Thursday, 31 July 2008
The reports in the last couple of days claim social network owners are struggling to make a profit from their platforms even though social networking sites are a huge consumer success. This site shows how brands can become part of communities in intrinsic and organic (sorry) ways without consumers feeling they are encroaching on their personal spaces.
Click here to add your seed.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
I went to this festival last year - its really good fun and there's tickets left for this year incase any of you fancy it...
"Shambala is a wild, creative, low-profile, green and family-friendly festival. We have endeavoured to cultivate a down-to-earth mix of creativity, the unexpected, a warm & friendly atmosphere, and quality entertainment. We offer plenty of stuff to get involved with, cinemas, many workshops, dance, spritual, craft, loads of kids activities, circus performance, talks, sauna, cafes, massive site art, a lovely crowd and a lot of suprises!"
The festival is completely independent from advertising and sponsorship! Having never promoted it, Shambala has grown through word of mouth.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Our mate Alain de Botton is on the faculty positioning themselves as a 'chemists for the mind.'
Practically, they have a shop, organise courses, holidays and therapeutic services - everything from dinners with a prescribed menu of conversation to Sunday sermons at the horse hospital.
I'm particularly taken with the way they arrange their books - a shelf for those who want to change the world, a shelf for those who worry about death, a shelf for those who have recently fallen in love, a shelf for those in search of their own company, even a shelf for those with a short attention span. Genius.
I'm intrigued and will be organising a meet and greet at the first opportunity. Who's in?
Click here for more
Interesting results on people’s behaviour which really taps into a zeitgeist:
A ten-year study has found that people who procrastinate are more like to be less healthy, and less happy.
One in five are diagnosed as a ‘chronic procrastinator’ meaning they are more likely to have weaker immune systems, and to suffer from depression, lower self-esteem and insomnia. Nice.
The finger of blame is pointed towards new technology such as mobiles, ipods and BlackBerrys which make ‘self regulation’ harder. The study also shows the problem is increasing.
Life-coaches and psychotherapists suggest the solution lies in tackling little behaviours, such as putting a dirty cup into the dishwasher. Once that’s under control, people can start thinking on a larger scale.
A large part of regaining control may be ensuring the home is calm and under control. But it seems people also need to radically change their approach to life in general. Thoughts?
Monday, 28 July 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Click here to see more.
Monday, 21 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
It's coming up to the end of the month and you've run out of pennies or your just fed up of London being one of the most expensive places to live?
If so have a look at this website: http://www.londonisfree.com
It's great for free days out, gallery listings, festivals, films screening, sports, family days out.....just about anything free around the capital.
If we held a 'desk sale' on a Friday afternoon, would anyone else bring in stuff they want to get rid of? Proceeds could be split between charity and something fun... What do you think?
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Based in Brooklyn NY, Kirsch scales walls and vaults barbed wire to access prisons, hospitals, churches, factories and houses exposing nature clawing back unused spaces. He claims nothing is set up and everything is just as he found it. The results are stunning if a little haunting, and strangely evocative. I imagine it's a similar feeling to watching a person fall apart - devastating yet utterly compelling.
Considering the conversations we're having about our relationships to the spaces we live in, it's interesting to see people's reaction to unloved and degraded buildings. How would you feel if somewhere you cared about fell apart like this? Is it only unloved buildings and unloved people that are allowed to get to this state?
To see more urban exploration, click here.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Gaining a decade... of friends!
Times are changing. The average age for marriage is now around 30 and the average we start a family is around 31/32, approximately a decade after our counterparts in days of old.
So what are we doing with our twenties? Is this decade dedicated to our friends?
Those of us fortunate enough to still be in our 20s will probably have the same lifestyle. We work hard and we play hard. Life is all about our friends; our social schedule is a hectic circus of dinners, parties, coffees, flat warmings and drinks and we flit about like accomplished social butterflies.
Previously their mid-twenties was the age when people started to 'filter' their friendship groups. They made an effort with the ones who counted while the superficial ones slowly fell off the radar.
