i'm with the brand


Young Me/Now Me: funny, adorable, poignant, delightful
March 24, 2010, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , ,

ymnm

Love this. The ravages of time, amirite?? Seriously though, it’s kind of fascinating: Young Me/Now Me asks people to send in pictures of themselves when they were younger, as well as replicated versions of those same pictures, taken now.

The interpretation of how exactly that’s done is loose–some are restaged literally even if it’s absurd, while others are updated to carry through the spirit of the picture while making  it appropriate to its new context and circumstances. Some interpret the relationship between “young” and “now” in surprising ways. Many are really sweet and get you thinking about time and change and family and mortality and the great cycle of life.

You can have a lot of fun looking at baby pictures, even if they’re those of strangers.

Advertisements


Is Donkey Kong David next?: Kordian Lewandowski’s Nintendo Pieta
March 23, 2010, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Art & Design | Tags: , ,

Game Over is Polish artist Kordian Lewandowski’s irreverent, Nintendo-fied take on Michelangelo’s La Pieta. Princess Peach takes the place of Mary, and Mario that of Jesus in this pop culture appropriation and re-contextualization of a high-culture icon of the art canon. Here, (branded) digital interactivity is our Bible, our shared narrative, and our object of worship. The choice of material, polystyrene foam, also seems significant–it’s crass and fake and disposable like so many pop cultural artifacts, but ironically, it’s likely to endure for much longer than Michelangelo’s pious marble. 

Hit designboom for more angles and pictures of the sculpture in process. (There’s chainsaws; it’s exciting.) Also, there’s more digital-told-in-the-language-of-the-old (Botticelli does Skype) and vice-versa (the Creature from the Black Lagoon enters the mix) at Lewandowski’s site.



Sculptures that are people, people that are paintings
March 23, 2010, 10:51 am
Filed under: Art & Design | Tags: ,
timmy

Timmy (Alexa Meade)

Painter Alexa Meade masks human flesh in thick acrylic paint in a method that “pushes the boundaries of perception, compressing 3D space into a 2D plane, effectively blurring the lines between art and life, [skewing] the way that the core of the subject is perceived.” Meade’s paintings, in distorting space, texture, and the eye’s ability to distinguish real living forms, thus presents both a sensory and a cognitive challenge. 

sara

Sara (Alexa Meade)

Meade’s work reminds me of sculptors Duane Hanson, Jamie Salmon, and Ron Mueck, who, for contrast, achieve similar ends in technical negative: these photorealistic artists skew perception and subvert the real-unreal boundary between subject and environment with their life-sized (and in the case of Salmon and Mueck, sometimes massive) hyperreal sculptures.

In undermining the visual cues we take for granted as an indicator of the real, both approaches force an unsettling reevaluation of the nature–or even the possibility–of reality.

tourists 2

The Tourists II (Duane Hanson)

chris

Chris (Jamie Salmon)

in bed

In Bed (Ron Mueck)



Kit Kat & The Salvation Army: Useful interactive posters give people a break

kit kat chair

JWT for Kit Kat is on fire–but this time it’s Auckland, not Tokyo. In their latest, passersby in local parks are invited to take a break twice over–that is, break up a poster to take a break. The confectioner placed wooden posters at park entrances and in public spaces–posters that could be popped apart and assembled into the perfect bench for a (snack) break. (And it’s got to be intentional that the mode of assembly so closely parallels the way you would snap apart a Kit Kat bar–it’s too good not to be.) The poster is not only interactive–it’s useful–and it does a kindness while connecting simple pleasures with the “break” line Kit Kat’s been using for years.

kit kat

In the spirit of useful interactive posters, here’s one of my all-time favorites, from the Salvation Army, which posted blankets emblazoned with the words “Support the homeless this winter. If you’re cold or know of someone who is, please take this poster” in areas of need. Not only did these ads get the word out and even provide much-needed comfort to the homeless that began using them for warmth, but when the blankets were thus displayed, on the backs of those in need, the message became all the more starkly powerful. The absolute opposite of urban spam.

salvation army



Complacent? FITC delivers a swift kick in the pants to agency dinosaurs-in-the-making
March 22, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , , , ,

last ad agency on earth

Urging true creativity over cut-and-paste, FITC, which puts on design and technology events, is encouraging old-school agencies to become nimbler and more inventive with their digital work–before it’s too late.

In a video to promote their upcoming digital conferences, FITC creates a Discovery Channel Pompeii Special of sorts chronicling the fall of the “Last Advertising Agency on Earth.” It’s funny, and I’m sure it hits close to home for many branding professionals who have lived through just the sort of dysfunctional head-in-the-sand environment the video describes, but it seems a bit of a harsh indictment to me–I’m unwilling to believe that no big agency has learned how to embrace new media (at least on a case-by-case basis) this late in the online game (seriously, guys–partying like it’s 1999, are you?). But there may be a kernel of truth under the heaps of tardy exaggeration–for every gem of inspired digital, there’s a truckload of unimaginative nonsense, and it’s perhaps less about digital per se and more about combating a culture of complacency: it’s about knowing how best to play the game in new and ever-changing spaces, whatever and wherever they may be.

In an ironic twist, it’s agency behemoth Saatchi & Saatchi Canada that helped produce the very video that takes shots at agency behemoths. Funny times, give it a watch:



50 Billboards Worth Pulling Over For
March 18, 2010, 8:22 am
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , , ,

ponds

Best Week Ever has collected 50 of ambient’s stodgiest sons (that’s billboards, to those of you not chuckling at your own jokes) for a showcase of “50 Awesomely Elaborate Billboards”–translation: Media Arts City.

I’ve got almost undue love for a good ambient execution. (That and packaging; I can’t help it.) So while I’ve seen most of these before over the years (and have even posted a couple here on the site), you might not have, and I think you’ll love them. These billboards demonstrate that no medium is dead or dying or dull or limited, so long as inspired insights meet inspired creative.

The list is missing many of the greats (Mini chief among them–the one they picked was basic by Mini standards. Unconscionable–I will have to fix this. Look out for a facemelting Mini post soon.) but check it out nonetheless–a nice survey of billboards that play with (and even transcend) their format to do it right.



Hey Guinness, I thought shaken-not-stirred was just for martinis

guinness

Happy St Patrick’s Day! In celebration, AdFreak brings us a cheeky-but-upstanding execution by St Pat’s staple, Guinness. In a 2007 effort by BBDO Toronto, the Irish brewers sent bars and pubs cans featuring blurry logo and type, each imprinted with a gentle reminder: “Please don’t drink and drive.” A clever, attention-getting call to responsibility in service of their “Enjoy Responsibly” campaign.