Why Isobar Greece Started Selling Its Own Sunglasses.

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Our colleagues from Isobar Greece have decided to jump the fence and see what really happens on the advertisers’ side.

Wanting to have a better understanding (albeit on a smaller scale) of the challenges clients are facing, they have created, produced and marketed a sunglasses brand called We Are Eyes.

In a market challenged by the aftermath of the economical crisis, they decided to dive in a real-life situation so that they can be closer to clients.

This is not about bringing in alternative revenue streams (their goal is to break-even). This is about empathy.

Read the full story originally published on Ad Age.

10 Reasons Why My Tattoos Are My Greatest Business Asset

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“You better wear long sleeves and cover that neck.”

I’ve been given a lot of advice about my tattoos, especially when it comes to landing a job. From recruiters, friends and one time, after requesting a finger tattoo, a tattooer told me the tattoo would be a ‘job-ender’. If I’d listened to any of them, I would never have discovered what a valuable business asset my tattoos would turn out to be.

“Business asset? You’re joking!” I hear you say. Yes, they are my greatest business asset and I’m going to tell you why.

It all started a few years back, at a time I thought I was almost unemployable. I applied for job after job, without much response. I was warned at the time to cover my tattoos during interviews (technically impossible considering my neck, chest, hands and head are tattooed) because it might be the reason I wasn’t getting offers.

Eventually, I was asked in for several interviews and had the pick of some great offers. Despite wondering why the hell they’d offered me a job in the first place, I chose the most corporate of them. Fast forward to my first week and corporate induction. The facilitators asked us new joiners to individually write down on a post-it note something no one knew about us that would benefit the company. Being the show-pony I am, I knew exactly what to write.

The facilitators gathered the post-it notes and huddled at the front of the room, reading and whispering to each other. One announced, “We weren’t going to read these out, but there’s one that we want to know more about.” I knew what was coming. The facilitator continued reading, “Could the person who wrote ‘My body is 75% covered in tattoos’ explain how this will benefit our business?” Everyone in the room turned to look at me (it wasn’t half obvious who’s post-it it was). I had nothing to lose, so I stood proudly and stated that when clients see me walk into a room, they think they’ve hit the creative mother load. I instantly start conversations and challenge the status quo.

Little did I know, word of my cunning stunt spread like wildfire. Shortly after, I heard leadership were quite chuffed about my antics, especially as it had ‘gone viral’. A few weeks later, I was asked to make a video that global HR could use to promote diversity. And a short time after that, my work proved my value as a designer — and I realised the reason they hired me had everything to do with what I do, and nothing to do with my tattoos.

In case you’re wondering, I’m in the business of design. And although being a designer is seen as an acceptable reason to have visible tattoos, being heavily tattooed and working in the corporate world is no cake walk. And being a female in leadership and tattooed is even more challenging. I’ve been subject to judgement, stereotypes and the occasional stank-eye. I’m not always acknowledged as being as capable or experienced as I am. People assume I’m younger than my age (some side effects are pretty awesome!). I’ve been asked by receptionists to show my I.D. or security pass, even after walking past them for months. Working late at night, I’ve been asked to leave the building because I could not possibly be an employee. And I won’t bore you with the number of times I’ve been held up at border security — even carrying platinum status.

But I’m sure those things happen to people with or without tattoos. Either way, ignorance and intolerance isn’t acceptable. Whilst there’s a lot of talk about what diversity means, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or physical appearance are one way to view diversity, but another is as a mindset. The value and respect given to each employee’s individuality is a reflection of an organisation’s culture and business conduct.

Diversity and inclusion are the cornerstones of great culture, and great culture is critical to sustainable business success. It takes all sorts to achieve great things together, and we must encourage cultures which embraces a mix of backgrounds and soft skills to blaze a trail of thinking and acting differently that results in the kind of change we want to see in the world.

10 Reasons Why My Tattoos Are My Greatest Business Asset:

1. Instant creative credibility. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked if I’m a designer (or tattooer) in an elevator, I’d be a millionaire.

2. I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable. Tattoos don’t tickle, and I’ve sat through more hours of tattooing than I care to remember. They’ve taught me to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

3. I have creative confidence. I wear my heart on my sleeve — literally. I have a heart on my hand that is there to remind me that I continuously to grow creatively and to be confident in what I do.

4. I’m an agent of change. People often tell me they’d like to get a tattoo, but are afraid because they might change their mind after it’s done. Nothing is forever, and the one thing you can be sure of is change. You can always get a cover up. Or laser (see 5.)

5. I’m not afraid of commitment. A tattoo is for life, unless you’re prepared to get laser ( that’s painful story for another day).

6. I’m a conversation starter. I get as nervous as the next person. Opening lines don’t matter so much because I’ve already given people something to talk to me about.

7. I smash the stereotype. Tattoos have a bad reputation for being on bad people who do bad things and live bad lives. Well I’m a good person trying to do great things to improve people’s lives, and I have tattoos.

8. I leave a lasting impression. It’s hard to forget the ‘one covered in tattoos’.

9. They make me work harder at being the best I can be. The stereotypes are there to be broken, and that’s my personal incentive to go the extra mile.

10. They remind me of why diversity is so important. Everyday when I look in the mirror, I’m reminded that I’m responsible for what I’ve done to myself. But others who are subjected to intolerance or ignorance are not. We’re all made of flesh and bones, let’s be excellent to each other!

