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Getting intimate with the classics

19 Mar

These are among the most beautiful examples of architectural photography I have ever seen. The photographer took full advantage of the movement, light, and natural construction materials used in the design.

When I fist saw the top image I was blown away by the design of the room, the beautiful skylights, and the afternoon sun streaming in.

Then I realized I was inside a violin. As a classically trained violinist I probably should have been quicker on the uptake.

These shots are part of a larger campaign for the Berlin Philharmonic, with the tagline “closer to the classical.” “Closer” is an understatement: we are looking at the inside of some of the most recognizable (from the outside) classical musical instruments.

Did you know what you were looking at right away?

(photos courtesy of ibelieveinadv.com)

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An industry ahead of the rest

13 Mar

Contextually rich communications. Advanced technological applications. Early adoption of emerging technologies. Augmented reality.

Does any particular industry come to mind? How about the Health Care industry?

Augmented reality (AR) has applications in the diagnosis as well as the treatment of disease, and has assisted in the professional medical community for over 10 years.

AR’s interactive imaging helps doctors accurately visualize their patient’s insides – and I mean their patient’s actual insides. Various scans can be combined with each other and then be projected onto their patient to allow doctors and surgeons a completely non-invasive look inside.

AR is also applied to medical communications and education. Genzyme, a biotech company used AR to demonstrate the risks of taking calcium-based binders. Schools are now also using AR to help students visualize the systems of the body, and understand their functions.

I could talk about the exciting marking, branding, and advertising opportunities in medical communications, because you’re right, there are many. But the opportunity that excites me the most is the chance to make the lives of patients and caretakers a lot less stressful, and maybe a little more fun.

AR on the patient level could provide additional support on administering drugs or treatments and injury rehabilitation. As patients we are often bombarded with more info than we’re capable of retaining (I know I struggle to remember even a quarter of it just a little while later). AR markers added to medical product packaging, informational brochures, and patient starter kits would provide instant follow-up demonstrations, instructions, and support for patients and caretakers.

The organization that can also infuse some entertainment (read: fun) into the experience, as well as some subtle-but-effective branding wins all the prizes.

Are there other ways we can create shared-value with customers using AR? Where are the opportunities for businesses and organizations in Victoria?

(photo courtesy of Medical Augmented Reality)

Copeland Stupor Bowl XLVI Part. II

6 Feb

Jill’s Pick:



The vampire craze is a little past due. If Audi had run this ad last year during the Trueblood, Vampire Diaries and the Twilight hype they probably could have really cashed in. Not to say this is a bad ad, I actually really enjoyed it being a vampire lover myself.

In the ad, a guy is driving an Audi to a vampire party, he let’s us know he is a vampire by flashing his fangs. There are shots of the vampires partying under the full moon, enjoying blood bags, tree climbing, playing acoustic guitars, just as all vampires do. Problems arise when the Audi driving vampire pulls up to the party with the new LCD “daylight headlights” on and all of his pals are instantly incinerated by the “daylight.”

The song “The Killing Time” by Echo & the Bunnymen was a perfect fit for this vampire themed ad. And I really liked the addition of the #solongvampires hashtag, it shows that Audi is a forward thinking company and are really “with it.”

Overall it was a good ad and Audi’s new LCD “daylight headlights” could very well be the solution to the overpopulated bloodthirsty vampires!

Christie’s Pick:



This spot had it all: a Rocky-esque montage, zippy red car, relatable hero, the American dream, and promises of summer. Oh, and our hero is a chubby dog. I was excited to explore those ideas, and then I watched it again.

As I wondered what the title “The Dog Strikes Back” was all about, it played though until the awkward commercial-in-a-commercial ending I had conveniently missed the first time around. A little research later and it appears that the chubby dog is 2012’s answer to 2011’s cute Darth Vader kid. And that barking dog YouTube video that I ignored (but everyone went nuts for on Facebook) was the teaser for it.

The story stood on its own without the self-referential Star Wars ending. If I hadn’t watched it again (and again) I would have been so much more satisfied. The teaser with dogs barking iconic music from Star Wars had some relevance to the 2011 spot, and arguably some solid pop-culture cred, but this felt as cheap as “it was all a dream…”

Copeland Stupor Bowl XLVI Part. I

6 Feb

Whether or not we think these ads lived up to the same hype as the game still remains undecided. There’s no doubt that this advertising monster has grown to William Perry* like proportions. A whopping 84% price increase over the past 10 years. And an estimated viewership of 111 million+ fans. The cost of a 30-second spot during the game was $3.5 million, the highest price in history. With arguably as many people tuning in for the advertising as the game itself.

