awesomely delicious hotel

Oh, we must put this hotel on the schedule for the Plaid Summer Tour. Imagine putting on a record, and then crashing in a comfy cool room, while on business travel? Sweet. I'm absolutely lovin' that hotels have become unique. What a great new design world we live in, eh? From How magazine.

great primer on twitter

If you haven't yet experimented with Twitter, and are tired of hearing all of the hype and not really understanding what all of the fuss is about, check out this clip. Matt Dickman has put together a nice video primer on just what Twitter is all about.

Matt describes Twitter benefits in possibly the most succinct way possible: It's real-time. It's the pulse of the internet. I've found more breaking news on Twitter than in any other online source period. You get a first person account of what industry leaders are doing right now.

Found on Logic + Emotion

what ivanka trump can teach you about marketing

I read this post yesterday about Ivanka. She's got a new line of jewelry. (Whoopee.) The product captures a "young/old Hollywood feel," in an attempt to reach 20 somethings and older women. (Whatever.)

And then, there's this quote proclaiming that the jewelry industry could benefit from a little more youth inspired flavor. "That's the one thing I think this industry needs," she insisted. "I know when I walk into some of these jewelry stores, I feel uncomfortable. That has to change." And she's completely right.

When was the last time you walked into a jewelry store that didn't look like every other jewelry store in the nation, and like every other jewelry store has looked for the past five decades? Why can't jewelry shopping be like a visit to Starbucks? I'm pretty sure that the jewelry industry isn't the only business that could use a little youth-inspired re-invention.

I'm not confident that Ivanka's insulated perspective is enough to turn around an industry - but she's definitely onto something.

brand flakes makes first ever power 150 profile. world is changed forever.


Todd And's Power 150, world famous for the listing of top 150 marketing blogs, has kicked off a new feature. A power profile on the most spectacular Bloggers that ever lived. I made up that last part - but check out the awesome profile they did on ME! Thanks Todd!

And special love to Derek Dudek, the uber photographer, for making me not look like too much of a dumbass, in that photo.

favorite architecture in the U.S.

UnBeige points to a couple of galleries of favorite architecture in the U.S. New York gets the most mentions - and L.A. only gets one! (But they've got beaches, and Lindsay Lohan, so I'm pretty sure they're not too stressed about it.) Surprisingly, the Harry Dick building didn't make the list. :(

your graffiti's in my chocolate

Soooo wish that I thought of this. Someone's released chocolate bars with wrappers designed by famous NYC graffiti artists. You can buy them individually, or in a "gallery box" set. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the All-Stars Project. Sweet. From Boing Boing.

love google even more

Google's introduced street views to their Google Maps product. What a great time to be alive. Why isn't there a web browser in my car?

amnesty international banners with streaming violence

Eeesh. Prepare to be uncomfortable in your own skin. Really, really effective banner campaign for Amnesty International. Users watch a clip of actual violence or torture, and then choose to "play" or "stop." Originally run on sites like CNN in Turkey, the campaign spiked Amnesty International membership applications in a big way.

microsoft announces surface computing

Microsoft announced Surface Computing last night. I posted about this last week, when the clip was apparently leaked, not knowing that it was a Microsoft product.

This is stunning. The transfer of a photo from a camera to a cell phone, about 3/4 of the way through the video clip above seems like magic. Their initial market appears to be retailers and entertainment venues. Welcome to the future.

heinz brings the squeezy tomato

And just like that, the world is a better place.

zune reaches a million units

Zune is about to sell their millionth unit. Just as they had forecast.

We just discovered that our new intern Brian rolls with a Zune. We no longer let him sit at the cool table, at lunch. Cuz we're like that. (It should be noted that he also had a Kenny Loggins song on his Zune. We should have kicked him out.)

have you failed today?

You've read it a thousand times. To succeed, you need to fail. Especially in our business. Here's yet another great post about how it's ok to fail. And how your success depends on it.

cemeteries. the new black.

