Archivo mensual: abril 2011

El nuevo delirio de Morgan Spurlock

 Morgan Spurlock, director de Super Size Me, pagó 25000 dólares para dar a una ciudad de Pensilvana el nombre de su próxima película, enteramente financiado por la publicidad y el marketing.

Todos conocemos a Spurlock y su documental Super Size Me (2004) donde se sometía a las bondades de la comida chatarra y sufriendo sus consecuencias. Esta vez, decidió criticar los negocios realizados entre el cine y la publicidad. Su objetivo: financiar íntegramente su nueva película con publicidad. Así nació POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

La marca de jugo POM Wonderful aparece hasta en el título de su película, formando parte del  proyecto del director que desea criticar la intromisión de productos en la industria cinematográfica.

Por 25000 dólares, la ciudad de Altoona cambió de nombre.

Revolucionando los métodos usuales de producción, Morgan Spurlock fue más lejos todavía para vender su película. Por 25000 dólares, el director compró el nombre de la ciudad de Altoona (Pensilvana) para la promoción de su película. Desde el 27 de abril y durante 60 días, la cuidad se nombrará: “Pom Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold” como el título de la película. El director se entusiasma con esta compra insólita: «No puedo imaginar una mejor manera de celebrar la explosión del business hoy en día en los Estados Unidos que comprando los derechos de designación de la ciudad de Altoona. Durante 60 días, Altoona renombrada será el ejemplo más elocuente de la manera en que una cuidad estadounidense maneja su propia promoción hoy en día.». Para el intendente de Altoona, Bill Schirf, el nuevo bautismo del lugar es una buena manera de hacer conocer la ciudad: “Altoona tiene una rica y gran historia. Morgan Spurlock nos está dando un plataforma para mostrar al mundo el tesoro escondido que existe en esta comunidad.

Altoona no es la primera ciudad en cambiar su nombre por plata. En los años cincuenta, Hot Springs (New Mexico) había sido renombrada Truth or Consequences, como el título de un programa de radio popular de la NBC, que se transformó después en un programa de televisión.

Además de Wonderful Pom, otras marcas pagaron para ser spónsors del documental: Ban (un desodorizante), JetBlue Airways (una compañía aérea), Hyatt Hotels (una cadena hotelera) y Merrell (un marca de zapatos).

El 27 de Junio, la ciudad de Altoon celebrará el cambio de nombre con la difusión del documental. Y después de junio, las cosas volverán a la normalidad: Altoona volverá a ser Altoona.

Por Arnaud Hallet

How the brain shapes the taste of food

Unilever R&D partnered the University of Manchester in a project to understand how a person’s brain shapes the taste of their food, and how consumers make and maintain healthy food choices.

Looking at behaviour

The team studied the way that food is perceived through all our senses, how consumers acquire ‘rewards’ from food through signals from the brain and what all this means for food product design. The aim is to generate great products for consumers as we uncover the underlying processes, laws and rules that govern their behaviour.

Using neural science

The task of neuroscience is to explain behaviour in terms of the activities of the brain: how the brain marshals its millions of individual nerve cells to produce behaviour, and how these cells are influenced by the environment.

But the process of observing patterns of neural behaviour as a person swallows a drink at the same time as their brain is being scanned is technically challenging. This makes these studies of liking, expectation and taste – and the interactions between them – genuinely unique.

Subtle differences

‘What is undoubtedly new about our research’ explains Dr Anna Thomas, Unilever R&D, ‘is that we explore the neural response to really subtle contrasts in stimuli such as sweetness. Until now, research has focused on comparing very unpleasant to very pleasant stimuli, but using more sophisticated research techniques, comparisons have been made that map very realistically the ways in which consumers experience products. Thus, the results have an unprecedented realism, an attribute particularly important to innovative product design.

Sensory science and the real world

This research involves the area of science called Multisensory Integration. This examines the subtle interplay of the senses in our perception and appreciation of food. Understanding the perceptual processes taking place in multisensory integration with decision making is critical for innovative product design.

The Coca Cola Friendship Machine

What if you can climb up a huge Coke machine and get 2 coke bottles for the price of one?

A promo that only Friendship day can make possible.

Tina Fey on Improv

Tina Fey on Improv: “

‘When you create something out of nothing, the first rule is to agree.’

– Tina Fey

Tina Fey taught Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt the rules of comedy improve last week during her appearance at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View:

I heart Tina Fey.

(Via swissmiss.)

Gewgaw cools down coffee to 140 F, then keeps it there for hours

So far 3,383 people have pledged $205,650 on Kickstarter towards the Coffee Joulies project. I didn’t know that coffee cooling down too quickly was such a big problem.

