Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

27 February 2011

The Prius Goes Plural, and Toyota Gets Wordly

I once told Bill Green, my podcastin' partner on AdVerve and publisher of Make the Logo Bigger, that I like a good car ad, and he quipped back, "Let me know when you find one!"

HAR. But I stand by what I said. Car ads are among the most common we see (beside the abjectly bland perfume ad), which is a blessing if you ever score one with a mildly open-minded client. Because they look the same and boast similar features, they're the perfect palette with which to experiment (with plen'y of airtime, natch!).

But to the point of this post: this ad for Toyota's fresh new fleet of Priusses (Prii, rather?)* is catchy as hell, and I favour anything that resembles a Sesame Street segment in style, spark and efficacy. (Come on. When was the last time you had a grammar lesson that made you do the metronome head-sway thing? And this is a very good grammar lesson!)

25 February 2011

The Mini Rocketman Concept

This mixed-media video combines live action with 2d/3d animation, motion graphics, stock footage and visual effects - all in a way that serves the story and builds something inside of you: the seed that makes you a lover of Mini, from one breathtaking sight to the next. It's elegant work.

By director Mischa Rozema for agency BSUR and production firm PostPanic. The shoot went down in Amsterdam and Munich, taking four weeks.


Wood for Good + Leather Love Wipes...

How do you not love's email blasts? They are wittily written, a little bit wicked and beautifully structured. They're my most favourite in all the world.

(I guess's finance updates are my second-favourite marketing emails, if making me feel mildly panicked once a week is the same as feeling love.)

24 February 2011

God Would Like a Word With You, Axe Guy.

Cyril Paglino of Wizee demonstrates the punchline to Axe's angel thing. Unless you've lived under a rock for the past three years, you've seen the gimmick before, but this was also the case with Tippex and the world still went bananas over it.

All this is to say agency Buzzman has been able to find good steady work assembly-lining an executional niche that isn't often seen, not because it's hard or even imaginative, but because nobody wants to bother organising it and promoting it on the off-chance that it'll maybe catch (or not).

But hell, how often is it that you get a call from God? It's to be expected that He'll do most of the talking.

Canal+ & BETC Reinvent the Movie Poster

In a silent world, someone must speak for him.

These posters are all over the Paris métro right now, and every time I see them I have to stop walking. I have been wanting to cover them for awhile, and even got so far as to take half-hearted photos, but ParisComLight beat me to it (and I am relieved, because she did the topic more justice).

Canal+ is a French TV network that produces a lot of solid programming on its own, and most importantly, has a good sense of what to license and broadcast from elsewhere. (ParisComLight even goes far as to call it chic. And it is!)

A Day Made of Glass

BTYB Corning, which aspires to be the enterprise whose dreams catch fire with the mainstream. (The trick: we can all be inventors, but we can't all be Apple. Cross your fingers!)

What comes to mind when I watch this is Minority Report, which didn't come out that long ago (2002). But as a testament to how much more quickly technology is advancing (than ever before in history, that is), the future promised to us by MR's touchscreens and eye-recognition ads seemed probable but too remote to touch. Now I feel that we're careening so fast in that direction that this vision is almost passé. It's like, just bring it already.

23 February 2011

'Choose Your Own One Night Stand'

That's as appropriate a name as any for the execution that claims to be Facebook's first-ever photo game "completely using FB photo albums," per Joe Sabia of that one agency I'm in love with until I die.

Brought into your (hopefully) lovin' arms by Whirled for LA's Spot, the idea behind Choose Your Own One Night Stand is to make decisions, driven by a series of photos, by clicking on links:

22 February 2011

From Egypt, with Love

One of the biggest challenges following the Jasmine Revolution was attracting tourism back to Tunisia. It was a challenge that sparked creative efforts of goodwill from entrepreneurs, like Patrick Robin's "1 Billion Ad Pages in Tunisia."