However the advent of networking sites like facebook, myspace and skype means we are moving from filtering our friends to categorising them.
A friend told me recently about one of her 'friends', adding the disclaimer “but they’re in my outer circle".
Are we categorising our friends like the plates of a volcano – core, inner circle and outer circle – and if so what could this trend mean when thinking about our brands?
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
What kind of tipping point will 2008 be?
With the seismic shifts of the credit crunch and escalating oil prices hitting us just as public concerns for the environment reach an all time high, 2008 is beginning to be seen as a crunch year heralding in fundamental social changes. I was wondering if 2008 will have anything in common with earlier tipping point years and what we should do in response.
Will 2008 be 1929 again? The Wall Street crash was the most devastating economic crisis in the history of the US, triggering the Great Depression, mass unemployment and a decade of decline across the world’s industrial nations. If this is what we’re in for get your cash out of the banks before they collapse.
Will 2008 be ’45 again? Britain came out the war on the winning side but skint. A decade of austerity followed. People grew their food, made do with what they had and wasted nothing. We came out of it with the Welfare State. Get your name down for an allotment.
Will 2008 be ’73 again? The OPEC oil crisis led to increasing price of petrol and the (temporary) end of the big American car. In Britain, escalating cost of living intensified industrial strife over the following decade. Power cuts, strikes and 3 day weeks defined the 70’s. Buy some candles.
Will 2008 be ’98 again? For months the media whipped up fears of a recession but it turned out to be a storm in a tea cup. The economy kept going and was ultimately buoyed by the dotcom boom. Stop reading the papers.
Or will 2008 be nothing like any of the above yet just a little like all of them? People trade down to more eco-friendly cars not only for environmental reasons but because petrol is just too expensive; people start growing their own food because food prices skyrocket; people stop betting everything on the housing market because the banks can’t afford to give anyone a mortgage so there is little growth in value; and then the banks start offering better saving rates because they need to raise capital and so people achieve a healthy level of personal savings.
OK, making forecasts like this is just asking for it but here’s one that seems likely: the big cultural debate of the next decade will be between the advocates of sustainable living in the broadest sense and those who still encourage conspicuous consumption.
Funny old thing, serendipity. There I was reading an article from last weeks Campaign predicting the end of conspicuous consumption, when one of our clients called to ask what I thought the implications of long-term economic slowdown would be for his brand.
So what do we think? Are we about to enter a long decade of austerity? Will people have to pare down their desires and aspirations? Will we all be growing our own veg and learning how to mend stuff again? Will an economic downturn be a blessing in disguise for the environment as, for example, rising petrol prices pushes drivers towards non-petrol cars? What implications will all this have for the lifestyles people chose for themselves and for the brands that we work with?
These are big questions, let’s see if we can pool our collective brainpower and come up with some bright insights.
Monday, 14 July 2008
This summer, at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, Orange developed a new prototype, the Orange Dance Charge, an eco-charger for mobile phone! As users dance with the music, a system of weights and magnets creates an electrical current that gets stored as charge in a reserve battery.
This is a new innovation in streets ads! While every restaurants, bars and clubs become smoke-free, cigarette butts on the doorsteps of such establishments are becoming more and more common sight. Belgium-based Ashvertising hopes to make the best of that bad habit with an outdoor device that combines an ashtray with a medium for advertising!
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Blyk targets 16- to 24-year-olds with its free mobile phone service, which includes 217 texts and 43 minutes every month. In exchange, of course, they get advertising—up to 6 messages sent to their phones each day. Britain's youth don't seem to mind!
Monday, 7 July 2008
The deadline for the monthly photography competition is fast approaching.
The brief is "Us" - it can be as open as you want it to be.
Wed 16th July is the deadline so please upload all entries to the blog and email high res files to Laura (1 entry per person)
The key difference is the customer - ASOS attracts a younger shopper. And, only 3% of 18-24's claim to borrow to finance their lifestyle. So they're the last people to be hit by the credit crunch. So while everyone else tightening their belts, the younger shopper is buying new designer ones.
