The Design Within Reach enewsletter Design Notes features an excellent post about the history of neon and the soon to be opened neon museum, in Las Vegas.
This proves two things:
1. You can sell furniture and engage your audience with a newsletter that's not about furniture;
2. Neon is a totally awesome tool that's not utilized enough anymore.
This is probably especially funny if you're familiar with the programming and stars on Australia's Network Ten channel. They've pulled together their greatest talent to produce a spot mocking group therapy, and promoting their 2010 schedule.
It's rare that television networks can pull multiple talents together under one execution, but you can see that when they do, it's extra powerful. Nice. From @daniellewarby
Some states (like New York) have already passed legislation that requires fast food businesses to post calorie information next to their food selections.
Small chain Burgerville in Oregon has taken it a step further. When your order is complete, your receipt includes a complete rundown of nutritional information for everything you've ordered. This works perfect in concert with Burgerville's positioning of local ingredients, fresh food and yummy selection.
Want to add them to your store? It's all made possible by a firm called Nutricate. From @katiefritz.
You have probably already seen that the greatest jingle in the history of jingledom was produced earlier this week.
It turns out that Love Jingles isn't the only jingle maker in the jingle industry. Brian King, another jinglemaster wants in on the action. He's challenged Love Jingles to a jingle-off. (That sounds dirty, doesn't it?)
They'll each post a jingle for the Purple Goldfish Project, and the winner will probably have to buy the other jingler a beer. Or gets the jingle crown.
Can't we all just jingle along? (See what you're missing, if you don't pay attention to the internet??)
There's a new show at NYU devoted entirely to the history, art and love of denim. Who would have thought that a fabric could be woven so importantly into our pop culture over the last 200 years?
This show takes a deep look at the importance of jeans in our cultural history through photography, mixed media and a pantload of artful contributors.
Chris is a copywriter, in search of a job. Or an opportunity. And he knows that every great opportunity usually starts with a good meeting. How do you get a meeting with a bunch of creative people who don't have time for you?
Karma. Here's how it works. You give Chris the benefit of your time, and meet with him. (And who knows, maybe you'll hire him.) In return for that meeting, Chris will volunteer for two hours at the charity of your choice. Everyone wins.
Excellent door opener, conversation starter, and generally good thing. What are you doing to get in the door?
Late last year, we posted about Love Jingles and his project to record an awesome jingle every day for 2010.
We were so impressed that we bought one for Brand Flakes. The resulting production is clearly the most fantastical jingle every heard by human ears.
You can still get in on the fun, and it's still affordable. Prices go up a little bit, every day. Get your own before they get expensive!
GDGT is a social network for and about gadgets. Here's a place where you can show the world what gadgets you own, what stuff you want to own, and share facts, reviews and loads of other information about the
At first this might just seem like a place where users brag about their obsession with electronic wonder toys. When you dig deeper, you'll see that it's also a killer researh tool for gadgetry.
Shopping for something? Check here first. See who owns it, who wants to own it, discussions about the product, tips & tricks about the product, price comparisons and more. Cool. From @cjibo.
Factery Labs is a new search tool that combs through your results and places the relevant content on your results page. So you don't have to page through thousands of pages and click on hundreds of links to see if it's what you're looking for.
Made by some smarty pants with a boat load of search experience, it's in "alpha developer sandbox" mode now, and will be an interesting tool to watch. How could this not be awesome, with a robot in the logo?? Thanks, Dan!
Don't have time for all of your six million friends and thirty different social networks? No worries. Nutshell Mail sends you a daily recap of all of your updates, notifications and messages neatly summarized in a single email. Take it all in at your leisure, without getting in the way of the workday.
Sounds like a good plan for anyone who doesn't need an always on, always connected lifestyle, or as a double check that you haven't missed anything important. From @scottyhendo
Castoo makes killer graphics for casts. Yes, those things that protect your broken bones can now be customized. (Talk about a niche market!) As Springwise points out, putting personalized artwork everywhere is becoming the norm.
You could also make a logical jump to conclude that where there is art, there will be ads. Could Gatorade sponsored broken arms be far away?
Here's an inspiring story about a little restaurant called the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, TN. The restaurant offered a simple, good deed to Steve Woodruff decades ago, and it's made such an impression that it's still being talked about (and blogged about) today. TWENTY EIGHT years later.
Think you can't include planned good deeds in your marketing plan? Or your brand is too big for little actions? Check out what Yahoo did.
What if 2% of your media spend were put to good deeds instead?
An amazing organization called No Longer Empty takes unoccupied retail space in New York City and turn them into public art exhibitions.