Coffee Joulies work with your coffee to achieve two goals. First, they absorb extra thermal energy in your coffee when it’s served too hot, cooling it down to a drinkable temperature three times faster than normal. Next, they release that stored energy back into your coffee keeping it in the right temperature range twice as long.

This amazing feat of thermodynamics happens thanks to a special non-toxic material sealed within the polished stainless steel shell. This material is designed to melt at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and absorbs a lot of energy as it melts. This is how Joulies cool your coffee down three times faster than normal. Once it reaches this temperature, the special material begins to solidify again, releasing the energy it stored when it melted. This is how Joulies keep your coffee warm twice as long.

Coffee Joulies – your coffee, just right

Previously on Boing Boing: Coffee Joulies

(Via Boing Boing.)

An evolution in the making; from designing things to designing experiences.

The phenomenon of cheaper, faster, better (better in terms of having more options) is more a result of global economics than it is a corporate mandate.  If you think about Bauhaus (the origins of Industrial Design) and how it was intended to provide a social service of making houses and household product more accessible for the ‘have-nots’ in a Baroque society, Industrialization was the net result of an economic and social political position of that time and location.  When Bauhaus demonstrated that their experimental process would save on materials, time and energy in the production and assembly of architecture, typography and products; they essentially invented the mass-industrial tools that we still use today.  As these Industrial Design tools migrated to the North America they found new traction in commercialization, marketing and branding. Examples; Raymond Loewy streamlining for everything from Shell Oil logos, Locomotive Trains and the Coke bottle shape.

However, we are now experiencing another evolution in Industrial Design as it appears to be reaching the end of an evolutionary plateau, with emerging industrial economies such as China and India set to take over  the way things get made (for better or worse).  It is important to note that Industrial manufacturing will continue to exist, yet it must evolve to keep up with emerging needs of society and the new rules of global responsibility.  In a similar way that Industrial processes in Europe became focussed on premium quality rather than mass-quantity, North American manufacturing will need to re-examine and re-evaluate where their strengths are and what long term potential exists based on examining holistic risks and opportunities.

Since the 1950’s manufacturing expertise in North America has been systematically reduced to ever more efficient assembly lines with ever increasing regulations and manufacturing processes with more emphasis devoted to marketing and advertising.  As a result of this, manufacturers have become increasingly more clever at reducing the number, complexity and cost of manufacturing.  However as we look forward to the next phase of evolution in our emerging world economy, the core Industrial Design skills and manufacturing expertise appears to be set for going open and experiential.

It is this technical know-how that is gradually being re-distributed throughout the Internet and it is allowing new micro-assembly methods for independents, proving a way to bypass traditional investment heavy processes and procedures.  This is proving to be most beneficial for the emerging economies and independents start-ups.  Fisker Automotive and Tesla Automotive are both companies who are touting their independent green credentials, and yet they using the same supplier base from larger OEMs to create their more sharply defined and powerful Premium Electric or Plug-in Hybrids vehciles. Most important to note however, is that these are still early days for these type of innovators.

Already there are other new (smaller scale) business models which are begining to pop up.  As with many innovations, it is not always the originator of an idea who benefits from an idea or technology first.  Sometimes the groundwork that has been laid down by previous business experiments and prototype models leads innovators to other business models with separate and an un-intended technologies and they are able to realize a novel new approach for use in a new type of product.  An interesting example at this end of the spectrum is BPG Motors; an small start-up company born from a highschool science project in which the technology of Segway’s personal transporter was reformatted to fit into a motorcycle style package.  After only a few short years, the company is now experimenting with a fold-up scooter prototype, the UNO III, which can transform itself to save space to be taken indoors and up an elevator.  None of this would have been possible if not for the accessibility of open-source know-how and shared technologies (such as the out-sourced rapid prototyping of aluminum parts).

Are brand names, badges or marques of a manufacturer more important than what the physical product is?  These are questions that I often think about.  I think automotive manufacturers also need to address these kinds question before taking their brands into the realm of experience design.  If a manufacturer of a brand cannot impart a more compelling story beyond what the end customer picks up from their  dealership, then perhaps it is time for an investigation  around what kinds of experiences, journeys and alternative narratives can be provided to consumers.

Industrial Design has often been criticized as one of the most destructive professions due to the resulting industrial waste,  shortened mid-cycle enhancements and associated pollutants with the entire socio-economic, industrial and commercial program.  There are several leading minds in  transportation design and automotive design experts who acknowledge that the only way to improve current and emerging issues related to transportation and mobility is in collaboration with non-automotive sectors.  More importantly there is now an industry awareness and emphasis on designing experiential brands, that take consumers beyond the realm of ‘yes or no type offerings’ or other stand alone products, and instead focuses on delivering a participative experience.  This is the next evolution for Industrial Design as it requires a breadth of knowledge of both product, process and positioning.