Egypt faces the same problem; no pleasure-seeking tourist likes the sound of structural volatility. But videos like this one, which demonstrates the immense gratitude, depth of heart and diversity that characterises today's Egyptian, may make the country's work easier.

In addition to stories like this. (And this.)

Via @CandaceHetchler.

The Angels are Falling...

...and not for Kanye West. For Axe! Okay, part of you will roll your eyes, but another part of you - maybe the stronger part - will appreciate the epic balls of this.

New Axe Provocation. Make even the angels fall.

Agency Buzzman, the volatile geniuses that came up with that Tippex hunter/bear thing, has populated an entire campaign with gorgeous, flirtatious angels on the quest for something more, well, down to earth. The ad above appeared online around the same time prominent French ad bloggers started receiving personalised messages from angels.

Blédina: Du Côté des Mamans (On Mom's Side)

This ad, produced about 8 years ago for baby food brand Blédina by director Tony Kay, fills me with tears even though I have no weebs of my own. It is probably the use of that song (cheap shot) and all those naked close-ups of doubt, surprise, horror and pensiveness.

And then that sympathetic voice glides in: "C'est compliqué d'être mère..." and some unfamiliar chord inside me rises to an insane crescendo: Oh, it is! It so is!

21 February 2011

AdVerve Episode 65 - Job Hunting

You've done it. And if you haven’t, God be with you because you’re gonna have to.

Bill and Angela do the straight talk on their experiences getting work in this business, specifically from the perspective of social media or those who claim to “do it all” in an environment where that's exactly what people seem to be wanting, but what nobody quite wants to hire. (Polyvalence is a bitch!)

17 February 2011

Heineken Deploys an Army of Curvaceous Huggers... Amsterdam bars, to alienate lone wine drinkers, to say thanks for bringing the brand to one million Facebook Likes.

What I like about Heineken is that its efforts aren't always explosive, but they contribute to local colour (see HoloTouch in the States, the classical music prank in Italy, Holland's walk-in fridge box). These are sweet consistent gestures that feel intimate with the place.

The Butterfly that Turned the Tides

Now the sons are coming, the new generation, and they are saying, 'I don’t care that my father agreed with you — I am asking for more, and I am asking for something else.'
-Bahraini columnist Sawsan al-Shaer,
"Unrest Spreads, Some Violently, in Middle East," The New York Times

This is like when food fights started at school - by one person at outset, then the whole cafeteria got into it. Ironically enough, food has a lot to do with this: these are revolutions of people starved for morale and dignifying resources, while those responsible for oiling the machine throw parties and feed their dogs.

But it's also so much more than that!

This is what happens when you are able to compare yourself to people you can relate to, and find that, despite your similarities, your freedoms are incredibly lopsided. That kind of power once belonged only to wealthy meritocracies.

But because technology flows like water, penetrating those deep shadows in human society, making remote strangers feel so much closer than they are, so much more real and human, everyone has this capability. Everyone can see when they're being shafted by a rotting hegemony.

That is amazing, because the world is about to change faster than it ever has - huge ripples resonating across our fiber optic cables, ripping the chords that compose the white noise of our lives.

Pay attention to this dissonance in the frequency, even if it sounds faint, or you will miss something enormous: not a turning point for the Middle East, but a turning point for humanity to which we all contributed when we decided that 56k was too slow, that we wanted organic from Wal-Mart, that Nestlé and Cadbury had to stop using palm oil to make our candies, that Wikileaks deserved an audience, that we wanted to stop paying for out-of-state long distance, that, finally, we wanted our own communication channels, and we wanted to publish faster, and we needed to feel closer.

That's beautiful, isn't it?

16 February 2011

The Panoramic Story of Lucie + Simon

Just when you thought you'd seen all the variations of online photo executions (see Canon, see Nikon), Sony gives us a long-distance love story in scrollable images. The interface is so elegant and light, the story so simple to follow and skim; it makes for consumable delight.

