Sustainability. Understanding the cause behind our brand.

Throughout our journey with Edamame Pod we went through many stages and iterations of it. What we always knew from the beginning was that we wanted to help our planet in some way. We decided to take the sustainable approach. Something simple as our plastic use in everyday life.

Since the UK is trying to fight plastic waste, we looked at what we could do to help with this. We started researching and some facts really amazed us.

Every year an estimated 4.5 billion plastic bags are given away by UK supermarkets.

13 billion plastic carrier bags are used in the UK each year. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly 5 million tonnes. (WRAP)

Plastic bags and other plastic rubbish kill thousands of animals every year.

Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

And many more… It really is affecting our environment and our animals.

Another interesting fact is that the UK has been shipping up to 500,000 tonnes of plastic to China to recycle it but this arrangement has been stopped. Now the UK is still figuring out a solution to this.

This is just one concern over what we are doing to our planet. But if we think about it, it is almost impossible to avoid it. We go to the supermarket and we buy containers and bags and everything has plastic in some way. But we can do something.We can start to reduce the amount of plastic we use. We can reuse bags we already have and avoid buying new ones.

Of course the ideal solution would be for governments to implement policies that deal with this cause. We also need to teach children about this issue so they learn from a young age to pay attention to their habits. But the best thing we can do is to set the example ourselves. And with one change of habit at a time we can make an improvement in the long run.

There are websites that sell sustainable products and by just going and reading about it we can learn so much about small things we can do to change. And maybe things we don’t even think are harming or we are not aware of.

The next video is a great story of a woman who is completely “zero waste”. It’s not easy but we can start incorporating small things into our everyday life.

Some tips I am trying to help reduce my environmental footprint:

  • Start by looking at your trash and see what you are wasting. See if there is something you can change about it.
  • Start using reusable bags and stop buying plastic bags. I always have a foldable reusable bag in my purse or backpack, just in case I need it, I have it at hand.
  • Buy produce in bulk. I love going to the organic store or the market and buying directly from the suppliers. It is fresh and it tastes so much better. I am lucky to have a market just a few blocks from where I live but you can set a day in the week to the market. And it is much more fun than the supermarkets.
  • I don’t buy water bottles. I hate having so many bottles at the end of the week, and it really makes me feel bad. So instead I use reusable bottles. I have a few in different sizes so I can take a small one with me and have bigger ones for home. The UK is actually trying to reduce the use of plastic bottles so they are setting water fountains around the city for you to refill them.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more easy ideas to reduce your environmental footprint and help our dear planet.


References:

BBC (2017). Seven charts that explain the plastic pollution problem. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42264788 (Accessed: 24 April 2018)

Harrabin, R. (2018) UK faces build-up of plastic waste. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42455378 (Accessed: 24 April 2018)

Plastic Free UK (2018) Available at: http://plasticfree.co.uk/plastic-stats/ (Accessed: 24 April 2018)

Stories (2015). You Can Live Without Producing Trash. Available at: https://youtu.be/nYDQcBQUDpw (Accessed: 24 April 2018)

 

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Whatever it takes… a trade fair under the snow.

For our second Trade Fair we finally were able to have the experience to sell to the public. It was scheduled to be held on a Saturday on Eden Street, the best place in Kingston to be on a weekend. A lot of people go shopping there all day. But this wasn’t any Saturday, it was a snowy day. Heavy snow.

But, we were there anyway, at 9am. Ready to sell our product and very proud to show it to the world.

As part of our brand strategy we decided to create our stand with recycled cardboard and keep it very simple. Just showcasing our product and material.

Even though there weren’t many people around it was a great experience even with the cold. Our toes and hands were freezing and we had to take turns to warm up inside some of the stores nearby. But, that is team work!

The best part was to really get a feeling of what people thought of our product. And to finally start showing it to potential customers. We had good response and were able to get some feedback on our Edamame Pod.

What we realise is that if we hit the right target market we could change things. There was one customer who instantly recognised our material, cork fabric. And she was so interested in Edamame Pod and immediately came to our stand. She was a sustainable conscious person who really likes for her habits to make a change and help the environment.

We had to finish early because of the weather but overall it was a great way to get our product out there and start a making a change with our Edamame Pod.

Edamame Pod – Ad

Finally our Edamame Pod was ready to be sold. But we needed to create an advert video to promote our product.

After debating what idea we should do. We agreed it had to be something simple and easy to do but powerful. We really wanted the people that watched it to have a reaction. We wanted to make people think about the cause more than the product itself. It was more like a feeling.

A lot of brands are doing that nowadays. It’s more like having a sense of what you want to say with your brand than the product itself. It’s appealing to the sentiment of what you want to say.