Their latest effort Never Can Say Goodbye takes over the legendary Tower Records space (a store that used to sell music on discs) and turns it a show featuring over twenty artists, and feels just a little bit like a record store.
Why not do the same thing in your city?
Think fast food restaurants can't blend into the neighborhood? Check out this new Arby's in Brooklyn.
They just opened in a landmark building, and have renovated a space to become "one of the most posh and historic restaurant interiors in the city" according to Brownstoner. Proof that your brand experience can bend a little to fit your audience. Even in fast food.
It's the ultimate social network to check into from the toilet!
The iPoo iPhone application lets you check in with others or are performing the same activity at the same time, plot them on a map, see them on handy info charts, and so much more awesome poo fun.
You'll never be bored on the toilet again. From Jay Neff.
Sure, you can order domain names for under $20. But did you ever wonder what a domain name registration may cost if you say "yes" to all of the add on services they try to sell you during the registration process?
Most registration services attempt to sell you a kabillion useless products when you register a name. Ed Hunsinger wondered what it might cost if you actually said yes to many of these items. The answer? $1855.
His post detailing the process is absolutely hilarious, and a reflection on how icky the sales process is for domain name registration (not that you'd expect better from a product with a stripper as a spokesperson.) Awesome.
Twuition is like your personal assistant on Twitter. Want to know the temperature in Miami? Ask Twuition. Or the nearest location of a business? Twuition to the rescue.
Here's how it works:
Type in the appropriate hashtag (ie: twuitionweather, cityname), and @twuition will respond to you with the answer.
There are currently four or five hashtags being serviced that include weather, locations, product pricing and a couple of others. It's all paid for by sponsored tweets. (Which, since you don't expect Twuition to be a real human, we suppose is ok.)
Add a bunch of hipster groovy effects to any photo in your library with the Rollip filter tool. Then download the shot or order prints from the company.
Cool fun without all of the Photoshop mess.
Watch this shot by shot fan-made remake of the intro for Perfect Strangers, and you'll know what the show might have looked like in Seattle instead of Chicago. Glorious.
You should do a version for your city.
A new promo piece for the DVD release of Surrogates explores what the ordering process might be like for obtaining a Surrodate.
Enter your preferences and you're delivered a hottie that's made to order. (You'll have to make your own, because I've already purchased Kate.)
Adland, the definitive source for everything Superbowl ad related, has a rundown of the spots scheduled to run in the upcoming "big game."
Impress your jock friends with an uncanny ability to predict what spots will air in what quarter. They'll be amazed, and forgive you for going to the bathroom during the game instead of the commercial breaks.
She's also archived 37 years of Superbowl spots, should you want to prepare for the game with some historical research.
Weren't you just saying to your friends that you wished you were a one-eyed freak?
Before you schedule the surgery, now you can see what you'll look like, thanks to Monoclops. Upload a photo and turn yourself into a monoclops.
It's all in the spirit of promoting Minneapolis agency Mono, who are one-eyed freak friendly.
A new campaign for Diesel suggests that you be more stupid.
The print work features slogans like "smart critiques. stupid creates." and essentially embraces exploration and failure. See print versions here, and then Watch the video, where you'll see the concept come to life.
Stupidly smart work.
You've played with Google Wave, but maybe you're still unsure about how it sits in comparison to other more established tools like email, IM, forums and wikis.
Here's a handy reference graphic that answers all of your questions, while illustrating the power of the wave. Add this to your next PowerPoint to the board, and they'll think you're the smartest person ever.
We know what you're thinking. "Why are there countless art museums, but no museums devoted to sausage?" Your gristle covered prayers have been answered: A museum is now open in Berlin, dedicated entirely to currywurst.
Jimmy Dean - are you paying attention? Only you could make this happen in the U.S.
Bubblicious reviews Bambuser, a Swedish live video streaming service that lets you broadcast directly to your Facebook fan page. Live.
uStream and Justin.tv already feature Facebook integration in their products, but according to Bubblicious, Bambuser has made it simpler than ever. And simple wins.
Here's a behind the scenes look at some of the design work for the new MTV global identity.
It's really cool to see the storyboards and sketches, and how they've come together to create something that's super wide creatively, but connected philosophically. From iboy.
Finally, the two things that make the internet awesome have come together in one handy place.
What happens when cuteness and explosions get married: Cute Things Exploding. From YesButNoButYes.
Instead of seeing Avatar for the seventh time, why don't you just donate the price of admission to groups that are helping Haiti?
That's the premise behind Avatar for Haiti, a site that makes it easy to give the price of admission for a matinee, digital 3D, Imax or refreshments to a well deserved cause, instead. Great idea.
