28 Feb 2006

my next item

With the D.I.Y. kit, we provide the canvas (silkscreened on a black raglan tee), a tool (non-toxic permanent marker), and kids provide the art. They can draw a picture. Write a story. Create their own masterpiece and share it with the world! Get busy, get creative and design!

Available in black with a choice of three print colors and two sizes.

from mini jake - a modern children's store.

creative extravaganzas: Cirque Du Soleil Fashion Line

Brand Noise quotes an article in Fashion Monitor Toronto which announces the intention of Cirque Du Soleil to build a fashion and beauty brand. Well, that is, if they don't come to Bucharest anyway, i can still get some clothes from them. Actually i am really curious about the products to come, because i am quite of a fan of the accessories currently available for purchase.

"Cirque Du Soleil plans to launch women's ready-to-wear line this summer, which will be followed by men's wear and children's wear.
"There's an enormous amount of ambition to take Cirque outside the theater to a wide variety of applications," said Rodney Landi, vice president of merchandising at Cirque Du Soleil.
"We wonder, what would a restaurant, hotel or spa by Cirque be like? There's endless applications." Home furnishings, fitness and children's toys are also good fits, he notes.
Cirque Du Soleil fragrance project is also in the works.

the drummers of Japan

Yamato The Drummers of Japan is (if not the best) one of the most amazing shows i've ever been to. A fascinatingly passionate bunch of people proved once again that Japansese capacity of telling simple stories in the most expressive way possible, capacity that i was honestly accustomed to from Akira Kurosawa's movies. The show wasn't only about beating those drums, it was also about playing, having fun, sharing passion, acting and interacting, "visual panache and sense of theatre combined with the ancient traditions of Japan" (as i read somewhere). In other words, they do not exaggerate in their website statement, saying that "Yamato’s show is a never-to-be forgotten experience, inspiring and intensely physical, with a beat resonating from the delicate tapping of falling rain to explosions of rhythmic exhilaration."

27 Feb 2006

the clueless manifesto

The Clueless Manifesto is a funny and rather "insightful" text from Passionate, on how to appreciate and use the benefits of cluelessness, because, after all, as the text's motto itself states: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Supporting her assumptions with examples which prove that limits are always much more psychological than actually real, Kathy created her manifesto in spirit of Apple's Here's to the Crazy Ones:
Here's to the Clueless Ones
The ones who see things differently
They're not fond of rules (granted, that's because they don't actually know about the rules)
They have no respect for the status quo (see previous statement)
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things.
Maybe they have to be clueless.
How else can you take on city hall at the age of 12?Or break the impossible record?Or build an internet startup without VC bucks?
While some see them as the clueless ones,we see a fresh perspective.
Because the people who are clueless enough to thinkthey can change the world, might be the ones who do.
Apart from the content of the manifesto, i also liked her last phrase a lot, and that would be: "Do not underestimate us." It reminded me about an earlier Adliterate post in the "Advice to young planners" series, with some valuable "short, sweet and incomplete" suggestions from Richard Huntington & fellow commentors. I guess "be clueless" would also fit.
1) See the world differently to everyone else
2) Try to be interesting first and right second
3) Read weird shit it always comes in handy
4) Speak in analogies – the more bizarre the better
5) Even if the thinking that you are forced to go with isn’t the most inspiring always know you had a better strategy up your sleeve
6) Think about brands and categories you don’t work on – develop latent strategies for these – it is good practice and they may be useful at some point
7) Think and communicate clearly always – radical doesn’t mean complicated
8) Learn to use a video camera, learn to use Avid, learn to use Photoshop, learn to write a blog, learn sound editing software; creative tools which come in handy for briefs, insight videos....since the very process of learning them makes one think more creatively too.
9) Create a book. No junior creative gets a job without showing their book and no junior planner should simply assume talking a good game is enough. Take a leaf out of the strtegy safari part of this site and compile your strategic ideas book full of smart radical ideas for the brands you think deserve better thinking.

26 Feb 2006

vintage comics

in case it wasn't obvious, i am crazy about both vintage stuff, and comics, and whenever i end up dealing with vintage comics, i am under some sort of spell. Therefore, i spent the free time of this weekend reading all types of old comics collected by Ethan Persoff (ok, and also watching some movies, cause i couldn't help it anymore). I must admit they were not only highly entertaining (so call me a weirdo), but also educational. Which explains, because most of them were designed for mass-distribution in various places, as informative/educational flyers.
There's a 1957 Atomic Revolution Comic Book, with a foreword by Former Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. More or less from the same area, IF AN A-BOMB FALLS is an eight-page 1951 Cold War era comic book on safety procedures for preparing and responding to an a-bomb attack. And there's also "The H-Bomb and you", an 1954 Civil Defense Comic Book.
Then, there's Hooked!, another great and previously unknown comic about drug abuse from 1966, which was briefly distributed at NYC methadone clinics. Heroin abuse is also the subject of Trapped, 1951 comic book handed out to Columbia College students.

