I really really like what Goodby Silverstein and Wired have done here. Blending digital media, editorial creation with brand storytelling, the team have created ‘The Connective.’ A digital magazine designed and written in 48 hours. (Seemingly with A LOT of coffee and Red Bull powering it.) that helps articulate Cisco’s point of view on ‘The Internet of Everything’ and the $15.4 Trillion opportunity that implies. What’s interesting for me is how editorial content is weaved through a Cisco storytelling device. It works with something that I’ve been calling the ‘Semi Internet State’. Where our connected devices create disruptions in traditional media consumption, helping us live in a perpetual semi internet state. For brands, this means they must work with the flow of this to truly have an opportunity to connect and build equity in their message. As opposed to building bigger and noisier distractions.
This work fits exactly into the narrative of the ‘Semi Internet State.’ It is smart, timely and useful. I hope it gains some real traction and this is more than just a one off between these brands.
In my return blogpost yesterday, I talked about the sort of projects that I wanted to cover. The one’s that fell through the cracks. With so much stuff constantly being pumped out onto social networks, it’s so easy to lose things that actually are quite relevant or interesting both for their successes and their failures. Especially if the ‘hive mind’ might have missed it.
I came across one of those examples last week. It made Adweek’s ‘Ad of The Day’ but other than that just seemed to drift into the void. Which is strange when you consider who was involved, but less so when you actually examine what this piece of work is meant to do.
Hudson Rouge, the WPP bespoke unit for Lincoln Motor Cars, teamed up with Beck and Radical Media’s Chris Milk (He of the Chrome Experiment’s fame,) to create an interactive ‘In the round’ performance of David Bowie’s (seeminglyeverywherethesedays…) 1977 hit ‘Sound & Vision’. AtHelloAgain, the user can switch between various cameras of the performance, including distorting them to create striking kaleidoscopic visual treats. Combined with a distinctive use of sound (Sound and Vision geddit?) that enhances the interactive experience no end, you would think this would be an absolute winner from the get go.
But, somehow, it just doesn’t all come together. Certainly as an Interactive piece, it’s just too clunky, with far too many moving parts, even though it was clearly a huge technical challenge. (Read this article over at Wired for the full run-down.) Then there’s the role of Lincoln the brand. Apart from the fact that someone has been spending too much time on fffound (check the ‘Hello Again’ pseudo Hipster Branding,) Lincoln feels exceptionally removed from the overall story they are trying to tell. Which means this just becomes a very expensive badging exercise. A great idea drowned in it’s sense of self importance. Which is a shame as the combination of art and technology on display here should really ramp up to something more.
However, judge for yourself… Becks version of Sound And Vision is rather stunning if nothing else.
A smart and unsettling art project here from Paolo Cirio; a New York based digital artist. He prints and pastes the ‘ghost’ images of people captured in Google Street View, in the exact places they were online. Very much a comment about how Google handles (or mis-handles) data such as this, it’s an unsettling, but also important project. One that fits neatly into the other street-view art projects that have sprung up around the platform. With the whole Apple Maps debacle bringing accuracy of data to the fore, it’s an interesting time to bring a project that highlights the consequence of that accuracy to the fore
Over the last six months or so, I’ve got deeper and deeper into the world of Reddit. While this may not seem the most revelatory thing to say, or indeed, undertake, I’ve been completely fascinated with it’s community powers such diverse and seemingly random subject matters into one cohesive brain and identity. While Reddit is well known for it’s adoption of memes (try r/adviceanimals for more of that). It’s also increasingly focussing it’s eye on the business of news, and how news is consumed and disseminated. It’s also started to make it’s own news with the extraordinary coup of getting President Obama to undertake a AMA session on the site.
So it’s good to see people doing cool things with the Reddit API. Such as this example (via Big Spaceship) of developer Benji Lanyadousing the API to skim for the best news content coming out of Reddit at this moment. It’s a cool thing to do, dead simple, and shows how much great stuff is out there in such a vast, and somewhat daunting site.
Last month, Google debuted it’s new Chrome mobile browser. As with the desktop version of Chrome, it’s a significant upgrade, and gesturally very sympathetic to how people consume content on a mobile platform over a desktop. That might have been enough for a company such as Google. Instead, they’ve collaborated with the ever awesome B-Reel to create a mobile chrome experiment in the mold of The Wilderness Downtown and RO.ME. This time, for an artist I actually give a shit about.
As you would expect from Google and B-Reel, this idea is executed to the highest standards, and shows off quite effectively how much great tech is underneath the Chrome Browser for mobile and tablet, with some nice little touches in terms of interaction (that work better at tablet size to be fair), and a visual flair that manages to counterpoint the tech points with retro influenced graphics.
While not as jaw-droppingly ‘new’ as The Wilderness Downtown was, this is still a worth entry into the increasingly crowded market of interactive music videos.
Audi have initiated a potentially interesting collaboration with noted videographer/artist/provacteur Chris Cunningham to help launch the ‘Audi City’project. The project itself sounds quite interesting, and something that fits perfectly with the brand experience of Audi (and it’s message of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’). Audi City is an ongoing exploration of the relationship between the space and the city. Almost 50% of the Earth’s population now lives in and around urban environments, putting unprecedented pressures on infrastructures and space. The Audi City therefore is an ongoing project/space (in London) to explore solutions and mediations on the tensions between the two. The scope of the project, and the inclusion of collaborators such as Cunningham, brings to mind the more radical work of Archigram. The late 1960’s architecture collective whose radical ideas on space and it’s relationship it’s inhabitants was crucial in re-fashioning and re-imagining the urban experience in post war Europe & America. One to watch for sure. Check the site out here, while a follow on Twitter could well land you with tickets to see Cunningham’s exhibition for 19th & 20th July.
Always a big fan of the Kitsuné Brand (I own a significant amount of their clothes to be fair), there records have always been no slouch. Introducing many an interesting hipster-esque band to the world. (One thinks of The Teenagers in this regard). So it’s no surprise to see (and hear) that the new Kitsuné album ‘America’ is up to the usual high standards. What makes it even more interesting is this cute little idea merging physical and digital to get the compilation across to a wider audience. Using ‘Sound Graffiti’ stations across the city, people can listen to the album in some rather interesting and bizarre locations. There’s much more you could do with this idea in terms of engaging the brands fans in finding these stations; (working around something with Foursquare could be awesome for example), but overall it’s a nice idea and as it comes from Kitsuné (and NYC Creative Agency CNNCTD+) the quality standard is as high as ever.
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