Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mad About Mad Men

If you haven't been watching the last two season's of Mad Men, you should. It is, in my opinion, one of the best shows on television right now and it has a very devoted following.

Enter the Banana Republic & Mad Men casting call for a walk on role in the series and you have a hit. Even though this contest has a decent number of hoops to jump through before you actually get entered, the prize is coveted enough for people to jump through them. First, you have to physically visit a Banana Republic store to get a Mad About Style Guide to get a code to enter and only while supplies last. You can't get the code online. Once you have the code you have to photograph yourself in 'Mad Men Style' and submit it to online voting. The top 10 male and top 10 female scorers then go on to get judged by Mad Men's executive producer, Matthew Weiner, to select the final winner. Phew! That's a lot of steps for a contest! But hey, it's Mad Men so they can get away with a higher cost of entry, but I am surprised at the crazy number of entries so far considering how many steps one needs to take.

The funny thing I see though, is if you page through the photos entered, most of them don't have a Mad Men look about them. I don't know if these are Banana Republic shoppers who aren't that familiar with the show, but think it would be cool to be on TV, or people who seriously want a Mad Men role. There are a number of attractive head shot looking photos, maybe of actors looking for a break, but they still have no Mad Men styling. They might do okay in the public voting, but if you're going to all that trouble to win a contest, read the fine print! Matthew Weiner is very controlling of the styling on Mad Men, which is one of the reasons it's so unbelievably good. If you don't fit what he wants, he won't choose you. Plus he's judging based on 60% Mad Men Styling and 40% originality. I guess that just makes the contest that much easier for those that really want it enough to read up on the rules.

Heck, I'm thinking of swinging by Banana Republic on my way home now... The new season starts August 16th!

**Did I mention there's also an application out there to Mad Men Yourself? Check it out!**

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Font Driven By Toyota

Two font designers took the Toyota iQ (Toyota's version of the Smart Car) and made the above font out of the car's tracks. It's not the most legible or versatile font, but the concept behind its creation is quite cool. Essentially the font designers gave each wheel it's own identity and tracked the movements of the lines they made as a race car driver drove the iQ around making different letterforms. They digitally tracked the movements from above and turned the recordings in the font. Check out the video below to view the whole process and go here to download the font for yourself.

[via Gizmodo]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Magical Tweets

I'll admit it, I'm a Harry Potter fan. I read the books, saw the movies, bought the movies and then reread some of the books again. I love the stories and even as over-commercialized as the franchise has become, I still love it all.

Even if you're not as enamored with all things Harry Potter as I am, you have to give them credit for their recent Twitter application to promote the latest movie. Marketers everywhere are trying to figure out the best way to use social media to promote, but since Twitter and social media are driven by the consumer, it's a tricky beast. This current Harry Potter Twitter application, however, is a great blend of entertaining and promotional.

Essentially, you visit and select one of four spells featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to direct message (DM) to your twitter friends. If they click on the link in the DM, they'll see a fake version of their Twitter homepage followed by an animation of the spell being cast and a message from you. Unfortunately the messages are pre-written, but they have a variety of amusing and appropriate messages. Check out the thumbnails on the left to see the spell cast on me last week.

The only glitches with this clever application, are the inability to customize your DM and making the default "Check this out, it's simply magical. [URL]" so vague it's a little too close to spam. The application's been a bit slow to load at times too, causing spell victims to leave the page before the spell's animation has occured. Beyond those issues though, the idea and execution of this Twitter application is fantastic—the marketer's ideal blend of promotional and fun.