From the Denver Egotist. (And here's some other great ways to give.)
This is an incredible story. Car rental company Sixt hired a pilot to seed the clouds over their city. This prevented rain during the month of July in Halle, Germany's wettest city.
The end result was a huge boost in convertible car rental business, and the brand becomes a hero to the citizens who aren't accustomed to frequently seeing the sun.
Brands bringing sunshine to their marketplace. Amazing. From @pete_theeca
Here's a cute story about how Facebook (and more importantly, a retailer's fans) made a difference for a small business. Coffee Labs, a dog friendly emporium in Tarrytown, NY got into trouble with their local health department for being dog friendly.
The business created a fan page for local dog owners to declare their love for the shop. Facebook + cute dogs + coffee = local tv magic. Naturally, this gets picked up by the local news, and before you know it, a local attorney gets involved and writes a waiver for the coffee shop.
Small business, small change, that made a difference in one community. Would your customers come to your rescue?
Carol Phillips has an interesting take on hipsters and how the personality of trendsetters among the millennial generation has changed.
Carol suggests that today's influencers are the "doers" in their groups. So it's much less about fashion, and much more about what they're accomplishing. Doers are fixing, leading, changing, advocating, and entrepreneuring. So influencers are actually making a difference outside their circles of influence, and thereby gaining influence inside their circle of friends.
The Breakfast Club will never be the same. From @PaughGinney.
Mybrandz is a new social network for...brand fans.
Join the network, declare your love for a brand, and if you can post content related to the brand that other people like, you have a shot at winning a real share of stock for that brand. Here's a video that sets up the concept.
Maybe this could be the new retirement plan for brand managers.
Ever wonder what the rest of this year might look like? Thankfully, it's all been spelled out in 2010: Living in the future.
It's pretty cool how some things are right on target:
While you are at school in one room, your parents may be at work in another. People who do office work do it at home. To keep in close touch with other people in their office they use the vision phone. The vision desk is connected to their firm’s computer, which stores all the office files. With this close contact between everybody in the office, it is easy to work from home.
You'll excuse me now, I'm getting a call on the vision phone. From Boing Boing
Absolutely awesome experiential work for Coca Cola. And now it's gone viral, too. This will put a smile of happiness on your face.
Someone's invented (and selling) a punctuation mark, so that you can indicate your sarcasm in emails, tweets and other typed posts.
The Sarcmark. An "easy-to-use punctuation mark to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message." I'm not making this up.
In the meantime, let's continue to use ;). From Gothamist.
This is the story of Derick Childress, and how he crafted a marriage proposal to Emily Kern, in a light painting that spanned the cityscape of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The logistics are pretty damn impressive. Will make you go awwwwwww.
Think you have nothing to lose by gaining results with search engine optimization? Some less than scrupulous SEO firms use swarmy tactics - which, as Ben Kunz points out, can actually end up damaging your brand, when readers come across it.
Ben points to the case of FinalFootwear, who it appears has someone placing spammy SEO links on their behalf across the blogosphere. Internet users are more savvy now - and see spammers for what they are - so when they see FinalFootwear spamming the comments in a blog they regularly read, it damages their brand. (Who wants to spend money with a known spammer?)
The sad thing is (we hope) that FinalFootwear is likely unaware of their spam generation. They probably hired a firm to optimize their search for them. Proof that you need to do research, work with reputable firms, and that your actions have real consequences on the internet. Tricking Google is a tricky business.
Paranoid? Conspiracy theorist? Just want to know more about Facebook?
Here's a fascinating read: an interview with an anonymous Facebook employee. Some fantastic (and maybe a little bit creepy) information here.
Did you know that Facebook is the largest photo distributor in the world? From @cord
Still not convinced that Twitter has some value for your brand?
Now Twitter has released their very own case studies showing how brands like Dell, Pepsi, JetBlue and others have incorporated the tool of wonder into their marketing plans. Pass it to your boss.
The promotional site for the new movie Tooth Fairy has borrowed some tools that exist in the movie - like invisibility spray, shrinking paste, and cat away, and incorporated them into the promo website.
Watch the trailer, and then use the tools on the site - or any site across the internet. Pretty fun.
Charles Allen Gilbert created one of the earliest optical illusion skull works, with his now legendary "All is Vanity" piece of art.
Now James Hopkins has taken the concept even further, with a series of mixed media pieces called "Vanitas". If you buy one, just make sure the cleaning lady knows not to move things around on the shelves, when she's dusting your joint.
LTL Prints has just created something pretty awesome. Giant wacky packages (younger folk might not remember that these were the Pokemon cards of the 1970's) that you can apply to your walls. They've made a deal with Topps and created a product that's an instant piece of art, conversation starter or homage to pop culturism.
