23 November 2011
22 November 2011
The older I get, the more stereotypically psychotic I become during my period. I didn't used to be this way. I used to be relatively normal and to pride myself on that anomalous sense of control. But last night, feeling that familiar pressure rise up in the general location of my ovaries, I was inconsolable, dragging my feet and slamming into walls and falling onto my bed in abject despair.
I also ate all the candies.
This is a trend that worries me. Every time it happens, I can't help but wonder if it's time doing its work, or if I'm behaving this way because of what TV taught me to do.* It is hard to know. I wish I had a team of scientists.
18 November 2011
Look how useful and not pointless it is! Look how good it makes people feel, how it provides value (giving to the less fortunate) while compounding that with a captivating experience (animation)! I even almost forgot this was eBay.
We should be thinking more about intuitive integrations between the real world and digital. And, because you can't say that kind of thing without an associated buzzword, industry people are calling this golden solution "SoLoMo" -- a contraction of social, local and mobile. This combo has great natural implications for tourism and hospitality, but also consider how intuitive executions can change our everyday experiences, too.
Like this eBay thing. This time of year, everyone's susceptible to holiday altruism and the spreading of cheer, qualities which extend themselves nicely to social sharing. Make it as easy as possible for users to cash in on emotional investments they're already looking to make, all day long as they traverse those chilly streets, clutching their peppermint lattés and passing fleeting smiles of hope at small children and the grizzled homeless.
16 November 2011
Benetton loves itself some shock value, a superpower generally used for good but often too provocative for comfort. Its latest went live in Paris this morning under the campaign name "Unhate."
15 November 2011
Okay. You know how perfume and car ads are predictable, banal and basically always objectively suck? Beer ads have this magic way of being the opposite. Think Stella, think Heineken -- hell, think Budweiser for every last Super Bowl as far back as you can remember. What is it about the beer sector that takes a possibility and just stretches it beyond imaginable elasticity...? I have cream dreams about doing beer. (The ads. Not, like ... bottles.)
I'm late to the game in discovering "The Date" (Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam -- of course!), and probably wouldn't ever have seen it if I wasn't doing Epica Awards judging this year, but it has this fancy-free Shangri-La magic that makes you want to go back to the '70s and dance on a table or something.
The making-of is jam-packed with the same playful irony for double the time:
Here's the requisite bittersweet holiday-countdown ad that yields inhuman cravings for tinsel and an advent calendar. (I have one already. It is sitting on the shelf and I twitch every time I look at it, because if you forget to start opening the little paper doors right on December 1, ALL IS LOST AND GOD HATES YOU.)
Anyway, this piece for UK-based John Lewis department store (now online and on mobile!) takes its sweet time building a nostalgic universe around an antsy boy in the days before Christmas. We can all relate to his impatience, even if his reasons turn out to be warmly opposite our expectations.
The ad is pensively punctuated by a delicate cover of The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by Slow Moving Millie. Catch the making-of, plus a link to download the music on iTunes, on the John Lewis website.
This cosy fireside holiday ham is brought to you by Adam & Eve.
14 November 2011
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Better late than ever! Primal fears will always make great movies, and we hit all the points this ep: our favorite horror flicks and why, the best villains, and an opening tribute to the best villain-slash-hero of them all: Steve Jobs. All that angry action, coupled with Halloween ads, reflections on the ethics of stealing, the mindset of startups, race in costume, and when the world will be ready for an evil unicorn movie. (Also, whatever happened to movies about sea monsters?)
Our movies of choice:
- The Exorcist
- The Shining
- Silence of the Lambs
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
10 November 2011
09 November 2011
Blast Radius just produced Starbucks' first-ever augmented reality app, and you can swoop it up next Tuesday from your Android or iPhone.
Remember how you used to be able to collect all five mini Barbie dolls or Cabbage Patch kids in a McD's Happy Meal™? It's kind of like that, except not a choking hazard.
The app interacts with various characters that will appear on the company's trademark red holiday cups. When you point your phone camera at the cup, they come to life, and can interact with you or different objects (47 in all!) at the store, like bags of coffee.
