Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A little less consternation, a little more traction

I attended Interesting 2008 on Saturday and had a great time. There were talks ranging from how horses can get scared by the most mundane of things (crisp packets) to a quite beautiful demonstration of a Technics Zoetrope. There's already been plenty of coverage of this so I thought I'd just comment on the aspects I found most 'interesting'.

In order of appearance. Firstly there was Collyn Ahart Chipperfield who declared the 'death of nostalgia' and that 'authenticity was soon to die'. She supported these statements with examples of fashion trends and the innocence of children. The one thing that really hit home was (and is the theme of much of this piece) is that we should stop writing narratives about who we are and more about who we want to become. This idea resonated somewhat.

To help concretise my notions of understanding what you could become we were given a talk by Steve Hardy about what it means to be a 'Creative Generalist'. Again lots of resonation going on here, and his examples made me realise that getting massively over excited about various subjects but coming away with only a superficial understanding is actually not such a bad thing. Long live the Jack of all trades!

Jenny spoke about Churchill which I thought was a brave topic to talk about as it's easy to use examples that many people are familiar with, however whilst alluding to his satirical wit (drunk/ugly, drinking poisoned coffee etc) she told us about some other slightly less well known attributes of the great man. She ended it beautifully by saying that courage was defined by Churchill as not only having the courage to stand up and talk but also being able to sit down and listen. It reminded me of a piece Ant wrote which I often think about in meetings and interviews.

James put together some beautiful animation using his Technics Zoetrope. I love the way he used something so simple to recreate a classic form of animation with such fantastic results. Maybe nostalgia isn't dead after all Collyn?

Less serious pieces came from Anna and James who spoke about funny words and booze respectively and at one point I found myself playing a Guardian Branded recorder on stage with 29 others!

Spent most of the day chatting to Clive who's a freelance brand planner over from the states doing some work. We had some good chats especially when we got down the pub.

So in summary, I 2008 was a fun day. Met some interesting people and it helped me to develop and rationlise some personal preconceptions. Bring on 'Brief 2008!!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Paint the dunks red...

Image courtesy

Nike are offering their customers the chance to get a unique pair of hi-tops designed based on the two most striking colours from a photo which they can text in to a special short code. Not sure I'm convinced, I mean how crazy are colours going to be for you to want them sprayed all over your shoes. Before I did any research into this concept I thought it was going to be something like what Anya Hindmarch does (don't ask me how I know about this) where you could scan a picture of your ex on the toe and go and score some hardcore goals in a muddy field, but alas it isn't. It's a good start though none the less.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Welcome Czech Tourism!!

Saw this on South Bank on Saturday. Not sure how welcome 'Czech Tourism' will feel when they read this, although the language is so colloquial they might just see the international sign for love and feel touched that the British had decorated the table for their arrival!

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Surfer in your Pocket

I had a chat with a nice man called Rik from Pocket Surfer yesterday who told me about the new version of their product, The Pocket Surfer 2. Basically it's a mini lap top that has no other functionality other than to surf the web, hence the name.

To be honest I found the experience a bit basic and un-rewarding. The screen was very grainy (although I was told the new version was improved - why show me an old version then?!) and for something that would be used by the occasional surfer who was looking for a bite sized online experience for a bit of entertainment for example, you can't even watch videos on it or listen to music!! The hook for the consumer is that for handing over £150 you get what is a quite cheaply made piece of kit and free internet for a year.

Their argument for why this is better than the iPhone for example is the amount of money we are charged for data. While I agree with this, I'd much rather pay a bit more cash every month which might work out as £10 a month (cheaper than £12.50 a month with Pocket surfer) and I get a phone and all the other cool functionality that the iPhone offers.

Ultimately I was being offered advertising opportunities and whilst their targeting is quite specific (location, direct competitor web sites etc) there are only 12,500 users which is far from convincing I'm afraid.

Bring on July 11th!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Inspiration Anyone?

The second instalment from the Microsoft crew. I enjoyed them both, I think they work well to personify all the mumbo-jumbo that us planners blog about all day. Lots more info on the website.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Band of the Week...

Heard Thomas Tantrum on Zane Lowe on Wednesday night and I think I'm a fan.

Weirdly, she's got a voice a bit like Kate Nash blended with Frida Ohrn from Oh Laura

Favourite track 'Shake It, Shake It'.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Don't mess with the best

Saw this ad for Coors Light last night and it made me angry!

come on kids, please try and come up with something original...

and if you've never heard of Flight of the Conchords you should be taken outside and beaten with a hose!

Monday, 2 June 2008

One Nation Under CCTV

Just read this article about 'The Get Out Clause' using some of Britain's '13 million CCTV' with particular reference to those in Manchester to film the video for their new single. They demanded the footage under the Freedom of Information Act and managed to put together what looks fairly polished and cost them relatively nothing. Song's not great, I think they're trying to be a new Embrace but with more hair and in the words of Not The Nine O'clock News...

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