Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

Ecommerce Christmas: A Journey To Holiday Success

As part of the holiday festivities around Brand Labs’ offices, our design team mocked up a holiday card. While that may not seem impressive at first, keep in mind this card doesn’t just include employees posing in ugly sweaters or simply offer well wishes. Instead, this holiday card is a road map to holiday success in the ecommerce world. A Journey To Holiday Success, if you will.

Below is the final product and below that is the original sketch our designer Tim drew, before making it digital and extra awesome. Plus, the two step-process does a great job reinforcing our full-scale design skills, for any companies who might be interested in having us design logos and site graphics.

Enjoy the journey and have a great holiday season!

Original Sketch:


Twas The (Last Online Shopping) Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the last online shopping night before Christmas, and all through the house,

The only thing you could hear was me clicking my mouse.

In the cold dark of night, my computer screen glowed

Searching RetailMeNot for the right coupon code.

My laptop sputtered and chugged as I browsed all the Net.

There were gremlins inside it, I’m willing to bet!

eBay loaded so slow that I just felt betrayed.

I should’ve bought my computer from Mac of All Trades.

Could my presents arrive by December 24th?

Six days? Was I ordering from the pole in the north?

And I wanted free shipping, but it was too late.

Amazon wanted 35 bucks for that date!

And then, from behind, I heard a tiny voice squeak.

It shocked me so much that I let out a shriek!

I shot from my chair and I covered my screen

Before the pictures upon it could ever be seen.

Standing there was my son, his young eyes all agape,

His pajamas, the dark purple of a sugar plum or a grape;

His hair was all tousled, his big belly stuck out,

And I think there was drool coming out of his mouth.

He had seen all of Star Wars for the very first time,

And all he wanted ever since was to be a Jedi.

After days on the hunt, I found the most perfect gift.

A light saber from Ultra Sabers — and the shipping was swift!

So I gave him a cookie and I sent him to bed,

And in the silence, I thought I’d heard the faint sound of a sled?

The soft jingling of bells on the snow-covered roof,

Then the click-clack of…no, couldn’t be…not a hoof.

The hour was late, and my mind was perplexed,

Clearly lacking in sleep. Would I hear reindeer calls next?

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!”

I flew to the window and poked my head out.

From the roof up above, I had heard a great shout,

But when I looked all around, there was little but night:

Empty streets, barren sky, save a craft taking flight.

I ran to the living room when the vessel was gone.

In my stocking, a new disc: Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn!

On the table, mere crumbs of cookies left on a plate,

The glass of milk empty, a Thank You note set in place.

And the pile of gifts had swelled ‘neath the tree:

Brand new bikes, air purifiers (of course from Oransi),

And, oh, the very thing my whole family needed most:

A Shore Ex vacation going up the east coast!

My shopping was over; the presents, they came.

I whispered my thanks to the gift-giver by name.

For free shipping, I’d not had to pay one more dime.

St. Nick had delivered – screw you, Amazon Prime!

-Happy Holidays, from the entire Brand Labs family.

Seasons Greetings from Brand Labs

Seasons Greetings from Brand Labs

In our quest to keep up with the latest web technologies, apps, and social media sites, Brand Labs thought it would be fun to play with Vine to create a special holiday message for all our clients and everyone everywhere. Our whole team got together and made some short Vine videos that we’ve assembled into a special webpage.

From all of us at Brand Labs, we wish you the best this holiday season!
Now cuddle up next to your fireplace and Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and check out the fun →

Charlie Brown Tree

10 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Buy Online

Asking if Brand Labs loves ecommerce is like asking if Jeff Bridges makes awesome movies. The answer is obvious.  (We are still debating on whether or not the Tron remake did the original justice, but we’re also realists. We understand that even awesome things may not be awesome for everything. For example, The Dude will go down in history as one of the great characters in American cinema, while the whiny, sex-phobic math nerd Bridges played in The Mirror Has Two Faces just makes us sad.) That said, we’re well aware ecommerce isn’t 100% ideal for every, single purchase you make.

To help you avoid any potential problems that could arise from copping certain items off the Internet, here are ten purchases you might be better off making in person. You do remember how that works, right?


Google Follows in Brand Labs’ Footsteps

Screenshot of Google I/O 2012 Nexus Tablet IntroductionGoogle is, at this very moment, holding their annual developers’ conference, which would be big enough news, but they also used the opportunity to introduce their new tablet computer, the Nexus 7 and the odd, spherical media hub called the Nexus Q.  Google’s entry into the tablet game has been a long time coming, so tech nerds from across the globe were glued to their livestreaming feeds to catch a glimpse – and they also got a glimpse of something else: Brand Labs’ ability to stay way, waaaaay ahead of the curve.

