26 May 2006

on finding the truth

while we were in a meeting yesterday, we were interrupted by some weird promotional campaign for "Adevarul" ("The truth") newspaper. Several young girls dressed as authentic gipsies entered the room and invited each of us to pick one of the tarot cards in their hands, saying that they were guessing "the truth" for us, and then leaving an edition of the newspaper on the table. Although i should be happy since my card said "unexpected joy", i still cannot help but wondering what this campaign was trying to say about the newspaper it advertised. As far as i am concerned, finding out the truth from "occult" sources or practices is quite improbable, not to mention out of order and highly non-credible. On the other hand, i would expect from a newspaper some professionalism to investigate rather than the ability to guess the truth one way or another. I think about how the guys at Wieden&Kennedy described on their blog the atmosphere and the work flow in the Guardian headquarters, and then i think about how things must be working in Adevarul's editorial office, starting from the way they tried to advertise it. And i kinda get a distorted image, i think. Bottom line, I would really not associate journalism with this gipsy tradition, especially in today's circumstances. I can understand their intention to try and connect us with the brand, but i'm sure they could have found a far better way to do it.

25 May 2006

so i was right

Some time ago, i had a post in which i was saying that i think i might actually go to the theatre soon and discover that during the break, the actors in the play interpret some commercials. Well, apparently it wasn't just a crazy thought. The New York Times announces that Visit London, a tourist organization, has created what they claim to be the world's first live theatrical commercial.
"There have already been performances of the live commercial on stages in Dublin and Hamburg, said Ken Kelling, Visit London's communications director, and there is to be another on Friday in Pittsburgh. "They're a captive audience," Mr. Kelling said. "They can't switch channels or change over or walk out once the thing is started." He said that he did not think this would open the door to live ads for detergents and soft drinks, and that Visit London had no plans to continue the ads after this Friday in Pittsburgh."
Thanks, Alex, for the article. And also noticed by Adrants.

22 May 2006

longest running public service campaign in US History

" Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear campaign is the longest running public service campaign in US History. Smokey's forest fire prevention message remained unchanged for 50 years until April 2001, when the Ad Council updated his message to address the increasing number of wildfires in the nation's wildlands. As one of the world's most recognizable fictional characters, Smokey's image is protected by US Federal Law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. Explore the links above to learn more about the history of the campaign, the "real" Smokey Bear, and Smokey's unique place in American culture."

on cartoons

you might be interested in this or not, but the thing is that i always got most of my inspiration from cartoons. i still do. it's almost impossible for me not to associate all sorts of situations or even the ideas of my fellows from the creative department with cartoon episodes. The connections come on the spot. Yesterday, before coming to work, i watched several "Lolek&Bolek" episodes, which were really cool, but the even cooler part was that before these episodes started, they played some old Romanian Bob Calinescu animations, which i adored. The result is that i started to develop some interest in Romanian animation and its state. Hopefully, i'll be able to find or download as many old goodies of the sort as possible.
Until then, here are some foreign offensive banned cartoons of the 30s and 40s. as well as some World War II Era Cartoons.

18 May 2006

elevator moods

(almost) nobody here

since i am totally overwhelmed by both work and personal shits, my blog is in a temporary stand-by. however, i found this site to be inspirational enough for me to post about it. mainly because i considered it to be quite appropriate as a brand idea book (caution: might be just because of the frustrations i've gathered these days).

15 May 2006

you are beautiful

stickers and installations claiming simply: "you are beautiful". i liked them because i know they'd make me smile, and i don't think i'm the only one who'd have this reaction.

14 May 2006

one of those playful sites

YELLOWTAIL is an interactive software system for the gestural creation and performance of real-time abstract animation. Yellowtail repeats a user's strokes end-over-end, enabling simultaneous specification of a line's shape and quality of movement. Each line repeats according to its own period, producing an ever-changing and responsive display of lively, worm-like textures.

subway life

When people are shut in a subway carriage, they look for something to do during their journey. They read the paper, listen to music, or brood on something unpleasant said to them at work. I prefer to draw the other people.

ken wong

Ken Wong's portfolio reminded me about the illustrations in some Russian books of bedtime stories i had as a child.

13 May 2006


Autobahn”, by Neil LaBute, is the latest theatre project developed by Teatrul fara Frontiere. Fairly entitled “a play for two actors and three spectators”, “Autobahn” is played on the very streets of our city, and implies four cars, in which the spectators are supposed to jump in rotationally.