Looking for a unique place for the upcoming board meeting? How about a cemetery? According to the New York Times, cemeteries are looking for new ways to raise money (as opposed to selling gravesites?), and events are the hottest ticket. Umm...and is it me, or do those gargoyles look like Hooters girls?

sidewalk gate celebration

Here's a really cool outdoor piece for a party supply service. Subways roll through, and the grates snap into action.

this week at Plaid:

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

Today was Leigh's last day (in our office, anyway.) We're all fat on high calorie food from the last few days of saying goodbye. There's the convention hall chicken from the awards show, Pepe's Pizza in New Haven, CT (best pizza ever), beer, and italian pastries from some awesome Italian joint in New Haven. Oh, and cake and donuts today. Mmmmmm.

We refuse to say goodbye to Leigh - but have settled for "see ya later." Agencies in Orlando FL - here's your chance to meet an awesome designer.

The new CityCenter banners that Leigh designed arrived, and are being installed by city workers. They look so beautious. We're hoping they'll be installed in time for the Memorial day parade on Monday. Way to leave your mark in Conncecticut, Leigh!

Brian, the intern, is still here. Fingers crossed he shows up Tuesday.

We're still smiling about the AdClub awards we won earlier in the week.

We're making some amaaaaazing new things with Plaid. Our self promotional plans are coming along, and we're about to announce something that we believe will change the way clients think of small agencies. Forever. But maybe we're just big in the head, after the awards.

And we did some work this week too. I think. Maybe Brian did some.

facebook just became more important

Yesterday, Facebook announced that they've opened up their platform to developers. They've become open source.

They're already an important tool to brand marketers. Their audience is growing at a rate of 3% per week, which is 100,000 new users per day. Their fastest growing demographic is the 25 and up age group. 50% of their registered users come back to the site every day. Those are important numbers.

This audience will continue to grow exponentially as developers use the API to produce new, fun, and engaging tools for users to interact with. Expect lots in the near future. And add more $$ to your marketing budget now. ;)

hiring in the internet age

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

We just completed a new hire at our firm, and we haven't even met the new employee yet.

There's a lot of press out there about the dangers of the internet as it relates to employees. "What if your employer finds your MySpace page?" But what about the employer side? As it turns out, using new internet tools for hiring employees can be amazingly productive. We just completed a new hire at our firm - and we haven't even met the candidate in person. We'll shake hands for the first time on his first day. Here's how the internet helped us find the perfect fit in a new employee:

The potential employee pool is now international.
As a small business owner, it's a great feeling to get a resume from Iran. We're instantly international. By placing an ad online, you'll increased your potential market a thousand fold. In the old days, the local classifieds were your only tool. Maybe you'd spring for a more expensive ad in a bigger paper, like the New York Times. With ads online, you're reaching a worldwide audience in one fell swoop.

Results are immediate. In the old days, resumes (on paper) would begin to roll into the mailbox about five days after the first ad hit. Today, resumes begin hitting the inbox seconds after the ad is published. This has cut the timeline for screening potential candidates dramatically. For a recent position at our firm, we received hundreds of resumes from across the globe. And only two of them came in the mail.

Interviews. Not just for the boardroom anymore. Our first interview with Rob, our newest hire, didn't take place in my office. Or our boardroom. Or even our building. He was sitting at home in front of his computer, and I in front of my laptop. We used the popular iChat feature now standard on the new Mac products. Our first interview was done through a video chat window. When he became a finalist for the position, we interviewed Rob again, this time with a larger group of people on our side. But again with an iChat camera. Rob interviewed twice at our firm, and never left his house. I've even heard of firms using Second Life in the same way - but you lose the non-verbal part of the interview, which of course, is extremely important to the process.

Learn more. We hear of the horror stories of an employer finding pictures from a drunken frat party, on sensational news reports everyday. But photo collections can also be a fantastic way to learn more about a potential employee, or for the employee to learn about the company. It turns out that both Rob and our firm have Flickr photo sets. So before Rob ever sent his resume, he had a pretty good idea of what life was like as a member of our team. Because he's shared some of the high moments, through our photo collection. He's even seen our offices. At the same time, when we wanted to get to know Rob better, he shared his Flickr photo set. You learn a lot about a person (or a company) when looking through their photos.

Certainly, this isn't something that every employee would be comfortable with - but in our business, we work closely together. We know our co-workers better than some of our family members. Rob picked up on this, and was eager to share his photos. This was probably a key factor in his hiring decision - as it took away potential doubts about the unknown. "What if he's an axe murderer, that eats little children?" We're pretty sure that's not the case, after getting a picture of Rob's personal life. (Pretty sure, anyway.)

