Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Communication break-down?

As the largest group of Facebook users in Europe, I thought Brits had a twitch and tweak when it came to the social network (A Nielsen report stated that Brits are the biggest fans of Facebook with more than two thirds logging on as members and one in every six minutes spent on a social network site). However, given an in-depth focus group held in NYC (I observed my friends), I'd say that New Yorkers, with their iPhones, are truly constantly on the site. I've even seen one friend 'talk' to another friend in the same room via Facebook on the iPhone. It's the Dallas or Dynasty effect - who's saying/doing what and with whom? I've added to information overload by streaming my FriendFeed to my FB. Now we have the chance to personalize the FB url...not sure how many people should be able to open the window to my world? How will this type of social activity affect our interpersonal communications? What about the privacy issue - which has got to be the future thorn in the side of the 'social' web?

What do you think?

Monday, 29 June 2009

A Sign of the Times

While in NYC, I stayed at a friend's apartment on 34th Street, which unfortunately for my wallet, is right next to Macy's. While walking in the pouring, humid rain, I noticed a ray of light emanating from the store front windows - psychedelic tie-dye colors wrapped around the title 'Summer of Love'. This was only one example of many half full glasses. Expressions of brands' desire to revert back to freedom, peace and love and rock n' roll, and a honeyed optimism that infused people with hope and the belief that they could change the world. Since the market swings according to human speculation and perceptions, this may not be a bad thing (plus there is something nice about reviving tie-dye). (Macy's also held a Summer of Love shopping party, part of the invitation read: In case you get the munchies, Rock-n-Roll Gourmet will be handing out their new all-natural baked snack Hippie Chips for you to taste. Joplin must be rolling in her grave). See NYT's article about the Age of Aquarius in Advertising for other examples of brands that are jumping on the Volkswagen.

Image courtesy of John Fotohouse

I met the copywriter for the Sunkist Ad: 12 Ounces of Awesome, who mentioned that the use of the term 'ounces' was a reference to drugs. Ah - the missing piece from the Macy's campaign.

The Whitney Museum of American Art also held an exhibit called "Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era," which featured paintings, photographs, sculptures and films from the 1960s and early '70s.

Summer of Love seemed to be everywhere in NYC, lodged in the mood of a city in pursuit of escape.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Seeds that Stick in Teeth (Big Apple Reflections)

New York City is truly like a person. It changes each time we meet. It has new stories to tell, new things to show. It's a character in a movie; the silent but present friend that walks with you whatever pavement you pound. It smells like rust, rain, honey peanuts, sauerkraut, rotting garbage and mysterious subway perfumes. I noticed a lot of things about the city, myself, friends and the swirling scents. The next 5 posts will give you a taste of my trip and random observations.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Whirlwind Red Swirl: the NYC Adventure

I'm off to NYC for a couple of weeks so blog posts may be sporadic and close to nonexistent. See you soon.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Naked Protest

My husband and I were on our way home from dinner and found this pamphlet on his bicycle seat (they should have put a hole through it like a doorknob hanger and looped it around the handlebars):

Is this actually going to happen? Will there be a team of naked people soaring around London on bikes to protest against oil dependence? (Celebrate body freedom? huh?).

Are you fighting for the cause and bearing all on a bike?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Top 3 Conversation Starters

It's hard to predict what will catch on fire online, or whether it will be a brush fire in the middle of a national forest or a floating piece of gray cinder, the only remnants of a small and forgotten sink or wastepaper basket fire (sometimes it's better to burn all possible evidence;). Some interesting examples of socialized content below, some accidental and some orchestrated...

1. Three Wolf Moon: One guy writes a humorous review on a mullet/1980s/Napoleon Dynamite style t-shirt on Amazon and one small company is giggling all the way to the bank with 100 t-shirts sold by the hour.

2. In my Prius (who are these guys? And who hired them? Is this funded by Greenpeace?):

3. w+k's listening. Nike's video response to Tiger Woods' home-grown Jesus viral.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Two worlds collided...

...and they will never tear us apart. OK, enough INXS, what I'm referring to is the overlay of the virtual on the real. Augmented reality or virtuality is really starting to kick-off in terms of mainstream Adland usage. Two of my favorite campaigns that create virtual experiences are Papa John's:

and Doritos:

3D/AG is also being used to promote Julian Perretta's new interactive video:

I have a Sci-Fi vision of where this could lead which was further reinforced by an article I read in The New York Times supplement in the Observer (for some reason I can't retrieve the piece online) about the development of digital devices that look like stylish eyeglasses or contact lens that can deliver digital images directly from a smartphone to the retina. Imagine a soldier's helmet with a visor transformed into a lightweight pair of glasses that can display the name of a person at a cocktail party or conference (or better yet, provide that person's background profile). The devices are still in prototype stage, but soon this version of augmented reality will be right in front of your eyes.