How Much Do You Love a Brand?

What brand, if you absolutely had to, would you get tattooed on your body? This is purely curious question and one that I oddly enough ask often. Having only one tatt myself (it’s a family tattoo with the work Euskadi and the Basque lauburu on it) but I am truly interested in people’s responses.

I am often the leader and sparker of conversation at restaurants with friends. Most common thing I do is ask a very vague yer intriguing question that could have many options or answers. My most popular game in a highly decorated restaurant is to ask my party to look around at the artwork, then each person must choose one piece they would get tattooed on their body (sometimes original size comes into play) and why? The answers are wonderful.

But really, what brand are you that loyal to? I know plenty of college age kids with an “O” insignia on them somewhere. Who wouldn’t after an undefeated season and a berth in the BCS championship, but they that “O” is definitely a brand. I know bikers with the Harley on them, Oregonians with the state outline, and plenty of older ladies with Tweety Bird on their ankles. All of these show loyalty to a brand beyond just purchasing power. Know anyone with a Wal-Mart tatt? How about BP?

Brand Karma comes into play in this big game of tatts too. I guess it all comes back to how you create your brand, which is directly related to your brands core values. To truly build a following, enough of one to have people permanently brand themselves with your brand, you need to be creative. You need to be bold. And of course, “don’t be an asshole.”

Sicilian Village Style

Colors. So inspirational, so communicative, so captivating. I am a sucker for color and this video tops my charts for the best use of clothing colors.

The cinematography is gripping at first, paired with perfectly matched music, this video seems more like a music video than an ad. The slow motion of each character really adds flavor and professionalism to the video, as well as matching the name colors with the color the “mature” models are wearing. I wish my grandparents, let alone my parents, dressed like these trendy Sicilians. Sassy and vibrant, each is portraying their own personalities through their clothes.

I guess it is fitting (no pun intended) that the video was for a new shopping mall (or village as they call it in Italy) in Sicily, but their choice of conveying such beauty in their clothes was really wonderful. These days there are way too many too skinny, too pretty model parading around selling clothes that look nothing like what they are wearing one your own body. Perhaps I am just relived that this ad still showed style while also choosing classy models. What a new idea! Even though the Sicilia Fashion Village sells to all sorts of ages, they are using a certain demographic in their commercial that can really inspire all ages.

Granted, not anytime soon will I be wearing items from my grandmother’s closet, but hey those “mature” models were rocking some items I would love to have! Even the men looked über dapper and I kinda wish more of the fellas my age had the same style.

Colors, they can do wonders both in the ad world and real world.

Where Good Ideas Come From

Steven Johnson really gets to the root of creativity in his novel Where Good Ideas Come From. What really is magical is Johnson’s video interpretation of his book. While creating a lovely illustration, the viewer can listens to Johnson’s great advice like combining thoughts with others, or letting ideas mature and build.

The greatest point I think Johnson makes during this captivating video is that the Internet has really only boosted ideas and creativity. Now it is much easier to view other’s ideas, combine them with your own, and create something absolutely new and wonderful. To say it sweet, you create a good idea.

I think that too often people fear the Internet, its vastness, its overwhelming power. But really, the Ad industry and all industries out there should look at it just like Johnson proposed. This platform allows unlimited collaboration and possibilities, embrace it as such.

I have not read Johnson’s novel yet, but this video has definitely spiked my interest in it. Once again, the Internet, Twitter (where I followed a link to the video), and YouTube combine to create a collaboration between Johnson’s and my own ideas. Imagine sharing this video (let alone creating it before Y2K?

Seriously, thinking back to life without Internet severely scares me.

Are You an Influencer?

Remember that time in middle school when those horrible choker, fake tribal band necklaces were in? How about midriffs? Or black nail polish, skinny jeans, safety pins, straight hair, and crimped hair? Those fads were just the first few to pop into my brain when I started watching a wonderful mini-documentary by R + I Creative.

