What if we just filled all of the potholes with flowers? This street garden renegade art project by Peter Dungey is reminiscent of the hippy dippy flower power stuff of yesteryear, and makes an equally cool statement at the same time.
Here's a great lesson in social media marketing from the author of Shut Up I'm Talking.
Gregory Levey was pretty stoked to see that fans were multiplying and multiplying on his book's Facebook page. Before he knew it, he had hundreds of thousands of fans...only one thing: they were responding to the title of his book, in a different context than the book itself.
Here's proof that context is everything, that quantity isn't always what it seems, and that quality, targeting and message are more important than ever before. Thanks, Casey! (Again!)
UP THERE is a beautiful short film about outdoor sign painters. It's a sad look at a fading talent and practice that our industry brought to life decades ago.
The film is presented by Stella Artois, and you get so see a couple of their NYC billboards come to life in the film...brush stroke by brush stroke. Thanks, Casey!
Yahoo has declared themselves the authority of words on the internet, and launched the Yahoo! Style Guide. The site shares best practices, tips, guides and everything you need to turn yourself into a literary internet genius.
They're even printing a version on paper, for people that like to hold words in their hands (some call this a "book".)
This looks to be a great resource, and is super smart marketing for Yahoo. What could you be creating, to help your clients?
Oh - and it's "homepage" ;). From @steverubel
So much has changed in the industry of creative agencies that it might lead you to wonder if the creative brief, an age-old document invented by someone older than Moses still has a place in the creative business.
Do we need such a document? Are they helpful, or do they get in the way?
This is the question that Jasmin Cheng of Twist Image seeks to answer. She's put together an absolutely brilliant presentation that examines this challenge.
Disclosure: I might have been swayed to say this is absolutely brilliant because I'm quoted throughout the presentation, and generally the things that I say are perceived as brilliance when I hear them.
After you read my quote on slide 6, I am convinced that you too will see the glorious shiny light.
Levis has produced a wonderful new promotion that asks pioneering artists to record covers of songs from the artists that inspired them.
They've documented the process with photography, stories, and "making of" videos, and then made the songs available for download in exchange for an email address. Proof that your marketing doesn't have to be directly about your product, but instead needs to connect with your audience. Smart.
Franklin and Marshall is a small, liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. At some point a few years ago, someone dropped one of their shirts at a London thrift store. That shirt was discovered by a fashion designer, and now Franklin & Marshall t-shirts are the rage across the UK.
What did the Franklin & Marshall school do? They could have shut it all down with a typical corporate/attorney response. Instead, they worked out a licensing agreement, and turned the new found UK fashion desire into a money maker for the school. Cooperation beats legal bully tactics. Awesome.
More and more, the voice of the GPS unit in your car is becoming a part of your family. Or the other woman.
It turns out that the female voice is perceived as more friendly, more likable and more likely to connect with both men and women. Something to keep in mind the next time you're casting voice talent for that promotional video.
(Pictured: Karen Jacobsen, more commonly known as Australian Karen, on your GPS unit. Photo: Simon Harsent, NY Times) From @ericfleming
MarketingVox reports that nothing is more important to a small business than a website. Customers make a decision within 50 milliseconds about whether or not they trust the firm, and want to do business with them...or not.
Lots of great advice in this post, that includes making a decision tree, to help make decisions more efficient when working with multiple teams.
Vintage clothing store Shock and Soul has a sad, yet funny campaign that promotes the business of gently used clothing. You'll laugh, and then you'll feel guilty. (Sorry, gramps.)
Duane Reade is re-working some of their store-brand package design, and they're putting in some awesome, with a dose of humor.
The package for this snack mix includes a way cool subway train bar code, and the product tagline "More authentic than the watches on Canal Street." Cool.
Intel and Vice have teamed together to produce the Creators - a celebration of people who create. It's packed with loads of interviews with interesting, awesome, people.
This is an outstanding example of how a great promotion doesn't have to be entirely about your product or service. Instead, create something of value that speaks directly to your audience, and bring it to them to enjoy. Instant brand respect. Nice work.
