It was making the rounds around the net - Microsoft’s (concept?) tablet titled Courier with some interesting UI features. The video shows pretty much a scrap/sketch-booking concept so there’s bit of quirky messy-ness within the UI (as how sketchbooks usually are); given the education-leaning demonstration I’d also wonder about the ‘Kindle-killerness’ – could Microsoft muscle their way into schools and convince boards of education that this is indeed going to be a real effective teaching aid (like how many iPod touches ended up as educational aid – IMHO probably more gadget-lust than actually effective tools for learning).
Recently I’ve taken a special interest in a rather niche segment of marketing – those done by loan sharks. Johor Bahru (or JB – city in Malaysia) has a very high density of these (theoretically?) illegal money-lending businesses, catering to anybody from gamblers seeking a quick rescue to ‘proper’ businessmen needing just that bit more cash flow.
Growing up, I had the common impression of loansharks where they are generally underground – where you need some sort of mafia-connection to get access to it. In JB this is a lot more ‘above-the-line’, where you’d see signs and phone numbers pasted all over, on practically every surface you can find.
Recently though, I get impressed yet again with their level of ’marketing professionalism’ – just received this set of brochures (only showing the front/back):
Check out the amount of design and creative direction (everything from layout, typography, photography to copy-writing, consistency in theme between the 3 separate brochures) that went into promoting their services: simply impressive!
I think… with the developments of Youtube, viral marketing and such, marketers have upped their antes in an attempt to out-weird one another – the ad above for a shaver is probably just yet another example of the absurdity (and yet hilarity and memorability) in the years to come.
We probably all have a vague idea (and have probably seen many) towering cranes in construction sites – those flamingo-legs scratching the clouds, almost unlimited in height, while hauling concretes and what-not around the site. Above is a video that shows exactly how it is assembled and grown as required, in tandem with the building construction.
We’ve (probably) all heard stories about how the sound of a car door greatly affects the perception of its value, and how engineers/marketers/car-makers would spend countless hours perfecting the perfect ‘thud’.
As they say, trillion is the new billion – and we’re still as far from *really* grasping the magnitude of all that money after trillions upon trillions are announced for this plan and that. So here’s Mint.com’s entry in explaining exactly how much money this is:
When we’re immersed in an intense activity – gaming and watching a sports match perhaps – our mind enters z certain ‘zone’. Being fully concentrated on the game, we lose our self-awareness and personal restraint, unleashing the truest facial expressions.
That is exactly what PS3 wants to capture in their campaign “Play Face“:
It’s that face you make when you are playing video games and concentrating so much that you don’t even realize the kind of expressions you are making. And everyone has a different one.
Here’s a video:
There are also (very) similar prior projects though – such as “Immersion” by Robbie Cooper and “Video Gamers” by Philip Toledano. Concept originality aside, I thought highlighting the ‘play face’ was an engaging move by PS3 – we all know it, we are instinctively and visually connected with that ‘face moments’ if we’ve ever played any games ourselves, and it communicates the riveting nature of videogames perfectly.
This is Dave Lawrence’s imagination of how the Apple website would look like, had it existed way back in 1983 when Lisa is new, and the Mac is still a year away. Check out the iPhone (not quite what we now perceive it to be)!
Here’s a really interesting ‘choir’ – gather up a bunch of people in front of microphones, clapping, slapping and twiddling thumbs to end up with a rather realistic simulation sound of the rain – I particularly liked the thunder effect right around the minute mark.