it is personal to the user. Buying a car, picking a new pair of glasses or deciding what to do with your 401k? Chances are the best mechanism for inspiring a conversation is to drive toward intimate conversations. These are highly personal categories and often involve only the closest people in your life.


What briefs at W+K look like.