Saturday, January 26, 2008

Brand Immersion: Brief for Ad Agencies

I was having dinner recently with one of my favorite people who just happens to be the head of a major advertising agency. As we were chatting about the dire need for innovation in agencies, from their sense of purpose to the product they deliver, it suddenly dawned on me that instigating massive change might be a fairly simple process...

Any work delivered to clients must be able to live and work beautifully within the confines of an iPhone.

There isn't a Web site, a television spot, a widget, or a viral application that can't be expertly captured, displayed, and broadcast by this magical device; from voice, to text, to images, to full length feature films.

It is here at last. We live in a fully mobile, IP-based world and advertising, marketing and branding that does not take this into consideration is work not worth creating, selling, or buying.

Full disclosure - I don't own an iPhone (yet) but there isn't a project I'm working on that isn't optimized for one.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brand Immersion: Shoe Shopping

I know what you're thinking. "Shoe shopping...what could this possibly have to do with branding and marketing?" So I'll tell you...

A few months ago inMotion ( - an organization, on whose board I sit, that provides legal services to women without means) had a fund raising event at a shoe store called Te Casan. Brilliant. I buy shoes and they get money. No rationalization necessary. Guilt-free shopping. I bought three pair. But it wasn't altruism alone.

This was one a completely unique shopping experience. It started with an amazing environment. The store has three levels, each with its own intimate and unique vibe. Then there is the help. People who understand shoes, feet, and fashion. They care about how you feel, how your feet feel, and how your feet and their shoes marry up. And finally there are the shoes. I swooned when I saw, on the velvety leather bottom of a pair of delicious black suede pumps, "Limited Edition: 30." Only 30 other feet the world over would be wearing my shoes.

I left with three pair of beautiful shoes. I felt like I had scored a great prize or a great work of art. My feet would sport shoes more limited than the Miro print on my wall.

I haven't stopped talking about (or recommending) Te Casan since that evening.

This is an example of a flawless merchandising strategy. Great product, great experience, fair price, good service, and an impression of scarcity (or limited supply). No advertising necessary. This hits every hot button a shoe lover has and begets immediate and continually recommendations. There's no better or more efficient media plan!

Thanks to my friends at PSFK for the reminder. Time to go shopping for spring!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Brand Immersion: Clean Up Your Act

Long a fan of Kenneth Cole's provocations, I find my admiration growing. While many a brand has gone guerrilla with wild postings, street painting, chalking and other forms of commercial graffiti - Cole takes it one step further. To get their point across, they power washed city sidewalks using stencils. Rather than add to the mess - they chose to clean it up. And how 'bout that contextually relevant messaging...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Brand Immersion: The Whale Hunt

Jonathan Harris continues to amaze us with the way he organizes information and tells stories. He is a gifted artist whose work is provocative, pragmatic and endlessly moving. His latest work will take you on a journey and the simple story will captivate you and have you questioning your ideas and ideals as you voyeristically observe a community working together. When you've finished, think about how lovely it would be to organize your own journeys using this stunning interface.

Inspired? Check out more of Jonathan's work:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Brand Immersion: New Year's Resolutions

I gotta get me some of these! The Slipper Genie cleans the floor as you walk, with removable and washable chenille soles; $11.99 from (888) 394-8328 or