Red Bull Flugtag Tampa

October 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm (Art, Branding, Design Events, Florida, free, marketing, News, performing arts, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Timelapse photo of The Florida Aquarium's Flugtag in flight

Take a 100,000 of your closest friends and watch as 39 teams launch home-made flying machines off of a 30’ platform at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Sounds like a fun day? You bet it was!

This afternoon Red Bull Energy Drink returned to Tampa Bay for the only US Flugtag event to be held in 2011. Teams came from around the globe to show off their machines made of wood, foam, pvc, fabric and other basic materials. They formed these into crafts of all different shapes and sizes. Some of my favorite included a giant fork, the A-Team van, the biggest bra you will ever see, and even life-size Back to the Future DeLorean! In the three Flugtags events, and 6 crafts, I’ve helped build I have never seen the hangars as packed as they were today. I’m not sure if this was due to the layout of the hangars or the amount of attendees, but there was barely enough room to move through the crowed before the launches started.

Throughout the day weather was a bit of concern. Wind was definitely a factor throughout the event, but the rain stayed away until this evening. Weather wasn’t the only good luck had during the day. A big scare came when Little Evil, Dade City Motocross Dare Devil, appeared to be knocked unconscious and had to be taken out of the water on a backboard. Luckily he was checked out and up walking around before the next team was out of the water. Other than it seemed to be a fairly safe day in the skies and water of the bay, which is always good to hear after an event such as this.

If you missed this event Red Bull is holding a Kart Fight in Orlando on December 1st and there are rumors of another Red Bull event in South Florida during 2012. If you have a chance to attend Flugtag I would definitely suggest it, if you have the cans to built one I would encourage it. I’ve actually built 6 of them helped launch two. This go around I designed and helped build two, one for Fox 13 and one for Jana Water, so you have some catching up to do …get on it!

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Cleans Deeper Watson

June 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm (advertising, Branding, Design, package design, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

ny bliss spa

When my friend saw this package she instantly knew I would like the name …she was right. “no ‘zit’ sherlock” is a fantastically clever name that instantly relays what the product is about. The only thing I found odd about it is the green color. In the packaging bliss maintained the standard all lowercase text and fonts as their branding, but bliss spa usually brands itself with shades of blue, not green. Regardless, I think the Blissworld company did a great job with naming this product.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm

June 21, 2011 at 12:57 am (advertising, Branding, Design, marketing, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Bethesda Heart Hospital

What’s the first thing you think of when you see this billboard? I thought – “huh, that’s weird. I wonder what they mean?” After all, definitions for a “foursome” range from the sexual to the game of golf, but I get the feeling this billboard is not some kinky reference or about leaving your golfing buddies alone and lifeless on the links. Thinking through the various definitions of a foursome and how it could relate to a hospital it finally dawned on me that it might relate to the anatomy of the heart. There are in fact four chambers and four valves within the heart – That’s it! Now I’m tired and my brain hurts; that was a lot of work to understand a witty billboard.

A lot of work it was, but I got it. More importantly, I remembered it. And I have a feeling that’s what BFW, the agency responsible for the campaign, wanted. I remembered not only the billboard, but also the location of the billboard just so I could stop and get a picture of it. It is no small feat to remember a single 14’ x 48’ billboard while on a 220 mile round trip drive filled with …billboards! So I guess that’s a testament to the marketing force behind the idea.

The agency reports on their blog that “The first day these two billboards appeared, they generated 474 hits on the hospital’s website (that’s huge in their market).  And, according to our client, they’ve continued to generate more buzz for the hospital than any other billboards in recent years.” I have to admit, it drove me to their website and I live 50 miles south of this billboard. Whoever designed the hospital’s logo go it right, too. The “B” reinforces the name, the heart is self-explanatory, and the style, font and color choice reinforce the healthcare aesthetic. So, I guess, job well done on all accounts. …Now where did I leave that SA Node?

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IKEA Happy Inside

September 14, 2010 at 9:20 am (advertising, Branding, commercials, marketing, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

What happens when you release 100 cats into an IKEA for a night?

The final cut:

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The 60 Days of Christmas

November 3, 2009 at 12:27 am (advertising, Branding, economy, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, marketing, South Florida) (, , , , , , )

 

Snowball

Is it just me or does Christmas keep getting earlier every year? No, not the actual day, – that’s hasn’t changed much in roughly 1500 years – but the commercialization of Christmas starts earlier every year. Yesterday I noticed a JCPenny decked from mall entrance to parking entrance in winter holiday décor, and a Target that already had their Christmas salutations flying – THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN!

