Reverse Engineering Brand: Sony

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 7.10.02 PM.png

I chose Sony because they create a lot of things. Sony makes televisions, music players, cameras, headphones, movies, video game consoles and software, smartphones, and much more. I was curious to see how the Sony social media team handled all the products Sony produces as a whole and how they may compare to a more specific Sony brand, such as the PlayStation or Sony Pictures.

What are the brand design strengths?

Sony’s logo is very simple. I looked at their Facebook page, their Twitter page, their Instagram page, and their YouTube channel and noticed that they all use the same black background with white text logo. I like the simplicity of the logo and I think they can get away with it because everyone knows what Sony is.

From what I could tell, they use a lot of the same images all across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I personally prefer looking through their Instagram profile since it is easier to find the images they’ve shared. I think they do a great job of displaying contrast between the background and the product they’re sharing in that particular image. They do a great job of having the product in a real-life scenario, such as having speakers inside a room or a television hanging on a wall or a DSLR or video camera outside. The images help you see where you should use their product. Obviously we want to use a television inside our homes, but it makes you wonder how that particular television will look in your living room hanging on the wall. I think they do a great job of capturing that.

What are the brand design weaknesses?

Because Sony sells so many things, their social channels can appear very cluttered. One minute they’re talking about a recent movie released by Sony Pictures, the next they’re showcasing their televisions, and then there’s something about the latest PlayStation. It’s a little all over the place, but they also have specific channels for that specific brand. I think that’s helpful because not everyone is going to be interested in everything Sony.

What is the brand trying to accomplish with its design?

I already mentioned this in the paragraph regarding the brand’s strengths, but I think what they’re trying to do with their design is get people to think how it would be to have a Sony product in their home, whether it be a camera or a television. The pictures they upload are beautifully taken and it helps Sony’s products have that “premium” look and feel.

How has the design used: Composition, Fundamentals, Contrast, Lines, Layout, Golden Section, Rule of Thirds, Not Half, Swiss Grid, or Custom Grids?

I believe they use the Rule of Thirds principle quite a bit in all their channels. The product they’re photographing is front and center. Sometimes it takes the entire size of the photograph. They also do a great job with contrast, as it helps their product stick out with the contrasting background.

What metrics (likes, shares, retweets, etc.) will be used to determine if the brand is successful?

Facebook: The metrics used to determine success is by the number of followers, the number of likes, the number of comments, and the number of shares.

Twitter: Followers, retweets, likes.

Instagram: Followers, likes, comments.

YouTube: Subscribers, likes, and comments.

Sony’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels have well over 4 million followers, with Facebook having the largest number of likes and followers. I think their most successful on Instagram just because they don’t share as much video content and the pictures look absolutely beautiful. Why wouldn’t you want to like what they share on Instagram?


My Personal Manifesto

I have a hard time putting myself out there. I don’t really want the attention, I really don’t want the criticism, and I really just want to keep to myself. But there’s always been this passion and desire to share my thoughts and impressions about what I like and don’t like. I know that doesn’t make much sense, because it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

For a while, I worked on a project with my dad, my brother, and a friend of the family. We would write reviews of anything that interested (food, technology, sports, movies, etc) and places we visited. It was a fun experience and it’s still something I’ve been trying to do on my own for quite some time. I’ve lessened my scope (tech and entertainment) since I’d be doing this on my own, but even then I’ve found it difficult to keep up with it.

I’ve always thought it’d be cool to have a YouTube channel and my own personal website with reviews, opinion pieces, and impressions. I kind of have both those things, but I think they can definitely use some work.

Even though I want to keep to myself, for some reason I have this desire to share what I like and reach out to others and have a community where we can talk about these things. I know there are plenty of people that do this, so the hard part is trying to figure out what makes me different from the other voices. I personally think I’m better at writing than I am at speaking. I can take my time and think about what I want to say in a written format than I can while speaking. I want to branch out and do more video content, so I’ll see if I can implement that somehow.

