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Gritty is a marketing marvel and an international election icon. The artist behind him weighs in on Gritty fever: ‘I don’t think he’s going away anytime soon.’ | Markets Insider

People wear costumes of U.S. Postal Service mailboxes, Gritty, the mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and Independence Hall whil……

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AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

  • Gritty, the monstrously orange mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League franchise, has become a resistance symbol, especially amid the 2020 election.
  • But when he was first launched in 2018, the mascot didn’t get a wholly positive reaction.
  • Brian Allen, the artist behind Gritty, talked to Business Insider about the marketing strategy behind the fun-loving monster and why he thinks people have latched on to him. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
  • As the ballots were being counted in Philadelphia, one orange monstrosity was omnipresent as locals gathered — and the world watched the Pennsylvania results roll in.

    He has googly eyes, an ever-changing belly button, a slight propensity for violence, and a mass of orange fur.

    His name is Gritty, if you haven’t heard, and his day job is to serve as the mascot for hockey’s Philadelphia Flyers.

    renowned leftist iconan international resistance symbolDonald Trump’s mortal enemyFrench media puzzled:c’est quoi Gritty?

    Gritty stands as one of the most irreverent (and successful) marketing tactics in recent American history. A mascot, an envoy, an archetype — of a team, of a city, of a movement, and perhaps 2020 itself.

    How to design a marketing coup

    Gritty, in his Mel Brooks-ian embrace of the absurd, has found an audience.

    An initial run of Gritty bobbleheads flew off the shelves, and the Flyers created a Gritty of the month bobblehead. A search for Gritty on Etsy returns 3,236 results. When the Flyers store reopened this summer after shuttering for the pandemic, one of its new pieces of merchandise featured a portrait of the monster himself, with an overlay that says “Summer of Grit.” During election week, the term “Gritty” saw a spike on Google Trends.

    Artist Brian Allen, who runs Flyland Designs and has worked with clients like Hasbro and Marvel, said he was approached by the Flyers about two or three months before Gritty was released in 2018. They were displeased with the “traditional” and “safe” concepts they had received for a mascot.

    “The art director said was that they wanted him to be somebody who you’d want to high five, but not hug,” Allen said. “They wanted him to be right off the rails at the beginning.”

    Allen said that he presented the Flyers with about 25 different concepts, which spanned everything from a bulldog, different monsters, and a more human silhouette. He couldn’t comment on the specific concepts, but said that Gritty was in his “top three” of potential designs.

    Brian Allen

    Allen said that Gritty’s ascent to international resistance symbol ‘kinda came out of nowhere’

    And that ties in to the marketing strategy behind Gritty. Allen emphasized that a more normative mascot — one that’s essentially someone in a big foam mask — wouldn’t necessarily resonate today. Gritty was born to be an outsider, and that’s made all the difference.

    From humble origins to social media star

    Gritty did have a bit of a rough launch; while children who met him first loved his absurdity, the Internet wasn’t so kind. In his initial rollout, he was met with a mixed reception by the people of Philadelphia (and fascination and horror from Internet denizens).

    His early social media presence — where Gritty’s personality emerged, including one tweet where he threatened the Pittsburgh Penguins — “saved the day.”

    “I don’t know if this is still true — it may not because of how big he’s become — but the performer actually was writing most or handling most of his own social media,” Allen said, “which I think is really unique because normally in these situations, you’d have some corporate social media team running through everything.” 

    His chaos is his draw, and has helped catapult him to international fame, with coverage in Palestinian and French media. For instance, there’s now a female Gritty — Grittney — roaming the streets of London with pro-democracy messages.

    “None of these people, I’m sure, are Flyers fans; they’re probably not even hockey fans,” Allen said. “And I think that’s what really speaks to the success of Gritty for the Flyers is that their brand is now recognizable way beyond the sport.”

    Gritty and the Philadelphia Flyers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

    Brian Allen

    What’s next for Gritty

    Allen, the artist behind it all, can’t say how much he made creating for Gritty, since he signed an NDA.

    “A lot of people assume I’m a millionaire now and I’m not. Check with me in 50 years.”

    But he did say that the design of Gritty is the “most recognizable thing I’ve done.” Allen is appreciative that his name has been so attached to Gritty. He’s worked with big brands, including Metallica, before, but he said that those designs are often released, get buzz, and that’s it. 