So what does all this mean to brand-name manufacturers?    Manufactures can do much more for consumers, and  there are real needs that can be addressed right now beyond simply offering more products.  The short answers could be in developing alternatives to car ownership, and alleviating time wasted for commuters stuck in traffic.  There are many forms this could this take, most obviously transit buses and ride/share programs.  But how could an automotive brand use experiential marketing to provide a premium service?  Would there be anything from a brand to add to the experience beyond simply being an ‘outstanding, compelling or gotta-have-product’?   Imagine an autonomous limo that picks you and and delivers you your destination, that is piloted by Google, co-branded by Apple and offers passengers an engaging experiences designed by Universal Studios.  Or how about stopping off at Starbucks to recharge your electric hybrid while you enjoy your favorite cup of coffee?

The path forward is not yet clear, and there is still much deliberation about what vehicle architectures, electric infrastructure and vehicle servicing that will be needed in the future.  However, industry already knows about the more immediate and frustrating issues of traffic, pollution and insurance premiums.  If foresight indications are correct, then the R&D groups of large OEM’s need to begin re-evaluating what mobility means, and what role their brands will play in a service oriented economy.   Creative technology environments are generally reserved for work in manufacturing R&D silos, however I know from experience that they can be quite flexible in accommodating new types of design and engineering (see my earlier post here).  In order for OEM brands to gain access to the next evolution economy, the Researching-of and Designing-exercises for consumer experience based offerings, must be opened up beyond the silo of transportation designers.  What is needed now, is a new platform to engage policy makers, urban planners and non-automotive businesses with those in the Automotive Corporate world.

(Via Noodleplay.)

9 Interesting Infographics About Color

Color, one of the most overlooked and yet important elements to our every day lives. Because of the makeup of our brains, and the correlations between sight and perception, we are affected on a very deep level by color. Perhaps even more than we are affected by shape, or any other sense in the mind and body.

But color can relate to a great many things, even changing the way we think and feel. Check out these fantastic infographics about color and the way it is set in our world.

1. Psychology of Color

Psychology of Color

Many designers focus heavily on color schemes when they are working on logos, graphics or layouts. This is because the way a color is laid out will ultimately affect the impression and overall mood of the viewer. This infographic describes how each color maes a viewer feel, giving you an idea of how they will perceive your design.

2. What Your Web Design Says About You

What your Web Design Says About You

Going a little bit deeper, this site is also made to show you how certain colors create certain feelings in the viewer. They provide information on a lot of the in-between colors, such as light blue verses indigo, or pink vs. white or red. They peg it as ‘Color Science’, and show you how to properly utilize it for your own benefit.

3. How Color Affects Our Purchases

How Color Affects Our Purchases

Color affects more than mood, it also changes our buying habits. According to studies, there is an 80percent change depending on color when it comes to online shops, ads and campaigns. This site provides tips on each color, to show you how you can aggressively or subtely call to your market.

4. Using Color in Graphic Design

Using Color in Graphic Design

A great, printable reference sheet that shows how colors can be used more effectively in marketing.

5. Most Powerful Colors On the Web

Ever wonder what the best colors on the web are? Using a study based on logos of the most influential and powerful companies on the web, they compiled an infographic that works as a list. From the dominating blue of Facebook, to the red of YouTube, this is a must see.

6. What Different Colors Mean Around the World

What Different Colors Mean Around the World

Extremely interesting, this infographic tells you about colors and their associations from around the globe. From anger and jealousy, to virtue and bravery, the meanings can be interesting, and sometimes ever surprising.

7. Colors and Flags

Colors and Flags

An interesting infographic, this is a great way to teach the flags of nations to children. The pie charts show how much of each color is on the flag, and you can guess which one it is. Clicking on it reveals the flag itself, and the nation it comes from.

8. Color Preference By Gender

Color Preference By Gender

This study set out to find the preference of colors by gender, to see the difference based on brain biology. While many were similar, others had a wide difference, such as the male majority liking blue, and females liking purple.

9. The Color of Twitter

The Color of Twitter

The creators of this infographic went through Twitter to find the most prevalent background colors used on profiles by users. This, they say, gives us the ‘Color of Twitter’. You might surprised by the results.

Color is a huge part of us, and of our general experience in life. Taking the time to realize how it affects us, from mood to thought patterns, will give us a baseline to calculate the relevance whereever we may need it. So next time you are making a media campaign, or just selecting new paint for your walls, keep in mind that what you choose is more important than looking pretty.