In order to demonstrate the Nexus 7′s media-playing abilities, Google chose the new album, Coastlines by Detroit band, FAWN.  They even played some of All The Lights, the first track on the album.  Now if the name FAWN sounds familiar to you, it may be because they were featured on Brand Labs’ only foray into musical & scientific self-promotion – the Audiosonic Identiglyph.

The Audiosonic Identiglyph was created as a universal geolocation system that would allow any user armed with a simple phonograph (or “record player”) and a basic, functional knowledge of the Goertzel algorithm and global cartography to be able to locate Brand Labs’ corporate offices with some degree of accuracy.

The Audiosonic Identiglyph featured Hip Parade by FAWN on the B-Side and was released in a star-studded brunch gala at Detroit’s very own Steak Hut.  (If you’re ever in town, we strongly recommend Gus’s homemade hash browns, which are like little greasy slices of starch heaven.)

So, anyway, the point is that Google is totally on Brand Labs’ jock.  There.  We said it.  We had FAWN first.  Your move, Google.  Bring it.

Also, if you want to catch FAWN, you can do so at the CBGB Festival in NYC from July 5-8.  It’ll be worth the effort.  Brand Labs says so… and now so does Google.  What more do you need?

We’re Going to Make You Cry, Then (While You’re Emotionally Vulnerable) We’re Going to Talk About Ecommerce In a Way That May Seem Crass In Context, But We Assure You That Our Motives Are Pure, So Just Go With It

While searching the Internet this morning for important new pictures of baby sloths, we stumbled on the video we’ve posted below.  Before you play it, we’d like to warn you about a few things.  First, it’s eleven minutes long.  Second, you’re going to want to watch all of it.  Finally, unless your heart is a tiny, ice-cold cinder, you’re going to cry.  We’re misting up just thinking about it, but that might be because we’re also listening to Sarah McLachlan, so we’re probably thinking about that frigging animal shelter commercial that always drops like a bomb into the middle of whatever lighthearted romp you’re watching on TV and brings your life to a screeching halt while you scrape together all of your change to donate just so you can make all the big-eyed homeless puppies stop crying in HD all up in your grill.

The video below is the opposite of that.  Enjoy.


Okay… now just pull yourself together now so we can talk about this like the totally composed businesspeople we are.  So, that was deeply charming on a lot of levels – the boundless and inspiring enthusiasm of youth, the near-universal love of The Arcade and the way that something so frivolous can bind us all at such a basic level, the unqualified support of a working class father for his son’s passion project, the pride of accomplishment – there’s a lot of real genuine heart-string-plucking going on here.

but did you notice how no one gave a crap about Caine’s Arcade until a savvy outsider stepped in and started a social media campaign in support of it?  Did you further notice that Caine’s Arcade also benefited from the Holy Grail of viral luck – an appearance on the front page of reddit?  The Internet basically prevented this from being an incredibly sad or possibly even heart-crushingly tragic story.  Let’s talk about how all of this could have played out after the jump…


What the World Googled in 2011

Google has produced their 2011 Google Zeitgeist report. The report takes Google’s amazing collection of data to show just what people across the globe cared about in 2011. We can only assume that the appearance of Rebecca Black has more to do with people looking forward to Friday (the day) as opposed to actually seeking out her mind-grinding pop hit of the same name.  (We need to believe that in order to retain or faith in humanity.)

We’re crazy about Google and searching in general.  We’re always searching for things.  Ask anyone.  Our friends call us “Google McSearchypants.”  We love search so much that watching this video makes us a little verklempt.  (Google it.)

Here’s wishing you (and everyone) a healthy, happy and search-worthy 2012!


Google Analytics Gets Even Nerdier and More Funner

Google Exclusive Android Mini Collectible by Google and Dead ZebraAs we mentioned a while back, our VP, Dane Downer, just visited the Google Campus for an invitation-only Google Analytics Summit.  Of course, he was there for very thinky/business-related reasons.  After all, going to the Google Campus to learn about analytics is like going to the Jersey shore to learn how to be an orange douchebag.  It’s nerd Mecca.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete nerd Mecca without toys – specifically, exclusive designer toys.

Behold the very cool and possibly kinda rare Google Analytics Android Collectible Mini Figure!   Dane brought this little treasure back from his trip (along with a proper boost in his already formidable interweb skills).  We subsequently destroyed any value it may have had by opening it so we could properly document it just for you.

We’re still die-hard iPhone users over here (mostly) but you must never look a gift toy in the mouth.

UPDATED: It turns out that Dead Zebra, the company that designed this figure for Google, is owned by Andrew Bell, who was in The 3D Art Book with our very own Kevin Skinner… and the circle of nerdiness is once again complete.

Enjoy the mini-gallery after the jump…





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