We decided to make people think about an everyday action that contributes to the problem of sustainability on Earth. How something so simple that we don’t even realise we do every day can make long term damage. And how we can help fight it with a simple change in our behaviours.

We decided to shoot it at school and with an iPhone. It was fun coming up with the idea and then shooting it with other two members of our team. The idea we chose was to present how with buying plastic bags every day we contribute to the problem of our planet deterioration. And how with our product you can change that. We used music to make more of an impact in the feeling and reaction of the audience. We also used some facts to make more of a statement. Since many people are not actually aware of what the damage it causes and to what extent.

We had to present our commercial in class. And to our surprise we were one of the favourites of our classmates and we won a little prize for that. I feel so proud of our group and it is so good to feel that you are doing something to help our planet. And we can all make this happen with just some little changes in our lives.

Experiencing the Creative Industries – The Finale

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I feel sad and proud at the same time while recounting my journey through this last stretch of the Masters. When we started this module at the beginning of the year we were told we were going to learn about project management in the creative industries as well as how to work in this field. What we didn’t know was that these months would increase our creative confidence and would give us the boost to make it to the next round: the dissertation.

Tom Kelley (2013) from IDEO describes Creative Confidence as the “natural ability to come up with great ideas combined with the courage to act on”. This was definitely the sum of these past few months.

The first big project that we had was a submission to the D&AD New Blood Competition. This journey would take us months and we thought we had all the time in the world. At the same time we started learning about project management based on the Agile methodology. We also created out personal development plans to see a general glimpse of our future, or what we wanted it to be.

As a film producer, a skill we are encouraged (or forced) to develop is time management. Without it, we wouldn’t make it. Not only that but we would also not get there within out budget. I feel that I can handle it when it comes to other people’s work but when it comes to my own work and projects sometimes it feels like it can wait, and wait, and wait. Procrastination is a big problem, specially with social media you can get caught and lose track of time. So it’s good to put down every task that you need to achieve by day and organise your week in advance. Including every event that not involves work so you know you don’t have that time available. But it is better not to lose so much time on organising and categorising, because this can be not only overwhelming but also making you waste precious time. I usually take a few minutes and then just start with the easiest one, so I can feel that I’m moving forward.

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When we were ask to choose a brief for the D&AD it took me a while to pick one. At first, I wasn’t sure because none of the brands or even the causes caught my attention. Then, I thought I might chose the BBC brief just because it was the closest one to my profession, even though everyone kept telling me it was the hardest one.

I can certainly feel overwhelmed by the work sometimes. And when I started with the project I certainly felt so. The purpose of this project was to reimagine the relationship with the brand using new and emerging technology. I had to understand some key things about it. The audience (who watched BBC), the value (what is good about it), the market (who is BBC competing with) and what are the emerging technology trends.

Csikszentmihalyi (1996) says that creativity is the relation between a person and a system. To come up with an idea, first I needed to understand the field and the environment. My first source was BARB viewing, TV and SVOD reports. After reading and analysing endless pages of data from the past year, I was able to understand a bit more about the audience in the UK. Who they are, what they watch, when they watch it and most importantly, where they watch it.

After learning that BBC is the top broadcaster of the UK and that the average viewer of BBC traditional tv is over 50 years old, I started thinking how could I add value to the brand with technology. While digging deeper I realised that BBC had interest in attracting the young audience, those between 18-35 years old. They were even creating content to attract them, like BBC ideas, short videos about current topics with the usual BBC quality. They were also saying that the iPlayer grew 11% over the past year. They were certainly paying attention.

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I believe I am a somewhat savvy technological person, but I can’t keep up with all the things that come out every day. So after digging a bit about trends in this area and just analysing what I already know, I realise that consumers want everything in one place, any time, anywhere. We don’t even want to type anymore or search, we just talk. No Interface is a definite shift for technology. Brands and consumers are realising that there are few interactions that are more natural or faster than simply talking.

It was time to let creativity flow. As Kelley (2013) suggests you can strategise once you have real information from the field. My first idea was to create an app that lets you access any of the BBC content (news, videos, shows, radio, etc.) by just talking to it. It is seamless and easy to use.

I decided to create a mock-up of what it would look like in order to test it, another advice from the Kelley brothers on their book creative confidence. Create and test it as soon as possible. I tried testing several webs that offered free app prototype development. I finally decided on Marvel app website, it was easy to use and free. I created a mock-up of how my app would look like and showed it to some people. As David Kelley explains, people will instantly tell you what’s wrong. So the testing part is messy and painful. But the sooner you test the sooner you will learn.

Here comes another learning from Agile PM, be adaptable to change. In order to learn you have to test, and unless you are very lucky, you will fail. With failure comes learning, and with this comes change. You have to be able to change fast and often. As I realised with my app, I had to make some changes. When testing it, I realised it didn’t offer anything new. Yes, it was easy to use, but would people prefer it over Netflix or Amazon? (primary competitors of the BBC app).

