what i learned waiting in line for an iphone

I won't gush about the wonderous new phone. If you're looking for iPhone porn, there's plenty of other places for that.

But I'd like to thank Apple for an excellent customer experience. Like many others, I went to my local Apple store Friday afternoon, and waited in line. I'd never done anything like that before. (I'm not very good in one place, for any longer than 50 minutes.) But Apple made it easy. Here's how:

+ Open wifi. Sure, they have that on every day. But on Friday, I was able to continue my workday, (until my laptop battery ran dry), which helped pass the majority of time.

+ Apple employees greeting line waiters, and handing out Smart water. (Maybe that's what the Apple geniuses drink?) Simple. Didn't cost them much. But showed they cared.

+ Great company. It was funny to see a line of a hundred or so people, 50% of them with ibooks on their laps. We all had something in common. Many demographics, but a love for one brand that brought everyone together. I got to meet Richard Shear (two people down from me in the line), who owns another design firm, LMS Design. Really cool guy. (And awesome package designers.)

Richard's friend in line was none other than Grant McCracken, whose blog (this blog sits at the...) I subscribe to. I've been a fan of his brilliance for a while, and had no idea we lived in the same state - much less shopped at the same Apple store!

+ When the doors opened, and we were ushered in, I was greeted by a wall of Apple employees applauding and cheering. A little overwhelming, but momentous. As I left the store with the Jesus phone in hand, the wall of employees cheered and applauded more. I can't remember the last time that I felt that great about spending $600.

I've reaffirmed a few great brand lessons here:

1. Treat your customers like heroes. They are.
2. Find a way to let your customers share their brand love.
3. Show (and let your customers share) in your over-the-top brand pride.

Now, I'll get back to my iDevice.

this week at Plaid:

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

Only about TWO WEEKS until the Plaid tour kicks off. We're getting more and more stoked by the day, as preparations are being made. You can follow it on the tour blog, and we expect to launch the tour dashboard on Monday. Rob designed tour t-shirts, and they're sweet.

We're beginning to schedule stops along the tour, too. If your state is on the route and you'd like us to stop by, let us know!

Brian got a call from the Mentos intern. We think they're plotting to take over the world.

Matt begin apartment shopping, so that he could stop commuting from New Jersey. Or wherever he's from.

We started the week with a really awesome new business pitch (fingers crossed), and finished a lot of great work this week. Uber productivity at Plaid to close out a fab June!

I'm in line right now at the Apple store. I'm guessing that I'm in the 50 - 75th person range. Feeling positive and daydreaming of multi-touch.

die hard blows things up in sweden

To promote the opening of Die Hard 4 in Sweden, they blew up some vans, and then strategically placed them with appropriate graphics in high traffic areas. Oh yeah, and they added a giant countdown clock, too. Can you imagine if they tried this in Boston?

The vans were safely exploded off site - and they let the press and some contest winners push the button. Sweet. See more yummy explodee pics over at Adland.

microsoft sticks it to seattle

In an apparent promotion for Microsoft's digital maps, they're placing giant push pins all over Seattle. Either that, or aliens have invented a new technology to bookmark future abduction locations.

Whoever is responsible, we can assume they'll be rolling this into other markets, and sticking pins in things all across the land. Keep an eye to the sky.

new web 2.0 toy/tool/productivity time waster

Kevin Rose, internet superstar and creator of Digg, has just launched a new venture, Pownce. What looks like a super delicious web2.0 treat that's somewhere in between Twitter and Facebook and a file swapper. But I don't know, because I don't have an invite for the beta test yet. ;P

pier one gives up on the internet

Pier 1 is getting out of the ecommerce business, and focusing entirely on their stores. Trend for lifestyle brands? Bad business move? Good business move?

Personally, I believe they need to focus on product and brand. Not a lot of difference these days between Pier 1, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. Only so much room for the same thing in the marketplace. And what have they done to inspire, recently?

intern that does whatever you say

Oh, how I wish we thought of this for Brian, our intern. Mentos has launched what's being referred to on the interweb as a Subservient Intern.

