Saturday, 26 July 2008

Cocktail Mummy fashion editorial by Miles Aldridge

I received this fashion editorial by Miles Aldridge in my inbox last week and really loved it. It's Cocktail Mummy - very nostalgic! I wish magazines in Australia would feature more fashion editorial like this.

Miles has more shots on his site -

EDIT 3/08/08: I must eat my own hat, whilst lazily using my Sunday to flick through past issues of Vogue Australia, I saw that they had used an image from this shoot for a typical article about not possessing maternal qualities

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Australian Glamour to launch in 2009 and Grazia... me no like

News Magazines/Limited have finally confirmed they will be launching an Australian version of the high selling handbag-sized women's magazine, Glamour in 2009. It will complement their other female fashion title: Vogue Australia. From my experience with UK Glamour, I am not really a fan of the style and content in the publication but I think it will definitely be a serious contended in the already crowded marketplace. It should sit in that older more mainstream fashion and celeb-loving market well.

This is more than I can say for the recent ACP launch of the weekly Grazia. After checking this out on newstands I must say I was rather disappointed. I didn't like the saddle stitch binding on it as it didn't go with the more luxurious glossy style (it's fine for Who and New Idea though but Grazia should differentiate). The printing and finishing also seemed poor, almost like it was from the office XEROX! The content was a bit hit and miss too... it's like a weekly monthly, which makes it difficult to find a balance - some content was already no longer in touch with the zeitgeist. At $5, it is a bit steep for a weekly, for a few bucks extra I'd rather buy another monthly which I haven't read yet for more content and better editorial (shoots and articles).

(Thanks for GWAS for the Grazia cover shot - she's in the link's list to right...)

Plant Rant

Someone stole a plant outside the front of my house today.

It was only a $15 Yukka from somewhere like Bunnings with a cracked terracotta pot, so I can't understand why they would have unless they were on crack. Seriously who does that! Now the porch looks all bare and there is nowhere for the postie to hide my online hauls. No one else in the street had their plants stolen and let me tell you, their offerings are much more appetising to steal.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Brands brands brands

I got asked tonight to name my most loved and hated brand, and after some impulsive thinking I named Burberry as my most loved and Playboy as my most hated.

So why Burberry? Although I love fashion I think there's nothing worse than an aspiring fashion marketer naming a 'label' rather than a brand as their most loved brand. Whilst I know that labels can be brands and brands can be labels, I value a brand's history and 'empire' as well as its strategy and positioning, and I think a lot of new designers' establishing labels out there simply design clothes and that's it.

Perhaps it's also because these labels are still in brand infancy, after all Burberry started somewhere with Thomas Burberry creating the iconic trench coat for English and French soldiers in WWI, but with the choice of all the brand giants out there why choose a boutique fashion label as a most loved?

For me, Burberry has this beautiful history behind it, established in 1856, it's really stood the test of time, and successfully repositioned itself along the way through challenging times (eg. 'Chavdom'). I just love the feeling of British heritage and culture, and feel that their products, extensions and designs have always stayed relevant to the core brand.(My profile picture is even a shot of Kate Moss from the 2005 Spring Summer Burberry campaign).

Playboy on the other hand has just diverged into so many product categories that the initial brand has been cheapened so much, if that was possible! One of their taglines is "Head to Toe: We've Got You Covered", which is exactly the problem; too much, too varied and bad quality. Don't worry about buying fake Playboy as the craftsmanship is probably better than the real thing. Anyway moving on...

A book which I recommend (especially since you can read it for free on Google Books here) is Matt Haig's Brand Royalty which differentiates brands into great categories such as distraction brands, muscle brands, consistent brands and responsibility brands. It really does cover most of the top brands discussed today. He also, has a less popular book Brand Failures, which would be a good retrospective read to get an insight into what went wrong with some brands.

Thanks but no thanks

Ok, despite wanting an iPhone since early 07, I was not much of an apple consumer-pet when the Australia launch came up as I did not line up overnight to secure one. I then admittedly took my sweet ass time getting down to an Optus store (Vodafone and Telstra's offerings are a joke!) to see if I could finally get my hands on one.

Anyway at first I was told that I would have to sign onto the contact and wait to receive the phone, which would take around one to two weeks. I was planning to sign up to a 24 month contract (which in modern day mobile phone terms, may as well see me through to retirement!) and on one of the higher-spend packages. I also currently reside in pre-paid brick land (... a mobile that dates back at least five years) so to start being charged for a data package and plan when I can't use it seems somewhat absurd.

