Sunday, September 30, 2007


You undertake some interesting tasks and roles as a Freelancer. I enjoy Freelance work enormously because of the chops and changes between ideas and application of technique. It's dynamic and enervating. I get to work primarily from home-base and geography isn't a limitation.

There are of course significant benefits to Business having a solid posse of full time knowledge creatives. I think that's where the big gun works gets done. At the same time a good freelancer can backfill and support in multiple niche areas such as devil's advocacy, supporting community based social responsibility issues, advising on themes and values that are important to the populace, monitoring government funding potentials and so on. Sometimes its as good as a quality assurance process (if one buys into such terms).

I look at someone like Kevin Roberts and I am amazed at who he is in a sense. I could never do what he does despite the fabulous lifestyle his articles imply he has. I don't have that way of absolutely mosh pitting life like Kevin has. I am too tremulous and I enjoy terra firma like you would not believe!

So, we each fly in our own way. For one a global flightdeck position, for another the kitchen to the right, for another the university hallways and darkrooms of photography, for another the financial models and socio-political persuasions :)

Image copyright *hotburrito2

Thursday, September 27, 2007

De Beers - A diamond is forever

I grew up with the phrase "a diamond is forever".

I have been wondering whether, when all is said and done, the thrust of advertising is that much changed from the earlier last century; let's say the mid 1920's.

Take this 1924 Ford ad. Ahh..the fun of pulling up in your own vehicle and receiving service at the door! How different to pulling up at Maccas and strutting the car circa 2004?

When you compare advertising images used in the cosmetic industry, there is very little difference in either visual or caption between the 1920's and now. We are sparser in text now but the singularly beautiful face posing with a logo and product visual has been standard.

Aside from the introduction of high tech digital imagery that has hurled new opportunities for presentation and message power, are core message values of 'beauty is valued', 'convenience is important', 'status is good' et al really what there is and what will always be?

Diamond image sourced from De Beers

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heroes and Adventurers

We need them. We need their risk factor and their courage. Their positive role modeling. Their selflessness.

At the time, I was tremendously touched by the story of hero Robert Cook, the young parachute instructor who, knowing their plane was about to crash, wrapped himself up around his pupil, constantly reassuring her and in the end saving her life while ending his own. In the image, Robert is with his father teaching him how to skydive.

Then you have Steve Fossett who simply describes the phrase "daring do".

Source of image of Robert Cooke:
Source of image for Steve Fossett: The NY Times.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stories surround us

I had a mature aged student in a creative writing class a few years ago and he had served time in Iraq. He had the cohort in his thrall as he told stories about his service experience in the war zone; what is was like sitting behind a US pilot who had the Beatles loudly playing through the ear phones of his helmet as he raced across the sky on a mission. Of men forming bands and howling noise in former palaces. Of the shouting and fervour when certain military leaders entered a packed room. He led us into the culture and showed us the bridge between escapism and reality. Powerful and evocative stuff.

Don't be a victim

The Deviant art site has been a favourite of mine for a while. A great universal resource for people to showcase their work and to interact. This work from *alanbecker is an intriguing movement into using animation with application interface. In Alan's words the theme is "resourcefulness versus power". Click on square to commence.

Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviant

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I love street art - Featuring the 3D art of Julian Beever

I do. I really love seeing good street art. For me the 'good' is simply longing that the art could remain in situ or be transposed elsewhere and enjoyed with the same longevity as a painting. I've always enjoyed sidewalk chalk artists but am blown away by the 3D arts works of several including the gent I feature here Julian Beever. I find my mind and eyes arguing with each other as I view some of the works. I know they are flat but I can't believe that! And that total suspension of sensory belief is what I think fundamentally fabulous.

Now, look at how Aveeno used Beever's artistry for an ad image. Here we're seeing the art creation of course:

Youth activism - Affirmation in action

A small yet powerful story emerging from Canada this week. A story worth celebrating.

Bless these school students for saying NO to bullying and doing what they did in a classy and supportive manner. Young activists to be proud of.

Our children are not born bullies, we create them. What role does marketing and media play in either maintaining isms or defying them and championing individuality?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flying with Genius

If you've never met the work of Theo Jensen you'll be glad to finally receive the handshake. The video is a South African advertisement for BMW that features Jensen's inventions. For me, pleasure and goose bumps.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Be daring in your passion! Declare proudly. Kevin Roberts rides again in inspiration.

