I just found a cool collection of vintage IBM photography. A treasure trove of tech history, presented in the most boring, unfriendly way, on IBM's site. (There's soooo many cool things they COULD be doing here.)
I especially loved the "Mobile Customer Engineer" pictured above. I'm pretty sure he's the guy who would come and fix your mobile device, when it had trouble syncing with your corporate email account. But that's just a guess. ;-)
Here's a tasty video treat that explains how social media works. After you send it to your boss, maybe we could all send it to the airlines. Seems like they need some help figuring things out.
The Girl Riot has produced a really, really cool window into her life. She's documented a full day of brands. Every single brand that's 'touched' her from the time she wakes, until the time she goes to sleep. Wow.
This would be a really sweet experiment on Twitter, if everyone tweeted their brand experience minute by minute, and then collected them all together in a Twitter mashup site. A real-time show of which brands are 'active' in people's lives. Brandstreaming.
Definitely check out Girl Riot's post. Awesome.
First, learn how to read Japanese. (You can do that this weekend.) Then go to stitch 2, and with your mouse, draw the graphics that you'd like to have woven into your hat. Click submit and wammo! Your beanie is on it's way!
We've been remiss in introducing you to our latest new member of Plaid. David (the intern). You probably already know that there's another David in our office, who's been here way longer than David (the intern). So, we've had David (the intern) change his name. Whenever you refer to him, you'll need to add "the intern" to the end of his name. We're sending him to the DMV to change it on his driver's license, too.
David (the intern) will be with us for the first half of the summer, where he'll be washing employee cars, sharpening pencils, and removing gum from the bottom of sneakers. Important stuff that the rock stars of Plaid don't have time to do themselves.
We believe that the light bulb above his head isn't actually part of our lighting system - but an indication that David (the intern) just had a brilliant idea. Once he's done uncrumpling the paper in recycling, we'll give him some time to realize that brilliance.
If you live in the suburbs, you probably spend a fair amount of time in your car. Because we know that you're a safe driver, we know that you don't text and drive. Which means that your Twitter updates are reduced to traffic jams and stop lights.
What's a driver to do when you need to tell your Twitter friends about the sweet Jack-in-the-Box that you just passed? TwitterFone. You call in your tweet, and some magic elves convert it to text and publish to your Twitter stream. Wow.
From Kevin Dugan. Via Twitter, through Twitterfone.
If you haven't already checked out Oh Boy Obama, do it now. Put aside your politics, and just look - because this is the most awesomely delicious example of how to crowd source, and use social media for the promotion of a brand.
The site is an open think tank, where Obama fans can chime in with ideas for Obama related to his scheduling, tactical plans, publicity, advertising, demographics, and more. Visitors can vote on their favorite ideas, and the most popular rise to the top.
This is an uber relevant example of how to use social media, that can be applied to nearly any brand. B2C, B2B, whatever. Need ideas on how this could be applied to your industry? You know who to call.
What if you could choose your charity, like you choose detergent at Walmart? That's the world that GlobalGiving has projected in their new PSA.
AdFreak points out what a sweet idea this would be for the big boxers. To actually put boxes devoted to charities on shelves, for customers to buy. There could be an entire department devoted to it. Massively awesome idea. Everyone wins. Let's do it, now.
If you're running a commerce site, and have lots of products to choose from, Answer Oil can help your customers narrow down choice. And give you valuable market research data in the process.
Looks like a cool web 2.0 style tool that's been made available to existing sites and developers. I'm guessing that their solution is more efficient than developing this on your own. Neat idea. From Techcrunch.
Everyone's going gaga over the Gruen Transfer, a new show in Australia all about advertising.
In this week's episode, they discuss slumvertising, and the secrets of beer ads. Reminds me of Attack of the Show, but about advertising.
This woman is my favorite commercial actress, recently. Just love every second of her appearance. Her facial expressions, her read, her walk. I still laugh every time I see this spot. Woooooooo!
Who's your favorite commercial actor?
It's great when someone comes along and does something that you've seen a hundred million times, and makes it fresh.
Optical illusions. You've seen most of these when you were 6 years old. But Samsung just made them fun again. Nicely done.
Here's what happened this week, at the world's most awesome design and branding firm:
Sara got bobbled. Her official Plaid bobblehead arrived, so now she's committed to Plaid forever. The bobble version of Sara will get photographed next week, and then added to the "Meet the Staff" section of our website.
If that wasn't enough Sara love, she was also interviewed by CNN! We're not allowed to talk about the story, but stoked, and can't wait to see it.
