But Local First Facebook Ad

The ‘support local’ movement is a force driving change worldwide. It moves people to want to purchase fresh, healthy products from farmers. It creates a connection between shoppers, where we can ignite conversations to examine how we’re doing our part and why it’s so important. Products are showing up more readily and in places where you least expect to see them. Overall, there is a feeling of togetherness, kindness, and open-mindedness that helps promote awareness and captures the interest of new, existing, and prospective customers.

I wanted to create a fun digital ad that spoke to the nature of the ‘support local’ concept, one that explores options (expressed using a carousel format), eliminates predisposition (articulated in the ad copy), and ultimately grants us the ability to choose (the call-to-action ‘but local first’) – take action (decide what you want to eat for breakfast) or take action through inspiration (are your eggs local? Well, you can get them laid the same day of delivery! How awesome is that!). The inspiration trickles through in a matter of seconds affecting all those involved (conveyed through various images, colours, animation, and the image of a family). As individuals watching the ad, we feel more attuned to thinking about what’s on our plates, how it got there, where it comes from, and why our consumption habits can negatively or positively impact the planet. The focus remains on the following values –

Support local

Empower people

Help the planet

Grow the community

What are your thoughts on this ad? If I could make one change, I would use a graphic of a globe in place of the farming graphic (at the end of the video). Does it speak to you and make you feel empowered to support local? Let me know your thoughts; open to discussing with you!

Food for Thought

We all wonder about things, everyday things, that lead us to research and ponder.

For example, are you starting a new diet? Curious about trying fresh, healthy food? Just nosy about the history of something? Well, these graphics will satiate you.

The #AllAbout campaign explores a variety of fresh, local, and healthy products, giving customers the chance to learn something new in a colourful and digestible way. As part of an ongoing strategy to define the tagline #TrulyFarmtoTable, I explicitly position an image at the bottom of a newsletter, like my brother Alan would say when we were kids eating dinner at the dinner table –

“The Ultimate” a.k.a. the last bite.

It satisfies and perfectly wraps up the meal (conversely idea) (metaphorically conversation).

Are you munching on words or proverbial nuggets or just vegan nuggets?

Well, these images will work in the same way! Once again, satisfying and perfectly wrapping up your dinner.

Another analogy – who didn’t chew Bazooka bubble gum only to unwrap the tiny comic folded neatly on the inside? Take it apart. Pop the pink gum. Immediately unravel the humorous reward.

It’s a ritual in a sense, and these graphics were indeed a ritual to create. So, I hope you enjoy them and that they will entice you to…Munsch!

Instagram Grid Layouts

grid, which features multiple images split into a visually appealing frame, is one way to brand your business on Instagram. 

Three benefits (that connect in the end) – 

  • Command attention: make a lasting first impression; if a viewer’s average attention span is about eight seconds, they will have some time to absorb what you have to present to them.
  • Stand out: imprint your audience’s mind with a quick taste of your identity; give them immediate access to your information and interests while establishing credibility and authority.
  • Tell a targeted story: communicate who you are to your existing and potential followers while stimulating emotions, and on a practical side, organizing the layout of your images into a narrative.

I created these grids when reviewing the masses of content I have made over the past year for DirectFood. store’s email marketing strategy (a whole other topic on its own). I like how the colours and shapes seem to speak to one another, and the creative copy helps deliver a message in tune with the selected graphics and photographs.

If you like this sort of work, let me know. I’m happy to share more impromptu design posts here for you!

11 – Tripping

Daisy was always looking for inspiration, the appearance of cursive writing or the look of a padded, bulky knit sweater featuring crimson and indigo animal characters like Filburt. Anything creative, really, would do.

The day she noticed something, she quizzically peered into a bathroom mirror, hoping because she was in the large stall, her sweater would reverse. 

Utterly distracted, Daisy made a note never to do it again.

“My progress has become insuperable from all the months of writing exact-sized phrases and headlines with five words or less.” Daisy thought fast while twiddling her phone in her hand.

“Have things changed in A Day? What were things like when I first started anyhow?” she thought. “Well, I was definitely more satisfied. Had a bounce to my step, could care less about the matchy-ness of my outfits. I also felt more powerful, like people were listening to me, learning from me, and so on.”

Stroking her phone, Daisy continued, “However, today, everything is an exercise—an exercise in recalling (all types included).” Distracted, she goes on, “I have great hair, and my skin is young, it seems. On that note, ageing has not necessarily imparted more wisdom or money in my purse.”

She was always digressing.

Back home, Chona grabbed her fire orange Frank & Oak bucket bag and booked it out the door. She was late, again. Always leaving the house ten minutes post-shower. She hopped into her 2008 white Rogue and took off toward the light. 

The road was slick, and rain dripped down hard, like her binary code pleated skirt that streamed neon pink zeros and ones from her waist down to her thighs. 

She hated driving, though. It was dangerous in Elevententeen, and she knew one day it would kill her. Still, she cranked the radio and listened to old 90s songs like The Cranberries’ Linger. She hummed this tune imagining it more regal played on the baby grand piano at her dad’s house. 

