Thursday, August 28, 2008

design notes

Last Friday, my Kid Robot post got picked up by Michael Surtees and posted in his blog DesignNotes. Every Friday Michael writes a post showcasing the most interesting blog posts he found that week. I am incredibly blessed to have been included in his posting. : )


I really appreciate how Perspctv has brought together different ways of measuring public opinion with regards to the current election. I'm tired of seeing one set of polls on the news without any credentials explaining where the results came from. My guess is that they are still using phone surveys. By measuring peoples' blogs and twitters, you are getting a glimpse of how they truly talk about the news without their knowledge that you are following them. Sneaky eh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hang this in your closet

Assignment in Cultural Explorations class: Give a 3 hour presentation on fashion.

The topic of the presentation is broad and I need to find a topic that focuses it. I am currently contemplating how "recycling" could be the concept of the presentation. Here are a few ways I think this could work:

1. The recycling of trends/decades - Sartorialist's coverage of Stockholm shows beautiful 40s fashion

2. How a concept cycles out -The cycling of design concepts from the designer down into TJ Maxx. This could include the scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" where Meryl Streep talks about the significance of cerulean (for a chick flick, amazingly insightful scene)

3. The literal recycling of clothes - thrift store fashion and the creativity that some employe to make amazing outfits out of old garbs.

4. And of course, recycled goods going into clothes or as I'd like to call it "fashion with a conscious." Could include Vegan goods by Natalie Portman.
I want to avoid too much "green" talk though, I'm sure people are tired of having green shoved down their throats.

Still thinking, still searching, open for any and all recommendations!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

frivolous necessities

Someone told me recently that you don't need to use toothpaste to clean your teeth. Toothpaste is marketing genius in that case. Make up a product that people use frequently and make it seem like a necessity. Now, I'm sure that is not how toothpaste came about, but you can just picture four suit-clad guys in a board room somewhere 50 years ago scheming...

What other types of products do we have that are completely unnecessary but we feel we couldn't do without? People always say that Hallmark created Valentine's Day as a chance to sell more cards. What about socks? They may be necessary in winter but with canvas shoes? Canvas is cotton and so are your, I'm not sold on that one either...I'm sure unnecessary necessities will pop up at me over the next few days, as for now they allude me behind their guise of marketing genius. Damn you Crest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

these tricks ain't for kids

When trying to explain Kid Robot to friends, they cannot understand why I am so enthralled by a toy store with smoking rabbits (I am very anti-smoking, however smoking bunnies for some reason I can condone). So, for those who find my fascination bizarre, here are the three main reasons why I love Kid Robot:

1. The store is like a museum - The “look, don’t touch” atmosphere created by the glass barrier between yourself and the cleverly designed plastic creatures worsens your natural desire to feel the smoothly textured toys. The museum feel is what elevates these creators off the toy shelf and into the category of ‘designer.’ Each piece in its case appearing more like a work of sculpture that tourists and other unworthy admirers can stare and drool at.

2. The power is in the hands of the card holder - Kid Robot is toys for adults and who ever really grows out of toys? Now that we are adults shopping for toys we are finally have the power to buy the toys we desire. No whining or begging, just card swiping!

3. Premium pricing! Truly the best strategy in play here. Putting the brand just out of reach for the common man, it creates the “Christmas-Effect.” Just as you held out all year for that one special gift (that you bought, wrapped and put under the tree for yourself) you appreciate it soo much more. Kid Robot, being as expensive as it is, makes buying one of the items a special event. Were their Dunnies or Star Wars styled creatures $20, they would get thrown aside a month after purchase. But no, if you shell out $200 for a Luke Skywalker Dunny, you will create your own museum-like atmosphere on the shelves in your office where only true fans and lovers will be privileged enough to touch the toy.

Congrats Kid Robot, you have managed to elevate your brand above any Toys R’ Us shelf. Go forth toy fans and spend $600 on a plastic toy that looks like something you’d see on a bad acid trip, after all we were all deprived of enough toys as kids.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

zeitgeist fashion

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Tony Award winning musical “Spring Awakening.” What truly struck me was the unique combinations of fashions. It combined German 1890s style clothing of knickerbocker pants, suspenders and stockings with 1980s punk-rock hair styles and chuck tailors. The music felt very mid-90s. The collaboration of these decade-styles created an era all it’s own, one which I will surely attempt to replicate. The costumer of this show along with that of ‘Gossip Girl’s’ are definitely a force for bringing back the stocking. Full-footed, brightly colored, even patterned. I saw a teen on her way to prom this spring wearing a full 1920s flapper dress with an eye-penciled line going up the back of her leg to complete the look. I’m thinking that the slip needs to make a come-back.
Even the new Michael Kors line is inspired by the 1960s styles showcased in HBO’s “Mad Men.” Check out the Ad Age article for more: Classic is clearly in and the black dress is cheering. So grab your Fedora and skinny tie and head out on your own happy zeitgeist!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

fashion mining

These chicks are so not dressed appropriately for mining. Is this ad asking me to change my belief as to what is mine appropriate? Or not to be afraid of the changes global warming is creating? After all, if you aren't sending out 'green' messages today, you are so last year.

Although this ad copy may be over-compensating, the clothes are sending some very soft messages. I'm digging the 40s hair style. Next month's issue of Cosmo will no doubt include an article on how to do this 'do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

coincidences are red herrings

The earth shrinking, stars aligning, the concept of coincidence being thrown out the window. These moments remind us of the power of the energy that we emit and for some, the existence of a higher power. I just had a very mini-version of one of those moments. I found out that my new mentee at the Brandcenter has the same birthday as I do! Twice in my life I have been in a busy, bustling room wherein all sound stopped for a split second. As though frozen for a moment with no spark to initiate that kind of behavior, there must be something that knocks the energy in that space off. If anyone has stories where they have experienced this or knows anything about why they happen, please drop a line.

high expectations

Are we kidding ourselves as marketers when we create ads that ask consumers to cut out part of it to stick to their refrigerators?


Who is going to cut out a sticker that says "My first 6 lbs. toward a healthier me?" Thank you SlimFast. I love when I find those websites that were clearly created to make to client happy and whose games have like 40 plays. 39 of which were played by the account team, the last one by some truly bored kid whose mother happens to work on the campaign. I wonder... if marketers are speaking to marketers in their promotions do some people feel as though they are being ignored? Is there a whole slue of people out there who feel neglected by brands that don't ask them to be their best friend and write about their best bra day? As my buddy Joe puts it “I don’t want be your friend, I just want to buy your toilet paper or your hockey stick not be your friend...ok, maybe not the hockey stick." The mass popularity of branding and positioning ourselves in consumers’ minds has placed incredibly high expectations on consumers and agencies. The big question is, how much of this translates into sales? Is it all paying off?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

International (fill in the blank) Day!

Guess what! It's National Underwear Day! Ahh yes, we all love when marketers create arbitrary holidays. After all, making your brand a hero is a sure-fire strategy fall-back. Therefore, a whole-day dedicated to your brand/category is just above and beyond. Imagine thousands of calendar readers worshiping your brand for an entire day... Add the word "international" to the front and holy-cow, monumental. Amongst my personal favorites are: "International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19)," "Ninja Day (Dec. 5)," and "No Pants Day (first Friday of May)."

Today being National Underwear Day, it is only appropriate that underwear be celebrated and handed out for free in the streets. The lovely pair that James Woods was graciously given is designed in such a way as to amaze. Check out the pouch and no hole look. Clearly the next trend. Someone tell Calvin before he falls behind (no pun intended).

Drop your pants and celebrate!