Wake the Town

This is the teaser for a Philips documentary. The story goes, Tribal DDB Amsterdam decided to test Philips' wake-up light in a city with perfect conditions: Longyearbyen, which suffers long winters of total sunlessness (and all the cold and sadness that comes with it).

Citizens were enlisted to test the wake-up light and evaluate honestly whether this made it easier to get up in the morning. Before you go, "hey, this is exactly like BBDO/Toronto's Tropicana sunshine thing in Inuvik," consider:

  • Nothing's new in ad land. And if you're righteously skeptical about that claim, spend an afternoon perusing Joe La Pompe's blog.
  • The experiences are different (and special in their own ways, like they say on the short bus!): this isn't sunshine filling the horizon and doubling the size of your pupils all in an instant. It's a wake-up light. The trials, I think, are individual and plenty more personal in this documentary format.
  • This is so relevant to the product that it hurts: you get on-the-ground product testers in extreme conditions, disinclined to lie; and in a way, everyone who watches the documentary will be "trying" the product too: learning about it, identifying with testers' stories, cultivating an appreciation for Philips. That is far more resonant than a one-time stunt, even a Lion-meriting stunt, and I think it stands on its own.
This is gonna be a fun little docu to watch. But if you can't wait, read about the participating Longyearbyeners on

'Live the Everyday' - an Oldie but a Goodie

I always get excited about ads that take their cookie cutter genre (cars, perfume, shampoo) and turn it into something fun. It has a way of elevating us beyond the status of two-dimensional punters.

This VW Golf ad from '08, spun out the somber doors of DDB London, has, what's the word...? Verve.

Brought to us with great love and affection by musical Marseillais expat Gary Garry.

Jim Beam Chases Dafoe with ... Red Stag?

It's pretty and all, but there are no feelings left afterward. I've half forgotten it and it's only been 46 seconds. In terms of production though, MassMarket did a gorgeous job; it was like Sin City without bleeding, and cannibals, and sexy women.

Feel like StrawberryFrog could be doing more with the Dafoe idea, though. You could turn that into a beautiful assembly line, each ad focusing on one actor and his own perspective on choices. People collect stuff like that, gather up all the variations in their sensory treasure coffers. I'm thinking American Express! I'm thinking Visa Go World!

Or not.

15 February 2011

A Draggable Cipher-Reading HTML5 iPad Ad!

Whatever you may think of White Collar, or USA Network shows in general,* you iz craaaaazy if you don't think this idea rocks well. It's like cereal box cipher readers for a whole new generation of kids that never grow up.

I'll go ahead and label this some "objectively brilliant shit" from Glow Interactive. Because I swear I just hugged myself. I swear. I haven't felt this excited since those Tomb Raider Rich Media ads.**

Josh Cochran's Psychedelic Mountain Dew Bit

Short, sweet and pleasing to the eye, this :15 bonbon is appearing on, a design-oriented site.

Vaguely reminiscent of Yellow Submarine.

Work by Bernstein & Andriulli.

Bearing Purple Cow, CPB Penetrates France

This spot for Kraft Milka may not be Crispin Porter + Bogusky's first for the French market, but it's the first I've seen so far and I was happy to find its trademark black quirk so far from home.

The tagline, "Osez la tendresse," translates to "Dare to be tender." This piece, dubbed "Nudge," recounts the tale of a purple cow who seems to lack any redeeming gift that justifies his special colour ... until time reveals that he's exceptionally talented at bringing people - old, young and unlikely - closer to one another.

I love the arm wrestle scene! It's got that priceless quiet awkwardness, still fresh from the Motherland.

Via @richardvs.

14 February 2011

This V-Day, Patent Your Kiss.

Why settle for flowers, chocolate or a novelty named star when you can give commercial life to the act that gives you sweats and flutters? Patent your kiss with Harlequin.

