Social media is a quickly-growing realm, but people often get caught up in the social part and forget the media aspect. Businesses are racing to create Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc. We still can’t calculate the return on investment, but logic assumes the R.O.I. for social media is pretty high.

That’s where businesses are wrong. 1million likes on a Facebook page mean nothing if nobody buys a single product.

Don’t lose sight of the purpose of business.


Over the past few weeks I got my first opportunity to create a print advertisement for a national competition. I included several elements of persuasion and design that I’ve learned over the past six years. It was fun to finally put that knowledge to work.

The competition is run by Best New Ad, and BelleDangles sponsors the current contest. Participants need to create an 8.5 by 11-inch print advertisement. The ad must contain several other elements such as a brief description of the product and a link to their website.

The product is a jewelry organizer. Apparently girls’ jewelry gets tangled often, and apparently they care enough to buy products like this. It can hang accessories such as purses, earrings, necklaces, etc., and it displays them all like beautiful artwork on the wall. So they say. I prefer to just throw my purses in a pile at the foot of my bed.

Now that the description is out of the way, I’d like to share the masterful crafting of my own advertisement. The primary objective was to raise interest in the product in college-aged girls. My friend Mike has this lovely, tall friend who agreed to model for me. Thank you, Hannah! The picture was also taken from my dorm room, bringing more elements of college life into the picture. In other words, the picture is supposed to relate to college girls by representing their lives.

When creating the picture, I focused on aesthetics. I started with the Rule of Thirds, putting major focal points on the intersections of the imaginary lines. Hannah is sitting on the right vertical axis, and the product itself is roughly on the upper left intersect.

I also wanted to focus on the contrast between organization and clutter. I have a wonderful friend, Tyler, who does graphic design. He helped me edit the picture with a few nice touches. First, we cut the product out of a picture from the company and put it next to the mirror. After that, he put gray-scale gradients over specific areas. When I took the picture, I had Hanna toss some of her dresses on the bed haphazardly. I also asked her to wear a white dress. Tyler lightened the product and put some light on Hanna in the mirror and on her dress. He darkened all of the other areas, specifically the bed, to create the contrast.

Finally, Tyler copied the color from the logo, and we found a font to make the beautiful tag line. “Organize. Look beautiful.” Sure, organization has nothing to do with looking good, but the tag line makes it seem that way.

(We also included a testimonial and the company website, as the client requires it for the contest.)

Well, that’s enough self-promoting for today! As always, please follow me on Twitter, and follow my blog, too. There’s a button on the right side of the home page for that.

Peace. ~Matt

A brief message to everyone who likes reading my blog: I am deeply sorry I haven’t posted in 9 days (wow, that’s a lot). I’ve been busy with many projects, like this one. I am going to make my best effort to post at least twice a week from now on. I have a lot of things to say, and if you’re reading this, you probably care what I have to say other times, too ;).  Anyway, thank you for being loyal readers, and have a wonderful day.

“Twitter is the world, it reflects the world, and it’s different things to different people at different times and we need to embrace that.” -Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter

Twitter is expanding. Rapidly. Like a Peep in the microwave.

Over the past week I used Twitter more in an attempt to learn why Twitter is quickly taking over the world of social media. I noticed businesses using Twitter in creative ways. Here are some reasons companies use Twitter to reach you:

1. Instant broadcasting. If you need a quick, easy way to talk to millions of people at once, Twitter gives it to you in 140 characters or less. That’s not bad, especially considering the average American has an eight-second attention span and the need for instant information. (Diapers not included.)

Among the tweets are some sales, but most tweets contain details about upcoming events. The ability to create public events and not need to spend thousands of dollars marketing to get people interested presents a golden opportunity for companies. Which brings us to:

2. Cheap. I have a Twitter account, and I’m a college boy. If I can [technically] talk to the world on my income (which is zero), businesses jump all over the opportunity to do the same.

3. Interactive. Businesses don’t want to be seen as large entities that only care about the bottom line, true or not. Connecting with customers ensures loyalty, and Twitter offers a unique way to be involved with them.

Aside from directly responding to people, companies also create personae–apparently the plural form of persona. @thenorthface likes to keep it earthy. They promote outdoor activities and news about outdoor sporting. Switch it over to @Nike, and the entire feeling changes. Nike often tweets things a visionary might say. I can’t imagine it’s an easy job to be so optimistic all the time, but somebody at Nike remains vigilant in the face of obstacles. Or something like that.

Do you like reading tweets from any specific company? Is there that one brand that knows all the right things to say? Share them with the rest of the world in the comments below! Also, if this isn’t the first post of mine you’ve ever read, you should really just subscribe to my blog (found on the home page)  and follow me on Twitter. It takes less time than washing your hands and is actually better for your health. #secretstheydon’twantyoutoknow

Peace. ~Matt