Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

28 April 2011

Willy + Smutley Have Been 'Round the Block

The French are privy to the best AIDS awareness ads in the whole wide world. (Consider. And. And!) Work for Aides by Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Here's another from the same campaign: I give you Smutley the promiscuous cat!

When I first decided to visit France in 2006 (a kind of scouting vacation), my dad invited me to dinner. We didn't talk much, but toward the end, he suddenly went, "One of my co-workers had a daughter a lot like you: smart, pretty. Whole world going for her. She went to France on vacation and fell in love. Then she got AIDS, and now she's dead. Have a good trip."

And on that somber note, he ushered me out the door and on my merry way.

The Stakes Just Rose for Fantasy Football.

How do I begin describing what Contagious Magazine called "the most nauseatingly exciting bit of advertising" it's ever seen...?

It's like your fantasy league meets futures meets Foursquare meets Facebook meets I AM PLAYR meets the UEFA Champion's League in real-time.

With help from AKQA, Heineken's launched Star Player, an iPhone app that lets you "play" matches alongside the UEFA Champion's League. It launched just in time for the start of Man U vs. Schalke's semi-final (April 26th).

Ten minutes prior to the match's start on your telly, the app opens for play. When the whistle blows, the game timer syncs automatically with the time on your TV. You're given 8 chances to accurately predict which team will score, or whether one will, in 30 seconds -- positioned in the video above as a test of your pro acumen. You win badges or points for accurate calls ... and the earlier you make them prior to the goal, the higher the points, adding the pressure of speed.

Results can be published on Facebook Connect. You can play against friends or the world; it's your call.

This isn't the kind of thing I can play (my head would explode; I'm finger-slow), but even if it's not for you, it's not hard to see why this is cool shit that hits the spot. Star Player harnesses enthusiasm surrounding a match and get users engaged exactly the way they've always wanted: participating in social competition while collectively witnessing pro competition on-screen.

(How many bar fights have been started over somebody shouting "I CALLED THAT!"...?)

And the technology isn't new, or relegated exclusively to sporting events. Nearly two years ago, the BBC developed an iPhone application that delivers predictive plot quizzes that sync in real-time with televised soap operas. The phone mic is used to cue the quiz timer.

(...Doesn't that sound easy? Go use it in something.)

27 April 2011

Hyper Island on a Wall

Contemplating ad school? I often did. It doesn't hurt to think about it, and I like the way Hyper Island went about producing its own manifesto.

If I had decided to go to ad school, Hyper Island would've been the first one I checked out, and only partly because its name makes me think of speed muffins.

Via Swiss Miss.

26 April 2011

GIFs Gone Wild

Where would you be if GIFs could leap out of the internet and penetrate your mediocre life like a loud garish sparklephallus?

Brought to you by Buzzman (you know the one!) for MTV Mobile.

It's probably overreaching to find rhyme/reason in an MTV ad, but I guess I can see how a proper mobile experience can leap into the real world and engage you the way a dead Flash window won't. As it's MTV (in your pocket!), multiply the technicolor WTF factor by 10. (Consider.)

...Because Was Your Belief Ever Truly Suspended in the First Place?

We give the fashion industry a lot of leeway to be pretentious: that is, to produce a false universe that's supposed to feel aspirational but is often so far out of the realm of the real that it becomes little more than snobby farce.

Part of this is our fault; we don't ask fashion a ton of deep questions. (Do we even want to?) And as long as it's teetering on this precarious ledge, the door is open for somebody to give it a little shove.

Case in point: Etam Takes on The Kooples

Fashion here is manifested by The Kooples, a beautiful high-end French-meets-hipster brand whose founders, in a recent issue of Grazia, confessed to having visualised the ad campaign before setting themselves to the actual task of designing.

The offline ads are homemade (digital's done by Digitas) and follow the same general format. They highlight a glamorous-looking couple, list their names, how long they've been together, and sometimes where they met. (The stories never go deep; couples typically only boast a track record of a couple of years, and often meet at less-than-profound places.)

If you seek relatability in a Kooples ad, you'd be hard-pressed to find it: this is drugs, sex and rock-n'-roll for the privileged set, only thinly disguised as love (if you think it is at all), or even as real people.* And while I dig the brand, every time I come across one of these ads I still have to stop and be like "Are you fucking serious?" Because matchy daft couples that somehow managed to outlast their coke-laced one-nighter aren't the people I want to dress like.

I apparently wasn't the only one who felt this way. Out of left field comes budget brand Eram, who, with help from Havas' agency H, takes the Kooples concept and exposes it for flagrant plastic shammery:

Translation: "Karl is a photographer. Bahia's a DJ. It was love at first sight at a New York rooftop soirée."

Close in for the kill: "These shoes cost €49,90 -- and that, that's actually true."

Followed by tagline: "Eram: You'd have to be crazy to spend more."