I pretty much enjoyed the experience for a number of reasons. First, the feeling was great indeed, meaning that the actors actually made us feel we were entering some real stories of real people, while getting out of that car only meant leaving those people with their problems and frustrations and so on. It seemed to me far more authentic and engaging than a play on the stage and it was developed in the same line - of involving the audience and creating a whole experience - that i talked about earlier in my posts and that i deeply appreciate. The team accomplished this by thinking about all sorts of details and by creating an entire game around the project. You were supposed to make reservations for the tickets, after which you were called at a certain time, in a certain place, to look for a certain car from which to collect the tickets. And the tickets were not regular pieces of paper. They were nicely-developed keyrings. I liked this manner of creating the atmosphere. All in all, an experience i am not going to forget soon, as well as a form of art which appealed to me.
On the other hand, the project also had a strong advertising part (or so i think :D). The thing is that Mercedes Benz is one of the project's partners, which meant that 3 out of the four cars were (probably) given by the guys at Mercedes: a B Klasse, a ML and a Chrysler PT Cruiser. And, coincidence or not, despite the fourth car being a Dacia, we stopped for the small scene right in front of a Chrysler etc shop. Therefore, the play gave us a great opportunity to explore the cars in a really unconventional and entertaining manner. Also, a very engaging manner, because we had plenty of time to get familiar with the interior design, to use all sorts of gimmicks in order to make as much as possible out of the play and so on. It seemed like a really good way to bond with this brand. And even if the Autobahn's audience was not necessarily Mercedes Benz's target audience (:D), i still liked the idea.
And the reason why i am writing like this (ambiguously and all that) is that i'm deadly tired, so please forgive me.

12 May 2006

shopping habits

via gareth, who took it from boing boing, a site which i totally loved: Grocery lists is the world's largest online collection of found grocery lists and represents an extremely valuable view on people's real shopping habits, needs, brand attachments and so on. As well as hints concerning their style and personality.
I'd be really curious about a Romanian version of this, cause whenever i go shopping i see plenty of people consulting their grocery lists and i've always wondered how products are mentioned on those tiny pieces of paper. Therefore, i think i'm gonna start collecting some myself, and if anybody is willing to contribute, just drop a word please.

art motherfucker, do you do it?

i'm sure "art" guys know this site quite well, but as far as i am concerned, i've just come across Artfucks, which is an active and interesting street art forum. It contains lots of nice stuff grouped in finished digital/traditional illustrations gallery and critique, street art and installations, community and external projects, works in progress, traditional/digital sketches, blackbook, as well as a general community discussion. Inspirational and enticing.
via Barnaby Bretton.

11 May 2006

andy smith

i'm really not sure whether i've posted about this before, but i somehow ended up on Andy Smith's website again. He's the guy who animated and directed W&K's Run London and you can check out some of his animations, illustrations or typography.

10 May 2006

marketing360 or something like that

i have some posts which i still have to write (covering my weekend events), but in the mean time i need to express my frustrations after attending yesterday's Marketing360. Although Bogdana has already written an excellent post covering pretty much my very own thoughts and feelings. I had two main causes for sadness.
First, since i consider myself to be a beginner, i would have liked to find out at least one thing i did not know. That didn't happen. Except, maybe, for the fact that Itsy Bitsy was Felix Tataru's idea (actually, his presentation was one of the very few i really appreciated).
Second, despite the fact that the event was called "marketing360", the overwhelming majority of the speakers seemed to ignore without any hesitations the concept or implications of this "360". Well, i thought that if they chose to ignore this, maybe they might want to develop some really interesting, catchy presentations, you know, as in have at least one very tiny spark, suggest at least a little evolution in mentality and in means and methods. Unfortunately, at times i was just asking myself whether those guys could bear for quite some time someone just as dull and common as they seemed to be trying hard to convince the audience they are. I don't doubt their value or achievements or whatever, but each time i tried to put myself in their shoes and i think i would have liked to be at least a little different. I mean actually touch my audience with something more than the same old dull theories i have been listening to forever and so on. Or it's just my very demanding youth, doubled by my utter lust for finding out new, exciting things. However, a simple summary of Jon Steel's book really doesn't qualify as a presentation on my scale. Nor does starting the presentation with a strong highlight of the big differences between a "strategic planner" and an "account planner", but ending the same presentation speaking exclusively of "strategic planners", when actually referring to "account planners", according to the difference already mentioned. My passion for rigour was extremely hurt.
I really do not mean to be rude, but the thing is that i need to and want to learn from experienced, bright people and from this point of view, i wasn't satisfied at all. Plus, the flops in the event's organization were killing me. There were however, some case studies i really liked and listened to with some enthusiasm, such as the Itsy Bitsy thingy, and Antibiotice by Grapefruit.
The best thing by far was meeting Bogdana in the flesh. First, cause curiosity was killing me. Second, because she gave me the highly reassuring feeling that i am after all speaking the same language with somebody. So, thank you, Bogdana!

8 May 2006

folk gala and audience

I know i’ve been going really far from anything related to planning lately, but the thing is that i’ve attended so many “events”, that i’d be really sorry not to blog about. And, apart from this, they were all experiences which helped me notice all sorts of helpful things.

Anyway, i come from a family in which folk was, and still is, a cult(ure). I’ve grown up listening to and learning from the values of that folk/rock generation, who used to read a lot, think a lot and be kind. Which definitely helped me a lot in becoming the person i am today (stupid or pathetic as it may sound). Well, that generation was highly represented on Thursday, at the Folk Gala in Sala Palatului, when some of the best folk singers gave some wonderful performances in a concert which lasted for four hours. For some reason, apart from enjoying the music, it was interesting for me to observe all those middle-aged people, mostly average and above average income, looking fairly preoccupied and tired before the show began, who lightened up and started singing the very moment the concert began, and who seemed to be having an excellent time, all of them still sharing those common strong beliefs rooted in their youth. Apart from knowing almost all lyrics, they also seemed to be sharing the same type of humour, as well as everyday concerns. Which made me think one more time about how important segmentation according to lifestyle is, when trying to understand a target audience. And another interesting point for me was that looking around, i could see many people my age accompanied by their parents, people who were obviously educated pretty much in the same spirit i described in the beginning of the post. (of course, there were also exceptions from the observations above. However...)

