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If you like Internet personalities and/or Internet culture, then this little (under 10min) doco will be right up your alley.
It tells the story of ReplyGirl – a rather saucy-looking (you have to say “saucy” like a crooner for it to work) entrepreneur that used her god-given gifts to make some money on/of YouTube. She also created a bit of a “hoo-ha” (you have to say “hoo-ha” like Al Pacino for it to work) on the Internet, splitting the opinions of people on it in two.
So sit back, and enjoy the show (you can say that anyway you want for it to work).
Credit to VICE for making this doco.
It seems that even the world’s largest terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda, believes in the power of advertising. This ad comes from the first issue of “Inspire Magazine”, an e-zine designed to promote Al-Qaeda’s twisted message in the Western markets.
Please note: That magazine was one of the most vile and disgusting pieces of words I’ve ever read – hatred like this can’t be real. At the same time, the ad itself does promote a message we all could live by. I suppose “Inspire” is a perfect example of man taking religion to absurdity…
I came across this video for Samsung’s take on a mobile phone user guide. We’ve all seen tech manuals showing us step-by-step instructions on how to properly work the thing, but this one takes it a bit further. Created by the people at Vitamins Design, this user guide puts the phone inside of the manual, with each page of the book a clear, one-sentence instruction.
Here’s how it works:
Is this user guide a stroke of genius, or an over-blown hu-hah? To me, it’s a bit of both. Although I really like the idea behind it, I do feel that the tech savvy people might feel a bit stupid using this (just give me the damn phone and sim already). Also, the urban-hippie inside of me just can’t stand looking at all that paper being wasted… Clearly though, this phone isn’t for me (urban-hippie techie), but for some though, this manual could be a godsend.
I want to share this short documentary I found about a character that I never knew I still love so much. At one stage, this guy was the number one “Most Recognisable” character in America, beating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and his arch nemesis, Mario. He was the hero that every kid followed, and even me here in Australia, I couldn’t help not to be swept into his cult. I’m talking about Sonic the Hedgehog.
I recently came across Sonic the game while browsing around in the Android market. For a cent shy of a dollar (99 cents for those that don’t like to subtract), I was able to re-live all my childhood memories right on my new Motorola RAZR mobile phone. Now this part, this part right here, this is the kicker – it actually worked. Playing that game on my phone did really bring back a lot of the memories that I had, and you know what, they were really, really good and happy memories. As a kid, I loved Sonic and Sega, and being an only child, I smashed that game as much as I could. It was my release, my adventure, and I was so happy to have experienced it. Was I “marketingally” brain-washed? Maybe. To be honest, I don’t really care – the game was awesome.
After spending some time with the game, I ended-up doing a bit of research and reading on Sonic. While hunting for info, I came across this short documentary by Game Tap. The doco talks about how the character got created, why it was created, and what was the character supposed to represent. As a kid, I never knew this, but Sonic (the game and the character) were part of Sega’s marketing ploy to get one over its rival Nintendo; it wasn’t just a game, it was a marketing strategy as well. The marketing team had a lot to say on how Sonic should look, feel, and act, but at the same time, they treated him with lots of love, care, and respect. The head of marketing/design over in the US even went as far as calling herself Sonic’s “mum”, which I can understand and totally relate with.
So sit down, relax, and find-out how and why millions of kids around the world fell in love with this game character. Who knows, there might be another one coming from just around the corner, and the pattern of its success could be just like that of Sonic the Hedgehog. Enjoy!
Once in a while you come across a catch that you just don’t want to let go off. You’ve seen it before, and you know what it is, but because what your seeing is so different to the rest of what’s out there that you can’t bring yourself to not liking it. Cut Records has one of those catches, and the catch is this – it’s a free music record label.
Right now, there is so much free music available online – more than you can poke your proverbial stick at. So doing something different definitely helps you to stand out. What Cut is doing is pretty smart – get a quality product (music) catalogue together, make sure that the sound of each individual release matches the overall label’s feel (brand), wrap-it-up in a nice stylistic package, and then make it available for the consumer to digest. But with expectations of the product being free, can one still gain a reward? I believe you can. Radiohead did. Now I know that they had a bit of a head-start because of their name, but what In Rainbows did show us was that people were (and still are) willing to pay for music, even when it’s out there for free. And as years went by, I realised that the idea of having music on a physical medium is not dead – it actually seems to be gaining feet. I’ve noticed that the latest trend in the indie/underground music industry is to release both digital and vinyl versions of each release, with some labels going as far as giving the mp3 away for free with every vinyl purchase. This strategy is catching on, as more and more consumers are willing to fork-out the extra dosh for the vinyl simply because of what the vinyl does. Someone said that people buy cars not so much for the ride, but for the perception that the car will create in peoples minds about the driver – a classic product personality association. The same is happening with vinyl – it’s the medium of choice for anyone that wants to be perceived as a music lover. Digital music is worthless; it’s just data that is sitting on a hard-drive. It can disappear as quickly as it came. A physical release on the other hand is something that is a bit more tangible – you can show it off to people, you can create a physical (turning into emotional) bond with it, and achieve pride in owning it. The fact that most of today’s vinyl comes in limited pressing ads to the aura of the product being “special”.
