The first contemporary international Olympic Games took place 120 years ago. The competitors were amateurs, the fields were rugged, and the rules were impressionable. Though technology, athletes, and resources have evolved, the mission is still the same: Every four years the world comes together for 16 days to support professional athletes and their endeavors to collect medals for their home country. However, in this day and age wouldn’t you think it’s time the Olympics enters the digital world?
Even though we can get news and results from various sources, watching it live is still the most exciting and rewarding way to engage with the games and your country. In the United States, NBC is the only commercial network that has the licensed right to stream the Olympics, but only selected events were broadcasted. People who were interested in the other events needed to go online to NBC’s website or use the app to watch them, but a cable subscription is required. For those who don’t have a cable subscription, it is nearly impossible to watch live streamings.
This year’s games in Rio, NBC averaged 27.9 million viewers for the first nine nights. Though it may seem significant, it’s actually a 15.5% overall drop and a 30% drop among viewers age 18-34. Why is this happening?
Well, most people don’t watch “live” TV, at least not in the conventional sense. According to a study done by The New York Times on media consumption, viewers ages 18 to 34 commonly report they use streaming sites to catch up on missed scheduled episodes. This is due to the fact that we are often out and about during peak TV-viewing hours; therefore, miss out on traditional “live” broadcasting.
Don’t confuse this notion with the idea that we don’t want live TV—we definitely do, but we want the opportunity and freedom to watch television without a TV. Cable is still the dominant mode of TV delivery for all age groups, but for young adults ages 18 to 34, nearly a fifth of them don’t subscribe to cable services and are content with connecting their TV to the internet or using antennas for broadcast.
With so many viewing opportunities available, who could blame us for shifting our streaming interests?
When you watch Simone Biles in women’s vault, it makes you want to (and believe you can do) a handspring, double aerial off of your couch. Then explain to your cat why you didn’t land it…and then remind yourself that you don’t owe your cat any explanations. People want to bring live television with them wherever they go, whenever they go. For us it’s about mobility, and socializing with others while Snapchatting, Tweeting, status-updating, and Instagramming about the games.
In essence, we don’t want to spend time and money on a television subscription, when we can rarely allot time to remaining stationary, watching TV. People are stealthy and undetected—quickly abandoning the TV landscape and dismissing what was once known as “Prime Time.” We look to YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon Prime, really anywhere online for live streaming capabilities.
The Olympic Games unite all people and build bridges between all cultures. To spread this idea, people should have easy access to live streamings of the games. Perhaps someday you will find NBC’s monopoly on the Olympics released, and media like YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, and Amazon Prime capable of live streaming.
(And well, because this doesn’t get old, here’s our favorite Olympic shot of Michael Phelps)
Flint, Joe, and Suzanne Vranica. “NBC’s Ratings for Rio Olympics Fall Behind London.” The Wall Street Journal (n.d.): n. pag. 14 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Lynch, Jason. “How Millennials Consume TV Depends on Which Stage of Life They’re In Nielsen Report Examines the Demo’s Viewing Habits.” Adweek (n.d.): n. page. 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Steele, Emily, and Bill Marsh. “Millennials and Cutting the Cord.” The New York Times. N.p., 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Being in the cold and windy city of Chicago, one thing all of us at FLIRT always look forward to is summer! Between the many festivals, beautiful beaches, and outdoor events, it’s rather easy to find ways to stay busy in the sunshine. As a team we try to make the most of the season, even when we have to spend days in the office. We’ve taken boat trips on Lake Michigan, attended White Sox games, and we try to eat lunch outside as often as we can whether it be on our rooftop or across the street in Millenium Park. Besides our outings with the office, Chicago summers are also a blast for family, friends, and even solo outings. Here’s the FLIRT guide to making the most of the summer in Chicago:
Being in the Midwest, typically people don’t think of Chicago as having beaches. Contrary to their belief we have lots of beaches that are brimming with beauty! There’s a different beach for whatever activity you’re looking for. Whether it’s volleyball, taking the dogs out, or just getting some sun, there’s the perfect place for every beach lover out there. Follow this guide to find exactly the beach fits your day the best.
