You're an internet nerd. And you want to show your friends what a hot nerd you really are, so you need to come up with an ultra-geek costume for the weekend.
Here's a few ideas to get you started. Most of these are pretty sad executions of good ideas, but you have to admit the 404 page is pretty freaking awesome.
CrowdTap makes focus groups fun by rewarding users point by point, penny by penny. Answer questions and earn points. Earn more points and get cash. Use points for goodies, and use cash for whatever you want.
Brands get answers to questions, fans get cash and prizes. Sounds like a win win for everyone.
Here's a cute, heartwarming story about crowdfunding. The artist Belle and Sebastian last played in Brazil in 2001, but had no plans to play there on their current tour.
Five fans from Brazil set up a site in an attempt to make it happen. They needed to raise $33K to bring the band to their town, so they asked fans to join the cause. They got 280 people to pay $120 each (and these people became founding shareholders).
The concert hall was booked, and then 2,000 tickets sold. Long and short? Belle and Sebastian came to Brazil, and the founding shareholders got to see them for free. Crowds rock.
FrameGeek has made some really cool art possible, and it promotes what their brand is all about: eyeglass frames. The series of prints (that you can buy for $30) show how iconic frames easily represent iconic people that have made them famous.
Original art + brand sponsorship = everyone wins. From the Thrillist.com
The Pearl Source is offering a 15% discount on pearls, in honor of June Cleaver, or Barbara Billingsley, the woman who portrayed June Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver, and who recently passed away.
Just enter the code JuneCleaver at checkout. Appropriate?
OMG, OMG, OMG!!! The actual costume from the Snickers Halloween spot is up for sale. You really, really need to buy this. You'll be the hottest person at the party this year.
Soooo much better than that slutty, lame Snooki costume you were planning. Thanks, Casey!
Brand Flakes for Breakfast BFF @saulcolt sent us this pic from a trade show yesterday. It's part of the FreshBooks experience at a trade show. The crew at FreshBooks understands that we all have something in common: we all love unique and tasty food. So they're giving away frozen bananas. (Cue: That sh*t is bananas.)
We've experienced the FreshBooks marketing campaign ourselves, and posted about it while at SXSW. They definitely know how to reach their audience on a shoe string budget. (And isn't that bacon server the cutest ever?)
What do you do, to compete with the big boy marketing budgets?
This is an old study, but still good to know: people like to buy products when they realize that they are human, and will eventually die.
Time to sign the Grim Reaper up for a multi-year deal. Image: from Wired, Viz Pictures. Thanks, Eliza!
Dom Perignon has released an Andy Warhol tribute champagne, and in Japan (where apparently QR codes are more widely adopted), each bottle will include a unique QR code that brings the viewer to a mobile site that includes a video, artwork and of course product information.
What we like: they made ugly, awkward QR codes look cool. From @gschmitt & @kitsunenoir
If you're ever in the neighborhood of Madison Square Park in NYC, you'll need to stop by. Not just for the glorious Shake Shack, but because there's always amazing art on display.
The next few months are no exception - the new installation Scattered Light, by artist Jim Campbell makes art from bulbs. One of the more spectacular pieces uses a wall of bulbs to realize the shadows of moving figures using the bulbs like monochromatic pixels.
Let's get a burger and shake and do this, ok?
Some mobile brand should pay Dave Dawson a suitcase full of cash and have him create a branded version of his genius internet tool:
I can't find my phone is a site where you type your phone number, and it calls your phone so that you can locate it.
A victim of its own success, the site is temporarily down as it's gone viral and their servers couldn't handle the traffic. Check back soon, or give Dave that suitcase of cash so he can put your logo on this, and make it live again.
Artist Norm Magnusson has created a project along I-75 in northern Michigan that's worthy of stopping your car for. He's produced what look to be historical markers, but given them political and social messages instead.
If we had these on all of our roads, we wouldn't want to fly anywhere.
The Nokia N8 phone is supposed to be a pretty bitching phone. Not for the phone so much (who talks to people anymore??) - but for the camera. The HD camera is supposed to be pretty kick ass, so to prove the point, agency W+K hired a successful director and gave him the phone to shoot a film.
