Finding the perfect gift for creative types can be a ginormous pain in the arse. If it's super hot this year, they probably had it last year. And if they don't have it, well, it's likely some gadget that costs way more than you want to spend on them anyway.
But not to worry, our annual holiday gift guide will have something that's sure to put a smile on that jaded little hipster's face. Ok, maybe a slight, fleeting smirk, but take what you can get - it's the freakin' holidays!
And, the best part of our super awesome gift guide? All the gifts are under $100, so go ahead and buy some Star Wars crap for yourself too - or splurge on a nice reindeer sweater. Whatever!
You can find all the geeky goods here from now through December 23rd!
While it's easy to get cynical this time of the year (Black Friday, angry crowds, carols stuck in your head...), it's also very easy to get sentimental too. Especially when it comes to watching holiday classics that everyone's grown up with as part of their yearly traditions.
Now one of everyone's favorite classics, A Charlie Brown Christmas, is going from beloved movie to interactive book app for the iPad. Let a new generation of children discover the endearing tale and lessons from an old friend. A great example of giving new life digitally to old brand.
Whether you're a Nirvana fan, or just a music fan in general, you're bound to appreciate the site A World of Nirvana. While it's nothing groundbreaking, it was created as a labor of love to the band.
Using Google Maps and YouTube API's, the site allows you to search for Nirvana concert footage by location and year, watching the band's evolution into music legends while possibly discovering performances you've never seen before. It's a great way to archive old content and makes the experience fun and visual.
At a time when most music being produced sounds the same and is cookie cutter, it's nice to reflect back on music that was groundbreaking and refreshingly original.
It's about time the agency industry got a meme, and it's pretty funny: introducing the Junior Art Director meme. Check out the gallery here and add your own.
Now let the meme wars begin. Call it a hunch, but it seems like other positions within agencies will be on the chopping block for meme jabs (Account people? Anyone?).
Technology is amazing.
While everyone oohs and awes over how awesome iPhones and other smartphones are, a new navigational cane for the visually impaired, called the Blindspot, was recently developed that puts these phones to the test. The new cane has similar technological elements of a smartphone that makes navigating daily life a bit easier. It's enabled with bluetooth and GPS, and it goes one step further by including a Foursqaure check-in feature to allow the user to connect with friends by alerting them when a friend has checked in nearby, and how close they are.
It also has technology that can detect upcoming obstructions in the user's path better than a manual sweep of a cane can, and alerts them via their bluetooth earpiece.
Truly amazing, and almost a wonder it hasn't been created sooner.
This weekend delegates at the ALP National Conference will be voting on whether to end marriage discrimination in Australia.
So grassroots campaign organization, GetUp! wants you to support getting this beautiful spot on television to influence the decision in favor of ending marriage discrimination.
With over 1,900,000 views already, it seems like they've already done a great job of increasing awareness, but if you want to take it further you can donate here.
What is a lonely little desk toy to do late at night when no one's there to admire his tininess? Hop in a tiny car and go on a ginormous cross-country road trip via Google Maps street view, of course!
Watch his journey in this fantastic stop-motion short called Address Is Approximate by Director Tom Jenkins.
That’s right. Wee, not Wii.
Introducing video games for guys that can be played with their pee streams in bar bathrooms. These new games have been installed in a bar in London, and the main objective is actually promotional. Create a game that grabs their attention while they're standing there anyway, and serve up digital ads, too.
Oh, and now, introducing lines outside of the men’s bathroom.
Loose keyboards sink ships. Well not really, but Aaron Woods has dreamed up and created WWII propaganda-style posters about social networks, available for sale on Etsy.com. Check them all out here.
With the impact that social media like Twitter has had on world events like the protests in Egypt and beyond, the concept is actually not that farfetched.
If you’re cool with strangers invading your virtual space, and need a little boost in your day, head over to thenicestplaceontheinter.net. Literally.
It’s a site, created by Jeff Lam and Lauren Perlow, where you can get a virtual hug from smiling strangers and while it may seem like an odd concept, it is somewhat endearing. So go ahead and go get yourself a hug.
