this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's most plaid design and branding firm:

Geez - this was a crazy week. We announced that we're re-branding our firm - from VIA to Plaid. You can read about the entire process as we build the Plaid brand, on We welcome comments and input. Yesterday, we posted some logo ideas. More cool announcements coming next week.

We launched a site redesign for Union Savings Bank, a regional bank chain in CT. You'll especially appreciate Dave's design work when you see the "before" screen grab.

Giuli got to play the part of a hand model for a postcard campaign that Justus is working on. And she touched a Wii, in the process. She walks around the office wearing gloves now, and insists that everyone open doors for her.

I began the interview process for the design position we have open. Interviews continue over the next couple of weeks. Send your stuff if you're interested.

We're looking for an intern this summer, too. Know of anyone? Please send them our way. We'll be nice. Mostly.

cheap = fun. usually.

Super genius Seth Godin has an interesting post on the relationship between price and joy. His theory - the more you pay, the less you enjoy. Think car buying and house buying, and what stress bombs they create. Versus the chocolate coated marshmallow Easter bunnies that are waiting for you right now at Walgreens. Ummm. Joy.

Seth points to an opportunity for brands that sell stress bombs like cars and can they make the process more enjoyable?

kohler flushes everything

Now you can play with the toilet and a sexy plumber. Kohler's created Kohler Class Five to illustrate how well their toilets flush. You can choose objects like flowers, towels and even a bra and let sexy Jo the plumber help you flush it down. I spent too much time here. From Todd And.

put a whale in your browser

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has produced a site where you can put a life size whale on your desktop. For real. You don't even need a widescreen. You can view it 1024 pixels at a time. Or whatever your pixel preference might be.

So simple, yet totally clever concept. From Core 77.

michael jackson to take over world with robot

Michael Jackson wants to create a 50 foot robotic version of himself, to roam the desert near Las Vegas. With laser beams. The jackbot would be visible to aircraft landing in Vegas.

Can the laser beams kill people? Or shoot down airplanes? MJ just gained a few points in my book. Awesome.

new ad buying strategy: avoid sexy

Some scientists have determined that people pay less attention to advertising when it's placed within a show containing sexy content. Ad time just got more expensive over at The View. Oh, snap!

searchles video

There's yet another video social blogging web2.0 tool that's all about video. At Searchles, you can tag and keep track of all of your favorite video clips. The cool thing is that it doesn't matter where they came from. YouTube, MySpace, Google, whatever.

This is a great tool to organize your favorite video clips - but also has some cool marketing possibilities. You can create your own channels, and serve up videos from almost anywhere.

The future of tv is being invented in front of our eyes.

kwik-e-marts coming to a 7-11 near you

To promote the new Simpsons movie, 7-11 tentatively plans to outfit 11 of their stores as Kwik-E-Marts. Now you can buy porn AND Duff beer. They also plan to stock some limited edition Simpsons products, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees. What a great idea, for both parties. Excellent promotion opportunity for the film, and a guaranteed traffic generator for 7-11. Excellent... From Boing Boing.

for sale: second life skate park

We've built an amazing skate park in Second Life for a client that's had a change in their marketing plan, where Second Life doesn't make sense.

So we're putting the park up for sale. It's ready to launch - in minutes. The park features some of the most advanced vehicle movement systems within Second Life. It's fun - residents that we've shared private tours with are stoked about the skating function, and that there's something to do in this build.

This is an excellent opportunity for a brand that's looking for a quick entry into Second Life, but doesn't want a lame, boring place. Like the Sears store.

We're not looking to make a buck on it, as much as we want to see the work live. So we'll work with you, if your brand is appropriate for the park. Sports companies, youth brands, here's your chance....

bleeding colors

Cool outdoor ad for detergent that keeps your colors from bleeding. And it comes in different colors.

highline festival

There's a new arts and music festival happening in New York that sounds pretty cool. High Line Festival will be curated each year by a different artist. This year, David Bowie has the honor. The festival is a ten day mash-up of music, film, comedy, art and performance - selected by David Bowie.

