The human race has reached a critical point in the timeline of climate change. The industrial revolution and, recently, popularization of cheap plastic goods, have led us to consume more resources than the planet can take. And the consequences have begun to rear their heads in the form of freak storms, shrinking ice caps, and plastic-filled oceans.

However, many people and organizations are still fighting hard against climate change. Here are three brands who’ve made it their mission to help protect the planet.


In a time where pretty much anything imaginable can be bought online, it’s tempting to do all our shopping without even leaving the house. But the convenience of online shopping has a downside — emissions from transporting all those packages have a serious effect on our planet.

Enter Etsy: in February, the online marketplace announced that they are now offsetting 100% of their carbon emissions from shipping. Etsy is balancing out these emissions by investing in projects that work to reduce carbon emissions around the world. Now Etsy customers can shop online guilt-free — while supporting the independent artists and curators who use the website!

Beyond Meat

The meat industry has an emissions issue. Between 14.5 and 18 percent of the world’s human-induced greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, with cows being the biggest offenders. Beyond Meat’s mission is to counter those emissions by providing incredibly realistic meat alternatives that are entirely plant-based.

Their target is not devoted vegans and vegetarians, but rather meat-eaters who want to cut down their consumption while still enjoying the meals they love. Their flagship product, the Beyond Burger, sizzles in the pan like meat and tastes like the real thing. Yet a Beyond Burger requires significantly less energy and resources to be created than a traditional beef burger. Meat eaters seeking to make a change (and vegetarians who miss the taste of hamburgers) should definitely look into this eco-friendly alternative.


The clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world — with oil coming in first place. Reformation takes every effort to make their clothing’s impact on the planet as low as possible. They also make a point to be 100% transparent about the impact of each clothing item. Every product page on their website contains information about waste and resources saved by buying each item from Reformation, as opposed to other clothing sources.

Reformation is about more than waste management — they also use 100% wind energy, and source all materials ethically to minimize their social impact. And while many companies release earning reports, Reformation releases sustainability reports. You can read their 2017 report here.

Buying from sustainable brands isn’t always easy. Reformation and Beyond Burger are more expensive than your typical clothing and meat brands, and a cute throw pillow at Target is usually going to be cheaper than a unique, handmade one from Etsy. But at the end of the day, the love that these brands give to the planet is priceless.

If you’ve used social media in the past year, you’ve probably seen a TikTok video. The Chinese-owned media app is designed for creating and sharing short videos, many of which have gone viral. TikTok videos are often characterized by teens lip syncing to music, acting out scenes from movies and TV shows, or highly creative short videos similar to now-defunct Vine.

TikTok is polarizing to say the least — its content manages to be both cringe-inducing and enthralling at the same time. But more importantly, it’s a relatively unexplored tundra for advertisers.

On January 26th, TikTok quietly tested its first ad: a short, skippable ad for food delivery service GrubHub. The company appears to be testing ads like this on a small scale, as only a handful of users have reported seeing ads. They’ve declined to comment on when more advertising opportunities will open up, but we expect to see them soon.

Here’s four reasons why advertisers should stay ahead of the competition and start paying attention to TikTok now.

It’s wildly popular

TikTok was launched in China in September 2016, and saw a massive rise in popularity in the US after merging with media app in November 2017. TikTok videos seem to be everywhere, with many TikTok compilations already popping up on YouTube. And the numbers don’t lie —  according to a SensorTower report from November 2018, TikTok’s revenue more than tripled in the year following the merge.

It’s unlikely to suffer the same fate as Vine

Vine was an insanely popular media app known for its six-second videos. Unfortunately, the platform was shut down in October 2016 due to lack of funding — Vine didn’t support in-app purchases, and its founders were against monetization.

TikTok, however, generates a large amount of revenue via in-app purchases. Users can purchase virtual “coins”, which can be sent as virtual gifts to other users during livestream. Revenue from in-app purchases will keep TikTok alive and thriving, in addition to any ad revenue it brings in when it opens up more advertising opportunities.