Save the details for email.
When it was time to make an offer, we laid out all of the details in an email. No potential mis-understandings. Everything in black and white. Both parties knew exactly what was on the table. Email is awesome for detailing the nitty gritty specifications of money, benefits, and company policies. We made our offer to Rob via email. We didn't play phone tag for two days, but instead laid everything on the table, so that he could respond on his own schedule. (Turns out, he accepted the same day.)

So we're about to meet Rob for the first time in person. And yet, I feel like we already know him. Welcome to hiring in the internet age. Isn't it wonderful?

london gets yard installed

To promote London's open green spaces in a campaign by Visit London, agency Cake turfed over Trafalgar Square. There's cool time-lapse video of the install too. Awesome work. Who's going to mow it?

saatchi gets fired for doc marten's ad

The other day, I posted about how the Doc Marten's ad felt wrong, inappropriate and off strategy, in my opinion. Lots of other bloggers felt the same way. Looks like Doc Marten's agrees. Adrants reports that Saatchi and Saatchi London got fired from the account as a result of the campaign.

David also points out that the campaign puts Sid Vicious in heaven. Does girlfriend murderin' Sid Vicious really belong there? Sure, there's a special seat at the top for Joey..but Sid?

Doc Marten's: Let us produce a series of sites devoted to punk history for you. Spread the punk love and knowledge, but remain true to the brand, and leave a POSITIVE message for the new generation of punks. We're standing by the phone. Waiting for your call.

have nancy drew call your friends

Back when kids used to read books, they didn't have tools like this: The Nancy Drew calls your friends tool. It's not a new concept, so I don't know why I like it so much. Probably just because Nancy Drew would never really call my friends. Or they're going to have a hard time figuring out who made Nancy Drew call them.

Anyway, you know the drill - select from a bunch of questions, and create a custom Nancy message to call your friend's cell phone. Or email, for old people. Work by Vibes Media. Nancy rocks. Kinda.

the future of the internet

Check out this incredible read on what the future of the internet could bring. I'm ready. Sign me up. Found on Steve Rubel's Twitter.

Plaid wins the gold pen at ad club awards!!

What a night. We probably would have been perfectly happy with just a plate of chicken cordon bleu - but the ad club decided to give us FIVE ad club awards tonight. And that's not all...we also won the show's GOLD PEN Award for Santa Hunters, our holiday greeting card. We're totally stoked. You can see the crew juggling trophies on our Flickr page.

Here's what we came home with:

GOLD PEN: Santa Hunters self promotion
Gold award: Spherion Meeting Bingo
Gold award: Santa Hunters direct mail
Gold award: Santa Hunters website
Silver award: Mohawk Mountain outdoor
Bronze award: Flambeau River Papers swatch book

Lots of love and kisses to all who helped us bring home wood: Paul Reilly, Brent Meyer, Chris Dornfeld, Chip Simons and of course Eliza Sweet. (A gold pen!)

Oh yeah - I guess we couldn't have done any of this without the most wonderful clients....lovin' you too!

(And - special nod to my son, who won an Ad Club scholarship. Nice job, Devon. Good night for all.)

meet brian, our new intern.

Brian started his internship at Plaid this week. It's Wednesday, and he hasn't left in tears once yet. We think that's a good sign. Brian's in his junior year as a Graphic Design major. We'll be working hard to unteach his schoolin'.

So far, he's assembled some Ikea furniture, setup his workstation, and built comps for a project that David's been working on. Lots of comping. Oh yeah, and he got to sit in on a couple of meetings. Yipee.

He's also working on concepts for a probono project of ours, where he'll likely end up with a really nice portfolio piece, on completion.

star wars comes to orlando

Disney MGM Studios is hosting Star Wars Weekends this summer in Orlando. American Copywriter found a cool series of airport posters promoting the event. Thankfully, it looks as if Jar Jar Binks was not invited to the celebration.

amazing magic brainstorm table

Check out this killer concept table. You place things on it, snap a grab and it's there to be repositioned, resized or animated. This would rock in a bar, with friends and beer. Thanks Brent!

another brilliant twitter use

Restaurants. Twittering their daily specials. Finally killing the fax machine forever and ever. (Too bad the restaurants by us haven't heard of the internet yet.) Found on BloggersBlog (on Twitter, of course.)

gay and lesbian awards: no good agencies?