The proceeds benefit Friends of the High Line, a non-profit that's helped to get the High Line - an abandoned elevated train track that runs through the meat packing district/Chelsea - approved as a public park. Construction's already begun.

The festival runs May 9 - 19, and tickets go on sale in a few days. Separately, is it me, or does Laurie Anderson look just like Hillary Clinton, with a cool haircut? (See her pic on the High Line Festival site)

advertising 2.0 doesn't exist

Smartass, cartoonist and super industry genius Hugh Macleod has a wonderful rant/post about the ad industry, behemoth clueless agencies, and more. Very funny and for the most part, right on.

paper week rocks new york

Well, sort of. If you're a paper guy, I guess. Since there wasn't a parade, or even a blimp, you might have forgotten that this week is Paper Week. It's celebrated in NYC every year. If you work in NY, maybe you should throw some paper out the window, in celebration.

Anyway, Giuli and I attended the Cellmark bash at the Campbell Apartment, in Grand Central Station.

Even better, we got our pictures taken with some sports dudes. That's Giuli, above - with Gary Carter (a baseball player), and some football guy with the last name of Klecko, who plays with a team that wears green jerseys. You can tell that I know a lot about team sports, which is always fun at cocktail parties near March Madness.

We also got some signed stuff - and since I obviously don't deserve this, I'll give the autographed baseball to the first sports fan who emails me and asks for it.

Special thanks to Andy, Peter, Joe and the entire Cellmark crew, for a great time. And to that Klecko guy for not kicking my ass.

What's in a name?

A little more than ten years ago, we founded VIA. The Visual Intelligence Agency. 1996 was a fun time. Remember dial-up? So much has changed, and we have too.

More importantly, we're in a position to offer our clients new and exciting services that didn't even exist back in 1996. We're doing some things now (and planning on some others) that won't fit well under the old banner of VIA. So we're about to embark on a complete re-branding of our firm. Proof that even a branding firm needs a re-branding every once in a while.

VIA is about to become Plaid.
Within the next few weeks, our agency will officially become known as Plaid.

As a great example of how things have changed, we plan on sharing the entire process of our re-branding. We're plaid-blogging. We'll have a weekly update here on BrandFlakes, and more frequent details at what will become our new site,

There's so much to tell you, and we're more stoked than ever about where things are going. Get ready to paint the town Plaid.

hillary's 1984 - you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Everyone's predicting an onslaught of DIY political attack ads for the 'upcoming' election. They're saying "Citizens have the power."

I agree. Average citizens are either dazed or pissed about paid political advertising - and these feelings will only swell as the election actually nears. This will undoubtedly be a fun one to watch. And there's going to be loads of great content for parodies, too. Brands, keep your eyes open for ripe opportunities. (Or make sure that your agencies do.)

advertising battle in france

Sony PS3 sets up a huge launch party in front of the Eiffel Tower. They're looking to make lots of hoopla. Or whatever they call hoopla in France. And what should float by? How about a big, giant barge that Xbox rented for the event - complete with a huge lit billboard, proclaiming "Xbox 360 loves you."

peta launches campaign w/o nudity

Not that there's anything wrong with campaigns featuring nude people....I just never believed that it communicated their message very well.

This new campaign hits you over the head with the real message - fur comes from animals. Seems so much more effective in getting to the point. And when Shirley Manson holds up a dead, skinned fox, it gets attention. Yes, it hurts to look, and that's the point. If you're cringing now, you'll probably remember this ad the next time you see a fur coat. And that's an effective campaign. Nicely done.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's most popular design and branding firm:

I wrote a piece for the SmartBiz blog on Twitter. If you haven't already registered a Twitter name, you might want to do so. I'm finding, that especially with tech-oriented news, you hear about things on Twitter at least a day before blogs. And still more than a week or two before mainstream media. ;)

Leigh's down in FLA shopping for homes. Reminder, agencies in Orlando, this is your big chance. We're narrowing down candidates for interviews for Leigh's position. It's not too late to get in the door.

