May 31, 2006

Lot’s of listening

The life of planner can sometimes - just as the cliché says - be one of the most varied jobs you can get. I had one of those days yesterday. I’m doing a lot of very different projects at the moment so my day started with a lot of very different listening and questioning. I started talking visionary architecture with some of the hipster architects of Copenhagen; afterwards I went to a school talking to 13 years olds on modern technology, “file sharing” and their willingness to exercise more (it’s an assignment for The National Board of Health), after this I went to a meeting with a bank talking changing lifecycles and the meaning for different loan types and finally I got to talk a bit about Chlamydia with a doctor.

Yeah Yeah Yeah

Of all the blogs I visit mine is probably the only one without an insertation of a YouTube clips into the blog – this has to change.

So why not have this splendid little piece of video with Flaming Lips where Wayne Coyne describes the creative process technical details behind the video for "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", the first single off the Flaming Lips new album, At War With The Mystics., At War With The Mystics.

Albers & Moholy-Nagy, great planners

I found these pictures from a trip to the Josef Albers and László Moholy-Nagy exhibition at Tate Modern. Albers and Nagy where two of the pioneers of modernism and apart from working within a broad variety of media ranging from painting and moving sculptures to photography, film, furniture and graphic design, they where great thinkers and the exhibition was filled with thought-provoking quotes and statements – mostly encompassing their belief in art as an important tool for social change.

Many of the quotes are spot on planning principles (not strange with their thinking centred on a “consumer comes first” attitude) and more surprisingly on the current changes in how brands are communicating with consumers. It’s always great with quotes that show that current hype is based upon universal thinking that goes way back.

Written on the wall

Always remember, never forget.

May 18, 2006

Are you generic?

Probably a question most brands and the people behind them ask themselves everyday in the world of marketing - a world that cries for more opinionated, radical and imaginative strategic thinking - a world where the building of strong market positions - not only relies upon great creative execution for differentiation.

The “are you generic project” is funded on the same principals in the cry for better content in magazines. Content that is not dictated by advertisers, and is trying to set their own agendas.

See more here:

May 10, 2006

Promise not accomplished

Just stopped by this car and I didn’t really feel like joining this prestigious club. Over promising names and communication has a rare ability of creating aversions or worse brand hijacking initiatives from consumers.

Also found this article on brand hijacking by the two guys Faris Yakob and Ben Richards from Naked:

May 04, 2006

Flaming Lips, Jack White, Coca Cola & optimism

I spent the first hours of long awaited summer in Copenhagen with an outside dinner in Tivoli Gardens (the rather famous Danish amusement park in the centre of the city) my destination was the newly redecorated concert hall – a truly magnificent place dating back to late modernism. The guest on the stage and the premiere act since the reopening - where the Flaming Lips one of my favourite bands out there. The Flaming Lips has a new album out and though it doesn’t top their 1999 masterpiece “The Soft Bulletin” it’s terrific stuff – with great songs like “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and “Mr. Ambulance Driver”.

I was really expectant since I saw Wayne Coine & Co. back in 2003 and it was one my all time best concerts. And I was not let down this time either. The Flaming Lips have their own unique multidimensional show surrounding their psychedelic and dreamy pop tunes including dancing characters on stage, arty films and graphics on the back screen, confetti, hundreds of orange mega balloons all over the place and most importantly the charismatic Wayne Coine in the front singing, playing and conducting the epic sounds.

It’s a mesmerizing experience and as Wayne Coins preaches it’s all about creating an atmosphere of optimism between band and audience and throughout the whole concert hall. Really, kind of uplifting taken into context that most of the songs are about death and melancholic musings on life.

Most brands and agency folks could learn something from this rather complex multidimensional experience and not least the optimistic take on life.

And speaking of optimism which seems to be the key word for the new Coca Cola strategy I’m one of the ones really liking the new Coke/Mother spot with Jack White singing. The fact that the idea is basically a reprise of the director Director Nagi Noda own former work for the band Yuki on the song Sentimental Journey (which I have posted about earlier on this blog) doesn’t bother me. Call it an original idea, great pop cultural lateral thinking or simply a great stunt - it’s great to look at, it’s beautiful directed and it has a song by Jack White.

Here are the two films:

Coca Cola – “What Goes Around” directed by Nagi Noda for Mother

Yuki – Sentimental Journey, directed by Nagi Noda

May 01, 2006

The Bloglines plumber

This morning I was trying to access my bloglines account and was met with the picture above and this accompanying text.


I'm the Bloglines Plumber. Bloglines is down for a little fixer upper. We will be back shortly. Bloglines will be all better when I'm done with it.

Thanks,The Bloglines Plumber

Even though I know it’s just a small little silly rephrasing of how other companies refer to problems with your log-in I, think it’s a very powerful communication tool to show a friendly and human face like this.

The other day I also heard that Flickr was referring to technical problems with the term “Flickr has the hick-ups”.
I like the tonality and grass roots feel about many of the “Web 2.0” companies. Even though their owners probably are multi billionaires by now, you still kind of like them because they are all about consumer empowerment and they are just here to help you – often free of charge.

There is a great article from Newsweek on the successful web 2.0 companies.