Tag Archives: creativity

Is Social Technology Kindling or Killing Creativity?

23 Sep
ios-10-punkt-8-imessage

(www.apple.com)

The launch of iOS10 last week brought with it an updated iMessage that allows users to write in invisible ink, send handwritten notes and create animations. These additions allow for a new level of creative personalisation when it comes to communicating, a trend we have seen emerge more and more across social media.

Whilst previously social media platforms were used largely for documenting lives with sentimental purpose, they are now being used more and more as a way to express a personal sense of creativity. Excelled by the popularity of snapchat and Instagram, the shift has got us wondering whether the filters, emojis and other essentially frivolous tools are actually helping creativity, or limiting us to a rather formulaic form of self-expression.

With a finite number of filter options to choose from, and a limited number of colours to doodle with, every time a user attempts to deliver a personalised piece of content, it is always reminiscent of something that has come before. These limitations, though constraining for personal expression, are ideal for a brand’s pursuit of creating a distinct yet definable character. Brands such as Nike and Starbucks have acted masterfully in utilising visual social media to develop their personalities, and have been rewarded with giant followings as a result.

Just a few days ago self-proclaimed technology devotee Kanye West took to twitter to declare he’s doing away with his smartphone, citing the reason as wanting to ‘have air to create’.

With technology showing no sign of slowing down when it comes to delivering new ways to communicate and develop a personal identity, we too wonder whether these tools and developments will be of benefit to creativity. Or will they in fact hinder and stand in the way of people making something more rich, creative and nuanced.

Interesting Things About… Personalised Subscription Boxes

16 Sep

We’ve seen a new wave of subscription boxes emerge which are taking personalisation to a whole new level. Whilst beauty boxes have been widely customisable for a while now, and have become quite overdone, these new subscriptions are understanding our needs in a much more intimate and closely targeted way. It feels like a massive leap into a world where personalised subscription boxes are totally in sync with our minds and bodies, meaning that we are finally getting a truly personalised service.  Here are 3 of our favourites:

 

Ms Flow

ms-flow

(msflow.co.uk)

Taking intimacy with its customers to the extreme, Ms Flow describe themselves as a ‘luxury period and wellbeing subscription service’. Customers are able to choose between light, regular and heavy flow packages and can even select their preferred sanitary towel or tampon brand. By ‘syncing up’ their delivery dates with recipients’ cycle, Ms Flow are able to offer a truly unique and personalised service.

The Book Drop

the-book-drop

(thebookdrop.com)

Targeting the improvement of our minds, The Book Drop allow its customers to select from different genres and then curates a collection of books based on their choices. By getting to know your mind over time, this service suggests a range of books to suit your mind and stretch your thinking. By allowing recipients to switch boxes from month to month, they enable a more personalised approach.

Club W

club-w

(clubw.com)

Understanding wine and becoming a true ‘oenophile’ can be a difficult process, Club W decrypt this by offering a tailored wine subscription service. Customers answer specific questions in order for Club W to truly understand their palate profile. Their app truly learns your palate to deliver a service that combines the expertise of their wine knowledge with their customers’ personal tastes.

 

Why this is interesting… 

These subscription boxes feel much more in tune with the people they serve, and achieve a much more intelligent method of personalisation. Being able to totally understand their mind and body means a much more tailored service can be provided.  As subscriptions continue to try and engage with more parts of peoples’ lives, we wonder what areas they will try and tackle next. We can imagine the likes of Hello Fresh combining with Fitbit to form HelloBit– a service which provides people with calorie counted meals based on their food intake and the amount of calories they have burnt that day.

 

Interesting Things About… Returning to Our Roots

19 Aug

 

Digital technology is increasingly being perceived as toxic, with the potential to corrupt the purity of our minds and souls. According to recent OFCOM research, 15m of us undertook a ‘digital detox’ last year, owing weight to a growing anti-digital movement. Recently we’ve seen a novel manifestation of this ‘digital detox’ movement: a romanticising of the time of Genesis. A time encapsulated by naïve innocence, raw foods, and tools without push notifications. Here are three of the favourite examples we’ve seen:

 

1

Eden on Channel 4

Directly referencing the Biblical utopia, Eden sees twenty young people stranded in a remote corner of Scotland. Tasked with building a society from scratch, Eden’s inhabitants all talk of wanting to forgo their high pressure jobs and always-connected lives in pursuit of a more primal existence. They build their shelters and grow (or kill) their food. Despite the physical hardship, the Adams and Eves constantly remind the audience about how the experience is distilling the human condition down to its purest form.

