Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Interview with Director of MTV, Dave McElwaine

PSFK tracked down one of the big boys from MTV to find out where he gathers inspiration for one of the worlds most recognized brands. Here's what he had to say

1. So what are you up to right now?

Designing mobile phone panels for MTV x Sony Ericsson ‘100 Panels’ Project. Designs to be exhibited at a creative summit in Tokyo this fall.

2. Tell me about this or the last creative project you were personally proud of – big or small.

MTV’s Summer Sizzle ‘06 Campaign. A series of live action spots showing massive popsicles, choc ices and ice cream cones melting on the beaches of California to the astonishment of the locals.

3. What did you draw upon to inspire you for this project – (could be anything).

Claus Oldenburg’s oversized sculptures and drawings of everyday objects.

4. Why did you use these inspirations? What human emotions do they play upon that you felt necessary for this project?


5. In your day-to-day work – how often do you feel inspired? Is it important to be inspired?

It’s important to want to get out of bed.

6. How do you kick start your off-days: How do you find inspiration?

I tend to write off an off-day. I find inspiration from searching - mental archives, my reference library, picture search engines and just wandering.

Thank You

Monday, 27 October 2008

brands as connection tools

Shared Egg is an interesting project that attempts to visualise the connection points between friends. It maps the common areas that bring people together using a combination of interests and brands. It illustrates that brands can be the connective tissue between people; people share a love of brands and an have affinity for them.

Here's an isolated look at the Nike relationships within the map....

Visuals from Shared Egg

It raises some interesting questions..

1. How do brands connect to bigger themes, interests, ideas and emotions?

2. How are brands leveraging those connections?

3. How do brands enhance those connections?

4. How do brands bring communities together?

While many have questioned the role of brands in social networks and communities, Shared Egg illustrates that people can be connected and linked by brands. It still remains to be seen how brands best leverage this opportunity to activate and build out these connections and these communities.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Why trends and inpsiration matters

Ed Cotton (Influx Insights / BSSP) explains why trends and inspiration matter. Approaching the whole idea of his talk from a creative perspective, Ed describes how account planners or other individuals responsible for briefing creative people can package their message up in a way to get them to pay attention.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

10 Don’ts for Digital Branding

Ruby’s Pseudo recently published a nice collection of insights on marketing to teens, and brands trying to reach youth in the digital world.

  1. Don’t be too flippant and don’t give youth the basic facts they’re looking for; i.e. - What it is? Where can I get it? How much does it cost? etc.
  2. Be approachable and accessible to youth.
  3. Don’t redirect visitors to another site.
  4. Don’t use background music. Youth can see through a false ‘hip’ image.
  5. Don’t create a Facebook profile for your brand.
  6. Don’t target the emotionally vulnerable with insincere “‘Single? Broken-Hearted?”" questions.
  7. Don’t target a small age range, allow your brand to grow with its users.
  8. Don’t blatantly rip and appropriate youth-produced content onto your site. This once again presents a false image, of which youth can see through.
  9. Don’t use pop-up advertising. It irritates rather than entices.
  10. Don’t push the boundaries of social network interaction.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Success Strategy for Creative Projects

This picture has no relevance to the post I just like it, anyway I just came across an interesting post from the good people at lifedev , its about the approaches to starting a creative project, check it out.

The Soak Cycle

When it comes time to washing dishes you take the grimy dish and put it in water to let it soak. Time and water+soap do the hard work. With time the water and soap break down the grease and grime. Similarly letting your project soak will allow your brain to work on the project even while you’re doing other tasks.

Soaking is when a project is thought about but not actively worked on. The project is reviewed at specific intervals. This gives your natural creative instincts time to work on it.


The human brain is a powerful tool. Giving it time to work on a project will lead to a more creative, better solution. Schedule times to think about your project. Depending on the scope or length of the project you may schedule 5 minutes a day for a week thinking about it or an hour every two weeks for 3 months (or anything in between).

When you schedule thinking time, be sure to give yourself enough time to think. Write down notes of your conclusions so you can refer to it in the future. Try to take different approaches each time you begin a thinking session. Many times you’ll get that “Aha moment” (a good idea) when you least expect it, so don’t worry if you feel blocked. People report inspiration frequently in the shower. Giving yourself time to think will give you more shower days to let your brain think about it.


During your thinking time find ways to break down the project into small parts. Do a few little steps for the project to give you a better understand of what it entails. Do a five minute task. Do any tasks that take just a few minutes to delegate. They should be delegated as soon as possible so the receiver can plan accordingly and it’s not an emergency at the last second. This process is called layering where you “layer” your successes. It allows you to know you are on the right track and gives you tangible results.


Put layering and thinking together by scheduling time to talk to people. Talk to thoughtful people about the project, even if they don’t have expertise about it. Just talking about the project will allow your brain to crystallize your thoughts. In addition, others may provide a new perspective on the project you are tackling and give you a new wave of ideas.

Enlist others to look at your project as you’re working on it. This gives you an outsider’s view. Get a coworker or friend that you can bounce your work off of. Try to get someone whose ideas you respect but who thinks a little different than you. Show them your progress so they can monitor if you’re fulfilling your mission.

You don’t have to listen to them. Just listen to why they are saying it. They may say you should make an element red. They don’t necessarily mean it has to be red- but it has to contrast from the background. Again you see how outside ideas can trigger new thinking and ideas.

Full article here

Monday, 6 October 2008

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Unwind the mind

It has been a very hectic week, feels like there is so much to do and so little time to do it. In order to be truly productive, you have to have a clear mind. Clarity comes when you give your mind a chance to rest.

A over worked mind, is one of the biggest obstacles to productivity, I have kindly put down some ways to get mental breaks. This is kinda like my therapy, compiling this list will actually help me to practice what I am preaching.

Get More Sleep!

Not only does sleep recharge your body and at the very least keep you healthy, it also gives your mind a chance to rest. Literally. If your mind hasn’t been recharged when the day has started, you’re already 2 steps behind.

If you’re finding yourself getting a little sleepy in the afternoons, take a 15-30 minute power nap. Studies have shown that 20 minutes in the afternoon provide more rest than 20 minutes in the morning.


Although some find music a hinderence when their working, personally I work best with the right music in the background. For me, the best music to work to is jazz. Wordless music seems to work best, but everyone has their preference. What’s important is that it adds a little something in the background, but shouldn’t be something that you’ll focus on too much. It’s just kind of there.

Switch’ It Up

One of the best ways to give your mind a break is to switch up your tasks. I can type on something for 30 minutes, get up and do a load of dishes, and come right back feeling quite refreshed. Not to mention that I’ll probably still be working on what I’m typing subconsciously, while I do the dishes. This way my productivity doesn’t take a hit, and I’m still finishing those “tasks”.

Switching it up may mean switching locations too. Work at a coffee shop, do something outside, it doesn’t matter.

Variety is the spice of life, don't forget.

Do Something Fun!

It’ll actually increase your productivity because you’ll be more refreshed later. Taking breaks is just as (if not more) important than the work.

“Breaks” can take many forms, and the only mandatory thing is that you enjoy it. If you have a job behind a desk, give your legs a stretch by doing something active. If you’re in the manual labour biz, go and get a massage. The important thing is to just do what feels good (within the legal realm of course).