In this age of lightning-speed advances in technology, more and more when in conversations with friends or colleagues, the wistful, “Don’t you wish you could just wave a magic wand and ….” is followed by a chirpy, “Oh, actually now you can. They’ve just introduced.…” Fill in the blank. A new app. A new fit-in-your-palm gizmo. A new way to digitally target audiences. (Being marketers and PR mavens, this last one rings our bell.)
The ubiquitous “they” are extremely busy these days translating dreamy wishes into high-tech, readily accessible reality. In case you showed up late for the last few water cooler discussions, or you want to make sure you’re the chirpy voice in the know for the next chat, here are a few bright and shiny tech advances in the world of communications that have recently caught our attention at DRA Collective.
According to Twitter, more than two billion emojis have been tweeted since 2014. Twitter apparently decided that when sitting on a few bushels of cherries, you might as well make pie. So they figured out how to use subscribers’ emojis as marketing leads. Did you attach a surfboard to your summer vacation tweet? Wetsuit and rash guard purveyors will find you. Posted a wedding cake emoji at your best friend’s reception? Bridal dress shops might just start popping up in your Twitter feed.
In honor of World Emoji Day on July 17 (yes, it’s a thing), read on to learn how Twitter is helping marketers track down potential customers through the smiley faces and umbrella drinks adorning tweets worldwide.
Technically, this next advance has been around since 2014. But that universal gasp of horror that follows every ill executed text is still an all too common experience shared by far too many of our fellow humans, which tells us this app merits inclusion in our “bright and shiny” list. You know that feeling…when the atrocity of an autocorrect fail comes into focus a split second after hitting send? On Second Thought is an app to save you from ever having to experience that dreadful jolt again. You’re welcome. (We didn’t create the app; but still, you’re welcome.)
As PR folks and former journalists, we’re all about the smart assembly of words —the storytelling. And, as marketers, we’re also about the packaging, the design, the art that helps tell the story. Some of the most expressive tools available to a communicator are fonts. So when we saw this brand new toy…er, tool…that lets you lift a compelling font from the printed page and transfer it to your own workstation, we were pretty darn excited. Fonts convey emotion, attitude, persona. They can be lyrical or jarring; or syrupy, loop-ily, nauseatingly sweet. Fonts are bliss to those communicators among us who interact with the world from both verbal and visual perspectives. If you’ve ever sat in a movie theater evaluating whether the font used for the credit reel appropriately captured the movie theme, or found yourself teary eyed at the beauty of the design treatment of a pull quote in a magazine article, then this new tool, called the Spector, is for you. (Except it isn’t for you, or anyone else just yet, as it is still a prototype.) Now, there are legitimate questions surfacing about how this tool can be used without stealing intellectual property from font designers, and perhaps those questions will be answered by the time Spector gets to market. We sure hope so, because we are looking forward to the day we get to hold this little key to font nerd heaven in our hands.