Another interesting bit is "Who killed Junior?" (1973), the earliest known mass-produced anti-abortion handout from Right to Life, an organization formed two months earlier, immediately after the Roe V Wade Supreme Court Decision.

And, as a bonus, for music made from old obscure tapes and vinyl, check out SPREE and SNAP.


the possesor of one of my favourite voices of all time, Don Knotts, also known as "the irrepressible comic actor who won five Emmys as Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show", died Friday night in Los Angeles, at 81.
The last time I heard Don Knotts was in Chicken Little, as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey. But i remember him very well from several "Matlock" episodes, which i watched with quite an interest (actually, that's how i first found out about him). I'm not sure what to say in moments like this, except that i am terribly sorry he's gone. May he rest in peace!

24 Feb 2006

illustration and design

interesting samples of illustration and design from Zenvironments.

maybe little pinch?

2006 Honda element: game, as well as funny little spots from The Element and Friends Web Site.


Dragos Novac and Radu Ionescu have started podcasturi.ro, a brand new site where they intend to post podcasts, as fairly obvious from the name. Their first podcast discusses the blogging phenomenon in our country, in a both pertinent and captivating way, since i listened it to its very end with the same interest. i'm glad this step was made. and i must say that i was more than amazed to actually be mentioned in the podcast, for my movie blog. especially so shortly after the surprising nomination I got from Kit. i honestly didn't think for a moment that anyone would actually look at that account i keep of the movies i watch.

23 Feb 2006

romanian slogans

bogdana wrote an interesting post about slogans and came up with a great idea (which i must say i thought about as well, when i entered advertising, but it was totally gone until i read the mentioned post), that is to build up a list of romanian slogans. the initiative is even greater since i've just given (totally by mistake, really really) a slogan which was approved and which i deeply dislike. ah well...anyway, i have already gathered such lists for the accounts i've worked with, so let the digging begin!
i love slogans as well (my favourite of all time is "Just do it", i have to admit it simply sounds brilliant to me) and i strongly believe in their power to help people associate a brand with some clear and distinct concepts, characteristics, benefits, whatever, able to further help the consumer when he is confronted with the way too generous offer of products on the market. i am a declared fan of experiential marketing, and "brand polyphony" (as russell davies brilliantly names it), but on the other hand, let's face it: there are way too few cases of romanian consumers actually being confronted with such experiences, in order to actually believe in the fact that slogans seized to be of interest to them. and i think slogans can still actually inspire or stand for an attitude or lifestyle. at least, that's how i see things now, late in the night and i do not mind being called old-fashioned. For example (since all i have in mind these days are paints anyway), i like "Vopsesti usor, vopsesti cu Spor" a lot. i know it's a word game, i know how the creative director in my agency feels about word games :)), but to be honest, it seems too powerful to me not to appreciate it (and yes, i also consider that the name of the paint was a really clever choice). While, on the other hand, i dislike the recent "Cristim - Carne din plin", because i could find this claim on a Carrefour special offer page which only contained Cristim vegetal products. Which made it somewhat misleading. Maybe that's not important, but i notice these details and the image bothered me.

unorganized random thoughts from a very tired mind

surprinsingly enough, i am not going to start whining about how terribly busy i am these days. (although i really am). On the contrary. I am currently working on a paint account, and i have really learnt a lot of things since i've started doing some research on it.
Anyway, the thing i like most about planning is that it allows me to use/ improve/ develop all kinds of skills. it makes me far more careful when talking to people, when choosing the people to talk to and so on; i don't just pay attention to all sorts of details when i'm having a conversation with somebody (especially if the person is in the target so to say), but i also have to use my intuition and adapt my approach in order to get the best out of any mind i explore. But this is fairly obvious, and is practically in the job description. But what i adore is the fact that the planner's sort of research allows me to "play the detective": to look for certain shops, located in parts of the town i've never dreamt of reaching :)), to observe all sorts of numbers and hints, to trace the best way not to get lost (especially when i'm driving) and so on. I bet it sounds silly, and i'm not saying it isn't, but i just love it. The last three days i found myself wandering on all sorts of streets, "armed" with my camera, and my mc-corder, and my iPod and my phone, a notebook and the map with the stores where i was supposed to dig fo insights or other relevant information that might prove that our agency is right, and the client is wrong, so the client should listen to the agency. i felt really good. the weather was fine, the search turned out great, and i was able to provide several stories about myself and impersonate various characters in order to be able to find out everything i went for without raising any suspicions (this, while scanning the stores for all types of details and seeming really involved in the conversations at the same time). cause Romanians are very suspicious. they don't actually enjoy providing information, and they can hardly be called open. however, i cannot complain at all about managing research on this particular account. when i visited their factory some weeks ago, people from all their departments spent a lot of time explaining the entire process that a paint goes through until reaching a wall. i had learnt more chemistry during those hours and i've seen more practice than i've learnt/ seen during all the chmistry classes in school. and now, after talking to a bunch of profile store-keepers, i feel like i know more on this market than from all the research data i got from all our market/media/whatever tools. next step: convince creatives to leave their artistic space and go down into the cruel reality of what's actually to be done.
i cannot possibly understand why i've written this post, i don't even think about reading it, but i just felt like saying these things. must be my "Auster side" not having been used for a long while and woken up all of a sudden.

