Monday, March 30, 2009

Differentiate Yourself

A really good product has a way of differentiating itself from the rest of the competition. A very creative cab driver in Charlotte, NC has done so very effectively by installing a karaoke screen in his cab. Check out the video below!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have The Travel Bug? Cure It Here.

A friend posted this interesting promotional site, I Have The Bug, for the Travel Channel on Facebook. All I have to say is it's brilliant. Sure it's a little superfluous, but it's entertaining. The site moves you along a variety of amusing travel scenarios and choices with a soothing female narrator commenting on each decision. All of this is to decide your travel personality in order to recommend the proper shows on the travel channel to treat you. The animated game quiz is entertaining and fun and leads directly to a payoff involving the client. I love to travel, but I confess I've never really watched the Travel Channel. That may change now though as I'm seriously considering checking out some of the recommended shows.

The site is integrated with Facebook Connect too, which allows you to share your travel personality assessment with any Facebook friends who have taken the quiz.

I'm a Navigator, what are you? Find out at

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The CEO's Guide To Jetting

Jet Blue has a fantastic little series of commercials called The CEO's Guide to Jetting. This series of three spots walks CEO's through the transition of flying on their own corporate jets to flying on the next best thing: Jet Blue. The spots are very funny and well executed. Just slightly unpolished enough in spots to pass for a real instructional video.

Have a laugh and check out the series below:

(via AdPulp)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shaming You To The Gym

A bus stop in Amsterdam has one of the most creative bus shelters I've seen in awhile. The shelter's bench serves as a scale, so when you sit it displays your weight for you, and everyone else on the street, to see. Ouch. I could see that making me reroute my journey home to include a stop at the gym...

(Via AdFreak. Photo from Direct Daily.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chef Boyardee Spot is Obviously Delicious

While my blog partner continues her thoughtful discussions and critiques, I'll do my best to add lighthearted posts like this:

Love the new Chef Boyardee commercial. Parents everywhere can relate to this scenario. Watch closely--the mother's facial expressions are perfectly executed. When I first saw this spot a few days ago, I literally LOL-ed.

While I love the spot, it doesn't make me want to buy the product. And just because it contains a full serving of vegetables, I don't feel it's necessarily "nutritious" as the tagline would have you think. Next time I'm at the store, maybe I'll have a look to let you know just how nutritious it is.

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day! 'Boyardee' could be Irish, no? :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wisconsin Bombs Rebranding

Large corporations aren't the only ones capable of botching a rebranding job. The state of Wisconsin unveiled their new logo today and there is only one word to describe it: horrendous. I have nothing positive to say about it. The font has nothing particularly appealing about it and that little flag thing in the middle of the W just bothers me. I expect it to be there for a reason and there's no apparent reason to it's existence except to make the W particularly difficult to decipher at a glance. The wavy N is just as distracting. Then the whole word has the distinct shape of unnecessary use of Illustrator's bulge warp tool. At the risk of sounding preachy, Illustrator and photoshop filters can be godsends or train wrecks and it all depends on your discretion in using them. The epic fail is when they're unnecessarily used to try to beef up an otherwise poor design (e.g. the logo above). It never works. Use them with extreme caution.

Beyond the bad font choice, the logo fails again between that tag line and the completely random silhouette handstand that isn't remotely integrated into the design. Both the silhouette and tagline look completely tacked on. The handstand has no real reason to be there, except maybe to illustrate the painfully generic tagline, 'Live like you mean it,' which ironically comes straight from Bacardi. I mean Wisconsinites like their liquor, but if you were going to steal from such an ad, 'Please Drink Responsibly' would have at least been a little more true to some of the distinctive characteristics of the state.

Megan and I are both native Wisconsinites, and having lived out of state I'm very aware of the not-so-exciting reputation Wisconsin has in most of the rest of the country. That's exactly why it pains me to see that this is the 'new' face we're going to show to try to ramp up tourism? Ugh. Wisconsin is much better than that.

