Brand Behavior: Jonathan Ive about Design

October 30, 2009

Apple’s VP Industrial Design about the change of design and the new challenges they are faced with. First time to watch and hear details about the development of Apple’s product design. The design of a product is an essential part of the brand behavior, just like an ad, the layout of the shop or the CEO’s speech.

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Mad Men or The Crazy Ones

October 28, 2009

The “Crazy Ones”. Lee Clow, global director of media arts, participates in a discussion with Matthew Weiner, creator of the AMC retro TV show, Mad Men. Lee Clow talks about advertising and compares the reality of the advertising industry with the fictional TV portrayal.

During the discussion Lee shared his honest opinion about advertising. He also explained that our industry is not about producing a single great ad, it is about winning with a big idea, about a brand belief and a brand behavior that match. Lee said: “I grew up an artist and a designer. I wanted to be able to use my artistic ability in a way to make a living. I consider myself a storyteller.” He called having Apple as a client “my special, lucky circumstance. … We are immersed in everything that brand does. The Apple Store is probably the best ad we ever did for Apple.”

Check Barbara Lippert’s (AdWeek columnist), full story, click HERE.
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Inspiration is Everywhere: U2 + YouTube

October 27, 2009

Rob Schwartz is the Chief Creative Officer of TBWA\CHIAT\DAY in Los Angeles He writes an “Inspiration is Everywhere” to the LA creative department every week. Sometimes, he shares them with us:

Amigos,

A funny thing happened on my computer last night.

I was on YouTube checking stuff out when I saw something on top of my browser. It was a simple sentence in what looked like blue, 9-point type. In blue. It said something to the effect of, “U2 live stream at 8:30pm.”

That’s it.

imageIntrigued, I clicked on it. And arrived at something amazing. “U2 Live From The Rose Bowl. Global Live Webcast.”

What a find…and then my innate skepticism kicked in…

Ok, how much?

Hmmm, free.

Ok, but the quality — I’ve experienced webcasts before — freeze-frames, digital stuttering, frustration — turns out there was none of that. Just U2. Looking cool and sounding great.

Now, this was by no means the first webcast ever. According to our friends at Wiki…

“One of the earliest examples of a webcast occurred on August 13, 1998 in what is generally believed to be the first webcasted wedding, between Alan K’necht and Carrie Silverman in Toronto Canada.”

There was also a 1999 webcast by a band called “Travis,” that beamed out from a local Glasgow internet café back in 1999.

And, it certainly wasn’t U2’s first foray into the digital world. They were a part of “NetAid,” a project used to promote Internet use amongst the poorest countries of the world. In this instance three high profile concerts were broadcast from three different parts of the world featuring U2, George Michael and Wyclef Jean.

Closer to home we worked with Pepsi and webcast the “Refresh The World” symposium last winter during the Inauguration. We even talked about doing it for Gatorade’s “Replay” program.

And today there are all manner of novices and business people alike using the technology to have fun and get stuff done.

I even watched a webcast of Monday Night Football on a flight from JFK-LAX. Imagine that, watching a game at 34,000 feet. Live.

But this most recent U2 example had something more.

Before the webcast, the chatter heated up. All over Facebook and Twitter, statuses and tweets were atwitter with the digital possibilities.

Now, there might have been ads for this, but I didn’t see them. All I saw was a 9-point line in my browser. And this is where our analog notions of advertising vaporize. It was hardly a headline. Not even a sub-head. It was something between “legal” and a last line of copy. Yet, it motivated millions of people in 16 different countries to participate and share a moment that was happening in Pasadena, California.

This is what I find so inspiring. A mere idea…a live stream…and presto, a movement is born.

What’s also incredible is the technology. I watched this without a hitch. Without a glitch. Just pure, visual and sonic magic.

U2 calls this their “360 Tour.” Last night proved they ain’t lying.

Thanks for reading.

~Rob

The Official U2/YouTube page is HERE.

To see a little film of the experience go here: >

The Twitter feed is #u2webcast

A nice piece from the LA Times, click HERE.

If you have any comments or suggestions please email Rob Schwartz.

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Time to kill the overhype

October 23, 2009

bag_newAs the hipster crowd of Berlin discovered the practicality and “coolness“ in using a simple „cotton bag“ to carry around all their belongings, the popular culture industry quickly picked it up. Soon enough, the old faithful plastic bag was replaced for the hipper option. Brands thrived on the fact that customers not only made a purchase but gladly continued to carry around the bags at any time and place.

