Branded Storytelling, TV$ Goes Online, Twitter T-Shirts, IKEA Leko, Brown Bag Luxury

During its upfront presentations, cable network AMC will advance a concept called “branded storytelling,” in which advertisers work with the network to create ads that are customized specifically for AMC’s shows and movies, according to this report. The network behind “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” also is expected to begin a themed movie night in May.
Reckitt-Benckiser, the U.K.’s fourth-largest advertiser, plans to shift an estimated $20 million in advertising away from TV, investing instead in online advertising. The company, whose brands include Lysol, Clearasil, French’s and Mucinex, spent less than $1 million in measured spending online in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, AdAge reports. About 90% of its measured media budget has traditionally been spent on television.
Consumers can wear their status on their sleeves … er, chests, as two companies put Facebook and Twitter updates on T-shirts. Status King is a Facebook application that lets consumers order T-shirts with their favorite status updates (Mashable.com 2.6.09). There’s no Facebook branding on the shirt, since it isn’t sponsored by the social net, but the update does mirror the status update look and feel, complete with profile picture. Memorable tweets show up on T-shirts thanks to TWItoshirt (Mashable.com 2.12.09). The 140-character message, along with username, profile picture and time are printed front and center for everyone to read.

Ikea Leko is Car Sharing not Car Making

Fast Company reported today that the mysterious cloth draped car called the ‘Ikea Leko’ is actually a car sharing program in conjunction with Comuto, the French ride-sharing company behind Covoiturage.fr, for 26 IKEA locations in France. The service will be similar to the Ikea/zipcar program in the US pictured above.
Brown Bag Luxury
The Economist points to news that upmarket fashion site Net-A-Porter is now offering customers the option of receiving their deliveries in brown bags so as not to get to much attention for their shopping habits. “Even wealthy people who are not feeling the pinch may have become more cautious about spending ostentatiously. Net-a-Porter, an upmarket fashion website, now offers the option of having designer outfits delivered in a brown paper bag.”

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US Adults Spend Eight Hours A Day In Front Of A Screen

Adults Spend 8 Hours a Day in Front of a Screen, Study Finds
The average American adult is exposed to various screens — TV, personal computers, cell phones, video games, GPS units and more — for about 8.5 hours every day, according to a Nielsen-backed study conducted by Ball State University‘s Center for Media Design. The study followed 350 test subjects and tracked their viewing instead of using the traditional method of allowing subjects to report on their media consumption. Adults ages 45 to 54 spend on average one hour per day more with screens than others. Overall, Americans are exposed to just more than five hours of live TV per day compared with 15 minutes of DVR playback and 2.4 minutes of computer video.

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Among other finds:

– computer video consumption tends to be quite small with an average time of just over two minutes a day.

– Adults spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day with with the number rising to 26 minutes a day among those aged 18-24

– Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens

– Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devices with the highest usage — 43 minutes a day — among the 18-24 age group

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WANT, Hand Me Down

WANT is an interactive (anti) retail experience created by the the University of Washington’s Environmental Design class. The exhibit is designed to make learning about saving money a pleasurable experience. Actual goods are replaced with lookalike objects that preach the benefits of thrift. It’s an interesting subversion, encoding a message at-odds with the inherent nature of the retail environment.
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Clearly, most of us are consuming far more than we need or should. We live in a culture characterized by planned obsolescence and throwaway fashion. And some progressive brands like howies with their hand me down range are beginning to address the issue.
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Branded Utility: Charmin, KFC

After nearly a decade of providing free, clean public restrooms everywhere from state fairs to Times Square, Procter & Gamble Co.’s Charmin wants consumers to find their own — via a free mobile social-networking utility, SitOrSquat.
sit-or-squat

Need a Pothole Filled in Your City? Call KFC
Don’t be surprised if you see Col. Sanders out filling potholes. In an unusual cause-marketing push, KFC is tackling the pothole problem in Louisville, Ky. in exchange for stamping the fresh pavement with “Re-freshed by KFC,” a chalky stencil likely to fade away in the next downpour.

kfc-pothole

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Happier, Cheaper, Lower, Funnier