Sagras, the #1 beer brand in Portugal, tasked their digital agency, Grand Union, with creating a website to launch their new chocolate beer. What their agency came back with was absolutely brilliant: A website completely made of chocolate. Mmmm!
They commissioned Portugal's #1 chocolatier to hand carve every page, every button, every bit of copy of the website in chocolate, then they photographed it and turned it into a working website.
And what's even better than browsing chocolate? Eating it, duh! Yep, you can actually get a piece of the website sent to you when you order the beer.
It's Black Friday and perhaps after being disgusted by humanity and our need to claw, push and yell at each other for $50 off a TV, you need something sweet and innocent to restore your faith.
Enter the cutest, most wonderful Tumblr ever, created by Matt Silverman and Josh Catone, called The Fluffington Post. Yep, all fur, all the time!
Just sit back, relax and let the awwwww's flow!
When Argentinian "celeb" (AKA a rockstar's hot mistress), Mariana Diarco, posed for Playboy, they decided to reveal her naked picts in a different way than usual. They created a website where men have to sing like rockstars to get her to strip for them. It's a clever idea to generate buzz for a struggling print pub, but then again, there's plenty of nakedness just a couple clicks away for those of you that don't want to work for your porn.
Why send someone an email when you can send an email to a service that will type it out and send it to someone for you instead?
Introducing Type-O-Matic, an online service that will do just that. They turn your emails into letters by typing them out on vintage typewriters (and nice paperstock) that will catch your recipient's attention and show them thoughtfulness and care. The only catch is you might have to deviate from your standard "yo - what's up?" email style to make using this service worthwhile.
Here Comes the Neighborhood is a short-form docuseries that captures the impact street art can have on revitalizing urban communities, featuring graffiti artists and muralists that are both locally and internationally acclaimed.
Public art is often underrated, especially street art, and it's great to see public art being put to good use in this series. And it's fun to enjoy the artistic eye candy.
Toyota has created the fastest painted website. Ev-er.
To promote its new car, the FT-86 II, Toyota had a mural painted in record time in Japan, and the mural now serves as the website through livestreaming video. You can click on parts of the mural to access other items, like a Facebook app called Social Network Racer that pulls in content from your profile into a cityscape racing game, and a ticker feed above the mural that responds to people who Like or Tweet about the site in real time.
Check it out now because it's only live until November 26.
...and man is it freakin' adorable when they do! This latest TV campaign for The Shelter Project, aimed at informing people that shelter animals make wonderful pets, takes a journey into the minds of lovable little adopted pets to see what they think of their new owners. So cute, so clever, so darn furry!
When you have to take a day trip, riding an Amtrak train with wifi kinda rocks! So I was elated to hear they just added wifi to 12 of their East Coast routes. And, I was almost as elated to see how nice their new ad campaign is to promote it.
I'm sure many of you have dreamed of visiting Switzerland, perhaps for the delicious chocolate, the epic skiing or maybe for the incredibly attractive natives. But I bet you never thought of visiting the small town of Obermutten in the Graubunden area of Switzerland. Heck, you probably never even thought of pronouncing Graubunden.
Yet all of a sudden, with one simple Facebook stunt by agency Jung von Matt, this little bitty town is now on the map as a tourist destination. What did the trick? Just like their Facebook page and you'll get your profile picture printed and posted to a wall in town. Seems almost too simple - but now with over 12,000 fans this town of 78 residents needs to find a new wall to post the photos on.
All this for barely any cash. Not bad.
Are you suffering from a case of the muuuundays? Well here's a little something to motivate you through the day and the short week.
This video is of Kermit the Frog and Bret McKenzie, of musical group Flight of the Conchords, singing the theme song for the new Muppet movie, written by Bret.
The title is "Life's a Happy Song," and it's a fun way to kick of Thanksgiving week. Enjoy!
With apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram, everyone likes to fancy themselves photographers these days. And now the Google street view car is getting in on the action, thanks to real photographer Aaron Hobson.
Aaron has gone through tons of Google street view images and curated a selection of images that could pass as art, painting a beautiful and slightly haunting image of the world. It is quite something to see, and you can check out his findings here. And props to Aaron, who is equally as talented.