Makes you wonder whether any of our brands should be thinking about this age group. Targettted jewellery collections? Is it an opportunity for charities? Or a drinks brand? Any thoughts?
Dutch ING Bank’s WoonWaarUWilt initiative is too much fun to not tell: the service lets clients make an offer on houses that aren't on the market, but that they'd love to own. After potential buyers fill in a form, including their dream home's address and the initial offer they're willing to make, iBlue contacts them to discuss whether the offer is reasonable. A mortgage consultant also determines whether the buyers would be able to finance the purchase. iBlue then sends a preliminary offer to the property's current owners, explaining the situation.
Friday, 4 July 2008
On July 10, Club4Climate, an eco group led by real-estate magnate Andrew Charalambous, will launch a new sustainable nightclub at Bar Surya in King’s Cross. In addition to using a dance floor that captures enough energy to supply 60 percent of its power needs, the club will require that all patrons sign a pledge to help fight global warming; it will also waive the £10 admission fee for those who can prove they travelled there by foot, bicycle or public transport. Low-voltage lighting and recyclable materials will be used throughout the club, which will reportedly also serve organic spirits in polycarbon cups and employ a recycled-water system for flushing the toilets. Club4Climate hopes to open similar sustainable dance clubs in New York, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro, and has partnered with gap year organization Projects Abroad for the manpower to do that, according to its site. Part of Club4Climate's profits will be donated to Friends of the Earth. Learn more here.
The British company's Street Art service uses high-pressure cleaning machines to wash brands, logos and adverts onto dirty pavements. First, clients provide their design, and SAS turns it into a giant stencil. Then, working at night, the SAS team blasts the stencil with water and steam on dirty walls, roads, pavements or even road signs. The result is a sparkling clean image in the shape of the company's logo or message. Nothing but water and steam are used, and it's all perfectly environmentally friendly and legal, SAS stresses.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
If you've ever wanted to know all the shortcuts for photoshop have a listen to this video from rapping design expert Deke McClelland. Yes, you heard it right, he raps about software. This is 101 tips in 5 mins. Pens posed? And go...
Oh dear, I think I may have exposed my true geek status.
P.S. The blog this is on is also brilliant. Subscribe to emails for ideas a-go-go.
What? Architectural Jelly Banquet
Where? Round the corner at UCL, £5 entry
When? Tomorrow evening
More details please!
Clad in jelly costumes, performers will dance around an altar containing 1000 specially commissioned jellies. No really.
Other entertainment includes jelly soundscapes, jelly projections, jelly wrestling and the Architectural Jelly Design Competition. Doesn't actually say if you get to eat the stuff.
Dress code: Dress as a trifle or dessert
Find out more here
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
What's interesting about it, is all those media planning and buying agencies who charge an absolute fortune for "expertise" will now be exposed. All those freebies and contra deals will dwindle while clients can access proper info. It's the equivalent transparency issue online faced when google analytics was launched.
It launches on the 15 of July, but if you want access to the beta version, email me.
Here's some more info.
I though we could start collecting great ambient media ideas - or any innovative or clever use of media that is relevant to our clients or generally good to know about.
Here is one for a blind charity in the Netherlands. We all call the first number in our phones by mistake. So the idea was to encourage people to put 'a blind call' in their phone with the charity number so that every time this happened a donation went to the charity instead of Abracadabra Magic Shop.
I don't know if RNIB could borrow it??
This won something at Cannes - so it must be good.
Anyone spotted any other cool stuff?
The authorities managed to trace some students through appeals for information in two of Japan's NATIONAL newspapers, with their university offering to send the students back to clear the graffiti off, and pay for the damage.
A more serious fate may yet await a teacher who visited Florence in January, left his mark, and has since been traced and dismissed from coaching his school baseball team, but may yet lose his job.
All this was undertaken as the Japanese government felt the visitors had "....made (the) Japanese lose face abroad." "They offended their hosts - that is to say Italy - and this, for their mentality, is unacceptable".
With respect and honour so valued in the Japanese culture, I wonder if they are suffering any of the current issues British society are?