Giuli turned 30 this week. Sooo old. She's leaving now for the early bird special.

Both David AND Justus got flat tires this week. We're pretty sure that Leigh's cutting tires in the parking lot. With a switchblade.

We received our first samples of the Flambeau River Papers sample book that Leigh designed. Awesome. Beautiful. Wonderful.

Met with a real estate development company about the branding of a new property they're developing. It's a unique property, geared towards 20-30 somethings. We've never worked on brand strategy for a property development before, so we're pretty stoked about the possibilities.

We've got some really, really, really big news to announce next week....stay tuned.

reynolds wraps manhattan

How do you best illustrate the strength of heavy duty aluminum foil, with outdoor media? Cool.

disclosure over abstinence or fear

Cool new campaign for the San Francisco department of health about the danger of HIV. Unlike previous campaigns that depress and scare, this one takes a different, slightly controversial tactic: disclosure.

The campaign's goal is to get guys to discuss their HIV Positive or Negative status before doing it with another guy. Seems like common sense, and is supposedly already happening in the gay community.

But it's apparently the first time that a government agency has allowed a message of disclosure to be used as prevention. Smart thinking, and wonderful design communicates the point.

second lifers: unhappy with brands

A new study shows that current Second Lifers don't appreciate brands coming into Second Life. Many don't even notice the brands. "Over a third of them were unaware of the branded presence and 42% said they thought it constituted nothing more than a short-term trend, lacking durable commitment from the companies."

Shouldn't really be a surprise - as the majority of the brands that have made the greatest noise outside Second Life aren't doing anything worthwhile inside Second Life.

In the old days of about a year ago, brands could issue a press release announcing their Second Life existence, and expect boku attention. No more, thankfully.

Like any community of humans, a brand needs to provide something of value to the community, in order to get recognition. It's the most simple branding, marketing or business principle. And yet everyone's thrown that out the window in the last year.

So, before you launch your lonely island in Second Life, ask your agency "what benefit will this provide current Second Lifers?" If you hear a long 'uhhhhhh...' it's time to rethink the strategy.

Unrelated, Justus flexes for the camera, in his world famous pants, above.

advertising with 100% roi

This could be huge. The Google gods are beta testing a new adwords buying program: you only pay for the clicks that result in an action. And you determine what that action is - a product buy, a page view, or a lead. Talk about ROI. Wow.

coasters for your bloody drink

These coasters are printed with invisible red ink, so that when customers put a moist drink on them, the person's face 'bleeds.' Copy reads: Just a reminder: Drunk driving kills.

giuli's an old woman

Giuli turned 30 today. So to celebrate, we got her a cake featuring the two things that she really loves. Lemurs, and the word y'all. Yeah, I know.

Even though she's lived in New England for several months now, she insists on throwing that y'all word around every once in a while. Which, you know, doesn't always go over well with New Englanders.

If that wasn't bad enough, she's got some strange fascination with Lemurs. We had never heard of them until she arrived, but I guess they're some form of really rare (and super ugly) monkey. She insists "they're not monkeys!" but they sure look like crazy, ugly monkeys to me. Yeah - all the causes in the world, and she picks Lemurs.

So anyway, that's why Giuli's birthday cake says Y'all, and has Lemurs on it. In case you were wondering.

Birthday greetings can be sent to giuli AT

p&g: officially satan free.

P&G finally washed their hands of a decades old lawsuit against some Amway sales execs who allegedly spread a rumor that P&G was affiliated with the Church of Satan. Of course, it's "proven" in their old "satanic" logo, featured above.

This story is as old as the sun. Or as old as Satan, maybe. Funny how lawyers can drag something that started in the 1980's through decades of litigation. Now, who's affiliated with satan, again??

how to make a bedroom out of cardboard

If you don't mind sleeping in a fire trap, here's a very sweet idea for building an indoor log cabin. Giant recycled cardboard tubes.

stop acting big and do something for your clients

Supreme post by Dan over at FortyMedia about acting like a big company when you're really a small firm. This seems rampant in our industry - but it exists everywhere.