3D street art is popping up a lot lately, including an impressive rending or a terracotta Lego army.
Reebok CrossFit took notice of this trend and partnered with 3D Joe and Max to create the world's largest and longest work of 3D street art. Made official even by the Guiness Book of World Records.
The piece of art gives people the illusion that they are standing, or working out, over an icy, treacherous ravine with a waterfall so they can feel hardcore. Let's hope Reebok sticks to this version and doesn't turn this into a reality for its CrossFit games.
Being an old-school toy like LEGO has to be challenging in a tech toy world. And being a marketer whose job it is to somehow bring modern technologies (like mobile) to the brand without taking "play time" away from the toy they're actually trying to sell must be even harder.
But, in line with LEGO's typical genius, this new iphone app manages to integrate the toy into the technology. Just pick up the Life With George product in stores (starring their likeable little software engineer, George) and download their app.
Then, let the fun begin! The app times you in various build challenges on their special board. When you're done, just snap a picture and submit it for an official timestamp, rating and feedback. And of course, like any good mobile app, they bring gamification in by letting you compete against other players.
Oh LEGOs, why do you rock so?
Pretty sure there are thousands of Apple infographics out there, but this one's pretty cool because it captures the epic timeline of Apple's genius developments by each product line. Yeah, you're gonna need to zoom in on this bad boy.
Facebook apps that scan your profile and tell you something about yourself were fun for a little while, but the novelty has warn off some. However, this one, called Social Life Audit from Ultimat Vodka, has a cool little twist.
Rather than scanning for your online social life, it scans for your real life social life by looking at your check-ins, photos and photo tags and grades your real social life.
The result is a nifty infographic that tells you things like percent of check-ins at work vs. play, how many of the friends tagged in your photo are single and how many are the opposite sex (you playa, you), even the average amount of estimated cash you spend out using BlackBook.
So it's Friday, go throw down a few glasses of vodka and work on upping that playa score!
Everyone's buzzing about SOPA and the American Censorship Day yesterday (rightly so), but leave it to The Onion to approach such a serious topic in its typical humorous tone, while being sincere.
Check out the 'note' from the fictional head T. Herman Zweibel on Google+.
Virgin Mobile would like to know in their “Do Whatever It Takes” campaign, created by mono in Minneapolis.
Whatever ridiculous act it is (actually – they call them “whatevers”), you can state it on their campaign website, and when a certain pledge amount is reached for your act of randomness, you’re essentially ‘dared’ to actually complete the task you pledged.
It takes aim at motivating the digital-prone Gen Y into taking action for good, digitally. And if you're too shy to do a whatever, you can just pledge to someone else's.
And check out their "why" section - it's a great infographic that explains why it's important to help Gen Y's peers who are homeless.
Studio Shelter, an agency in Korea, created a video of mixed animated illustrations, titled "Keep Drawing," to remind people of the importance of drawing as a fundamental means of creativity and self-expression.
Now take it one step further: change the lyrics of Dory's "just keep swimming" song from Finding Nemo to "just keep drawing." It's catchy.
Wouldn't it be awesome if all cities were laid out in a nice, neat grid system like NYC?
Harold Cooper apparently thought so because he created this super cool interactive map called ExtendNY that overlays the world with a simple grid system starting in NYC.
I'm at 666th (oooh) and 53rd. Where are you?
How does a small boutique video production studio like Image Studio get to play with the big dogs? Give 'em beer, duh!
It's that simple - just perfect your home brew, slap on a nicely designed label and send it along to potential clients with a fun little promo pack. Done!
Man, what can't beer do?
Can you possibly think of a better use of augmented reality than striping clothes off a model? Yeah, didn't think so.
Outdoor clothing retailer Moosejaw created this awesome iphone app that allows you to hover over the models in their catalog to see them in their skivvies.
Unfortunately there are no naughty parts, but it's still a pretty smart way for an unknown retailer to create some buzz during the holiday shopping season.
Who doesn't love The Muppets and Sesame Street? No one, and TomTom knows it and is capitalizing on that. They tapped into Ernie and Bert to be the newest voices on their GPS systems. Love.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video of their outtakes from their recording session, and try not to giggle. Wokka wokka!