It's always inspiring to see what professionals can do with even the most basic tools. Here's a great reminder of the power you hold in your hand...and a great product demonstration of the Nokia N8.
Supporting the nation's goal of monetizing and selling advertising on every crumb of the internet, the people over at NuCaptcha have created a new medium.
You know those funky little security passwords that look to confirm if you're a human when registering and signing into sites? That's a technology called Captcha - and NuCaptcha takes it to an entirely new level.
The NuCaptcha codes feature moving video. They're not only supposed to be more secure - but they also allow for the placement of ads in the background. Super ad-genius.
Curate NYC looks to pull together...(ummm curate) some of New York City's most awesome emerging artists. Their show features postcards - yes, postcards - of submitted artists' work, on show in galleries across the city.
The event looks to raise awareness about artists that are deserving of some museum-style attention. You can just go to enjoy the art-awesomeness.
Photo: Amy Touchette
How do you extend the most interesting man in the world to a nationwide series of events? You have him curate the most interesting show in the world for you. That's exactly what Dos Equis Beer is doing, and it looks pretty...interesting.
The nationwide tour kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and features Andrew W.K. as the host of the show. Because you know...the most interesting man in the world is probably doing something more interesting than playing host.
LA Weekly has some pretty interesting snapshots from the event, like "bubble man" pictured above, shot by Colin Young-Wolff. Thanks, Casey!
Sears has one of the best Halloween campaigns we've seen this year: shopping for zombie style.
There's a zombie gift guide, dead tv, zombie friend maker, and so much more. There's even a zombie tweet stream.
This will have you thinking differently about Sears, which is exactly what they needed, and it's been a long time coming. Because when the dead need apparel, exercise equipment and electronics, they'll come to Sears. Welcome, zombie shoppers!
File this under "genius."
Erik Proulx, the acclaimed producer of Lemonade is working on a new film about the rebirth and reinvestment in Detroit, and like any film maker, he needs a budget. So he's asking you to step up and become a producer.
Here's how it works: They're funding the film frame by frame, one donation at a time. You can buy a single frame of the film for $1. By doing so, you become an IMDB-credited producer of the film. Buy a frame, buy a second (24 frames), or buy even more. You decide what level producer you'd like to be.
They've also created a fun site to track the process and show your involvement in the film. When you donate, you get featured on the Lemonade Detroit timeline based on how many frames you purchased.
From @charliecurve (who should be Mayor of Detroit, btw.)
Just when you thought that you already belonged to too many social networks, along comes a new one that takes the best advantage of your downtime: your dream time.
REMcloud is a social network organized around what you're dreaming. Share your dream, and connect with other people who are also dreaming. Dreamy.
Andrew Horner is a pretty smart dude. He's seen that the job market has been completely turned upside down and not working any more. So he's turned the application process upside down to match, and invented the Reverse Job Application.
If you're looking for work and competing against hundreds thousands of other candidates that may be just as qualified for the position, how are you going to stand out? The art of attraction works here just as well as anywhere else, and Andrew's figured that out in a fun and entertaining way.
You should make him an offer before someone else does. From @mtlb
Ideas not getting through to your boss or your client? Maybe it's you.
Author Sam Harris outlines three things that you can do to better sell your concepts through and get a "yes!"
Here's the short version, if you're too lazy to click through to the full piece on HOW Design:
1. Tell a personal story
2. Create emotional experiences for decision makers
3. See what's behind the rejections
All great advice. Go forth, and sell awesomeness.
There's a new app for the iPhone that scans your face and measures ugliness.
The Daily Mail put it to the test. Angelina Jolie scored nearly perfectly, while Brad Pitt received an 8/10, along with a snarky comment suggesting he's just a step away from ugly.
This is begging for a Facebook version that's tied to a brand. How ugly are you?
The latest craze sweeping the internet? Finger boxes. Those glorious boxes from your childhood past.
I won't say anymore about the subject, but if you want in on the fingerbox fun, Urlesque has all of the details.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has a bold but interesting management philosophy: they have no room for the average.