Remember when Christmas would not even be thought of until the day after Thanksgiving? Now it’s like our fine pilgrim friends never existed. No more turkey decorations, or pilgrim hats. No cornucopias filled with a bounty of veggies and gourds that no one really eats. For the first time a Hallmark Holiday has actually trumped a Hallmark Holiday. What will we see next year, kids dressed as Santa, elves, and Chanukah Harry for Halloween?

Today I actually saw a tent selling Christmas trees. For those of you in states where the temperature drops below 50˚ F for more than two days a year it might not be that uncommon, but for us in South Florida where at 11 pm in early November it’s still nearly 80˚ with 70%+ humidity. I don’t care if you call them evergreens, those trees aren’t gonna last 2 months.

I miss the days when Christmas was just fun. Now it’s more burden than anything else. I understand that businesses are trying to promote early savings on gift buying in this new economy, but c’mon, with every passing year the holiday season becomes less fun and more like a chore. Marketers, advertisers, and promoters of holiday cheer; I implore you, please give the holiday season its soul back.

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Levis – Go Forth

October 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, TV advertising, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Have you seen the TV commercials for the Levi’s Go Forth Campaign? I really enjoy these commercials. The first one that I saw caught my attention and never let go. I didn’t know what I was watching, but the documentary style and simple voiceover combined with provocative images was enough to engage me long enough to forego the TiVo fast forwarding ritual for a full 62 seconds.

The original ad was shot in black and white and opens with a neon sign half-submerged in water and flickering. It simply states “AMERICA”. Fireworks go off as the voiceover begins. The recording is actually what is thought to be 36 seconds of Walt Whitman reading lines from his poem “America” taken from a wax cylinder recording. The campaign was created by Wieden + Kennedy out of Portland, Oregon.

The only thing better than the first commercial is the second. – This commercial features “O’ Pioneers”, once again by Walt Whitman. The whole ad campaign is intriguing. It really pushes the envelope without being in your face. By paying attention to the ads you’ll see they address social taboos in a subtle ways – interracial relationships, sexuality, homosexuality, free spirited youthfulness, etc.

These commercials are deep; yet say nothing about Levi’s until the end, and literally nothing more than a web address about the Go Forth Campaign. In fact the only actual tie in with the campaign, or competition rather, is that the voiceover recordings are on wax cylinders. You see, the Levi’s Go Forth Campaign is actually a multi-player online treasure hunt – didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

The website describes the last will and testament of Grayson Ozias IV (G.O. the 4th), a friend of Nathan Strauss (Nephew of Levi Strauss). Grayson disappeared into the American Wilderness where he buried a small fortune. Levi’s found the fortune, reburied it, and has placed clues recorded by G.O. on the website so America can find it.

This is an interesting concept that we have seen from a few companies over the years. Instead of some random give-away, they make competitors work for their prize. Volvo did a similar competition in conjunction with Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Wired Magazine recently did a version that was more like a national hide-and-seek contest. The development and production of these contests is quite interesting as they are really defined as the game progresses. Each stage has a set goal – do x, y, z and be rewarded by the acquisition of the next clue. Many times the game is actually set so no single person would be able to pull the resources and knowledge necessary to complete the tasks, so a group must do the grunt work.

I have to give props to both Levi’s and Wieden + Kennedy for developing such a clever campaign and not throwing it our face. The commercials challenge our views on political and social values, while the contest is well defined and cleverly narrated. Best of all Levi’s has pledged to match the $100,000 prize for the Go Forth Campaign with a gift to America’s chosen charity. So I say go forth o’ pioneers and discover a new world of your own.

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Amp Up Before You Score – There’s an App For That

October 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, Design, marketing, News, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Carbonated beverages are no stranger to outlandish and controversial behavior, however this might be new terrain for the non-alcoholic variety. Pepsi owned energy drink Amp has released an iphone app to give anyone in need of a female companion a competitive edge, it’s been nicknamed the iFornicate.

The app, Amp Up Before You Score, has been the topic of much controversy the last few days. In fact the twitter hashtag #pepsifail is a virtual cornucopia of comments ranging from support to disgust. My favorite blog post title so far is: Douchebaggery: There’s an App for That. Here are some tweets from both sides of the aisle:

“Can’t even believe how amazing the Amp App is… Now I know why I prefer Pepsi to Coke”

“Pepsi scores plenty of buzz by offending 50% of the population with new app. No such thing as bad press?”

