Friday, 30 January 2009

Cooperative platforms

“Digital is not a silo”, the term has quickly moved from just explaining how digital is merging with other channels, exemplified amongst others by projects such as Esquire and Mini. To explaining something much bigger:

How digital platforms don’t exist in isolation, but are cooperative platforms, the backbone in the network of activities inviting the participant into an idea or context.

A silo is a platform where the communication to a large extent happens inside it’s walls, where its mostly concerned with it’s own storytelling and effect, removed from the other platforms. TV, Radio and print can all be interpreted as such stand alone channels.

Digital on the other hand, doesn’t exist in isolation, it’s a set of cooperative platforms. And we need to utilize this kind of platform strategy if we are to meet the challenges presented by next generation advertising as suggested by Tom Himpe in his book Advertising Next. We need to build our stories in a more complex range of interfaces between the product, or the products services and the customer. We need platforms that all work and function together in order to create the larger, more complex story, the true story.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Phenomenology - The Obey Manifesto

I came across an old theory or explanation by Shephard Fairy on the logic behind his sticker and stencil campaign, this is a reallg good and insightful read, so I thought I would share it with you.

The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as "the process of letting things manifest themselves." Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.

The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities.

Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker's persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily.

Another phenomenon the sticker has brought to light is the trendy and CONSPICUOUSLY CONSUMPTIVE nature of many members of society. For those who have been surrounded by the sticker, its familiarity and cultural resonance is comforting and owning a sticker provides a souvenir or keepsake, a memento. People have often demanded the sticker merely because they have seen it everywhere and possessing a sticker provides a sense of belonging. The Giant sticker seems mostly to be embraced by those who are (or at least want to seem to be) rebellious. Even though these people may not know the meaning of the sticker, they enjoy its slightly disruptive underground quality and wish to contribute to the furthering of its humorous and absurd presence which seems to somehow be antiestablishment/societal convention. Giant stickers are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which, upon examination reflects the psyche of the viewer. Whether the reaction be positive or negative, the stickers existence is worthy as long as it causes people to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings. In the name of fun and observation.

Shepard Fairey, 1990

Sunday, 25 January 2009

A thousand words....

Check out Ted Chung's mesmerising short film, A Thousand Words below.

Jeffrey Wells describes it in this way:
... an elegant, concise and very affecting portrait of big-city loneliness and instant connections that flare up and are gone seconds later. The emotions are halting and delicate but true. Beautiful piano score.

A Thousand Words from Ted Chung on Vimeo.

What We Own And Where It’s Made

I wanted to share this series of posts by VerySmallArray, I loved the simple but effective posts, showing a bunch of photos called ‘What We Own And Where It’s Made’. This kind of concept that is soo sincere and intriguing, reminds me why I love blogging. Companies reading this should take note, it really is more about how you are doing what you do, than about what you are actually doing.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

I am your future...

Very good presentation by the people at, they really bring home the differences between research agencies and the actual people they are researching.

Joshua Allen Harris

Interesting artist Joshua Allen Harris speaks about his art, and how his idea spread

Monday, 12 January 2009

Music is .....

To me this quote best describes music 'asides from silence, music is the only thing that can express the unexpressable'. You know the feeling when you hear a tune and it communicates exactly what you were thinking but couldn't articulate, making you feel like 'ooh i'm not alone'.

I believe this is why music is so important to culture, because it allows people that are very different to have something in common. Its like when you go to a show you will see people different ages, different races all feeling the same vibe.

Bob Marley sang ' when the music hits you feel no pain', again for me this couldn't be more true. Often when I need inspiration, motivation of just comfort my first salvation is music.

I also feel I have learnt soo much through music, music was originally designed to pass on messages, although for certain music this has lost its way, there is still a big amount of great message music that is trying to guide us closer to truth.

At the end on Common 'like water for chocolate', pops rap breaks it down.

Hip Hop, Hip Hop, the language of the underground railroad
In it's purest form
Yeah true hip hop is just like the Underground Railroad

If the message is not for you
It can sit on your nose and your brain remain froze
So when you see me traveling on a spiritual high
I'm flying high with Cee-Lo
Or maybe watching my long's heart dancing to a De La flow

Everybody knows there's no fruit on the tree without The Roots
And Black Star said we are what we are
The Knowledge Of Self Determination
And my little homie KG
Up there in Minnesota milking 10000 lakes

Keep the heat on em', we got to be kind to the growing mind
So if your heart is real
You will hear Big Will and Ms. Lauryn Hill
If your love is true, you will hear Badu-ism

And you can't go right until you go left
and get some ingredients from the music chef Jazzy Jeff
Children, I've travelled this globe
north to south, east to west
And whenever my soul appears lost
I turn to the musical stylings of a Tribe Called Quest

Check out a good post on the future of digital music here

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ari - Cease and Desist

Great short film entitled Cease and Desist about artist / designer Ari Saal Forman who mash-ups the Newport cigarette brand into a cool “Nike-like” sneaker. Branding, addiction, sneaker culture and legal infringement are explored. Check it out

Friday, 9 January 2009

Were All in Power

Producer Exile, has just put out his directorial debut, and its fucking amazing. Its created in stop motion and for me is the perfect example of engaging content. Check it out for yourself. Advertisers take note, you cant put a price on authenticity

Exile "Were All In Power" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

Check out Exile explaining the concept behind the video below

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

CultureLab’s Trends to Watch For in 2009

1. Rockstar and Skater Hip Hop will continue to gain in popularity (Lil Wayne and Kanye respectively are the icons: watch for Charles Hamilton, The Knux, 88 Keys, Black Milk, and B.O.B)
2. Classicsm is the new racism
3. The 90’s grunge era will influence in ‘09 as the 80’s did in ‘08
4. Sneaker Brands to watch: Supras, adidas, Yums, and "Vulcanized" Shoes
5. Streetwear brands to watch: Rowdy, KR3W, Volcom
6. Twitter goes to the masses
7. Classicsm, Ethnicity, and Lifestage will creep into online social network choice: Facebook: older, more affluent and more educated, MySpace: younger, less affluent, Black and Hispanic skewing
8. C.R.E.A.M., Wu-Tang’s mantra will ring very true in ’09, cash will be king!
9. Creativity in digital hustle
10. Prepaid Cell Phone service will explode as the economy continues to slump
11. Smartphones as status symbols
12. Rise of the Black and Hispanic geeks
13. Asian pop culture will continue to grow in popularity
14. Renaissance of creativity in business, politics, music, and entertainment: watch for new music genres, new art forms, new ideaologies, and new ways of film-making
15. Low budget but creative aesthetic in fashion, film, and music, “Thrift Chic”
16. The urban elegance movement flourishes, i.e. Obama, Diddy, Maxwell
17. Big Government will be cool
18. The role of narrative and storytelling will grow in all art forms and advertising/promotional outreach
19. DIY- arts and crafts
20. Common Craft-style "what is" and "how to" videos will become an increasingly popular resource for education of online applications and communities