    “Gritty does not go away — whether you want him to or not,” Allen said. “And I don’t think he’s going away anytime soon.”

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/artist-behind-gritty-on-marketing-gritty-does-not-go-away-2020-11-1029803387

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    Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2021: New Wave Group AB

    KUNGÄLV, Sweden, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New Wave Group AB today published the Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020 on www.nwg….

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    KUNGÄLV, Sweden, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New Wave Group AB today published the Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020 on www.nwg.se.

    The printed version of the Annual Report and Sustainability Report can be ordered by email [email protected]

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 14 April 2021

    For more information, please contact:

    CEO
    Torsten Jansson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 01
    E-mail: [email protected]

    CFO
    Lars Jönsson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 12
    E-mail: [email protected]

    This information is information that New Wave Group AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons detailed above, at 9:00 a.m. CET on 14 April 2021.

    If you want to sign up for, or unregister from, future messages from New Wave Group, please send an email to [email protected]

    This information was brought to you by Cision https://news.cision.com

    https://news.cision.com/new-wave-group/r/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2020-new-wave-group-ab,c3324550

    The following files are available for download:

    https://mb.cision.com/Main/932/3324550/1400837.pdf

    Annual report 2020 (PDF)

    https://mb.cision.com/Public/932/3324550/a895ddad28ba0b60.pdf

    Sustainability report 2020 (PDF)

    Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2021-new-wave-group-ab-301268497.html

    SOURCE New Wave Group

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    CEO
    Torsten Jansson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 01
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2021-new-wave-group-ab-1030302165

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    Elon Musk’s Neuralink scientists are not the first to get a monkey to control a computer with its mind

    Elon Musk. Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images Elon Musk's Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with it…

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    GettyImages 1229892421Elon Musk.

    Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

    • Elon Musk’s Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with its mind.
    • Scientists have been able to get monkeys to control computer cursors via neural interfaces since 2002.
    • It’s an important test of Neuralink’s technology, but not a revolutionary piece of science.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    In a video released Thursday, the company showed off how far its come testing its technology on primates. In the video, a macaque monkey named Pager, which Neuralink claims has had a chip implanted in his brain for six weeks, is able to play video games like Pong purely via the chip. Playing the games correctly meant Pager was rewarded with a sip of banana smoothie.

    This is, objectively, pretty amazing. As Musk put it in an excited tweet on Thursday: “A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!”

    Perhaps even more amazing: monkeys have been playing video games with their minds for almost 20 years.

    “Brain-control of computer cursors by monkeys is not new,” Professor Andrew Jackson of the University of Newcastle told Insider, adding that the first comparable demonstrations of technology like Neuralink’s took place in 2002.

    A group of researchers in 2002 were able to show they could get a monkey to move a cursor on a computer screen at will, noting at the time that the technology could be used to help paralyzed people control screens in a similar way.

    Jackson added the idea behind the technology dates back as far as the 1960s. In 1969, a researcher called Eberhard Fetz connected a needle on a meter to a single neuron in a monkey’s brain, and was able to train the monkey to move that needle using only its brain activity.

    Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is developing a microchip, which theoretically, would be implanted in a person’s skull, from which wires would fan out into their brain. These wires would be able to record brain activity, as well as stimulate areas of the brain.

    The idea is that these chips could help study and treat neurological diseases and conditions in the near term. In the long term, Musk says they form part of his ideal of a “symbiosis” between human consciousness and AI (although experts have frequently expressed skepticism about this part).

    Musk has been hyping up the monkey for years – but neuroscientists haven’t been that impressed

    Musk first gave the world a hint about Neuralink’s tests on monkeys during a streamed presentation of the company’s designs in 2019.

    “A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain, just FYI,” he said, appearing to take Neuralink president Max Kodak by surprise with the announcement. “The monkey’s going to come out of the bag,” Musk joked.

    Andrew Hires, an assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of California, told Insider in 2019 that he was not surprised Neuralink had been able to achieve that result – and accurately predicted the kind of telepathic monkey computer-usage which Neuralink showed off in its video on Friday.

    “The monkey is not surfing the internet. The monkey is probably moving a cursor to move a little ball to try to match a target,” Hires said. This pretty well exactly matches one of the games Pager was shown playing in the video released Thursday.

    Musk started to hype up the monkey again earlier this year. “We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull … who can play video games using his mind,” he said during an interview on Clubhouse on January 31.

