QDOBA’s New Chicken Diablo is Fire!

What do you get when you combine tortilla chips, Grilled Adobo Chicken, in-house pickled jalapeños, extra spicy habanero salsa and QDOBA’s signature Queso Diablo? Something no other fast-casual restaurant can offer: pure fire.

What do you get when you team Mistress up with QDOBA Mexican Eats? Also: pure fire.

Of course, we mean “fire” in the metaphorical sense. QDOBA’s new Chicken Diablo Nachos are actually fresh, spicy, flavorful, and a whole lot more. Just like our ongoing partnership, which just produced a new commercial for the fantástico new Diablo offerings.

Check out the fiery spot below.

Facebook bans Myanmar military officials to prevent spread of “hate and misinformation”

The ban comes as the UN issues a damning report accusing Myanmar’s military of genocide against the Rohingya people.

Just as the UN issued a damning report accusing Myanmar’s military of genocide against the Rohingya people, Facebook has announced it has banned 20 individuals and organizations from the site in Myanmar. That ban includes 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account, and 52 Facebook Pages, which in total were followed by over 12 million people:

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Fast Company Feature: Land O’Lakes Anthem ‘SHE-I-O’

Maggie Rose’s “Old MacDonald” is a feminist farmer anthem for Land O’ Lakes

BY JEFF BEER

It’s rare when branded content manages to raise its head above the fray of our fractured media landscape. Efforts like Nike’s Breaking2 doc, GE’s The Message podcast, or the artful inspiration in Yeti’s ongoing short film series often invite a repeated refrain by many marketing professionals citing those brands’ size, scale, or product fit as making it easier to create quality and unique content. Land O’ Lakes’s newest campaign blows all those excuses out of the water.

The dairy brand known for its butter and cheese is not only the benefactor for country artist Maggie Rose’s newest single and music video; it also worked with The Martin Agency to create the “All Together Better” campaign around it to raise awareness and celebrate female farmers ahead of Women’s Equality Day on August 26. “She-I-O” is the song, written with Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose, and the video features real women farmers who are part of Land O’Lakes’s cooperative of 1,791 farmers. The company also partnered with hunger relief organization Feeding America to donate $1 for every like, share, or comment on the video or music track across social media, SoundCloud, and iTunes, up to $100,000.

It’s not a brand or product category that anyone would immediately link to pop culture, but Land O’ Lakes managed to find a way to do so that doesn’t feel forced or superficial, and ties directly back to both its product and brand values. An impressive feat with a country twang.

Read full article here.

Google’s Broad Core Algorithm Update: What We Know

Post by Chris Chapa, Content Director

BACKGROUND

Did you (or your clients) notice a shakeup in keyword rankings throughout the first week of August? If so, you’re not alone. Google recently confirmed the release of a “broad core algorithm update” on August 1st through their SearchLiaison Twitter account, stating that there would be some broad changes made to Google’s ranking algorithm as well as some “specific improvements” meant to increase the quality of search results. As is common with these announcements from Google, they were vague about what “specific improvements” entails, leaving webmasters to connect the dots themselves on what may have changed and how to adjust.

Although Google suggests that broad core algorithm updates are routine and happen many times throughout the year, not all updates cause the kind of performance fluctuations observed across the board since this most recent change, dubbed the “Medic Update.” As SEO practitioners, we dissect these announcements from Google to try and discern what specific factors have gained or lost importance as it relates to influencing organic keyword rankings. Failing that, we turn to the greater search community to share insights and gain some broad perspective on the impact of the algorithm update. Moz reports that the change appears to have hit websites in the Health and Wellness vertical the most, leading to a great deal of volatility in organic keyword rankings. At a broader level, it seems that this most recent update is a general “tightening up” of the results to favor websites with greater perceived expertise, authoritativeness, or trust within a given vertical or industry.