Firstly, the still image and topic concept is a 'borrow' from Tony on
however I hope to be forgiven simply by way of the shared excitement.

I'm sure many of you have seen the efforts people go to within Grand Final fever to express their love of their team. Shops develop special window displays, people wear face paint and clothing in team colours, cars fly flags and trucks sport faces on the front of their engine casings. But how about going to the length of changing the name of a building and then wrapping the visitor in the embrace of the passion as they journey said structure. Props to you Kevin Roberts. Pride & Passion.

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
I die! I die! I live! I live!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fluid Control - Imagine the Application in an Advertisement

This marvellous image is created by using magnetic forces on a substance called ferroliquid. The two vids I have chosen show two variations of application. In the first, an interpretive and interactive piece, magnets are used to draw and pull the material but then personal intervention can also create movement. In the second video, note how the intervention of the metal spiral creates the ferroliquid flower. You can make ferroliquid and it is fascinating to have a small amount in a sealed container and to run a magnet or two slowly around that container to see the material shape shifting. How might you use the liquid and the effects it is capable of in an advertisement? As you watch the spirals and listen to the music (second video) where is your imagination taken? What do you see in the depths of the liquid?

Changing Practice - Better Business, Better Social Responsibility

Initially I was taken aback. Then I thought: terrific!

The co-owners of the South Sydney Rabbitohs team, Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court, are dumping the club's 160 poker machines in their current refurbishment. They consider it good business even though on paper they will be at a financial loss. The Salvation Army, amongst others, have rushed to congratulate this move labeled in some quarters as courageous.

What I so welcomed was Mr Holmes a Court's comment that they realised most monies taken in from the poker machine trade come from welfare recipients. From

"What we are saying is it's better business.

"Frankly, not a lot of my friends want to go out and have a cold beer and watch someone go past who has just seen their last dollar go into a machine.

"That beer tastes a bit bitter; that's not a good night out."

Mr Holmes a Court said pokies were not in line with his club's goals for improving its community."
Social responsibility and turning new corners. Well done. I'll join the club.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Panoramic Views - What marketing can borrow from geographic imagery and application.

I've always enjoyed the 360 degree panoramic visions one can locate online. I often just throw a search term into a web engine and see what I can locate and then seek examples of creative work that may have stemmed from a concept. This is a lovely 360 of Mt Everest:

On the Everest page is a link to a new magazine called Arounder. Free and the first edition focuses on Milan. I embrace and cheer on the notion of using the 360 degree imagery in both cultural and commercial contexts and the Milan edition is a good example of this. Second edition leads us into European museums:

Bitter sweet consumerism

I love book stores. As a child I used to wander and wander them and still enjoy roaming past shelves and seeing the incredible array of topics on offer. However, I've not yet Lovemarked a book store. The reason why? Poor database-to-client-request and associated poor service.

I have edited my original post on this topic choosing to remove direct references to two business and to replace that with general points.

If I want to buy a CD that a music store doesn't hold, I can almost always order that in and receive the same ahead of the business receiving their usual order package. In other words, my individual need is catered to.

Not so the book selling business that these days also holds rights to say the sale of BBC DVD's. You can order but you will not receive until the business receives their own orders. This can mean waiting for up to six weeks.

What maintains my interest in the interim? In both the store and the product line?

After being told the wait time, do the sales staff guide you to similar DVD lines they DO currently hold on shelves?
Do they express empathy with your thwarted desire?
Do they explain what 'release dates' actually mean thus generating your greater patience (shared knowledge can be a good thing)?
Do they guide you to celebrating the time delay rather than being rueful about it?
Can they turn a potentially negative experience around?

One well known book store has an archaic database and simply cannot tell you whether a product is released or not. Their world begins and ends with a faulty database system. Another business can tell me if a product has been released, even if they don't have it in stock or on their usual order system. The first business cuts me off from the potential of ordering; the second offers potential.