To promote its newest Xperia active phones, Sony Ericsson created a site, Xperiathon.com, where runners can compete in a digital marathon on November 26, no matter where they are. All they have to do is run wherever they are, logging their distance with one of 3 sport apps.
The person who runs 26 miles first wins.
Now the bigger question is not if you will participate, but what do you think of the use of the Forever Alone meme in the ad?
If you've been following any real news in recent months, you know the situation in Somalia right is dire, but you might be shocked how many people don't know about it. Along with many other major news stories.
AdStruc, a company that created a new network to allow anyone to buy or sell outdoor space, is using its outdoor spaces to bring attention to the absurd attention Americans give to 'reality' tv programs and other frivolous media over actual national or world events.
The campaign, Billboards for Everyone, uses art and sarcasm to make people stop and think about it. And what better place to do this than New Jersey, with posters that promote "The Somali Shore" and "The Real Housewives of Baghdad."
Realizing the global impact of cat videos, Canadian agency, john st. has opened the first ever agency cat video division. Brilliant, except now they're going to have to answer clients when they ask what the ROI of cat videos is?
Being a freelancer can often be a thankless and lonely job. If you're a freelancer and you find yourself in need of an "attaboy" and a pat on the back, look no further because the Freelance Thanks Tumblr has your back! Now go back to earning more than us full time workers and quit complaining. I kid, I kid.
This new stop motion video called called Against the Grain created by Dropbear for Australian indie group, Hudson is really fun and beautifully done! Nothing like some brightly colored eye candy to get the sense going on a Monday morning!
Oberlin College wants you to go to their f***ing school. Or at least consider it. And here's how they're getting students' attention: they're encouraging alumni to share why students should consider Oberlin in a very matter of fact - er, explicit way and sharing it at a website.
It's ballsy, but brilliant, and it helps that Oberlin is a reputable school.
Apparently they have albino squirrels (score!). Would they accept college grads who want to go back to college just because of this?
Mixel, a new free iPad app, let's you create collages using images from your photo library or anywhere on the web. You can then post your collage creation to Facebook for all your friends to see and interact with.
Teenage girls everywhere are rejoicing! Ok - maybe you are too, but mostly teenage girls. It does seem like a fun way to do something creative if you have some free time, and a lot less hassle than trying to cut out tons of images from magazines.
Nerd alert: the internet does in fact have a weight (as miniscule as it is). If you're interested, now you can learn how it has weight with this video that explains it.
Be warned - it's a ittle sciencey and nerdy, but you might, just might, find it interesting.
Do you deem yourself a 'creative,' and are looking for a partner on a project that can complement your skills? Look no further than SingleCreatives.com.
The site allows creative people to show a small portfolio of work for others to view and see if they're a right fit for them for a future project (or maybe just someone cool enough to meet up with sometime in the local creative scene - there's no shame in that either).
It's not quite a full-on Match.com experience, but it seems to serve it's purpose well.
Recently on a morning radio talkshow (yes - you read that right), the topic of conversation was how annoying loud talkers in public spaces are – especially at restaurants where you’re trying to enjoy a meal without being disrupted by a stranger while learning every detail of their dramatic life. Most people seemed to agree.
Then this happened - a guy named Andy Boyle live tweeted a young couple's heated argument at a Burger King, with video sound clips and all.
These tweets are voyeurism at its best (?), and a scary reminder of how invasive our smartphones and social media can be. Oh, and a great example of why you shouldn't a.) be a loud talker in public and disrupt those around you, and b.) argue in public - it's awkward for everyone and could get documented on Twitter.
Once you start reading this trust me – you won’t be able to turn away. You’ll want to, but you won’t.
This is an extremely clever yet powerful use of a basic iPhone and iPad functionality.
Amnesty International worked with Swedish agency Garbergs to create wallpapers showing people behind bars or bound in chains. When you unlock your iPhone or iPad, the wallpaper image changes and shows the people freed. It makes you think and really illustrates how important their cause is.
The wallpapers are free, but they are hoping they are powerful enough that people will want to become an activist or become involved. Take a minute and think about it.