At the Trevor the Mentos Intern site, you can see Trevor's schedule, watch his videos, and make him do things. Sweet. (In the meantime, if you have anything for Brian, our intern to do, let us know.) From MakeTheLogoBigger.

Rob had the Mentos intern call Brian, our intern, to give him some friendly intern advice. We all watched the live webcam, as Brian looked confused and wondered what was going on. Silly interns.

learn facebook now

I've never really been a fan of MySpace or Facebook on a personal level. Totally understand the brand possibilities, but never had the time or motivation to setup my own page.

All of my Twitter friends are doing it. And raving about it. We're including it in strategies and pitches for our clients. But I've always relied on the expertise of other people at our firm, when it comes to Facebook.

John Jantsch has written an awesome post on why we should all participate. Now. So I'm in. Look me up. Be my friend.

obama dude gets branding and design

Or has a crack crew who gets it. Two recent points of interest about the Obama campaign, both pointing to smart marketing.

First, NOTCOT points to Obama's sweet button designs. Putting all politics aside, these buttons are hot. Love how they put the 008 on his shoulder. And even the way they've positioned 008, making it unique. 08 is soooo 07. Everyone's doing 008.

And next, we discover that Obama has ringtones. No opinion on politics - but this campaign certainly gets branding. And design. Nice job.

no idea is original

Adland points to two spots with pretty similar concepts. The first one is for Juicy Fruit, way back in the dark ages of 2004.

The next one's for Charal, and is more recent. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Waste of your time? Glad we could be of service.

the map of social media

Can't find your way around the social media landscape? How about a map? Someone's created a new world map, based on the population of the major social sites.

While the maker clearly points out that this is "Not a complete survey. Sizes based on most complete information I could find," wouldn't it be amazing if we could get some programming genius to hook this up and make it real? So that land masses grow or shrink based on available stats?

I believe the map has been around for a while, as I couldn't find Twitter or a couple of other newer places. Maybe this is a pre-revolution map.

illustrating with html

Send this to your geeky friend. A pretty impressive video clip of an illustration crafted entirely in html code. Ask your dorky friend - she'll confirm that this is an impressive feat. Soundtrack may give you a seizure.

stride site is sticky

I'm sure this has been live for a while now, but Rob in our office (old Rob, not new Rob) just stumbled across the Stride Gum site. It's really well done.

The perfect balance of time-wasting games, gather my info contests, new product information, branding, and yet it completely stays true to the creative of the offline campaign. Design is fun and engaging - but totally flexible for change, as the campaign gets updated. Nice job.

let the better looking person inside you out

Wonderous series of ads for a gym in Brazil. Copy reads: Give your slender body a chance to get rid of you.

what if real life were second life?

You'll need to have actually been in Second Life to laugh at this, but if you have, check out DraftFCB's video of their Paris office "in Second Life." Funny. From adfreak

ghost ads haunt and inspire.

Nice collection of 'ghost ads' from the Minneapolis area.

levis launches mobile phone. will anyone notice?

Great timing. Let's launch something totally out of category during the same period that the Jesus Phone will be hitting the streets.

"In tune with its young consumers, the Levis brand is adding a fashionable, steel mobile phone to its range of lifestyle accessories." Right. In tune.

This is not the Prada phone. This is the Levis phone. It comes with a chain. (Although, I have to admit, I wish the iPhone was going to be steel.)

I'd love to know how things like this get approved. I'd also love to spend half of the development budget for this failure of a phone on branding. To sell jeans.

some crappy graphs for your crappy powerpoint

A collection of really, really funny graphs to include in your PowerPoints, to put into your reports or just share with friends for fun. Never ever thought that graphs could be fun (or creative) but CrappyGraphs is both. Sweet.

stream your youtube clips to your second life house

Don't have time for tv anymore, because you're too busy with your virtual self? Well worry not - because now you can watch tv in Second Life. YouTube TV - (the kind you really want to watch anyway.)

And another fantastic door of opportunity was just busted open for marketers. Yes - YouTube. Not just on iPhones, but but streaming in Second Life, too!

I didn't have time to load Second Life this morning for a snapshot, so I've included a stock shot of Justus' pants. For your enjoyment.

this week at Plaid:

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

We won some more awards! Took home three "excellence" awards from the Art Directors Club, for our work on National Adoption Foundation, Mountain Workshop and Flambeau River Papers.

