December 22, 2006

Round the strange Christmas tree

I wish everyone who should cruise by this little blog a merry Christmas & happy New Year. The tree is from this years Roskilde Festival. It’s sort of like Sony Bravia “balls commercial” being the inspiration for reinventing the Christmas tree.

December 20, 2006

Contagiousness


The always inspiring magazine Contagious has its Most Contagious 2006 annual list of brilliant pieces of communication.

Here is everything from the landmark marriage of Youtube and Google to the Design Barcodes to the Second Life to the Graffiti on Air Force One to the Nokia Music Recommender to the life in Adicolors to the Lynx Jet to the Inconvenient Truth to the…

See it all here:
http://www.contagiousmagazine.com/MostContagious2006.pdf

And the person making all this contagiousness happen is no other than YOURSELF we are told from Time Magazine.

Which Cover?


Should one go with the version containing 3D glasses or the one with the eyes?

December 13, 2006

My Beck album cover

I have said before but Beck is one artist that makes it worth still buying your physical album – not only because of the brilliant DIY album cover thing but also because of the accompanying DVD with videos for all songs.

I’ve bought a couple of the songs on iTunes when it came out but since seeing thing in a record store a couple of days ago I decided that it was a must have.

My album hasn’t been individualized yet. It’s one of those really big aesthetic decisions I will have to give a little time.


There is a brilliant article in Wired featuring Beck’s outlook on the future of the album. It’s also a great read for the future of content and communication in general. Very forward looking man that Beck.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/beck.html

December 12, 2006

Three favourite questions

Brand Utility (everyone’s favourite non-internet application brand utility example – Nike Run London)
Brand Spaces (here is the cold room in the Burton Ski shop – brilliant)Sharing,connection and creating with Flickr Toys – here is Billboard creating toy (http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/)

You know those kind of question that just get’s the discussion and thinking going. I have 3 current faves.

1. Question - How can the solution to this brand's problem also solve a bigger, more societal problem?"

It comes from Jack Cheng in one of the many brilliant post on psfk about Brand Utility - check out the post here:
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_6.html (a Piers Fawkes presentation on the subject)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_1.html (nterview With Benjamin Palmer of Barbarian Group)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_2.html (Interview With Johnny Vulkan of Anomaly)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_5.html (Interview With Jack Cheng )

2. Question - How can we give consumers a real life experience of our brand?

There is a lot of great examples from the Trendwatching Brand Spaces study here:
http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/brand-spaces.htm

I, recently saw a presentation with Communication Planning specialist Jim Taylor where he took us through all the many possibilities in retail communication today. He points out to his current counting in the area with more that 80 in-store possibilities and 20 around the store options. Which is just the known option from established retail chains not counting all the creative possibilities with pop-up shops and so on. It's still an area with a lot of creative and innovative potential.

3. Question – How can we make people share, connect and create?

I know it's the engagement strategy again again. But it's always a great question to ask every time you sit there and think you have solved the business problem with your well functioning overall brand idea and brilliant insights.

December 11, 2006

Street Poster Poetry #3

This could either describe an annual conference for ethnography/anthropology or just the top ten list on YouTube.

December 07, 2006

Copenhagen knows what’s NEXT


Last week was time for another round of future explorations in Copenhagen with the NEXT2006 exhibit and conference. It was held at new spectacular IT University and since didn’t bring my camera here is a photo taken from from the Innovation Lab photo stream at Flickr.

A day filled with interesting projects, people and thinking. It’s always an inspiration to think about tomorrow, and wonder how quickly it becomes today.

Here is the blog:
http://next.typepad.com/

Here is the website and pictures:
http://www.next2006.dk/2006/en/index.php

December 05, 2006

Execution, Compression & a Visual World

There is nothing like a trip to the museum. So full of great thinking, so much inspiration, so filled with interesting destinies, existential questions, so much breathtaking creativity.

What fascinate me about artist are the many roles they fulfil in a creative production compared to the amount persons and functions in takes in the communication business. The artist has all the hats on in the role of the researcher, the strategist, the creative, the implementer – a one man band.

Two weeks ago I was on a little romantic trip to Paris with my girlfriend among many other things we paid a visit to the always great Centre Pompidou – Modern Art Museum.

There where lot’s of great exhibitions going on but especially three of them got me thinking in the direction of some of the hot topics in the communication sphere.