What if you took a super cool designer toy and apparel store, and put it into an ice cream truck? Cookies & Cream does exactly that, and is coming to a hipster hood near you.
(You think they play songs from Sleigh Bells on the loudspeakers to get hipsters to run out of their apartments, and chase it down the street?)
This is a great idea waiting to become a trend. What other retail categories could go mobile? What about product launch trucks? So many possibilities for fun here.
Let's say that you own a restaurant. How do you attract customers to your establishment? A great mascot. And how do you make sure that people know you serve meat? Let the mascot tell your customers.
Mascots eating their own kind...a wonderous slide show for your lunchtime pleasure.
After suffering an inbox punishment of a committee of people hitting the "reply to all" button yesterday, @satisfeye pointed out this post on Hey Whipple.
Send this to that dude who just replied to all with "thanks!!" in your office.
Creative mastermind Alex Bogusky cuts through the clutter and suggests that we consider climate pollution exactly what it is...pollution. And isn't pollution a bad thing?
Disclosure: Alex Bogusky recently said something to the effect of Humongo being the greatest agency ever created, but this wouldn't change our opinion of this piece.
That's the premise of My Phone is Off For You, a student project that gives you a series of tools that help you stay focused on the person you're supposed to be spending time with. (But how would you tweet??)
If you're getting tired of all the soccer/football hype, then maybe it's time for you to move on to Tennis.
You're totally going to dig this promotion for the Wimbledon tournament by Head. Awesome.
The International Whaling Commission is about to begin voting on whether to lift the ban on whaling across the globe. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society would like you to help them fight to keep the ban alive, so they've created an ad with the help of a whale.
The Fail Whale. Not just meant to illustrate Twitter's downtime, but it's a symbol of the failure in the Gulf, too.
Have you ever noticed that the Fail Whale is an illustration of oil-drenched birds pulling the whale out of the Gulf? Yeah, Twitter knows the future.
Bing has added some sweet new features to their mapping tool. You can now render maps in multiple styles, including Sketchy, European, American and Treasure Map style. (Humongo world headquarters, pictured above.) Neato.
What if all of the technology that we love today existed in 1977? What would it look like? How would the ads read?
Artist Alex Varanese explores what these devices might look like back in the polyester days when disco reigned supreme. Let's just say that there would be lots of burnt orange. From Waxy.org.
Arcade Fire has a fun tool on their site that lets you rearrange lyrics to their latest song. Sometimes the simplest things can keep users engaged for long periods of time while they experience a product simultaneously. This is one of those times.
Simple creativity wins. No over-thinking, no new technology, just simple, creative, great presentation. From @satisfeye.
I've posted on at least a couple of these places before, but Nile Guide has a really cool post featuring EIGHT abandoned theme parks.
This is what it will look like after the zombies all take over, and then eventually die out, leaving nothing but emptiness. And ferris wheels. From @machetelab. Photo by History_Buff_23.
Forbes has created a fun interactive graphic that shows where people are moving. Click on any county in the U.S., and the map illustrates where people are coming from or going to.
Red lines denote people moving out, and black lines show people moving in. What a fun way to show the places that people are escaping. They even lined up a smart sponsor for the graphic: FlexJet.
Eizo, a medical supplies company has produced a classic promotional piece to sell their wares: a pinup calendar.
Only this one looks to be worksafe and industry appropriate -- it's all x-rays.
You might have seen a flurry of tweets this week shouting “Cala Boca Galvao” in an effort to earn a ten cent donation to save the endangered Galvao birds of Brazil. Only one thing: the whole thing's a big joke. What Scott Henderson calls faux-lanthropy.
There are no birds, no one is donating ten cents when you tweet, and even better -- "Cal Boca Galvao" translates to: “Shut up, Galvao".
You see, Galvão Bueno is a Brazilian sports announcer that's getting on people's nerves. So they created a fun promotion to get the non-Portuguese speaking world to send tweets, telling him to shut up. The World Cup was never so much fun. From @benkunz
Students from the BA Product Design course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London needed to get potential employers to see their work on display at their senior show.