After further enquiry today however, I was told the phone won't be available for around four weeks after signing a contract! That would mean I would be paying for a whole month's contract to do nothing but sit and smell the roses until the phone arrived. What would happen to customers who had no phone I wonder!

I simply do not understand this service ethos - it's like Optus are of the mindset that they are doing customers the favour rather than the other way around. They told me my order would be rainchecked, but this ain't no Target, if I want a semi-expensive item and its out of stock, simply order it and let me know when its in. If its sold out, fair enough but don't bother me with this raincheck babble!

Edit 23/07/08: I must confess I caved in today and signed up :(

Monday, 21 July 2008

The Dark Knight Spoof

I saw the new batman movie recently, The Dark Knight and thought it was well worth every accolade it gets. It has received rave reviews, aside from Perez Hilton's bizarre self-important critique, and I can understand why! I'm not sure what the word is on the street yet, but hopefully it will be the Penguin as the nemesis in the next movie, Danny Devito style, or perhaps Catwoman.

Anyway I thought this TDK trailer spoof was hilarious and well done for a budget production. Check it out!

Myer is not their-store

Myer is planning to open its first overseas store in Dubai late next year. They then plan to open another four outlets across the United Arab Emirates and then eventually in the Eastern European market. I don't know why they are planning on opening overseas when they can't even get things right on the home front...

If you haven't been into Myer Bourke Street lately, then avoid yourself a brain hemorrhage and don't bother! It looks like a bomb has hit it, has the worst traffic flow problems of any department store I've ever been in worldwide and everything is currently merchandised as though it was more suited to being in a down-market discount variety 80s store. I especially liked the placement of the upmarket dinnerware category next to electronics and computers, and hearing customers debate whether or not they 'were allowed to go into that section as it looks like it's been closed off'.

I know its all temporay since they are refurbishing the store (it won't be finished until late 2009!!) but I liked the original store layout and generous retail space it had to begin with.
Oh yeah - one more thing to mention, they are currently in the process of invading the pedestrian pavement on the Bourke St Mall once again with a hideous black box... I don't know how Melbourne City Council approves such things!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Ikea: Nice example of OOH at a bus shelter

This instalment from Ikea is an impressive way to do out-of-home promotion and beats the bus shelters I've seen done up in Australia (which never seem to make it to Melbourne - probably because we don't use buses!). It's quite old, probably from a campaign in New York in 06 I believe just after doing a quick search. Nevertheless, I really like the idea. Who cares if the product gets damaged or stolen, being cheap and cheerful.

(Thanks to Flickr for the photo).

Monday, 14 July 2008

The Zeitgeists blog ranked number one in Google!

Just wanted to do a shout out and say that The Zeitgeists is currently ranked number one in organic google searches. It does help if you have an obscure name! ;)

If you hadn't cottoned on, zeitgeist is a German word and for those curious about how to pronounce it, see here: It literally translates to time (Zeit) and spirit (Geist).

Some more definitions:
- the ethos of a select group of people, that express a particular world view which is prevalent at a particular period of socio-cultural progression.
- the mind of the time, and mind is understood as the mental spirit (state of mind)
- the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time

There has been a movie and a band named after the noun... and Google also has a nifty tool called Google Zeitgeist, where you can search patterns, trends and surprises!

You can even search by country - the latest data for Australia, extracted from May 2008, indicates that searches such as Yoda, Mother Teresa, Mini Cooper, baseball and CBA were some of the top gaining queries. Weird much?!

Globally the fastest rising for year-end 2007 was unsurprisingly, the iPhone, followed by badoo (a multi-lingual social networking site) and then Facebook.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Creative Workspaces

These shots of workspaces from Design Sponge Online's sneak-peek section are inspiring to say the least. I'm in the process of recreating my office to cope with the ever-increasing amount of books, magazines, bills, textbooks and other papers so could use some ideas! I need functionality as well as form though...

I love the red shell on this laptop. I mentioned in a previous post that I was thinking about getting an Eee Pc for portability purposes, well I have now changed my mind since testing them out in Myer and am now waiting for the Dell E or mini inspiron instead; which is due out in August in the US. Seeing the above shot just makes me want one more!
Image from:
And I'll finish with a view...

3 Australia Zorbing TVC feat. Lisa Mitchell's Neopolitan Dreams

Not being much of a extreme sportsperson myself, I wouldn't mind trying Zorbing, otherwise known as Sphereing - the popular sport that originated in 1994 in NZ (the image is from the Rotorua site), where you climb into a giant plastic transparent sphere and roll around, not unlike a hamster in a hamster ball.

