Dec 22, 2009

Danish Stamps 1962

Very interesting details from the brilliant Grain Edit about these sweet Danish stamps: "In the early 1900s, a Danish postal clerk came up with the idea of selling Christmas seals to raise money for children with tuberculosis. Over 100 years later, these “cinderella” (unofficial postage) stamps have become a worldwide holiday tradition. In 1962, Erik Petersen designed this sheet of Christmas seals, depicting the gamle håndværk (”old trades”) of Denmark."

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Dec 21, 2009

Urban Forest Architecture

Great concept / design featured on Deezine: "Beijing architects MAD have designed a skyscraper for Chongqing, China, with gardens at each level." Thanks Alex.

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Nov 18, 2009

Nov 15, 2009

Neighborhood Marketing Award

Received this award last week, on behalf of the planning committee for Larchmere Porchfest. We did a good deal of social media promotions as well as posters and flyers in the neighborhood. LiveCleveland!, who awarded this honor, does a nice job marketing local neighborhoods individually.



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Nov 12, 2009

Local Holiday Shopping

The brilliant environmental and graphic designers at Studio Graphique have compiled an excellent list of local shops for great creative works. Including the Bazaar Bizarre and Room Service. Definitely worth a look-see and cheers for supporting local businesses. Especially the creatives.




Nov 11, 2009

Michael Bierut This Friday

Totally recommend this event at the CIA on Friday. Michael Bierut (of Pentagram) is a design legend / library and is featured in the film Helvetica. I've heard him speak a few times. He's great and this topic couldn't be awesomer.


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Social Media Luncheon

The Cleveland Ad Club (AAF) put on a great luncheon today about brands & marketers using social media. Featuring Shawn Morton of Nationwide Insurance and David Alston of Radian6.

Think of social media less like media and more like a phone call. It's a 2-way conversation. If they haven't already, brands should hook up their phone, answer it, "Hi, how can we help you," then listen and participate in the conversation; solving problems based on public expressions. All these conversations EQUALS the brand.

Less about the 4 P's
Place: Doesn't matter much any more. Promotion: No one wants to hear brands spouting about how great they are. That one-way fluff is bad. Product: More about user experience and being remarkable. Price: More about relevance and again, user experience. Target Market: Mass marketing angers 99%.


More about the 5 C's
Content: of value, strive to be an experience innovator. For example, Nationwide sponsors Nascar, OSU sports and Tavis Smiley. And using social media, they are able to offer exclusive and relevant content to their online audience, often in real time. Whether it's autographs of Nascar drivers or an interactive game where you can dot the "i" of the OSU band script "Ohio." Valuable information can also be collected, especially offering sweepstakes, etc. Community: Includes those of similar interest. Brands must cross the barrier to live with consumers, and turn negatives into appreciative closure if not a positive. Conversation: Builds relationships, community and content, all of which add value. Collaberation: Run with bulls, not corral the cows. For example, "80% of people agree to not text while driving. What do you think?" Feedback is all relevant to the Nationwide audience. Connections: Ambient relationships grow.

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Oct 17, 2009

2010 Olympic Medals

Lovely design of these Winter Olympic medals and they are made from recycled bronze, silver and gold. From Fast Company: "the Olympic committee is saving perfectly good gold, silver, and bronze from ending up in landfills. Because it makes no sense to mine for new gold when a single junked PC has more of the stuff in it than 17 tons of ore."


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Sep 30, 2009

Timberland TV Spot

According to Ad Sneeze (thanks to Dougy for sharing), "This tv commercial is based on the real story of the Tyler Abrams." Very interesting and well done:

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Jul 30, 2009

Bill Bernbach

I was just taken by a few quotes from advertising legend Bill Bernbach. Here's an excerpt from an AgAge article: "In those days, copywriters tended to look down on art directors, but Bernbach didn't know that. When he met legendary designer Paul Rand, the agency's art director, the young copywriter was profoundly impressed. They would visit art galleries and museums during lunch breaks, and talk about art and copy working in harmony. Bernbach understood how such collaborations could liberate agency creative work."

Highly recommend his quotes which are very relevant for today's advertisers. A few favorites:

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad.

In this very real world, good doesn't drive out evil. Evil doesn't drive out good. But the energetic displaces the passive.

No matter how skillful you are, you can't invent a product advantage that doesn't exist. And if you do, and it's just a gimmick, it's going to fall apart anyway.

Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten.

The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.

Jul 28, 2009

Steel Valley: Meltdown

This trailer looks really nice. It's a locally produced documentary about Youngstown.

