We Should Hire This Guy


This interview with Danny from Poke NY on SiteInspire says a bunch of the things that I struggle to get across on this blog. And a bunch of new and interesting things too. He’s a UX / Strategy guy (if you need to put him in a box).

It’s great when you find that someone shares your view of the world. And even better when it turns out that you work for the same company ;-)

New York Polaroids (From iPhone)

All I’m going to say is that I love Camera Bag. It’s an iPhone app that adds brilliant filters to the photos that come out of the shitty camera.

I know there’s something a bit overused and cheesy about Polaroid effects. But there’s something a bit nice about them too. I think the fact that it automatically creates a decent amount of white space around the image is not to be sniffed at.

To show the power of Camera Bag I’ve not touched them in iPhoto or Photoshop or anything. These are straight from the iPhone. It’s my favourite thing right now.

How Much For An Ad On A Bus in Google Street View?

If you’ve not seen it yet Street View in Google Maps is amazing. Lifehacker reports that it’s now in 15 US cities (and it’s coming soon to the UK judging by the fact that we saw a Google cam car driving round London the other day).


I’ve you’ve not mucked around with it, get on a map of NY or Chicago and have a play with Street View. It’s almost more impressive than Google Earth.

While I was playing I came across this:


And wondered what’s the value of a bus side inside Google maps? It’s lot more appealing to me than the Coke Zero ads in the UK ;-)

Heroic Ads – New Bravia

bravia play doh

I can’t help myself.

I’ve been contacted by the online PR guys who are ‘seeding’ the new Bravia ad. Part of me wants to not play ball, but the other part of me wants to see what’s going on. I do like the ads and I’m interested to see what next…

I got contacted by their PR guys with this:

Set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors (“balls” and “paint”) the new ad is a closely guarded secret, but I can tell you that it is currently being shot in New York; ‘Gorgeous’ director, Frank Budgen, will be directing; and this time the theme is ‘play-doh’.

Ruth Speakman from Sony will be ‘Twittering’ throughout the filming of the advert, providing early glimpses as the shoot unfolds. Ruth’s experiences live on set can be found at: http://twitter.com/braviaplaydoh.

It’s definitely shaping up to be another ‘hero’ ad. All eyes on the ad. The advert being the thing that we’re all waiting for. And suckers like me are doing the bidding of Lord Advert. They’ve even got people ‘twittering’ (their inverted commas not mine) about the making of the ad. I wonder if there’s a Facebook group called ‘waiting for the new Bravia advert’?

But the thing is, there’s only a few adverts out there that can actually sustain or command this kind of attention. And to be honest if this one’s more ‘paint’ than ‘balls’ I think it could be their last opportunity to ride on the goodwill created by beautiful bouncing balls.

It’s not an uncommon thing for many of us to get a brief that’s basically “make this ad famous”. Sometimes it works; if the ad deserves to be famous. Oftentimes it fails; because it doesn’t. It’s not that tricky a formula to work out. It is tricky to tell someone (or admit to yourself) that yours is one of the latter.

An ad that tried to hero-ise itself without the balls to back it up (‘scuse the pun) is the recent Ford one with the balloons in it. This one if you’ve not seen it:

The first time I saw it was in the Metro, they’d run a piece on how it was going to be shown during some football match, and it had cost loads of money, and it had lots of landmarks in it. OK, so what, now you’re going to have to prove something to me.

The second time I saw it was in Victoria station. Where they’d parked a Ford Mondeo in the station with loads of plasma screens, a sound system, etc. And you know what you could do? You could sit in the car AND WATCH THE ADVERT! I thought this was pretty lame and a bit navel-gazingly-rubbish. That was until I visited Amsterdam a few weeks ago and it was eclipsed by this (at the airport):

As you’re going along the travelator, the ADVERT FOLLOWS YOU!

It’s just like Minority Report, only shit.

What a waste of a massive long screen that cost loads of money. You could do something great with that. Seriously.

It’s not that I don’t like the Ford advert, it’s fine. But in my humble opinion it’s wasn’t ready to be hero-ised.

Here’s hoping the Bravia ad deserves the expectation that’s being built up around it…

Bill Banned This Photo

Doesn’t that look like the most amazing sandwich you ever saw? Take it from me, it’s an amazing sandwich from an amazing shop. Bill’s in Brighton (there’s a branch in Lewes too but I’ve never been to that one. If you’re ever in the area you ought to pop in, it’s just stunning. It’s an organic deli and cafe rolled into one. But it’s not overly ‘soily’ if that’s a worry for you. Everything is beautiful to the point of art and damn tasty to boot.

OK, that’s where my praise ends. The purpose of this post isn’t to talk about sandwich art, but to talk about ‘banning photography’.

Nik was with me at Bill’s yesterday and as soon as he raised his phone to take a photo of a cake a guy dived in front of the lens like Britney’s bodyguard protecting her from the paps: “we have a no photography policy” he yelled. Same thing happened to me at the Whole Foods Market in New York a couple of weeks ago. (BTW I snuck the photo above a few weeks ago before I knew it was illegal, I didn’t break their rules on purpose, I’m not that much of a rebel!).

I guess that they’re worried about corporate espionage, people stealing the blueprints for their cakes or shop. But it feels a bit like some crazy form of Willy-Wonka-ism. Closing down the factory to prevent spies from stealing chocolate secrets. Next they’ll be making us eat cakes with our eyes closed. And what happens if I buy a cake and take it outside to photograph?

It just seems like a really backward step for companies to take. In a world where image sharing is so widespread. Stopping people from taking images of your amazing things and spreading them around the place is surely curtailing a great form of free advertising. Of course they’re not going to have control over the quality of the images or where they appear, but they need to let go a bit.

I know that in certain areas copyright and IP theft are big issues. So companies have to weigh up the risks of people stealing their designs vs the reward of people talking about them. I think the balance has changed and continues to change in favour of people using photos as a way to share and discuss rather than steal. But I could be wrong, what do you reckon?

As an aside – on the hunt for the names of the spies in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which I didn’t find) I found this great article on real life chocolate espionage and how it touched Roald Dahl.

Powder Your Nose in Style

I like this. A luxury private washroom on Oxford Street. Brilliantly named WC1 (well I liked it anyway!).

A glamorous urban sanctuary, WC1 is the world’s first one-million-pound powder room. It has been designed with impeccable hygiene and the pursuit of beauty in mind.

It’s more than just a loo, with a space to chill, high end beauty products and more. £5 for a relieving break from the city sounds like quite a lot, but I’ve been in situations where I’d definitely have paid double that before ;-)

via urbanjunkies

I’ve always thought this is exactly the kind of things that brands should get involved with. And lo and behold… Asi writes about Charmin’s New York loo.

How hip hop changed

Modern hip hop videos don’t look like this…

Thought it was interesting as a social snapshot of the early 80s in New York. Plus there’s some great fashions and urban landscapes in there.

I’m going to the US of A

I might not post for a day or two (like that’s unusual!), because I’m going to New York to help judge the OneShow awards. It’s all a bit exciting for me. TTFN.

Digital Newspapers

Digital NewspapersHave I been living with my head in the sand? A bit, probably. But I spotted these today. Printouts of newspapers. The Times, in the morning. in New York. Looks like it’s just been squirted off a laser printer. No bulky shipping, no big printing presses.

Just your ordinary newspaper news in a page-turningly good format. But only a few hours after the presses have rolled.

Is this legit? Grey? Or do the big newspaper publishers all know about it?

I’m sure a Google search would yield some answers, but it’s more of a ‘look what I saw’ kind of post.