The Facebook “Mentions Box” Goes Live At The Emmy Awards


Facebook, already the biggest brand in social media, was looking for a better way to bridge the gap between celebrities and fans, specifically at live events. Behold: The Facebook “Mentions Box” which just debuted at the 2014 Emmy’s — allowing celebrities to “shake” the device to surface a fan question (pulling directly from the event’s Facebook Page) and immediately record a video response back.

At the Emmys, the Mentions Box was used by everyone from Jimmy Fallon, to Matthew McConaughey, to Ty Burrell and Jason Biggs — to stars from Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black, and HBO’s Silicon Valley (see below!).

Matthew McConaughey - Mentions Box

After many discussions, brainstorms, and rapid prototyping efforts focused on how to best represent the Facebook platform in physical space, we landed on a simple concept drawing inspiration from mediums people already know and enjoy (landing on something between a Magic 8-Ball in function and an Etch-A-Sketch in form).


Ultimately, we settled on a tablet encased in a polycarbonate form factor, with a luxury car finish.



We started the process by concepting potential types of physical devices that talent would be able to easily (and quickly) interact with — using cardboard and simple materials to play around with various form factors.


The admin console (primarily a question moderation tool) sources questions from specific Facebook posts and then pushes approved questions straight to The Facebook Mentions Box.


Leading up to the Emmy’s, The Mentions Box was featured on Access Hollywood by hosts Billy Bush and Shaun Robinson:

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 5.51.08 PM



More pics of the Mentions Box in action, straight from the Access Hollywood Facebook Page!






On September 5th, Facebook teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer to utilize the Mentions Box to connect celebrities with donors supporting the live charity event.

su2c_mentions 2

su2c_mentions 1


Creating a Logo for ContraryCon


This Saturday, ISL will be putting on a free web conference entitled ContraryCon. The half-day event, kicking off at noon at 1776, will consist of a series of presentations in which speakers will present ideas in opposition to the popularly accepted trends in interactive design and development.

When I joined ISL in May, one of my first projects involved working on a logo mark for the conference as well as subsequent branding along with several other new hires (James, Rebecca, and Alyssa). Each of us was tasked with creating several logos on our own before coming together for group design team critiques.

The final logo mark, a criss-crossing “X” formed by back-to-back C’s, came from many personal iterations trying to explore the idea of contrarian views that would be expressed at the conference. Here’s a quick look at what went into crafting a mark for a contrary conference.

Many Many Iterations


Although the end logo may look sleek and simple, there were many different iterations that went into crafting the final crossing C’s. Between three designers, we ended up with 20+ different ideas of logomarks and typefaces before coming to the final product.

Just on my own, I explored concepts ranging from a canary in a coal mine (both a bird meant to warn workers and a song off of The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta) to the idiom of the black sheep (“used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group, especially in a family” – thank you Wikipedia) to a take on the clichéd speech bubble representing debate. All of my ideas were focused on ideas that go against the grain, offer debate, and seek attention. Unfortunately, they were all also a bit of a stretch when it came down to what they meant.

Shuffling Up the Conversation



The end goal of ContraryCon is to encourage attendees rethink how and why they work. Our amazing panel of speakers will be arguing for and against trends in design and technology. In essence, they’ll be mixing up the stale and complacent conversation so many of us are having every day.

This idea of remixing our thought process lead me to think of the shuffle icon. A simple cross of curved lines, the icon has come to represent the mixing of content. In the case of ContraryCon, words, ideas, and speeches will be shuffled and rethought.


What started as the everyday shuffle icon became a simplified cross, symbolizing a warning – a call for attention. Above you can see just a few of the many iterations on this simple shuffle idea that lead to the final deliverable.

The End Product


In the end, my final cross was paired with Norwester, a typeface chosen and slightly modified by James. Not only that, but our small team fleshed out a variety of collateral that will be displayed throughout the conference venue.


If you’re in the DC area this Saturday, make sure to come out and and get contrarian! For any more info on the event, check out the ContraryCon site.

iStrategyLabs: Small Agency of the Year 2014 by Ad Age


backpatWe’ve never been over the top with awards submissions – but this year we felt iStrategyLabs was really hitting its stride so we submitted to the Ad Age Small Agency Awards in the biggest, baddest, most prestigious category: SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

We felt our work had finally reached the point where we could be considered the best in the business….Ad Age Agreed.

We’re proud to announce that iStrategyLabs has been named Small Agency of the Year by Ad Age!

iStrategyLabs’ Creative Director, Zach Goodwin, just picked up our silver award for the South-east region in this prestigious category.

We’re so happy and proud of all the hard work the team has put in over the years getting to this point – and for the wonderful clients we’ve had the fortune to collaborate with over our early years. There’s so much more to come!

Here are just a few animated gif shared by the team when we heard the news:



Now if only the US could win the World Cup…

The Mobileys: Now Accepting Applications!

Announcing The Mobileys

Attention, attention, The Mobileys are here
Calling all mobile app entrepreneurs far and near
Apps that benefit our nation will compete
And be judged by some of the industry’s elite
For the chance to win $10,000 dollars in seed money
No… I swear… we’re not being funny
So tell all the developers and app creators you know is where they should go.


But actually tell everyone you know. Thanks.


For the 2nd year in a row, Mobile Future is working with the team at iStrategyLabs to run The Mobileys, a mobile app competition that gives out $20,000 in seed money and the opportunity to work with an experienced and influential judging panel to a mobile app, service or other product that makes our world a better place. If you or someone you know has an app, service or product that fits the build, we’d HIGHLY recommend applying or telling them to apply to The Mobileys.


And while you’re here, check out this Venture Beat post about it!


mobileysparty mobileysinuse Mobileys1

Kroger Taps iStrategyLabs as Social Media Agency of Record


kroger.logoOver the past few years, iStrategyLabs has steadily grown and honed its service offering to include a diligent focus on the intersection of online and off. When Kroger - America’s largest grocer and second largest general retailer with 2,640+ stores – began a process last year to find a new Social Media Agency of Record, they found what they were looking for in us.

After a competitive review, we’re proud to announce that iStrategyLabs is Kroger’s new Social Media AOR and is now responsible for all social media activities for Kroger and 10 other banner brands across the US - King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Gerbes, Fry’s, Ralphs, Smith’s, Food4Less, Foods Co., and QFC.

We couldn’t be more excited to be working with iStrategyLabs. Their creativity, inventiveness and best-in-class social media marketing capabilities make them the perfect partner for Kroger.

- Anne Maness, Sr. Marketing Manager, Kroger

This assignment presents a big opportunity for iStrategyLabs and Kroger. If we do our best work together – we’ll be able to enhance the customer experience for millions of people, in thousands of stores everyday.

- Peter Corbett, CEO, iStrategyLabs

New work for Kroger is rolling out as we speak. Check out the following:

Taste of Mexico Campaign Content:

Taste of Mexico Guac Surf Tweet

Taste of Mexico Timeline Image

Announcing Taste of Mexico on Facebook