at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Knee deep in work

In communications, Consumers, culture on March 4, 2009 at 7:18 am

This has been the theme from the last few weeks. However, on my cold walk to work I made a comittment that I would make a focused reentry into the blogosphere. And while my phone is filled with snapped pictures begging to be released from their iPhone purgatory, for now I deny their crys.

A while back I wrote a post about manufacturing authenticity which I still believe in as a last resort. But I came across two interesting posts this morning that made me consider the general lack of culture through which things are emerging.  The first is an interview from the newly discovered A Continuous Lean in which Mr. G. Bruce Boyer discusses Ivy League style and how it emerged from a class culture and came to signify it. He makes the assertion that today’s fashion is a mash-up but that it is all about costuming rather than authentic references.

Second link comes from Daily What and is a very authentic list of what it takes to be cool. I’m moving my way up the cool scale as we speak and I’m currently seeking individuals who can speak “European” so that I may learn from their skills.

Nike Keeps Sticking in my Head

In Brands, communications, marketing on July 23, 2008 at 4:13 pm

This stuff is amazing and it is sticking to the inside of my head like Brown Eyed Girl at a kareoke bar.

Beautiful Russia

In communications, culture, Design, photo, trends on April 16, 2008 at 5:34 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

By accounts of the designers and artists that I spoke with in Moscow, the culture of design and art there is going through a renaissance. Ten years ago it was about mimicking the design language of the West. Then there was a period of transition. The Russian artists of today speak with great excitement about the new opportunities they have to create a whole new design language for the country and to generate pride in the design coming out of the the Russian Federation.

I was fortunate to be in Moscow for the wonderful and amazing photography show. The images were really quite nice but I was particularly struck by a short video by the 25-year-old director Natasha Pavlovskaya. It captured the intersection of photography and video in a way that reminded us photographers that sometimes no image is more powerful than the next and that it is the moment that should be preserved.

I can’t find a postable version of the film but I’ve linked to it here. I encourage you to check it out as it does a great job of capturing the mood, movement and moment of a forgotten Russian print house and those who work there.

Cultural Understanding Through the Baggage Carousel

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Baggage hall

Originally uploaded by louisetolman

I’ve traveled a lot and I’m thinking that from now on to understand a culture I might just land, go to the baggage carousel, and then take off again.

Moscow: pushy, driven, impatient, ‘oh there is a foot between you and the baggage carousel, I think I’ll squeeze in there’ sort of culture. How about if we put an invisible fence two feet back from the baggage carousels that if you stepped across before your bags come along would zap you like a suburban dog? Anyone with me here?

Brands, Advertising and Culture

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, culture, strategy on March 31, 2008 at 9:39 am

We talk a lot more about culture and context in branding these days. And while a few very special brands have created cultures in their own right (BMW MINI, Brand Jordan) it is getting harder and harder to do it because consumers don’t really need new brands. (although they still want new experiences)

Existing brands are starting to dig deeper into culture to find human truths and connect with an existing culture. For example, I started seeing this ad for Toyota around the time of the Super Bowl. Looks like fun right, Big Wheels down a crazy hill? The nice part about it though, is that it actually happens. The spot doesn’t rely on creating a made up scenario but rather about figuring out what is already going on in the world that appropriately reflects the brand culture and attitude.

Toyota commercial here:

Video from Little Big Wheels 2008 SF

How Much Better is This Than Reality TV?

In culture on March 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm

NBC, Bravo, Fox and other reality TV shillers could learn a thing or two from the entertainment value Brought to You By a few hundred prisoners in the Philippines. The guys in the orange jumpsuits who first earned international fame through their incredible ability to enact both choreographed dance moves to “Thriller” and heinous crimes against the community are back at it again. This time with Soulja Boy and MC Hammer. And no, you can’t touch that.

Hat tip to the ever interesting psfk.

The End of Green?

In Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, culture, marketing, strategy on March 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

Originally uploaded by onikasi

The green trend and the recession trend seem to be on a collision course and something is going to have to give. It’s no secret that brands have been pushing green as a way to appease customers as well as clean up their corporate image, but what will happen in a down market?

All the research that I’ve seen says the predictable. Customers want to buy green products and they want corporations to be green as long as they don’t have to pay more for the product itself. We’ve been calling this “values added” marketing but it could just as well be called “holy shit.” Now you have corporations who are pushing green, most without maintaining a price point, and you have customers who are becoming increasingly mindful of their pocketbooks.

My prediction is that green will continue to move in upscale categories and categories like automotive where there is a bottom line benefit for customers. In the mid and lower markets it will move back to corporate image and away from products since customers don’t typically cough up the money right away to help a corporate image. Longer term the future of the trend is anyone’s guess. Make yours in the comment section below.

Is 2008 the Year of the Tear?

In communications, research, trends on January 16, 2008 at 9:30 am

Originally uploaded by Daniel Greene

America seems to be going soft all of a sudden. We started with the
carefully crafted YouTube clip in late 2007 of FanBoy sobbing over
Brittney and her heartbreaking situation. That was a nice way to end
2007; it’s always better to cry at the end of things to help you move
on. I thought that was it, a little isolated tear-shedding and we could
move on.

Not a chance. 2008 kicked off with Hillary Clinton getting misty-eyed upon the electronic screen, a not-so-subtle display of humanity that some
credit for helping her win in NH. And then, even more shockingly,
Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys gets choked up during an interview
as he defends Tony Romo against the inevitable onslaught of the media.
T.O., really? Mr. Brash, Mr. Bling, Mr. Historically, I’d be more likely
to blame my quarterback, my coach, my jockstrap manufacturer… suddenly
having an emotional breakdown in his quarterback’s defense?

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