Meanwhile, our newest team member Matt took home a silver and shared in a gold award at the show - for work he had done previous to his post at Plaid. Matt kicked ass.

David art directed two photo and video shoots. And showed Brian our intern the difference between good and bad catering at a shoot.

I worked on a pitch with Diana, and Bill. It's going to rock. Fingers crossed. Rob pushed about six print projects out the door, which I'm sure felt great. He also designed some really cool hang tags, and began digging into a new website project.

Justus produced storyboards for a new video project we're working on. Old Rob completed design for a bus wrap, some identity work, and a website concept. Matt produced some beautious posters, and is working on a couple of brochures.

New blog design was launched for Plaid Nation, which will eventually become the dashboard for our first ever, upcoming summer tour. So much is happening on this front, and we'll have quite a few updates next week.

Our Plaid messenger bags arrived, for our first House of Plaid product. We're photographing the bags, and expect to launch the House of Plaid site next week.

We kicked out early today, and spent the afternoon at Lake Compounce Amusement Park. Nothing beats deadlines like a great roller coaster! Rob is pictured above, getting stoked to be twisted and turned upside down without a safety harness. Oh yeah - Brian got to ride his first ever roller coaster ride! And he didn't even blow chunks on the people behind him. We're so proud.

we hired matt

We hired Matt this week! He's been freelancing here for a few weeks now, and we convinced him to make it permanent. He's a super talent, great designer, illustrator and even a stop motion animator. And he has some pretty cool t-shirts.

how to get acquired by google

Great post on building something worthy of an acquisition. If that's your thing.

parodies good. "make our commercial" contests bad.

Matt Dickman has some good advice about embracing parody. After all, the brands (like Apple) that are parodied most frequently are the brands and campaigns that become a part of pop culture.

I'm tired of brand campaigns that try to incentivize fans to create their own spots, as a contest. Just seems like the lamest, most uncreative form of social media. I can see the meeting in the board room: "We need to utilize social media. Let the kids make our spots for us."

Technically, that works, I suppose - but the more successful campaigns are so strong on their own that they INVITE participation. Without the contest. Participation by fans, by users, and by people who would have never invested themselves in a "make our commercial" contest. A creation contest may reach existing fans - but a spot that naturally invites parody reaches people who wouldn't ordinarily interact with the brand. Thereby making new fans. And THAT'S connecting socially. Right?

hundreds paint the sky

Geez, the dudes over at Cake London have been busy. Last month, they installed a yard in Trafalgar Square.

This week, they produced Blue Sky Day for UK Expedia, and among other events on the longest day of the year, they filled Trafalgar Square with 200 aspiring painters. Three will be selected to be hung in the National Gallery. Others will go in the trash. (Just kidding, they're all beautiful, I'm sure - and will be featured in an online gallery on the Expedia website.)

annual reports can be fun

Alex tells us about this tech company Cognex, that has the most fun annual reports ever. The company makes machine vision devices.

Each year the company's annual report takes on a different theme. Proof that they're not a bunch of stick wads all stuck up with themselves. It's common to see beautiful design work in an annual report, but extremely rare to see humor. Kudos to the Cognex team for standing out. Awesome work.

sales and marketing from a stripper

Ummm....maybe this is just a ploy to make the finance department accept his receipts for table dances as expenses....but the Wise Camel has written a post 10 Sales and Marketing Tips I learned from Strippers. It's funny, and mostly true (I suppose), with one exception. A commenter on the post accurately points out that strippers don't actually care about customers. (Although I suppose the same could be said for some cell phone companies or airlines.)

The picture above is Justus, contemplating this stripper sales theory, while providing interest to the story, without requiring a picture of boobies that would only get me in trouble. I'm pretty sure that Justus is not a stripper, nor has he ever been to a strip club. Or done anything remotely bad ever in his life. Just in case you're keeping track.

buy cool jeans, get a website

I wouldn't mind having our agency in a clothing store - because you could work, and shop for cool clothes. But a Montreal agency opened up shop in a streetwear store for a different reason - to stay in touch with the kids who shop there.

