How would Karl Lagerfeld sell Dom Perignon? With beautious, sexy, exploitive photography. As If it's Hip it's Here points out, yes - these are sexist, yes - these are sexy, but you have to appreciate the awesome styling and photography that is totally Karl Lagerfeld.
Oh yeah. When I turn 112, I definitely want to look like Karl Lagerfeld. Totally has that senior citizen robot look going on. Stylish. Yet awesome. And totally kick ass.
Tell your boss to put down the newspaper. The dudes at Herd find even more proof that this social media thing is really important.
Just in case your boss still believes Twitter is for twits, here's yet another great story on Twitter saving the day for an ad campaign.
From HughBriss (via Twitter, of course.)
Church of the Customer has some outstanding advice on how to deal with a layoff: Start your prep well before the layoff ever happens.
They suggest taking three steps that will help position you better in the marketplace, should your job disappear:
3. Join niche communities.
The coolest thing? Even if you're NOT losing your job, these actions can help you in your current position. Now's the time for making resolutions, right?
Some pranksters in England put up signs around Nottingham, stating "Public urination permitted after 7:30pm." The campaign was actually put in place by activists trying to raise attention about the growing problem of urban crap that city dwellers have to deal with.
Still, it's hilarious. And why shouldn't you join in on the action? Think of the fun you could have in your own office, with similar prank signs. Here's a few ideas, to get you started:
+ Everything in the fridge is free for the taking, after 1pm.
+ This copy machine reserved for nude and artful copymaking only.
+ Please shout "howdy!" before entering, for your safety.
+ Conference room reserved for dance party, 3pm - 5pm.
Alltop, the ultimate aggregator of just about every website on just about every topic (created by legendary entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki) has now launched a guide for fund raising.
BrandFlakes is featured in a few Alltop categories, so it must be awesome. Seriously - resources for non-profits aren't always easy to come by, so send this to your friend who has to raise a trillion dollars in the tightest year ever.
Even now, after like six examples a day, you're still unsure of what your brand could be doing on Twitter?
Here's another great piece about how companies are using the tool to help their brands. This post talks to Dunkin' Dave (Dunkin Donuts), Scott Monty (Ford Motors), Tony Hsieh (Zappos) and other professional Tweeters to profile how they've used Twitter to help their brands. (In the land of the future, we'll be able to deliver donuts through tweets. Mmmmm.)
Chris Brogan writes about how he was inspired after watching the special features portion of the Iron Man DVD. He sums up how success can be reached by achieving three layers: vision, creation and execution.
He's onto something. Every successful director needs to communicate his vision to hundreds (if not thousands) of people involved in the production process. And if that process is going to work, then the creation and execution have to be aligned with his/her vision. Not an easy feat.
There's a great lesson here for any leader of any organization, team, or brand, large or small. Check out Chris' post, and the enlightening discussion in the comments over at his blog.
Tony, the world-famous CEO to Zappos, has a wonderful post illustrating how everything that he knows about business, he learned from playing poker. He's actually working on a book with the same theme - so consider this your sneak peek!
Any day that you can laugh at cancer is a fantastic day.
That's what artist and producer Lyrics Born has helped to make a reality. Check out the awesome campaign that illustrates the value of keeping under cover while under the sun. (And just in time for the sun season, down under.)
If you've promised yourself that you'll spend at least some of your holiday time digging into social media, here's a great place to get started: Mashable points to a kabillion and a half how-to's on everything from Facebook to Twitter to Google to everything else.
This is the perfect week to get your feet wet. Try something that you haven't had the time to do all year long, but have been meaning to. Or try something you've been hearing some buzz about.
Regardless of your social media expertise, there's definitely something that you haven't given as much attention (or experimentation) to, as you could have. Why work, when you can explore?
Ryan Kuder just tagged me in a meme called Seven Things. You need to share 7 things about yourself, and then ask 7 people to do the same. So here goes:
1. I know how to shoot a gun. I grew up in Texas, and even shot an armadillo once (photo above, if you don't believe me.) Today I don't even eat beef, which I'm pretty sure my cattle ranching relatives might freak, if they knew.
2. My first job was delivering papers for the Chicago Tribune. I woke up at 4 in the morning, got on my ultra cool chopper bike, and pedaled newspapers through a subdivision in Bloomingdale, IL. Got pretty good at riding and throwing, although I once threw a paper through a customer's front window.