Commercial Closet Association, the non-profit group that educates the advertising industry on including responsible images of gays and lesbians in mainstream ads, announced nominees for their 3rd Annual Images in Advertising Awards. You can see the nominees here.

The bad news: Not a single agency will be awarded Agency of the Year, and no Turnaround Mainstream Advertiser, due to a lack of worthy candidates. Yikes.

dead rock stars selling doc martens

Saw this series of ads on AdFreak, and just couldn't let it go. Doc Marten's has excised a handful of dead rock stars, and put them in Docs. Joey, Curt Cobain, Sid Vicious and Joe Strummer. The execution on this campaign is absolutely WONDERFUL. I want this poster framed over my fireplace. (Yeah, that'll happen.)

But as a concept - not buying it. Pulling up dead punk stars to shill products is something you need to be careful about. Doc Martens weren't a part of Joey Ramone's iconic wardrobe. Perhaps he wore them, but it's not what he was known for wearing.

Real punk rockers know this. Why not go slightly obscure (adding to cool factor for early adopters) and showcase classic punk stars who actually wore them (GBH, Minor Threat come to mind.) Fans that don't recognize them will learn a little something about punk history, and associate the experience with Doc Martens. Why not create microsites dedicated to punk history? Bottom line: be more genuine. Fans will appreciate it.

RIP, Joey.

superlicious video treat for your tuesday morning delight

Typographers, illustrators, video artists, take note. This superlicious video treat celebrates type, illustration and graphic pop culture. To the beat of a t-shirt. Incredible work. From Adrants.

collection of the best long shots

How Magazine points to a collection of the best-ever long shots.

As Daily Film Dose explains, In a director’s cinematic bag of tricks the long tracking shot is the boldest way of making a statement. It’s the flashiest and most attention-grabbing egotistical way of flexing one’s muscle. In most cases it's a narcissistic maneuver, “look-at-me” filming technique, but rare ones, the best ones, serve to reflect and further the story in a way that can’t be reflected with traditional editing.

unethical outdoor placement

Woops. How not to do outdoor placement. Audi tells the city they're going to make a film. They get film permits, and begin placing "props" around the city. Only there's no film. The "props" are apparently just illegal outdoor ads.

There are brands that can pull off illegal guerilla tactics. (Obey comes to mind) And there are brands that should take the responsible route. Audi belongs in the responsible category.

people replaced with lines

Invisibilia is a wonderful collection of photographs where a subject has been removed from the scene, and replaced with a digital illustration. Includes a free tutorial on how to make your own.

Simple? You could've done that? Well, as artist/author Greg Stekelman puts it:

"Yeah, I know: anyone can trace a drawing. But so what? I am doing it, and you're not. You're sitting at home doing nothing. Or maybe you're surfing the web at work. I don't know. I'm not psychic."

Found at Coudal.

irina visits brickhouse

Yahoo has officially launched Brickhouse, their indie division tasked with creating cool stuff for the early adopters (how big companies do small.) This is the same group that's developed the tremendously successful Yahoo Pipes.

Irina Slutsky gets invited to the opening party, and reports from the Brickhouse about some of the new cool Yahoo tools. (Video link wasn't working this morning, so try later)

this week at Plaid:

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

We officially have more work in-house than we've ever had in our history, which is scary and dreamy, at the same time.

I presented lots and lots of conceptual this week, including site designs for Flambeau River Papers, and a Bariatrics site for a regional hospital in CT. Really great work.

The crew here is up to their eyeballs in design love:
+ Online advertising for the ECA, a really cool organization that fights for the rights of gamers.
+ Interactive and print campaign for Westport Country Playhouse, a pretty amazing regional theater in New England.
+ New campaign concepts for a direct marketing company
+ New brochure/trail map design for a ski mountain
+ Brochure and vehicle wrap for a home automation company
+ Code of Conduct collateral for a pharmaceutical firm
+ Loads of interactive conceptual work
+ And lots and lots of strategy documents!

The first products for House of Plaid are nearly complete. I'm really psyched about the messenger bag. I'm pretty sure it's going to rock.