In early February, Harlequin filed for a US patent on what it calls The Essential Romantic Kiss as a tribute to everyone who may want to share one. There's also plenty on-site for the more adventurous, which is awesome, because I can't describe the relief I felt when I clicked on the gallery of kisses and found they weren't just uploaded shots of the glossy lips of 12- to 35-year-old girls. (Yes. Girls. Like Mariah Carey!) And the submit-your-kiss tool is surprisingly fun to play with.

If sharing and learning isn't sufficient opportunity to dive in apucker, you can also enter your kiss for free trip to Las Vegas, where, curiously, romance normally goes to succumb to avarice and die. You'd think a publishing house best known for its corset-tearing longhair heroes would send you somewhere that better fits the narrative, like, oh, San Ysidro Ranch.

But maybe they only accounted for places with Eiffel Towers in them...?

(To be fair to Harlequin though, it is among the rare publishing houses that's finding a way to evolve and flourish in the face of new technology and ADD. Much like its earthier cousin, hardcore porn!)

11 February 2011

Life Boils Down to a Series of Choices.

Here's an elegant and masculine new piece for Jim Beam featuring Willem Dafoe.

This makes me fall a little bit in love with Dafoe. He has a timeless countenace that makes him feel lived-in and believable in a menagerie of different costumes. Each silhouette is unified by our possibilities: the ones we define, develop and abandon every day.

Don't look too closely at that thesis, or you may find reason enough to make the "bold choice" of midday drinking. With great gusto. And in grayscale!

Unlikely musk-of-man magic brought to you by StrawberryFrog NYC. Brought to me by Facteur Pub, who's also written a beautiful post (en français) about the complexity of choice as-illustrated: a persuasive cocktail for taking up the consumption of bourbon.

Levi's Loves it When Things Comes Together

Some vimeo candy from Levi's, which, for me, consistently tells the loveliest little stories in audiovisual media. (I did briefly think of IKEA though, but I blame it primarily on that fucking Jona Lewie song which my boyfriend hums four days a week which of course makes me think of the ad with the house missing a wall which of course now comes to mind whenever I see that same trope.)

Beautiful, beautiful work here by DANIELS for Levi's Chambray by Opening Ceremony. It's hard to highlight the appeal of a collection this understated without going over the top or lying to the eyes, but this production proves a very adequate backdrop. Plus, you can just imagine the fun everybody had on-set.

(I admit to having a bias.)

And special thanks to The Publigeekaire, through whose mirror I still find advertising to be a world of fantasy and possibility.

10 February 2011

Technology, Solution Transfer + Changing Human Expectations

If you don't know what this is, my heart weeps for you.

A few people have expressed concern about me going off the political deep-end.

I want to clarify something very important: Egypt at present is a topic of political relevance, but that's a little bit too simple. What's happening there is also a story about people manipulating a code that they were not intended to control. Crucially, they feel like they have the right to do it.

That teaches us important - and critical - lessons about how today's mainstream technology is affecting us and our expectations as hackers people. You know that this is true; you see it in enterprises that increasingly believe "getting" social media, or at least seeming to, is a dealbreaker, and it is. You knew that too.

Two days ago I was asked whether I agree Twitter can be considered "the voice of the people," and if so, whether I believe "Twitter" can construct a government. It's a question that immediately brings to mind the arbitrariness and disorganisation of the social networks that we frequent so often.

But it's condescending to leave it at that. Why have these particular social networks become so integral to communications?

The Andes Friend Recovery Robot

Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi follows up on last year's epic Teletransporter effort with the equally appealing Friend Recovery robot from Andes.

Its head even turns!

I can't wait for the day we can do this same thing, but with branded holographs. There must be a way. Free enterprise, make a way.

09 February 2011

The Revolution, In Your Newsfeed

One of the most curious things Sandmonkey said during this week's AdVerve was that the Revolution in Egypt was posted as a Facebook event before it began.

In the same spirit, an apartment in the middle of Cairo has become a crashpad for young Egyptians taking a break from the protests (16 days and counting) to broadcast everything happening on the ground floor to Facebook. The Group on which they leave their daily testimonials is called Tahrir Square, and the "About Me" section says plenty in three small words: "The misunderstood movement..."