When she sat back to play, his gigantic TV wouldn’t let her use the old music books, so she had to carefully balance grade 8 Royal Conservatory in volumes six, seven, eight and ten. The chords? They prevented her from falling. 

Daisy’s next big project was sitting in her bag. She put it in there to prevent its glorious shimmer from stirring the Outsiders’ eyes. It could kill, and she didn’t want to be a murderer tonight.

Finally arriving, she stepped out of her car. There were Dreams everywhere! She blinked. Then, blinked again. Her eyes started to roll back into her head, and she could feel the surge streaming now from her crown down to her feet, hiding neatly inside her red rain boots. 

In her room.

Someone painted her Brooklyn studio apartment bright orange-red! So, she knew the test had begun.

Should she attack? Chona could barely hold her head up, let alone break out into dance and song. She would just have to sleep it off, her phone continually buzzing that darn song. Then, like all the other times, she passed out. What remained Wide Awake in complete consciousness (forget Artha today) was her supple orange bucket bag. And within it, her project, slipping away…

The Modern Farming Community

How the Fraser Valley’s Modern Farming Community Is Driving the Evolution of AGTech on a Global Scale

Divided by the Vedder River and Sumas Mountain, the Fraser Valley ranks first in BC’s AG-driven economy with over $1 billion in gross farm income generated every year. As a result, the region is quickly becoming known as the AGTech Capital of Canada. Characterized by a gentler climate in winter months and intensely heated summers, this new title comes as no surprise.

Local farmers are armed with more than ideal growing conditions, terrain, weather, and viable water sources, providing them with the groundwork to grow diverse crops, including many fruits and vegetables in high demand and exported across the globe. Plus, with proximity to educational and research institutions, the region is becoming an epicentre for production and innovation, developing and producing world-class agriculture technology, known as “AGTech”.

For example, homegrown agriculture and food tech companies Agrilyze and DirectFood.store are joining hands to advance the food supply chain and improve food traceability. Since 71% of Canadians say they need to understand where their food comes from, these technological advancements play a huge role in helping the region progress.

Still, looking toward the future, the Fraser Valley faces many challenges, ranging from the seasonality of production to labour costs and supply to globalization and more. And like other farming regions worldwide, one of the biggest dilemmas we have to confront or face dire consequences, climate change.

For this particular reason, the agriculture industry is examining the foundations of farming and re-evaluating traditional methods of planting, collecting, and selling crops. A modern approach has been imminent for decades, and today, as the Fraser Valley leads the way, we are witnessing our paradigm shift. The Modern Farming Community changes our framework, including policies and approaches, to redefine how we acknowledge our conditions as much as changing the tools themselves.

More so focused on building farming systems that create beneficial outcomes, such as increased productivity and positive changes in socio-economic and environmental conditions, the MFC benefits impact farmers directly, not to mention our entire society. The main drivers, in this case, innovation, sustainability, and reliability are helping to transform the agriculture industry one step at a time.

The transformation includes sharing our successes and encouraging those with access to technology to consider developing stronger, smarter, and more advanced processes that also go beyond our regular expectations. Simply “do more with less” and ensure our actions lead to a reduced negative impact on our planet.

Our mission then is to continue to deliver real and sustainable technology solutions that will empower our people and planet on a local scale to make a global impact. The MFC concept is now at the precipice of attention and more relevant than ever as the agriculture industry evolves amidst the current crises and a rapidly growing population.

Farmers today are asking how a more modern approach can and will create substantial change, change that will protect and enrich the soil, reduce water needs, and decrease energy costs, just to name a few aspects. And connected to this, knowledge has become a considerable part of the bigger picture. Yet, we are still enthralled by our romantic vision of the traditional farmer, wheat in the mouth, tractor driving into the sunset.

Nevertheless, the picture has become much more significant. It is now comprised of a repository of technologies, ranging from drones, robotics, vertical farming operations, GIS, and GPS to the application of AI, machine learning systems, and more. Our farmers and others worldwide are using AGTech to help overcome new barriers or obstacles concerning productivity and the overall efficiency of their land.

The onset of the AGTech movement or our Modern Farming Community is giving our farmers a choice – intensify innovative, sustainable, and reliable practices that enable more intelligent, precision technologies or face the fate of the worldwide population rising to 9 billion by 2050.

As the Fraser Valley’s farming community evolves, newer methods are being used to optimize farm output. This includes adopting modern technologies that save time and costs. And as we develop more answers and solutions, the question becomes – how can we amalgamate the MFC fundamentals (innovation, sustainability, and reliability) with pure, actionable knowledge to continue to drive the changes that we see today?

Without a doubt, technology has become the baseline allowing us to meet our current and future needs for food, fibre, feed, and fuel. Our Modern Farming Community is the beginning of our examination. We must recognize the state of our planet and invest in developing new technologies to confront our challenges head-on and headstrong, causing a ripple effect of change.

