IKEA Skål!

December 27, 2010
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Yes, we all know there’s an app for everything! Now there’s even one for those moments when you really have to toast an event but you’re driving and are very responsible person. What do you do? You don’t want to appear rude, or come across that you simply don’t care for the situation. No stress, help is at hand – but from IKEA!?!

IKEA have put out some interesting (some might, and have, said strange!) iPhone Apps recently – here for example. The old adage (but with a modern twist) – any App is a good App – has some part to play, but is this really a good thing for a brand? Yes exposure is great, and hey, it is the season to celebrate a little, but you do get the impression that it’s a case of any App will do for some brands.

At least with IKEA Skål! there is a slight connection – I’m imagining you can buy the glasses from your nearest Scandinavian inspired store – but it all seems a little novelty to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love IKEA, not least for their ethos of bringing accessibility of style to the masses, and I do admire there ‘experiments’ with digital media, but it’s a sign of our times – novelty just becomes novelty, and very quickly at that!

The danger in all this is that when brand rush to ‘connect’ with their cool and trendy audiences, they may simply cheapen their long term brand message for the sake of quick wins.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were all talking about how digital was the savior of all that interruption advertising stuff we wanted rid of. Are these types of Apps simply a nod back to those antagonistic times? Or are we finding that having to have meaning and purpose in everything we do is simple too much effort – when all we want is a little fun?

Brand always have, and always will benefit when they listen to their customers and add real value to their lives. That, I believe, is the core of any successful campaign. Brands must ensure that in their genuine, but sometimes rushed, wish to connect, they don’t loose sight of that simple fact.

Anyway, that’s enough chat, it’s Christmas. All I can say is Cheers, I’m off to the IKEA sale – or should that be Skål!

Russ Mills

December 26, 2010

Russ_Mills

Russ Mills focuses mainly on the human form particularly the face, interweaving elements from the animal kingdom often reflecting the absurdity of human nature.

His work falls somewhere between urban fine art and contemporary graphics. It’s an emotive, gritty style that has a powerful street chic giving the viewer a somewhat honest, vibrant account of his visual encounters.

tags: Art

Sid Lee Reel

December 25, 2010
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The latest Sid Lee reel is a great lesson in what Sid calls ‘commercial creativity’, and I call ‘quality artistry’. The team continue to produce inspirational work for anyone interested in the conception, creation, production and delivery of great ideas. Hats off!

AT&T Mobile Barcodes

December 19, 2010

digitalBarCodes

One of the beauties digital has to offer is its shear extendability. Really the only restrictions you have is your ability to conceive of and build a great idea.

So, how do you bring some of this extendability into the real world? How can you take something as restrictive as a piece of packaging and integrate the boundless possibilities of digital? And, how do you do it simply, easily and whilst on the move.

The answer – QR Codes.

I’ve talked about them a couple of times before here and here, and now we’re starting to see the codes really take off.

AT&T Have taken the concept up in a big way with their Mobile Barcodes. The unique graphic codes offer the ability to lead consumers to various types of destinations and are easy for marketers to customise and promote.

Firstborn and Rodgers Townsend have created the marketing to show off the codes’ strengths in a full-screen, video-based site. Short vignettes center on users scanning the codes in everyday life, reaping the benefits of exclusive video or directions to a new store. Hotspots within several vignettes give additional details about features.

The site’s a really nice experience, mixing some great 3D work throughout the vignettes, and the addition of the how-to’s engages the user and brings a totally immersive site.

Cool idea for Paradores

December 14, 2010

iceXmas

There’s always one annual dilemma every company has to face ‘how do we make this Christmas more interesting than last year?’

Here’s a cool idea (sorry for the pun!) from JWT/Delvico Madrid for Paradores (a tourism partnership in Spain) – one massive ice cube with a rather large key embedded in the center, get people to vote on the exact time the giant ice cube will melt. The winner gets the key, and they can use said key to ‘open’ a great holiday! Give it a go at Ice Xmas.

Certainly makes Xmas that little bit more interesting, and creates a little buzz along the way!

tags: Online

Be the Master of all Skills

December 12, 2010

DonQ

They say there’s no such thing as a difficult question, just one you either know or don’t know the answer to… is this true?

Odopod and Undercurrent teamed up to produce DonQ’s Master of All Skills, a series of puzzling quizzes and challenges testing the users master knowledge of all things interesting. They collaborated with some of the most visited sites on the Internet to gather questions from categories across a variety of themes. Foodspotting tests your gastronomy wits. BuzzFeed challenges your humor and Internet memes. NOTCOT tries to stump you with Mixology trivia.

The site delivers a nicely designed experience throughout the different sages of the quiz play. It also, cleverly, keeps the user interested by keeping progressive levels locked until they complete all current tasks (a key component that I’ve talked about before in the creating Conversational Capital).

The site also allows the ability the save and track your progress through the quiz, progresses in complexity, has good links to social networks, and delivers a great prize at the end of it all.

All in all, a nice site and one that’s well worth dusting off that grey matter and seeing if you have what it takes to be the Master of all Skills.

Take note – Moleskine Mini Planners

December 8, 2010

Just a beautifully crafted piece of work by Rogier Wieland for Moleskine mini planners. Enough said. (via adverblog + Fubiz)

tags: Motion

A Pot Noeldle Christmas

December 4, 2010
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Worried about preparing the perfect Xmas meal for family or friends? Well, why bother with the time, pressure and all that washing up, when the answer to your problems are all contained within a simple plastic pot! Hmm.

AKQA has created this great ad for Pot Noodles new festive flavor. The ad made by production company A Large Evil Corporation, is a satirical take on classic Christmas ad campaigns.

The video follows on from the excellent Pot Noodle’s Guinness spoof “Tipping Point”, created by AKQA, which swaps the Argentinean mountainside village of the original ad with a North London estate.

WWF paperless reality

December 3, 2010
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Somewhere along the route towards a paperless society we got something wrong. We started printing more. All the infinite amount of digital content we create everyday is great for the dissemination of information, but oh so bad for our planet – we just love to print stuff.

I’ve done my fare share, believe me. But I’m not proud. What we need is a really good idea…

…WWF Germany has created a .wwf file format which is a .pdf that cannot be printed. Save a tree, download the WWF software, save your docs as .wwf and protect the environment.

Brilliant.

Digitally enhanced adidas Originals

December 2, 2010
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When you buy your new adidas Originals, you know you’re buying more that just a comfortable set of trainers. You’re buying the brand – its cultural traits and the associations that builds within your own mind. You’re buying the lifestyle and the relationships that builds within the minds of all those who see those three stripes. And you’re buying a connection to all those other three stripe followers who are united by the idea of originality.

But more that that, you’re buying a 3D animated interactive world.

You’re buying the adidas Originals neighborhood. The experience is delivered through an augmented reality code designed directly onto the Originals trainer. The digital experience, created by Sid Lee, extends the physical with pop-up animation and interactive game play.

The neighborhood is an interesting idea, and has been crafted really well. It’s another great example of how Sid Lee is extending the adidas Originals brand in ways that really connects with it’s audience.

I’ve had my Originals at least for the last 8 months, and have played the game a good couple of times. It may be a little novel for some, but when I’m tying the laces on by three stripes, I do sometimes look over to my old Nike’s and think you’re so late 90’s!

by____ Gavin Johnson