Same basic idea for this one: Barry's an architect, Keira's a performing artist, they met four years ago in a Berlin squat house, these sandals cost €39,90 and that's the truth.

This comparative work serves Eram's brand perfectly: it's a format and a message that drag you back down to earth ... where, incidentally, you'll find even the prices more terre-à-terre.

More images at Dark Planneur's blog.

Examine What You're Asking People to Believe.

(Even in fashion.)

A lot of the time your audience will cut you slack. Once in awhile, though, they'll be like, "Seriously? Are you sure you want to be saying that?"

When this happens, sometimes it's best to stick to your guns, as I'm sure The Kooples will. But other times you should ask whether they're right: did you -- and your brand -- get lost in the weeds during conception?

All that said, here's full disclosure: I'm a Kooples shopper. I have never been inside an Eram, and because I'm elitist and spendy, I'd prefer to keep it that way. Do these appropriations make me want to change my mind, considering they validate how I felt about The Kooples' ads?

Not yet. But I still like that somebody called them out. And I like that Eram had the balls and the finesse to do it well. This is the beginning of a relationship.

A big thank-you to @BranislavPeric for furnishing me with the agency information.


*I stand corrected. A friend messaged me today to say he knows a Kooples couple, and they're really a couple!

25 April 2011

Get Your Enhanced Meat-Eating Experience, Right Here: The BeanCast 150

Against his own better judgment, last night Bob Knorpp invited AT&T's Chris Baccus, Modea's Kelly Eidson, the BFG's Bill Green and me onto the skypez for the 150th episode of The BeanCast: Enhanced Meat-Eating Experience.

Listen (here!) while a cast of old regulars struggles for anarchy against Bob's sharp new "stay on-task" skills. We cover mobile tracking and your privacy (or lack of it), Victoria's Secret's 12 million Facebook likes, mobile optimisation and payment models for digital content. The usual song and dance in media land.

That's right, this makes two podcasts for the price of one! What better way to fête your chocolate egg hangover? Oh, wait...

AdVerve Episode 72 - Southern Ad Law on the Skids

Play the show now.

Michael McSunas (@adlawguy) of law firm CBS – the guy we'll call if things go awry – joins us to give perspective from the legal point of view. We cover everything from incest gameshows (they exist! ...don’t they?) to legal precedent in cases involving both source protection and blogger disclosure. Sprinkled in is an uncomfortable discourse about death and whether your online "assets" count as property; if so, who do they go to?

For those following Bill's southern evolution, Mike tosses in a swashbuckling funeral tale. And in case you were wondering how any of this comes together, Angela manages to string it all along with everything she learned at MIPTV, that scary place in Cannes where TV networks sell each other what they'll be selling you, all year long. (And if you're in Japan, yes, you may just get an incest game show.) It’s techno mind tricks & legalese and it’s not for the faint of heart.

20 April 2011

In Case You Ever Doubted the Industry Was on Drugs

When I was younger I told a friend, then in the business of childrens' entertainment, that I had the hots for Darien from Sailor Moon and that I wondered if there was something wrong with me. He quickly reassured me by saying that people who work on cartoons talk about bangable characters all the time. It's a thing.

I guess we all have a thing like that, although you're still forced to wonder why Kate Moss invites the gazing public into imagining hers is bunnies.

I don't understand why this happened. But I guess whatever your fetish, wear a condom...?*

Via the Nuddstah chez AdFreak.

19 April 2011

Burberry Fashion Show Sports Holographic Models

Holographic concerts: not just for the Japanese anymore!

In yonder Beijing, Burberry fêted the opening of a new flagship store with a holographic catwalk show, featuring only six human models. The rest were 3D projections that the Digital Buzz Blog says were "almost undetectable and seamlessly integrated into the show."

The new store is one of about 100 Chinese Burberry locations that will be outfitted with "digital experiences."

Last February, Burberry kicked off what it called the first-ever 3D livestream fashion show. Footage appeared in real-time on select fashion blogs, sometimes in 3D, sometimes not (depending on how high up your publication was in the readership hierarchy).

15 April 2011

What is Media Planning (Then vs Now)?

Here's a nice, simple presentation that breaks down what media planning used to be, what it's evolved into, and why. It also breaks the core of media planning down nicely: we're working with principles now, not rules.

The latter was great for creating barriers between companies and people, which was highly profitable, but not realistic or sustainable. The former is more vague and harder to quantify, but it forces you to stay intimately connected to users and innovators because they are the ones whose behaviours, sentiments and feedback will lead you.

How hard can that be? About as hard as you, on your own, trying to be a better person every single day of your life. Except scaled. Enormously. *shrug*

And in the end, doesn't that make sense? We've spent years trying to get people to feel emotions for brands as if they were human, concurrently creating laws that treat companies as if they are autonomous entities. Forcing them to comport themselves according to the standards of Ethical Man seems like a natural expectation.