It could take over for Snapchat as the best way for advertisers to reach a Gen-Z audience

Snapchat has struggled in recent years to create a design that’s friendly to both advertisers and users, and has had a steady decline in its user base. TikTok is emerging as a challenger to Snapchat’s user base, which is primarily young people. 71% of Snapchat users are younger than 34, and 78% of 18-24 year olds in the US use Snapchat. TikTok’s audience is primarily teens right now, but the company is working on attracting a slightly older, Gen Z audience — Snapchat’s core user base.

Move over, Snapchat — TikTok is on the way to becoming a go-to app for Gen Z. TikTok ads could soon be a much better investment for advertisers looking to reach a young audience.

It’s a great opportunity for creative ads on a low budget

TikTok videos are often highly creative and filmed on a low (or nonexistent) budget. There have also been many notable trends for TikTok videos — such as representing a crowd at an Adele concert with inanimate objects like gummy bears. Successful TikTok ads could maximize creative talents on a low budget to seamlessly blend into the type of content that TikTok users love to see.

We’re watching the clock until TikTok opens up advertising opportunities to all brands. Until then, advertising can take advantage of influencer marketing opportunities on the app (yes, there are TikTok influencers!). Soon, TikTok could be a vital part of many brands’ marketing mix.

If you’re reading this, you probably live in a bubble — and you might not even know it.

In this day and age, we are surrounded by algorithms any time we go online. We see countless targeted ads a day, and many of us get our news from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These services are all driven by algorithms designed to serve us the content that is most relevant to us and our interests. However, this often prevents us from being exposed to views different than our own, this creating the aptly-named “internet filter bubble.”

In a society that is already very polarized on many issues, this filter bubble only works to reinforce this divide. Read on for four ways to help reduce your own exposure to the internet filter bubble.

1. Voice marketing

Cookies are data stored by your web browser that websites can use to determine what kind of content to show you. Make a habit of clearing your cookies often so websites have access to less data, or disable cookies altogether on your preferred browser.

2. Use an ad blocker

Targeted ads are a big part of the filter bubble. Get rid of these filtered messages by using an ad blocker — there are many free ones available, like this one for Google Chrome.

3. Go incognito or anonymous

If you’re okay stepping away from a personalized web browser experience, use your favorite browser’s incognito mode or try an anonymous browser or search engine like DuckDuckGo. By sacrificing access to search history and other useful personalization tools, you’ll keep websites from using your information to create a filter bubble.

4. Make an effort to read news from differing opinions

Possibly the most effective method to fight against the filter bubble is to get out there and educate yourself. Allsides is a great resource for this; their mission is to mitigate the filter bubble by providing viewpoints from the left, right, and center on various political issues.

Just because internet content is personalized, doesn’t mean it’s actually better. By taking the time to fight against the effects of the filter bubble, you’ll emerge a more well-rounded and educated person on the issues that matter.

2019 is well underway, and with it, trends for the rest of the year have begun to emerge. Radio lives on in the form of podcasts and streaming, and AI lives everywhere — including many peoples’ homes. 2018 planted the seeds for many of 2019’s emerging marketing and advertising trends. Now, it’s time to sit back and watch them grow. Read on for Tag’s top five advertising trends to watch for the rest of this year.

1. Voice marketing

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod are everywhere, and with them, their powerful AI-driven voice assistants. Smart speakers are on the way to being a household staple — sales grew 78% in 2018. As the industry continues to grow, expect to start seeing opportunities for voice marketing emerge. In order to stay ahead of the competition, start thinking about integrating voice into your brand’s marketing mix.

Voice marketing may be less “addy” than one would think — because of the wide use of voice search via smart speakers, the real marketing opportunities could lie in leveraging search rankings.