Hubert Sacy, senior partner of Bleu Blanc Rouge said it best:
"My job is to reach the right people with a legitimate message, ... you can do all the focus groups in the world," but nothing beats "some kid looking over your shoulder and saying 'that's crap.' "

you are beautiful.

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

Sometimes branding isn't about your product or service. But about your customer. There's an installation in Philadelphia along the road, with larger than life letters spelling out the message "You are beautiful." What a cool way to make drivers feel wonderful everyday they drive by. This particular installation is an art project - but it's a great concept for marketers as well.

I used to have a friend who ran a parking garage. He added a simple whiteboard at the entrance to the garage, and scribbled a new and inspiring quote on the board, to greet worker-bees arriving each morning. Apparently the white board was a huge hit. Their customers talked about it all the time - and when he once stopped for a week, the garage was riddled with complaints. People appreciated the positive messaging.

So, the question is...what have you done to make your customers feel special about themselves? How could positive messaging be incorporated into your campaign, and make clients feel great in the process? Or even feel good about your advertising? And ultimately, your brand?

prove to yourself that you're wasting time

Swiss Miss points to a really cool utility called Slife that tracks everything you do each day, and gives you a handy chart that you can analyze. And learn how many hours you spend working on productive things.

This actually seems like a really good idea. I haven't tried it yet, because I'm too busy working.

stuff you already knew about teens

but that someone needed to do a marketing research study to confirm:

46% say they are loyal to brands they like.
29% say having cool brands makes me feel cool. (what percent felt that question made them feel shallow, and didn't answer honestly?)
19% would abandon a brand out of boredom.
44% said that music most defines them.

Need more for your PowerPoint deck? Get details at Marketing Charts, the article about the report on BrandWeek, or visit the N, who paid for the study. Found on MarketingVOX.

should he or shouldn't he?

Check out Darryl's potential new look! And it's a fun new promotion from BK. Thanks Druyff

Hope I still work here tomorrow.

the attention crash is coming

Steve Rubel predicts a coming crash. An attention crash. I'm soooo feeling this. Even with RSS and the techwonderous tools at my fingertips, there just aren't enough hours in the day to take it all in. And, there's that job thing people keep expecting me to do too...a coworker and I were just discussing the desire to be able to eliminate sleep. So many things to read, to watch, to do. So little time. Crash is coming...

(The only crash photo that I could find in the Plaid library was Giuli, falling off of a bouncy ball. Enjoy.)

silent krumpers krump for motorola

The Viral Factory and Cake just launched a campaign for Motorola featuring the Wirebreakers - a fictional dance crew put together to promote Motorola's wireless headphones.

I laughed at the tip toe through the driving range. It may be just funny enough to prompt user generated versions, which would make the campaign an awesome success. I like the idea of public unsuspecting dance offs. Or krump offs. The world needs more of those. (Am I allowed to say krump? Because it feels silly.)

remix your youtube videos

This has ginormous possibilities. YouTube just launched the YouTube Remixer, where you can remix your YouTube videos. We're already incorporating this into a campaign for a client. Users get a real time online editing interface, where they can drag and drop clips into a timeline. YouTube supplies transitions, effects, titles and more fun.

Let the mashups begin. Discovered on Mashable.

lunch 2.0 is like geek porn

Great. One more reason to be jealous of everyone living on the left coast. Beaches, mountains and great weather aren't enough. They had to form fun social media lunch gatherings. Lunch 2.0. The latest silicon valley fun thing. And soo reminiscent of the original dot.com wave. Lunch 2.0. Socials that tech companies throw for anyone in the area.

Bub.blicio.us reports from the lunch at LinkedIn. Meet internet superstars Justin, Guy Kawasaki, and more. Geez. It really is a geek porn convention.

the long tail is getting fatter

This is a wonderous and interesting trend. The Long Tail (c'mon - read it - your career counts on it.) is getting fatter.

When Twitter blew up a few months after South by Southwest, it became evident that people are attracted to and adopting new tools faster than ever before. Apple's Safari browser for PC's is over a million users, and it's only been out a week.