“Interesting article abt #mobilemarketing gone wrong great app tho LOL! #Pepsifail apology does more harm than good”

Here’ a another fun tweet, and corresponding blog post, by @laureni “#Pepsi suffers memory lapse, forgets it’s not Burger King: [link]” The post points out that this kind of stunt would be expected by CP+B not R/GA, who designed the app.

So what would an app do that causes such controversy? I mean its not shaking babies. The app allows the user to determine which type of female he will be targeting that evening; he has 24 to choose from. After her denomination has been determined – sorority girl, twins, Out-Of-Your-League Girl, etc – you can find out what that person might be in to, what to talk about, how to approach her, pick-up lines, and whatnot. After you finish the evening you can add her name to a list and broadcast the details out through twitter or facebook.

This app oddly reminds me of last weeks episode of The Big Bang Theory where Howard and Raj decide to dress Goth and go to a Goth Club to pick up women. They even checked wikipedia for information – ahh, how art parallels life.

Although Amp apologized through its twitter page by saying “Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback.” many people feel this apology wasn’t enough. In the course of all this publicity, negative or otherwise, the app is remaining available for download – at least for now. I’m sure there will be more news on this in the following days, I here NPR has even picked it up.

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Art + Design Night – October

October 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm (Art, Art + Design Night, Art Event, Branding, Design, Design Events, Florida, free, Gallery Opening, Graphic Design, Illustration, Miami, networking, News, Social Events & Networking, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Miami-Art+Design

October’s Art + Design Night in the Miami Design District proved to have something a little different this month – live entertainment with tribal drumming, classic violin, and spoken word poetry. While walking toward 101/Exhibit to see the Insomnious exhibit by Jason Shawn Alexander we heard the melodic chant of Dismas Gestas. They were standing on a corner with a gathering crowd who was watching them chant, play, and dance with fire.

In the Buena Vista building two new shows had their opening night. “Transcience”, a photography exhibit by Chris Kircheimer opened in Emena Spa, and “Beyond Wonderland” by Orhan Cileli debuted in suite 120. “Beyond Wonderland” had some great artwork inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Each piece was beautifully executed with dramatic detail and twisted humor. Suite 120 also featured the work of Enrique Machad. His pieces demonstrate great kinetic energy by showcasing wave patterns created by multicolored silicone forms laid over a colored background. The Buena Vista building also played host tothe exhibit: Bad Brilliance Miami featuring “The Faces of People He Met There.”

Other things of note were Doug Bloodworth’s amazing oil paintings and the music of Amereida outside of Art Fusion Gallery. We did not make it to the district in time to see WHIRL CRASH GO! at Locust Projects, but it sounded very interesting: “The TM Sisters will present a novel production including their personal athletic skills in synchronized swimming and roller skating.” – I would have liked to see how synchronized swimming and roller skating combine, but we will be left in the dark on this one (unless someone posts a comment to explain.) We also missed out on getting to  Swampspace to see Jukebox, an installation of hand-cut collages created on the back of vintage 60’s and 70’s LP sleeves

The Art + Design Night Gallery Walk is always an interesting experience. Many of these exhibits will be up throughout the month, so encourage you to go. Gallery Walk occurs the second Saturday of each month, making the next one November 8th from 7 to 10 PM. Check the website for details.

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Target Infringes on Coach’s Fringes

October 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Branding, Design, Florida, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

coach-target

Want to buy a Coach purse but don’t want to spend the cash to get a Coach purse, just head down to your local Target store. Wait a minute, something doesn’t sound right. As one person put it on The Purse Forum: “Why would Coach put out a $10,000.00 bag, but then turn around and put their bags in Target?” It sounds like Coach was asking itself the same question, but failed to give itself an answer, thus an inquiry arose.

According to CNNMoney.com Coach is suing Target Corp. for $1 million dollars claiming that it sold knockoff purses that were eerily similar in design and pattern to Coach’s trademarked intellectual property. Stylist.com reports that Target Corp. is not the only one in Coaches sights for trademark legal action. “– Brown Shoe Co. Inc, parent company of Naturalizer, was also accused of copying the “Ergo” pleated satchel [...] in June of this year…”

This marks at least the second time that Coach has sued Target Corp. for selling counterfeit versions of its purses. In 2006 the two companies went head-to-head until the suit was dropped citing that the purses were authentic and Target Corp. had purchased them “at a major department store liquidation sale.” The lawsuit was eventually dropped.

So is this just another misunderstanding of licensing laws, or a veiled attempt to cash in on another brands image? I’m sure the courts will decide, we can be certain of one thing – as Sylist.com said “in this industry, imitation is clearly not the highest form of flattery.”

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