Adjust Asks...

How can brands appeal young to people?

Lynx image for brands blog post

How can brands appeal young to people? This is an age-old question. But perhaps one that is important now than ever. For me, a brands ability to attract and entice young people is key to gaining a following; to seduce the young is to introduce the old. It is through the younger generations that friends, parents, grandparents learn of trends – and with technology moving on faster than Simon Cowell’s hair-line receding, this question should be the highest priority for any aspirational brand. But how, exactly, can a brand appeal to young people? The one word I would give to a company trying to entice youngsters? Subtlety.

Why do brands struggle?

Blame Ricky Gervais, Peep Show, the Expenses Scandal or the aggressively blatant marketing of probiotic products, but our generation is more cynical than most. We can see when a brand is trying to be ‘young’. Luring us in with false promises of exceptional service, life-changing technology and ‘the next big thing’… Every beauty product will make us young, every yogurt-drink is ‘friendly’. Every smoothie life-giving and every deodorant ‘intelligent’. We’ve heard it all and we see past it. We have become hardened to the Lexicon of ‘Brands’.

Successful brands

Which is why marketing campaigns that run on a touch of British jaded, self-awareness are those that get our attention most. Take Lynx, it used the fact that fragrances previously had promised ridiculously hyperbolic things to its consumer, the ability to turn your average pre-pubescent spotty boy into a regular Robert Pattinson. They play with expectation in a way that made us smile, and reach for the can. And that’s why the Lynx campaigns have and do work. They play on mutually-shared knowledge and they make fun of themselves. See, we young people don’t like brands that take themselves too seriously. Some of the most notable marketing campaigns of recent years use self-irony. ‘Not just any meal, this is an M and S meal’. Did M and S mean that the food was unlike any others? Yes, they did. And how did they tell you? In a way that was so blantantly obvious, so shamefully self-congratulatory, that you couldn’t help but love them. And heck, they do make a really damn good chocolate fondant…

Conclusions

So perhaps the modern brand, to really attract a young crowd, needs to think outside the box. They must start utilising self-aware taglines and ad campaigns that don’t treat us like your average easy-to-please consumer and marketing campaigns that catch our imagination by making us smile. To make this work, a brand needs to stay on top of trends. Understand what is on the lips and ears of the young. S they too can remain like Lynx: self-aware, self-promotional and smelling faintly of tomorrow.

5 Minutes With...

Warren from Adjust Media

We caught up with the Head Coder at Adjust Media on a cheeky break in the office to find out about his love of coding and his how he got involved with the company.

Adjust Media | 5 mins with Warren

How did you get involved in Adjust Media?

Chris heard about me on the grapevine… He asked me to do a bit of work and I guess he was hooked – after that I was invited onto the Adjust Media team.

What do you do at Adjust Media?

In a nutshell, I make the websites work – I take the designs and bring them to life.

Describe what a working day looks like for you

Long. I like to work in blocks so I don’t lose focus, which often means that I’m working into the early hours of the morning finishing a website or app. I’ll normally just sit down with my Mac with the projects open and spend all day tweaking something in one whilst coding part of another. I don’t usually make a plan because my priorities with Adjust Media will often change so I just see what happens each day.

What are you studying at uni?

Maths. Most people cringe when I tell them this but I’m not ashamed. Much.

Is your line of work frustrating? 

All the work with Adjust Media is so varied and whilst this stops me getting bored, it makes it quite challenging as well. There’s so many different things that a client can ask for meaning that one project doesn’t always give me experience that will help with the next.

Do people judge you for being a tech geek?

Hey I’m not a geek! I just enjoy what I do. I don’t judge football fans…. Much. People don’t really know my capabilities. They’re always surprised when they hear about my work. I just enjoy what I do.

What’s the most complex thing you’ve built with Adjust Media?

I’m afraid if I told you that I’d have to kill you…

What was the first website you ever made?

Everyone starts out with the “Hello World” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_world_program) website.

What websites do you particularly like?

Your World of Text (http://www.yourworldoftext.com/home/). It’s just the simplest website you could think of and I get far too much enjoyment out of it.

What’s the best invention of the 21st century?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the iPhone. 2 years: it’s my longest relationship and I couldn’t live without it.

What one website do you use on a daily basis?

Wikipedia – the fountain of all modern knowledge. I remember when I was at school when I had to labouriously go through books to find information, now I can just type in a world and ive got so much information at my fingertips.

How would you describe your relationship with the rest of the Adjust Media team?

This question’s too gay to answer

What hobbies do you have when not coding?

Origami and adding to my impressive collection of blazers.

If you could have one last meal what would it consist of?

Steak. Medium rare. Side order of chips and onion rings. Now please.

What tips would you give an aspiring website coder? 

Just jump in. You can make some great websites just in notepad – every website we make I write from scratch and you can do just the same. Try Notepad++ for Windows (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/) or TextWrangler for Mac (http://www.barebones.com/products/TextWrangler/).

Computers: Macbook pro or macbook air? 

Since I’ve just splashed out on my brand new MacBook Pro, I guess that answers that question!

5 Minutes With...

Christian from Mytees

Adjust Media caught up with professional rugby player and director of trendy t-shirt brand Mytees to find out all about juggling two careers, and the direction of the young brand…

 

Christian from Mytees

Christian from Mytees

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Christian Lewis-Pratt. After I schooled I jumped straight into a career in professional rugby. I currently play my rugby for England 7s and with my brother I have launched Mytees this year!

How did Mytees start?

The idea of Mytees surfaced over a year ago whilst on holiday in Portugal with my brother. We are both naturally very interested in fashion and were simply talking about pipeline dreams. We came to a couple of conclusions surrounding our fashion and what we both like to wear. 1. We both have 2/3 ‘go to’ tees in our wardrobe. These are the tees that if we wanted to look good and feel confident, we would naturally put on. 2. We choose these tees because of they way they fit; tight where you want them, loose where you don’t. 3. These tees were limited in design. Mainly plain with a few simple touches that made the tee pop.

What’s the idea behind Mytees? 

We both wanted to start wearing something a little more expressive, but whilst maintaining the core values of a ‘go to’ tee. The concept we developed is designed to allow any wearer to put on a tee and make a personal metaphorical statement, whilst wearing a simple piece of clothing. The personal possessive value of the word ‘my’ does that.

How is it juggling a sporting career and Mytees?

Thus far it hasn’t been too much of a problem. Running the company with my brother, who works different hours to me, means we can juggle the load easily. However with the growth of the company we are having to be more and more organized. I guess if mytees was my primary focus, the companies growth may be faster, but I am learning to effectively work at the two.

Describe your daily routine

I am in training camp Monday-Wednesday, where I stay in a hotel in Teddington and train from 2/3 times a day, alongside team meetings and various other activites. Friday and Saturday I train mainly in my own time, using the facilities available to me at Twickenham Stadium. It is outside of camp that I can put more focus on the development of Mytees.

What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own business?

Develop a solid idea. Build a well structured plan before going through with anything. Think about how you want to be seen as a company. Where you see your business going. And most importantly, have faith that you will be successful…….im still holding huge faith in my business, start small but aim big!

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve come up against starting a business?

Neither me or my brother have ever studied business, or worked in the area. We have had a couple of naïve moments that have cost us at times. Money! We are a self-funded company, and the only funds we have to work with is the money made on sales. That’s difficult to do with all the start up costs of a new company!

What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for the company?

Mmmmmm, haven’t really had to make huge sacrifices yet. Hopefully have that to come. The amount of money I’ve spent probably!

How would you describe mytees style in 3 words?

Clean Street Wear

What’s your finest rugby moment? Your finest business moment?

Rugby; At the Wellington, New Zealand 7s, hearing 40,000 people sing Wonderwall after scoring a try v Samoa. Crazy cool moment. Gave me chills.

Business; first time someone that I don’t know bought a tee shirt that I designed.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years

L.A.??

What’s your favourite app?

Im a Blackberry man.

Best invention of the 21st century?

Social media – fbook, twitter etc

What your most prized clothing item? Or antem you couldn’t live without?

So hard! My entire shoe collection.

What’s the future of the brand – where would you like to see it next?

Expand the brand. Get our new line in, and start selling in shops.

Any last words?

The dream is to have a ‘mystore’, selling all branches of clothing and other ideas that I don’t want to reveal!

Adjust Asks...

Is social media bad for society’s health?

There is very little that social media cannot do…

Social Media can tell you what’s happening in the world. What companies to like, where the latest pop-up is and what you should, and shouldn’t do with a blowtorch. In fact, the only thing social media can’t do is make you a cup of tea, but someone in China is probably working on that as we type. But all this comes at a price. As the potential of social media grows, so, too, does its ability to corrode at the very fabric of our world. Social media; help or hindrance to society?

Social media, with its ability to tag, like and mention, has created a new generation of self-awareness. Where our every action is watched, not only by ourselves, but by the cyber-world. The awareness of the world’s gaze propels us towards a more exaggerated and favourable version of ourselves online. According to Psychologies Magazine, there is a condition called ‘E-Personalities’, in which we create a false online personality: supposedly, we devise an alter-ego on sites, a cooler, more eccentric, bolder version of ourselves, that, in reality, we can’t live up to. Hence our real personality pales next to our Facebook one. I, for one, am a lot paler in real life than on Facebook (but that’s largely due to fake tan), but I’m glad to say that I’m hilarious in real life too.

The Guardian recently published that there was a proven correlation between your number of Facebook friends and your tendency towards Narcisstic Personality Behaviour. The more friends, the more likely you are towards things like self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies. My grandmother was recently hijacked by Bath Rugby Club, marched around the town by blue-painted half-naked boys like some kind of Mahi ritual, all part of a Facebook prank – point proven. So basically, if you already have the tendency to spend a bit longer than normal doing your hair in the morning, or the majority of your photos have a hidden elbow in them from where you have tried to disguise the fact you are taken a photo of yourself, before social media, you’re in trouble now.

And it isn’t just social media sites that control our daily behavior. If one looks at the platforms we use to adapt the content of our posts, applications like Instagram, where all photos are given that wonderfully kooky, homemade feel, straight out of 1960s Brighton Beach postcard, the link between post and desired effect is clear. It isn’t enough to post a photo of your dinner online (if you actually think about it, that in itself is odd enough), it must have the Instagrammed, hipster-sheen of something you’d find at Heston’s own dining table. We need to make our lives stand out, but, the irony is, the way in which we go about doing this means that in fact, we’re all exactly the same. Wouldn’t it be refereshing if just once you saw a photo that hadn’t been Instagrammed – now that really would be unique…

So Social Media comes at a price…

But, then again, would we change it? I for one would not like to imagine a world where I couldn’t write, tweet, post and blog about every daily event and expect the world to read it. We must be extra vigilant about how our online activity affects our real-life world, however, and question who, exactly, is controlling our posting. But, heck, if the world wants to see a photo of my dinner in black and white perfection, then see it they shall…

5 Minutes With...

Ritz from Adjust Media

We caught up with the Head Graphic Designer at Adjust Media on a cheeky break in the office to find out about his love of design and his penchant for chocolately cereal… 

How did you get involved in Adjust Media? 

I never intended to get involved with a company like Adjust Media; it was more chance than anything. In Chris’ last life he was probably a pig set to look for truffles in the forest – he found me before I really knew I had any design talent and teased it out of me. He knew my capabilities far before I did. I discovered a lot of love for the work I was doing, particularly branding exercises and was eventually rewarded with a full-time position.

First thing you designed? 

As much as it reveals about my childhood, I would, as an 8 year old, draw football shirts for my beloved Newcastle United.

