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tech in the spotlight

At SXSW, #FEED Marries Art and Tech

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2013 02:26 PM

Art met industry at SXSW where the proverbial contenders: content versus technology and  art versus industry got bundled and branded by #FEED—to everyone’s benefit.

The #FEED, powered by Twitter, spanned five days as 16 top interactive media artists plied their wares telling the SXSW story in art installations curated by Learned Evolution and The Meta Agency. A nightly party, named @NIGHT brought DJs onto projection-mapped stages with interactive walls at the Austin Museum of Art at the Jones Center.Continue reading...

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web watch

BuzzFeed and Tumblr Rumble in the Digital Jungle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 04:04 PM

As traditional media brands continue to be disrupted by digital aspirants, BuzzFeed and Tumblr have emerged as robust contenders for dominance in the arenas of social content-sharing and socially-driven advertising.

Buzzfeed just raised $19.3 million in a fourth round of funding led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates, resulting in a war chest of $34-million to hire new writers, expand the network globally and begin an acquisition shopping spree.

Tumblr, meanwhile, counts more than 200 million monthly visitors and 18 billion pageviews and is also looking for revenue-generation to justify its valuation, and visual ads are a seamless and organic fit. Which is better positioned to win the Interwebz?Continue reading...


Selfridges Goes Logo-Free for No-Noise Quiet Shopping New Year's Revolution

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2013 12:12 PM

Selfridges has revealed its first batch of unbranded products as part of its month-long "No Noise" quiet shopping promotion.

Ahead of Monday's official launch of the event, the British retailer's Oxford Street flagship in London has unveiled its first collection of de-logofied products in partnership with brands in its food hall a trio of bare labels created by Heinz for its iconic ketchup bottle, baked beans tin and Marmite jar. (Warning: It's a "very limited" collection by Heinz, tweeted Selfridges food and restaurants manager David Jarvis.)

Selfridges grocery section of its food hall is now offering on-the-spot juicing by Juice Club UK, healthy snacks (and a food prescription consultation) from WinNaturally and other "food for thought" as part of the promotion inspired by the store's namesake founder — whose story is coming to British TV on Sunday night, with Jeremy Piven starring as "Mr. Selfridge" in ITV's new period drama series.

Other "No Noise" elements shoppers can check out include free meditation sessions and motion sensor window displays from Headspace, cellphone- and shoe-free shopping, art and (quiet) music performances and other moves to turn down the visual and auditory volume as a minimalist kick-off to the new year.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Seth Godin’s Disruptive Icarus Deception Takes Flight

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2013 12:44 PM

It’s fitting that the ancient mythical figure Icarus is the poster boy for marketing maven Seth Godin’s latest manifesto, The Icarus Deception.

A prodigious author of more than a dozen bestselling books translated into more than 30 languages, this aims to be more than just a book. It's Godin’s most provocative thesis to date, using the entire publishing process itself as a marketing experiment to illustrate how the connection economy works by creating and activating a community to participate by making and sharing their own "art" (he takes a broad view on art, as you'll see).

Godin’s aim is to reinvent the process of writing, making, funding, marketing and launching a "book" by sparking a public art-sharing project. On Monday he launched the first ever "Icarus Session," get-togethers organized via Meet-up and his website Squidoo, in a bid to create a worldwide event in 1,262 cities with 11,168 "Linchpins" and "Artists." 

The sessions invite strangers to share (in 2 minutes and 20 seconds) something they've made or something that inspires them. That passion could be a company or brand, a piece of art or literature, or another creative expression. Godin will pick the best to publish on YouTube.

As much about the process as the end result, Godin sold his publisher, booksellers and readers/participants on the concept by launching it as a crowdfunded project on the Kickstarter website. The creative trailblazer launched the project on June 18, 2012 and ended it July 17, 2012, having raised $287,342 (well above his goal of $40,000, which he passed within three hours of launch) from 4,242 backers.

video that Godin co-produced with Squarespace and highlighted in a blog post, features Sasha Dichter (Acumen Fund), Sarma Melngailis (One Lucky Duck), Josh Rubin (Coolhunting), and Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swiss Miss/Tattly).Continue reading...


