Monday, May 26, 2008

What the &$#@!

I have to give our media director (and Saturn) props for posting a pretty funny TV spot by Saturn's creative team (?). Is it wishful thinking or just leaked out intentionally? Either way, I love it. Still won't buy a Saturn though.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Friday, May 23, 2008

I sew want that dress!

I have a sewing machine, but the thought of dragging that huge free weight out of the closet, well, doesn't sound appealing. But now, with several clicks of your mouse a dress will magically appear at your doorstep just as you designed it. Well hot damn. Although I haven't tried it myself (see I'm lazier than you thought) I do however think it's a grand idea. I found StyleShake though a email I get called SpringWise. This site has lots of great new business ideas that make you want to curse them for beating you to the punch, "wish I'd thought of that!" There's also a design your own purse, by Elemental Threads, that was featured on SpringWise. And with 60,000 ways to create a custom bag, I can really wrap my fingers around this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Branding, Burned Flesh and Disgrace?

Wikipedia, as unreliable as some may claim it, has always provided me with a great source of "no, sh#t!" tid-bits. While most of the time I am researching for client based knowledge, this time I happened across the word "Brand". This term I love and loathe. I use it frequently and want so badly to use it less frequently. Just like many marketing terms, this one has over-stayed its welcome with me. But sadly I can not conjure up a similar term that clients and the general public will understand - without a lengthly explanation (who wants more work?).
SO - upon reading the history of branding, I now see I must find another word. I did recall that branding also meant to sear a hot iron into the flesh of an animal (cattle usually). Nice huh? But I had never read the following, "Brand had also been figuratively applied since the late 16th century to criminalize people (as in disgrace, a stigma, or mark of infamy) and in the sense of firebrand
since the 17th century." I guess I have used the term in this context, but to compile these meanings (and the rest of them) - I can't grasp the transition to marketing: brand architecture, brand equity, brand extensions and the like. A stretch no, but the word started out so very negative. Is what we do negative? I don't think so. Branding has helped companies transform and breathe new life into what was a stale, nonperforming business. I compare it to a new wardrobe before the start of school. You feel like a new person, you can jump higher and think better ... at least that's what I told my mom. Branding creates a team, with jerseys, a flag, mascot and pushes that image out to the fans. You don't have to be a fan - I mean not everyone likes the Jets. But someone, somewhere understands where they came from, who the players are and what it means to be a Jets fan.
So when Stephen Brown spoke at the Gravity Free conference I was a little confused at his branding anti-christ attitude. But now, (I think) I see why he feels so strongly about companies behaving untruthful. If the brand does not deliver on the promise, the customer can get burned. Which brings me full circle to the original meaning of branding. As long as you are truthful in creating a brand, you shouldn't fear hot irons or disgrace.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Say Cheese

Nifty little thing, I saw this being used at a conference last week and really want one (yes, it's on my Kaboodle - so buy it for me!). There's always that great picture moment and no one else to take your picture, but this helps out by giving your arm that extra length to take a self portrait. Although I have to say I'm really good at doing this with out the extender - I'm sure I'll be a pro when I get this.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gravity Free 2008

After three days of inspiring, creative, mind blowing, brain freezing speeches by the industry's noteworthy designers - I feel like I'm just now coming back down to earth. This year's conference was held in Chicago and although I missed touring the city, I did get to listen to and meet some of the most "dangerous minds" of the design world. From Stefan Sagmeister to Karim Rashid and Massimo Vignelli to Chip Kidd - the list could go on and on. While their disciplines were design based, I was amazed at the diversity in approach and character. If you've ever needed a pick-me-up to get your creative-self turned around, this is the conference to do it. At first I laughed at the "money back guaranteed" message on the website, but there is no doubt I will not be asking for any refund. While my head still spins from all that I heard, saw and learned I will take away this: we can do better. What I mean is that they are people just like you and I. What sets them apart is they did something. Anything. And everything. So, get off your butt and make a difference ... now, yes you - up out of that chair and do something!

If you have time to spare (ha), check out the site and make sure you click through to each speaker's website to see more of what they do.

Check out another blogger at Core 77 that took diligent notes and pictures (my gaping mouth prevented me from doing so.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

New? No, but they are back on the block alright!

I'm at the point I can now say, "this shows my age". As a young girl New Kids on the Block were all the rage. Ok, I have to admit I was obsessed. Now they are back together with their own kids watching them from home. Looking back at all the paraphernalia they sold to us (lunch boxes, buttons, sleeping bags, board games, etc) what an amazing marketing machine they were! At one point they were compared to the Beatles, not for their music but the girl-craze that ensued when they so much as walked down the street. How does a group of good looking, average singers, not so great dancers get to be chased down the road after screaming, crying girls? I don't know the answer, but I do know the marketing machine is back - and I'm ready. The tickets are selling like hot cakes, not to mention the prices for resell are getting $300+ per ticket - auh! Me, I'm well prepared with a box of old buttons and posters that have a good amount of dust on them (thank you mom for keeping everything!). Ebay, here I come.