Not Your Grandpa’s Social Media

We work with some brands that rely on social media heavily and some brands that prefer to have a more peripheral engagement. Across the board, there’s a dynamic that prevails: older folks trying to figure out what the younger generation’s doing. Kids these days.

In that vein … we loved this review of today’s social media landscape, written (as it makes clear) “by an actual teen.”

From the entry on Snapchat:

If I could break down a party for you in social media terms, here’s how it would pan out:

  • You post yourself getting ready for the party, going to the party, having fun at the party, leaving at the end of the party, and waking up the morning after the party on Snapchat.
  • On Facebook you post the cute, posed pictures you took with your friends at the party with a few candids (definitely no alcohol in these photos).
  • On Instagram you pick the cutest one of the bunch to post to your network.

Snapchat is where we can really be ourselves while being attached to our social identity.

Read the rest of the post here.

Scroll, Baby, Scroll

Whenever we’re creating a website that asks for some degree of scrolling from the user, clients usually have a number of common concerns. How much of the content will users actually see? How much will they interact with?

While conventional wisdom has long held that you want as much of your (important) content as possible “above the fold” — i.e. immediately visible on the page, without scrolling down — there’s a revolution happening in the way designers think about this problem. And it starts with a revolution in how people are actually interacting with content.

Because guess what? Your users are scrolling. Pretty much all the time. Pretty much right away. It’s the first thing they do on your site.


The above image is from Huge, which ran a study involving 48 participants and cataloguing scrolling habits. The result was surprising (or not, depending on where you land on the debate at hand): almost everyone scrolled — not just part way down the page, but all the way to the bottom.

This has huge repercussions for designers and clients alike. Why cram a bunch of content above the fold when your users are already scrolling for what comes next?

More from Huge and Fast CoDesign.

The Weird, Icky Gender Messaging of Whole Foods’ New Ad Campaign

Earlier today we linked to a great summary of some of the shortcoming’s of Whole Foods’ aesthetically gorgeous new marketing campaign — namely that it still makes them look expensive and pretentious, two things they should probably at this point be trying to avoid.

Well, we missed something: the stunningly off gender messaging of some of these ads. For a campaign that is primarily about “Values” … Whole Foods’ agency, New York based Partners & Spade, messed this one up pretty bad.

The ads — all of which seem to feature women, save for the one with a possibly male farm worker shown in the distance, with his back to camera — pair whimsically typefaced headlines with an image.

Some are totally fun and great:


Nice, right? Translation: Healthy food is yummy — and your family is a conscientious trend setter.

Some, though, are a little weird/off:


Harmless? Translation: Hey girls, you can look strong, totally! As long as you don’t challenge the status quo or really assert yourself or anything.

And some are downright creepy:


Translation: Your body belongs to someone else. You better take care of it better, so you can make them happy!


Values do matter to your consumers, Whole Foods. And your marketing agency is pushing brand messaging that is weirdly anti-feminist. Who shops at Whole Foods again?

Strategy Review: Whole Foods’ Bold, Beautiful, Message-Shaky Leap into Big Money Marketing


We loved this review of Whole Foods’ first big agency-backed marketing campaign, written by the organic food giant’s 90’s-era head of marketing Joe Dobrow. Dobrow absolutely nails some of the campaign’s potential strategic pitfalls: slick cinematography that makes them come off as expensive; “Values Matter” as an out-of-date message that misses an opportunity to talk about value (what he argues truly sets them apart from other organic chains); etc.

We were also dorking out on some of the company’s marketing history:

As the first ever national head-of-marketing for Whole Foods, back in the late ’90s, I fought and lost a battle to make marketing relevant. Back then, the company treated marketing as purely optional, a “nice-to-have,” kind of like an in-store wine-chiller or a grind-your-own peanut butter machine: it might bring in a few more customers. To the extent it had a marketing strategy at all, it was the “Field of Dreams” approach: build it and they will come. But the problem in retail marketing in general is that while “build it and they will come” may sometimes work, “build it and they will come back” never does. With so much attrition and competition, you have to keep pushing the brand to generate loyal, repeat business.

So I tried to launch targeted direct mail programs, radio campaigns, print campaigns, a glossy magazine, a sophisticated loyalty program, a co-branded credit card–all were greeted with suspicion and rigorous tests for proof of concept, and were ultimately rejected. I spent more time marketing the idea of marketing within Whole Foods than marketing Whole Foods outside of Whole Foods.

Great stuff.

Here’s one of the (admittedly beautiful) new ads. What do you think?