 

2

The Bunyadi

When London’s first nudist restaurant opened at the start of summer, it was tempting to damn it with faint praise as a Time Out enthusiast’s latest novelty haunt. Diners leave everything in lockers: servers wear tactically placed fig leaves. People are encouraged not to feel abashed: embarrassment is a modern day affliction. A feeling of liberation certainly follows the initial shock. Once modern clothes and gadgets are removed, we are reduced to a state no different from God’s garden.

 

3

London Foraging Courses

These courses have proved highly popular over the last couple of years, with people coming from far and wide to learn what it takes to forage successfully. The course covers over 20 wild food plants and provides tips on how to identify, cook and prepare them.

 

Why is this interesting?

At the same time as many brands race to become further integrated with our digital lives, more people are jumping on to the digital detox movement. We think some brands can build meaningful relationships with people based on anti-digital positions as a growing desire for ‘purer’ non-digital experiences begins to become an aspiration.

Interesting Things About… The New Social

10 Aug

As urban centres throughout Europe become ever more crowded, clubs bars and restaurants are taking a more resourceful approach when launching spaces for people to socialise in. Here are some of the most inventive efforts we’ve seen recently:

1st Spätival, Berlin – Festival of Late Night Shops

Berlin 2

(www.zumglueckberliner.de)

Berlin is launching its very first Spätival festival this year, in which corner shops throughout the capital are turning into concert venues for the night. Some of the country’s most exciting new talent will be found not on traditional stages, but within off licenses across Kreuzberg.

La Cabina Restaurant, London – Dial In On “2-5-8-0”

Berlin 3

(www.la-cabina.com)

Spanish restaurant La Cabina in Hoxton has given the traditional phone box a quirky new purpose as the main entry to their venue. Visitors must dial “2-5-8-0” on the keypad to secure entry.

Café Pförtner, Berlin – The Latest Bus Stop

Berlin 4

(www.pfoertner.co)

Café Pförtner has recently opened its doors to the public at the former garage of Berlin’s public bus company BVG. The restaurant is actually situated within one of the traditional buses.

Why is this interesting …

We seem to have an increasing fascination with immersing ourselves in the fleeting and the unconventional when it comes to socialising. Brands such as Hendrick’s Gin and Lipton are taking notice of this fact, and are venturing away from conventional social spaces when it comes to launching their touchpoints. A careful balanced must be drawn between participation and intrusion when brands choose to engage with this form of socialising as its success often relies on maintaining a rebellious spirit.

Videogames on Screen

7 Jun
angry birds

(www.angrybirds-movie.com)

We’ve seen a recent influx in video games being transformed into blockbusters and sent to the big screen. From Ratchet & Clank to World of Warcraft, characters from across the gaming universe are popping up in cinemas everywhere.

It’s not just franchises from X Box and PlayStation that are getting their moment in the cinematic spotlight, with The Angry Birds Movie hitting UK cinemas a few weeks ago. A game originally positioned as a distraction from the daily commute has been adapted to become a film with a budget of $73 million and a voice cast of Hollywood A-Listers.

The release of The Angry Birds Movie shows the extent to which the gaming industry in all its guises has infiltrated culture. Whilst traditionally it was expensive games such as Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia that were deemed acceptable entities to transition to film, now all games no matter how big or small seem to be prime material. This trend seems to be running parallel with the democratisation of gaming itself. It is no longer a phenomenon found only in the bedrooms of teenage boys – people of all ages and backgrounds are now involved, whether that be on a console or a smart phone.

 

The subject has got us thinking about which other smart phone gaming classics would make an interesting transition to the big screen…

Candy Crush Saga – When giant flying confectionery starts to fall from the sky it is a race against time to uncover a solution before everything becomes covered in sugar and food colouring.

Crossy Road – A mother bird has been separated from her baby chick. Now she must navigate her way through a seemingly endless crossway to be reunited.

Plants Vs Zombies – A killer virus has taken control of the human race, and nature holds the crucial anecdote.

The Starbuck’s way of forming communities by creating cultural value

23 May
STARBUCKS

(www.starbucks.co.uk)

Izzy Pugh, Head of Cultural Insight & Marilyn Dutlow from Added Value in South Africa have recently unpacked from an international and local perspective how Starbucks are creating a place and a mind-set that feels like the heart of a community.

