Friday, 29 November 2013

November News

Black Celebration

Friday, November 29th is officially 'Black Friday' - which is actually a lot less ominous than it sounds. It's a tradition in America for shops to start their sales on the first Friday after Thanksgiving (similar to our Boxing Day sales) and this idea has now started to creep over to the UK, with many retailers (such as Amazon) now offering impressive Black Friday deals. The name originated in Philadelphia where it described the heavy traffic that would always occur on that day. Newer still is 'Cyber Monday' (Dec 2nd) which specifically refers to online shopping (this is a recent invention by marketeers keen to push the Black Friday idea over to another day!). So with even the likes of Apple now finally getting in on the sales act, if you see either of those terms around this weekend - make sure to look out for some good deals! But do try to avoid the chaos seen in some American stores today!

more info (the telegraph)

Stalking Friends

According to a recent book on the birth of the micro-blogging phenomena that is Twitter (and we're looking forward to working with them in the new year!) - it went through several different names and logos before arriving at the iconic bird we know today. From 'Smssy' and 'Twitch' to more worrying sounding names like 'Friendstalker' (which some might consider rather telling!). Most of the initial logos were created by one of the founders Biz Stone - going for the idea of youthfulness over old and boring approaches. You can see a few of the rejected logos in the link below.

more info (the verge)

Font Masher

Despite being a couple of years old, our little typography game 'I Shot the Serif' is still generating online buzz. Most recently it was featured on Mashable (one of the largest online sources of news and resources for the social media generation) as no. 5 in their '18 insanely addictive font games'. As a result, hits to our website page rocketed (again). We used the game on our stand at the PR Show recently and it was really effective at breaking the ice - more info on that here. And if you haven't played it yet, do check it out and be sure to look at some of the other font-based games on their list too!

more info (mashable)

4 vs. One

The next generation is upon us as both Microsoft and Sony launched their new games consoles this month - and with both of them breaking first day sales records, they've obviously got something right. But do these herald a new age for interactive entertainment - and more importantly is either of them a 'must buy' before Xmas? If you're interested (or have kids begging you for expensive presents) here's a super concise run-down:

Microsoft Xbox One:
Offers the most interesting package - aimed at taking over your TV, in theory it will eventually be able to control your TV / cable box using gesture controls and voice recognition (ie. throw away that old remote). You can play the latest games, browse the web and even Skype your friends all at the same time. However, in practice, many of these features are not working at all yet in the UK and it looks like they've skimped a little on the graphical power in relation to Sony's PS4 - and despite this it's still around £80 more expensive.

Verdict: there's no compelling reason to buy it right now, but as the software and capabilities improve it could really come into it's own - perhaps sometime next year - or even the year after?

Sony PS4:
A much smaller box than the above, but offers more gaming power inside. This looks like it will be the 'hardcore' gamers choice over the Xbox One, but doesn't have the same ambitions to control your living room.

Verdict: If you HAVE to buy one, this is the one to get, but even with the extra power, there's still no big reason to buy it right now, pretty much all the good games around are also available on the older consoles too (and they don't look that different yet) - better games will appear on the system from next year onwards.

So, our advice: save your pennies and wait around - maybe they'll drop the prices a little next summer!

more info (polygon)
PS4 review
Xbox One review

It’s all change Croydon.

This week saw the planning approval for the Westfield Hammerson JV to develop the Centrale and Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. There are interesting times ahead for businesses, residents and visitors, and with our work with the Croydon BID we’ll hopefully have an active roll in helping communicate and manage the change and likely disruption that will ensue over the next couple of years. Our brand evolution work with the BID, and initial strap line 'all change! Croydon', has even more relevance now that Croydon's development and future plans are coming to fruition. As a company we're experiencing the major changes in London Bridge, where in the past, poor communications has added confusion to disruption. As our MD, Simon, also lives in South Croydon we’re even more eager to help communicate the changes and manage disruption through proactive and accessible information. The Croydon BID website we designed and developed aims to be a central hub for up to date information so find out more here. Good luck Croydon.

Christmas Closing

We'll be keeping up with everything that's going on but our official doors close for a well earned break end of play on the 23rd December and will reopen on the 2nd January. A bit early to wish you all 'Seasons Greetings' but thought we should let you know just in case you've got that urgent job to get out before the end of year.

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