That was an enormous digression. Sorry, guys.

14 April 2011

The WVIL Concept Camera

The patent-pending WVIL system takes the connectivity and application platform capabilities of today's smart phones and wirelessly connects them with interchangeable full SLR-quality optics. It is the inevitable solution for photographers who expect the power of modern mobile devices but who also demand uncompromised quality.

Technology lives in our service, and sometimes style, performance and old loves can trump convenience. As long as a camera that looks like this, that does what a "proper" camera should do, feels good in our palms, some clever designer someplace is going to try accommodating it, seamlessly linking classic qualities into connected lives.

And of course, around the Internets, there's the inevitable and ironic, "But wait, it doesn't make phone calls...?"

No! And excellent! Because you know what? I am convinced I want this, that I will want to be a better photographer because of it. And that's evidence of something very special: however faster and easier our lives get, some part of us will always want to be an artisan, to learn a craft that can't be Instagrammed for us or smashed into our phones.

This is important. This is part of what makes us human, what makes us grow.

I've Spent Over 6 Minutes on This Site + Have Been Relentlessly Merched + I Still Don't Want to Leave.

Today is definitely an advergame day. Collect all the bonbons you can, leaping through the (heavily branded?) Internet StumbleUpon-style, at

I had never heard of Magnums -- in this context -- before arriving in France. They are basically super-wide chocolate-coated ice cream bars on a stick. They are delicious.

But I admit it still disconcerts me to eat them because I still think of these Magnums, which represent a pleasure hunt of a different kind. (Or maybe not?)

EASTPAK Play: Making an Accessory of Man

...and if your life is defined by your backpack, which it often is in high school, that's basically what you are, right? As subject to whimsy as the vermillion knapsack that matches your baby tee.

I didn't really get this ad at first, and my head mostly filled with evil ideas of people with Eastpaks flinging themselves off rooftops and summits. But then I was like "OMG IT'S TETRIS," and my pupils expanded to about 8 times the size of my head. Mariachis and the wolf mask gave it an extra special something, too: Eastpak going into slightly deranged, but still strangely titillating, Burger King territory.

Here's the Facebook, where the vid's being propagated:

110,805 lovers already! And just for Eastpak France. NAHCE. But the whole thing would be cooler still if we really could play human Tetris on the page: as it stands, we're baited into thinking we can (joue le jeu! They even made me Like to get this far!), but really all it does is re-play the ad. Booooo.

Nice work by WE ARE FROM LA and production company Caviar.

12 April 2011

Explosive Orange! Tropicana's 'Energie Naturelle'

DDB Paris is on a crazy creative roll right now. For Tropicana, it came up with the idea of illuminating a sign using only natural energy from oranges. Part of me went, "Wow, that's a lot of oranges for not a ton of payoff,"* but part of me also exclaimed, "I would now like a cool and refreshing orange beverage."

For those worried about food waste, the oranges were later all recuperated for use as biofuel or compost. That probably doesn't make you feel better as it could have all gone down your throat, smooth and sweet like fish of Gollum, but such is life.

Keep An Eye On: Mind Control

3D printers? So last season. If you're not at home prototyping your own gear cubes (or statuettes of your likeness), consider yourself left behind as of last week.

Thankfully, there's hope. Today's big wave is mind control -- that is, our minds controlling other stuff (at least for now).

Last week during MIPTV's Connected Creativity segment, Baroness Susan Greenfield talked about how the mind works and is changing as a result of our technology adoption. She began her talk with an interesting statement that the mind is a place that (ideally) can't be hacked.

That's increasingly less true, and Greenfield betrays this herself by admitting we do change as a function of how we use technology.

We've opened APIs to our minds. We are constantly experimenting with new -- even bionic -- capabilities. We readily throw out what doesn't work, and keep what does, from the most banal -- vigilantly recording our present whereabouts on Foursquare and Facebook, stringing thoughts into something coherent to publish on Twitter -- to the large-scale and networked: organising to elect our first black President, to raise funds for the Japan tsunami, to remotely rebuild the Rainbow Warrior alongside Greenpeace.

Where to go from here? Directly to the source, with minimal middleman between point A (the brain) and point B (the intended outcome). And there's work in that direction. Two technologies I've seen this past week include:

  • Emotiv. For the time being this is an enclosed platform with apps built to work specifically with the technology. It is marketed to developers and researchers and costs a trifling $299. At MIPTV, Gavin McGarry claimed he tried it and was, like, crushing human heads with his superbrain and whatnot. (We survived, but I can see Gavin being the Carrie of the new millennium.)
I haven't any thoughts on where this is going (my opinions are heavily influenced by fringey Star Trek characters who used USB ports in their heads to hack safes at constant risk of brain damage by firewall). I do think we are moving in a direction where technology grows closer to the body, more like an extension of our own appendages, and we'll see ever more experimental (and cheap!) takes on closer human/machine integration.