Selfridges No-Noise New Year's Resolution: Silent, Logo-Free Shopping

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2013 01:47 PM

Here's a retail concept that "No Logo" champion Naomi Klein might approve of — maybe. Britain's fabled Selfridges department store is ushering in the new year with a vow of silence. The "Best Department Store in the World" (according to last year's Global Department Store Summit in Paris) is rolling out a "No-Noise" concept to its flagship stores including London starting January 7th and running through the end of February. As part of the promotion, they're even convincing brands to strip their logos in an attempt to reduce visual noise for shoppers. Some of the "de-branded" items on offer include Levi's 501 jeans and the pricey Crème De La Mer face cream line.

According to Selfridges' blog post, "Some of the world’s most recognisable brands have taken the admirable step of removing their logos in our exclusive collection of de-branded products, available in the Quiet Shop." And it's not just about logo-free shopping (or shhopping, as the case may be), as there will be art and meditation, along with food and music, to clear the mind.Continue reading...

kidding around

Untoys for Tots: Inspiring Kids With Augmented Reality and a Cardboard Box

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 09:54 AM

Last year, Americans spent nearly $135 billion on gifts during the holiday season, with video games ranking most popular for kids. So this holiday season, Energy BBDO and Xi Chicago decided to remind kids the simple joys of play with the opposite of a video game: a cardboard box. 

Remember Caine's Arcade, the touching video of a boy who made a cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store in East Los Angeles? Cue "Mister Imagine's Toy Store," a pop-up shop selling nothing but cardboard in Chicago’s Wicker Park, to promote real play and creativity, as part of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s current “Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard” exhibit.

As Adweek notes, “Children can select a box (a donation is requested) and then head to the art room to create their own unique creation. If kids are having trouble figuring out what to make, they can step up to an augmented reality station and see options appear on their box, ask a handy art facilitator on staff, or simply look around at the stunning artworks that make up the decor.”Continue reading...

fashion therapy

All Yoko Ono is Saying Is Give Jockstraps a Chance

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 09:54 AM

Yoko Ono has always been full of surprises. Whether it’s spending a week in an Amsterdam hotel bed with John Lennon to promote world peace, coming onstage in Tokyo and having audience members cut her garments off until she was naked, and directing a film that consists pretty much entirely of people’s buttocks as they walk on a treadmill. It's all in a day's work for the avant garde artist/musician.

Well, Ono has added another interesting twist to her long and fascinating career. She has launched a limited edition menswear collection, Fashions For Men 1969-2012, for New York-based indie fashion retailer Opening Ceremony based on sketches that she gave Lennon in 1969 before they were married. “The designs were intended to emphasize his 'very sexy bod,'” according to the Daily Mail.

Thankfully we may never know if Lennon donned any of the 18 designs for jock straps, light-up bras and hoodies emblazoned with butt prints, but the 79-year-old Ono is hoping that men across the globe will. But you have to get them while they’re hot. There are only 52 of each product except for the sweatshirts and posters that will likely be desired by a much larger audience. Prices range from $75 to $750.

Ono, of course, is still keeping her personal brand in the news while also keeping Lennon's brand alive and well heading into 2013. Still, she argues, it's a labor of love: “I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present,” Ono stated about the collection. “You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more.”Continue reading...

luxury watch

Il Palazzo: Prada Launches First Mobile App as Virtual Gallery

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2012 10:01 AM

Prada has launched its first mobile app, an extension of a visual partnership with fashion illustrator Richard Haines — a major digital move for the Italian fashion label, one that it describes as the culmination of "a multi-platform project combining hand-made artistry and cutting-edge technology."Continue reading...

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