Simplicity, Complexity and Compression

The on-going discussion around planning blogs have been on how to be both complex and nuanced at the same time as having a simple overall idea/essence/concept easily understandable even at a glance. Lately Russell Davies has talked about compression as the answer to something that can be both understood from a simple point of view and can be decompressed out into a much more complex understanding.

Yves Klein is simply a terrific example of this. He has his monochrome deep blue colour – which is even called international Klein Blue – and this colour goes through almost all of his work. What seems a little too easy and one-dimensional a first quickly becomes very exciting going through the exhibitions of his. The blue colour only acts as an over layer for his different experiments. It’s a complex variety of his different shapes, his paint methods like ballet choreography, his symphonic orchestra playing only one tone, him using blue painted models as brushes, his architectural projects, his “blue” sound works, his film sets and more.
More about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Klein
A visual world

Without downplaying the importance of the written word I’m probably not alone with the opinion that in a world of communication clutter we need more visually outstanding communication. Not just because it travels better across borders, but also because all new research point in the direction of emotions and pictures are more important than actual message understanding. Benetton’s Fabrica school is a great lab for thinking in this area. They held an exhibition to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Lot’s of interesting stuff there.

There is off-course the classical Oliviero Toscani style above (which I admire more from a visual point of view – but have certain problems with on a more ethical level)
The exhibition seen from above


Lots of great stuff thought provoking stuff like the examples above.

Most interesting is the things they do in interactive/digital fields.


The 10x10 site (www.10x10.com) was created here by the near genius Jonathan Harris. An artist & digital designer. See his other brilliant stuff here http://www.number27.org/
An interactive news channel.
A wall that appears to be displaying you live, but is actually build out of different delayed pictures.
This a moving images wall that each shows your continuous actions frame by micro frame in front of a camera.
This is the big canvas electronic Moleskine.

Off-course there is quite a lot of the usual anti capitalism/anti Americanism/anti imperialism stuff. Which seems a little easy and tired compared to the other stuff.

Overall an interesting school and probably interesting people to hire.
Execution is strategy

Finally there was the museums repeating experiment to do new thematic presentations of it’s own collection. The exhibition was called
Le mouvement des images (Art & Cinema) and proposes a rereading of 20th century art through the filmmaking. It’s based around organised around the basic components of film – frame roll, projection, story and editing. It clearly shows that art have been very inspired by the cinematic world and that your theme/strategy is seldom where the magic happens. This is great exploration into the magic of execution where your experiments with different techniques are the strategy itself.

So when in Paris go see all of this.

November 22, 2006

Street Poster Poetry #2

There must be an insight in here for someone.

Street Poster Poetry #1


A little counterculture comment to the hysteria that surrounded The European MTV Music Award held in Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago.

October 25, 2006

Air & Architecture

There is a mini film about Nike design guru Tinker Hatfield about the creation of the Nike Air series. It’s all filled with all his nuggets of inspiration among these Centre Pompidou in Paris – interesting.
http://www.lamjc.com/movie/tinkermoviehigh


W+K London also has a post about his appearance with Michael Jordan in Nike Town.
http://wklondon.typepad.com/welcome_to_optimism/2006/10/his_royal_airne.html


http://www.lamjc.com/movie/tinkermoviehigh

October 09, 2006

Good & Bad Generators

In the holy name of engagement every advertiser seems to be offering consumer generating tools. Lot’s of them fail because the demand to much involvement and too little output.

The advertisers haven’t asked themselves the crucial questions – Would they spent time doing it themselves/their children? Who would spend time doing it at all? Iain Tait wrote a clever post about this a while ago (
http://www.crackunit.com/2006/08/23/a-conversation-on-participation/)

You shouldn’t create your engagement tools because technology allows you to, but because you offer your something that’s worth something for someone.

The audio cassette tape generator (
http://www.says-it.com/cassette/index.php) pictured above is a good example of something that’s really easy and really funny - I made special one for the old members in my high school rock band.

The Staufenberger Repository has a brilliant list of generators with little involvement and surprising output

It’s here:
http://staufenberger.typepad.com/repository/2006/10/the_generation_.html
And here:
http://staufenberger.typepad.com/repository/2006/10/more_generators.html

October 04, 2006

Gondry get's it

I’m looking very much forward to the next Michel Gondry movie The Science of Sleep. As the multifaceted artist Gondry is, the movie is accompanied by a lot of interesting initiatives.