While thinking about what should I do, I was also researching for my final dissertation. I was always interested in how technology and new developments help the film industry. I started reading about transmedia storytelling and a book by Nuno Bernardo caught my attention. In his book, Transmedia 2.0, Bernardo (2014) talks about how people nowadays prefer buying into an experience over content. So, I started connecting these things.

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BBC has an amazing variety of quality content but people are still preferring Netflix or Amazon. What would give its user an experience that would attract them? So, I decided to pivot. Instead of “creating the wheel” and creating an app with everything I decided to reimagine the BBC iPlayer that’s already there. I recognised some problems with it and came up with some solutions.

Based on those solutions I used new trends in technology to improve it. I decided to focus on three elements and put them into the app. I wanted to stick with the voice element, more specifically, that users will be able to ask the app what they want and have a seamless conversation with it. Amazon’s Alexa is doing it very good and is dominating the market. Users seem to love talking to their devices and the trend is just growing. Apple’s HomePod wanted to get into the same market as Alexa, they released a great film advert to promote it. I argued in a previous post about how it does more to sell the brand itself and create a buzz around it than selling the product.

During one of our individual sessions at school someone said to me, what about time? So I decided to take a look at it in terms of number. Smith (2017) says that the average time of commuting in the UK has reached 81 minutes in 2017, people are spending more and more time on the way to and back from work/school. I started noticing a lot of people watching shows on their smartphones or tablets. The second element I added to my app was a feature of being able to choose the time that you have available and input it so the app would give you recommendations based on that. Users would also be able to sync to their calendars and get suggestions.

The last element I wanted to incorporate was mood. Using Artificial Intelligence technology the app would identify how the user feels based on a picture and propose shows or movies relating to that mood. This is linked to the fact that people want experiences. And this would be a way that users can experience the app in a whole new way and share it with their friends. Besides, it’s something that no other media app is doing.

Basing my app on these three elements I created a new mock-up on Marvel. It was also time to make the submission to D&AD. And what I learned is that we will never have enough time, specially if we can’t organise ourselves. Creativity is messy and management is organised and it’s really hard to integrate these two together because they are complete opposites. But sometimes you just have to go with it, you just have to do it. I also learn that is good to share and communicate with others. Sometimes, specially where I come from and the industry I come from, people are very jealous of their work and don’t want to share with colleagues for the fear of them stealing it. But what I realised is that sharing let us be more creative and get inspired by other people’s progress and work. 

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My biggest learning on this past few months is that we just need to do what we want to do. We should research the market we want to focus on and create something. We just have to go out there, test it and find out what people think. Then change it, as many times as necessary. But the main thing is to just try it.

John Howkins (2002) says we are all born creative but we need freedom to explore our creativity.  And we are in luck, because businesses are becoming more dependent upon creativity. We just need to let it out.


References:

Agile Business Consortium (2018) Available at: https://www.agilebusiness.org/content/introduction-0 (Accessed: 11 April 2018).

Apple HomePod. Welcome Home by Spike Jonze. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=305ryPvU6A8 (Accessed: 10 April 2018).

Barb (2018) The SVOD Report: Charting the growth in SVOD services across the UK. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/download/?file=/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BARB-SVOD-White-Paper_FINAL.pdf (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Barb (2018) The UK Television Landscape Report. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/tv-landscape-reports/tracker-device-access/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Barb (2017) The Viewing Report. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/download/?file=/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Barb-Viewing-Report-2017.pdf (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

BBC (2018) BBC iPlayer grows 11% as 2017 becomes best year ever. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2018/iplayer-2017-stats (Accessed: 20 February 2018).

BBC iPlayer (2018) Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer (Accessed: 20 April 2018).

Bernardo, N. (2014). Transmedia 2.0 : How to create an entertainment brand using a transmedial approach to storytelling. beActive Books.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: HarperCollins.

D&AD New Blood Awards (2018). Available at: https://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-new-blood-awards/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

DeMeyers, J. (2017) 7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2018. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/12/30/7-technology-trends-that-will-dominate-2018/#fc776f557d76 (Accessed: 22 February 2018).

Gupta, S. (2018) ‘Agile Project Management Week One’ [PowerPoint presentation]. BS7709: Experiencing the Creative Industries (Professional Practice). Available at: https://canvas.kingston.ac.uk/courses/7815/pages/project-management (Accessed: 11 April 2018).

Harvard Business Review (2013) Build Confidence to Unleash Creativity.. Available at: https://hbr.org/video/2758899626001/build-confidence-to-unleash-creativity (Accessed: 19 April 2018).