How many hours go into what you do? 

The time spent grows daily, without fail. The longer I work for Adjust Media, the greater the application for my kind of work. It’s turning into a bit of a problem.

I now find that there is rarely a moment in the day where I won’t be at least thinking about individual projects and how best to achieve them. You’d think sleep might form some sort of escape but thanks to uni and Adjust Media, whatever sleep pattern I had has now disappeared.

What cereal do you normally have for breakfast? 

I suppose that I should remain impartial, but on a matter so personal I’m going to have to reveal my passion for Krave. Should the opportunity come along to work for Kellogg’s, in exchange for a lifetime supply. I’d gladly work free of charge.

What tips would you give for aspiring graphic designers? 

Focus on the creative side of what you do and don’t get bogged down with the rest. I was very lucky in finding others who excel in the business-side of things. I always thought that using GIMP (an excellent freeware programme, similar in many ways to Photoshop), as opposed to Photoshop, would be a hindrance. In fact it was a great place to start and it paved the way to my work at Adjust Media and I still get a lot of satisfaction from using the programme.

Aside from graphic design, what are you passionate about? 

I have a passion for obscure marketing campaigns, the story of Obermutten perhaps my favourite to date. I get a lot of pleasure from discovering music, sharing artists amongst friends and seeing these DJs play at dingy warehouse nights.

Favourite app? 

Vooza. What it does – I couldn’t tell you, the company themselves seem very unwilling. Yet, it is certainly a project of some interest.

Best invention of the 21st century? 

The student cheeseburger deal.

What’s on the cards for Ritz in the next 12 months? 

A holiday, no matter how unlikely that seems. In all seriousness, I will be moving to Mannheim, in Germany, where I will be continuing uni work as well as design. I’ve travelled all over Germany and have a sufficient grasp of the language to now move out there. It’s all very exciting. Hopefully we’ll find some great international clients and I can introduce the team to the world of Currywurst when they come visit.

5 Minutes With...

Chris from Adjust Media

We caught up with the director of Adjust Media over his morning coffee to find out a bit more about Adjust and how it all began..

Chris From Adjust Media

So. Tell me a bit more about Adjust Media and how it started. 

After many, many takeaways from my favourite spot GBT in Leamington, I offered to make them a website and handle social media to entice students. Sales boomed and I realised that there was a demand for web design in the local area so we formed the company, operating solely through Twitter for a month. It grew organically, I found Ritz, our graphic designer, at a party – he saw the amateur Adjust Media logo I was building on Publisher and he said ‘I can do better than that’. And lo and behold, he came back 20 minutes later with the logo we have today. I didn’t let him go after that.

Have you always wanted to own your own business? 

Yes.

Why? 

I love the start-up culture. Being involved in Real Uni Guide, a start-up that provides personalised university search function, gave me a real taste for business. All the excitement and passion of seeing your own ideas materialise… I love the flexibility of it; that I can choose to take 2 days off, but I also work 9 to 9 when I want to. It means my girlfriend doesn’t moan because I can work remotely and take time off.

Are you a calculated or snap-decision-making kind of guy? 

It may appear like a snap decision, but it’s actually usually calculated.

What’s the hardest business decision you’ve ever made? 

The decision I thought would be hardest was letting go of some of the company. But when it came to it, giving equity to Ritz and Warren was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.

Hmmm sounds jammy. Do you guys ever fight? 

No, never. We get moody when we’re hungry but that’s about it.

What are you most proud of about Adjust Media?

It was one of my founding business beliefs that business should be kept personal. I never wanted to outsource work to other companies and that’s something we’ve stuck by; everything by Adjust Media is in-house and we’re very proud of that fact.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Doing what we’re doing but on a grander scale. I’d love to be in position where we’re consulting with some of the industry greats like Nike and Red Bull too.

What technology could you not live without? 