As much as I'm sure this botched logo is at least partly due to decision by committee, I can't believe the state paid $50,000 for that slapped together looking logo and a ripped off tagline.

What do you think of the new logo?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hey everyone! This guy needs a job!

Most of us using wildly popular social media tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn have been trying to figure out how to "brand" ourselves so that our abilities and experience speak for us if, say, a potential client or employer is out there searching for us. Mark Heuer, however, has taken personal advertising to a new level.

This news blurb from Digital Signage has us reading the full article about Heuer and his plan to land a job by putting his face on a billboard in busy Milwaukee. The billboard directs to Heuer's resume, posted on his Web site: the easily remembered

I haven't read his entire resume, but I hope someone proofed that thing! That'd be a colossal error at a potential 60,000 visitors a day! Best of luck to Mark.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dixie Advertising The Disposable?

I saw this commercial last week and it immediately struck me as odd. Maybe it's because of the shift I feel our society taking towards more sustainable living (or at least the appearance of it). I see people around me cutting down on plastic bottles and disposable dishes. Between gas prices and global warming, our culture seems to be on a bit of a green trend whose effects are starting to spread out from just recycling to trying to use less overall. The rough economy doesn't hurt that mantra either; why buy paper cups when I can wash these glass ones I already have? For some people, I'll bet cost is starting to win out over convenience.

Either way, this Dixie Cup ad for disposable coffee cups struck me as jarringly out of place. First of all, those cups are easily recognized as the type you get at the coffee stand in a convenience store or waiting room, not something many people buy for their homes. Bottled water sales started to taper off last year, so it makes you wonder if the public's environmental and economic concerns have started to take their toll on other plastic and paper goods as well.

Maybe it's just me though—what do you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Girl Scouts Update Their Brand

Let's face it, the Girl Scouts have a dorky image. I can say it. After all, I was one for a number of years, so I found the new revamping of the organization to keep up with the times a very interesting proposal. For most girls back in my day, being in Girl Scouts pretty much consisted of making popsicle stick ornaments and learning to sew. Maybe, if you were lucky, you did some camping and learned how to build a fire or something, but most of it for younger scouts was arts and crafts projects in the school cafeteria. And we wonder why girls drop out. Sure, older scouts would learn to tie knots, orienteer and camp, but how many girls these days really have an interest in those activities?

I think the Girl Scouts overall are a great organization, so I was excited to hear that they hired their first ever brand-manager to bring about some new changes. According the Washington Post, the organization is embracing social media and the internet and extending their teachings from sewing and knot tying to financial literacy and video conferences with troops abroad. Plus a new trend of college student troop leaders instead of troop members moms. They're even going so far as to scrap the badges (good call!) and handbooks in favor of a looser form of direction for individual troops and girls.

Hopefully these new changes will give the Girl Scouts the refresher they need for the 21st century. We will see.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

C-O-M-C-A-S-T Dreams Big with Comcast Town

You've all seen the Comcast spots by now: an illustrated world of part animation, part real life, all imagination. And they've got print ads to match.

You can move into Comcast Town, the virtual world of imagination Comcast has created, and get in on the fun. They also have four of their TV spots (with lyrics) posted at the site. Adfreak has a review of this as well, and a bunch of new Comcast spots posted here. It seems to be getting good reviews.

I have to admit, the spots definitely entertain. The music is oh-so-catchy (think Juno soundtrack) and the graphics don't fail to hold attention. However, all of this has very-late-in-the-game Second Life feel to it. Maybe it's just me. I won't be moving to Comcast Town anytime soon. But I'm slightly curious about the "prize-loaded design contest" they mention on the Web site. And I will continue to hum along with the tune they've now got stuck in my head.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2009 Rebranding Awards

We've been ripping apart a lot of brand redesigns lately, so on a more upbeat note, I wanted to share the 2009 Rebranding Awards so we can all look at rebranding done right. The most dramatic shift, and my personal favorite is the rebranding of ICFJ (International Center for Journalists). I love the new color palette and corporate identity. Looking at the before and after examples is like night and day.

Which one is your favorite?

(via Brand New)