The page is cool because the perspectives are so diverse. It's also another example of what vocal social media users in Egypt have tried painstakingly to do: correct misunderstandings about what is happening, emphasise their unity and reiterate their why's.

This is an articulate revolution, composed of people who thought about their reasons, and the consequences of their failure, before committing themselves.

For more ongoing up-to-date information, balance whatever news you're reading with Al Jazeera English. It's updated daily and providing good coverage of day-to-day developments and the significance of small occurrences. I also highly recommend you follow @sandmonkey on Twitter: he's publishing and RTing information near-compulsively. What he's seeing and writing about have served as eyes for many who can't be in Egypt.

'...An Inspiring Series of Domestic Sex Machines.'

That's the uncomfortably apt description for Lernert & Sander's music video creation for "Elektrotechnique," a single released by Dutch band De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig.

There were a few moments while watching this where I got serious wince reflex, which is part of what makes it neaty. I don't want to be dealing with that hacksaw paddle thing though.

Lernert & Sander are Amsterdam-based artists whose aim is "to make simple and communicative works, which take little note of the existing borders between contemporary art and commercial projects.Their highly aesthetic, humorous and dedicated works often challenge the viewer, in a simple but very effective way."

It is not a bad philosophy, particularly if you're loyal to it.

(Remember that darling video of the chocolate bunny being decimated in various delightful ways? Also domestic-themed, also surreal? That was them! God, I love that video.)

08 February 2011

So I Guess Clio is the 'Queen' of Va Va Voom...

...which I guess would make Va Va Voom a country, which I guess would make all of the ravaged characters of this ad their citizens, or subjects ... or royal court?

And what gave Dita von Teese and Thierry Henry the clout to join this apparently epic collective? Is it just because the former strips well and the latter gawks well, and both those talents were needed to tie this thing together?*

This is failing to compute and feeling vaguely Citroën. And it disturbs me that they actually put Audrey Hepburn in the context of peeping Tom. That has probably never happened before, not even in the history of advertising.

Now let's check out the CTA. In one frame, we're asked to run a search on Facebook for "clio va va voom." So I did, trying to drum up a faint version of the ticklepants enthusiasm that a Clio fan would have. And in exchange for my valiant work, I got hit with this fun-pack of wackness:

Which of these destinations am I supposed to be clicking on?


*Oh right, Rihanna's in here too. But she's sucking on her finger so her role, like Dita's and Thierry's, also counts as ambiance.

Does Carnivore = Cannibal? We-ell...

Millions of people die for reasons related to meat consumption, Germany's Vegetarian Foundation vaguely observes, concluding, every piece of meat consists of human life.

For me this is a big leap even in the best of circumstances. But to get this perspective across, they went and opened a legit human meat-serving restaurant, Flimé. Here's the full story (how did I miss this?).

Agency: Serviceplan, Munich.

'This Revolution, If We Can Call It That, Has Evolved Beautifully.'

Mahmoud Salem, better known to you as Sandmonkey, talks to MSNBC about why Egypt's revolting, and Twitter and Facebook's role in the uprising.

"This revolution is not ideological and is not class-based ... Everybody's here."

You can hear him elaborate on all this in our special episode of AdVerve.

07 February 2011

Super Bowl Ads on Facebook Sports

This is gonna kill USA Today's Ad Meter and all the other half-assed (or even unreasonably laboured-upon) Super Bowl ad feedback measuring services out there.

Laggage between ad airtime and its appearance on the page isn't terrible, but not as quick as the ad blogs that have been covering the Super Bowl professionally for years. But that you can do something as simple as merely Like an ad in real-time, on the platform everybody - not just the ad junkies - suckles from like a huge node, changes the arena entirely.

Plus it's intuitive and characteristically neat. AND THE VIDEO HOSTING IS BUILT-IN!