3. I rode in a rental car down that famous hairpin turn road in Monte Carlo, during an actual auto road race. It looked exactly like what I now know as the Monte Carlo Rally, and it did take place in January, so who knows. This wasn't a planned adventure - just a handful of dumb Americans who couldn't read the French road signs that probably said something like "Road closed for Monte Carlo Rally." We got some pretty funny looks at the finish line. To this day, I'm really not quite sure how the whole thing happened.
4. I'm accident prone. I've nearly lost a couple of fingers, an eye, and suffered a bunch of other hilarious injuries, mostly as the result of stupid activities. For this reason, I do not own a chain saw.
5. I've never been fired, arrested or beaten to a pulp. I've come very close on many occasions but somehow always draw the line in the nick of time. I should probably have at least one of these experiences sometime in the near future. (Taking risks is a requirement in our profession.)
5a. I once pissed on the Pentagon. Pretty sure you'd get killed for that today. This was during the height of the punk rock years. Beer was involved. (Figured this fact belongs as a sub-set to fact #5.)
6. I've lived in at least two haunted houses. One as a kid, and another just a few years ago.
7. The Elegant Universe is one of my favorite books. I have this thing for super string theory and theoretical physics. I'm not smart enough to actually understand the majority of it, but I'm blown away by the possibilities. Outside of business, internet, fashion or pop culture, that's my favorite content to read.
Ok, so now it's your turn. Here's who I choose to share 7 things next:
Brad J Ward
The Girl Riot
(I was also going to tag Todd Sanders, but Barbara Nixon beat me to it.)
Here's what happened this week, at the world's most santalicious creative agency:
We marked the TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY for both Justus and David at Plaid. We can't even believe the agency has been around that long. These are two outstanding individuals who have contributed greatly to Plaid's success. Without either of them, Plaid wouldn't be what it is today. We celebrated with a nice lunch, and then gifted them with some sweet Nikon D80 kits.
Plaid employees got a nice surprise before leaving for the holiday, too. They all received new Flip HD cameras! Steph, Matt and Justus show that they're prepared to shoot holiday goodness, above. Expect loads of embarrassing video to be posted on a regular basis.
If that wasn't enough love, Chris received a $100 cash reward for having the most posts on the Plaid Holiday Gift Guide. We're pretty sure that he'll just give it all to charity. ;)
Our holiday card received an unexpected response. Both positive and negative. We were overjoyed with calls, emails and comments on our greeting - and appreciate every one of them. And then we were totally blown away by a letter from a lawyer(!!) representing an employee who received the card, who was offended. Yikes. Definitely didn't intend to offend people while spreading Plaid holiday love. Anyway, enjoy some brilliant discussion going on over the matter at Adrants, MakeTheLogoBigger and ThoughtGadgets.
We started holiday vacation!!! Regardless of what Plaid employees may celebrate individually, we'll all be doing it with loads of time off. We close Plaid offices until January 2nd. Some of us may peek in from time to time, but mostly - it's enjoying Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, spending time with family, and snowboarding.
Blogging may be a little bit lighter over the holidays - or at least a little bit later, as I'm quite sure that there will be some sleeping past 5:30am for a few days. :)
Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from all of your awesome friends at Plaid!
Marketing Sherpa has a helpful piece on how to defend your marketing budget. All really great advice for marketing geeks who may be fighting a good fight in 2009.
Geez, that image makes this post even more depressing. Let's just pretend that he's removing glitter from his hair. Glitter that the employees threw in the air at the company parade. The parade that the company produced in his honor, to celebrate the massive success of his new social media campaign. Better, right?
This is Herd points to an interesting study that classifies two forms of personality measurement - avoidance and anxiety. Depending on how you fit into either category, you'll react to brands differently.
They've cited the jeans that people choose as an example:
"Anxious individuals who were more avoidant of relationships tended to choose Abercrombie jeans, which were perceived to be more exciting than sincere. In contrast, anxious individuals who seek intimacy in relationships were more likely to pick Gap jeans, which were perceived as more sincere than exciting."
This is some interesting reading, and further proof that your sociology classes have more to do with branding than any advertising class. Coworker Justus contemplates this information, above.
Here's a stunningly produced history of Asics/Onitsuka Tiger. You should use this as an excuse to go buy yourself a new pair of sneakers in honor of this wonderous production. C'mon. I'll join you.
Apparently, if the snow is just perfect, the humidity is just right and you have some body heat in your face, you can leave artful body prints in people's cars. This is awesome. I'm going to freeze my face off this winter.
BusinessWeek has some smart advice on making a good impression. Seven rules that should be common sense to each of us, but sometimes you need a good reminder on how things work. The end of the year is a good time for that.
This was the number one bookmarked site on Delicious yesterday, so apparently we could all use some brushing up. Pass it along.