The main question posed in the 14 minute video was: are you an influencer? Those great icons, people who stood out for their times, created something new, an image, something to be sought after and emulated. Greats like Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Gandhi all started trends. These people have something special within them, a force to be reckoned with because they see things differently than others. They can create movements (which is a fancier word for trend) and spark shifts.

Influencers are usually people who use their creative back bone with everything. Not only can they make products “cool” but they create a nostalgia around a thought or an idea. I find this video so inspirational not even from an advertising view. Yea, trends is basically the whole plan behind marketing and advertising, so are movements and icons, but this video was different because it made me think back to why I like certain things. People, products, just plain things and why I like them.

One specific example in this video was Paul Newman. Just that name sparked inspiration for me. Not only is he a hunky man, but Paul was a fabulous actor turned philanthropist. Paul Newman started a movement that is still going strong and that has nothing to do with money and or marketing. Paul was an influencer.

Those pretty baby blue eyes could get me to buy or do anything, but because he relied on more than just his good looks (even though he didn’t have to) Paul and all the other icons should be commended.

Please watch the video below and figure out who your influencers are. Better yet, strive to make yourself an influencer for good.

Google Goggle WOW!

First off, watch this:

WOW. That was literally the only thing I was thinking when I watched this little info-video.

What else could come to mind when Google comes up with something that is so intelligent and revolutionary for the advertising industry? Really, could you image just seeing, JUST SEEING, something that you liked just take a photograph of it and have Google Goggles recognize it and direct you to that item. What an amazing opportunity for all consumers to have instant gratification. I have plenty of times seen certain clothes on someone or jewelry and wanted to know what that person got it. What about larger purchases like cars? Or even houses?

How about food? Take a pictures of a wrapper of a restaurant or a burger and have Google Goggles find the nearest burger stand. I would love to use this technologies for purchasing textbooks or music.

I can’t wait for this to become big and neither can others, like AdWeek. Read their opinion here.

Food Packaging Warnings

Cigarettes have long had labels warning consumers of the deathly effects, but what if the FDA went a little further? The New York Times featured an article about proposed new images for cigarette fronts that would include an image of a corpse with a toe tag. Would this tactic work. NYT poses the question as to where Americans will draw the line for their purchasing freedom and the government’s right to protect them.

I guess as a strategic I can look at this two ways: 1) this could potential morph into different products that “hurt” consumers or 2) this could kill competitors and highlight good-for-you products.

What would happen if those bag of chips you bought had a warning label on them? Or in menus at restaurants every ingrediant was listed? What would people buy or stop buying? Who’s opinion would it change and after how long would it take for consumers to become numb about these labels?

I personally know several cigarette smokers who no longer even look at the label that basically says “this will KILL you.” They are addicted, just like I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. With/without a label, it would be very hard for me to give up.

Would this stop you?

News Isn’t Dead, At Least From Your Technological Device

I beg to differ when people say news is dead. Technically, just the whole paper news is printed on is dying. Who wants to buy a piece of flimsy paper when you can view all the news you want online.

A recent infographic posted on the Wall Street Journal website, which is where I viewed the news myself, divvy up the habits on online newspaper readers. Split between cell phones, computers (laptops and desktops), and iPads this graph below portrays the time of day and popularity of each device with online readers.

Amazingly 97% of all online views of newspaper sites come from computers, where sadly cell phone eek out 2% and iPads get a measly <1%. Yet, what I find the most amusing is the fact that iPad usage jumps in the evening where computer and cell phone drastically drop. I guess it makes sense the computers would be the most popular device to use during the day since most people will be at work and just casually browse through the news sites. Smart phones seem to have a steady stream of online usage through the day, not exceeding either computers or iPads at anytime. I wonder if since cell phones are always on people they just receive a steady stream of readers because perhaps in the same parts of their day people are stuck between places and read the newspaper to kill time. Commute to work, waiting for lunch in line, commute home. The smart phone offers a much more accessible news source than larger computers and iPads, yet is it is not the most popular online reading device.

Maybe, with smart phone capabilities, news is not the most important thing for people to look at on their almighty phones. Texting, listening to music, playing games, smart phones offers these time passers and more. Is this why news is dead?