As far as my objectives are, I would like to do the following:

  • Share what I believe is worth a person’s time and money
  • Be more active on my personal social media and not hide behind anonymous accounts

That’s it for now. This might change later on, I really don’t know. But this is what’s been on my mind as of late, so hopefully I can stick with it.

Reverse Engineer: Arby’s Facebook Post

Since 2016, Arby’s has been making some really cool ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Rather than simply display the food they sell at their restaurant, they’ve been including pop culture, gaming, and cartoon cardboard creations in their ads. It’s been rather successful, as people tend to tell Arby’s social media channels to give the person or people who design these ads a raise. They continue to make these neat ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 9.14.55 PM.png

What is the main purpose of the ad?

The main purpose of the ad is to ultimately get people to go to Arby’s by including pop culture in their ads.

What are the ad’s strengths?

The ad uses a character very familiar to children, teenagers, and adults. Pikachu has been around since the late 90s, and Pokemon continues to be a popular anime and video game series for some adults who grew up on Pokemon and children who are becoming interested in Pokemon. The ad also includes a drink and mozzarella sticks to get people to want to come to Arby’s and eat their food.

What are the ad’s weaknesses?

One weakness is the lack of words in the ad itself. The Facebook post has the words, “Ready to call down the thunder?” but it really isn’t calling the audience to act. It’s a cool phrase, considering Pikachu is an electric type Pokemon and he’s also dressed up as a luchador, but it doesn’t necessarily tell people to go to Arby’s other than being an awesome looking ad design.

What is the ad trying to accomplish with its design?

With this design, I think the ad is trying to tell its audience that they’re aware of pop culture, gaming, and cartoons that are beloved by many people throughout the world and connect with people that way. It’ll get you thinking about going to Arby’s because of the cool design directions they’re implementing on their social media channels.

What metrics (likes, shares, retweets, etc.) will be used to determine if the ad is successful?

Likes, shares, and comments will be used to determine if the ad is successful. The ad has over 56,000 likes, it was shared nearly 7,600 times, and has received over 1,600 comments.

Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo Snapchat Lens

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 8.38.14 PM.pngOn May 5, 2016, Taco Bell had some fun by giving Snapchat users the chance of a lifetime: changing their heads into giant taco shells. The campaign only lasted one day, but managed to acquire 224 million views. Snapchat stated that the number of unique plays equated to 12.5 years of individual plays on that single day. The lens also included the Taco Bell “bong” sound.

According to Adweek, Taco Bell’s social strategy team worked closely with Snapchat to create the Snapchat Lens. This took about six weeks. The media outlet also reported that this type of ad format costs around $750,000 for holiday lenses and big events, such as the Super Bowl. There’s a good chance Taco Bell spent that amount or more for their sponsored campaign on Snapchat.

The brand was tacos from Taco Bell and the objective was to get people to use their Snapchat filter and have an appetite for something from Taco Bell.

I believe one of the principles being used by this campaign was the presentation principle. This campaign garnered 224 million views in a single day. People were not afraid to embarrass themselves and turn their heads into a Taco Bell taco. I believe this also falls under the attention principle. This Snapchat Lens definitely provided the attention a person would desire by using this filter. I personally found it pretty funny, and I still do to this day. This was a very successful social media campaign by Taco Bell. They may have spent a lot of money, but they managed to gain a lot of success. The numbers speak for themselves.

Slide Design Ad Campaign

by Trevor Albrethsen

For our final project of the semester, we were required to look for an ad and make an ad that fit the same style and design. We were also supposed to make a slide presentation that describes our findings through reverse engineering and then explain how our ad is consistent with the one we found via the Internet.

“WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.” Nike Ad Campaign

The ad I chose to reverse engineer was the “WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.” ad campaign by Nike. It features LeBron James, an iconic and prolific basketball in the NBA. Love him or hate him, millions upon millions of people know who he is and what he’s done in the NBA.