(If all else fails, you can show up with a plate of burgers. Sara says that works like a charm.)
Just totally loving the McDonalds coffee campaign. They've had a history of poorly targeted, fragmented ad campaigns, so it's a warm welcome to see work that targets a real audience with actual product benefits while addressing a chief competitor.
Adhole points to the outdoor work, which is apparently lighting up Seattle, the capital of everything Starbucks.
Now that winter is officially here, you have to look for creative inspiration from wherever you can get it. Which is hard, when you're bundled in 31 layers plus a scarf, big hat and arctic mittens.
Urban Outfitters found just the thing. A fun outdoor piece of snowjoy. We'll call it snowfitti.
Two additional holiday promotions crossed our inbox, that you may enjoy...
The first is Tom Fellow. If your idea of the perfect Christmas is watching a creepy sexy man, well Tom Fellow is your man. Or fellow. Or creep. Whatever. (Thanks, Pete!)
And then Adrants points to a promotion for White+Partners, who hire an elf at their agency. Of course, hilarity ensues. What's not to love about a cranky elf?
Here's what happened this week at the world's most sugarlicious creative agency:
We consumed calories. Not just empty, unnecessary calories, but the kind covered with chocolate, pecans, caramel, powdered sugar and gravy. (Well, maybe not gravy.) Thursday kicked off what's become a holiday tradition at Plaid. Eliza's Sugarfest. Coworker Eliza, whose last name just happens to be Sweet (swear, that's the truth) bakes enough sugary goodness to feed all of the hungry people on earth. Only she brings them to us to consume, instead.
This year's Sugarfestival started with a welcome surprise by client Tally Maffucci, who stopped by with her own platter of sugary goodness. It turns out that Tally is also a master bakestress (yes, we really know how to pick clients) and has spent the last 12 weeks or so baking about 43 kabillion varieties of cookies.
We ate our way into a sugar coma on Thursday, and then came back for more on Friday. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by on Monday - there's still some sugary goodness left for you.
Brina celebrated the last day of her internship on Thursday. Usually, we mark last days with cake, but that would have been ridiculous. We loaded her with some Plaid goodness and sent her off filled with Christmas sugar. She's also finishing school (for good!) this weekend, so she's pretty stoked to get onto a wonderful life without teachers or final projects.
Oh yeah - our holiday card turned out to be a pretty big success, with people (on average) sending it to at least four friends. That's a pass-a-long rate that's officially viral!
We've also got a sugarload of projects that are "just this close" to completion, so we're still working feverishly to get some closure before the end of the season.
The week ended with a massive snowblast that all of our Twitter friends were calling Snowmaggeddon. Our area got hit with more than half of a foot of snow, which led to a pretty nice close to the week. Lots of shopping and holiday preparingness this weekend for the Plaid team, as we get ready to dive into the last work week of 2008. Woot!
For our agency holiday card this year, we created a video that you can customize for your friends, to make it seem like they were sleeping with Santa. Or Mrs. Claus, depending on their preference.
I prefer the Mrs, as she also knows how to make some badass cookies. See my version here, or make your own version here. Happy Christmas!
Here's a cute new video for Do The Green Thing that shows what life might be like if humans were penguins, demonstrating the value of working together.
(Contains some nudity. But in a cute, "let's join together as a human race" way - not in a "let's get naked and party" way.)
A Belgian agency claims they need to reduce their staff by one member, but can't decide who. So they're taking an online vote, where site visitors get to choose who gets the axe.
I'm sure that agency workers who were really laid off this week will see a lot of humor in this.
There's an amazingly magic new material called Scotchlite 680 that looks black in the daylight, but reflects white in car headlights. Sure, it's awesome for safety...but what about outdoor stunts and promotional opportunities?
How about...Roadvertising - messages in the middle of roads (certainly illegal, but c'mon)...or...cover a building and then put on a flashlight show to music...or...the most awesome reflective promotional vehicles...so many ideas...
At a recent women only road race (?) Axe pulled a pretty awesome stunt. They had a dude with an Axe t-shirt spray himself with the magic Axe sauce, and started running just ahead of the pack.
(Coworker David claims it doesn't work. He's tried Axe several times, and the girls in the office still think he's gross.)
I hear business-to-business leaders complain all the time that they can't have fun with their marketing. Locked in a world where they pretend their audience is non-human, has no sense of humor, and convinced the only message delivery vehicles are pages and pages of boring copy. (And PowerPoint decks.)
So it's energizing to have a client with a business to business audience that LOVES to have fun. And isn't afraid to share that in their marketing collateral. Check out the video that we produced for RMI Direct Marketing, as their holiday greeting.