Here's a quote from his presentation on company culture (featured above):
Like every company, we try to hire well. But, unlike many companies, we practice “adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” We’re a team, not a family.
This presentation is a couple of years old, but still completely engaging, relevant and thought provoking. Andy Sernovitz dug it up recently, and asks some good questions.
What would happen if you said goodbye to the average people?
How do you demo a suite of solutions as diverse as the products and services that Google provides? Why not have your users demonstrate what's possible?
Google's created the ultimate demo of what's possible with Google magic by creating Google Demo Slam. People just like you, showing how Google's tools work and pitted against each other.
Create your own slam, or just watch (and vote) on which ones are best. Slam. Dunk.
Night running. It's the new thing in France. At least according to Nike, who's re-working the sport to be cool for those that don't like waking up at 5:30am.
The Guggenheim has a fun new exhibit coming up: YouTube Play.
The exhibit will look to discover and showcase the most exceptional talent working in the ever-expanding realm of online video. They're collecting submissions, and about twenty something final productions will be curated into the museum's final show.
YouTube. Guggenheim. Nobody would have predicted this seven years ago.
How do you get your product street cred to the internet geeks pop culture enthusiasts? You dive in and use the tools that your audience is using.
You've undoubtedly seen hundreds of XtraNormal movies - some ridiculously stupid and others absolutely hilarious - all made by your friends, your family, and the internet elite.
So GEICO's new spot was produced entirely in XtraNormal. Even the script touts the fact that they spent 15 minutes producing this spot (the same 15 minutes that you can use to save money with their product).
Couple smart creative with smart strategy, and the spot is running on national TV during shows like Tosh2.0. Use the tools your audience is using, and be where they are.
So freaking smart.
Trustocorp, the artists responsible for installing fun signs in public spaces, has a gallery show in Los Angeles this weekend.
If you live on the west coast, you should definitely be checking this out, as it will be interesting to see the signs out of their "natural" context, and treated as fine art in a gallery. Cool.
Having trouble finding your way to Don Draper's office?
Someone's taken the time to draw floor plans for the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices, so you can see exactly where Peggy sits in relation to Joan's place, and how the furniture is arranged across the entire agency.
Isn't the internet awesome? Isn't it fantastic that there are people that have the time to do the things you want and need, but don't have the bandwidth for? There's even a 3D rendered version. It's like MadMen porn.
Traveling for a week, and tired of working from hotel lobbies? Is the Starbucks Barista giving you dirty looks for staying too long? Now you can find shared workspace where you're welcome in cities across the U.S., thanks to LooseCubes.
Capitalizing on the growing trend of sharing workspace and coworking, the site helps you find a space for a day, a month, or even a year. We'll definitely be using this. From swissmiss.
This music video "You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties" serves as a sweet video tour of the IKEA kitchen possibilities.
As Culture Buzz points out, it's shot to simulate the experience that you get while shopping the kitchen section at IKEA - where you can go from one kitchen to another across the showroom floor. Totally product-centric yet totally fun. And you'll be singing the song for the rest of your day.
Back in the 1960's, after seeing beer bottles littering a Caribbean island, Alfred Heineken wanted to come up with "a brick that holds beer" as an ultimate green solution to both litter and affordable building materials.
They invented the Heineken WOBO, a bottle that interlocks with another, and stacks like a brick. Sadly, the bottles are no longer in production and now collector's items. Apparently there are still a couple of WOBO structures on the Heineken campus in Amsterdam.
What a great historic lesson in product design and a picture of a brand being green before its time.
A new, fun Q&A site called HowMutch (yes, that's the silly web 2.0 spelling) asks random questions about how much you would pay for different activities, services and scenarios.
This could prove to be a valuable market research tool for brands that want to find out how much people would pay for new product extensions, services, etc. According to TechCrunch, that's the business model for the site. How much would you pay for that? Thanks, Eliza!
Storify looks to be an awesome new representation of how we report on events and tell stories. Think about all of the new tools that are a part of our lives, and how integral they are in assembling a story.
Storify lets you put together stories - or blog posts - using tweets, photos and other content, but in a drag and drop fashion.
