Based in toronto, ontario, Dan is an award winning creative director
with 20 years of direct and digital experience. He's brought his expertise to brands across all segments And his love of espresso has fueled him through it all.

Twitter's Fail Whale eases the pain

In July 2007, Yiying Lu, a designer from Sydney, Australia uploaded one of her illustrations to the stock photo site iStockphoto for distribution. Little did she know that a year later it would make her famous.

The illustration was of a whale being carried through the air by eight tiny birds and caught the attention of Twitter founder Biz Stone

Click image to expand

Twitter had been experiencing service problems, and they wanted an friendly image that worked with their brand to help ease the pain of outages. Instead of a simple "service unavailable" message, they chose the whale image because it suggested a team effort to fix a problem, and also made people smile.

The Fail Whale has since become a phenomenon in itself, sparking merchandising, blogs and fan art. All of which reinforce a positive feeling toward the Twitter brand and provides them with what amounts to free advertising for the product. 

Plus, it's super cute.

Header image courtesy of: Rosaura Ochoa

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