Duncan Riley points out the significance of this trend, which is important news (and huge opportunity) for everyone in our industry. Great things are possible. Let's go.

great idea for conference promotion

Adrants points to a neat idea for you to use as a sponsor, at your next industry convention. Seat vests.

You could put some fun things in these seat-vest-pocket-ma-jigs: Crossword puzzles, a deck of cards, a pack of condoms. Hey, you never know. What happens during a boring keynotes stays in a boring keynote.

finally, local news gets entertaining

When I turn on my local news, smoke usually comes out of my ears in frustration as I watch the weather dude show how he can zoom in on a map and identify a street. Over and over and over again. Like I've never seen Google Maps before, and I'm supposed to be impressed. Over and over and over again.

So, I'm absolutely lovin' these TV news station weather cam pranksters.

searchriffic tools for things you need to find

Two wonderous new searchilicious tools for your searching pleasure:

First, Sputtr lets you search any of a bunch of sites. At the push of a button. Would be sweet if you could customize, and add your own favorite sites. But I'm not complaining. And web 2.0 style always gets points. (Usually.)

Next - Jason Calacanis' latest venture, Mahalo, is the "world's first human-powered search engine powered by an enthusiastic and energetic group of Guides." Mahalo Guides search, filter, read and and hand-craft pages reflecting the best search results for popular topics. Growing more every day.

So, go ahead. Search.

what people really look like

When we're in Second Life at our office, we often wonder what the people that we're interacting with really look like, in real life. Because we're shallow like that.

Yesterday's NY Times Magazine has an excellent photo slide show of people next to their avatars. Pretty funny.

this week at Plaid:

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

FOUR WEEKS until Plaid hits the road for Brand Aid 2007. Rob designed the tour dashboard (pictured above), which will eventually live at PlaidNation, the official tour website. We'll have a live webcam, GPS map tracking, plus Twitter, blog and Flickr feeds. Basically, it will be as if you were on tour with us. Justus designed the blog, which should launch on Monday. The full site will launch just prior to the tour kickoff, on July 16.

This was Rob's first full week at Plaid. It feels like he's been here all along. We're psyched (and lucky) to have him on board.

It was a week packed full of meetings for me. Brooklyn, Westport, and at the Plaid world headquarters. And conference calls. How would we survive without conference calls?

Giuli and Brian have been in full tour planning mode. Routes have been finalized, the technology plan for the van has been devised, and we've identified potential clients that the Plaid van can visit.

David, Justus, "new" Rob, Matt and "old" Rob have been lighting their macs on fire with some awesome work, and crazy deadlines.

We've all been working really, really hard, with very little time for play. We have some plans to change that (for a day at least), next week.

Have a plaidriffic weekend!

plaid not the only summer tour

Because we're an agency, we of course believe that the sun orbits around our very being, and that everything we do is original and filled with awesomeness. So naturally, as we're about to embark on the Plaid BrandAid 2007 Summer Tour, we believe that it's the only tour in all of the land.

Turns out other people are hitting the highways too. Just got an email from Jay, who's about to tour the country with a ton of fat. Really. It's one part of their overall campaign "to inspire, motivate and educate men, women, young adults, teens, children and families about the latest and greatest tips, tricks, tools and "thinking" for weight loss, exercise and wellness."

Like Plaid, MyPetFat is also looking for tour sponsors. Although I'd be willing to guess that their burrito and Slurpee budget isn't as big as ours.

Regardless, looks like there's going to be a lot of fun on the roads this summer!

presidential ad is...art?

Already dreading the onslaught of political ads for the next year and a half? Check out Presidential candidate Mike Gravel's new spot.

Ummm....ok. Is it weird just to be weird? Is there a deeper message? Are there subliminal messages prompting me to buy Pepsi? Regardless, I guess I'd prefer this type of ad over what's sure to come from the rest of the candidates. From AdFreak.

good direct mail. why so rare?

Good direct mail seems so rare these days. (Or maybe I'm just not on the right lists.) It's like everyone just gave up and said, "let's do what we've always done, or what everyone else is doing." So when you get a good piece of direct mail, it shines.