Dan hits it on the spot, and asks "how will this make your client's life better, or the world a nicer place?" Of course, it won't.

If you're small, embrace it. Produce the best product or service that you can. And then make it better. Dan titles his piece "how posers affect your business", which reminds me of an article I wrote a while back about the punk rock brand. Punk rock business is alive and well.

And small rocks.

25K for a clogged toilet. we could have been rich.

SCOTT Tissue (put it in caps, because you need to shout about toilet paper) just completed a contest searching for the worst toilet clog stories. The $25,000 crown went to the dude pictured above - who, well, you can read the story.

Great contest. I like it when toilet brands don't hide what they do. Yes, we clean poop. Off your butt. It's all about poop. Let's not clog it up. So cooler than that stupid fluffy bear.

I'm just upset because I believe we have a few clogging champions in our office. And it's probably not Leigh, or Giuli. I'm just saying. Thanks Jon!

google themes. so many possibilities

Google just launched 'themes,' which lets you customize your home page using cute little scenes. Even more google-icious - they adjust based on the weather, when you enter your zip code. Which means that my theme will likely always be grey and too cold. Mmmm. New England.

No idea what the long term plans are here, but if Google opens up the doors, this could be a powerful branding tool. If they allowed users to create their own themes - artists and designers could go wild. We could produce cool, branded themes that deliver messages based on locations. Oh, soo many possibilities. Please, Google, please?!

Update: There's 'easter eggs' hidden in the XML.

time magazine gets a redesign

Pentagram's redesign for Time Magazine is out. Geez, they make everything look wonderful. And easy.

And here's how illustrator Tim O'Brien created the controversial tear on Reagan's face.

Not sure if either of them had anything to do with Will Ferrell's hair.

powerpoint: finding the courage to say no

I always laugh at the 'big agency' 200 slide PowerPoint decks. And I always brag to clients and potential clients, that 'we don't do PowerPoint decks.'

And we don't - at least not in the big agency way. But we do write the occasional presentation. As I'm writing a small presentation for a meeting on Friday, (ok, I'm supposed to be writing a ppt, but I'm reading blogs instead), I come across Jon Howard's post about ditching PowerPoint. The agency where he works, Quiet Storm, shares the same philosophy.

They recently pitched some new business in a completely different way. Without PowerPoint. Hooray. (They didn't win the account - but he swears it wasn't the presentation.) I believe him.

He even found the ever so appropriate Gaping Void illustration, pictured above. (I'm pretty sure they knew it was a cartoon, and that there were no pants dropped in front of their clients.)

And now I'm off to finish that ppt.

nickel slots at the top of the slopes

A supposed indoor ski/snowboard park, coming to Las Vegas? Cool.

designers suck

Bruce Nussbaum spoke last week at the Parsons Design School. He's turned his speech into an outstanding essay in Business Week. It takes some balls to get in front of a crowd of designers, and proclaim "designers suck."

While Bruce's speech may upset a few Al Gore fans and animal rights leaders (read the article, you'll see), it's a must read for anyone in design. Or branding. Or manufacturing. Or business.

Everything's changed in our industry - and Bruce accurately describes the climate.

Alternately, if you're one of those creative people who 'don't like things with lots of words in them,' check out David Armano's brilliant synopsis of Bruce's speech - along with signature David Armano illustrations (like the one above). Wonderful.

got milk debuts game with 1998 download speed

If you've got nothing better to do than to spend half a day watching a download progress bar, this new game from Got Milk is worthy.

Absolutely stunning production value for an internet game. But loads, and loads of waiting. I mean it. Get a glass of milk while you wait. From Adrants.

eckerd college blogs china

Casey Paquet tells us that he's in China with students from Eckerd College. (eff you, Casey - we're stuck in cold, grey, snowy New England) They're blogging about their trip.

It's not your average student blog. I especially like how they've embedded the photo slide shows into each blog post. Really, really, well done.

What a great tool this must be for their parents and friends (who are commenting heavily). Not to mention how cool this will look to prospective students for the college. Here's a great example of a tool that will also become a marketing vehicle.