But advertising, design and creative people are pretty lethargic. What to do? They borrowed rickshaws, and pedaled the executives to the show, so they could see the work. Hopefully jobs ensued. Cool idea.
Absolutely freaking genius. Pilot Pen has created a site that captures your handwriting (with your webcam!) and then turns it into a font so that you can send messages to your friends using it.
What a terrific way to show what you could actually accomplish...with a pen.
Jamie Keiles is an 18-year-old high school senior who has a question: What would happen if you followed all of the advice offered in the June/July issue of Seventeen Magazine?
Jamie took a poll of her friends and discovered that no one follows magazine advice...yet they all read the lists and articles. So she set off on a quest to see what happens if you actually implement the advice that you read.
She's sharing all of the results on her blog. The stakes are high, as she's taken her challenge during Senior Prom month.
Youth marketers: Here's an amazing look at teen life, pop culture, and your audience.
Students: Here's an outstanding example of how to create opportunities well beyond your hometown. Jamie is demonstrating her writing, marketing and insight to an entire industry. You can be sure that she's getting a killer internship over the summer.
Parents: Don't let your daughter do this with an issue of Cosmo. ;)
This beach promo for the new King Kong attraction at Universal Theme Park is pretty cool.
Guaranteed to be shared in countless cell phone pics, Facebook updates, and now...blog posts. Great idea.
You've heard of dumbass brands who hand over their social media to a team of interns.
Gatorade is not one of those brands. They take it so seriously, they've devoted an area of their headquarters as "social media mission control". Smart. Even the Gatorade workers that aren't involved directly will see the importance of what's going on in the organization.
Drinking the social juice and lovin' it.
DotWar is a fun internet game that turns your Twitter stats into game mojo, and then you can battle any other user on Twitter. While I failed to beat the King of Wisconsin, perhaps you will fare better.
You should set up a workplace battle today, and coworkers have to buy the winner lunch.
What's a top quality steak house in NYC to do during the recession? They called Walrus, to build them an expense report maker.
You just enter the amount of your bill from Maloney & Porcelli Steakhouse, and the Expense-a-Steak tool creates a boatload of receipts that add up to your desired total. Pure flame broiled genius.
Are you a content manager? Or responsible for generating content for your brand? Then you'll love this fancy, colorful content grid graphic.
Put this in your next presentation that details your smarts on content generation, and then ask for a raise.
Openbook is is a search engine that combs through the public Facebook updates, in an effort to show the value of privacy. Or to find what you've shared with the world. Or what other people have shared with the world.
In our book, sharing = caring. :)
What does the illustration on the left sound like? Or the one on the right? They have different sounds, in your head, right?
The Black Coffee blog has an excellent essay on how language conveys shapes. Or shapes convey language. Just one more thing for you to consider as you re-create your brand's identity.
MDC Partners, the world's most bitchin' network of marketing and communications agencies, just launched a new website.
You wouldn't think that a parent company site could be interesting. Or entertaining. Or unique. MDC Partners changed all that. They know that what makes a network of agencies great is the talent that makes up the agencies. So they've created a site that lets you follow the talent, now - and in the future. Pretty cool.
Disclosure: MDC Partners is the parent company to our parent company, so it's like they're our grandparents. (But we would have written this post regardless.)
Check out what this middle school science teacher has taught his students. Watching them "surf" their origami planes is mesmerizing.
So imagine taking this to the next level, and producing a choreographed video featuring origami air surfing...how could this concept be tied to your product or upcoming brand launch? Get your agency on this, pronto.
@jackassletters says this is "the coolest puppet site on the whole internet" and we agree. Frown Town is a blog about the production of what looks to be a magnificent puppet show.
FrownTown is also an excellent example of how you can turn the back story of your process into a front story that's worthy of sharing with fans and potential fans. And just about every product, every service company, ever brand has a back story. Awesome content is waiting to be discovered at your office, on your factory floor, and in the board room. Start sharing.
Scott Stratten has a new book coming out. He needed quotes for the back of the book that would be fitting for the content of his publication, so he created "untestimonials."
In a world where every quote on nearly every book is pure bullsh*t, these quotes are totally awesome. From Steve Woodruff.
Photographer Jason Travis documents what the hipsters in Atlanta are carrying in their bags. And in a way, it's a picture of who they are, who they aspire to be, and what's important to them.
You should do this for your next focus group - it would tell you so much more about your customers. (This would also make a great series of ads...maybe you should give Mr. Travis a shout.) From @wisdom
Are these paintings of vans just the coolest thing you have seen on canvas this week, or what??
This would make for a great series to be sponsored by a car-maker, and devoted to long-standing service vehicles.
Here's an idea: don't create any workplace policies that might embarrass you if they became public. Social media is a good practice space for tuning the rest of your organization to be more transparent, and it's always a good policy to assume that every communication in your workplace will eventually be shared publicly.
And that's exactly what's happening with American Apparel. Gawker has published a bunch of internal memos that show the dress codes, employee photos and other ugly gate keeping practices that the stores follow. Woops.
Nike commissioned crayon sculpting artist Diem Chau (yes, there is such a thing) to produce eleven spectacular, one-of-a-kind press kits to commemorate the World Cup. Each press kit included six football stars immortalized in colorful wax by the artist.
Diem Chau carved 66 individual works of art, using copper, silver, white, gold, antique brass and timberwold Crayons. If It's Hip It's Here has the beautiful photographs of each piece, and the kit that Wieden + Kennedy's designers put together. Beauteous.
Twitter has created a World Cup super tweet page that aggregates all of the World Cup related tweets.
Watch the stream and see what people are saying across the world about that game where people kick a ball. Or - select individual matches and watch the
In case you didn't notice, the Stormtroopers 365 project has quietly come to an end, so that you may now enjoy 365 images of toy stormtroopers. One shot taken each day, for an entire year. From David Airey.
In the olden days, photographers shot photos on film, and printed what were called "contact sheets" for Art Director's to review, select (and second guess themselves), trying to find the perfect shot.
The Proof show at the Edelman Gallery in Chicago examines proof sheets and the photographs that were ultimately selected. It's interesting to see the choices made, and (as in the above piece) the changes in mind that photographers, Art Directors and Creative Directors have. From make the logo bigger.
Google takes an age old mapmaker's trick and brings it forward to our generation: create a ghost city on a map, so that if someone steals your map, you'll know it's your copyright-protected property.
Argleton is a fictitious town in the United Kingdom that exists only on Google maps. But not in reality.
(If you don't believe the internet, you should get in your car and drive to "Argleton" right now.) Could we bury a treasure there? Check in on FourSquare? Start an Argleton scene?
You have to love it when reality meets TV: Christina Mulligan examines the concept of Glee, and how it would be completely impossible/illegal for an actual high school glee club to perform the songs we see on the show, thanks to copyright.
Similarly, NPR did a great piece on what an actual hospital visit portrayed on House might cost. (In real life...you'll just die.)
Let's do our best to keep reality out of tv, ok?
Youthful Commentator Ilana Ross shares insight into a new generation of communicators...who hate the phone. We joke about this at our agency all of the time (and really hate making phone calls), but it's quite insightful to hear what's going through Ilana's head, in regard to the phone:
"I have to agree that talking on the phone has become burdensome. I get nervous and unsure of myself when forced to dial a number and engage another person, even a close friend."
Will we become more socially awkward in face to face or phone to phone communication? Will talking ever be back in style? From Irina@Slutsky
Uniqlo developed a fun set of banners so awesome that bloggers took over the campaign and made it a success.
The banners are actually blog badges or widgets, that work like lottery tickets, and turn any site into a Uniqlo click it and win promotion.
Considering click-through rates on traditional banner campaigns are almost invisible, this is proof that original creative thinking is better than over-spending. The campaign generated almost THREE MILLION clicks on just over 4000 blog badges installed. Retail sales went up 120%.
Unique and interesting wins every time.
Confused by the DJ Earworm remix, and not sure which song you should choose as your favorite song of the summer? Not to worry: there's a quiz that will analyze your personality and tell you what your favorite summertime jam is.
Proof that if done right, quizzes aren't just 2008 Facebook style. Content + relevance = success.