Rob, Paul and Matt completed an awesome presentation for Timex. We all learned a lot about technology and innovation, and some stuff that Timex is doing, that we can't tell you about. Or they'll send the black helicopters, and have us erased.
We completed a ton of planning for our upcoming tour. Getting more and more excited about the west coast, and some of the things we have planned.
Rob's off to enjoy a vacation on some secret island next week, Steph is enjoying an extra extended weekend, and the rest of us will be BBQing our asses off for three days of Memorial Day fun. See ya Tuesday.
Scott Monty spoke this week at Streaming Media East, on a panel about lifecasting. He's detailed some really nice points that will make you look really smart when you put them in your next PowerPoint presentation.
Like the Edelman graphic above, showing how consumers trust people like themselves as spokespeople, more than they trust doctors, regular employees, CEO's or bloggers.
Check out this great post from Bill Baker, an avid supporter for the Human Society. Except - they're about to lose him, forever.
Creating multiple touch points is a wonderful thing, if you're building a brand. But if you're a non-profit, and those touch points begin to cost more (or even appear to cost more) than what your donor has given, there's a problem.
This is a good lesson for any non-profit. Let's hope the Humane Society is listening.
Hopefully you won't turn into a birdman, and start nesting. That's what some dude in the Netherlands is doing. Although I'm pretty sure that it has nothing at all to do with Twitter. Or his tweets.
Benjamin Verdonck built a massive nest on the side of a building. And he placed a giant egg on the sidewalk, to attract attention (because the nest wasn't enough.)
Then he moved into the nest, and has been living there for a few days. Just tweeting (the real kind of tweeting, not twitter tweeting) at people who pass by.
His site explains how he built the nest. See video of his nest and crazy tweets over at Gizmodo.
Film festivals. They're not just for film geeks.
Last night, a few of us from Plaid went to the opening night of the CT Film Festival, and saw a pretty cool film, FlyBoys. (Rob and Steph also designed and produced the site)
We live in the shadow of the Tribeca Film Festival, and about 60 other film festivals. And yet it's so easy to say..."I'm too busy. I'll have to check that out next year." Don't.
There are festivals going on in towns across the globe. You don't have to be in Cannes or New York. New, fresh films. Shown in colleges, halls and small theaters. Places that weren't designed around cupholders and tanks of popcorn - but instead setup to share a visual and emotional experience with an audience. Don't say "next year."
For years, I've said "next year." and this year, I'm glad that I didn't.
If you really don't have any film festivals near you, then check out Green Porno from the Sundance Channel. (It's totally safe for work, and you won't get in trouble by watching this) Probably not as inspiring, but cute. And funny.
A new report is showing that people don't necessarily see a company as being environmentally responsible, just because they spent millions of dollars telling them so.
Walmart, GE, and Bank of America, three brands that lead spending (of green) in bragging about their green-ness, weren't perceived as being green. This, by an audience of people who really, really want to know which companies are green.
Would have been fun to do the same survey, using the word greed.
You know what sucks? When you're deep in the woods, getting all drunk on Miller beer, just you and your gun...and the deer that you want to shoot sees your shiny Miller Beer can, and tells his friends to avoid the drunk hunter.
Problem solved! Miller Beer just released beer...in cammo cans. Now you can happily drink and shoot and never be seen. Apparently, this is not a joke.
Wacky Packs is celebrating their 35th anniversary! To commemorate this very special time in history, the Topps Company has released a Wacky Packs coffee table book. Or kitchen table book.
Wacky Packs were the ultimate slap in the face to all things branding, and a celebration of irreverence for a generation of Mad Magazine readers.
The clip above is a cornball teevee show that details what a Wacky Pack is, for those of you that were born yesterday. From Kristin Gorski.
Mashable has a nice piece on ScanLife, a service that allows brands to create barcodes that are readable by your mobile device. The video demonstrates how it could be used.
I can't wait until they work at retail. When the shelf-talker can give me a coupon for the item in my basket, and I hand my cell phone to the cashier to scan. That's the future that I want to live in.
The Google gods have just launched Google Health. Here's a place that users can complete, upload and import their entire medical history. All of their health records in one place.
This could be a massive opportunity for those in the health care industry. Google's available API means that we can now build fanstastical new tools to allow patients things that weren't available before. Think that mashups using Google Maps are exciting? Imagine the things that might be done in health care.
And there's some very interesting discussion going on over at Fred Wilson's blog, A VC. Fred wants to make his health record public, and was surprised that there was no "share" button. That might be a little extreme - but it points to how the world is changing.