20 Feb 2006

burton sick

until i get back to some real planning posts, i must say that i came across Tim Burton's "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and other stories". With texts, and illustrations and everything, and i wouldn't have brought it up, but i've just watched "Ed Wood" on Sunday and i am in quite a Burton mood. Blimey!

collective dream diary

Slow Wave is a collective dream diary authored by different people from around the world, and drawn as a comic strip by Jesse Reklaw, with a new strip uploaded every week.
I don't just like the idea, because part of me is still into psychoanalysis therefore dreams, as well as their representations, still fascinate me from an analytical point of view. But i like the comics as well, cause they look like very well-developed storyboards to me.


yep, it's happening. After Costin Radu started his blog, we have a new very promissing romanian planning blog from Bogdana. we might actually be on to something...

berlin film festival

another edition of Berlin International Film Festival now closed. Complete list of winners here.

19 Feb 2006

drama queen

the best thing about Valentine's Day this year was that i received a comforter which really got to me. Actually, not just the comforter, which is really really cute, but also its packaging. The way it was introduced seemed quite funny:

an then i visited David & Goliath's website (that would be the manufacturer). They've got really cool stuff, including tees and slippers and accessories and all sorts of cuties. I should start collecting them somehow.

17 Feb 2006

history, baby

a delicious collection of movie ads from Nostalgiaville.
ah well, i ended up in vintage commercials again...

the ultimate fake band list

i suppose one can imagine my state of boredom if i ended up surfing on this site, which is, according to Information Week, "...one of the most refreshing online wastes of time since the birth of the Web..." But the truth is that the reading gets quite addictive, especially for movie maniacs like me, who kept on wondering about the bands in the films, animations, comics, cartoons or whatever else. Enjoy!

melancholy, what else?

here. plus, you can help the guy add some more.

Rock 'n' Folk Musicians of the Sixties

John Byrne Cooke offers his collection of photographs illustrating some people who were not musicians themselves but were very much part of the music of the sixties as essential participants in the scene, as well as some others whose work was intimately involved with the music and those who played it. Including Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Cass Elliot (Mamas & Papas), Jimi Hendrix, Mississippi John Hurt, The Kentucky Colonels, Janis Joplin and very many more.

intolerable beauty

Chris Jordan offers a collection of photos illustrating "Portraits of American Mass Consumption"...

japanese photography

So just what is a "Frangipani"? I'm always surprised by just how many people ask me that question. They are a particularly pretty (and my fave) tropical flower, also known as Cultivar Plumeria. The little pink flower popping up all over the site and in your menu bar is a frangipani. [pron: franj-i-panni]

The site, Frangipani.info, belongs to Martine Cotton, an Australian living and working in Tokyo, who provides a great collection 0f Japanese photography, including images of Old downtown Tokyo, Butoh in Japan., Special Places in Japan - Tokyo day Trips, Country Japan, Tokyo Streets:, Lomo Coloursplash Gallery, Tokyo Street Art or Flowers, since The Japanese take their flowers very seriously.
My favourite, however, is the collection of Manholes of Japan.

16 Feb 2006

Telephone ads through the decades

yepee! yet another sample of oldies for today...i think i am turning into quite a melancholic bore, but here i go anyway. This time it's - as fairly obvious from the post's title - "Telephone ads through the decades", a collection of telephone ads of the 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I found them really worthy.

it's never too late, is it?

given my sheer passion for oldies, i haven't got the slightest idea how in Heaven's name i skipped the wonderful Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog. It's a great project trying to build a history of animation and represent a worthy resource of notable figures from animation's past and present. All in all, the illustrations are a total delight and i also get to know about a lot about artists developing their work quite some time ago. Such as The Greatest Cartoonist You've Never Heard Of:

Or the absolutely brilliant Boris Artzybasheff, with collections like Machinalia...

or Neurotica:

14 Feb 2006

experiential marketing

i must admit i am getting more and more interested in experiential marketing and in its great potential. maybe due to my background in psychology, i happen to believe quite a lot in the power of building this type of connection between brands and consumers. Bonds which actually get consumers to Sense, Feel, Think, Act and Relate to brands, as Bernd H. Schmitt says in his book. And i would surely like to see more of it in the Romanian landscape, not to mention how much i would like to implement some ideas of the kind myself.
And right now i am thinking about the great initiative of Absolut in London.

Decent Marketing has some really interesting posts on experiential marketing with Katherine Stone - former Director of Experiential Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company - of Engage, Inc. sharing her personal views, observations and experience in the field. And she has quite a fresh and reassuring perspective on things, as it seems from her recent AdPulp interview. I loved the account she gave on gifting experiences (especially since it's Valentine's Day, and i am so sick of monotony and compromise and cliches), as well as her observations on how various activities are inadequately associated with the idea of "experiential marketing", such as sending instant messages to cell phones, for instance. I really can't get enough reading on the matter :). Must be my aspirational trend again...

your world, your imagination

"Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by nearly 100,000 people from around the globe." I'm sure many people know this. What's interesting, though, is an article published by Wired which explains how this "is not just a game anymore".

the original condiment packet museum

since apparently i am developing a habit from checking out internet museums, today's entry is "The Original Packet Museum", courtesy Clearfour.

Romanian reading invitation

I am very curious about a book which will be launched on the 17th of February, at Carturesti. "Cinci minute la o cafea" is an essay on postmodern intimacy written by Ion Cosmovici. The reason why i am so curious about it is that Ion Cosmovici teaches at the college i attend, and i was quite impressed by him (and this doesn't happen too often). He seemed really smart, well documented and interesting, and it was a real pleasure to listen to him. Plus, he's watched many many movies :)

13 Feb 2006


some samples of great photography from Gneborg.net.

battle of the ad blogs winners

winners here. also a mess and lots of cleaning up. Best Planner/Theorists Blog, as expected, Russell Davies.

9 Feb 2006

guess i need a break

very nasty period. and i'm all grumpy and moody, and thinking about stuff i shouldn't be thinking about...at least my exams are over, and i am grateful because i was able to find out really cool interesting stuff in order to develop my final research papers. I missed this kind of research actually, and it felt good to do it differently from the advertising/planning perspective i got used to. Very good opportunity to refresh a bit the way i look at things. I wrote about Prohibition, which was really great, cause this was my curiosity after watching "The Roaring Twenties" (and "Some like it hot", but that's another story) was deeply satisfied. And i wrote about the Constitution of Namibia, which really amazed me. And maybe i'm gonna post the papers here some day, so that i can go back to them every once in a while :).
I dedicated most of my time between exams (apart from strategy and paints and all that) to movies and some time ago i decided to develop a blog especially for this. Which i did. Just another movie blog keeps track of the movies i watch, so that i don't cinema-overcrowd this one. And i've also decided to add some considerations regarding certain things i see or hear in the movies i watch which can apply in planning. Hope it'll last.
I also enjoy photographing frames from some movies i watch (especially film noir or black/white anyway). I still didn't have time to program the photography course i received as a gift from Space, but i hope to do this pretty soon.
I was thinking, and thinking quite seriously: i would like to have a small-special kind of job for a while. You know, like project movies or work in a small old bookshop or write columns for something small and funny or something of the kind. Doesn't make any sense, does it? It's just that i'd like to have a different contact with people for a while. To deal with "people", not "consumers" or "targets" or "creatives". I guess i really need a break.
I would have liked to get away a little, and go to Sighisoara and attend The Blues Festival there at the end of this week. Of course, i don't think i will in the end, cause i still have plenty of shits to work out.
And then, there's a little matter of blog-frustration: i don't know why i'm quite pissed i write it in English.
But B-ucharEst International Film Festival 2006 is near (March 28th-April 2nd). Not near enough though. Until then, the so-called Festival du Film Francophone will do. Hopefully.
And i love Gratian, so quickly turned into a brand :)) by the folks there. way to go, guys!

watching films noir

3 Feb 2006

on-egg messaging

Eggfusion aims at "promoting freshness with every impression", by branding eggs, and using their potential as an advertising medium which inspires freshness and confidence. They even list the benefits for marketing, brand managers, advertising, egg producers, retailers, grocers, consumers and everyone, which makes they seem a little psychotic. But, still, i like the idea.


I've just bought the Romanian version of "McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales". I like it cause it's green and cause it's illustrated with ads instead of pictures.

1 Feb 2006

the cluetrain manifesto

The 95 theses of The Cluetrain Manifesto should really be taken into consideration.