Our live example, is the newly established bookstore do you read me?! on Auguststraße in Berlin Mitte. With one of the city’s best selection on international books and magazines on fashion, design and architecture, the “Mitte mafia” quickly made it their new waterhole. And after passing a certain amount, shoppers stepped onto the street with their cotton bag in ”do you read me?!” version. Being an area densely populated with pop culture opinion leaders, the bag naturally became a hot item. As it proved to the surrounding that its carrier liked to spend high amounts on hip literature and the latest trend in general.

Though the bags had gone from alternative fashion statement to yet another status symbol. And it was this “show off factor” that caused our counter reaction, having had enough of pretentious posers, taking pride in carrying around THE bag.

We simply created an “anti- bag”, a replica of the original “ do you read me?!”  that now reads “do you read how pretentious I am wearing this bag?!”.

Our aim for it was clear, it was our way of telling Mitte: Time to kill the overhype!

If you have any comments or simply want to buy one of the “anti bags” please email Felicitas Olschewski or Nadine Nedreboe.

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John Hunt: What if you could put an iconic band in the hands of an iconic brand?

October 22, 2009

Bild 4Every year ABSOLUT creates a limited edition winter bottle skin. This year, ABSOLUT and TBWA\Chiat\Day New York decided to do a “rock edition,” by creating a leather-studded skin. They then contacted infamous rock and roll photographer Danny Clinch. They asked him to document the band Wolfmother for two days in LA as they recorded their new album, performed at the Natural History Museum, and partied on the penthouse roof of the notorious Roosevelt Hotel. Over the course of the two days, Danny captured hundreds of photos and film, which were then turned into outdoor, print and online ads.

Many of the photos became part of a traveling photo exhibit, which took place in Stockholm and Belgium. Then, TBWA\Berlin took the idea and created an outdoor photo exhibit, featuring the images in billboard size on the walls of buildings throughout Munich, Cologne and Hamburg. They even provided a site map and audio tour. A perfect example of the art of Media Arts.

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SHAVE IT OFF: Lee Clow offers up his infamous beard for charity

October 21, 2009

LeePoster_FINALThis year, TBWA is proud to announce we are supporting Movember, a month-long mustache-growing event held every November. Get it?

Originally started in Australia, the aim of the now-global Movember movement is to positively change men’s attitudes about health issues. Men rally together to grow mustaches over the course of a month, while raising funds for the most serious of men’s health issues, prostate and testicular cancer.

In the spirit of Disruption, the most legendary beard in advertising (heck, it even has its own Twitter handle!), will be on the chopping block. Lee Clow has agreed to shave his entire beard off if 1000 TBWA employees register for the event and join the TBWA Movember group.

Go HERE to learn more about Movember or join the TBWA group HERE (be sure to enter ‘TBWA’ as the company/organization/promo code or your registration won’t count towards our official tally).

Stay tuned and starting growing that ‘tache!

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PlayStation: Sometimes you can win the race for attention in a parking lot

October 20, 2009

PolaroidThe GamesCom in Cologne is the world’s biggest gaming convention – a place where brands fight for visitors’ attention.

While most companies spam the convention area with key rings, plastic bags and stickers, together with PlayStation® we thought of something more entertaining and true to the gaming experience.

Gran Turismo is the real driving simulator and with this game, everyone can feel like a winner. In order to underpin this idea, we went to the convention’s parking lots and sent out teams of Grid Girls equipped with instant cameras and motorsport accessories like a magnum bottle of champagne, a cup and a winner’s crown.

The Grid Girls posed around regular, everyday guys’ cars and took pictures of them. By placing a little “Feel like a winner” sticker on the photo and sticking it under the windscreen wiper, the girls left visitors with a nice gift that was unique and customized.

After the commercial-overdose at the convention, we were the last people that spoke to the audience where they least expected it and gave them a gift that really meant something to them.

See a collection of our Grid Girls on Flickr.

If you have any comments or suggestions please email Christian Scholz.

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John Hunt talks about his new book “The Art of the Idea”

October 16, 2009

Interview by Mark Tungate, freelance journalist and author.

A very simple question to kick off with: why write this book – and why write it now?

