As a New York City resident, I understand the plight of the plebe. No matter the day, no matter the hour, no matter the distance, the subway is my mode of transport.
As an employee of RJWCollective, I implicitly understand aesthetics. This melodic web page, brainchild of Brooklynite Alexander Chen, a combination of delicate artistry, metropolitan musicality and MTA magic, displays actual live feeds of real train data (unlike 24, though, it’s not in real time, thankfully). In this world, time accelerates, so a 24-hour MTA train cycle passes in minutes. As the trains intersect, a cello is plucked, and we’re treated to some smooth jazz. Open a few of these tabs and you can really grind.
That’s not even the most remarkable part, though! Chen’s artistic integrity and devotion to accuracy takes the cake in that department; longer train lines make lower notes than shorter ones, just as an actual cello would.
And, as a bit of a tech-nerd, I feel the need to commend him on his impressive use of HTML5 Canvas. As early examples of how to best use this new medium go, you could do worse. For more info on Chen’s inspiration and how he built the site, check out his blog.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that my middle name is Alexander. What’s a Toby blog post without a little self-promotion?
I won't believe this until I actually try it: MindFlex, a new game from Mattel, is a simple obstacle course through which you move a small foam ball that hovers on puffs of air. The crazy thing? You move the ball with your mind.
WITH YOUR MIND!
The player wears a headset that apparently senses brain activity and actually makes the ball move around a small space.
WITH YOUR MIND!
I have a few questions.
First of all, the ad says "batteries not included". Why does my mind need batteries?
Also, the ad says to order today to "avoid disappointment". Is this a general solution to all of the disappointment in my life, or just my disappointment at not getting the futuristic mind-control game?
If this is possible, why can't I wear a headset all day and move objects around my office with my mind? Why can't I just concentrate hard when I need to get up and refill my water glass? Why did I even just stand up to get that piece of paper our of the printer? I want to move things around the real way...
WITH MY MIND!
If I can get my hands on this game, I'll do a serious review and let you know if it actually works. For now, I'm sitting at my desk trying to get Carli to know that I want her to turn around... with my mind.
The topic of Hello Kitty keeps coming up in my conversations. First, I had to pick up my friend’s credit card that she left at a bar – it was a Hello Kitty/Visa credit card. (Hello Kitty can apparently pick up bar tabs these days?) Second, Martina, our amazing Social Media Manager and I started talking about the immense universe surrounding the brand at the Lacoste L!VE event for the Legends sneaker collection. Hello Kitty’s brand identity in regard to simplicity and elucidation has become something familiar to all – the image has been mass produced on over 10,000 products in North America alone. The Hello Kitty brand, created by Yoku Shimizu for the Japanese firm Sanrio in 1974, was a central topic for me in graduate school after reading a fantastic book titled Buying In by Rob Walker. Walker describes how Shimizu was tasked with creating 6 potential designs to go on a vinyl purse – and the Hello Kitty image was the most popular. Brand strategists around the world agree that the fascination around the image is because there is no expression on Hello Kitty’s face. Shimizu never created a mouth – which allows consumers the opportunity to feel any emotion with Hello Kitty – whether it be happy, sad, surprised, or somewhere in between. While Mickey Mouse and other famous characters gained their personality through comic strips and films, Hello Kitty was never apart of that – again allowing consumers to relate to the figure in anyway they wish. As Walker writes in his book, “not only can logos have meaning, and not only can that meaning be manufactured – it can be manufactured by consumers. Ultimately, a cultural symbol that catches on is almost never simply imposed, but rather is created and then tacticly agreed upon by those who choose to accept it’s meaning, wherever that meaning may have originiation. That’s why Hello Kitty is: a cultural symbol. And a successful brand.” The ability to allow the consumer to enter into their own imagined community gives consumers the complete power to buy into today's brand-centered society. If you're interested in reading more about the Desire Code, the purple cow theory, "murketing," and learn more about the insight into brands like Red Bull, Converse, or PBR, I highly reccomend putting this on your holiday gift list. Do you think Hello Kitty is an over-done image that's mass produced or a brilliant brand that should be discussed more? I think we should discuss.
Waaaaaay back in the Spring of Aught-Eight (2008, for you youngins), I departed my beloved America to live and study in Morocco for a little over 4 months. Without boring you with a diatribe, my experience was incredible - never before have I learned so much about culture, language, religion, myself, and a whole host of other things in such a short amount of time.
What does this have to do with marketing, you might ask? Well, these photos (taken by yours truly) demonstrate some of the incredible Islamic design work accomplished by Moroccan artisans at large. To think, what these guys could have done with modern tools and a world of demand recently for Moroccan aesthetics!
Also, keep in mind that there are over 1.3 billion Muslims in the world... we could learn a lot about reaching an audience!
Also, as an Account Executive whose primary responsibility is to communicate effectively - I can think of no better gauntlet to hone that ability than being dumped into the middle of a country as linguistically fragmented as Morocco. Not only is Arabic mixed with French (and Spanish, in the North and extreme South), but there are 3 distinct Berber (indigenous language) dialects mixed in depending on which region you find yourself in. Case study: I spent some time in a rural village with city dwellers (native Moroccans), who were often unable to communicate effectively with the other Arabic-speakers from the area.
Nevertheless, that struggle is precisely what made my time there such a beneficial adventure.
Loving this new feature vanity fair is running with...just showing insight into the desks of great minds...what makes them tick and what motivates them. This issue's feature's the legendary Aaron Sorkin and his eclectic surroundings. view full story here
It's getting colder out, the responsibilities of visiting our families over the holidays are approaching, and I am personally already looking forward to planning a sick vacation this spring or summer. Traveling is expensive, and thus we need to book early these days! Fortunately, The Yacht Week is getting ready to take bookings, and after stumbling across the event while partying in Croatia this summer, I cannot wait to make my reservation. Grab a hot looking skipper off the dock, your awesome group of friends,and jump aboard a luxurious sailboat. Don't have enough cash? You can also get a job at Yacht Week - from being an actual skipper to a videographer - allowing you to be right there in the mix as well. Trust me, you will never want to leave....S.O.S. won't be required.
Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book.
Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?