Our self promotional plans for Plaid are coming along, too. Looks like the Plaid Summer Tour is getting closer to reality. You can read about it on our Plaid Behind the Scenes blog.

New intern starts on Monday. Hopefully we won't scare him too much.

fridge for designers

Oh, man. This fridge is a reason to consider remodeling the Plaid kitchen. Wonderful. Some say it's the next SubZero. Oh, btw...SMEG: It's time for a website redesign. Really. Call us.

wwf shows global warming. with the sun.

This probably wouldn't be as amazing in real life, if you pass this WWF billboard in your car at the same time every day. But it's really, really sweet in time lapse video.

run your life on google time

I sooo want one of these, on my desk, now. The AmbientClock syncs with your Google Calendar, and displays visually what's next in your day. The face changes color a few minutes prior to your next appointment, to gently nudge you away from your desk. For now it's in beta - but you can add it to your personal Google page. Awesome. We need more devices in meatspace that integrate with what's happening on line. Bring it. Thanks Giuli!

scifi weddings, oh my.

Paul, our resident geek and uber programming genius is getting married in a few weeks. I wonder if he knows about sci fi weddings.

google makes search universal

Google has updated the way in which their search results are delivered, announcing what they call Universal Search. More integrated results now include detail that may have previously been easier found through one of their individual search engines. Like blog search. The most significant change is that it appears that the majority of the web index that's used for search is now being assembled in real time.

As you would expect, internet genius Steve Rubel has some insight and details on the change.

breaking up with advertising

Old school advertising, as represented by humans. Very funny. And it's from....Microsoft(!) David Armano has all of the details about the campaign, and some behind the scenes links. It's soooo time to say goodbye to that old man advertising.

behind the scenes at old spice

Check out the fun "behind the scenes" look at the making of this spot, for Old Spice. From American Copywriter.

how to set your company back ten years

I'm a new MINI owner, and in love with the brand, so far. I was stoked to get the business cards of each department at the dealership upon getting the car. "Should I need anything, I could just reach out to them directly." Approaching my first service, I shot an email to the service manager for an appointment, and a question about some new roof graphics I'd like to get (above.)

Here's the response I received:

Hi Darryl,

We do not sell aftermarket roof graphics, nor can we
install them. Please CALL to make service
appointments, since we only check email a couple times
a week.



Ummm.....only check email a couple of times a week? What can you do with email then? Why is your email address on your business card? I like that he put the "CALL" in caps, to emphasize what a ridiculous request I've made. To expect someone to actually USE an email address that they put on their business card.

If you don't use it, don't promote it. Total disconnect with everything else MINI. :(

meet rob.

We just hired Rob as our newest Designer at Plaid. Rob lives in Arizona. He's convinced his wife that New England will be so much nicer than having sunny warm days everyday, like they do now. How boring. Better to be surrounded by grey clouds, on and off rain, 30 degree temperature drops and of course, snow and ice.

We're totally stoked to have Rob join our team. He comes to Plaid with an impressive resume and portfolio. He's worked with JJ Sedelmaier, and most recently, Blufish Design Studios in Tempe. He's a super design talent, and we're lucky to have him join us.

Most interestingly...WE HAVEN'T EVEN MET HIM YET. As a true testimonial to the Plaid way of doing business - and to today's wonderlicious internet tools that are available, we feel like we already know him.

How'd we get to know Rob? All of our interviews were conducted using iChat cameras. We shared Flickr photo sets of each other. And of course some email. We've only spoken on the phone once - AFTER he accepted the position - and won't meet him in person until he arrives after Memorial Day. Isn't the internet awesome??

delta hitting the streets

While commuting home the other night, Justus saw the super cool Delta car, above. He snapped the photo with his cell phone. When he should have been paying attention to the road. That's how designers roll.

Anyway, Delta seems to be on a new kick to promote themselves in more innovative ways. They've even started a Twitter voice. And they've got a Nintendo DS download station at JFK. And iPod seat connectors. Delta might be starting to rock. Thanks Justus!

ninjas come to nyc

This might be worthy of a Plaid field trip. A Ninja themed restaurant just opened in NYC. Interior design looks amazing. They should unleash an army of ninjas on the city, for self promotion.

leigh preparing for big role

Leigh, one of our all star designers here, busted up her wrist this weekend. Skateboarding? Surfing? Nope. She got into an argument with the stairs in her home. Stairs won.

