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The Swirl: February 8, 2016

Raise your hand if you stayed up late last night? We know... Sunday night football really gets in the way of beauty sleep. And if you're feeling like this right now, we can imagine you're in need of some serious Swirl. What to expect in this edition: Super Bowl picks, work inspiration, a crazy rebrand, and extra cool stuff to help you be the best work pro you can be. Let's do this. 

WORD OF THE WEEK

Cinemagraph (n) - still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs; read: social posts we tested for Meineke this month as a way to engage with consumers about their passions. Check out the Push to Page ad here and the Meineke Facebook page for a couple more

DAB ON 'EM

Yesterday was the best day of the year - the one day you can eat as much dip as you want with #noragrets. But it's also the day brands are willing to spend the big bucks ($377 million this year to be exact). What did we see? Major themes included humor and star power, but we give the prize to SunTrust, who featured a more serious spot in an attempt to restore financial confidence and encourage people to join in on their new movement, onUp

WHY IT MATTERS

The Super Bowl is the one time that consumers actually want to watch commercials. As Adweek describes, it remains the one platform that continues to engage hard-to-reach audiences in this increasingly fragmented world. The value of Super Bowl spots is an ongoing debate, but some marketers argue that you should go ahead and treat yo self because it's the one time a year that your brand has a chance to stand out on a national stage. However, we think the true value is determined by what happens after the big show. Celeb spots might see a surge of attention, but it's brands like SunTrust who use the opportunity in a meaningful way that will see more success in the months to come.

APPLIES TO...

Brands trying to make an impact. Even though we're not producing national Super Bowl ads, the lesson here is a testament to producing strong and integrated campaigns. You can't just use paid media and expect a quick fix. You have to start with a good idea grounded in insights and use your dollars with purpose. Otherwise you're wasting money on reaching people who don't actually care about your brand.

REVERSE, REVERSE! TAKE IT BACK NOW, Y'ALL

If you're looking for inspiration, Seth Godin is your man. His CreativeMornings talk - Thinking Backwards- gives us some advice on how to better work with clients. And you might be surprised to hear what he has to say. Basically, we need to look at the things we do from a bottom-up perspective. The four points: do it on purpose, tell stories that resonate with those in charge, demand responsibility (but don't worry about authority), and reflect credit (but embrace blame). 

WHY IT MATTERS

What does this mean for us? More than anything, what we do every day is much more than being successful... it's about doing something that matters. Did your work make a change that was important? Did it connect two people in a way that they wouldn't have otherwise been connected? If the answer to these questions is yes, you're doing something right. Our favorite quote: "people will succeed, but are you going to matter?" Seriously. You need to watch this. 

APPLIES TO...

Your everyday life. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of what's most important. Taking a step back and re-evaluating your work from a different perspective - even a backwards one - can be just what you need to get back on track.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME?

At least that's what Uber's saying. Last week, the company announced and implemented a huge rebrand. We're talking new tagline, new design and a new way to talk about what they do. They claim the refreshed look and feel reflects where they're headed, celebrating both the technology they've created and the cities and people they serve. As it turns out, people aren't really into this new branding, and they're not afraid to show it. Will it be a #fail? Only time will tell. 

WHY IT MATTERS

The new brand actually has a pretty cool message, it just wasn't communicated well (slash at all). The change was completely unexpected and instead of celebrating the new brand, people were just left confused. There's no doubt rebrands are hard. Consumers don't take change well - even the best brands can fail. So, how do you do it right? Here's a cheat sheet: warn your customers, make gradual transitions, clearly communicate change, and clarify positioning. That way you won't end up with a reaction like this.

APPLIES TO...

Brands overcoming change or creating an unified experience. Lack of consistency is confusing for consumers. Whether it's one mailer template or a complete rebrand, changes are not usually welcome. Let's face it - people have strong opinions and aren't afraid the speak their mind. Staying true to the brand is one of the best ways to enhance consumer experiences. If you are going to make changes, use caution and get the audience involved sooner rather than later.

FOR YOUR 'FREE' TIME

Looking to improve your UX skills? Check out this class from Skillshare, or browse others to learn from some of the best leaders in different industries. Even better, it's free. No monies = no excuses.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The death of the agency model is here. See how agencies are falling behind and how others are working to keep up.