My new ad

The first thing I’d like to talk about is design. The ad’s design consists of a black background an a grayscale photograph of the athlete. The grayscale photo adds a dynamic feel and look to the ad. It really stands out more than it would if it were in color. The black background helps you focus in on the photograph of LeBron James as well.

It might be a little hard to read it in this image, but there are two lines of text in this ad. One says, “WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.” The other is a website to go to. You can see it better in the first image I posted on this post. Although both are serif font, they don’t clash due to the size differences between the two.

This slide focuses more on the colors found in this image or lack thereof. Honestly, I think Nike made the right choice by using a black background and a grayscale photograph because it helps LeBron James stand out even more. It’s an awesome looking photo and the choice to use these colors, or lack thereof, was a great design decision in my opinion.

For my ad, I found a photograph of Marcus Mariota. He is now in the NFL, but this photograph was taken while he was at the University of Oregon. This photograph shows him escaping from the UCLA tackler. What it doesn’t show is the awesome touchdown he scored. Anyway, I chose this photo because it was honestly the only one I could find. That being said, I really like it and I think it does a good job of following the “WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.” ad campaign started by Nike. It’s also a grayscale photograph and has a black background to help the audience focus specifically on the action being done by the athlete.

After making my own ad, I have realized how much the ad focuses in on the athlete. Everything is blacked out so you don’t have to block out what’s going on around the athlete. I really liked this ad campaign even though it was a little cumbersome trying to make everything but the two football players blacked out.

My new ad


Original Marcus Mariota Image:

Nike Logo:

A Creative Take on a Linksys Ad

by Trevor Albrethsen

This week’s project required us to create an ad using Adobe Photoshop. I’ve used Photoshop in the past, but I’ve never created my own content before. This project was a lot of fun and I like how my ad turned out.

For my creative ad, I made a Linksys ad. All of us had to use a generator that determined what product we would be advertising. The product I received was a wireless router. For the brand, I chose Linksys because they’re well known for making wireless routers. The generator also determined who would my audience would be. My audience consisted of males between the ages of 25-34 that are single, earned a Bachelors degree, have an income of $15,000 to $39,000, and consume media via television and social media.

My ad consists of free images found on Unsplash and Pixabay. I used four to make my ad. I used a picture that is of the Earth and the Moon from space, an astronaut floating in space, an iPhone 7, and a hand holding an iPhone. I’ll be sure to include the links and in this post.

The colors I wanted to focus most on in this image are white, black, and blue. The Earth is mostly blue due to the ocean. Space is relatively black, and there’s a good amount of white in this picture because of the font color, the astronaut, and the clouds.

The ad above is supposed to be a TV ad, with full resolution of 1920×1080. I created a television ad because that is one of the forms of media my audience consumes. I feel it is relatable because young adults are always wanting to be on Wi-Fi through their electronic devices. In the ad above, there are two iPhones, one of which belongs to the astronaut. He is floating after his lost iPhone 7.

This next image is my social media ad. It is a smaller version, as social media ads are smaller in size. The resolution for this image is 400×209. It would be used on a social media website such as Facebook. I did my best to keep the text the same in both versions of the ad, as I felt the text played an important role in the ad itself. I made sure to keep the logo of the brand and the astronaut chasing after his phone since the whole purpose of this ad is to give the impression that this particular router can be used anywhere—even in space.

For the font, I chose a serif font for the words “Stay Connected” and a sans-serif font for the text below it. It provides a good amount of contrast despite both bodies of text being white. I chose white because it was easier to see that color with the black background.

I really enjoyed making these two ads for my project. It was very difficult at first because I had no idea where to go. After much thought, I decided it would be best to take this ad to space. I was aiming for an ad that was “out of this world” and I hope I achieved that.

Image Attribution:

Earth photo by qimono —

Astronaut photo by NASA —

iPhone 7 photo by Alex Holyoake —

iPhone in Hand photo by Oliur Rahman —