Chirryl-Lee Ryan, Head of Experience Design, Isobar Hong Kong

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Facebook taking augmented reality (AR) to the mass market.

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At this years Facebook F8 conference in San Jose, California Zuckerberg (2017) announced the launch of a suite of new AR features and tools for the Facebook camera that are collectively branded the Camera Effects Platform. And this is good news if you’ve ever wanted turn your face into an animated character or fill your home with virtual Skittles or maybe play virtual chess on your dining table.

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Facebook actually released the first Camera Effects April 2017 for iOS and Android which include several branded effects, masks and interactive filters. Some of these new features are available today and to the average consumer this will appear at first very similar to SnapChat’s own live filters. The difference is not only the greater user base with over 1.23 billion daily active users (DAUs) on Facebook but also the room scanning technology and most importantly Facebook’s commitment to create a medium for independent developers and artists

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3D artists, developers and organisations who are members of the Facebook Developers program can apply today for a beta version of the AR Studio. This toolset will enable individuals and organisations to create exciting new AR experiences that take advantage of the Camera Effects Platform. The demonstrations highlight a sophisticated framework for constructing AR experiences including 3D object placement, animations and user interaction. There’s no details yet of how to construct the more advanced technologies announced during the F8 Keynote such as Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) or object recognition. But it’s safe to assume that these technologies will be coming to the AR Studio toolset. It’s also not yet entirely clear how these experiences will reach the consumer audience. Presumably it will follow prior distribution concepts utilised by Facebook’s other platforms such as Pages and Apps. These platforms typically saw new content discovered via the News Feed either by direct advertisement or peer to peer sharing and required the user to opt-in.

One way or another consumers will soon find new filters alongside the launch filters available today. And this future state, soon to be reality, will allow artists to take AR experiences that explore the boundaries of AR technology to the mass market faster than ever before.

Anton Wintergerst, Mobile Developer @ Isobar Melbourne

Cannes in 48 Hours: Through a Designer’s Eyes

Jack Gipp, Designer @ Isobar Global, takes us through his Cannes Lions experience.

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Cannes Lions is undoubtedly one of the biggest creative festivals in the world, so naturally I was super-excited to have the opportunity to attend this year.

After pulling into Gare de Cannes on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, I headed straight for the heart of the festival. Bustling with activity, the Croisette was filled with creativity and inspiration at every turn. From an immersive and interactive Pinterest experience that matched real-world items to products for purchase, to Snapchat’s bright yellow Ferris wheel; big technology platforms felt very present within minutes of arriving.

My first full day was spent soaking up the talks in the Dentsu Aegis Network Beach House, and by the end of the day, the key trend that was emerging from this year’s festival became very clear to me: Artificial Intelligence.

After attending a few of the DAN-hosted panels in the beach house, and watching back Isobar’s main stage presentation, a similar question seemed to pop up: how will AI impact creativity? Jean Lin, Isobar’s Global CEO, said that “the power of being human lies in empathy”, further adding that “we shouldn’t be threatened by AI and technology” and that we should “embrace” them. It’s something I agree with, AI will likely take the repetitive and mundane tasks off our hands, freeing up more time for us to be truly creative.

As a designer, this really excites me. We all want the opportunity to focus our energy into the bigger and more exciting pieces of work, but as we’ve all experienced, the necessary, yet often dull day-to-day tasks sometimes get in the way of that. With AI as an ally, we’ll be able to give our full attention to the work that we really want to be creating.

A stand-out experience I had over the three days was the opportunity to attend a Spotify for Brands meeting, held at Spotify’s tech-filled Cannes Lions HQ and set up by Sven Huberts, Isobar’s Director of Strategic Growth for EMEA. People don’t often talk about this side of Cannes — away from the glamour of the Palais — the technology partner’s venue’s is where the real business happens.

The Spotify team spoke about how their platform is a great place for brands to influence and target potential consumers — and by matching creativity to context, businesses and brands can catch users at key moments of their listening activity. For example, you’re in the gym, working out to your ‘Motivation Mix’ and a sports brand serves you an ad, something that, based on your listening behaviour, you are actually interested in. It was really interesting to see how Spotify are using their data and insights to deliver more tailored and personal experiences based on the moods and behaviour of their users.

I spent my last full-day in Cannes filming content for Isobar’s global social channels. My team and I spent the morning talking to some of Isobar’s key leadership about their views on this year’s key trends, as well as the festival as a whole. When asked whether craft is still relevant with the industry heavily focused on technology, Kai Exos, Chief Creative Officer at Isobar Canada said that “it is absolutely still relevant.”, further explaining that Isobar Canada stay 70% creative in their total make-up, allowing them to have “much more comprehensive solutions that can scale globally for brands to be truly transformative.”.

As a young creative, Cannes provided me with an amazing opportunity to meet and connect with the movers and shakers of our industry, with years of experience under their belt, and after chatting about all of the different projects coming out of Isobar across the world, it became really clear to me how culture and diversity can really impact and benefit creativity.

The energy and fast-paced feeling of the festival is really motivating and inspiring, and it gave me a great insight into why the festival is championed throughout our industry.

Jack Gipp, Designer, Isobar Global