I say this because as we grow more dependent on items like the iPad and iPhone, and their myriad capabilities that change our whole days, we must move toward carrying less technology with us, not more. These items are already quite small, intimate and relatively close to us all the time.

Tread lightly, mice and men. What comes next is bigger than compulsive live-published geolocal check-ins. And it will come with great responsibility (and probably a new iteration of Angry Birds).

Burton's New Website Punts Merch by Weather

Your weather, that is. And it's curiously accurate. Here's what I see when I hit up the new (...and improved!)

I actually do want one of those sleeveless hoodies, if only because Paris weather is so schizophrenic that you never really know when you'll need head coverage, even while the hair's being burnt off your arms. Plus, burnt orange is the colour this year. (I swear, I almost bought orange shoes this weekend. Luckily I was surrounded by those who love me.)

The bottom half of the page is loaded with "timelines" of the Burton team and hyper-produced lifestyle videos inspired by E's "Wild On" (for those of you who remember the climax of Brooke Burke's career):

You'll also find job opportunities (lots!) and -- at the very bottom -- a series of big fat buttons that let you shop backpacks, men's tees and women's hoodies. That's arbitrary. But if your original reason for visiting the site was going shopping in any case, you can click on the "shop online" button in the upper right-hand corner, where a login button normally sits. I guess for now we'll ignore the fact that, once in the E-store, half of the nav is in German. But that makes sense as they only speak German in Europe.

(Even in Paris, whose name -- and whose weather! -- the homepage nailed perfectly. WTF, mate?)

Hat-tip: Influencia.

06 April 2011

Videos to Feed Your Face, Head + Heart

I'm all MIA right now because MIPTV is eating my life, but I've seen so much good stuff in just the last handful of hours that I have to stick them here before I forget.

To start with, with help from James Martin I discovered French air performance band Airnadette last night. Their energy and stage quality is incredible. Plus, it's the kind of art that can only be born in an ever-more-connected world with a shared nostalgia and a passion for mashups. A glimpse of last night's performance at the 314, footage courtesy of our vigilant music bloodhound Stuart Dredge:

They got French people to dance! That basically never happens. And like a spell being broken, shortly after a handful of ever-more-intense encores the crowd awkwardly dispersed, leaving the music hangin'.

This I found on Engadget this morning: a Kinect hack that turns Barcelona tourists into 3D souvenirs - that is, a statue of yourself, posing like a statue, that you can take home! How meta. And also another really good reason to keep up with what's happening in 3D tech dev right now:

A magnificent mashup of art and science, brought to you by blablabLAB, which made use of three Kinects and a RepRap machine.

And lastly - this is just gratuitous - the music video for Jolie Coquine, the first single off the Caravan Palace soundtrack, 2008, via Murielle Cadiou:

I just love the production in this. And that slow, labyrinthine way of revealing a story ... it's compelling.

03 April 2011

I Am at MIPTV This Week. You Should Follow Along!

Once yearly I hit MIPTV to find out, and report on, what the world's networks and producers are passing around to appease the seething throng. You should follow along because our wee little team is covering all the sessions quite thoroughly. Where to go:

  • The MIPWorld Blog. All our "liveblogs" will go up about half an hour after each session, complete with photos. (Videos of each session come up a day later.)
  • The MIP Twitter account @_mip_.
  • My Twitter account @luckthelady (although @_mip_ will be infinitely more relevant and all-encompassing. But you can follow me too for the occasional intelligent reflection and group project.
To situate you a bit, or if you have no idea what MIPTV is all about, self-orient with my pre-show post on what I most look forward to. I will be covering many of these topics and plenty of others, too. Stuff I covered today:
Don't you feel smarter already? I kind of do but that might just be frozen headache. (Häagen-Dazs.)

'We Believe' Makes Me Want the iPad 2

Look at how this ad gets the message across. There is no sex appeal, no pop; it is quiet, feather-light and functional. I would like my life to be this way. I am halfway convinced that if I purchase this, I can pack my life inside it and it too will be quiet, feather-light and functional.

And then I will become a ballerina, and angels will sing when I put one foot before the other, and glints of sun or silver cloud lining will dance blithely across my pristine smooth cheek, and everyone will love me, and I will be famous.

01 April 2011

AdVerve Episode 70: Fashion-Punting on Twitter & The Trouble with Airlines

Play the show now.

We run a solid flowing gamut from customer service on Twitter (à la Nordstrom!) to what travel's lost post-9/11. We throw back to Vinny Warren, ruminate on the pros and cons of unexpected fame (is it ever unexpected?), and where The New York Times went horribly, horribly wrong with its payment wall.

I also rant heavy on the merits of Monocle, the little print publication that could - and could so, so good.