Nice job.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's most snowlicious design and branding firm:

Our rooftop patio says "it's time to be warm. It's time to relax in the sun and drink alcoholic beverages." Winter should be over now.

What a crazy week. Loads of new business pitches. We had a wonderful meeting with a hospital about a re-branding campaign, a lesser than exciting company that makes widgets, and a fairly prominent theater. The hospital's pretty much on board, and we're feeling good about the others.

Spent a lot of time experimenting with Twitter.

Presented conceptual work to a bunch of clients, including an exciting new Second Life project.

We actually had an outside designer present to us. This was a real weird experience, as we're not accustomed to sitting on the client side of the table. We've been buried beyond belief, and haven't had the right amount of time to devote to self promo stuff. Got some really cool input, ideas and design work. More later.

OH YEAH - We're hiring. You know you want to work here. Let's make it happen.

what if you could spew crap out the back of your neck?

Blowhole Bob rocks.

lorem ipsum in the real world

When designers need to place filler copy into a concept to present to a client, we'll typically use latin text - from an automated text generator. Designers (and many clients) will recognize that the first two words in this filler are always "Lorem Ipsum."

Apparently, someone at Home Depot mistakenly thought this was Spanish. Designer, asleep at the wheel.

how to get coffee like you're in a video game

If you play World of Warcraft, the world's most popular video game, you'll really appreciate this. This is what it might be like, if you lived in WOW, and needed to get a cup of coffee.

Second Lifers and other MMO players will also get a laugh. For those of you too busy working, with no time for games, I'm not sure what you'll think. Just get back to work. Thanks Devon!

don't mess with texas

Just a reminder you can't mess with Texas. Sometimes, I feel like it's my job to spread that word. Promoters hired by Zune were arrested by Austin police as they were pasting up posters around town, during SXSW.

Good thing this didn't happen in Boston - they might have blown up the guerilla marketers.

the end of old school radio

BoingBoing reports on a device that was getting a ton of buzz at South by Southwest, called Slacker. It's an internet radio station (both free and premium offerings) AND they're coming out with a hardware device - that feeds off of wifi OR satellite feeds.

The difference is that this device uses existing satellites, so they don't have to blast their own hardware into space, like Sirius or XM do. We'd assume this means satellite radio really cheap. Internet in our car is just moments away. Can't wait.

invisible car that everybody notices

That's not photoshop work. It's a sculpture of a real, "invisible" car. Cool. Great outdoor promotional idea.

how to reach male viewers: crotches

Designers, producers, creative directors - if you're attempting to reach the male audience, we need more crotch. This, according to a study by some scientists who hooked people up to fancy equipment and watched what they watched.

To be fair, it doesn't appear that they included boobies in their study.

There's also some great insight to copy layout/typography, and how people read (and retain information) on a page. Good news: white space is still in.

past, present, future. where are you?

Brain Fuel offers some outstanding advice for productivity:

"Assign a % to each that you are focused on, on an average day."

Then, set goals. For instance, maybe you want to spend 40% of your time on the future, 50% on the present, and 10% on the past. My 10% of the past would be spent watching Gilligan's Island reruns. But you could probably do better than that.

everyone needs more energy

The Beverage Marketing Corporation just released a new report about soft drink sales - and energy drinks out-performed all other products.

Carbonated sodas continued to decline in sales (yet are still the top selling products), while energy drinks increased sales by almost 50%.

"Beverages offering functional benefits are growing two to three times faster than conventional refreshment beverages. " said some honcho with the organization. From PROMO.

office max gives away air

Anyone who thinks an in-house agency can't do spectacular work needs to check this out. OfficeMax created Purity "perfume" samples to give away at a recent event. The thing is - there's no perfume in them - just fresh air. It's a piece for the American Lung Association of Chicago. Nice work.

krispy kreme. not just high calorie. it's sexual, too.

I'm as far as they come from a prude. Really - nothing offends me. I can even laugh at this. But spots that try so hard for that "oh my god - did they really say that" moment just aren't appropriate for every brand.