A customer bind when you love the product but not the store the product comes from. Bitter sweet consumerism.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Antarctic Sculpture Garden

I have a great fascination with sculpture gardens and so enjoy the notion of the Antarctic Sculpture Garden. Click on the link hereunder to see the poignant first-ever-sculpture put in place at Davis. To understand the context of the development of the garden a quote from the site:
"In the summer of 2002-03, Stephen Eastaugh was artist in residence at Davis, a position made possible by the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship. Every year, through this program artists and writers have a chance to visit Antarctica, and to apply their particular skills and perceptions to our understanding of this wonderful place."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Black Violin

These guys are a blast with their hip hop violin and supremely talented mixture of performance genre. I love their site and the ability to play musically across the links. The image of the two guys comes from
What a tribute to high school music programs.

This You Tube vid is really a doco on them and has some brilliant excerpts of their music capabilities. Prepare to sit back and be enthused!:

Who do you really want to go to bed with? (Virgin ad)

Friday, September 14, 2007

'The un-named' Lovemark.

A few years ago an Australian bought a significant war medal on auction - a Gallipoli Victoria Cross - and donated it to our War Museum. Without his or her intervention, the medal would have potentially gone overseas and/or into a private collection. I think of this person at least once a month and I thank them. I am grateful and fond of them for that act.

We come across such acts in life and these acts inspire us. They often provide the role model and leadership that catalyses others to step forward to also act with passion and humanity. To act nobly.

Some time back I posed a new category on the Lovemark site. I called it 'The Invisibles' however that wasn't the best term really and what I meant more was people who you know have done something outstanding, but you don't know their name.

Does not knowing alter the effect of the act and your memory? I would argue not. I'm sure we all remember images of war or hold faces or scenes in our mind long past the forgetting of the names and dates and location details. When we remember back our heart/mind tweaks a little. It doesn't surprise me that the very elderly often remember, in vivid detail, scenes and actions from their youth and their 20's.

For me there are a clutch of un-named Lovemarks that I hold dear, and regularly I cast a thank you in my mind towards them and what they have inspired in me.
Postscript: At this stage I believe I know who donated the Victoria Cross - but it doesn't matter who it was - it is the act that leads me to write.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Piotr's Suggested Sisomo in Response to Lady Vegemite hereunder

Artpad on

This is a funky little enabler. If you click on the link you will see all the brush strokes I did in order to create the example. You can experiment, exhibit on the site and share the art with friends. If you create a piece, the url your friends will receive will also show them all your brush strokes used to create your work. Great interactive for all ages.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Light and heat in your eyes..... Music - an emotional toolkit.

I love Peter Gabriel's music and it's always a fascination to see how people interpret music in image; what additional evocation they may draw out. The phrase "emotional toolkit" came from Peter.

Peter is a great human rights supporter and has played with the Zawose family and supports them via his own website. The Zawose Foundation aims to support musicians and artists in Tanzania and recognises the enormous toll AIDS has claimed in Africa.
Peter will be honoured as an icon at the BMI Awards in the UK in October for his influence on generations of musicians. See

The works of Peter Callesen

Half Way Through (detail) , 2006
Acid free A4 115 gsm paper and glue

On The Other Side, 2006
Cut and folded from one piece of 350 gsm paper
Wedgewood Commission, Nottingham Castle, Uk

Peter's site is well worth a look. His finely detailed papercraft pieces are superb: also look out for his installation work. The site is very easy to navigate:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vegemite Sisomo

A musical and artistic tribute to both Vegemite, creativity with simple media and perfectionism!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Loveact - Loveacting - Loveactioned (Susan Plunkett's terms)

I offered a Lovemark to Giesen wines - - on Kevin's/Saatchi's Lovemarks site.

I had taken the sentiment to the winery some months prior to knowing that Kevin's Lovemarks existed - and in ensuring the winery knew of my enjoyment and appreciation I made a Loveact.

I'm a person who believes in Loveacts because I believe in giving positive feedback on product. I also believe in working to ensure the employees on the factory floor hear about the Lovemark and I encourage management to pass my Lovemark on . To my mind, Lovemarks and Loveacts are owned by everyone in the business and are not the sole property of management.

I have Loveactioned to other firms and so am interested to hear where you may have acted similarly. I'd like to think there are more Loveacts out there than we may know. Hearing about them helps us celebrate and further the Lovemark concept.

If you haven't done this, can you share why? Do you feel too distant from the business? Shy? Don't believe they would hear your single voice?

In Loveacting towards Giesen, I have developed a gentle ongoing interaction which I enjoy. Not just an isolated act but an ongoing sentiment and response.