Anyway, David pointed out that this is probably all in preparation for a new opportunity. As some of you already know, Leigh's moving to Orlando. We think she's going to get a hook, so that she can play Captain Hook at Disney World. Opportunities await.

pasta comes to the harbor

Mmmm tasty outdoor effort for Mondo Pasta. Decals were put on ships in a popular harbor in Hamburg. This could have looked pretty nasty, if the ropes were all gunked up with sea goo.

boomboxes. the museum

It's hard to imagine that this was even real. People carrying boomboxes around. In different colors. My, how things have changed.

Thank goodness for the Boombox Museum, here to record history. From Urban Outfitters.

ray-ban viral is a hit

One of the latest Ray-Ban virals is approaching two million views on YouTube, alone. Tell your boss this internet thing is huge.

is this dishwasher soap?

I witnessed a pretty funny event this weekend, while at the grocery store. A guy with a box of Cascade in his hand, asking another shopper if "this was dishwasher detergent." First I laughed outloud and thought "what a dumbass," until he showed the package. There's nothing on it that says it's dishwasher detergent.

Lots of mom's don't shop on Mother's Day, and this guy was clearly lost. The package design didn't do it's job in this particular occasion.

How well known does a brand need to be, before the identification can be removed from the package design? Or: how buried/insulated do you have to be in your office/work to not be capable of identifying dishwasher soap?

if 40 is the new 30, then is anheuser busch really marketing to teens?

As a society, we're' hanging on to our youth like never before. I know a few 40 year-olds who feel like they're 30. And 30 year-olds who still feel 20. And so on. So where are the new marketing and branding lines to be drawn?

There's a lot of hoopla from lawmakers across the nation about Anheuser Busch and other marketers producing youthful products.

With the vibrancy of youth comes new tastes and opinions about what's pleasurable. Just because older generations declared that wine is the only suitable drink for adults, doesn't mean that some of us can't enjoy RedBull and Vodka. Times have changed, and tastes have followed.

I believe that AB understands the market much more than they're given credit for. Yes, their new beverages look youthful. Look fun. Look tasty and sweet. But does that really mean they're marketing to teens?

I would like to believe in my heart that alcohol companies aren't sitting in dark rooms trying to be evil. Or intentionally marketing alcohol to minors. I believe they're reacting to what their audiences are telling them. We don't want to get old. We like new products. We use the internet. We enjoy the energy of our youth.

I enjoy drinking occasionally. Responsibly. And I don't like fine wine. I like beer less than I used to. I like that brands are looking for new things for me to consume. I crave new things. And I'm not a teenager.

If lawmakers were genuinely concerned about under-age drinking, they'd properly staff their liquor control commissions. Most states have a only a couple of employees to monitor all of the bars or liquor stores that potentially serve minors. And bureaucracy makes any action nearly impossible. Wouldn't it be more effective to actually solve that problem? But I guess that doesn't look as sensational, on the local news. So let's go after the marketers. I'm gonna go have another Raw Tea.

this week at Plaid:

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

We're officially Plaid! Our agency's new site launched, and we're all feeling very Plaid. The site is awesome. We've actually integrated THREE blogs into the site.

You can keep up to date with all things Plaid at our Plaid blog, which covers all the behind the scenes stuff happening at this completely fresh approach to a design and branding firm. Loads of fun to come.

There's been a lot of brainstorming about the self promotional plans for Plaid, and we're all pretty stoked. Especially about the possibility of a summer tour.

We completed our first round of interviews for the design position open here. Did my first interview via an iChat video session, with a candidate out west. Pretty cool tool for interviewing. Worked well.

Buried beyond belief in work this week, which is wonderful. Doing more print design than we've had in-house for a long time, which is always refreshing.

We discovered that David has a problem. He's addicted to hand sanitizer. Started with the occasional pump, and now he's got a real habit. It's kind of freakish. But at least he's clean, which is more than you can say for some of the other people around here.

Not bad for a week where we essentially started a whole new company!

we're officially Plaid.

Last night at around midnight, we launched our agency's new site, and VIA is now officially known as Plaid.

