Thursday, December 9, 2010

Matt Hoffmann’s Post

The need for sincerity and humanity in design.

Good design can make a mediocre product sell well, and it can (for a short time) sell a bad product. But a great product with good design will sell itself ... eventually. A sincere advertising campaign can take your base logo/product design and bring to the people. The company I want to bring to your attention is Blendtec. Have you ever heard of them?

Have you ever heard the catch phrase “Will It Blend?”.  On a fifty dollar budget the inventor and founder of Blendtec, Tom Dickson more than quadrupled his blender sales by sincerely engaging people. How did Tom Dickson manage to engage these people?

1.Through his honest Character and personal charisma-He is an engineer, 
not a slick actor.
2.By appealing to a persons child like curiosity and wonder at destruction.
3.Having a quality product, and a quality logo to legitimize what Tom 
was doing.
4.No special effects, just one man blending footballs, cellphones, rakes, glow sticks, lighters etc.

This silly video series brought a fondness and admiration for a product that would otherwise be considered just another industrial appliance. His companies logo is not exceptionally brilliant, but it sticks in the mind of anyone who has seen his videos.

Here are some of his videos:

Bringing an element of humaneness and sincerity can transform your otherwise cold product into one that people view with fondness. Sincere design can bring people to view an otherwise cold corporation with a level of fondness, but if it is false sincerity it is easy to spot, and will hurt the companies image in the long run.  A good example of this hypocrisy cab be seen in PB. PB's ts logo is intended to show how “green” it is and imply that it is not a totally malevolent evil faceless corporation. After all they have pulled, I would have felt better about them being a faceless corporation, rather than this fake friendly image PB tries to sell.

Back to Blendtec, I am a very cynical person when it comes to “advertising” but in this one instance of a sincere social-media driven campaign, I am convinced of this products worth. While watching Tom Dickson happily destroy stuff with his super blender, you get an unspoken yet clear message: If you can blend (insert, Iphone, chicken, laptop, etc), then you know that this blender makes a mean smoothie. Tom presents the viewer a problem and lets you come to the obvious conclusion. Sincere design shows that the product your branding, you actually believe in and matters to you.

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