Their clients get to know them better, feel like they're a bunch of fun to work with, and yes - enjoy a sense of humor. (And they can act, too!)
Metro Rules of Conduct is a game that teaches players how to behave on a subway. Artist/Developer Kian created the game to point out the irony of the situation. Train cars that are designed to foster reaction (with seats faced toward each other), yet society works hard to continue to ignore one another.
Play the game by staring at MP3 players and other objects without actually making prolonged eye contact with other humans. Scarily accurate, regardless of what city you're from.
Carrotmob is a new group that's organizing consumers to shop strategically. They're organizing flash shopping mobs to spend their money at a retailer who agrees to spend a percentage of the day's sales on energy improvements to their business.
You can watch a video about the concept on CarrotMob's site. They started in San Francisco, and now have chapters in Kansas City, Bristol England and New York. What started as an experiment is delivering long lines of passionate customers to retail, while making effective energy change neighborhood by neighborhood.
One of the smartest people in the social media/internet/whatever-you-call-this-stuff industry - Ryan Kuder, and his business partner Jonathan Tarud have started The Purple People Collective.
Is it a dance troupe? A rock band? A children's television show? Nope. The Purple People Collective is a resource to connect recently laid off Yahoo (and other tech workers) with awesome opportunities.
Are you looking for an uber smart tech geek to help you on a project or fill a position? There's a boat load of incredible talent out there waiting to do amazing things. Go purple.
If you've always loved following Santa's route via the NORAD tracking system, then you'll love the fact that they're tweeting it this year too. Now you can really follow Santa.
(found via a Twitter friend, but I can't remember who now...sorry.)
The next big deal in product design? Space product. Sapporo just announced the launch of Space Beer, "the world's first beer made with barley descending from plants grown inside the International Space Station."
Sounds like the start to an awesome scifi adventure. Or just good beer. You decide.
(Awesome photograph by Stacy Brill from Kevin Haddad, via Facebook.)
Maybe the SlutCracker is. Yes, that's right, the SlutCracker. If your idea of the ultimate Christmas includes drag kings, can-can dancers, hoola-hoopists, and burlesque performers, then the SlutCracker is for you.
Sadly, the show is over - but until next year, you can check out some of the performers in their regular shows, like Babes in Boinkland, All the Kings Men, Ballet Lolita, Can Can Revolution and Big Moves.
(Who knew Boston was so sexy?)
Here's what happened this week at the world's most lame creative agency:
Lame? What you say? Isn't Plaid the most awesome creative agency ever to grace the earth with ideas? Well yes - but this week we made a stupid mistake: we forgot Steph's birthday.
Birthday's at Plaid are important, because it's a time to have cake. And everyone at Plaid loves sugary goodness. So it wouldn't seem possible that we could overlook someone's birthday. But we did. A stupid mistake, and a paper calendar were involved. Further proof that everything should be interactive.
We made up for our blunder with a cake and some Hawaiian looking flowers. (Steph's a surfing tiki goddess, so her heart is in Hawaii.)
This has been a massively out of our heads crazy week. Only days are left in 2008, and we're working feverishly to make the best of them.
Reuters picked up on a story about a site that we produced for Umphrey's McGee! More proof of our awesomeness by people who should know.
Justus and I got to got to attend a special surprise birthday celebration for a client and friend, Martin Stein. This was a pretty special birthday, as he's now cancer free. Woohoo Martin. Way to kick cancer's ass!
Separately - if you'd like to see Martin and his team, check out their holiday video (more on this later): RMI Extreme Caroling.
We've mailed our holiday greeting cards to clients and friends (we'll publish a link to the interactive portion next week). Let's just say that it's naughty.
This weekend Plaidsters will be doing a little bit of catch up, and a little bit of rest for a wonderously crazified week. You should spend it shopping, or browsing through the BrandFlakes Gift Guide.
Lost City points out a lost art in urban sign making: tiled doorsteps. They've documented a handful of them from the Little Italy neighborhood in NYC. Lovely creative inspiration right at your doorstep.
Sometimes it's not about bringing more customers to the table. Sometimes it's about getting those customers to actually spend money. That's what CoffeeCompany, Holland's largest chain of coffee joints learned. They had free wifi to attract patrons - which it did - but they just hung out all day, mooched wifi and didn't spend money on coffee.
So CoffeeCompany started reminding patrons why they were there and what they could be buying, using the wifi network names. Smart.