For any big city, and many small ones as well, summer is the opportune time to emerge yourself into the local music scene. Besides just your big name music festivals like Lollapalooza or North Coast, there are less expensive and more versatile selections of music to hear all around the city. Check out this list for an amazing selection of music to experience this summer.
I’ve mentioned before how we at FLIRT love food, but seriously, the FLIRT family consists of a big group of foodies. So if your anything like us, coming across a delicious food truck on a beautiful summer outing is more than blissful. Here you can track your favorite food trucks to see where they’re going to be, when, and what’s on the daily menu.
Besides just music, during the summer you can find all sorts of festivals that take over the streets of Chicago. Whether it’s art, food, or a cultural event, street festivals are flowing with variety around this gorgeous city. If you need a street festival survival guide, check out this blog by our very own Mae Quach.
Who doesn’t love a good movie night? The only thing better than cuddling up on your couch to watch one of your classic favorites, is gathering outside on a chilly summer night with all of your fellow Chicagoans. Every summer, The Millenium Park Film Series takes place in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and shows a movie every Tuesday night. So pack a picnic dinner, and grab your friends and family, because this is an ideal fun and free summer activity. Check out this list for the movie schedule.
There are a lot of resources out on the web that make the business of building websites easy for just about anyone. At first, it may seem completely out of your skill set to make a website that looks good and is –most importantly—functional, but with these helpful tips even the most basic online user can create a good-looking website for professional networking or a personal portfolio.
Before you start building a new website, there are some key questions you need to answer first:
After deciding on the type of website you want and the theme you find most interesting, it’s important to remember that although WordPress makes it easy to build a fully functional, beautiful website…it’s going to take some work.
When installing your theme, it probably won’t look anything like the demo you previewed—but don’t panic yet. Read carefully through the instructions of your theme and download all of the necessary plugins to make the structure look exactly like how you want it. It’s important to start off with all of the right tools rather than trying to fix a website that is missing a critical plugin, widget, or other installation.
There are 3 plugins that I recommend ANY user should download. It’ll make life easier and requires absolutely no programming knowledge to make a website look like any professional website you’ve ever come across.
The internet offers many resources out there for people who are just starting to build their own websites. However, I felt it was important to share some of my website hacks (more specifically for WordPress) as I use these tools for my own personal website in addition FLIRT’s blog site. Even if you have no prior knowledge to websites or content management systems, WordPress offers you tools that both professional businesses such as FLIRT and myself as an intern, use on the daily to make our websites look good and function perfectly. You don’t have to be a professional to make your website LOOK professional.
Design aesthetics are an enormous aspect of event marketing since the visual component is often the first thing people encounter. Not only does design attract people toward a particular event or idea, it also brands a company and shapes their entire public image. Most realize that design can either make or break an event’s success, but good design can take the experience to the next level. What if designs went past the typical visual element and begin to incorporate all 5 senses of the human experience? Imagine walking into an event and facing a company’s marketing design that targeted your 5 senses: a nice relaxing aroma, sensations from different textures, radiant visuals displayed everywhere, some whimsical music that gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and even perhaps offering something that you could taste.
To achieve the ultimate experience, multi-sensory design suggests hitting all those 5 senses in order to achieve a much more memorable experience. Now, this is definitely a challenge, but even if a designer could go beyond the visuals and try to connect with their audience at a much more sophisticated level by using at least 2 or 3 of the senses, it’s likely that the experience would be more effective overall.
In early 2013, designer Jinsop Lee discussed this multi-sensory design theory and how it might affect the future of design in all kinds of industries. He asked a critical question: Why would design for all 5 senses be useful in event marketing and what’s the point of it? The obvious answer to those questions would be the increase of engagement from the audience that promotes critical thinking and a more meaningful type of interaction between business and consumer. Since FLIRT is in the business of attraction, we aim to attract people to our client’s events for a rewarding and comprehensive experience. If we were to utilize Lee’s multi-sensory design theory, the events that FLIRT produce may be pushed to the next level.