My iPhone – it just makes life so easy. Social media, email, phone, it means everything is always accessible and I’m easily contactable.. Adjust Media would not have been possible without it.. That has it’s own problems though. No phone at dinner or my girlfriend gets pouty.

Favourite app? 

Netflix - I use it wherever I’m bored and it helps me switch off.

What’s the best invention of the 21st Century? 

Invisible cars. Google self-driving cars. Google self-driving invisible cars.

What 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business? 

  1. Work hard
  2. Find the right people.
  3. Keep an eye on costs.

Any last words? 

Go for it. I turned down lots of internships and jobs these last few years to really forge the way with Adjust Media; it was a risk but it paid off. I’m never happier than when seeing our ideas come to life or satisfying a client with a design brief; so whatever your idea is, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy, go out and do it.

Adjust Asks...

What tech would you take on a desert island?

Angelica from the Adjust Media team tells us what she’d take on a desert island and why….

There are many things I’d take on a desert island with me. For pleasure, I’d take George Clooney, for intellectual stimulation, Freud or Alain de Boton, for sustenance I’d bring a smoothie machine and for everything in between, I’d take the apps on my iPad.

Angelica & Her iPad

There is no doubt in my mind that the iPad is the best invention of our time; you’re about as likely to find one of the Adjust Media team out without one as Miley Cyrus in public without make-up on. But why? For me, app technology and the possibilities that have sprung from their creation, have completely changed our social landscape; how we interact with each other, with brands, with the world, is evolving. This tiny thing, wrought from metal and plastic, seemingly so innocuous, has the power to revolutionize how the whole world speaks; it’s made the world smaller, chattier and much, much more exciting.

The app world has opened up inconceivable possibilities; everything, from contactless payment to calorie counting, has been thought and processed into this tiny functionality. There are news apps to keep our dinner party conversation flowing as smoothly as the Pinot Grigio; one can flick between The Independent, The Guardian, Prospect, Grazia, Heat and, if you’re anything like me, pull out the right one for the right audience (Starbucks is a place for the latter, the Metropolitan Line in rush hour for the former). There are apps to make train journeys more enjoyable – pet horses we can nurture and feed on our phones, frogs with silly voices for gimmicky birthday messages, car racing games to allow us to live out our Lewis Hamilton fantasy. There are apps to make our lives more productive – to do lists, shopping lists, reminders, calendars. One of my favourite apps, Lemon, allows you to scan invoices and create spreadsheets about how much money you’re spending on what each month. I never even knew I had a penchant for buying exotic fruit.

And it’s not just time with ourselves that is improved. Apps brings companies and brands closer to their consumer; mobile banking, online shopping, train tickets, flight bookings – everything seems so much easier, so much more within reach. And if services aren’t better, it’s not like there aren’t places to shout about it – with 900m users on Facebook, 500m on Twitter and 150m on LinkedIn, the tablet computer has created a myriad of open spaces for public and consumer dialogue. So not only can companies speak to us through apps, but, we, the consumer, can speak right back at them.

And of course all this technology, I think, has imbued the modern city-dweller with a sense of adventure; it’s emboldened us as living, breathing humans, willing to seize new experiences and opportunities. Perhaps it’s consumer psychology, but thanks to social media, voucher websites, online reviews and listings, our lives are richer. We’re more willing to try that new restaurant in Soho, the pop-up in Shoreditch or the random art gallery in Bristol – call it safety in numbers, but, somehow, the public annunciation of culture has made us seize it. The emerging world is presented to us, on screen, in perfect LCD resolution and we seem to be saying yes, yes to seizing the day, yes to consuming life, yes to experience, enjoyment and excitement.

So what would I take on a desert island? Well, once the novelty of George Clooney’s perfectly-rounded derriere has faded, I’d want to stay in touch with the world – its stories, its trends, its tastes. And the only place you can get all of that, and a pet horse called Sparkles is on the iPad… Which is why Adjust love developing apps for clients, because we’re not just buying into a new product, we’re forging our way into a whole new world.