Question is, how are people finding it? I found it on Inside Facebook.

Some context on the significance of this move from the aforementioned:

More than 182 million people Like a team, athlete, league or sports activity on Facebook and referral traffic to sports sites has increased by more than 180% in the past year. Watching sports is a fundamentally social activity, as is watching commercials. Users may seek to consume the commercials where they can easily discuss them with friends, so Google’s AdBlitz could lose a significant share of watchers to Facebook Replay. After all, users will already be on the social network cheering on their favorite team.

Hope it doesn't blow this by failing to release a report. Because that would be incredibly stupid. Well, no; I suppose the rest of the world will release a report based on these figures anyway. Oh, the power of the hive.

06 February 2011

Volkswagen's New Beetle

VW's got some kick-ass Super Bowl ads this year. I want to catch everything live just to be able to see these on a real live television.

AdVerve Episode 64 - Revolution 3.0: Sandmonkey on Egypt, the Internet and the Connected Fight

Egyptians hold shoes up high following Mubarak's speech on February 1. Showing the sole of your shoe is "a grave insult in Arab Muslim countries," sayeth MSNBC. Weird, no Kenneth Coles in sight.

The revolution will be podcasted.* We’ve brought you a very special show this week. Renegade freedom blogger Mahmoud Salem (on Twitter as @sandmonkey), takes a good hour out of his revolution schedule to give us the skinny on what’s going on in Egypt (which is here, not here).

Salem was thrown into prison last Thursday for carrying medical equipment to injured protesters at Tahrir Square in Egypt. That same morning, he'd published this incendiary piece of blogging magic, and his blog was consequently shut down most of that day. After a hefty beating and the destruction of his goods (including his car), he was released when the police failed to put two and two together identity-wise.

As he says in the interview, “Every generation has a moment.” To that point, we dive deep, past Elliot Spitzer’s CNN segment on him to where this all started.

04 February 2011

Volkswagen: The Force

See, ads like this are the reason why the Super Bowl exists.

And comments like this* are the reason why the internet is excellent:

That little bro really does have the Force... got that lady to give him a sandwich!

Can't we make stuff like this all the time, every day?


*But also, and maybe primarily, things like this.

A Day for Egyptians + Other Liberty Seekers

I was there! they placed newspapers and towels on the floor so we wouldn't pray on the hot asphalt, I love Egyptian Christians and although I am Muslim I would die defending any one of them.

This picture of Christians protecting fellow Muslim protesters as they prostrated themselves to pray is worth bearing in mind while Mubarak talks his nonsense about not being able to leave lest the roiling mob destroy the country.

Egypt, our hopes and energy join you today. Get what you're fighting for and don't stop until. The time for in-between is over.

Sometimes You Just Want to Build Something.

I like to play with things, to forget what they're meant for and give them other purposes. It's a zen activity; you get lost in the process of transformation, destruction and creation. That's one reason why I dig this Staples Australia execution.

The other reason is that instead of wasting office supplies doing some stop-motion cutesy paper doll crap, they actually put something together that was impressive and absorbing, something that people will want to keep around for awhile.

Via @LaPetiteGrosse.

03 February 2011


UPDATE: Sandmonkey's been beaten and released. If you happen to see him, don't say where. I think the best we can do now is spread the word about what's happening, what he's seeing and what they're fighting for.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE (18H15 PARIS): I just spoke with him and he says a major reason why he was released was because of police pressures from prominent connections and a mounting media storm. For whatever any of you did, however large or small, even if it was just a RT on Twitter, thank you. The trick now is to change the atmosphere so significantly that nobody has to fear pursuit for telling the truth. Keep telling the story.

Everybody: the guy I cited, prominent Egyptian blogger @sandmonkey, in my last post was arrested about an hour ago while delivering medical supplies to Tahrir (he mentioned he would be doing this on today's blog post). A source says he's currently being held at Abdeen Police Station.