Que Boire Que Manger is a French startup that launched in summer 2011. Its proposition is simple: email a meal to email@example.com, and in a minute you'll have a detailed and easy-to-read survey of the best wines to match it, any unique qualities they possess, a brief history of their territories, and price ranges (from € to €€€). The service works on any device that can send email, and an app is available on iPhone.
07 November 2011
The Kinect gaming experience is surprisingly delightful on its own, but better still are the hacks sprouting up as a result of what it can do.
This isn't just about its potential to bring Star Wars technology out of the fictional realm. My favourite hack turns tourists into statues, but a more dedicated gaming public will probably be more interested in Kinect's possibilities for cybersex.
All that's just iceberg tips. In a rare and beautiful moment of lucidity, Microsoft -- with help from twofifteenmccann San Francisco -- gives us "The Kinect Effect", a human and impactful piece of work that provides a survey of what's been done with Kinect so far, using a voice that both illuminates viewers and seems touchingly grateful.
04 November 2011
In time for the reopening of the Bolchoi Theatre, Russian motion designer Anton Nenashev produced this video to celebrate the venue's spirit.
This is how the theatre-going experience should feel. The problem for most young people is that it takes a lot of imagination when you're actually sitting in those seats, watching what are obviously people in costume on a set. Then there's the issue of education: depending on what you're watching, theatre is one of those things you often have to prepare in advance for, either knowledge-wise or in terms of honing your listening ear.
But I think its stripped-down quality, its way of putting talent at the forefront and forcing you to penetrate its barriers in order to lose yourself, is part of the magic. It demands an emotional investment as large as what the actors are putting in, and the energy that results feels like nothing else.
Director Sébastien Montaz-Rosset plugs his upcoming documentary with a video that provides a quick run-through on the new free-flying: a combination of climbing, slackline and tightrope walking. Add that to the list of things I'll never do because I don't like the feeling of my heart leaping into my throat.
See a full 14 minutes worth of the docu at SebMontaz.com.
Buzzman does it again with The Amazing Calls, an ad that brings high drama to what is basically a catty grab (as evidenced by the hair pulling and necklace yanking. We still liked it though). Between 7 and 13 November, the Nokia Lumia featured on Theamazingcalls.fr will ring. Be the first person in France to pick it up and something might happen that will "change your everyday". Take your best guess as to what that might be, based on the caller: anybody from Metronomy to Joeystarr to British sports journo Darren Toulett.
UPDATE: A video's just been posted, featuring Metronomy. They promise to do a live concert just for you and your friends if you manage to answer their call, slated for the 7th:
If you plan to play, it won't be easy. The website lags like crazy and the background music plays mercilessly. But maybe that's just a strategy for weeding out the weak.
01 November 2011
Or possibly Bladerunner. Dvein was selected to produce the title sequence for Spanish director Kike Maíllo's film Eva, a "retro futuristic sci-fi thriller". The plot: a young scientist called Alex returns home to complete an unfinished project: a boy robot. The trailers feel vaguely Pinocchio, and the vintage-style filming is a delicious frame for both the miraculously human robot and his Minority Report-style workstation, The Hand Up. Handy PR description:
The Hand Up is the name that the script uses to refer to the machine that the main character of the film uses as the interface to manipulate the consciousness of the robots. We designed this interface and the titles are just some sort of a closer approach to this interface, like an aesthetic essay, so to say.That's understating. The elegance and quality of the production is almost god-like. Find two trailers on the equally impressive (and fast-loading!) website, Eva Pelicula.
The latest BeanCast, featuring me, Ted Rubin of Collective Bias and Mike Rynchek of Spyder Trap, is an accidental tribute to how much relationships play into the work we do. We cover rogue QR codes, malware, whether mobile advertising truly peaks at mobile display, brands young people like, and the UK's attempt to maintain a semblance of privacy on Google. Conversation gets hot and moody, just the way host Bob Knorpp likes it.
Read the full menu and listen to the show. You can also subscribe for autodownloading on iTunes.
PS. If you're wondering what's going on with the AdVerve podcast, we recorded a nice Halloween special for you. Just working out sound issues. Don't worry, it's comin'.