WHAT WE KNOW

At Performics, we’ve noticed that, in general, our SEO clients’ keyword rankings have seen a positive impact since the rollout of this broad core algorithm update. One of our clients was even included as part of Moz’s “Top 30 Winners” coming out of the seven day period over which the algorithm change was rolled out from July 31 – August 7. Since we work with our SEO clients to optimize their existing content and build new content to improve their authority and expertise for their given industry or vertical, we’re encouraged to see Google align their algorithm to reward those efforts and make search results more useful for their users.

To learn more about Google’s broad core algorithm change, contact Performics today.

The post Google’s Broad Core Algorithm Update: What We Know appeared first on Performics.

Friday Reading #148

Good morning everyone. It really is a good morning too! This
Friday is blessed to be sandwiched between National Burger Day (if you missed
it yesterday, treat yourself today) and a Bank Holiday weekend. Lovely stuff.

Some other lovely stuff we’ve found this week…

If you’re at a loose end this weekend, you could do worse
than checking the London
Street Photography Festival
out. It’ll definitely get the creative
juices flowing!

Love award winning films but don’t have time to watch any?
Fear not, Giphy has you covered by launching the first ever film
festival for works no longer than 18 seconds
.

Of course, if you don’t have time to watch a film, you
definitely don’t have time to read a classic novel (at least, that’s what you
tell yourself. We understand). Fortunately the New York Public Library’s got
your back by turning classic
novels into Instagram stories
.

Speaking of doing stuff ‘for the gram’, this
trend
identified by Barclays is an interesting, if somewhat damning,
insight into customer purchasing behaviour.

If you find all that cynical fakery is getting you hot under
the collar, we suggest that you take 90, an awesome campaign in its
conception and a great cause to boot.

Finally, this petal-paint
brings a whole new meaning to flower power. Living proof that a great creative
idea can spring up in any category, at any time!

Being a better human – How to give better positive feedback

I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.

Benjamin Barber

Digital marketing is one of the most rapidly evolving fields. It exists in a symbiotic relationship to the evolution of Google, Facebook, and other technological advancements. Rand Fishkin on a Whiteboard Friday, recently called our attention to “8 Old SEO Practices that are No Longer Effective,” because in this industry, if you’re not constantly learning, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant. In order to be effective in this ever-evolving field, we have to be obsessed, excited, and persistent in our pursuit of knowledge. One often overlooked approach to promoting this kind of mental agility is in getting better at giving and receiving positive feedback.

We’ve known for a few decades that positive feedback is as important as critical feedback, and according to some studies, even more impactful in its ability to create high performing teams. But Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor draws our attention to the fact we typically spend far less time crafting our positive assertions over our negative or critical. In this way, you may be unintentionally diminishing yourself, your peers, or your employees by being flippant with positivity.

Do Encourage. Don’t Praise

Praise and encouragement are often used interchangeably in business settings, but there’s a world of a difference. If you’re familiar with Carol S. Dweck (Ph.D) and her book  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, praise sits firmly in a fixed mindset whereas encouragement deals with growth. Yes, they’re both positive vehicles for expression, but praise, in a literal, dictionary sense, expresses favorable judgement, approve, and glorifies perfection. It may be very gratifying to hear a boss or colleague exclaim, off-the-cuff, “Wow, you’re such a great writer!” or well-intentioned expressions of “you’re creative, talented, smart,” and so on. But you wouldn’t accept these statements in reverse, would you? In a work setting if someone called you a “terrible writer” or “not creative,” we’d recognize these statements as inhibiting to growth. We have to do the same for praise.

Imagine, for a moment, the skills or areas you’ve maybe given up because you weren’t immediately good at them. From, “I’m a terrible cook,” to “I’m a naturally messy person,” you’ve probably made a statement or two about yourself from a fixed mindset. While that might be fine in some areas, if you’re working in digital marketing, do not accept anything that diminishes your work, effort and ability to pursue new heights of knowledge.