2. A new look at brick-and-mortar stores

Since the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to compete. It’s hard to beat the ease of shopping without even leaving your bed. However, one advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have over online shopping is the ability to create a memorable in-store experience. In 2018, the trend of in-store experiences began, as many brands realized the power of making a lasting, in-person connection with their customers.

In-store experiences are so effective that many brands that started as online-only, such as Warby Parker, have begun opening their own brick-and-mortar stores. We predict that in 2019 this trend will continue to grow, as brands start reinventing their brick-and-mortar stores to provide an experience that just isn’t available online.

3. Shift towards nano-influencers

Influencer marketing has a problem: people don’t trust influencers any more. Large-scale influencers are unrelatable at best, and untrustworthy at worst. And influencer scandals such as the Fyre Festival fiasco don’t help.

2018 saw a shift in influencer marketing away from macro-influencers and towards micro- or even nano-influencers, who have anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand Instagram followers. Nano-influencers are much more relatable to their followers, and because they have a smaller reach marketers can afford to work with many nano-influencers at once.

In 2019, expect to see influencer marketing focus less on huge, macro-influencers, and more on building large networks of many smaller influencers.

4. AI as a Media Buying Tool

AI may very well be one of the largest forces in media buying in 2019. 4 out of 10 advertisers already use AI to optimize their media buys, and that number is predicted to keep growing.

AI may not be a great creative tool — just look at all the bot-generated t-shirts in your Facebook ads — but it’s a gift for media buyers. AI is great at deciphering confusing data sets and figuring out consumer patterns. By using AI, media buyers can save themselves both time and headaches.

5. Chatbots in everyday life

Chatbots have been around for a while — since 1966, in fact — but the technology really exploded in 2018. However, even though we’ve all probably used chatbots at least a few times, the technology remains a novelty. We predict that in 2019, chatbots will continue to grow, and become less of a novelty and more integrated into our everyday lives.

Brands can integrate chatbots into their websites and social pages — especially Facebook messenger — in order to help customers navigate their services more smoothly. In a year, it may be commonplace to order a pizza or even book a flight via a chatbot.  

With being a great brand comes great responsibility. Data continues to show consumers are loyal to brands that align with their ideals and personal values. Do your social responsibility efforts complement your business and brand strategies?
Be the customer! As a designer I’m doing this all the time. If I’m creating a complex printed piece I’ll often build a replica of the end product to ensure it feels, reads and operates the way it’s intended. If timing allows, I’ll actually give it to a potential customer to see how they interact with it and make adjustments based on those experiences. Below you’ll find examples of brands that understand exceptional customer experience is a key to success.


People are a business’ most valuable asset, and according to a study by Dale Carnegie, organizations with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. Successful companies know that investing it their people is good for their brand and good for their business. But while 90% of leaders think an employee engagement strategy will have an impact on their business success, less than 25% actually have one.

Employee engagement creates the emotional and functional commitment an employee has with an organization and its brand. Here are some examples of brands doing it right.


The answer is – employee satisfaction. Just ask Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna. While recovering from a near-death neck injury, Mark learned that recovery is a state of mind. “If your mind is in the right place, you can do anything,” he shared during a CBS news interview. Bertolini found healing in yoga and meditation to deal with the pain of his injury, and that inspired him to bring a new mindset to Aetna. (more…)

For the Lego brand, everything is indeed AWESOME. The word Lego is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well.” People have certainly been playing well (and often) helping the Lego brand become the biggest toy company in the world by both revenue and profit. (more…)

A couple of weeks ago, I had a cold. Nothing serious, but like most of us, my daily calendar at work and at home was full of “to-do’s” that wouldn’t go away just because of a little cough. So I grabbed a bag of cough drops and tissues, and got on with life.

My go-to cough drop is Halls. The medicinal taste, and the sinus-clearing menthol, let you know it’s working. Halls has a great brand, and their tagline, “A Pep Talk in Every Drop,” tells me that it’s going to do exactly what I expect.  It’s not going to cure my cold, but it will alleviate enough of the discomfort that I can do what I need to. (more…)