at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I Thought Customers Meant Business?

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2009 at 5:55 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Who spends money where?

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Hat tip to Good Magazine
Shout out to Jeffluence

The problem with digital media.

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2009 at 7:49 am

Or perhaps more appropriately titled, “The problem with people who work in digital media.”

Digital is a fantastic medium for doing some really interesting and creative things. The outstanding question though is whether it is indeed the equivalent of discovering a new galaxy or whether it is more like finding a pair of pants that you thought you had lost.

Follow me here for a bit. See, from my perspective digital media isn’t any different than traditional media in how consumers interact with it. For marketing it still breaks down to a few fundamentals:
• the appropriateness for the audience
• appropriateness for the brand
• the ability to get a message across
• and drive engagement and purchase

Within this realm of digital media we also have social media. Still conducted online the entire industry has been created by providing socially relevant tools and paying for them with advertising. But then marketers decided that they wanted to use these tools as well. But one can argue that they still don’t quite know what they are doing with these tools. They like to say that they are creating “brand engagement,” and some are, but others are attaching social media to existing plans like Frankenstein’s limbs. Twitter Wolf Blitzer anyone?

But on to the issue of “digital/social media” purveyors. I’ve sat through one to many conferences that feel like religious revivals. The self-appointed guru of media stands up, or more appropriately slouches, and says that “Obama is recreating the Presidency by reaching directly out to the people through YouTube” without taking time to understand that this has been going on since FDR started his fireside chats. That the only thing that has changed is the medium, not how it is being used.

Likewise, Razorfish has published a paper on how social media is influencing purchase behavior that is getting a lot of buzz. When I read the paper it seems to suggest that actually social media works just like regular media. Perhaps that the whole industry is still in the self validation stage and will start talking about real differences soon. I can only hope that it does and that it gets some intelligent voices in the mix as its champions.

hat tip:

The odd branding of sister cities.

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2009 at 7:45 am

Sister cities
Originally uploaded by amrit1983

I remember growing up and learning about sister cities. Seemed like a cool idea and certainly made a kid in small town Ohio feel more connected to the world at large. But, as I now travel around the world on projects, I question the logic of it all.

Some cities make a lot of sense. San Francisco and Sydney share a temperate climate, water-side views and a general openness toward life. Milwaukee, WI and Galway, Ireland share an appreciation for beer (or at least that’s the way that it seemed when I visited each). New York City is an easy girl and has befriended several sister cities, Tokyo, Beijing, Cairo, Madrid, Santo Domingo, Budapest, Rome, Jerusalem, Greater London, and Johannesburg. Which only makes me wonder what was wrong with the rest of London?

But then of course it starts to break down. Imagine the family reunion between the sister cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Isumi, Japan or Seattle, Washington and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. At some point in time one of those cities is going to realize that they were adopted and they are going to embark on a journey to find their real families.

It seems as though the whole concept of sister cities needs a little strategy help. If they are similar, it creates this great small world feel where you realize that there are people in the world who are like you but aren’t near you. If it is about differences, then it is great for kids who need pen pals, although I’m not sure that concept still exists.

Well, I feel safe.

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Perhaps he is watching a new security briefing on YouTube? I recognize that there are times when employees just want some personal time. Airports don’t likely have great employee lounges. I get it.  But when your job is to ostensibly keep me safe and when I indirectly pay your salary the least you could put your phone on speaker and play me a holiday tune.

More bad bank advertising

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 9:17 am

I was just in London for a quick assignment and despite rushing through the airport, this advert caught my eye. Intercontinental Bank bought up the American Airlines terminal to convince everyone not to bank with them.

Particularly I’m drawn to the line, “Global Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria.” Now you have a global bank that happens to have a headquarters in Nigeria. That’s great, but I’m not sure it is a sales tool unless you happen to be a Nigerian. I know there are reputable banks in Nigeria but there are also a lot of people holding money for me there if I could just send them $150, or call the local barrister.

Take a spin around the web

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2008 at 6:47 am

Globe Spinning
Originally uploaded by Rollergirl1688

It’s been awhile since we took a spin around the web and now feels like as good of a time as any for a peek.

Crispin Porter designs Microsoft tee shirts to change the perception of the brand
— hat tip to plaid

Just in time for the depression the Rough Luxe hotel opens in London.

National Geographic channel sees the HSBC ads that have been around for years and decides it fits their new show Taboo. (you’ll have to trust me on this since the ad isn’t online.)

Fun photo project where a woman asks potential mates to pose with her for a photo to see what they would look like as a couple…how long till eHarmony or Match follow suit?
hat tip: Coudal

And if you you still have the energy, here is a nice dancing robot video.
hat tip: laughing squid

So retro it’s now!

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

The truth be told, for every trend there is a counter trend waiting just off it’s heels. This is part of what makes life so interesting. It’s also part of why the fast-follower approach to innovation doesn’t work as well as it used to. When everyone has an iPhone it reaches a decible level where folks start checking out the Jitterbug. Likewise, when Ashton Kutcher punks everyone into buying a little digital camera to document their own existence…then you know it is about time for Blackbird, fly. A new dual lens reflex, $200 camera out of Japan to start hitting the shores.

I do believe the analogue days are coming and I think it’s starting to rear it’s head in categories such as apparel and personal care. Now if only they could do something about the automotive industry. I could go for a Shelby Cobra about now.

Trending toward Art

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2008 at 8:10 am

I heard the economy is in the crapper. I actually think that is part of the problem, everyone is throwing around words like recession and depression as if it were candy at a small town parade. Even the folks that I know with money are talking about not spending it because the economy is in such bad shape and they feel like they shouldn’t.

It brings me toward public and commercial art which I have noticing as of late. I have to admit, I think it makes me happier than a stimulus check to walk down the street and see light poles turned into Giraffe necks in SF for the zoo or the picture above which is from a collection of crosswalks turned art.

At a time when consumers are clutching to their pocketbooks it seems like the best way in may be stop acting like a mugger in a subway and start wooing them through humor and fun. If people feel better, they spend more.

hat tip: weburbanist

MacArthur Genius: Walter Kitundu

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm

The MacArthur Foundation named this years recipients of it’s no strings attached grants late last week. Among the astronomers and doctors was Walter Kitundu a Bay Area artist and musician who creates inventive and magical instruments. As he puts it “I don’t have a background in woodwork. I don’t have a background in music. I just have a background in trying.” Refreshing and beautiful.