We’ve sifted through the sex, cars, dogs and babies to find our favourites from yesterdays big event.

Andrea’s Pick:



Sure, Clint’s raspy voice is irresistible, and this we-can-do-it spot is captivating enough to stun a room of nacho wielding, face painted fans into a quiet retrospective audience. But what’s best about this ad is simply the strategic headline. “It’s Halftime in America”. It’s a simple concept that says a lot. One line captures the grit and fatigue of a tough game, the encouragement of your coach and the motivation of knowing the game’s not over. The poignant wording enhances the spot but ultimately it’s the relatable emotional experience transposed onto a new subject that makes it so great. Simple ideas with great execution will always triumph.

Danny’s Pick:



The NFL celebrates a century of football with this visually stylish look back at the evolution of the sport and player safety. It comes on the wake of some controversy surrounding a recent rash of head injuries. It’s a stark contrast to the typical garish Super Bowl advertising of the day. Starting with the games humble beginnings in 1906, the yardage on the field reflects an exciting look at the decades past. Rightfully finishing in the end zone with a TD by the games most exciting return specialist, Devon Hester. The final line says it all “Here’s to making the next century safer and more exciting than ever”. A win in my books.

* William Perry. Former Defensive Linebacker a.k.a “The Fridge”

Skewering the world’s last dictator

29 Nov

Out of South Africa this week comes a TV commercial for Nando’s grilled chicken restaurants – the same one that’s on the corner of Government and Pandora here in Victoria.

This cheeky, hilarious spot lampoons Zimbabwe’s iron-fisted ruler Robert Mugabe, who sits alone in his dining room at Christmas, glumly remembering the good times with his fellow dictatorial buddies, Muammar Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, PW Botha and Idi Amin.

When you’re done chuckling, note that this is really just a traditional product and price ad – they’re actually trying to sell something. It survives repeated viewings beautifully and while only a few days old, has already chocked up 440,000+ views on YouTube.

Clearly somebody is executing an exceptional digital and PR strategy around this entertaining spot.

Check out Nando’s whimsical website too. It’s almost as much fun as the TV ad.

Flowers for a CEO

6 Oct

I heard the news of Steve Jobs passing along with countless others, on Twitter. A lone questioning tweet appeared, then a trickle, then the news cascaded down the stream. If you had just arrived on earth to witness it you’d be forgiven for thinking a beloved humanitarian fighting injustice and suffering had been assassinated.

Steve Jobs Apple silhouetteAs Apple’s figurehead and spokesman he didn’t invent any of Apple’s industry changing products, nor did he design them, he was the CEO. Which makes it all the more incredible that customers fans have been leaving flowers outside Apple stores in remembrance and people from countries all over the world are still flooding social networks with micro memorials.

Steve Jobs wasn’t just one of the greatest American CEOs, he was a true visionary.

The people who knew him describe his relentless drive to innovate, to push the people he worked with to improve every aspect of what they were working on, to do things differently. Not to give people what they wanted, but to bring them new products that they would love.

That he did this at the expense of profit led to him being fired by the Apple board in 1985. His return with his visionary leadership style intact made Apple what it is today. That’s what makes him one of the greatest American CEOs, but that doesn’t explain the genuine grief evident in the social sphere.

For me that’s explained in his ability to elevate form over function in a world that is increasingly focused on ROI, efficiency & the ruthless pursuit of cost-cutting.

We have an emotional response to design in a way we never will with an list of impressive specifications. With his drive, every Apple product touched by his vision shines. It’s what led Apple to be elevated to not just a global company, but a movement. And movements are driven by emotion. Few people leave such an amazing legacy.

Kids must really like exploding things

21 Sep

(Guest post by 8-year old blogger Lola Brown)

Have you ever seen that Gushers commercial where that blue explosion comes out from the back of that white sofa. Really it’s a kid holding a pack of  Gushers.

Have you also ever seen that Kool Aid commercial  where that guy is painting the wall blue, and all of a sudden the girl has an idea.  Her idea is to blow in the straw until the juice box is filled with air and step on it so it explodes and paints the wall blue for the guy. Sorry my papa couldn’t find the video on youtube.

My first question is: do these things really explode like that?

My second question is: what really is the difference between these  two commercials?

8-year old Victoria BC blogger Lola Brown with popcorn