This should be exciting for the health care industry. Here's a wonderful tool, backed by Google, that most health care marketers wouldn't be able to develop or manage on their own. Google just eliminated the development budget for them. Now they can integrate into their own tools, and create good things for users all around.
Those English people really like their tea. So Kelloggs gave the people what they really need, to promote the cause. And their Nutri-Grain bars.
There's an online petition to bring back the tea trolley. Employees can sign it, and then get their friends to sign it, and then convince their boss to get a tea trolley. And yes, get to know Nutri-Grain bars, in the process.
Tea trolleys. I would like a petition to start a taco trolley (like the dudes at Dieste Harmel in Dallas have), or a "energy-drink-that's-not-tea" trolley. Or a "have you had your cookie today" trolley. But that's just me. You might like tea.
Don't have a healthy photography budget? Using royalty free stock photos? Don't forget that others in your industry may be doing the same thing. The exact same thing.
Check out the shots above. Two separate ads - one for Asus, one for MSI computers. Both utilizing the exact same shot! It's also interesting to see the individual production decisions made around the Photoshop work. Like how the Asus dude got a longer arm, but better color correction.
The NYC Tattoo Convention took place this weekend. Didn't make it? Scared of what ink might look like in your khaki and oxford world? Sit back and enjoy the Flickr photo slide show from the people who were there.
Photograph by Needled.
Just when you think you know someone. Intern Katie sent me this naked image. It's an ad for PS3. (Full version probably wouldn't be considered safe by your uber conservative IT department.)
1. It's insane that an ad like this would never be safe in the U.S., but we're allowed to show killing, dismemberment, and other murderlicious imagery.
2. I don't get it. It's meant to appeal to men, to promote a Playboy PS3 game. But are men who are interested in Playboy also interested in nearly naked man pics? I don't think so.
Thanks, Katie. I think.
On his last CEO Summit, Bill Gates debuted the touch wall. Basically, it's Microsoft Surface, installed vertically. Your conference room dreams of this. Your living room dreams of this. Retail stores dream of this.
Finally, something cool from Microsoft, that you really want. But can't afford.
Designer Marloes ten Bhömer has realized shoes in a whole new way. Part art, part experiment, soon her shoes will be open to the public, for sale. Your wife is going to love those blocky clunky clunks, for her anniversary.
The 21st Century = Mass Innovation. I couldn't say anything more profound or more appropriate than what is said in this video. So just watch it, already.
Found on View from the Bottom.
Now that Business Week has officially proclaimed that Twitter is ok to explore, people will be jumping on the Twitter train like crazy.
Want a cool snapshot of what they're all talking about? Check out TwitBuzz. See what people are talking about now, in the last 24 hours, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, and since the the history of man.
Want a cool snapshot of what they're all talking about? Check out TwitBuzz. See what people are talking about now, in the last 24 hours, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, and since the the history of man.
The tunnel between Hollywood and Universal features a special show for it's train passengers. An ad for Speed Racer, played over 360 individual LED frames. The movement of the train animates the piece.
NYC had a similar piece a while ago, but it didn't include LED panels.
The bigger whoop-de-do: People are riding trains in Los Angeles?? Like, actually using public transportation? Do they have valet parking at the train stations?
The pinnacle of groovy kids tv is coming back for a new generation. They're shooting new episodes of the Electric Company in NYC. The show is slated to return to PBS in January of 2009.
For those not familiar, the original Electric Company was a seventies fest of visual glory laid upon kids who were glued to PBS TV, back in the days of 13 channels. (Oh, the horror.)
Thankfully, the new show will feature an online component, since today's kids only marginally pay attention to the 600 channels on their magic box.
Mathew Johnston has put together an awesome collection of images that compare Liberty City (from Grand Theft Auto IV, for you older people), to real images from New York City. Pretty cool.
Casey tells us about Moustache May. The internationally known month of moustache. If you don't sport the stache, you can buy your way in. By giving money, in honor of Casey's awesome stache. He's raising money for his local Humane Society shelter.
Donate $20, and he'll send you a pic of him and his stache, doing whatever you say. I'm game. What she we have him pose with?
Last week, a few of us from Plaid had the distinct pleasure of meeting a couple of the original engineers/developers for Segway. As a part of their worldwide brand team, we were entertained with some of the most glorious background on Segway. Doug Field, Scott Waters and Michael Taylor presented background on the device, with details on it's history, development, and shared some of the overall R&D philosophy at Segway.