This is a post from Inspired Magazine. If you like it, you may want to subscribe to our RSS full feed to be updated on every article we’re publishing. Also, it’s highly recommended to follow us on Twitter!

9 Interesting Infographics About Color

(Via Inspired Magazine.)

¡Socorro! ¡Ayudadme!… ¡He caído en una trampa!

Estar el el sitio equivocado, en el momento equivocado y sin posibilidad de hacer nada para evitarlo… Quedar atrapados -con nocturnidad y alevosía- allí dónde no lo esperábamos, puede convertirse en una traumática experiencia que, es más que probable, cambie nuestra forma de entender la realidad que nos rodea.

La campaña que hoy acompaña este post es lo suficientemente buena y obvia, como para tener que apuntar ninguna observación. Y es que el tráfico ilegal de especies salvajes en Brasil es un problema tan grave que bien merece un ejercicio publicitario como el que se ha planteado -aunque, imagino que a más de uno o una, la experiencia no le habrá hecho ninguna gracia-.

Así que la reflexión de hoy trascenderá del plano de lo previsible, y trataré de ahondar en las ‘trampas’ que nos acechan en las redes sociales, y que pueden dejarnos atrapados y casi sin posibilidad alguna de escapar de ellas.

Los problemas surgidos en torno a la privacidad de nuestros datos, la letra pequeña que acompaña los ‘contratos’ de adhesión a las diferentes plataformas sociales -y que casi nunca leemos-, la imposibilidad manifiesta de borrar definitivamente nuestros rastros en la red, etc., se están convirtiendo en una jaula que limita nuestra libertad, que minimiza nuestros derechos y que nos aprisiona bajo el yugo digital de un histórico sobre el que no tenemos capacidad de decisión.

La inteligencia -aspecto que debiera diferenciarnos de los animales- nos dicta siempre que actuemos con cautela. A pesar de ello, la ansiedad por sumarnos a lo último, por adentrarnos en los prometedores terrenos de lo 2.0 y no quedar rezagados con respecto a los demás, provoca que pequemos de inocentes. Minimizamos erróneamente los riesgos, y nos sumergimos en la vorágine de promover nuestros perfiles, nuestras experiencias, nuestras emociones y nuestros datos, sin pensar en ningún momento en el hecho de que, al hacerlo, estamos entrando en una jaula de la que nos resultará muy difícil salir.

El conocido tópico que dice que ‘somos prisioneros de lo que decimos y dueños de lo que callamos’, está más vigente que nunca. La responsabilidad individual, la conciencia del riesgo, el conocimiento de hasta dónde quedan limitados nuestros derechos cuando nos convertimos en ‘individuos 2.0’ son, sin lugar a dudas, aspectos que debemos tener muy en cuenta cuando nos planteamos pasar a la acción. Las redes están hechas por empresas, no lo olvidemos, y el valor de sus proyectos es directamente proporcional al número de personas al que son capaces de acceder y controlar.

Nuestros datos son la nueva moneda de cambio. Y, por tanto, cada uno de nosotros encierra un valor muy importante que es importante proteger. No olvidemos que la red se ha convertido en una selva, en la que los cazadores furtivos acechan a la caza y captura de incautos.

Así es, y así seguirá siendo, por lo que la mejor manera de protegernos es actuar con prevención e inteligencia.

La comunicación 2.0 ya es parte de nuestras vidas, y en nuestra mano está controlarla, de manera que se convierta en garante de nuestra libertad individual, y no al revés.

(Via lasblogenpunto.)

Coke Wants Its Racks Back

Coca-Cola has gotten very good at reclaiming the containers that hold its beverages. In 2010, it recovered 400 million pounds of cans and bottles in the U.S. alone. Much of this has been converted into everything from chairs and clothes to jewelry. But building a sustainable planet demands more than reclaiming product packaging, so Coke has come out with the industry’s first 100% recyclable merchandise display racks for use in grocery and convenience stores. Made from corrugated cardboard and soon from recycled PET plastic too, the merchandise racks are the first step toward a comprehensive closed-loop retail equipment program. Coke’s ‘Give It Back’ rack is meant to be returned or recycled to keep it from being tossed into a landfill. The recyclable rack is being tested in select U.S. markets now and should be widely available before yearend.

(Via @Issue Journal of Business & Design.)

Earth Day Performance Art

In celebration of Earth Day today, we thought you’d enjoy this video by the Blue Man Group, an avant garde performance organization founded in 1987 by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton in New York. We liked it for its originality, but there’s a message there too.

(Via @Issue Journal of Business & Design.)