Friday, November 30, 2007

From The Coolhunter in Australia:

"Forget about wandering through an art gallery and wondering if you’re the only one who has no idea what anything means. Hannes Broecker has brilliantly invited the cultural elite to grab a glass at an exhibition in Dresden, Germany, and drink away the art.

Regardless of what we do or do not understand about art, we can all agree, it stimulates our senses. Broecker has aroused our sense of taste (not to mention eliminated the need of elbowing our way to the bar) by hanging flat, glass containers with a variety of cocktails in the exhibition space. As the night progressed, the levels of the multi-coloured infusions diminished. By the end of the event, the art, itself, ran dry, and empty drinking glasses were returned to where they were originally placed. By Andrew J Wiener."

Thumbs up to Sally for finding this.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Molson have been forced to pull a University targeted Facebook campaign after accusations that it was promoting irresponsible drinking. Think this is a good example of the difficulties of promoting alcohol using social media and UGC.

More here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From Dgital Hive

"On a recent transcontinental flight I was catching up on recent issues of the New Yorker and discovered a very interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell in the November 12th issue.

We've all heard about criminal profiling - the process of using factoids about an unknown criminal to get into the offender's mind and motivation in order to capture him or her. I'm interested in profiling because it's so often been likened to account planning (interestingly, an APG conference about 10 years ago had a leading criminal profiler as a guest presenter).

Gladwell's article is a fascinating read for anyone who likes puzzles and problem solving. It was particularly interesting to me because it debunks the credibility of the long-worshiped craft of profiling - and therefore raises some issues about how we planners pursue our craft.

He reveals: "In the mid-nineties, the British Home Office analyzed a hundred and eighty-four crimes, to see how many times profiles led to the arrest of a criminal. The profile worked in five of those cases. That's just 2.7 per cent." Clearly profiling has gotten more credit than it's due.

He cites a number of specific failings of profilers' typical techniques. First off - vagueness which masks a lack of logic and rigor. He writes about a number of investigations where the profile - compiled by an "expert" - was ill-defined, and outright wrong, in part because the profiler relied too heavily upon intuition rather than facts.

A key driver for error: incorrectly ascribing motivation to action. He quotes Brent Turvey, a forensic scientist who has been highly critical of the FBI's approach: "The fact is that different offenders can exhibit the same behaviors for completely different reasons. You've got a rapist who attacks a woman in the park and pulls her shirt up over her face. Why? What does that mean? There are ten different things it could mean. It could mean he doesn't want to see her. It could mean he doesn't want her to see him. It could mean he wants to see her breasts, he wants to imagine someone else, he wants to incapacitate her arms—all of those are possibilities. You can't just look at one behavior in isolation."

Unlike criminal profilers, we planners aren't solving crimes, and our role is seldom a matter of life and death. And it doesn't inspire Big Ideas to quote facts - using our imaginations and being playful help us to inspire the team. But we need to strike the right balance of inspiration and information. So we have something to learn here.

First off, rigor is critical. We can't just pontificate and make stuff up, we must study consumers to truly understand why they do what they do. Second, we need to be careful when assuming what rationale is driving a behavior; that's why we blended behavior and attitude in our recent WebDotDigitas work. Finally, we need to constantly track how successfully our impressions of consumer motivation translate into in-market results - and continually improve our approaches. This means paying attention to measurement results and thinking about how we can use them to improve the work."

Download the Gladwell article here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

From Tom Fishbourne's blog

"Over Thanksgiving 2003, Jones Soda boldly went where no holiday pack had gone before, with a limited edition Turkey & Gravy soda. Delicious. They produced just 6,000 bottles, only offered it online, and sold out in a couple hours. A few days later, bidding on eBay was up to $63 for a two bottle set. Along the way, they scored a slew of free publicity. Not bad for the cost of 6,000 bottle-run.

They've followed that up every year since, and just announced two Christmukkah packs. Their Chanukah pack features Chocolate Coins, Applesauce, Latke, and Jelly Doughnut sodas. Their Christmas pack features Christmas Ham, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog, and Sugar Plum sodas.

The next time someone tells you your idea is "polarizing", just point them to Jones. To compete in the cola wars, they have to be polarizing. Yes, that means some hate it. But, it also means that some love it rampantly (just look at all of the Jones stuff on eBay). What they can't be is ordinary.

I love seeing ways that Davids successfully compete against Goliaths. Another cool thing Jones does is make all of their labels from random pictures that fans have sent in. They've had 748,578 photos posted by consumers so far, most available on their gallery. And you can bet that when your picture is chosen, you tell everybody you know. Really smart."

Great video from Herve This, the daddy of molecular mixology. Via Coolhunting.

From BBH.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Again from PSFK:

"Although obvious to anyone who is a minority, a new study might be a news flash for some brands that target African Americans.

Pew Research and NPR conducted a study that found 37 percent of African Americans now agree that it is no longer appropriate to think of black people as a single race – a sentiment that’s stronger among young black people, ages 18-29. The split in the black race comes down to a matter of values, according to the poll.

The study also revealed two interesting facts: an overwhelming majority of African Americans think the hip-hop industry is detrimental to black America. And that young black people are the most upset about the way black Americans are portrayed on television and in the movies. I would throw “advertising” in the mix, but that’s just me.