A holiday card about the making of a holiday card. As anyone at any agency can tell you, there's a load of stress around getting the annual holiday greeting out. This Charlie Brown spoof will give you an idea of how it works at a larger, crappier agency. ;)
Perhaps you could browse the museum in your undies during the day, but wouldn't it be nice to have the entire museum to yourself for the night?
As part of their current AnySpaceWhatever exhibit, there's one piece of art that's actually a revolving hotel room. And you can rent it for $300/night. Of course it's sold out, to people who are cooler and faster than us. Can you imagine? Actually sleeping in the museum? I would bring roller skates.
There's a lomo popup store in NYC! Check it out for the latest, greatest and hardest to find lomo photography stuff. Not sure about the lomo craze? Here's the details and history of lomography. Here's even more lomo craziness.
Basically, it all started with poorly crafted cameras, and has turned into a fun and inspiring hobby/trend/scene. If you'd like a taste of lomo love, they're giving a introductory workshop this Saturday, at 1pm. They'll even have some loaner cameras! Get your lomo on, baby!
If you've thought about totally dumping that Microsoft Office application that takes six minutes to startup on your computer, now may be the time to check out the Google desktop apps. They've bundled everything together in a cute holiday way. They call it Appy Holidays.
The Google elves have created templates, holiday themes, and everything that you'll need to organize, communicate, print or publish your holidayness. Mmmmmm. Google. Almost as good as chocolate.
The latest issue of Interior Design has an interview with Amy Wells, the designer of the MadMen set. Amy shares where she shops, what's custom and why the set isn't filled with foofy foof expensive mid-century modern designer pieces.
What they didn't ask her: do you come home smelling like smoke??
Check out the gingerbread version of the world famous Mies van der Rohe’s modern home. And you can buy it! For just $4320. Some of the funds go to actually help restore the original home in Plano, Illinois. The rest must go to a very, very expensive baker.
Sure, women in bras and panties will always get attention - but Victoria Secret took that a step further. The Victoria Secret widget is a sexalicious example of how a widget can be used to promote an event.
As Adverblog points out, it's on-brand, well designed and has all of the goods required to promote the event, and widget sharing. (Nearly naked people doesn't hurt, either.)
Advergirl has a cool rundown on the pros and cons to Facebook pages and Facebook groups. Confused? Not sure what's right for your brand? Advergirl to the rescue. This is a good primer that anyone new to Facebooking should read.
Oh yeah - all of the cooler people have already become a fan of the Plaid page. You should too. We haven't updated it recently, because we're lame like that. See? Isn't this fun?
And here's another good one. Destroy fruitcake in every imaginable way. Shoot it, burn it, kick it, shred it. Or destroy your own and post it. Two things that go great together: video of things being destroyed and fruitcake. Delicious.
The creative holiday greetings are hitting the streets, and this is a really, really good one. BetamaXmas is a retro celebration of everything that is awesome about Christmas in 1988.
Hang in the BTronics basement and enjoy the best Christmas specials - like Frosty the Snowman, Pee Wee's Playhouse, that Folgers commercial, and everything else that the TV can tune in. Awesome.
This is a few days old now, so in internet time this is like 436 year old information - but Dirk and Ben have pointed to some really good studies about video viewership. Like how about 1 in 10 viewers leave a web video after 10 seconds, and 54% quit after a minute.
People are bored. And they're moving on. If you haven't already tuned out, you can use the graph above in the PowerPoint presentation convincing your boss that you don't need a 20 minute long sales video.
Really. Who needs it. All the cool videos are now made with stop motion, or photos, or whatever.
Two awesome videos that are making the rounds in internet land are living proof that you don't need that old video recording machine. The clip above was produced with 45,000 individual photographs. For real.
And then there's this new clip from Melpo Mene. More wonderous stop motion. See? Everyone's doing it. What are you waiting for? You have thousands of photographs to shoot. Get moving!
If you grew up watching The Boy in the Bubble, then you'll absolutely love
this new campaign to promote the launch of Hinoki, a site devoted to form and well-being.
The clips end with the title "There is a better way to be in your bubble." I know this not because I speak Le French, but because Laurent from the agency Nouveau Jour told me so. Where can you buy bubbles??
A little bit creepy, a little bit wonderful. It's a campaign launched by Rubber Republic to promote the creative industries in the South West (of England). I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have nightmares, tonight. There's a website too.
Popular tech blog Gizmodo setup a pop up space in New York, to showcase some of the most awesome gadgets in the history of gadgetry.
Part art, part promotion, part "this has got to be more fun than Christmas shopping", the event took place Thursday through Sunday, so you've missed it. (Yeah, only the cool people made it to the show.) The rest of us can check out the pics here.