    Musk is a canny marketer, and he’s very familiar with using his own peculiar brand of fame to merchandise and advertise his companies. It’s worth noting that at the end of the video with a call for people to apply for jobs at Neuralink – making for an ingenious recruitment strategy.

    Neuralink is still doing new things, and the monkey is important

    While neuroscientists have said the underlying science of getting a monkey to play video games with its mind is not revolutionary, they have praised the engineering of Neuralink’s wireless chip.

    Speaking to Insider in September 2020 (following a presentation in which Neuralink showed off its technology working after being implanted in the brain of a pig) Professor Jackson said the development of any neural interface technology that doesn’t require wires to protrude out of the skin is a good thing, as it reduces the risk of infection.

    “Just from a welfare aspect for the animals, I think if you can do experiments with something that doesn’t involve wires coming through the skin, that’s going to improve the welfare of animals,” he said, adding that further down the road it could have benefits for humans as well.

    Elon Musk Neuralink pigsElon Musk showed off Neuralink’s tech in a pig in August 2020.

    Neuralink YouTube

    Responding to the video released on Thursday of Pager the monkey, Jackson said while it’s not earth-shattering, it is an important proof of concept.

    “I certainly do not mean to criticise them for demonstrating something that has been done before. It is a sensible way to validate any new technology. If you invent a new telescope, it makes sense to first point it where you know what you will see. So they are following a very sensible route to validate their device,” Jackson said.

    Rylie Green, a bioengineering researcher at Imperial College London, told Insider: “The best thing I can see from that video is that the macaque is freely moving. There’s also no visible package connected to it. I would say that is definitely progress – not super innovative but a nice positive step forward.”

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/elon-musk-neuralink-not-first-scientists-monkey-control-computer-mind-2021-4-1030291418

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    Fintel Connect Introduces Fintel Check, an AI-Powered Content Marketing Compliance Tool

    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering…

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    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering for the financial services industry, Fintel Check, a regtech tool to help financial brands keep their content marketing compliant. More than 50+ financial brands and fintechs are already leveraging Fintel Connect’s technology to enhance their marketing through its performance marketing network and tracking and reporting capabilities. Fintel Check represents the latest in a product suite designed to ensure financial institutions and their partners can meet emerging regulatory requirements in their marketing.

    Fintel Check is designed specifically for banks, financial institutions and fintechs to monitor their product and brand content and ensure that critical information like interest rates, terms and conditions, and more are accurately represented in marketing campaigns.

    The financial services space is highly regulated, with brands required to abide by strict laws and policies that govern advertising and consumer protection. According to Deloitte’s survey on regulatory and compliance trends in 2021, 91% of responding financial institutions expect to increase their use of automation and analytics to address regulatory compliance issues. Recognizing the steep challenge to continuously manage this across all marketing partners and digital channels, the team at Fintel Connect developed its monitoring tool to give marketers a way to more easily manage campaigns over time and scale their marketing efforts safely.

    “Financial institutions are looking to scale their digital growth, and a key friction point to achieving this is marketing compliance,” explains Nicky Senyard, CEO and Founder of Fintel Connect. “Fintel Check gives our partners the efficiency and transparency with their marketing efforts and content management in a way that cannot be achieved in-house. We take the friction points and heavy-lifting out of scaling digital partnerships.”

    Fintel Check uses AI and proprietary machine-learning algorithms to monitor, identify and report a brand’s mentions from publisher partners. Built-in reports provide complete transparency on coverage, as well as automatic screenshots that are stored in the company’s secure database and can be retrieved for auditing purposes.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Plans are in place for the product’s next release in Q3 2021, which include added features such as custom compliance rules, expanded scanning capabilities, and more.

    Banks, financial institutions, and fintechs that are interested can visit the website to learn more about Fintel Check or schedule a demo.

    About Fintel Connect
    Fintel Connect is a leading performance marketing company dedicated to serving the financial services and fintech space. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the team at Fintel Connect support a wide range of tier one banks, community banks and financial technology companies through its extensive network of publishers and fully scalable tracking and reporting technology.

    If you’re:

    Press and would like to connect, please contact Gilian Ortillan at 604.783.1724 or [email protected]
    A merchant and would like to know more, visit https://fintelconnect.com/merchants.
    A publisher that would like to join our network, visit https://fintelconnect.com/publishers.

    Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-301262922.html

    SOURCE Fintel Connect

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-1030277042

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