The funny thing is that nobody (at least around me) attending that concert seemed to believe that those guys or their songs could ever get old, or expired. But when i met Alex and told him all about my enthusiasm after attending the gala, he said that i should stop (?!?!) listening to this kind of “out of date” stuff.

3 May 2006

boring post about using urban spaces

Using public space as a means to expose your art, or better said, to expose people to your form of art. This is the main goal of two events I’ve taken part in these days.

The first was on Saturday, when I went to Prometheus to watch Andra and Vlad Iachim’s “People Facing Dance and Change” shorts projections. In brief, the project started due to Vlad’s urge to understand better not only himself, but also his relationship with dance; what is dance all about, and, what I liked the most, what happens when you get contemporary dance out in the streets. How do people perceive this form of expression? How do they perceive what’s happening to the dancer? And so on. Vlad said that the experiment of getting dance in the streets was far more difficult than it seemed, but I certainly loved the results. It always feels so good for me to enjoy the work of such passionate people.

As far as the second experiment is concerned, I enjoyed it in two parts, so to say. On Sunday, I saw the “Falling life” projections on MNAC, followed by last night’s workshop “Exploring Urban Spaces” at the Czech Center, with new media artist Michael Bielicky and his billboard artist wife Kamila B. Richter, initiators of the Falling Life project, as well as with Diana Gomez, Columbian artist living in Bucharest.

The artists discussed “Falling Life”, the benefits of showing art independent from time and space, Internet as a giant public space, as well as the way public space could and should be combined with virtual space, the artist’s duty to contribute somehow to the development of art in a public space dominated entirely by advertising and politics, the huge number of possibilities that public space offers for expression, billboards and many other interesting aspects derived from these topics.

Both projects mentioned were about confronting regular people with forms of art. Michael talked about presenting his random projections to people who wouldn’t necessarily go to a museum, see how these people react and what they think of his stuff; some stop and want to know more about the project, they simply get involved and become interested in the project. And this happens mostly due to the unconventional use of the public urban space. Of course there is a group of people who are interested in such events and would have followed the project anyway, but most of those who were confronted with the random projections were just passers-by.

The most interesting part of these experiments, at least to me, is precisely to watch the reaction of people. To answer questions such as: how open, how willing and how receptive are people when it comes to such experiments? What do they get out of it? How do they appreciate the experience? According to Vlad, it turned out that people do not know how to react, they don’t know what is expected from them the moment they realize somebody has a camera pointed at them. Which is why he talked about including a third camera in the next stage of his project, a camera that would only focus on the reactions and expressions of the people who suddenly find themselves involved or at least exposed to such manifestations. That would probably be great. Michael, on the other hand, interacted quite well with his passing-by audience. In fact, he even followed some suggestions coming from regular people in touch with the falling objects.

All in all, besides having a great time, I must admit I received quite a lot of food for thought, especially since I have some projects in mind myself. And Cris also started a series of comics inspired by the two of us attending the conference last night. Yes, i am Darla, all excited and taking notes, while she kept on wanting to see more pictures, pictures, pictures. ah, creatives :))

from circus to organ

since apparently there are some people actually wasting their time by reading my nonsense, i will not expand my Saturday circus experience too much. The thing is that i love circus, mostly due to Cirque du Soleil, whose shows i could watch over and over and over again, but i haven't actually been to the circus here for a while now. And since the Chinese Circus show was canceled several weeks ago, which lead to my utter disappointemnt and rage, i thought i could give our very much local circus a chance.
The performance was a selection of their best acts and was quite entertaining (of course, i am not comparing it with CdS shows), part because of the show itself, part because of the lovely reactions from children (and since i'm currently working on a diapers account, that came as a real bless).
Two things to mention:
1. i am totally sick and tired of the "no pictures" thing. Why in the name of God can't i take pictures of anything i want anytime i want? The show was psychedelic enough for the performers not to get distracted by some camera or, even better, by some mobile phone. I cannot take pics when i'm in the mall and i see cute drawings, i cannot take pics during almost any show, and this is really starting to get to me. It pisses me off.
2. they play commercials as well. Before the show, and during the break, ads were projected on the two big screens. Which made me think that i might actually go to the theatre soon and discover that during the break, the actors in the play interpret some commercials. Or something of the kind.
And, since i had to mark this as well, from the circus i went straight to the Atheneum, where the organ fanatic in me was absolutely delighted to watch and listen Philippe Verkaeren perform. Especially since the program included some of my favourite works from Franck, and listening to them live was just like a dream came true.

agency spots

Cristina and Marius caught in the development of their Friday expression of creativity. Or just subversively posing for the premier of "Puss in Boots" at the Opera.