Stories are now told with a multitude of channels, voices and content - and Storify looks to be a tool that makes that easier than ever. (Right now it's only in beta, so you'll have to beg for an invite.) From @edwardboches
Here's a cool piece for Tiger Beer featuring street artist Shawn Davey creating an installation called Know the Not Known. The campaign ties to their Facebook page that features "not known" events that Facebook fans get priority access to.
We just like the idea of painting people to blend in, and would like to see more people sporting this look. Like the person behind counter at the fast food joint, or your coworkers in their cubicles.
When funds for just about everything are tight in municipalities, it's important that everyone understand the value of what they're paying for. The police department in Manchester, U.K. wanted to illustrate to their citizens just how much stuff they're involved with in a typical day - so they tweeted every single incident that they responded to, for a period of 24 hours. That's 3,205 incidents.
If you're curious to see what they responded to, they've archived the tweets from the 24 hour period, and they continue to tweet today. What a great case study in how social media tools can document history (and value) in the most unexpected places. Thanks, Lee!
Always wanted to wake up with a king? Love Burger King so much that you want to rest your head on their breakfast menu? Now you can.
Maybe you've heard about the wonderous BK breakfast pillow, or perhaps you are just looking for a new friend in the sack. Now you can have breakfast in bed with a king.
There's a spot to introduce you to the benefits of the tasty pillow, and you can actually buy it at BKPillow.com. Delicious.
Betsy Fields has an outstanding post about how several brands have taken products and situations once considered taboo, and turned them into opportunity.
Erectile dysfunction? Online dating? Masturbation? All once considered topics to be taboo, yet all are now massive industries that have been recognized, repositioned and accepted by the general public. Betsy outlines four points to designing for this scenario, and several case studies that have developed into industries onto themselves. What market could you be creating?
It's Friday. Anything that is on your plate at this point can certainly wait until Monday. Instead of attacking your inbox, why not sit back and enjoy this ridiculously awesome collection of creativeness from the internet?
Some of your friends at Google have assembled this document that will have you glued to your monitor for hours. You've undoubtedly seen some of these things, but I guarantee there's at least a bucket full of awesome that you haven't experienced yet.
If you consider this research, then you could spend your morning exploring, and still be working, right? Thanks, Marc!
Mash Creative has produced a fun new line of goods called State of the Obvious that are...obvious.
Taking a cue from the iconic Bloomingdales Big Brown Bag, they've taken it a step further and produced t-shirts, notebooks, coffee mugs and more. They've even extended the brand to the product's packaging with items like "this is my mug box." Obvious.
There are two video mapping videos making their way around the internet, and they're both beyond awesome, and worthy of your otherwise productive attention.
First, Vimeo took over the IAC building on the west side of NYC for their Vimeo Awards after party. And they lit the building up like its never been lit before.
Then, there's this clip from Prague, featuring a celebration the medieval Astronomical Clock in the city's Old Town Square. To commemorate the clock's 600th anniversary, they produced a video tribute and projected it on the clock.
(You should produce a video mapping installation for your house, just to annoy your neighbors. It could change with the seasons, starting with Halloween.)
The Term Life Insurance company has created educational info graphics all about the use of tasers.
We suppose that it's good to illustrate that you can die from all sorts of things, and that it might be a good thing to have life insurance. Because you never know when you're going to be tased.
A few months ago, Hilton Head restaurant Bistro 17 was about to close its doors for good.
Then they implemented a handful of promotions via Facebook and turned their business around. Now they're one of only a handful of businesses in Hilton Head keeping busy in during the off-season.
How'd they do it?
+ Fun, radio-style promotions implemented through their Facebook page
+ Working their friends, fans and area travel Facebook connections
+ Mimosas (a good cure for anything ailing)
This is an outstanding case study that you should pass to any small business who has ever wondered how social media can impact their bottom line.
The band Imperial Stars wanted to get some attention, and let some people hear their music. So they stopped their truck on an L.A. freeway and started performing.
This is not how you make friends in Los Angeles. We assume that traffic is still backed up, and will be for the next couple of years.