Praise, intentionally or unintentionally, creates codependency and deprives the receiver of acknowledgement for their work or effort in becoming a good writer, in appearing knowledgeable. The receiver of praise is more likely to depend on others for their feelings of self-worth or their desire to change. This same research Carol Dweck used for Mindset has shown that praise can create “approval junkies” instead of individuals with enhanced self-esteem. What’s worse, praise can actually hamper risk taking: individuals who were praised for being smart when they accomplished a task chose easier tasks in the future. They didn’t want to risk making mistakes.

In contrast, the very definition of encouragement is “to inspire with courage; to spur on.; to stimulate.” In the same research, individuals who were encouraged for their efforts were willing to choose more challenging tasks when given a choice.

Encouragement focuses on the process, the work, the action. It acknowledges one’s abilities are only a starting point for your potential and recognizes effort over results alone. In gearing your positive feedback towards encouragement, you allow the receiver of the feedback to change for themselves, to learn how to think and self-evaluate rather than relying solely on others.

Encouraging yourself and those around you will steer you towards growth mindset – the ideal framework for lifelong learning.

A four-step guide to Better Feedback

So how do you encourage and avoid praise? Let’s talk through the steps using an example situation.

Say your colleague, John, was supposed to put together a slide deck for a presentation in two weeks. In the same deadline, John put together two presentations, one for the client and one for his team. It was clear the two decks used the same data and were related, so time was used effectively, but they were successfully streamlined to their different audiences.

It might be very tempting to offer flippant, easy praise like, “Wow, that’s awesome! You’re so on top of it!” But what does that give John except knowing you liked it?

  1. Start with something specific and observable

You might start with something as simple as “Hey John! I noticed you put together two presentations instead of one!” Yes, a total no brainer, but it never hurts to start with something at which you can easily point.

  1. Acknowledge or draw attention to the qualities of the work (vs the person)

What about the work, the effort, or the details were good? “I appreciate that you put in the extra effort to address our two different audiences.” Even acknowledging when someone did more than was asked can be powerful.

  1. Own its impact on you

This is where it gets personal and authentic, even though you’re using an easy to replicable guide.

What about the work was positive to you specifically? If you’re a member on John’s team it might be, “I feel really prepared going into this client meeting since you took the time to brief the team first.” From a manager’s perspective, maybe,“ This will save me a lot of time, I anticipated having to do this myself!”   

  1. Ask more questions

If you skip all the other steps, this is the one to practice and repeat. Ask. More. Questions. Allowing someone to reflect with you what was successful about their work, owning what made it worth acknowledgement is what will create a learner for life. I’m going to rattle off a handful of questions, but I bet you can think of a dozen more.

  • “John, this is awesome. Can I share these presentations as stellar examples in the future?”
  • “How did you know that two presentations would be more useful?”
  • “Is this a part of your job you love doing? Would you like more opportunities like this?”

Pro Tip: This same four-step approach is easily used for constructive feedback as well.

Food for thought

I recently led a “Praise vs Encouragement” training with the Distilled consulting team in Seattle. One concern that was brought up was the feeling of authenticity. Doesn’t positive feedback need to be authentic to be effective, and won’t something this formal run the risk seeming fake? We’ve all been on the receiving end of a “praise sandwich,” another formalized way to give positive feedback. This “sandwich” is where two positive pieces of feedback frame a piece of constructive criticism in the middle, but often feels forced to the receiver. “This report is very detailed. But you’ll need to rewrite the last third of it. But, I love the font you chose!” Ick.

This four-step method for encouragement is meant to make you think differently about feedback. If you’re genuine in owning the impact step and are curious with your questions, it will still be an authentic expression. But it will definitely feel weird to think this way during the learning process.

We’d love to hear from you: put it in practice. Try this four-step approach for giving feedback in or out of work – it’s especially a good one to try with kids – and let us know what you think!

I have always been deeply motivated by outstanding achievement and saddened by wasted potential.