I believe it’s ideas that prod and push the world forward.  They’re the ultimate currency of worth.  I felt the need to celebrate why ideas happen and to highlight why they sometimes sink without a trace. I spend a lot of time in meetings around the world where the goal is simply to come up with a great idea. I found the situations in which we succeeded had certain things in common. A pattern began to emerge. I came to the conclusion that there were specific circumstances in which ideas flourished. So I decided to share those observations.

It struck me that beneath the book’s apparent gentleness there is a faint seam of anger, as if you’re standing up for the rights of the creative community. Is that so?

I certainly didn’t write it with a soapbox beneath me. But I do feel frustrated that good ideas are often killed by compromise, a need for category sameness or politics. Good ideas often look a bit daunting at first, because they’re different and unexpected. But, that’s no reason for  dismissing them out of hand. Most innovation comes from having a healthy disrespect for the status quo.

You equate the generation of ideas with freedom of thought. To what extent has this book been inspired by your experience of South African politics (including advising the ANC during the first multiracial elections)?

Mandela was a perfect example of somebody with an idea attacking a horrific status quo.  The fact that he could do it with such calm grace was miraculous and awe inspiring.

Many people are threatened by ideas, according to the book. You even state that a good idea should make people a little nervous. Are ideas dangerous?

Ideas can certainly make people feel uncomfortable. A great idea often has no precedent, so there’s no reference point. You feel lost. At first it’s difficult to tell whether it’s just a plain bad idea, or whether it’s the precursor for something dramatically new. But, those are the very ideas we should embrace and nurture. The initial discomfort might be the first signal that you’re on to something special.  Unfortunately, most of us are trained the other way.

Is the book subtly addressed to risk-averse clients?

No one was particularly “in my sights”.  Maybe it’s also addressed to myself.  To keep me honest.  We all have a tendency to play it safe. Not that I’m saying we should wildly adopt any idea that comes to mind.  But genuine creativity often requires an overturning of systems.  It’s bizarre, but we often cling to something even if it’s not working.  Habit give us a comfort that’s tough to shake off.

Unless I’m mistaken, you don’t mention the word “advertising” once in the book. Was that a deliberate or unconscious choice?

I didn’t want to write an advertising book because then people would look at it with their advertising blinkers on. I believe these observations are relevant to a wider community than adland. Besides, advertising agencies have moved beyond adland, we’re all chasing ideas now as an organizing principle.

You write that, information, no matter how beautifully packaged it is, will never equal an idea. Is that a message to the news media to provide more insight?

Not only to the news media, but anyone who thinks raw information is an end to itself. In the context of having an idea, it’s just a starting point.  I see this all over the world now: a person turns up to a meeting with a presentation stuffed with facts and tries to convince you they’re presenting an idea. But it’s just accumulated information. There’s no attempt to draw an insight from that data. So, no real insight means there’s no real idea.

Do I detect a slight negativity about the Internet?

No, it’s probably the greatest invention of the last hundred years. But what I don’t like is when people use it as an intellectual crutch. OK, there’s a certain skill in extracting information from it and presenting it in an interesting way, but if you’re not careful, that information can clog the system as much as illuminate it.

On a lighter note, you mention brainstorming sessions in the dark, while listening to music or on the roof of your building. Sounds fun. Is the book likely to generate new recruits to advertising?

I just wanted to make the point that creating the right environment helps. There’s also a tendency to dismiss playfulness in the corporate space.  I find the right place and mood helps generate ideas. Many times, I’ve been sitting in some beige meeting room with a bunch of people whose brains have seized up. Moving to the local coffee shop, relaxing for a moment and kidding around helps the ideas to start flowing again.  It’s common knowledge: the “eureka” moment often comes when you’re relaxing in the bath. Too often we attempt to bully an idea into existence.

Talking of creative people, how did you meet Sam Nhlengethwa, the book’s illustrator?

I wanted the book to be accessible, easy to read and maybe something worth keeping.  I think Sam’s beautiful artwork helps it be a “kept” book.  I’d never met him before doing the book, but the moment I saw Sam’s portfolio, I knew he was the guy I wanted to work with.  I only discovered after I approached him, that he was famous and had exhibited around the world.  I think that makes me a pleb.

Check out reviews of the book on adage.com and mad-blog.com.

More background, click here.

If you have any comments please email Ulrich Proeschel.

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