Is pissing off tens of thousands of commuters worthy of the PR?
If you haven't yet seen the Banksy designed Simpsons intro, you'll want to watch this.
Then check out the NY Times interview with Al Jean, an executive producer for the show about how they know this is the real Banksy (imagine trying to hire an anonymous artist?), and who then answers the question: did anyone lose their job over this?
Good to know that you can still poke fun and have fun on a tv comedy. Even on Fox.
Document all of your Facebook friends in an awesome poster perfect for hanging on your living room wall, cubicle or anywhere else where you might need to be reminded of your Facebook family. Thanks, Eliza!
If you plan on donning a costume this year, you might as well make it a processed food costume. Not only will your friends think you're all tasty, but when you stop by Chipotle before tricking and treating, you'll be treated to $4 off your favorite burrito.
If you let them take your pic and post it on their website, you'll even be entered to win $2500. The promotion is all a part of Chipotle's "food with integrity" promotion, and promotes the fact that Chipotle burritos feature natural ingredients. They're even giving a bunch of money to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.
They had me at burrito. Thanks, Eliza!
Just in case you haven't seen this, here's the best Old Spice spoof we've seen yet - featuring Grover from Sesame Street.
What an awesome way to tie to a current meme, leverage existing conceptual equity and promote the new Sesame Street at the same time. Good for parents and kids alike. Really well done. Thanks, Kristien and Wendy!
Check out this fun project installed on London's crosswalk light thingamajigs. (These are the devices that pedestrians push to get the ok to cross the strreet in London. Yeah, they look really different than the ones in the U.S.)
We Are the Pedestrians took over a bunch of crosswalk thingees and added their own brand of fun. Just a little something to light up your morning on an otherwise mundane commute to the office.
Street walking fun for the whole family. Hilarious.
Conan's got a blimp.
Not just any blimp, but a giant, orange blimp outfitted with GPS and a FourSquare location. You can monitor everything the Team Coco blimp is up to, thanks to an on-board live camera, GPS map integration and more - all brought to you on the The Conan Blimp dashboard.
Even better - the blimp auto-updates its location on FourSquare, so if you get close enough and check in, you'll get a special Coco FourSquare badge.
Absolutely coco genius.
Redesigning currency has been an age old student project for young designers, students and people looking to explore objects that we might otherwise take for granted. One artist has taken it a step further, and actually projected the math and economics behind a redesign.
If the ads sell for $1 each on a $100 bill, that would be a $1 CPM for the advertiser over each bill's lifetime, while generating $14 billion a year to our economy. That's right...billion.
Advertising really can save the world.
If you're a teen girl or otherwise answering "no!" to the question above, then you're totally going to dig this new iPad version of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
This production looks to completely merge the world of eBooks and the multimedia that CDROM developers dreamed about in the early 90's. Welcome to the future.
Agency Razorfish has taken a pet project with artist AM, and playing the role of a music label. This isn't the first time that an agency has launched a side venture with a music artist, but it may be the first time an agency the size of Razorfish has done so.
Taking side projects is a win win for everyone involved:
+ The recipient gets the power of talent they wouldn't ordinarily have access to
+ The experimenting agency gets to try new things that other clients may not allow
+ Everyone grows, learns and has fun
What side projects are you working on? Who could you be helping, and how could you be pushing your talents?
When NYC's D’Espresso coffee shop opened a new location near the NYC Library, they wanted to turn the place upside down. Actually...sideways.
Check out the design of this shop that appears to be an entire retail store turned on its side. FastCompany has even more awesome shots. Sweet, mother of mocha this is awesome with extra sugar. From Laughing Squid.
You've probably seen all of the hoopla about the Gap's horrific new logo.
Barbarian Group created a fun site that lets you create a personal version of the crappy Gap logo. 100% pure crappy fun.
(As of this morning, either the servers crashed or the crappy Gap attorneys didn't see the humor. Check back later for more crappy fun.)
Having spent the last couple of days in Texas, and also having enjoyed pig butt barbecue, I thought this BBQ joint's sign was pretty tasty. Hopefully there's some BBQ in your day today.