The new Krispy Kreme spot. seems sooo off target for their brand image. Who's the audience here? Budweiser guys? Not getting it. No brand benefits, no ad message, just a really lame joke.

mmmm. But I could go for a Krispy Kreme, right now. From Make the logo bigger.

calvin klein reaches out to the blogger generation

Calvin Klein launches In2U, the new fragrance geared towards technosexuals. The blogger generation. The MySpacers. Oh, boy. Because everyone knows that bloggers smell so pretty.

So how do you best promote to the blogger generation? How about a nice 2001 style flash site? Hahaha. Even better, it looks like they failed to secure the domain for Clearly, their agency isn't in the "technosexual" demo.

advertising in black and white

What the advertising world looks like in high contrast, black and white. Just because you were probably wondering.

hahaha. integrated agency, without a website?

American Copywriter points out that there doesn't seem to be a website for Chuck McBride's latest venture. The legendary creative superstar left TBWA to start his own joint - Cutwater - a firm that believes in an agency "built around the philosophy that all disciplines -- design, interactive, and advertising -- must collaborate..." Umm...Duh. I feel icky just typing that sentence.

So, it's either big agency ridiculousness, or the ultimate we've got balls move. Integrated without integration. You decide.

honesty = good. secrets = bad.

This is a weekly simultaneous post featured on Brand Flakes for Breakfast AND the SmartBiz SmartBlog. The posts are geared toward small business.

Welcome to the transparent marketplace.

There's been a lot of blog flutter from former employees of organizations like Verizon and Cingular, and even Geek Squad about what goes on behind the scenes. Posts of this nature spread like wildfire, and can tarnish a brand's image overnight.

What an excellent example of the importance of honesty. That word is taken for granted, today. We've all read about transparency, and it's importance in the marketplace. Transparency today goes so much deeper than the financials shared in an annual report. Whether you realize it or not, your business is completely transparent.

Ten years ago, we started an open book policy in our firm. Countless executives laughed, and couldn't believe we'd share such information. But we've got nothing to hide from our employees. If we're having a bad month, they know about it. If we're having a great one, they know it too. Ten years later, we've kept employees longer than the majority of firms in our industry. Our employees act and think more like entrepreneurs, and make business decisions like they're invested. Because they are.

And for us, honesty doesn't stop with employees. A lot of firms in our business work hard to mystify the creative process, and hide things behind a black box. We prefer sharing and collaborating. We even invite clients to participate in every aspect of their projects, through a shared web-based project management system.

Think about every aspect of your business. Your policies, your best practices, your documentation. Outside of proprietary "product recipe" information - what would you be embarrassed about, if people from the outside looked in?

The right answer should be nothing. Look hard. The marketplace is now an open marketplace. You're not going to keep your secrets forever. So why keep them at all? Employees will move on, customers will leave - and there's a worldwide audience waiting to hear their stories. Keep it honest and open, and you'll eliminate any surprises, and ensure all of your stories are from fans.

Even in branding, honesty really is the best policy.

we're hiring.

Uber hot design and branding firm VIA is seeking a new designer. Here's a few details that should tell you all you need to know:

Why we’ll dig you:
  • You live, breathe and think design
  • You’ve got a killer portfolio of print and interactive work
  • You’re almost a master at Photoshop and Quark/InDesign. You can get by in Illustrator
  • You have an incredible sense of humor.
  • You have great ideas.
  • You want to do great things.

Why you’ll love working at VIA:

  • We believe in fun.
  • More creative control than any firm in the US
  • Challenging, fun clients
  • You’ll have a say, with our open management philosophy. Open books, company planning and no secrets.
  • Open office environment encourages collaboration
  • Music server supports a slightly noisy work environment
  • The Beastie Boys were once declared our official company band
  • Planning meetings in fun places (like Puerto Rico, above)
  • Aggressive profit sharing plan
  • 1/2 day Fridays during the summertime
  • 100% paid health benefits, 401(k) plan
  • We want to do great things.