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Jul 27, 2009

Agency Survival Tips

Good agency survival tips from Business Week & Doner's executive creative, including: "So your client doesn’t have the money for that big campaign? Bring ideas they can afford and bring lots of them. When the economy comes back, they’ll remember that you were the one that didn’t just tighten your belt, but used a smarter belt." Read them all here.

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Jun 19, 2009

Muppets + La Choy

From 1966, this apparently is a pitch for La Choy brand of food products. Jim Henson is a genius.

Jun 11, 2009

Following Stimulus Funds

I heard a story on NPR about, which has a better, more thorough analysis of the federal funding across the country. But has a better logo. It's visually navigated with maps and extremely detailed, down to the municipality. Here's what's happening in Cuyahoga County. Speaking of sweet informational graphics, check out this graphic of funds from the Washington Post.

Jun 9, 2009

Jun 2, 2009

GM Owes The Ad Industry $$$

The huge specific amounts of money that GM owes several large ad agencies is covered by Media Bistro. This tv spot talks about "getting down to business" and beginning at "chapter one" which seems a decade too late. Michael Moore has really interesting suggestions for the future of GM, from The Huffington Post.

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May 30, 2009

In Defense of Food : Michael Pollan

Really enjoyed this book as well as The Omnivore's Dilemma. From The Colbert Report, here's Michael Pollan with some excellent, healthy tips for the American diet:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Michael Pollan
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorKeyboard Cat

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May 26, 2009

Co-Branded Ads from HBO

True Blood is a good vampire show on HBO. To promote the upcoming season, they've teamed up with a few brands. I think these special products and co-branded ads are extremely interesting. Read more from USA Today. See examples from Harley-Davidson, above; and also from Mini.

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May 18, 2009

25 Must-Have iPhone Apps

iPhone apps are very intriguing, especially when it comes to commerce. Of course there are fun games and ways to communicate with friends. But how do companies with products to sell get involved. Target is a good example, offering gift guides, special deals etc. It's #19 on Fast Companies list. And a list of money-saving apps here.

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May 13, 2009

Cleveland Ideas

Cleveland Ideas is great example of making the world (Cleveland) a better place through collective brainstorming online. This open source method of sharing creativity / information has potential to develop some serious ideas. As you are voting on your favorite ideas, you find out the genius behind it: DigiKnow is an interactive agency in Cleveland who have developed this as a self promotional device. Well done!
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May 7, 2009

MVP LeBron James

All the attention and money coming in from the Cavaliers playoff series is so great for Cleveland. Here's an interesting article about the MVP laser addition to the huge witness signage. Good stuff.

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May 5, 2009

New Devo Song & Video

The legendary local rock group, Devo is releasing a new album soon. The animator for this great new music video / single also worked on Tim & Eric Awesome Show, among other interesting things.

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Apr 7, 2009

NIN iPhone App

Cleveland's own Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails have always had a rich & creative digital presence, in addition to their studio releases. As usual, their photos, websites and videos are well done and often showcase hardware and software from Apple. Now they are embracing the iPhone with an app. Details from the creators and Wired:

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Mar 27, 2009

Holographic or 3D Promotions

These things are amazing. They look like computer generated holograms that show up the image from a video camera hooked to your pc. This wind power advertisement from GE (for whom I used to do work) is awesome. Very fun to play with.

And this Topps (baseball card) promo is more like a game where you interact with the players. Very cool, tactile + technology viral consumer marketing.

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Mar 25, 2009

Social Media Applications

Just read an article on Adweek about recently released software which keeps tabs on all the major social networks for you. Pretty great idea, and get this: ad agencies are behind it. Fallon has a very nice looking app called Skimmer which I'm looking forward to test driving. Also, Big Spaceship, an amazing creative boutique shop, came up with Qapture. Here's to the future of our business...

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Feb 5, 2009

The Designers Accord

Valerie Casey started the Designers Accord which is an open resource for designers of all kinds to produce sustainable products and business practices. This is then translated to educating clients and developing their own business plans. Check out this interesting interview with Val about the inception. Here's to good design!

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Jan 27, 2009

The great society : LBJ

Companies spend more on marketing, sacrificing quality in their products. And over-marketing tends to desensitize (and sometimes annoy) the consumer. It's a lose-lose. While doing research about the marketing industry, I ran across this quote:

"The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. … It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. … It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods."

Lyndon B. Johnson

Jan 25, 2009

Logo Evolution

This is a cool study of recognizable brands and the evolution of their identity. Including GE, whose robust brand standards I've worked with these last few years: