From Around the World

Rainforest

Being an active participation in the “evolution of advertising” conversation I’m always on the look out for integrated, engaging campaigns that reflect a brand’s true values in a way that isn’t intrusive and annoying, but instead surprising and quite simply delightful.

Take Westin’s Campaign

Westin lives and breathes the values of personal renewal, what with their special programs for business travelers, in-room gyms, superfoods menus and their [Find Renewal] website that delivers insightful tips and reminders for better living when not melting into a Westin heavenly bed, (and I know this because they’re my client and I helped build The Find Renewal site!)

Little wonder then that their recent advertising campaign in the cities of New York, Chicago and Boston would be cleverly integrated into their renewal brand message. Via a series of transformative experiences which occur on subways, highways, airports, escalators and elevators the weary traveler (moi) gets to escape from the hum-and-drum of Midtown-madness and feel invigorated, even if for a moment of two. So, not only are the advertisements themselves creative and clever, but they’re present in all the right places – the places were you literally need to be transformed somewhere else.

I’ve always thought the best brand experiences are those that envelop you – seriously, you know that feeling when you are so overwhelmed by an emotion or thought that you really believe you are somewhere else. Well, watch the “RUSH HOUR” video clip in the sub-media section…for a moment there I was having flashbacks to Playa Paridiso in Culebra.  As for rush hour this evening, I might just have to take a detour via Grand Central and hop on the shuttle to check out the Iceland Shuttle Wrap. In this heat, Iceland is just where I’d like to be right now.

Running

After running 6.5 miles yesterday Derick and I discussed the many factors that contribute to a good, or not so good, run. It’s the sum of the total that can make a runner go the extra mile or fade to the back of the pack – the right clothes, the right temperature, the right about of sleep, the right food & drink, the right mindset.

One thing is for sure, runners like to run light – lightweight clothes & shoes, and minimal gadgetry and accoutrement. Of course, when it’s 90 degrees outside, hydration is crucial – water is a must, but carrying a heavy water-bottle is not so cool. The boys at [Venture Design Works] clearly know that feeling too. So, they cleverly decided to design a few things to make the runner in all of us delightfully glee.

Like the guys behind iConcertCal, the founders of vDw are creating products to satisfy their own need. Reads their webiste:

“Offering a full suite of product design services, vDw applies a unique, user-centered design process to help clients improve their business through innovation. Rather than let clients have all the fun, vDw also designs and markets innovative products for the man gear intensive activities the founders like to partake in.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the products and services that satisfy real needs, that make our lives easier or better, are the ones that consumers will be drawn to.

An excerpt of my reading on the subway this morning:

“Our ultimate success will not come from our brains or our gifts…It will come from our belief in ourselves. It will come from The Power of One…The power of one determination! The power never to compromise your beliefs or you art or your science, to believe that you are capable of anything if you listen to the small voice, to the single truth. If you have the fortitude…the guts! If you have the stamina for the long haul. The power to triumph over the odds you will have to face!….And there will be odds! Politicians and power mongers will want to buy you and direct you. They will bend and twist the universal truths and they will try to swaddle your conscience with hyber-bole and rationalisation! Only a sustained and invincible belief in yourself will allow you to maintain your integrity and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. You must be utterly determined to believe in your ability to prevail no matter what!”

“The Internet isn’t just about e-mail or the Web anymore. Increasingly, people online are taking the power of the Internet back into their own hands…It’s the emergence of the Power of Us. Thanks to new technologies…people are getting together to take collective action on an unprecedented scale…encouraging people to get together in the real world, not just online. MeetUp, for instance, has many thousands of groups that get together regularly, from English bull-dog owners to scrapbookers in Singapore”

 

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