With this hunger for the physical growing, Cut could very well move into the physical/vinyl product sphere. Their product is great, generating very positive press. The free pricing model is certainly affordable (the “Pay with a Tweet” option is fantastic – let the consumer spread the word about the label/product to their friends), and the overall presentation/packaging of the product/brand is well executed. As more fans jump on the label’s bandwagon, offering limited edition paid vinyl/CD or other physical medium versions of the free digital music could be a profitable proposition. In the meantime though, let the music keep on coming.
Cut is definitely onto something here.
If you are a fan of underground music, then this is not new to you at all – dubstep and ‘beatacism’ is taking over the club scene. What started off as young producers and DJ’s making music that they (as opposed to the rest of the crowd) liked and playing it among themselves, quickly escalated into a musical movement that’s sweeping the globe. Embraced by the few that keep their ears to the ground, it is now slowly filtering into the mainstream. And these new genres of music have grown in popularity thanks to the one tool that the music industry has been fighting to curb for years – the internet.
The impact music has on our culture is undeniable – just think of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, et al and the effect their songs had on the peace/anti-war movement of the 60′s/70′s. Music is a contagious symptom of beliefs that can spread quicker than the flu. A musical movement is not just a bunch of catchy chords and melodies sung and danced to by a few people – it’s also a map by which they live their life by. And it’s those that latch-on to what is perceived to be the “new sound” that usually have the social power to influence those around them. And not just musically, but also in what to wear, eat, watch, read, follow, believe, how to act, and how to behave. Smart marketers/creatives/strategists know this very well, and tapping into the trend-setter can be a very lucrative proposition. It can also back-fire tremendously if done in a “distasteful to the cool peeps” way.
Here are two short documentaries that talk about the evolution of dubstep; how it started, what are its beliefs, and where it is heading. There is a an interesting talk about how the internet has helped the genre and its artists to spread their sound beyond their small city borders, and into the wider world. It also talks about the old adage of “underground vs mainstream” – they listen to this music to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but the further they push their sound, the more people pick it up, which then the mainstream latches on to it, and then the movement dies and evolves into something else; a never-ending musical life-cycle.
So, have a look and see what the ‘cool kids’ are into these days. It’s just a matter of time before every brand and medium picks these genres up, and milk them for their “cool”.
Unfortunately I am not aware of any docos about the hip-hop ‘LA’ beat scene, but have a read of the link in the first paragraph (it discusses how this genre started in the parking lot and a boom-box, and moved on to every part of the world within a matter of a few years), and this one here. And while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the music too – it really is something new.
Have a look at this video of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art interactive building projection. Created by Spinifex Group, the idea behind this installation is quite simple – thanks to the Kinect, passers by are able to throw and splash virtual paint onto the MCA building, creating their very own contemporary pieces.
I believe that the Kinect has a huge potential to be used as a marketing/advertising tool, and in the next few years we will see some truly amazing applications being developed for it. With Microsoft pretty much making the Kinect an open source utility, it’s just a matter of time before we see this device as a backbone for more interactive branded experiences, and not just when you’re out-and-about. Imagine hoping onto Xbox Live Arcade, opening your favourite online clothing store page, flicking through some virtual clothes racks, picking-out the pants and jumper that you like, trying them on, and move around in them and see how you look, all in the comfort of your own living room.
It could turn the mirror into a thing of the past.
Each year, Deloitte releases a report on the financial health of the top football (soccer) clubs around the world; and as you might’ve guessed, they’re all European. It has a lot of great info, such as the revenue figures for the top 20 earning clubs, the breakdown of where this revenue comes from, TV rights and sponsorship profit numbers, and other information which will no doubt help anyone out there that’s writing about the football business. It’s even a great read for those that just like to read about football.
There’s a few other reports prepared by them on their site that deal with other sports as well that are well worth checking out too.
Check out this free-to-view documentary entitled Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane? – it’s an interesting look into the current psychiatric drug industry. Now, I find this documentary to be particularly biased; it’s very anti-drug and anti-psychiatry. I believe that everything has its time and place, and although I do agree that psychiatric drugs are a crutch, but sometimes we do need crutches for support.
The doco goes into the history of the industry and the effects of these substances on the human mind, but about half-way through it, it discusses some of the advertising, branding, and public relations techniques that these companies engage in to promote their products. It certainly has a lot of great information in here, but I would be a bit cautious in terms of some of the statistics they present – a double check and more research is definitely recommended by yours truly.
It’s a great tool to get you started, and an interesting watch too. However, the voice-over artist and the background music can get a bit annoying after a while.