Henry, J. (2006). Creative management and development (3rd ed.). London: SAGE.

Howkins, J. (2002). The creative economy : How people make money from ideas. London: Penguin.

Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence. New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Marvel APP (2018) Available at: https://marvelapp.com/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Newman, D. (2018) Top 18 Tech Trends At CES 2018. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/01/16/top-18-tech-trends-at-ces-2018/#17f92b1c452f (Accessed: 22 February 2018).

Pexels (2018). Photo by Lisa Fotios, CC0 License. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-and-white-ceramic-coffee-mug-on-brown-wooden-surface-with-black-eyeglasses-670723/ (Accessed 23 April 2018).

Purnell, J. (2018) BBC Ideas – short films for curious minds. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/9f0e2582-3b0d-4cec-9afe-015b0aacdde6 (Accessed: 1 February 2018).

Smith, R. (2017) Ranked: The UK regions with the longest and shortest daily commutes. Available at: http://www.cityam.com/275885/ranked-uk-regions-longest-and-shortest-daily-commutes (Accessed: 20 February 2018).

Statista (2018) Leading TV broadcasters in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017, by audience share. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/269983/leading-tv-broadcasters-in-the-uk-by-audience-share/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Trendwatching (2015). TREND BRIEFING – NO INTERFACE. Available at: http://trendwatching.com/trends/no-interface/ (Accessed: 1 February 2018).

 

D&AD New Blood Awards – BBC Brief

bbc iplayer reimaginedDuring the last few months I have been working on my submission for the D&AD New Blood Awards. I chose the BBC Brief, Go Beyond the Screen, where the purpose was to reimagine the relationship with the brand using new and emerging technology. Since I chose this one, everyone kept saying that it was the hardest brief. But, then again, I like a challenge. And besides, it linked two things I’m very interested in, media production and distribution and emerging technological trends.

First I had to understand the market in which BBC was working. I read some audience viewing reports from BARB as well as consumer reports from Statista. BBC is still the number one broadcaster in the UK with 32% of audience share. They have a wide variety of quality programs and content. For traditional TV, the audience is older, on average 60 years old. But the online BBC services, are increasing every year, and the audience is between 16-34 years old. So, I decided to focus on the latter group.

I had to chose one of their services, I wanted to focus on the iPlayer. After looking at all the statistics I wanted to see how people felt about the player. I started to ask my friends what they thought. My other research source was twitter. Looking at the #bbciplayer hashtag I found the pains and gains of the service for the users. After this last research I created a user journey map to see what normal steps would a common user make when using the app and see where I could improve this.

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Looking at technology trends I decided to focus on AI, personalisation, digital centralisation and seamless conversation. I also took into consideration that people in London, spend an average 81 minutes commuting. This would be a great opportunity to be able to catch up on some favourite shows.

I had to do some mock-ups for creative inspiration. After trying several online free webs for app prototype, I decided to use Marvel. It was easy to learn and free to use. I created a mock prototype and started testing with friends. After some feedback I changed some features and added some others to make it better and more original.

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In the end, I created a reimagined version of the BBC iPlayer app with new features that could make it stand out from other SVOD services like Amazon and Netflix. I decided to focus on three key elements like Mood (using AI), Time (personalisation) and Voice (seamless conversation) to create an app easy to use and with the user in mind. Also, it is fun and it provides an experience to share with your friends.

“It’s important to keep in mind that people do not simply buy content. They buy into an experience” – Nuno Bernardo (2014).

 

 


References:

Barb (2018) The SVOD Report: Charting the growth in SVOD services across the UK. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/download/?file=/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BARB-SVOD-White-Paper_FINAL.pdf (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Barb (2018) The UK Television Landscape Report. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/tv-landscape-reports/tracker-device-access/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Barb (2017) The Viewing Report. Available at: http://www.barb.co.uk/download/?file=/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Barb-Viewing-Report-2017.pdf (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Bernardo, N. (2014). Transmedia 2.0 : How to create an entertainment brand using a transmedial approach to storytelling. beActive Books.

D&AD New Blood Awards (2018). Available at: https://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-new-blood-awards/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

DeMeyers, J. (2017) 7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2018. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/12/30/7-technology-trends-that-will-dominate-2018/#fc776f557d76 (Accessed: 22 February 2018).

Marvel APP (2018) Available at: https://marvelapp.com/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

Newman, D. (2018) Top 18 Tech Trends At CES 2018. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/01/16/top-18-tech-trends-at-ces-2018/#17f92b1c452f (Accessed: 22 February 2018)

Statista (2018) Leading TV broadcasters in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017, by audience share. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/269983/leading-tv-broadcasters-in-the-uk-by-audience-share/ (Accessed: 18 April 2018).