Security forces are at his parents' home and are responding to phone calls there. Someone is also responding to calls to his mobile. They are threatening people who attempt to contact him with the same fate.

The blog has been shut down.

'The battle for the soul of Egypt isn't over and done with.'

They know, like we all do, that this regime no longer cares to put on a moderate mask. That they have shown their true nature. That Mubarak will never step down, and that he would rather burn Egypt to the ground than even contemplate that possibility.
- "Egypt Right Now," Sandmonkey's first-hand account of what's happened in his country over the last 9 days ... and 30 years.

When you read this, take into account that there's no room left to behave as if human equality is a subjective thing. There is no more space in an increasingly connected world to say that what a tyrant, a tyrannous government or a tyrannous enterprise does with its dependents is its own business.

Faster communications makes territory less important and distances insignificant. That means institutionalised repression and blows to free thinking, to the liberty that sparks innovation, becomes everybody's business. The world is now too small for this.

I'm going to say something cheesy now, but I think it has to be said this way. Technology is where it is today because of higher numbers of ever more ambitious hackers fighting odds, rigid corporate standards, suspected limitations and attempted castrations of the internet's liberty. They are dogged, they self-organise and recognise no authority but the merits of what works, cutting away what doesn't, and we have all advanced because of it.

In this world and tomorrow's, that hacker culture belongs to everyone: people with access to the tools to fight governments, self-organise and speak out against human injustices without having to go through prescribed channels.

The channels that matter now belong to us. Use them wisely, tirelessly and fearlessly. United, able and armed with knowledge, we can make civilisation a kinder, more efficient machine, worthy of its name and richer because of the dynamism that serves one god: freedom. The freedom to think, be educated, feel safe, ask hard questions and decide our destinies.

This is what Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen and other countries, newly inflamed, are fighting for now. This is what we should be defending every day, even if we feel like it's not our fight.

It's always our fight.

02 February 2011

PSFK: The Future of Real-Time

If you're in advertising, technology, R&D, planning a startup of your own, or are just a dreamy futurist, I recommend going through PSFK's "The Future of Real-Time." It defines relevant topics like human sensor networks, personal census, data democracy, mobile communities and context cartography. Each is illustrated with a number of concrete and current examples.

Perhaps most importantly, it will take your thinking about real-time tech out of "Twitter! Foursquare!" stasis, which I imagine will be a welcome relief.

01 February 2011

An Eerie Ad that Reflects a Strange Truth

This piece by Lowe China and Stink for is so unsettling and beautiful to watch that you forget it's an ad on a mission (until the end, when the scenery flips into tile and you're rudely, if cleverly, reminded).

I love that moment where you think you see a person, hair blowing in an intimate way ... and it turns out to be illusion. It's strange to see man-made landscapes, constructed to welcome modern living foot traffic, left naked like that.

But it also echoes a stranger reality in China: the aggressive city building it's doing in isolated areas that, accounting for the vulnerability its real estate market is to crashes, are left equally desolate with new paint still drying on the walls. A lot of these places are shopping centres left abandoned in their shiny optimism.

A passage from Forensic Area Limited brings both ad and reality to sharp relief:

There’s city after city full of empty streets and vast government buildings, some in the most inhospitable locations. It is the modern equivalent of building pyramids. With 20 new cities being built every year, we hope to be able to expand our list going forward.

What are our pyramids, our lasting excesses?

AdVerve Episode 63: Cryptomeat, Revolution + Still No Jetpacks

No answers yet to why this is not our reality. Or yours.

Play the show now.

Dave Wilkie of Where's My Jetpack? (@jetpacks) and Radio Free Babylon joins us for some good-natured ad blogger fun. And there's a lot of that to be had in this king-sized episode. We cover your questions, Old Spice Guy redux, revolution in Egypt, Taco Bell’s iffy meat situation, sexy robots ... and, hell, for the very last time, why we still don't have an even distribution of jetpacks in the world. (There may be in Japan. Can somebody check?)