That happened to me yesterday. I received a piece from AT&T, promoting their small business services. The piece included a VERY SHORT letter (seen above in the blue square on the translucent paper), a BLANK piece of paper, and a BRM.

The call to action? Visit their new small business site. Tell them what you'd like to see there.

They give you two methods of response - a url, and a blank piece of paper, with the header "Dear AT&T:". Which I thought was genius.

I did visit the site. But I'm going to write "GET ME AN iPHONE" on my paper, and send it back. Cuz I'm a smart ass like that.

what a cool help wanted ad looks like.

I'm sooo inspired to produce about ten of these right now. How about a collection of favorite agency songs? Or how about just a collection of Journey songs? Or the ten best punk songs of all time? Or anything from Giuli's playlist? I could go on and on. Videolicious self promo for a firm that's now hiring. All in one take. LOVE it. Watching it over and over right now.

glow in the dark advertising

A great ad for the National Resources Defense Council . The image on the left is the ad in the daytime, the image on the right shows the glow in the dark version, when you turn off the lights.

These would make really cool light switch plates - and could be given away, or placed strategically, guerilla style. Or even as punch outs, in the magazine.

blog orgy of branding fun

Kevin Dugan tells us about a really cool new group blog. BrandingWire. A group of marketing and brand bloggers brought together virtually, to discuss topics on a monthly basis. Their first piece is a great experiment. They created a fictional case study about a local coffee house, and each of the branding experts chimed in on how they'd approach the business.

Each of the experts details their approach on their own blog, linked from the original post.

It's interesting perspective for anyone in our industry, great learning for marketers, and a fantastic self promotional tool for each of the bloggers. Awesome.

good creative kicks big budget's ass

Isn't it totally awesome when something really creative and simple just kicks the ass of everything else?

Two sites came to my attention recently, that just totally rocked. Small budgets, smaller brands - and yet they capture your attention like nothing else.

Author Miranda July needed a website to promote her new book, and book tour. So...rather than have her design firm build a deep site with RSS feeds and a complex PHP back end, she produced a website. On her fridge. And it delivers a message in a supremely unique and effective way that you want to show your friends.

The second is from an agency, West Wayne. What at first looks like an error message, you'll quickly realize is something entirely different. Brazen? Totally. But that's a good thing for an agency. Wanna learn more about their services? Schedule a meeting. That's a pretty cool tactic.


iphone to open up marketing opportunities galore

I've been real careful not to jump on the iPhone hype and rumor bandwagon.

But there's a post over at Gigaom that is interesting. Five ways that the iPhone will change the wireless biz. If they're correct, this has tremendous impact for our industry. Limitless possibilities.

Nobody argues that mobile is the massive opportunity for marketers. But the existing carriers have created roadblocks (or walled gardens, as the post refers to them) around content, and around the things consumers really want to use. Once these doors are opened, everything changes. Promotional opportunities galore. Content creation free-for-all.

People are already creating 3rd party applications for the new Jesus phone. What a massively cool opportunity for branded applications, content and entertainment.

16 days, if you're counting.

not just for soccer moms anymore

Introducing the new skull crushing, villain killin', go anywhere SUV. From Ford.

It's pretty funny that a Ford SUV was used to crush someone's head in the season finale of the Sopranos, and Ford isn't sure if it's a good thing, or a bad thing. But they definitely didn't pay for the placement. Let the parody spots begin.

turning buildings inside out. for art.

UK sculptor had his way with a building. This amazing sculpture cuts a whole in a building, and has it rotate out and around. There's a video clip too.

Must suck if your desk is right there by window. "George, can you move again? We're about to open up the wall."

it's ok to be cool, if you're b2b, too.

Burst Labs, a production house that licenses stock music for production purposes, just launched a killer, fun, well-designed site. Their audience isn't consumers. It's producers.

They not only thought about design (stellar job), but about the selection process that their clients go through. The way in which producers are thinking of and looking for music.

I know when we're exploring stock music for our work, we have a sound in mind. Or a genre. Or a feeling. That's exactly how Burst has organized their new site - using link clouds, awesome design and great interactivity that's useful to the product selection process.

This is not Flash for "wow" effect - but interactivity for productivity. Sweet. We'll be visiting Burst for our next production.

