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"

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… 

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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.

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.

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From Love to Bingo Getty Images AlmapBBDO (by AlmapBBDO)


Correct your age

Would be especially effective if the out-of-home display hits women when they’re already thinking about their next manicure—perhaps at a health spa or a country club with a salon inside?

Would be especially effective if the out-of-home display hits women when they’re already thinking about their next manicure—perhaps at a health spa or a country club with a salon inside?