We could all learn a lot from Segway. Their development team is an inspiration to creative people anywhere. I wish their presentations were bottled up for sharing with the world. These were some of the most inspiring, passionate, and intelligent people that I've enjoyed meeting. Here's a couple of awesomely sweet nuggets from my notes at the brand summit:
They celebrate what they call "Frog Kissing Days." These are days where engineers attempt to produce wildly creative devices and ideas that are beyond anything they'd normally attempt. Development without rules. When complete, they celebrate the grandest failures. Kissing frogs. That's a holiday that should be celebrated every month, at every agency.
How do you know that you've created something grand? When your solution creates 50 additional problems. That's what Doug had to say about creation and invention.
The technology adoption curve applies to branding. They detailed some history on great technological advances and explained the technology adoption curve (detailed here), which details how humans accept and use new technological advancements. It turns out that the typical adoption of brand new advances usually takes 15 - 20 years before they're accepted by society. Pretty amazing when you look through history and place items on the curve. This is an important consideration for branders who are dealing with technology - so as to best understand where your audience is in the curve, and what messaging they'll be open to.
Thanks to Michael, Doug and Scott for hanging with a bunch of creative types, and allowing a few people that couldn't even complete a basic math equation, bask in their intelligence.
This weekend, I attended the CT Innovation Expo, a pretty cool program that the state sponsors for high school students. The event took place at the CT Convention Center, and featured some of the brightest students from across the state. Lots of future coder geeks, gaming geeks, engineers and....creatives.
It was pretty cool to meet the crew from Woodland Regional High School, who have created their own high school ad agency. Called AMP, they provide agency services for any school event.
You probably remember the handmade, lame-o flyers that your friends made for the high school dance. AMP creates, prints, and distributes cool flyers. They'll create MySpace pages. And they'll get the word out, for the events they promote.
What an awesome idea. For the event planners that hire them (who better to target teens, than TEENS?), and for the students. These future creative superstars are getting a real-deal look at what it's like to work with a client, while building their pre-college portfolios.
Kids weren't this smart, when I was in high school. Nice job.
Want to see what people think of brand logos, in a web2.0-licious way? Check out
brand tags. Enter your immediate thoughts as you're presented with the logo. Then, view the results in a wonderful tag cloud.
Here's what people think of Burger King. This will make for some great slides in a future presentation.
Looking for another example of how Twitter can be used to increase sales?
Woot now tweets their specials, as they're happening. How could you improve your customer's experience, using Twitter? Learned of Woottweets from the tweetmaster, Scott Monty. Via Twitter. (Duh.)
Working on a company mission statement, or brand mantra? Try fitting into a single Tweet. What a grand idea, from Jared Goralnick, on Twitter.
Since Twitter only allows 140 characters, it forces the writer to weigh every word. Like a producer weighs every second of a 30 second spot. More importantly, a 140 or less brand mantra is more likely to be read by your audience. So much more than those 3 paragraphs that the marketing committee drafted as a group, and then legal edited after the CEO added a couple of lines...awesome advice.
Here's what happened this week, at the world's most sweet-as-chocolate-frosting design and branding firm:
Rob, Sara and I enjoyed a really long drive to New Hampshire. The only state with a slogan that you might consider wearing on a t-shirt. Admit it - "Live Free or Die" just rocks. We participated in a worldwide brand summit for Segway. This is a really good idea, for any brand. Pulling together all of the players from across the globe, to learn, discuss, share and brainstorm. Always a pleasure to share the room with other creative and marketing people. And this time - we even met the product engineers/designers for Segway. (More on that, soon.)
Plaid pre-tour shirts arrived. We'll be sharing pics and details over on the Plaid tour blog, momentarily. We also launched the Plaid tour dashboard, PlaidNation. Still very much a work in progress, but if you take a peek, you'll get an idea of some of our plans for this summer's tour.
I was profiled in a regional business paper, the Fairfield County Business Journal. Somehow they saw fit to include me in their series "Profits and Passions", featuring entrepeneurs, and their passions outside of the office. You can learn all about my infatuation with pop culture. And sneakers.
Lots of props coming into the office, for a couple of photo/video shoots. Everyone's really having fun with the night-stick. RJ can actually twirl it around in his hands, without hitting himself in the head. (Can't say the same for other Plaid-workers.)
Steph got a new, cool haircut. And then bought a surfboard. Maybe not in that exact order. Something really fun and crazy happening, over in Steph-land.