Carol Dweck

Back-to-School 2018 Forecast

Back-to-school (BTS) and back-to-college (BTC) spending are generally forecast to end up strong again this year, according to a number of recent reports. Marketing Charts reviews spending trends from the NRF’s back-to-school (BTS) survey, and takes a look at key data points from 2018 research, including Integer’s Back-to-School issue of “The Checkout.” Download the whole issue from Shopper Culture HERE.

Designers at top companies don’t use trendy fonts. Here’s what they use instead

“People don’t look like their Instagram shots. True. People are not as happy as their Facebook profiles are trying to convince us. True. And designers don’t use all that trendy font combinations. True.”

What typefaces do designers at top startups really use? According to some fun new research from the icon company Icon8, it’s not the latest, trendiest fonts. Instead, in practice, they used tried and true system typefaces–and that’s not all they discovered about the theory versus practice of these designers.

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In conversation with… Dario Mitidieri

Every month we feature a different artist in our 3×3 Instagallery. This month, our artist in residence is photojournalist Dario Mitidieri, twice winner in the World Press Photo contest.

01

So Dario, we’re storytellers, you’re a storyteller. How central is storytelling in your work?

Since I have started working as a photojournalist back in 1987, storytelling has been at the centre of my work. Being able to tell a story through pictures is a mental process and an exciting way to experience a new situation, regardless if is the backstage of a fashion show or a shelter for street children in India. It is a satisfying way to look at life and often I feel incredibly privileged to witness and experience something that most people will not be able to.

04

And what gets you in the mood to create? What sparks your creative juices?

What gets me inspired the most is the work of other photographers. And not necessarily the work of great masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado or Robert Frank, to name of few. But especially the work of emerging photographers, who often risk their lives to cover important stories, with little or no money. This is very evident when attending the World Press Photo ceremony in Amsterdam or the international festival of photojournalism Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, where incredible work created by incredibly talented photographers is on display. In most cases the work is self financed and hardly published in the printed media.

Bombay, India, 1992

Tell us your secret, what makes a great shot?

When I look at a photograph I always ask myself “What’s the point?”. Is it a photograph with great content? Does it convey a social meaning? Does it move me? Does it inspire me? Is it aesthetically amazing? Does it have a great composition? A good photo should have at least one of these requisites. A great photo will have all of them!

My opinion about what makes a great shot has not changed, but my opinion about the delivery of great photos has. For the most part of my professional life, I have always been drawn towards analogue black and white photography and reportage photography in particular, whilst now I have embraced all mediums, including digital photography, fine art and photography shot on different cameras and gadgets such as potable phones, as long as my question is answered: “What’s the point?”

06

What should the creative industries do more of?

What I would love to see more is for the creative industry to push more for social responsibility. There is no reason why advertising could not be used in a more challenging way, by telling stories about big brands whilst raising money and awareness. Global campaigns, involving global brands, where advertising can be used to sell products as well as to promote social change. I am not a particular fan of Oliviero Toscani, but I love what he did at Benetton. Oliviero Toscani MADE Benetton with his controversial ‘United Colors of Benetton’ campaign, whilst using the power of advertising to bring into the open subjects such as AIDS, Sex and Religion.

08

What tips do you have for young artists?

“Don’t give up”, of course. The creative industry, and photography in particular, is a tough and often brutal industry. There will be a lot of setbacks and becoming a working photographer is a rollercoaster ride. When going on job’s interviews, don’t believe other people telling you that your work is great. Most likely they are lying. Put you ego aside and ask instead for a truthful and critical review of your portfolio.

07

Last of all, what’s next for Dario Mitidieri?

On a smaller scale, I am going to Rome next week and again at the end of September to shoot a rebranding campaign for a re-launched hotel. What makes the project interesting is that I have not been asked to photograph the hotel in a traditional way, but instead to tell story of the hotel by photographing the experiences that the hotel has to offer and the historical context of the location.

I am also in discussion with a NGO working with street children in Afghanistan and hopefully I will be involved in this campaign as well.

Exciting stuff and a nice mix, happy shooting!

09