How can your product selection process be better designed for your customers? From NotCot.

truemors creative pays attention to audience

It's not often that banner ads are designed with context in mind. On Guy Kawasaki's latest internet venture, Truemors, there's a set of banners on the right hand side designed specifically for the Truemors audience. Similar to the Truemors posts, each banner starts out with "Did you know..." followed by a quick product claim.

This is great work - either driven by the Truemors crew, or an on the ball agency who actually considered where their ads were being placed - prior to breaking out the creative. Nice work.

downtown columbus rocks with outdoor

First, Advergirl, one of my favorite ad blogs is back in action, after too long of a hiatus. Add her to your RSS today. She lives in Columbus, Ohio. And says that downtown Columbus is being changed by advertising. In a good way. Their Mayor has been inspired by Times Square, and is painting the town with outdoor media. Sometimes literally, as witnessed above. I'm guessing that's what happens when the nearest ocean is halfway across the country. Boredom kicks in, and advertising comes to the rescue.

Justin.tv...to become youtube live?

Starting July 16, ANYONE can broadcast on Justin.tv. For those not already glued to Justin all day, all the time, Justin's the guy who strapped a camera to his hat, began broadcasting every minute of his life, and never looked back.

Ever wanted to broadcast your life? Here's your chance. Justin is opening up the network. They're adding 30 new channels of people broadcasting their lives between now and the 16th. There's already some fun and interesting people on the new JustinTV channels. And on July 16, they're allowing the public to join the party. I predict even more fun.

funny signs

A Collection of Funny Signs from Around the World. From Adfreak.

phallic logos for your summertime fun

Adland revisits unintentional (we think) phallic logos - with some new entries, like Modern Tvat, pictured above. If you like penises in your logos, there are even more here.

video killed the video store

Wow. Say goodbye to video rental stores. Or the ones that are left anyway. And AppleTV may just become more relevant than ever.

mesmerized by product

A totally mesmerizing photo....of a grocery store.

this week at plaid

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

We're growing. Bought a new workstation for our studio this week - and the latest version of Final Cut Pro. Rob and Matt began helping us part-time, and have become near permanent fixtures. They tried to escape once but Justus was able to tie them back down to their desks. Plaid is buzzing with work like never before.

Sooo much going on with the upcoming Plaid tour. (The first ever tour by a design and branding firm!) We're actively seeking sponsorships, to help offset costs, and make life more fun for those of us on the road. We launched a microsite detailing the sponsorship opportunities. There's many ways that brands can get involved - from cash to goodies. Send it to any friends that you think might be interested. We'll consider any opportunities. We're whores like that.

We're beginning to narrow down the Plaid crew that will be riding the Plaid van. Looks like we've convinced MakeTheLogoBigger Bill Green to hop on board. Of course I'll be there. We're still figuring out who to rope into the two remaining seats on board.

Loads of design work, too:
+ Logo and identity work for an excercise/physical therapy manufacturer.
+ Lots of promotional collateral for the Westport Country Playhouse.
+ Designed a presentation for a production company, for a VERY cool new reality based television show.
+ Several microsites - for Spherion, for an intellectual property company, and some other stuff that I can't remember right now.

Summer weather is here, and almost everyone's left to enjoy it. I'm next. Have a great weekend!

plaid tour gets real. now seeking sponsors.

We're officially doing it. The first ever road tour by an agency. With a tour van. And agency employees. And lots of energy drinks. The tour will kick off on July 16, and end (in Atlanta, we think) on August 4.

Anyway - we're looking for sponsors to help ease the pain of financial costs, or to make life more enjoyable for those on the road.

Have a brand that wouldn't mind being seen on our 2400 mile trek across the U.S? Or on the tour's internet dashboard? Or on the tour blog? Or the tour Twitter? Or included on the YouTube videos? We're poor, We're whores, and we're not ashamed. There are opportunities that range from product placement to cash deals. Limited only by your imagination.

Anyway - you can learn more at PlaidNation - which for now, is something better than a PowerPoint deck about sponsorship. Eventually, this site will become the dashboard for everything related to BrandAid 2007.

Stay off the roads. Lock your doors. Plaid is coming.
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