Things you might not like so much:
  • We’re in Connecticut, where the weather’s almost always grey. (the pic above is a branding strategy, to distract you from that.)
  • Just as many boring clients as exciting clients.
  • Someone put ABBA on our office music server.
  • There’s no good deli in walking distance from our office.
  • Mid level salary. Under 50, over 30. We're not rich, but we're working on it.
Send your resume (and preferably, a link to some work) to: darryl AT

Our job posting can also be found on CA's - Creative Hotlist and in HOW's - Job Bank (under CT).

agencies in orlando: your lucky day

Our loss is your gain!

Meet Leigh. She's one of our uber talented designers on staff at VIA.

Leigh's freakin' husband went and got himself some new, super awesome job in Orlando Florida. I guess he makes a bunch of money. Or at least more than Leigh does.

We've tried to convince her that she should leave him, and consider herself married to the agency - but she's not buying that.

So - Leigh is moving south. She'll be looking for opportunities in Orlando, to start sometime in May or June. Maybe April - but don't push it.

Wanna meet her? Interview her? You're welcome to contact her at our firm, through email (Leigh AT and make some great things happen. She'll be traveling to Orlando on a few occasions in the next few weeks, as she spends that husband salary on a big new house. You could probably interview her in-between house hunts.

Get her NOW - before your competition does!

Oh yeah - and of course, this means we're hiring....

gold jackets. so 1974.

Just saw one of the new Century 21 ads, a part of their "Agents of Change" campaign. It was surprising that the golden jackets are included. Not only included, but an agent looks into the camera and shouts out to the world how proud he is of his magic jacket. So, even the agents of change haven't changed, entirely.

It seems like this would have been a great time to rethink the jacket thing, as a part of the campaign. A home is the largest purchase of a lifetime for most buyers. Isn't it a little weird to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with someone wearing a uniform just a step up from a Walmart smock? (Not that there's anything wrong with a Walmart smock.)

This would have been an excellent time to re-think the jacket strategy. Dumping the C21 uniforms would have generated boku publicity. No customer would shed a tear. And we could all remember them fondly, like Ted Knight.

good morning. time for your hallucination.

Feeling a little tired this morning, with an hour less sleep? After that first cup of coffee, check this out.

i'm twittering.

I've mentioned Twitter before. It seems it's getting bigger by the minute. I suggest you check it out today. We're experimenting with it here, and looking for ways to integrate it into projects for clients. And we've got some pretty cool ideas, so far.

Look me up, once you're in the door. Add me as your friend, so that we both don't look like losers.

And there are some useful ways to use Twitter, as well. Slacker Manager has an outstanding overview, and some good tips on how it can be applied to your business day.

what if myspace was well designed?

It would look like Virb.

The latest, hot, social networking site is Virb. It looks to be what MySpace intended to be in the early days. Music, first. More importantly, it looks wonderfully Web 2.0ish. Design that doesn't hurt like the hot poker in the eyes of a MySpace page.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's most nifty design and branding firm:

Paul completed a project for the band KoRn, tied to their new release hitting this week. Some crazy back-end magic, that's a really impressive feat, if you're into that crazy back-end magic stuff.

Quite a busy week for Leigh. She launched a site that had the LONGEST project timeline in our company's history, for a b2b client. (Not due to anything on our side, btw)

She also completed two interactive games - a racing game, and a "something to do while you're in boring meetings" game. Both are going to be cool when launched.

If that wasn't enough, Leigh received board approval on the design work she did for the City of Danbury, CT for a brand new identity, and street banner system that will grace the town by springtime.

Justus completed a fun video clip for RMI, promoting the American Lung Association. The clip is now featured on their home page.

More important than anything - we discovered that David once had a mullet. You can see him in all his teenage glory, above. Mighty mullet - AND a sly look. Looks like he's got some game. Stylin'.
Now your brand news diet is chockfull of tasty tales of Customer Experiences (CX). Served-fresh every morning for your daily recommended dose of marketing inspirations. Never sugar coated. May contain nuts. Archives | Look back at these past bites