So, unleash the power of AGTech to solve some of the world’s biggest problems? Yes, indeed. After all, we are now relying on agricultural innovations to increase the production of major crops – why wouldn’t we use it to help define a whole new planet? The pursuit starts right here, in the Fraser Valley, the AGTech Capital of Canada.

Self-Portrait 2021

Self-portrait August 2021 Chona Fe Canlas Blox Communications

“‘Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if only I knew how to begin.’ ‘For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.‘” – Alice In Wonderland

What happens when you lose your voice? You must force yourself to speak out loud, to as many people as possible. So often do I long to stand quietly and watch, blinking slowly at each word that exits from his mouth.

Then back to my mouth the words come again – you must speak to be free; you must believe and recount everything good that is happening. Because is it no longer impossible. It is not impossible, it is coming.

How Ad Imagery Could Translate Into Product Packaging

The stack of magazines was impressive. Elle, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit and People. As a 13-year old, I just wanted to fixate and rip, fixate and rip, fixate and rip. Slowly, I was adding to my expanding wall collection, and I was proud. How were the ‘best’ images selected, and what made them ‘iconic’? What mattered to me at the time—creativity, originality, colour, composition—made it onto my closet doors, locker and school binder clear insert. If I could think of these images in my sleep, they became iconic. I will never forget one in particular. The triangular red and white logo juxtaposed against a black and white photograph of a girl pouting while a man anticipates… 

What intrigues us about this image? Almost instantly, we find ourselves peering in, linked to the experience. We sense she is in the wrong place; however, we do not feel that she does not belong or would rather be elsewhere. Time and space are interrupted. We ask ourselves, “Will it occur?” But the chain of events does not matter. What matters is that we are suspended in a rare and captivating moment. And because the image is black and white, we are transported to the exact scene where the ‘film’ unravels. Then the bold red of the typeface and the logo bring us back to life, and we are suddenly alive; the advertisement has won us over…without a guess!

If we know that people can impact an ad’s efficacy, should we consider using people on food packaging? Could we use the interaction between a man and a woman on a coffee bag, for example? In my opinion, yes. Imagine this. A tired corporate executive finds herself standing in a Whole Foods Market. There is no one around. Soft music flutters in and out of her ears. She is standing in the coffee aisle, looking at bags and bags and bags. There’s so much unique packaging, she’s not sure what to choose. But then she sees it—a couple set in black and white. The photograph is beautiful; the packaging seems bound by eternal love as the image wraps fully around the product. It portrays something the executive longs for on a deeper level. “I’ll go for this,” she thinks, grabbing it to pay.

Using people in ad imagery is not a new concept, but could potentially be an innovative idea in the food and beverage domain. We know that ads are geared to make us think and feel. And there’s a whole range of themes emotional ads can trigger, from love to empathy to excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever spent valuable time and money on a product that didn’t trigger an emotion somehow. Even if it may go unrecognized—the power and influence of an emotional experience are unforgettable.

Should packaging portray a feeling using images of people? And if so, what are the most effective ways this can be executed?

How Art on Food Packaging Affects Decision-Making

Oldhand Coffee

Koichi Kiyono

Process

Luna Coffee

DFS Valentine’s Day Campaign

How to Impress My Valentine

A great campaign is built on a solid concept. It can stir our emotions and set our souls free to dream. Recently, I had the opportunity to put together a Valentine’s Day video campaign for DirectFood.store. It was a fantastic experience, and I am proud of the output. Here is a little bit more about it.

DirectFood.store is a DTC online grocery store delivery platform that sells fresh, local and organic food from local farmers and vendors to the community. As a brand, DirectFood.store aims to inspire and empower consumers to eat healthily, buy local, and learn more about the farm-to-table concept. Priority is placed on ensuring high-quality products, affordable pricing, and easy ordering, plus free delivery direct to the doorstep. 

For this particular campaign, our objectives are:

  • Increase brand awareness 
  • Connect with our target audience (young, millennial couples and families with kids; age 25-34 / baby boomers drawn to compelling video and who will purchase something based on its value; age 45-64)
  • Promote interest in our platform and products
  • Provide entertainment
  • Create a need for buying local, fresh & organic food from local farmers and vendors with free delivery direct to the doorstep

The campaign features BC blogger and influencer Chelsea Helm. We find her wondering how to impress her Valentine. While pondering an answer, she suddenly thinks of DirectFood.store. She decides to put together a thoughtful and delicious dinner for her partner. The campaign follows Chelsea through her decision-making process. She orders the ingredients, and they arrive at her doorstep. We then capture her preparing a steak and salad, setting the table and signing a Valentine’s day card. Will her Valentine make it in time? Will they be surprised? Ultimately, she shares with the audience that through DirectFood.store, you can make something special for that special someone in your life.

I wanted the advertising tone to be fun, happy, thoughtful, romantic, youthful, and vibrant. Our primary message is that consumers identify with our brand, and our products fit their lifestyle and choices. I think we hit the mark, and best of all, the campaign was completed on brand, on time and on budget. Now to see how it performs as a Facebook ad!

I hope you enjoyed the video. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out!