Tools to tell a story

July 29, 2010


In a recent NMA article Iain Tait of W+K, presents a case for the use of pre-existing ‘tools’ for the fast, effective and cost efficient development of online platforms. With the current proliferation of highly accessible and free web communication tools available to all, this seems a very valid argument, and one I fully back.

Countering this line of thinking however, is the comments of plenty of developers who say “if you really want something that fits your needs you have to build it from scratch”. A valid argument perhaps, but one that really needs to be broken down into the why’s and why not’s of the project. Are we developing something truly new here, or are we trying to be different just ‘because’.

When times are tough, people have to be creative. People need to think differently. Developers and content owners would benefit much by fitting their content around existing tools, than setting out specifically to recreate something that’s already great. They just need to think a little harder.

As an example A Girl Story is the worlds first donation based film series (well, that’s what they say!). It tells a story of a girl who dreams of education. And you can only progress with the story if you donate to the cause.

The developers have obviously thought creatively about the construction of the site, as it is simple, honest and makes heavy use of YouTube elements. Why create a new video based story telling application when a perfectly great one already exists. You just need to use it in a creative way.

The site’s seamless chain is a little different, and the clickable YouTube content helps to direct users on to donate. The main creativity within the site is its storytelling and the interesting way it uses freely available online tools. All in all A Girl Story is a guiding light in dark times.

Select your movie mates with the help of video content

July 23, 2010


To continue the promotion of Orange Wednesdays, the mobile giant has turned to Poke to develop a great little ‘get-out-there-and-see-it’ campaign, aimed at helping you select your perfect movie mate for the flick of your choice. Oh yes, and shift more Orange tickets.

The agency says “We all love talking about films. Especially the bits you chat about straight after it’s finished, when you’re walking up the cinema stairs in the dark trying not to fall over. You know the kind of thing: amazing special effects, awesome soundtracks and creepy little kids. That’s what Movie Mates is all about.”

The social nature of the modern web is the perfect channel to communicate the passions one feels for a good movie, and to help people to express their very personalised experiences. And with the Movie Mates site you’re left with not doubt that you have the full power of the web’s social networks to tell your mates (and the rest of the world) exactly what you think – and who you’d take.

What makes this site most interesting for me though, is its use of great video content – a ‘content type’ that’s hardly new, yet one that’s growing in popularity within many branded environments at the moment. Obviously video, as a medium, allows for a much richer experience compared to that of its more static content rivals, but, as with everything, good video content has to be well produced if it’s going to be taken seriously in our quality demanding world. Self produced, questionable quality YouTube content just isn’t going to cut it for long! (more…)

A bit of troll spotting

July 21, 2010


Glue Isobar have launched a new campaign for VisitSweden to promote the Southern region of Skåne. Yes the area has authentic culture and stunning countryside, but, one of the most unbelievable things about Skåne is its rich folk history, especially its trolls…

The Troll Spotters Club is an online competition where users have the chance to see Southern Sweden’s most elusive locals in their natural habitat and win one of four short breaks this Summer.

The site is a nicely crafted destination that combines the physical search for its unusual subjects with the support of an online collection of social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr) for its megaphone.

tags: Online

Nike on iPad

July 20, 2010


Once again AKQA show us how to do great digital. With the increasing number of platforms ready and willing to display digital, designers are having to think beyond the browser when they create their digital master pieces.

First it was the micro view of a mobile, now it’s enlarged touchability of the iPad, technology moves quickly in this business, and the humble designer will have the adapt quickly to these changing times if she’s going to stay ahead of the curve.

Fortunately, we have a plentiful collection of great designers showing us the way. None better than AKQA with their great work for Nike Women. Looks great on the web, even better on the iPad.

The battle for the web is on

July 19, 2010


North Kingdom and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have created the great little game The Battle For Cheetos. It’s a raging food-fight spreading over the entire web. It’s Puffs against Crunchy, you have to choose your alliance and fight your way up to conquer your favorite site – or submit your own as a new battlefield.

tags: Flash

GUI Focused

July 16, 2010
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In their new US advertising campaign, Palm have elected to focus their creative drive solely on their products web operating system. A not so subtle nod to the now sales critical mobile web experience.

The ad shows a woman walking down the street taking advantage of her phone’s multitasking, messaging, wayfinding and phone call making ability. The tagline is “life moves fast” and not to “miss a thing.”

One thing this ad points to is the increasing importance of the operating system or ‘user experience’ in the product sales process. How you interact with the device is becoming much more important that what the device is. Step into a Carphone Warehouse store and you’re more likely to hear “I want an Android” than “I want a Sony Ericsson“.

With the obvious success of the iPhone and the recent release of the Windows phone as well as Google getting into the market, the big device manufacturers are having to keep up with the consumers demands for interaction design (and brand) over product design (and brand).

Made Damn Cool

July 14, 2010


It’s not often, if ever, that I feel the need to pop a post about the holding company of a bunch of creative agencies. But the new site for MDC Partners is just a little bit different – it’s pretty good!

But why should this be the case? Why shouldn’t the creativity that oozes from a connected set of creative companies, making the ‘magic happen’, filter up to their holding company? That’s an interesting question, and one I really don’t know the answer to.

That is the reality through. When you look around at some of the other big creative holding companies such as: Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis you find they’re not exactly ‘inspiring’, and certainly don’t live up to the creativity of the agencies making up their life blood.

MDC Partners is different though. And with agencies such a CP+B and Hello Design under their belt they should be. The MDC site is great for its pure simplicity. The site takes a global view of its agencies and puts a real focus on its people. The site doesn’t tell (like most of its competition) it shows. It shows how its people work, and uses their experiences to show its story. With this pure and simple thinking – MDC shows it really ‘gets’ the digitally connected world, and business of making this world buzz.

All in all, it’s a pretty creative experience that’s as much a profile of a group of creative people as it is a profile of a business empire.

Making babies – and Thingies

July 13, 2010


Preloaded have launched a new educational game – Thingdom for the Science Museum. The game is one of the center pieces of the museum’s Who am I? display, where you’re are challenged to think about what makes you uniquely you.

Thingdom is a brilliantly tactile game, where players choose their Thing, nurture it, then take the mating challenge and breed new Things. Along the way you’ll learn about Traits, Cells, Chromosomes, DNA and Genes.

Yes, it’s aimed at a younger audience, but it’s fun, interesting and educational for everyone. The Things themselves have a lovely ‘soft’ feel about them (I’m sure a coding triumph in their own right) and the environments seem to perfectly match the pre-developed world.

Carrying on their award winning tradition of online game creation for the Science Museum, Preloaded’s new work is a fine follow up to the wonderful Launchball. I suspect they’ll be needing a little extra space on the shelf when we hit the awards season again!

The question “How do we get our technology depended kids to learn the basics” is often asked, the answer seems to be call the guys at Preloaded.

Thingdom is another example of how good creativity is solving everyday problems – one of simple education. It’s an engaging experience and one that keeps you popping back to see how your little Thingies are getting along.

Cadbury create fully rounded campaign

July 12, 2010


To launch it’s new Dairy Milk Roll Pack, Cadbury Australia has engaged Saatchi & Saatchi to create a ‘fully rounded’ campaign on YouTube. The campaign puts a new ‘spin’ on the the standard YouTube player, and uses it to display the usual Cadbury craziness!

Happy Printer

July 10, 2010
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Nice work by Tom and Matt. They used the consistent and reliable printouts from HP Photosmart printers to narrate a little story, speeding them up until they animate. I’d say dedication, patience and a lot of ink. Great work.

tags: Motion
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by____ Gavin Johnson