Here's a link to footage of behind the scenes at the shooting of the 3 TVC:
It's pretty sweet actually seeing the zorb ball roll onto a car! It reminds me of the Sony Bravia LCD ad featuring the rubber balls bouncing down a San Francisco street along to one of my favourite songs: Heartbeats by José González.

And another link for Neopolitan Dreams live on Lisa's YouTube channel, which I actually prefer than the released version which has the overlap:

Monday, 7 July 2008

Libraries and bikes the rage,25479,23979965-5017313,00.html

Local libraries, bike riding and camping are making a comeback as families turn to free activities to cope with rising fuel prices. Interest rate rises, soaring petrol prices and growing grocery bills have also made a big dent in our discretionary income, nearly halving it within the past six months. Australians now are focusing on more home-based leisure activities and such free outings as visits to libraries and parks.

= My life...

(Bike courtesy of Chanel; for a cool $12,000AUD you can have one too

Forging the consumer experience

For me, the best part of a buying experience is getting the goods home post-purchase to do the initial unwrapping... there's nothing quite like unpacking the box, peeling off the protective packaging and seeing the product in action for the first time. For larger purchases it is perhaps not wise to repeatedly spend to get this same love, that's why dweebs on YouTube have solved the problem by posting videos of them unwrapping their purchases.

Case 1) MacBook Air:
I would love a MacBook air but for functionality purposes, wouldn't dream of buying one currently. However I can watch the following video (- silence is golden) to get the same post-purchase buzz as if I'd had.

Case 2) Asus Eee Pc
For less than $500AUD a pop, the ultra-portable Asus notebook is seriously on my to-buy list. After watching the unboxing and also another video of the walk through tour of the Linux OS, it has only made me want it more.

After recently purchasing a car I also did a YouTube search to see fellow peer reviews and non-publicity videos of the car in question. This helped me to retain the excitement and desire for the product long before I came to have it.

So what next? Perhaps this could be adapted somehow into online e-tailing strategies as the elements such as touch and feel are lost here. Media showing the product in use and in motion could help recreate the offline consumer experience...

Friday, 4 July 2008

If I read another source which says that DDB won the Tourism Australia account - please kill me!

Perhaps it's due to the success of The Gruen Transfer, or because promoting Australia as a tourist destination homes in close to people's hearts, but I've never seen so much referencing to one advertising campaign before!

The news that DDB Worldwide won the Tourism Australia account even hit mass media:,26058,23968563-5014090,00.html. I mean do the general public even care about this? Should they care about this? Especially enough to have the 'news' in prime 'front page' spot on! The article then goes on to mention the other agencies in the selection process such as Satchi & Satchi and M&C Saatchi. Why would a layman again care or need to know about this information?

Melburnians: Something to do this weekend...

This shopping guide to South Melbourne is courtesy of Lucy @ The Design Files; a blog which is becomingly increasingly influential in the design world scoring interviews with well known retailers/designers such as Liane Rossler from Dinosaur Designs and Kristina Karlsson of kikki.K. These people really understand how to hollistically work publicity in the age of Web 2.0!

Anyway back to the post topic... the full write up of the SM guide can be found here, complete with further info and lovely images.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Melbourne International Design Festival

MIDF is fast approaching and there are some great events and initiatives happening at Fed Square and surrounds during the festival.

My picks would be:
1) Checking out some of the best of Melbourne's architecture under the open house scheme such as the Manchester Unity Building:

2) Seeing an installation of a vertical wall garden by French artist and scientist Patrick Blanc in Melbourne Central:

3) Checking out some of the Design on Toast Breakfast Series speeches such as the 'Branding: What's in a name?' one, not to mention they're FREE:

(Thanks to Apartment Therapy for the second image

Starbucks Feel the Slump...

Starbucks announced yesterday that they will close 500 of their US stores, making 12,000 employees redundant. The news comes as a result of the further slow down of the US economy and rising petrol costs. What's surprising is that 70 percent of these stores opened from 2005 onwards, which just goes to show how volatile markets can be and that you can't predict anything, particularly in periods following success/growth.

Whilst 500 stores may sound like a lot, especially in comparison to the Australian market, this is just under five percent of Starbuck's 11,000 US stores and relatively miniscule considering Starbucks opened 2,500 new stores across the globe last year at a rate of seven outlets per day!

More info from The Wall Street Journal:

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Difference in Gen Y, X & Boomer Communication

I saw this on and thought it was very interesting. It's about the differences between communication and increasing urgency through the generations. There is an increasing lack of face to face contact and phone contact by Gen Y, and postal mail has become extinct! These are important considerations to take into account for future planning... socially and in business.

1) Baby Boomers2) Gen X
I have never used a beeper!

3) Gen Y