Things We Love, November

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Every month at Echo, we curate a list of our favourite stories and share them with our Echo community. This month, the things we love include…

….this ad satirizing YOLO in the name of the environment.

Echo’s Senior Editor of Images and Content Jane Hope summarized this video as such: “From California ad agency 72andSunny and eco-friendly brand Seventh Generation, this whip-smart ad pokes fun at self-absorbed millennial social media that also delivers a powerful message about waste in just over a minute.”


 …Bookey’s rules for a happy life. 

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Echo Founder and President Samantha Reynolds recently sat down with her family to come up with a family mission statement. “I’m a nerd about these things,” she explains, “and finally forced everyone to brainstorm with me over a weekend. What was surprising was how into the experience my son, Bookey, was. He wanted to have his own list and he called it ‘Bookey’s rules for a happy life.’ He rattled off 10 of them in about two minutes. Here they are. Thought you might all like a window into his sweet and wacky world.”


… 50 years of Whistler Blackcomb.

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Whistler Blackcomb created a movie to tell its story – from a pipe dream to North America’s largest ski resort. Though we highly recommend the full video, the first 1:55 gives a nice sneak peek into the film – and will get you jazzed for the new ski season. Echo Project Manager Elena Janssen explains her pick. “I think they could have easily made a two-hour film out of Whistler/Blackcomb’s history – it’s a great story. Fun fact: my dad first skied there in December 1965, just one month before it opened (he was on ski patrol and claims he wasn’t one of the dirty hippies).”


… reimagined Monsters.

Art by Guillaume Kurkdjian
Art by Guillaume Kurkdjian

The Monster Project is simple,” says Elena. “Kids draw monsters, and artists from around the world recreate them.” In the process, she says, kids get a personal example of how their creativity can grow, and a lasting memory of how big their imagination once was. Plus, it’s timely, because their Kickstarter fundraiser ends today (Monday, November 30). Click on over to donate.”


… Snapchat stories that work.

Echo Community Engagement Manager Taryn Hardes keeps an eye on all social media trends. Recently, she noted that Vox joined Snapchat’s Discover function on November 23 and says that with just one day’s story, she was sold. In her words, here’s why:

  1. Subject matter – since Vox is all about graphs and graphics, the visual nature of Snapchat is ideal for their content.
  2. Sound – every page of Vox’s story can be enjoyed without sound. Since I frequently watch Discover to kill time when out and about, I want something I can consume visually.
  3. Animation – the animation of the graphs in the story add to the meaning rather than detract from it.
  4. Optional “Read More” – too many publishers are relying on “Swipe up to read more” on Snapchat. I can read a full article on your website. I want your Snapchat story to show me, not tell me, about the topic.
  5. Music – though it seems to be a requirement for Discover that publishers use terrible background music, Vox’s background music is the least annoying of the bunch.


…Pixar’s rules of storytelling.


You may have read or seen these rules before, but we can’t overstate their power–or re-readability. Echo Art Director, Cathy Smith, recently re-read the list, saying simply, “Pixar attributes its success to the belief that story trumps all. We tend to agree.”


…the story of six-pack abs.


Echo Content Strategy Director Shannon Emmerson has recently developed a crush on the ideas of Andy Raskin, who coaches startups and leadership teams on strategic messaging. In this article on Medium, Raskin looks at the example of Men’s Health magazine’s ubiquitous cover story on how to get six-pack abs, and reminds teams that it’s ok to repeat your story or message — as long as it’s the story or message your audience craves. The shorthand question: what’s your brand’s six-pack abs story?


…mitten season!

Our (American) Lead Generation Specialist Carly Olsten is a sucker for Canadian red mittens. “This month I invested in the 2015, 7th edition pair. They are cozy, fierce, and go towards helping the Olympic athletes! 30% of sales go toward the Canadian Olympic Foundation to help athletes gain access to top coaches and equipment.”


… digital gaming.

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Echo’s Digital Strategist John Bucher discovered Line Rider nearly seven years ago—and lately he’s drawn to it again. It’s a seductively simple Web game—its creator prefers “toy”—in which you create, from a canvas of limitless digital space, a track down which to send a little man in a toboggan. The laws governing Line Rider’s universe are few. He can slide. He can jump. He can fall. And perhaps because the pieces fit together in only so many ways, the game recalls the undirected creative play of childhood, the sort you might have done with Lego or Tonka toys, always with high seriousness and total absorption, your tongue stuck out in concentration, alert to the sense that creating an arbitrary something out of nothing is an act both consequential and profound. But fun, mainly. Check Line Rider out for yourself here.