Since technology is expanding and opening new doors for marketing tactics, perhaps designers will also follow that same path and begin to create much more complex designs that will captivate their audiences to a whole other level. During the production of an event or corporate meeting, it might be valuable to consider designing toward more than 2-3 of our human senses in order to create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees. Since FLIRT is always striving to produce the ultimate experience for clients, we can try to be more intentional with certain decisions that could really hit those 5 senses. It seems like multi-sensory design could be the future of event marketing as the need to create meaningful experiences go beyond “making things look pretty” and toward the goal of intellectually and emotionally simulating their audiences across all platforms.
It’s easy to get bogged down beneath the endless to-do list throughout the work day, leaving little time to connect with the outside world. And with so much information flooding the news cycle each minute, it’s nearly impossible to keep up.
But in our industry, staying informed is necessary in order to have informed conversations with clients, keep up-to-date with knowledge of changes and trends, and often for creative inspiration.
Luckily, there are ways to make it easier. These are a few of our favorite ways to stay up-to-date without the time commitment:
1. NYT Now
How do I get it? Download it in the Apple and Android app marketplaces
This app is the perfect combination of high-quality journalism on a need-to-know basis. The free app takes the guess work out of what’s important because its editors decide for you. The app only displays about 20 stories at a time, located on one continuously scrolling screen on a variety of topics. As you scroll, each story has a photo and a brief description. If you want to know more, you can click on the story to read the entire thing without leaving the app. The app sources content from the New York Times, as well as other well-respected publications like the Washington Post, Bloomberg News, the Boston Globe and The Atlantic. The app updates throughout the day (think: morning coffee break, lunch and afternoon lull) to give you fresh content, but once you get to the end of the screen, there’s nowhere else to go. It’s oddly refreshing to have so little choice in the matter. You can bookmark stories to read later and share them with friends. And if you allow the app to send you notifications, you’ll get real-time updates on developing stories. It just doesn’t get any easier.
2. The Skimm
Format: Daily email newsletter
How do I get it? Enter your email at theskimm.com
This daily email newsletter will become your new best friend you didn’t know you were missing but won’t be able to live without. The Skimm was founded by two former broadcast producers who kept hearing from friends about two things: the limited amount of time they have to keep up with news and how boring news can be. The Skimm tries to change that by delivering a pre-determined number of story summaries directly to your inbox every morning using a voice imbued with attitude, sarcasm and friendly conversation. It breaks down hot topics into bite-sized pieces of information. The newsletter’s signature “Repeat After Me” section sets up each story as if it’s the answer to a question you’d hear in daily life with a smart, news-centric reply. There are links to outside news sources to learn more about each story, too. The newsletter has recently landed interviews with presidential candidates for quick-and-dirty, Skimm-style questionnaires and has even been endorsed by Oprah. And as we all know, Oprah knows best.
3. AP Mobile
How do I get it? Download it in the Apple and Android app marketplaces
Sometimes all you have time for is a one-sentence update about what’s going on. That’s what AP Mobile is good at. Whenever a story breaks, AP Mobile is the quickest app to deliver a notification. It’s real-time, reliable information about the big headlines to keep you informed. You have the option to click on the notification to take you into the app for the full story, but they can easily be read and dismissed, too. And, most importantly, you’ll always be the co-worker who heard it first.
4. Facebook Trending Topics
Format: Website and/or App
How do I get it? You know the drill.
Like it or not, Facebook owns all of us. And since we’re all logged into it at work anyways, we’re lucky Facebook is doing a pretty good job of making the news experience quick, easy and relatively informative. The trending topics on the right hand side of your news feed display the most talked about topics at any given point throughout the day. If you click on a topic, you’ll be taken to its own news feed. Facebook provides a brief description of the topic at the top of the screen and then pulls information from your Facebook friends’ profiles who’ve shared something about it and other mainstream sources. And now with Facebook’s integrated articles that don’t make you leave the app (if that’s where you’re browsing) to read the full story, the process is even quicker. This is a great way to incorporate news into your routine with minimal effort.
Ok, so we’re not sharing news, per se, but we do have news about FLIRT. And since we’re talking about Facebook anyways, be sure to check out and ‘like’ FLIRT’s Facebook page at facebook.com/flirtcommunications to see our latest updates and blog posts.