NPR: Redefining What It Means to Be Black in America"


"Seen at Euston station- finally London gets on board with digital advertising displays. (excuse the poor quality and shoddy camera work- was best i could do!) We hope to see a lot more of these popping up soon - a prime opportunity for branded utility to enhance the travel experience."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What a great idea from the Scotch Blog

"Attendees of the Glasgow Whisky Live will have the chance to participate in one of the best the best whisky marketing stunt in a long time.

What is a "Whisky Amnesty"?

The same idea behind a gun amnesty - something that is unfortunately a common occurrence here in America, whereby you turn in your illegal firearm and all is forgiven.

But this one is different and much better - it's like turning in a hand gun and getting a bazooka in return.

Got a bottle of some horrible Vodka? Crappy Blend left to you by a dead relative? Nasty Rum you picked up in Belize? Something unidentifiable you picked up in Bulgaria and are afraid to drink?

Turn it in and Highland Park will give you a bottle of their 18 year old in exchange.*

Jason Craig, Highland Park's Global Brand Controller, tells me:

"To be able to host a Whisky Amnesty in Scotland is both exciting and an honour, as never before has an event ever been run like this within the whisky industry.

Highland Park 18 years old is a multi award winning single malt which we have wanted to showcase as much as possible and what better way to do this than to give whisky lovers the chance to enjoy it for themselves. Over 140 people have already registered to take part so we know it is going to be very popular on the day."

The amnesty will begin at 3pm on Friday 2nd November at Highland Park’s stand within Whisky Live, held at the SECC, Glasgow."

Monday, November 12, 2007

From the ever excellent NotCot:

"Right Gin ~ seems to have done branding the right way… with a old style classic crest composed of everything from Stags “symbols of strength and fortitude that challenge the status quo”, Socrates “the omnipresent all-knowing fly-on-the-wall”, Black “Sophistication & Authority”, Crown “symbol of our high hope to conquer the world”, a motto - Est Unus Modus Verus - “There is a right way”… and those are only some of my favorite elements of their crest, see below for screenshots breaking down every aspect of their crest.

As for the gin itself, i have no idea how it tastes, but reading its intriguing history on their site had made me curious to find some… after all anything made by such precise image controlling perfectionists that hated the taste of gins that came before must be worth a try… also on fun details… they have a “What’s your pleasure” section of their site that helps you make your ideal drink… but doesn’t offer your usual options, under Pixie Dust, you can choose from options like Pinch of Lust, Bucket of Revenge, Thimble of Envy, etc! [sidenote: does it drive anyone else nuts that instead of pretending to paperclip the picture up there, they put a paperclip sitting above it?]"

Looks really cool... and I love the fact that another booze brand thinks the idea of a crest is a good idea...

Friday, November 09, 2007

From Alt Japan via Boing Boing:

"For relaxing times... Make it Suntory time, with these amazing Japanese whiskey commercials from the '80s. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Now they start getting weirder. This one's a circus sideshow, complete with a midget dressed like an angel, a corpulent fire-eater and a knife-thrower hurling blades into a volume of Rimbaud. It's downright Lynchian. This is what the inside of your head looks like after a couple of Suntory Royal highballs."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From Sybarites

"Dior and Château d’Yquem (Both LVMH affiliated companies) have announced their collaboration on a anti aging cream together. The cream will utilize the sap from the vine shoots of the sauvignon grapes from the Château d’Yquem. Ten molecules are then extracted from the sap, these molecules have both anti-oxidizing and regenerating properties. The purpose of the cream is very ironic due to the fact that Château d’Yquem harvests their grapes after they begin to rot thus incurring the Botrytis fungus."

As found on Not Cot today. The Macallan's 55 year old whisky looks amazing in its Lalique decanter.

More detailed coverage appears on Sybarites

"The Macallan have launched their second decanter made in association with Lalique, it contains a unique 55 year old single malt whisky. The Lalique decanter is made from Lalique crystal and features a bottle stopper shaped like the Lalique Tiara perfume’s bottle stopper but is colored the same dark amber as The Macallan single malt contained within the decanter. Only four hundred and twenty decanter’s will be made and available through The Macallan’s distributers."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Great idea from Veuve Cliquot and Porsche Design to create the ideal storage unit for Veuve Clicquot champagne. Bound to generate talkability for both Porshce and Veuve.

They have offered people the chance to win one by submitting the three people you'd like to share a bottle of champagne with. Probably a good way of doing a bit of casual research too.

From Cool Hunting:

"Champagne house Veuve Clicquot today launched Vertical Limit by Porsche Design Studio, a stainless steel cellar tower of superb design (at right, click on image for enlarged view). Measuring over six feet tall, it holds 12 magnums of Clicquot's most prized vintages and only 15 were made worldwide. In celebration of this special release Cool Hunting is giving away your choice of two potential prizes. What do you want? A pair of rare vintage Veuve Clicquot champagnes (1988 and a 1985 Rosé) encased in the Pablo Reinoso Cellar Box (below left) OR Veuve Clicquot's limited edition La Grande Dame 1996 vintage with special Emilio Pucci casing (below right). La Grande Dame is Veuve Clicquot's Haute Couture Vintage Champagne.

Each Vertical Limit is fully handmade and each of the 12 vintages are housed in its own compartment with the temperature set at a constant 12 degrees celsius—ideal for tasting and the same climate as the Veuve Clicquot cellars in Reims, France. Of the 15 produced worldwide only two will make it stateside and they will be showcased at the Porsche Design Stores in New York and Los Angeles during the month of November. Each cellar containing the 12 vintages is approximately $70,000."


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