Even better - the decals are removable and can be re-applied up to 100 times, which means even in you have a jerk of a landlord who won't let you customize your joint, you're in luck. I'm sure this is only the start to a licensed wall graphics empire.
Check out the new C-Mon & Kypski video, currently being produced. You can watch the video as it is being produced, ONE FRAME AT A TIME. Even better, you can add yourself to the production (as many times as you'd like) by contributing frames to the video.
Charlie at Curve Detroit points out that any business can learn from this creative feat. C-Mon & Kypski have done a bunch of things right:
+ They appealed to the 90% of the audience who might NOT want to participate because they're too shy, afraid, whatever - these people get to watch the process unfold.
+ They let the visitors that participate in the site become OWNERS of the product. Think they'll talk about it? Share it on Twitter or Facebook? Post about it? You bet.
This is crowdsourcing done smart, done well, and done right. Thanks, Charlie!
Google has a new program that allows retailers and businesses to register as a Local Business Center. Google then sends the more popular Local Business Centers window decals with a custom QR code.
Visitors to the store can scan the code with their mobile device to learn about the business, post reviews, get information, coupons and other marketing juice. Wow. Google really is everywhere. From @webmetricsguru.
Sky News is requiring all of their journalists to install Tweetdeck - so that they might better gather and share news. Hmmm...seems like this Twitter thing is getting really popular.
If the old school, dying news industry can integrate Twitter with their employees, maybe this is just the story you can send to your boss, to convince him to require the same of all employees at your company.
Why shouldn't everyone in the company be aware of what's being said about their brands and industry (and be a part of the conversation?) They all have phones, right? From @MattCeni.
We've been saying that every car should be a rolling internet device for about a kabillion years now. Hooray to the Ford Motor Company for taking the most forward steps toward making it happen.
They were all the buzz yesterday at the CES show, debuting among other things, their new Sync system - which integrates a Twitter tool (!) and Pandora, an awesome internet radio station.
How sweet to have your tweets read to you outloud, while driving! CEO Alan Mulally says "We're moving at Silicon Valley speed, delivering the car of tomorrow today." (He should have tweeted that, while driving down Las Vegas Blvd.)
Disclosure: Ford is a sponsor of our PlaidNation tour, but that doesn't change our opinion on how awesome they're doing.
Check out this mall building in Tokyo. The facade is wallpapered with a giant digital QR code. View the building through your cell phone, and you get all of the detail about the stores inside.
In the future, we will walk the streets with our cell phones at arm's length. Oh, wait...we already do that. From @adgenius.
It's that time of year again - time to drop your drawers on the subway train this weekend. Be sure to do it with plenty of other "no pants riders" for the maximum effect.
This is one of the larger Improv Everywhere stunts, and if you don't have horrific chicken legs you might want to join in on the fun.
There probably isn't anything here that will surprise you, but now when you put this slide in your PowerPoint presentation, you can point to an actual list of what kids were searching for in 2009.
I'm just glad that Taylor Swift made the top twenty. From @derickson.
Finally, there's a blog devoted to documenting the campaign that will never, ever go away. The Got Milk campaign must be the most parodied ad campaign in history, and it continues with each and every day.
Milking Got Milk is a group blog devoted to documenting the exploitation of this legendary addition to pop culture. Seen a "Got ____" ad around your town? Submit a photo. This could go on for eternity.
Who says fast food chains don't care about their communities? KFC has a new promotion for their hot wings that gives cash to cities and fire departments, in exchange for putting the Colonel's face on their fire hydrants. Because you know, the wings are so fiery you'll need something to extinguish the hottness.
Seems like a fun promo where everyone wins. And it's always cool to see that all that chicken is keeping the Colonel alive and kicking, too.
Ever wonder how a search engine works? Like what happens after you press the "enter" button on a Google search? Inside your search looks to answer that question, with a behind the scenes look at your search page.
The effort promotes Weetabix, a UK based food company that makes a bunch of foods that keep you energized, nourished and un-hungry. From @forfeng.
You may want to visit the list of ten great single serving Tumblr sites for two reasons:
1. This is an excellent example of how simple and easy it is to set up a Tumblr blog, and proof that you can set up multiple blogs for your brand. While these are for entertainment purposes, who says that you're only allowed one corporate blog for the company?? (Our firm has at least ten blogs)
2. You need a break. You've been working for two days straight now, after the long holiday break. It's time that you took some "me time" and enjoyed a good laugh with quality content like People Talking on Bananas.
Get your blog on.