i'm with the brand

Carry the fire…so we can cook crickets with it
December 28, 2009, 8:39 am
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , ,
The Road

Rust flakes and tin-can botulism? Seconds, please!

Stumbled across this great little humor piece about a fictional cookbook based on the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s desolate (and beautiful; much recommended, yall) post-apocalyptic survival novel, The Road. Including indulgent recipes like “Mystery Meat Cooked Over Sterno Flame” and “A Cricket,” and promoted by an editor who expected that it would be “this season’s Julie & Julia,” Cooking on ‘The Road’: Homestyle Recipes From and Inspired by the Film would be funnier (less sad?) if it weren’t totally plausible–I mean, it’d hardly be the first inexplicable and mortifyingly misguided tie-in.


The Auteurs top 10 movie posters of the decade
December 22, 2009, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Art & Design | Tags: , ,
Where the Wild Things Are

My favorite movie poster in recent memory (not on The Auteurs' list)

Film site The Auteurs has released their top 10 movie posters of the decade. They have The Savages and Palindromes on there; me, I’m a little illustrated out–chalk it up to oversaturation. (I’ll take retro clever over forced whimsy, though–I love their pick of Woody Allen’s Anything Else). My favorites are the ones that resist the formulaic, the ones that are visually-arresting and unsettling, the ones that are enduring works in their own right, the ones that effortlessly and imaginatively evoke the film’s spirit (I mean, as branding artifiacts, shouldn’t they all?). The truncated close-ups, the larger-than-life, the unafraid-of-white-space, the bold-and-graphic; anything but this nonsense. Or this or this or this. (Seriously, Professor Hollywood’s School of Big Buck$ Postermaking?)

It’s not my list–I’m not even sure exactly what all I’d choose if it were up to me–but I see my sensibilities overlapping with theirs to a large degree. (My personal favorite if not of the decade, then at least of the year, I’ve shared here because it just deserves to be seen: the sublime first poster for Where the Wild Things Are. I was sad not to see it included in the Auteurs list but hey, taste is taste and 10 posters is only so many.) I’ve thrown together my favorites from their list for you to see below. View the rest, and some amazing runners-up at their site.

Girlfriend Experience

#7 on The Auteurs: The Girlfriend Experience

Funny Games

#1 on The Auteurs: Funny Games

40 Year-Old Virgin

#3 on The Auteurs: 40 Year-Old Virgin

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

#4 on The Auteurs: I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Take that, recession–Hennessey Paradis Horus is in town
December 22, 2009, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , , , ,

Paradis Horus

Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani has created an opulent new bottle for Hennessey’s new Paradis Horus cognac. Paradis Horus boasts flame-shaped packaging in the same radiant gold as its namesake (Horus is the Egyptian god of the sun), and features an oversized stopper reminiscent of the lavish headdress of ancient pharoahs (and, of course, of the cognac, that divine ambrosia, festively overflowing).

Plated in 18k gold and utlizing a new gold finishing technique, this sculptural bottle is a statement-maker and conversation piece: the bottle is clearly meant to be displayed, to be shown on a sideboard as a marker of luxury, status, and discerning taste–even as an art piece–a move that makes sense for a prestige brand like Hennessey, and a drink like cognac, meant for sophisticated entertaining.

It’s beautiful, it’s brash, it’s even insensitive. It’s a corporate jet to a bailout hearing. Conspicuous consumption of this sort is the ultimate let-them-eat-cake, but it works for Hennessey. It reinforces their promise of class that borders on crass, of larger-than-life, even reckless extravagance for those for whom ostentatious demonstration of wealth is even more important than wealth itself.

More views of the bottle–and some sumptuous concept sketches by Laviani–at designboom.

Paradis Horus

 Horus Comp

How to Create Advocacy and Conversation @ Planning-ness 2009


The best brands don’t muscle their way into people’s lives; they are invited in. But how can a brand promote that sort of interest and advocacy?

Veteran planner (and my insightful mentor) Frank Striefler has some answers. His presentation, How to Create Advocacy and Conversation, showcased at the Planning-ness Conference in San Francisco this past October, lays out strategies to understand your audience, provide meaningful interactions with them, and in so doing, create authentic brand advocates.

Frank Striefler is the Head of Media Arts Planning at TBWA\Chiat\Day and the Director of Media Arts Planning at TBWA\Media Arts Lab, and has worked on powerhouse brands from Nike to Apple.

View the presentation deck here:

Put this in your eyes: Toblerone bicycle rack
December 19, 2009, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , ,

Tobelrone Bike Rack

Advert News highlights 9 more clever ambient executions in their list of 10 Creative Advertising Ideas from Students.

Vampire Weekend, Beirut, MGMT, others appear in Vogue indie glamtacular
December 17, 2009, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

Vampire Weekend & MGMT in Vogue

Music! Fashion! Music and fashion! Go together like peanut butter and more peanut butter. Stereogum reports that Vogue is styling your favorites (Vampire Weekend, Beirut, MGMT, Adam Green, Chester French, Golden Silvers, Mika, and The Horrors) for their January issue…sort of. The bands are basically a living mood board whose audio-visual aesthetic inspires and informs the designer duds worn by the model, Sasha Pivovarova—all this in an effort by Vogue to highlight the rebranding of many major European labels now under the creative auspices of cutting-edge and emerging designers dubbed “young lions.”

Stereogum brought us another cool bit of music-as-design-palette-and-vice-versa a while back in their coverage of the New York Times’s profile of some Brooklyn’s bumper crop of indie hometown heroes and their distinctive sartorial stylings (read: how to dress like Deerhunter for less more.)

NY Times Profile

South Korean customs: knowing design knowing you
December 16, 2009, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Art & Design | Tags: , , , ,

South Korean Customs Forms

We’ve talked about matching content to medium, but another key to media arts is understanding how the audience lives with and interacts with your brand.

South Korean customs and immigration seems to understand, and designed their forms with efficiency and ease-of-use in mind, insights gathered by paying careful attention to audiences (in this case, travelers.) Noting that travelers tuck away their customs forms in their passport as they exit the plane and head to immigration, they have designed their customs documents to be passport-sized, and to have a handy little blue tab that sticks out for easy access. This is bound to make every stressed traveler’s journey just a little easier, and it is sure to speed up the customs process by reducing the number of misplaced and contorted forms. A little thoughtful audience planning and attention to detail makes a big difference.

South Korean Customs Form