We welcomed a new intern, David, who we'll formally introduce on BrandFlakes, next week. Safe to say there's a whole lot of sh*t-work just waiting for his attention.
We welcomed a couple of new clients to the Plaid roster this week - and we can't wait to show you what we're working on. Lots of fun stuff, in the works.
Have a great weekend, and say hi to your mommy.
Sara has now taken a pledge, and devoted her life to Plaid. She's the newest member of the Plaidalicious team, and makes the greatest agency in all of the land just a little bit sweeter.
Sara's got a really cool background. She's lived in Orlando, Miami, NYC, San Francisco, and now finds herself stuck in New England, with the rest of us. What better way to pass the time, than a career at Plaid.
Sara has joined us in the role of "Producer", even though we don't believe in titles around here. Her job role is to keep everyone happy. By making sure clients get what they need. And creatives have what they need. And that everything makes Plaid money.
Random things you probably didn't already know about Sara:
+ She likes the Gun Club and The Replacements
+ She survived a lightning strike
+ She's almost ten feet tall
+ Her sister is a model
Send Sara a big howdy at Sara (AT) thinkplaid (dot) com, or follow her on Twitter.
I've heard that line countless times, as people read the hype, and don't realize how intertwined social media already is in our internet experience.
Think you work in a low tech industry that can't benefit? Like maybe fishing lures? Duct Tape Marketing has a great interview/case study for you. John Jantsch interviews Jason Brown, the founder of Brown Lures. Brown now has WAITING LISTS for his product.
Social media. Enjoyed everywhere, by everyone. Even fishermen dudes.
Advergirl has a sweet series of posts all about improving your career in the advertising industry. Most would apply to any industry - so pass them along to your friends.
Start at Advice for Newbies, or Advertising agency interview tips, or explore around on your own. And you don't have to be a girl to get in on the learning. Seriously great advice for any knowledge workers: man, woman, or elf.
My fave: Be as valuable your fifth year as your first year.
Uniqlo, the greatest store in all of the land, has produced yet another awesome interactive piece to promote their new line of t-shirts. Users can sample "beats" made from clips of Uniqlo models, and put them together in a way that it creates an original loop.
The result is a never-ending loop, created by users. While listening/watching, you can vote on favorite loops - which then pushes more popular loops further forward in the "song".
This is amazing work on so many levels. Time to go t-shirt shopping.
Brooklyn based designer/photographer Till Krautkramer has invented the most delicious and refreshing beverage ever: MeatWater.
MeatWater comes in all of your favorite flavors, including Beef Stroganof, Beef Jerky, Texas BBQ, and my favorite - Dirty Hot Dog. The same juice that powers the most awesome NYC hot dog carts. Mmmm. Get some. Pure parody fun. Found on Gothamist.
Love Moleskine notebooks? As much as us? Want to try and bring them into your life? Wondering if you're addicted to them? Check out The Ultimate Guide to everything Moleskine.
To showcase what you might be able to do with the new Motorola Z10 phone, agency Cake has produced a campaign that features a marriage proposal. A proposal shot and edited on the phone.
Oh yeah - the agency says that she said yes. I would assume that she called him to say yes, using a Motorola Z10.
Walters Schels and Beate Lakotta have produced a most unique exhibition. They've interviewed and photographed people whose lives were coming to an end. And then, photographed them after death, too. Like Heiner Schmitz, an advertising executive, pictured above.
At first, this is uber creepy, but then you realize that it's a window into the thing so many of us fear most. All of the subjects agreed to participate in the project, and wanted to share the story of their death.
An excerpt from the introduction on the website:
The majority of the subjects portrayed spent their last days in hospices. All those who come to such places realise that their lives are drawing to a close. They know there is not much time left to settle their personal affairs. Yet hardly anyone here is devoid of hope: they hope for a few more days; they hope that a dignified death awaits them or that death will not be the end of everything.
(Sorry to be such a downer.)
I always say that half of our job is education. And I love sharing, teaching and exploring with clients. After all - they don't have time for things like Twitter, Second Life or the latest branding trends.
But there's one thing that always gets under my skin. People's perception of logo value. I've been in countless situations, where an otherwise reasonable business person expects that a logo can be developed for $175. (As recent as last week!)
It's not their fault. They don't understand the time (or the life experience) that's devoted to the process of creating a new brand identity. They get it when it comes to sales collateral. Campaigns. Websites. Videos. But logos seem so simple and small, how difficult could they be?
Of course, we know better. So nothing but big smiles when I discovered this excellent post on why your logo should cost more than your lunch...