viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2008
I had the chance to visit the MCASD in La Jolla and Downtown San Diego. One exhibition I found particularly interesting was “Memory is your image of perfection”, named after a photograph by Barbara Kruger. The exhibition shows the work of 14 female artisits who have been, in a way, associated with California. Different works and various techniques and resources show the powerful mean of art to express a life statement, an ideology and an opinion about meaningful things like politics, society, feminism, war, leadership, gender differences, the human mind, our ideal of perfection and our intentional use of memory. The temporary exhibition suggests the duality between the purely documentary use of photography and its deliberate manipulation to express a particular and inevitable subjective point of view, arguing that the photographic genres are not as faithful and accurate as before because the bias introduced by the artist’s background, individuality and opinion on things bathes photography in clear subjectivity. Because we capture what we want to remember, but also what we have decided to forget. Think of that. Think of what we pretend to be in a picture, to what extent it communicates our expectations, what will transcend and what will be forgotten, or at least apparently. In other words, what stays in our memory, is our image of perfection. A deliberate creation of our own wills.
sábado, 1 de noviembre de 2008
This afternoon I was walking in Downtown La Jolla and I found a really interesting new spot. Lululemon Athletica. The display was so visually inviting that I went inside. Hi-tech clothing and everything you need to do Yoga is not only what you can find there. What specially amazed me was the passion you notice about how the brand is conceived. You feel happy to be there. You feel you are being taking care of. You feel embraced. Their "technical athletic fabrics", the neat organization, the colors, and the community created around the brand and Yoga are Lululemon's differentiators. The brand belongs to the people. Since the late 90's, 75 stores and Yoga centers around the globe, Lululemon has been a people's brand. Lululemon's community share and discuss the the physical and mental aspects of a healthy and powerful life of choices and possibilities. Chances that we create by ourselves so that we can have a high impact on our own personal lives, our families, our immediate community and the world. People contribute to product development, because they share their impressions about the product line, whether they consider improvements should be done, or really enjoy and want some things in particular. After an organic and natural walk around the store, you end up in front of the counter; a loud, daring and original display of their decree, their fundamentals, their core values and manifesto. A particular piece of copywriting, well written and inspiring, full of meaning and personality. I just love it. I went to my house, surfed the web and found it. The power of words, clear, motivational and encouraging.
I wonder why they don't take advantage of the strong community they have built around the brand, the way they listen to their customers and how they generate conversations and actually use social media. They have nothing like that on their website. It's a shame, specially because of their international presence and impact.
lunes, 20 de octubre de 2008
Maybe a little late, I was touched and moved by the story of Chris McCandless or Alexander Supertramp -alter ego and protagonist- of the story he wrote for himself. A moment in the life of a real character, his psychology, his motivations, his fears and passions, his decisions (good, bad, brave or naive, don't mean to discuss that), a narrative, an author, a book, an opinion, a director, a screenplay, a movie, a reader. Many steps to reach the final reader and spectator, me. First the movie, then the book. Interesting order. In college, I had the opportunity to take a class that changed the way I approached a text and its adaptation to the film language. I am not only fascinated by the story of Chris McCandless, I believe that the two works are worth our attention. In the book, impecable and strong narrative flows naturally regardless the jumps in time, space, narrators and the author's implicit thoughts and instrospection. Krakauer does not write an impartial biography, he just can't. He was obsessed with the story of McCandless. But it's his reading. The author's first reading. Then comes the second reading. Sean Penn (actor and director) that, in my opinion, does a great job keeping the movie true to the book. We can't forget that literature and film are completely different languages, they use different resources, they strike the reader differently. Then, the third reading, the spectator. The author, the director, the reader/spectator, we all create and recreate the amazing story of Chris McCandless. That creative process is just amazing. Because we have different backgrounds, we have different attachments, different opinions on the boy's life, we found him in different moments. I think that a book is waiting somewhere to be read by you, just when the time is right. So does a movie. And I am glad that both works complete and complement each other. What I found more interesting was the different readings on the same story. It's just fascinating. And I have my own opinion, my own set of ideas, the pictures on my mind, what I share and what I reject, what I admire and what I condemn. The reader, the spectator, in this unique process completes the creative cycle. I like to think we are also co-creators of the stories that find us. What I like about the book is that different narrators help underline Chris's psychology. Isolated quotes of people the author collected, places, the smell, the textures, the contrasts, every detail in his descriptions outline the psychology and the humanity of McCandless. On the other hand, the movie uses visual resources, editing, soundtrack to create a mood. Chronological time, pace, silences, lighting, shots, frames, intertextuality, cross-references, are equally powerful. I strongly recommend both works. They are exquisite, subtle and beautifully done.
lunes, 13 de octubre de 2008
Let me share with you an example of marketing via new media I found really interesting as it combines social media, fashion, art, and marketing.