Read the full article at The Media Online! on how Starbucks are successfully creating cultural value. (http://themediaonline.co.za/2016/05/the-starbucks-way-of-forming-communities-be-creating-cultural-value/)

Interesting Things About… Authentic Lifestyle Contributions

13 May

In the pursuit of creating something genuinely useful for people’s lives, brands sometimes need to put their label’s name aside if its presence would have an obtrusive impact. L’Oréal and LVMH have both taken note of this fact and launched online initiatives that remain uncredited:

 

FAB by L’Oréal

fab-beauty1

(www.fab-beauty.com)

L’Oréal has launched FAB (flair, artistry, beauty), an unbranded beauty hub which showcases industry professionals creating trends all over the world 24/7. The website targets the general public as well as beauty industry professionals and the multi-media content puts a spotlight on the expertise of all these ‘artisans of beauty’.

NOWNESS by LVMH:

Capture

(www.nowness.com)

Nowness is an established global video channel showcasing the best in culture reaching from art, design, fashion and beauty to music, food and travel. Both established and emerging filmmakers create content that conveys storytelling designed to provoke inspiration and debate.

 

Why is this interesting?

It’s not L’Oréal or Louis Vuitton that people care about, it’s the lifestyle they create that’s important. With the initiatives listed above, both brands have created something beyond just their products and stepped into the real world they want to be a part of. By doing this they are not just existing in culture but helping to create it themselves, which is the perfect way for a brand to fully embed themselves in the lives of its followers.

Beyond Westeros

3 May

game of thrones

The rabid success of Game of Thrones – especially amongst achingly cool hipsters – has been impossible to ignore. But we think that the show can push further. We think it can go beyond mere entertainment, and turn its much-admired houses into product ideas that can attract even the most cynical members of Gen Y.

Our suggestions would include –

House Stark – “Winter is Coming”

This range of functional basics – including vests and flannel shirts – is crafted from cutting edge hi-tech performance fabrics that both insulate and wick away sweat. They’ll keep you cool in the summer, and snug in the long, doom-laden winter.

House Lannister – “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”

As their unofficial motto states, House Lannister is very keen on shrewd money management. This slick app keeps track of all of your financial interactions, enabling you to pay your share of everything from artisan cereal street food to your Uber Lux home.

House Greyjoy – “We Do Not Sow”

We know that not everyone can find the time in their hectic taxidermy schedule to home grow food, so this twice weekly organic, foraged vegetable delivery service means that you never need to fret.

House Martel – “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Modern clothes can look so inauthentic. This service takes your dull, mass-produced threads and returns them to you as hand-distressed, uniquely broken-in vintage classics.

House Tyrell – “Growing Strong”

Your vegan diet can make macro-nutrition pretty hard to nail. This scientifically advanced, all-natural protein bar supplies all of your energy needs in one simple, rustic seed ball.

House Baratheon – “Ours is the Fury”

Finding marathons a bit passé? This gruelling 30 mile obstacle course forces you underground and over barbed wire in a frenzied and furious scramble to the finish line. Can you vanquish your opponents?

House Targaryen – “Fire and Blood”

This edgy restaurant serves only one dish – flame-seared, super-rare bison steaks. Watch your selected hunk of meat be licked by fire right before your eyes.

Get in Character: Using Archetypes to Breathe New Life Into Your Brand

15 Apr

Just like the myriad personas we find on stage and screen, character can also be applied to brands and in fact often holds the key to breathing truly new and differentiated life into them – as well as making them totally recognizable across all touch points. In the spirit of sharing, we decided to get down our top 5 tips for winning with brand character.

Read the full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-tarbox/get-in-character-using-ar_b_9585696.html 

Full steam ahead for the “RRS Boaty McBoat Face”

24 Mar
kh

(google.com)

“Boaty McBoatface” is steaming ahead in an online poll launched by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to name their new Royal Navy polar research vessel.  The name comes in response to the NERC’s request for name suggestions that highlight the ground-breaking work the ship will do. Even though Boaty McBoatface doesn’t quite fit the original brief, we’re delighted that the NERC are joining in on the fun.

It’s a truth that’s been proven time and again: if you turn to the public for help, you must allow for mischief and irreverence. In a world where brands can no longer keep control of every aspect of their image, and have no choice but to open themselves to people, we think a large helping of wit and playfulness is often in order. People may not always respond in the way a brand intended, but keeping a sense of humour is a smart and savvy response.

jlb

(twitter.com)

“Trainy McTrainface” was seen pulling into stations throughout the South West yesterday, suggesting the support for Boaty is still on the up. We are backing him all the way!