This is a first stage launch, and there's so much more that we'll be adding in the coming months - but for now, this is a wonderful representation of who we are, and what we can do for clients. Special props to David and Paul for loads and loads of last minute content and design adjustments.

Meanwhile, we'll continue blogging about everything happening behind the scenes at our firm, on our 'behind the scenes' blog, at its new address, There's some pretty fun developments coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

BrandFlakes remains unchanged. As good at wasting your potentially productive time as it has ever been. Enjoy.

best of the swoosh all in one handy place

Parlayer has assembled what they deem to be the best 20 Nike spots every produced. Pretty cool to see some of the spots you forgot about.

vw says i'm sorry

Just found this insert in a popular men's magazine, promoting VW. It's an actual greeting card. Here's what it says on the inside. So really, it's an apology card. Something that you can send to the BMW owner that you blew away at the light.

Cuz veedub owners are caring people, yo. Selling the benefits without the boring details? Priceless.

worst album covers ever created

For your pleasure: A collection of the worst album covers ever created. Nice hair.

(Note: Album covers were typically used as packages for music, popular in previous generations. Music was sold (!) in retail stores (!), and it was this packaging that helped the buyer choose an artist. Obviously, there were some great talents to choose from.) From Slippery Truffle.

guy kawasaki to launch truemors

Thought leader and venture capital wizard Guy Kawasaki is launching a new venture. It's called Truemors.

Truemors is apparently going to be a rumor bulletin board. A little bit like Twitter, and a little bit like Digg. Participants can call, text or type their rumors in. The community votes Digg style for their favorite rumors. The more popular rumors move to the top page. Sounds like a PR person's dream.

It's amazing to see how fast technology/business models like Digg are becoming entrenched into the norm. A few years ago, Digg didn't exist. Now it's model has become the foundation for a host of new tools that have become standards for the emerging workforce. Things are changing fast. The next few years are going to be awesome!

branding in amity

Matt White points us to what a branding meeting might look like in Amity. That little town that a big shark named Jaws came to visit.

how a national apparel chain keeps it local

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

Just stumbled across the Urban Outfitters blog, and received a pleasant surprise that many national or regional brands could take a lesson from.

There are a few things that make this blog unique. Its design is interesting, and appropriate for their brand. It also scrolls sideways - allegedly the first ever side scrolling blog. Both great, but that's not what grabbed my attention.

Urban Outfitters is a national chain of lifestyle and apparel stores. They appeal to hipsters, and as their name suggests, urbanites. Their blog has done a tremendous job of appealing to this nationwide audience, and providing value. All while making a very local connection.

At a quick skim, readers can identify posts related to the store nearest to their neighborhood. Readers can learn about store promotions and events, sure - but also cultural events that are happening in the marketplace. Using tags, a visitor can quickly sort through the posts and view only events, art, music, etc. Urban Outfitters have become local 'cool hunters' for each of the markets where their stores are located. They're providing actual value to potential clients, having nothing to do with the consumer products they sell.

I just discovered an awesome package design art show in New York, that wasn't previously on my radar. I learned something about an event in my local market; something that I have interest in; and that I didn't previously know about. My reaction? I've added a clothing store's blog to my blogroll. And just like that, Urban Outfitters has become a part of my life.

Isn't that what branding is all about?

twitter growth versus blogger growth

Kottke has an excellent analysis on the use of Twitter versus the use of Blogger, looking at the data for both tools over the first few hundred days since launch.

Very interesting insight, although I'm not sure it's a relevant comparison. While they're both technically 'blogging' tools, they have different uses entirely. Many users (self included) keep blogs AND Twitter.

The most interesting point for me is how quickly new tools are adopted, in comparison to a few years ago.

As Kottke points out, "Blogger launched in August 1999 and Twitter almost 7 years later in March 2006. In the intervening time, hundreds of millions of people, the media, and technology & media companies have become familiar and comfortable with services like YouTube, Friendster, MySpace, Typepad, Blogger, Facebook, and GMail. Hundreds of millions more now have internet access and mobile phones. The potential user base for the two probably differed by an order of magnitude or two, if not more."

Pretty impressive to see what a force the web 2.0 nation has become. And yet the users of these tools are still in their infancy. The future is going to be awesome.

cool business cards

A collection of photographs of cool business cards.
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