Ahh yes, the 1920's - 1960's were the good ole days in the culinary world. A time when people didn't really know that fat, carbs, sugar and processing would turn us into unhealthy, diabetes and heart disease having fatties. Back when a real meal was made from Jell-O, canned ham and liquor.
Sound good to you? Then take a trip back in time with this nifty little blog called Hey, My Mom Use to Make That, an ode to all the old school culinary ads from Madison Avenue. The best part is, all the recipes are there so you can actually recreate all that deliciousness.
Just do yourself a favor and don't look at the nutrition labels, k?
This absolutely stunning short-film called A Year in New York, created by Andrew Clancy with a Cannon 7D and S95, will make you remember why people love NYC so much.
I normally can't sit through a 4-minute video, but this one is so beautiful it's totally worth it, and the song by James Vincent McMorrow is the perfect overlay.
via Laughing Squid
If you've ever worked in an agency then you've been guilty of this as least one time in your career --> the over-promise in a pitch.
Maybe you said you've done something you never really did. Or you can do something you're pretty sure is impossible. Or in the case of this video created by Balmer Partnership, committed your Sr. level staff's time with no real intentions of actually doing so.
As AdPulp points out, it's reminiscent of the hilarious Truth in Advertising ad from years ago which was done way better than this one - but it still will get a little smirk out of you.
They say the more aware you're of your habits (good and bad) the more you're likely to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. But keeping track of all the crap is a lot of work - take your vitamins, eat 1,400 calories, exercise for 30 minutes, stretch, sleep for 8 hours. Seriously, who the heck can keep track?
Well, not only does this awesome wristband from Jawbone keep track of your daily exercise and sleep (or lack thereof), but it also lets you take photos of your food and log your meals on the accompanying iPhone app. And, the wristband vibrates when you've been too sedentary or when it's time to wake up in the morning.
All that plus a whole gamification aspect that allows you to beat challenges and see what you're friends are doing so you can compete with them (or simply try to keep up).
The best part though is that it's not some awesome idea waiting to be funded - you can get "Up" now for $99.99 on the Jawbone website just in time for a season filled with stuffing your face and sitting on the couch!
Playstation is saluting a handful of awesome gammer fans by creating funny videos like this one all about their achievements. Sure, it's a lot like Old Spice, but at least they kept it up to par with the comedic copy and delivery. Plus, they have a fun little app on their Facebook page that uses Facebook connect to integrate you into some funny little ditties. Well played.
Volkswagen Netherlands is trying to bring back the super sweet vintage bus or beetle, but this time with a modern twist - a whole bunch of absolutely ridiculous social media tools like a license plate relationship status or a dashboard that prints out status updates... because who doesn't need that?
It's called the Fanwagen and Facebook fans can contribute to what goes in the car and vote for their favorite for a chance to win it. Yeah, it's even custom painted white and Facebook blue.
Hmm, so the novelty of it is kind of cool, and it is a Volkswagen, but you really want to drive this thing?
A parrot that looks like a carrot?!? Aaahaha! That's so silly! And it's under your bed!
Parrot Carrot is also the main character of a children's book that is now enhanced with augmented reality. Augmented reality is used in a variety of ways, but this is one way that is pretty awesome. Kids can use the AR app on their phones to see the characters from the book in their surroundings, catch them and find objects that thyme with them to create new animals.
It seems like a sure fire way to get kids into reading.
It's that time of the year again, when many a man has an excuse to let his facial hair go. That's right, it's Movember.
Are you the type that's too lazy to partake, embarrassed that your hair doesn't grow in just right, or you're a girl? Now you can use the PIcamo iPhone app to select one of 30 realistic looking mo's, snap a pic, and share it. The beauty of it is all the profits from the app will go towards Movember.
It always seems amazing that people can run 26.2 miles in a marathon without just entirely collapsing or just losing it. But to be able to draw and tweet your journey, too? Now that's impressive.
Christopher Niemann, a cartoonist for the New York Times, did just that. His drawings are entertaining and somewhat inspiring. It's a great way to capture the experience, and more fun than checking a tracker. Check them out.