Matuse is a relatively new brand in the market. They create wetsuits. I visited their website and they have a very interesting branding platform. The way they present themselves, their strong statements, the duality they embody and the mystic and symbolism that sorrounds the product makes them stand out of the crowd. While everybody in the business is doing nothing but reinforcing the surf cliché, Matuse is changing the paradigm. They are not only innovators in terms of product development and technology, they also add a unique value and give a different meaning to the surfing experience. The concepts of mysticism, energy, art, strenght, functionality, fun and meaning are expressed on their fundamentals and succesfully conveyed to a targeted audience which shares their beliefs. Matuse is an example of good branding and positioning. They found the holes on a demanding and growing market craving for differentiation. In my opinion, Matuse’s fundamentals are written on an strong, simple yet unique and powerful style. That small piece of text supports their branding and sells, besides the product, their firm ideology.
martes, 7 de octubre de 2008
If you're planning a trip, dare to do something really different. For those who already know what this is about, you must agree with me that there are simply no words to describe Burning Man. Nevada, middle of the desert, a community that emerges once in a year out of nothing, just the will to participate, experience, enjoy, learn, share, create and belong. During the 6 days of Burning Man, Black Rock Desert (Nevada) becomes the most populated city in the state. People all over the world create a community to share art, to breathe art. Annual themes and creativity build Burning Man; happenings, installations, performances, music. An experience for both body and mind at their limit of survival. "The mind-altering experience of Burning Man is its own drug". The culture of Burning Man is respectful for nature and diversity. In fact, diversity and creativity nourish the experience. You are a creator: nobody is a spectator. Everybody creates Burning Man. Great celebration, good opportunity to find the love in yourself and share it with your closest friends, or just with everybody. An individual and collective experience and celebration of human nature, in nature's best expression. Embrace Burning Man, be part of the community. Dare to travel into a deep introspection, or share the world you create. Looking forward to doing it next year! Burn the man!
Mobile Art Chanel by Zaha Hadid is a nomadic building, a traveling pavilion with art exhibits for Chanel. It is a mobile art piece, an exhibition that was conceived as a 3D movie in which the director is the curator of the museum, the actors are the works of art, the scriptwriter is the artist and the director of photography is the set designer. This artistic experience has two fundamental concepts: architecture and art exhibition. The architecture of the building is organic, it gives you a sense of fluidity. It is perceived as a virtual reality, a cinematic universe. The project carries Chanel's values to the future as Chanel has always been part of the world of arts. The structure is a loop. It is a 700 sq meters or 7500 sq ft white fibreglass structure with organic curves and walls (a nautilus layout). It can be transported from one place to another. The valuable concept is experimentation. The innovative idea of a museum that can travel that is a piece of art itself. Zaha's structure combines design and architecture, considered the real art of today. She detached the Mobile Art design from the totalitarianism of Bauhaus. The museum shows works of international contemporary artists in sculpture, painting, photography and video. Mobile Art offers its visitors a unique sensorial experience. Gabrielle Chanel believes that contemporary art and luxury products enrich mutually. The nomadic museum's tour includes Hong Kong, New York, LA, London, Moscow and Paris. It started this year in Hong Kong strategically. "For luxury brands, Hong Kong store sales are some of the highest in the world. This is why Hong Kong is on their marketing map even when the marketing is art. People in Hong Kong don't seem to be bothered about the line between commercial interests and creativity. Chanel required all the artists to produce work inspired by the quilted handbag of 1955 designed by Coco Chanel. As a Chanel lover, I'm looking forward to being part of the experience.
Please visit this blog and see how Chanel rewards bloggers and people generating content online. If you are into fashion, you will find this blog specially interesting. Susie really knows the fashion industry and is really committed to social media or 'digital marketing' as she calls it.
martes, 30 de septiembre de 2008
The music genome project began in January 2000 when a group of musicians and technologists had the idea of creating a deep analysis of music. Pandora.com is mainly about capturing the essence of music 'at the most fundamental level'. Genome stands for the idea of attributing 'genes' and musical characteristics to the songs and artists' styles. What they do, is decomposing music to its fundamental components and find identity within genres, musical instruments, notes, orchestration, lyrics, rhythm, etc. They capture these singularities and find the characteristics that make a song similar to another one. It's not about the genre a music band or songs are supposed to fit in, but the uniqueness that identifies them. Pandora.com is a personalized -and customized- 'radio station' that works like this: you pick a song or an artist you like, then Pandora finds a song yo may also like. Let's say you specifically like Paranoid Android by Radiohead. They will identify Paranoid Android's characteristics in rhythm, lyrics, instrumentation, music style and they will find you a similar song. You learn something about the song you like with the description they provide, and then they suggest songs. You can either vote for 'yes, I like it' or 'no, I don't like it, that's not what I asked for'. You can play music for free, whatever you feel like listening. You can create your radio stations (by song or by artist). Feedback is great for them to narrow the styles and for you to have just what you like. So, there you go! You have your own personal radio station playing free for unlimited time and you can discover a new world of artists and songs and if you love music you are going to be fascinated by the new discoveries. It's a shame that you can only access Pandora in the United States. They are working on expanding their business to other countries. I think it's a great idea: interesting and complex relationship between consumer, music bands, online music stores and a strong online community that can be very powerful for marketing efforts. An example of using new technologies to build new relationships just where people are: online, looking for customized content available immediately. I love Pandora.com!