First is an exhibition in New York with Deitch Projects which allegedly should be - sculptures and creepy pathological little gifts. The further explain that a walk through the exhibition will immerse the viewer in the sculptural experience of the movie in three dimensions – not your usual movie marketing promo.
http://www.deitch.com/projects/sub.php?projId=195

The films website has lots of great features and material.
http://wip.warnerbros.com/scienceofsleep/

The best one is a project where Gondry invites people to share their dreams in the best of consumer generated spirit.
http://thescienceofsleep.imeem.com/

THE TO DO’s



I have a thing with post-it notes in all sizes and colours. The are great at all sorts of things off course your to do list, brainstorming, remembering pages and places, little notes to the girlfriend, random thoughts and generally organising the chaos.

Above there is a consumer generated street art project from New York where people are allowed to write on the notes – interesting to see if there is some clever ones see more here:
http://www.rm116.com/2006/09/todo.html

Here is a similar thing I saw at Copenhagen’s A-House where an artist had written all the big philosophical, human and political subjects in the form of to do lists – always thought provoking.

September 15, 2006

Insight classics

There is a great discussion over at Sidewalk Life about the growing problems with consumer research based insights where all too often communication lacks differentiation because it’s generated from the same overall research frames.

The post is here:
http://davidnottoli.typepad.com/sidewalklife/2006/09/the_tyranny_of_.html

This reminded me of a discussion I recently had with a creative team about the two absolute insight classics.

- Imagine a world without brand x

- What does brand x do to the world

The first one seems to be a creative favourite cause it’s quite easy to dramatize and is easy to put a funny, surprising, sarcastic, heartfelt angle to – and you can basically centre your communication on an empathetic look at people’s lives instead of having to be overly product oriented. It has been the insight for many great campaigns and one of the best planning insights ever - Got Milk - is a prime example. It works really well within generic areas whereas in over communicated categories people often love the communications but can’t remember the advertiser who so cleverly looked right into their souls.

The second one is a bit harder you have to really find the brands inner voice, the brands purpose, the brands opinion. There is a great chance you will get a dull corporate mumbo jumbo inside-out approach when it’s worst. But I really feel the last one has the best potential to create not only creative excellence but also communication that creates stronger associations to a brand. The Honda work from W+K London is a great example of this approach.

From 30 seconds to Tv-channel


In a digital world where YouTube rules and everybody soon will have their own TV-channel on top of the media plan there is a piece of great advice from Chad Stoller and Chris Portella in Adweek.

Secure your brand channel and make it a destination
Brand channels offer a bit of a "safe haven" on YouTube, allowing you to have moderate control of your message and providing a platform for telling your story. A good example is Warner Bros. Records' Paris Hilton Channel. (In the spirit of full disclosure, Organic was the agency that arranged for Fox Broadcasting Co.'s show "Prison Break" to sponsor the Paris Hilton Channel in its first week.)

Respect "tribute-ors."
We define "tribute-ors" as those who pay tribute to a brand by making their own home-brew advertising. Think of it as consumer-generated media in the form of an ad. Like tribute-ors or not, they are on YouTube and they have their own opinions. By having your own brand channel, your story will be there to speak up for your brand.

Put it all out there
Remember, YouTube is the de-facto research for TV spots and video content. Make sure that you are well represented. Did you have a celebrity spokesperson for a campaign? Put some footage of the shoot or an interview up.

Haters hate
Demonstrate that you are a 2.0 brand by embracing all comments, tributes and ratings.

Reward loyalists
Surprise your favorite people with special content and exclusive offers. People love to be in on a secret. If they know one, then they're sure to tell a friend.

Have fun
If you're having fun, chances are your audience will too.

The reverse sponsorship deal


The Barcelona deal with UNICEF is interesting for several reasons. First of all it’s the first time a club put on a logo on the jersey and pays - $1.9 million a year for five years – to do it. For Barcelona it’s the first time they put on a logo at all. It’s furthermore just one of many examples of the mass emphasis on CSR as not only part of corporate values but indeed as a main a communication driver. It really highlights the growing need internally and externally to have a purpose a part from making money and pleasing stockholders.
Studies amongst Danish consumers regarding the importance of CSR were just released today. It shows that 79 % think it’s a very factor important that companies the deal work with aid organisations and 90 % will rather give away possible reductions in the price to aid.


