Print: Future, Money, MINI

The Future of Print Media
Even though newspapers are arguably more popular than ever before, instead of seeing higher profits, the reality is they’re earning less – a fact that is leading to industry wide buyouts, reductions in staff and in some cases, permanent closures. The current model of how newspapers operate is clearly broken and the biggest contributing factor, might be us.

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Wisconsinites Consider Printing Own Money
Two Milwaukee neighborhoods are considering making their own currency. Residents of Riverwest and East Side met in early December 2008 to plan how and when they might roll out their new money. Other cities around the globe already have similar systems. Ithaca, New York, has its own money derived from doing community work and spendable at any business within city limits. Lancaster, England, and Geneva, Switzerland, have local currencies as well. The perfectly legal tender is intended to help local businesses and build civic identity. It is the equivalent of real U.S. tender, and might be offered at a favorable exchange rate — say, US$100 equals WI$110. Centralized “fiat” currencies still run the global economy, but at the local level, some communities are seeing the value of local systems of transaction. They keep money circulating nearby, and support local businesses. Many local systems of “scrip” emerged during the Great Depression. Expect to see them again during the Big Bust.

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MINI has produced a spectacular advertisement, that’s one of the first of it’s kind. The car company created a print ad that when viewed though a web cam produces a virtual 3D model of their MINI Cabrio convertible on screen. The ad was featured in German automotive magazines: Auto, Motor und Sport, Werben & Verkaufen and Autobild – but you can also download a PDF here if you want to try it yourself (though the website is in German).
mini_augmented_reality
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2009: 9 Reasons, 5 Trends

An article by Todd Malicoat (sp?) on Social Media: What it is and why you need it…
social media landscape

IPG’s 5 Digital Trends
The digital interactive marketplace will continue to take shape and even make strides in 2009. IPG Emerging Media Labs identifies five trend areas to watch next year related to browsers, conversation, transmission, retail and consumer tech.

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Snippets: Holiday, Routemaster, Urban Spam, JetBlue

The guys at Razorfish Philadelphia made this Post-It Note-esque offering for Christmas…

razorfish-video

That loveble prat (and Mayor of London) Boris Johnson recently ran a design competition to help bring London’s famous old double-decker Routemaster buses back on to the streets. The original buses got replaced by long bendy single decker ones that fit the UK’s overt health, safety and access guidelines better. These Aston Martin designed badboys are user friendly, health and safety concious and “zero emissions ready”…
new-london-bus
Crumpled cognoscento Piers Fawkes found this piece in his Creative Review RSS feed and it got on his goat. “Why is the magazine celebrating an urban spam campaign for Kellogg’s by JWT?”, he asks. For this campaign they evidently employed an artist to draw a cereal bowl on a pavement in London and fill it with leaves. My view on “Ambient tactics like this is that they are fine if the viewer gets something out of them … either utility or entertainment. This kind of mild diversion doesn’t get on my nerves, but I agree with Piers that these tactics are often half-arsed and ineffective.
jwt-urban-spam

JetBlue Invites Advertisers to Terminal Five
JetBlue’s Terminal Five at New York’s JFK is looking to monetize its passenger eyeballs. Re:vive, a platform consisting of more than 200 screens throughout the terminal, allows travelers to order food and beverages to be delivered to their gate. Those screens, which executives say are the first of their kind, will start serving up advertising in January.

jetblueterminal

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A Superb Rant From Stephen Fry

I (s0mewhat belatedly) just came across this excellent rant by Stephen Fry on the mobile industry, which is also published on his website. The bumbling incompetence he talks about at the companies below put me in mind of characters in the ’90s sketch show “A Bit Of Fry And Laurie”…

Here is the choicest part of the rant:

“Ever try to connect to a wireless network on a Sony Ericsson P series or WinMob smartphone? The contempt implicit in these foul, fiddly behemoths was breathtaking. The profound ugliness of Nokia’s e range, the horrible underpowered nightmare of Sony’s UIQ devices, the quite staggeringly insulting ghastliness of Windows Mobile… for two years I kept believing that the manufacturers and software developers in this field would eventually get it right and produce something as truly usable as the old Psions, the old Palm Pilots and Treos, while utilising the newer technologies and capabilities of the 21st century. The only major player an enthusiast like myself could genuinely admire was RIM, because the BlackBerry was everything it aspired to be. It deliberately had no camera, (secret business meetings, factory visits and so on often necessitate the leaving of cameras at the door, like guns in a western town being cleaned up by James Stewart) and never embarrassed itself by pretending to be a media player. It did what it was supposed to and refused to pretend to be anything other than what it was.