Moms in the UK are 44% more satisfied than last year with the way brands communicate with them, even as they change their shopping and information-seeking behaviors during the recession, according to a survey conducted by marketing agency Joshua G2 (via MarketingCharts). More than half (52%) of moms surveyed say they are now happy with the way brands communicate with them. Only 36% of moms were satisfied in the same survey in 2008, the study found.
PCs are cheaper than Macs, and Microsoft wants you to know it. With the recession as its backdrop, Microsoft has finally jumped on the value-messaging bandwagon in a new ad, a 60-second spot dubbed “Laptop Hunters” that will break tonight during the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament. The commercial represents the latest piece of the estimated $300 million ad blitz from Crispin Porter & Bogusky that began last fall and has since taken numerous twists and turns.
Carat revised its global advertising spend predictions downward. The Aegis media buying agency network is now saying that global ad spending will slip 5.8%, down from its previous prediction of 4.8% growth (forecast last August). Ad spend in the U.S. will be down a dismal 9.8%, from a previously forecast 3.1% rise, according to Carat (via MediaBuyerPlanner).The UK will be down more than 7%, while Western Europe as a whole will be down 6.6% (Germany-2.2%, France -5%, Italy -6.5%, Spain -16.5%).

Adidas House Party – Simpsons edition
Just over a month ago, Adidas released their kick-ass Celebrate Originality “House Party” spot. This video included celebrity stars like David Beckham, Katy Perry, Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, and Mark Gonzales. UK television channel Sky 1 now made a hilarious parody to promote The Simpsons. Featuring celebrity stars like Homer, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Marge..

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Abandoned Artifacts

ArtificialOwl.net is a photographic collection of the abandoned material objects and places in our world. The images are both hauntingly beautiful and a disturbing reminder of wasted possibilities. A wide variety of abandoned subjects are explored, including man-made homages like the Cadillac Ranch. Dormant buildings are shown that are slowly being reclaimed by nature, or being reclaimed as graffitti canvases. Surreal caches of mammoth airplanes and cargo ships also highlight the tail end of the industrial life-cycle. Well worth a browse to understand the magnitude of our throw-away culture.
I really like the photos …
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Packaging: Vintage Beer

Lance Wilson sent Dieline some photos of some awesome vintage beer cans: “I have something I thought you all might find interesting. My friend/classmate Dan Becker and I were able to shoot a portion of an extensive beer can collection (2000+ cans) containing cans from the past 70 years or so. We have a set on flicker of 163 cans which was just recently featured on Design Observer. You can check it out here.”
vintage-beer
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We Live In Public, In Game Ads, Pixelhotel, OfficePOD

“We Live in Public”. It’s an apt tagline for our times, and the title of Ondi Timoner’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary which premieres in New York on April 5th. The film captures the heyday of internet pioneer Josh Harris, who amongst other things founded the world’s first web TV network, Pseudo.com. “We Live in Public” documents a series of strange performance art experiments that explored, in extreme ways, what it meant to live in full scrutiny of the whole world, all the time. For more, watch the film’s trailer below.
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Results show a 5x increase in unaided brand awareness over TV advertising where a game included a Zappos.com ad. Other key findings according to the release: over 80% correctly linked Zappos.com as the advertiser who “allowed them to play the game for free” (who knew gamers were such a grateful lot?), while 56% had a more favorable impression of Zappos.com because of their trade-off of watching an ad for free game play.
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The Pixelhotel project is one of the city’s attempts, as 2009 European Capital of Culture, to lure tourists to Linz by using creative and sustainable approaches to architecture. The locations chosen for redesign are unorthodox, from a cabinetmaker’s workshop and a ship to an art gallery. Each unique unit has its own specific aesthetic to make it a one-of-a-kind hotel experience. Lacking regular hotel infrastructure, the units provide minimal amenities only, as a way of encouraging tourists to go out and explore Linz. Prices range from EUR 87 for a single room to EUR 147 for a double.
pixelhotel

OfficePOD
The OfficePOD focuses on employers who want to give their staff the option of working at home. The unit is a 2.1-by-2.1-metre structure that can be installed in less than a day and typically requires no planning consent. Designed to maximize efficiency in its use of space, the OfficePOD features innovative storage and desktop solutions using high-quality materials chosen for their visual, physical and environmental characteristics. Recycled and recyclable products have been used wherever possible and natural materials chosen over man-made.

officepod

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NPD: Nestle, Pot Noodle

Nestle is following a Japanese philosophy called kansei, in which products are designed to elicit certain emotional responses in consumers. Kansei focuses on how consumers feel about a product early on in the design process, and then attempts to translate those emotions into a physical form. The food company intends to use the technique on its products as well as brand packaging.
black magic kansei
As if Pot Noodle Bombay Bad Boy and Pot Noodle Original Curry were not enough to whet the appetites of Britain’s blokes, Unilever has revealed its pinnacle of home takeaway with a doner kebab flavour. The Doner Kebab flavour pot noodle will allow students and those pouring out from bars and clubs across the UK to recreate their favourite late-night takeaway by simply by adding boiling water.
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