The UNICEF announcement is here:

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/spain_35644.html

August 08, 2006

We are sponges

Just came back from a terrific romantic holiday with the girlfriend. The picturesque island of Symi is known for it’s shrimps, harbours and most notably it’s production of sponges and it reminded me of this great quote from Bryan Finke from Nike. It's about the simple road to innovation which I think could easily be translated into good planning advice – it goes:

Get out, be a sponge, gain insight, translate that into innovation in everything you do.
Taken from the on-line magazine- Reveries.com

Maybe the planning department should simply be renamed The Sponge Centre.

July 14, 2006

Going on summer holiday


I’m going on holiday from Sunday and will be back 31st of July. It’s been a busy month so hopefully I’ll have more time to blog when I get back.

If I had blogged more the last couple of months from the worlds of rock’n’roll & advertising I could have reported from the always splendid Roskilde Festival



I saw Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, The Raconteurs, Roger Water (doing Dark Side Of The Moon), Wolfmother, Arctic Monkeys all in one day.

I could have joined the ongoing discussion around

Coherence vs. Consistency
Complexity vs. Simplicity
Myriad of Ideas vs. Big Idea

All extra provoked by Maurice Saatchi’s One Word Equity nonsense.
See some of the discussion here:
http://www.brandtarot.com/blog/?p=61


I could have talked about the really nice concert I saw with Gnarls Barkley


They gave an uplifting performance with their mixture of old P-funk, hip-hop, Motown and lots of more indefinable inspirational sources.

Or I could have joined Faris - at Talent Imitates Genius Steals - and his brilliant question on how to make better briefs. I would probably have said that you could add a point of inspiration to each of your what, why, who, how, when or whatever boxes. Stimuli like films, a drawing, a cartoon, a song, cultural phenomenon, a mood board etc.
Or you simply answer the brief together wit the team with the help of question like you see in IDEO’s Method Cards.
See the discussion here:
http://farisyakob.typepad.com/blog/2006/07/the_perfect_bri.html


I could have blogged more basically.

July 11, 2006

Join the team


Russell Davies has another one of his excellent projects. This time he will assemble - Six Things Creatives Need To Know About Planners.
Here is my humble advice which is all about advising creative’s to invite the planner into a true team formation – not cause the planners wants step on their creative turf but in order to collaborate like one unit and it goes.
Planners want “that invitation” as the 3rd member of the team (or the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th depending on other creative disciplines are in the mix).

In trade for this invitation they are willing to:

- Do their best to be interesting
- Give lots of stimuli
- Find insights in the brand, corporate history or audience
- Freeze out the unnecessary and clich├ęd
- Work out the strategic argumentation for your solution
- Help you kill your unworthy darlings
- Share their outlook on new media and service channels
- Fight for your work

Really a rather helpful member of the team
The link to Russell’s post is here:
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/07/doing_my_job_fo.html

June 07, 2006

Badges for creatives




Here some badges for the creative types that wants to show-off on an everyday level. I think it’s a brilliant alternative for creative prizes that are standing at home on the shelf getting all dusty.

I should ad that it’s only my interpretation of the badges and they are made on a significant higher abstract and conceptual level and doesn’t refer to either creative prizes or the need to show-off.

Badges for planners





There is nothing like a little flagging of your profession. Here displaying the part of the planning profession where people expect you to be the “Number Crushing Mr. Know It All”.

The badges are made by my brother for a potential placement in an upcoming book by Gavin Lucas of Creative Review. The book should contain the latest, coolest, most beautiful button badges around the world and is to be published by Laurence King.

See more here:
http://www.stereohype.com/pages/abookofbadges.asp

And if you like the badges I could probably have my brother do some for you (or you could hire him when he finishes ad school next summer).


I should ad that it’s only my interpretation of the badges and they are made on a significant higher abstract and conceptual level and doesn’t refer to anything remotely close to planning.

Learning the easy way

Saw these at a book shop a couple of weeks ago. It’s a splendid little series of books featuring the essential phenomenons like modernism, physiology, Darwinism, Freud, Nietzsche etc. all in the form of cartoons.

So if you don’t have the time or ability to get through these topics the hard way this is a great alternative.

True

This is always worth remembering.