If Facebook had a smell, what would it be? Desperation? Eh, well, it's gotta at least smell better than MySpace.
This awesome little gadget, called Olly, from Mint Digital hooks up to your computer and emits predesignated scents when you have notifications from various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All to create a more gentle and polite alert in a visually overloaded world.
Do you need one of these for the holidays? No. Do you want one? Hell yeah!
Yeah, if this Loreal coverage make-up can cover up all of Zombie Boy's (Rico Genest's) tattoos this well, then that little zit or sunspot on your chin is not going to be a problem at all. Wow, impressive!
Well, apparently bling is indeed still relevant. And has been throughout history. Maybe it’s a sign of the times that Phiten has hired hip-hop group Pac Div to create a song about the history of bling to remind people they should still be buying it.
It seems like that trend should be out of style these days given the whole recession thing, but Phiten thinks otherwise. To them it's been in style since the Egyptians and isn't going anywhere.
Admit it – you love National Geographic but don’t watch or read enough of it.
As a good reminder of how cool National Geographic is , they had Appshaker create an experience using augmented reality that puts people in the midst of wild creatures and astronauts. This experience really takes augmented reality to a whole new level.
Just be careful not to get a cheetah bite.
Like instagram? Want to be able to search images better? Have no fear, a site is here! To let you do just that.
Searchinstagram.com let’s you search all images posted to instagram, making all the content from the instagram app more accessible to everyone. It includes a stream of what appears to be recent pictures and recommended searches.
Welcome to awesome image bliss.
We're all guilty of complaining on Twitter every once and a while. Sometimes it's just nice to post some ambiguous rant about your boss, client or mother knowing they'll never see it because they're not on Twitter. But it's those chronic complainers you'd just like to erase from your stream. It's Twitter, not therapy people!
Well, Mentos thought they'd lend a helping hand by creating a Negative Tweet Eliminator app that erases real negative tweets with things like #FML, #FAIL or hate. This is done with the help of a stereo-typical floating hippy and some mystical music. Oooo. What's impressive is it's actually pulling in Tweets in real time and deleting them in the video.
Although the execution is a bit cheesy and annoying, the concept is a noble attempt at doing something different!
Sometimes we need others to help us eat healthy and stay on track. Other times we just want to eat our steak, pasta, wine and cheesecake alone in peace, so just back off, k?
Either way, this cool new app called The Eatery from health start-up Massive Health lets you take pictures of your meals for others to rate and comment on. Eventually the app gets smart about what you've been eating to determine patterns, habits, successes and areas of opportunity.
Super cool idea of how apps can help you make healthier choices based on your life and your decisions and not some text book crap. But honestly, I'm not sure I could handle the truth. You?
Yesterday Twitter launched Twitter Stories, a platform to showcase the stories behind selected tweets.
The first series shows how a tweet helped save a bookstore from going out of business, an athlete that took a bunch of followers out to dinner and a fisherman that uses Twitter to sell his catch.
Want to have your story told? Tweet to @Twitterstories or use #Twitterstories with your story and they'll review it.
Sure, it's just another way to feed our narcissism, but it's kind of nice to see the impact of a simple 140 character tweet come to life in a "slice of life" kind of way. Aww.
8-bit makes everything more fun. Even the subway.
Commuting can normally be a drag, but when subway wall tiles are transformed into 8-bit scenes from Pac Man and other old school video games, it makes commuting a bit more bearable.
Altoids recently launched a website called the Hall of Curiosity, a site that showcases an exhibit that documents the brand throughout history. If Altoids had been present throughout history, that is.
You can actually bid on the non-relic items on ebay, like a real art auction. So if you want a piece of non-history, it's up for grabs.
Curiously strong mints. Curiously interesting concept.
Want to make your food look better than it looks in real life? Designer Todd Borka created a set of plates that with Photoshop tools painted on it inspired by that exact notion.
Imagine if you could instantly make your broccoli a slightly brighter shade of green (read: you oversteamed it) or want to reduce the amount of char on your grilled fish (read: you scorched it). Everyone would be a culinary genius!
Now if only we could actually create plates that could do that.