So there we were. They all left an open door through which Apple charged. And now, with unblushing fanfare they each attempt to bring something similar to market. This is good. Apple have shown that there is a huge demand for exciting, innovative, lovable and imaginative consumer devices. All the rivals have to do is to … is to what? To produce cut price lookalikes or truly to pioneer and innovate? Well, the latter is what they should do, but the former is what most of them will do of course, because these dumb firms never ever learn. They are afraid to be good. They will blame stockholders, consumers, anyone but themselves.

Don’t you sometimes long to be CEO of a company like Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia or Microsoft? So that you can say to your coders, your designers, your development teams and your software architects: “Not Fucking Good Enough. I haven’t said ‘Wow’ yet. I haven’t gasped with pleasure, amusement or admiration once. Start again. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

And (forgive this ranting sidebar) how one would lay into the packaging department! “Nowhere near Fucking Good Enough. I’m not enjoying opening this. It’s clumsy, dumb and contemptuous. I’m in product-opening hell. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

Oh, yes Stephen. That’s all very well, but you try being a CEO in the real world of share prices and financial officers. Bullshit. Any CEO who hides behind his shareholders isn’t worthy of their job: I’ve met enough business leaders to know that the good ones lead, they don’t follow. Isn’t that kind of what ‘leader’ means? I seem to be straying. But it’s all relevant really and it all needs saying again and again. Managers, corporates, finance people, executives in tech companies – they all need to understand for the sake of their pride and happiness as much as their success, this simple rule: ‘That’ll do’ won’t do. ‘That’s good enough’ is never good enough.”

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Snippets: WoW Beijing, Weatherproof Superbowl, Starck Keeps It Real

As the Super Bowl nears, Weatherproof Garment Co. is hoping to use the big game’s hefty advertising price tag — about $3 million for 30 seconds — along with the recession, to draw attention to itself. Weatherproof is proposing to divvy up a single 30-second spot with nine other corporate marketers, with each company paying $300,000 for three seconds of TV time.The small apparel company shelled out about $3,000 to run an ad in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal looking for potential partners after it sent its offer to 100 companies without finding a taker. “Attention deficit growing … Say It Short — Say It Fast!” the ad urges, above a picture of a football.
superbowl
The LA Times recently let iconic designer Philippe Stark loose on a shopping spree to the thrift store chain Big Lots to find out his take on living elegantly and economically. Once in the store, Stark grabbed a cart and said “We shall see. Give me 20 minutes.”Stark roamed the aisels of the store packed with closeout merchandise on a mission to find items that caught his eye but also reflected his embrace of sensible consumerism by selecting quality over quantity. “You must be very rigorous,” he says, sifting through discounted wares in search of the gems. “Try to find the essence, the most iconic or simple representation of a thing. Look for the bowl that looks most like a bowl. That means we must avoid colors and patterns, and everything that can be trendy.”
stark_big_lots
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Brand Extension: Burger King

Ah … I think I smell the work of Crispin. Is this a bit pointless? That said I should add that I am slightly jealous. I never succeeded in persuading a client to create a spoofy brand extension (Brawny check shirt anyone?).
burger_king_whopper_combo

Burger King Fails With BK Boxers
Of Burger King Boxers’ inclusion on TippingSprung’s Best Innovations & Worst Line Extensions survey, Laura Ries told BrandWeek, “While people love the Whopper, they don’t want to parade around in underwear that says, ‘This is where my big, fat ass came from.'” According to the survey, 45.5 percent thought the Burger King underwear line extension was the single most inappropriate line extension. Also topping the list were Kellogg’s hip-hop street wear and Kanye West’s travel site.

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