Category Archives: Writing

Schwartz: The Sound of Taste

New Schwartz Advert 2014I really enjoyed this new TV spot for Schwartz, which is so visually pleasing and satisfying to watch. It’s also reminiscent of Sony’s recent 4KTV commercial, or the Canon Pixma ad by Dentsu, but I think that Grey – the agency behind this advert – have made the concept work for Schwartz and injected just the right amount of originality into it. The naturally vibrant colours look gorgeous together, and I like the way that they have decided to mix futuristic robo-appliances with those rustic spice sacks.

Brewed In Hell

Bitches Brew Beer PackagingI’m not much of a beer drinker, and I never have been. I have started working in a pub and they always have loads of different types of guest beers on that change every week. Recently, I’ve had the chance to try and get more acquainted with different beers (mainly because I hate it when a customer asks me to recommend something and I have to admit I’m not sure, or ask one of my co-workers for help). I’ve found quite a few that I like now, particularly Camden Hells Lager, Rocky Head Zen American Pale Ale and Redhook Longhammer IPA.

Enough about taste, though – I’m sure you know what beers you like. When it comes to marketing beer, it’s quite rare to see branding that is particularly cool or eye-catching, with a lot of brands – particularly mainstream breweries – plumping for classic designs, paired with adverts that are geared towards men. I do find it a little uninspiring that there isn’t a beer that has been successfully, but subtly, marketed towards women. Not because I feel incensed that women are being ignored, but just because it seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me – men already enjoy beer, why wouldn’t you want to increase your profits by selling your product to women as well? I suppose that most attempts have been pretty weak, with breweries attempting to repackage their beers as girly alternatives to sparkling wine, making them fruitier and sweeter. That’s why this project for a fictitious brand of beer, Bitches’ Brew, is pretty great. I love the modern gothic design and I’d probably try and like Bitches’ Brew even if it tasted awful! It reinforces beer as a choice of drink for a woman who is cool and maybe a little bit tough – after all, it is a drink for ‘bitches’.Bitches Brew BeerBlack Cat Bottle TopBitches Brew BrandingThe design was done by Wedge & Lever, a California-based design studio. Unless they decide to actually start conjuring up this Bitches’ Brew, I suppose I’ll just stick to drinking spirits. However, if a brand were to take quite a dark, sophisticated approach to marketing beer to women, I reckon it could be hugely successful. Unfortunately, I have already found something called ‘Chick Beer’ which used Curlz MT as the font, with an emphasis on the lower calorie content of the product. Bitch, please…

Interactive Magazine Ad For Motorola

ImageMotorola have run a print ad in the current issue of Wired with the ability to change colour. The reader is able to change the colour of the phone on the advert, with the intention being to highlight the colour customisation feature on the new Moto X smartphone. When I first read about the advert, which was created by Digitas, I wanted to buy a copy of the magazine when it came out so that I could try it out for myself. Unfortunately, only 150,000 Wired readers will get to see the advert, and these copies of the magazine are only being distributed in Chicago and New York. Rude. So, unless you’re one of the smug Chicagoans or New Yorkers who actually got their hands on a proper copy, you will have to watch the video below to see how it works.

Maybe it’s best that I didn’t get a copy of the magazine. I would have wanted to see how it was made, and I would have probably ended up ruining all the fun by doing this to it…Interactive Magazine Advert

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website - there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

Project A15 Video Mapping

Projection Mapping RotterdamThis image might look like it’s a CGI mockup or a scene from Bladerunner, but it’s actually a video still of projection mapping in Rotterdam. Below is a photograph of the OMA-designed skyscraper that the visuals were projected onto.De Rotterdam OMA Building by Raban HaaijkDe Rotterdam building, as seen from Erasmus Bridge. Photograph by Raban Haaijk.

Project A15 – the idea that this event was promoting – is an initiative that seeks to make the busy highway running from Rotterdam to Nijmegen into the most sustainable highway in the world. The projection itself can be seen in the video below, and bear in mind that the height of the De Rotterdam building is 150 metres. That’s taller than London’s Centrepoint, which stands at 117 metres!

12 Shoes For 12 Lovers

Sebastian Errazuriz Shoes12 Shoes For 12 Lovers is a project by sculptor Sebastian Errazuriz, where the artist has drawn inspiration from previous relationships and trysts, creating shoes in their honour. My favourite pairs from the set are the red “Heartbreaker” shoes and the black “Boss” shoes (pictured above). I’m not sure how practical either pair would be – that cupid’s arrow could get caught on things, and the “Boss” heels are far too pointy for a novice like me to walk in – but I really like both of these playful designs. I’m into accessories and shoes that have a bit of tough charm to them. I get a lot of compliments on a Mafia necklace I have, which has teeth on it, and I have coveted these Terry De Havilland boots from the moment I first saw them…Terry De Havilland Knife BootsSeriously, they are fucking magnificent.

Pop-Up City: The Book

Pop Up City BookThe guys behind Pop-Up City are bringing out a book! Well, they are trying to. They need a little bit more financial backing first, so I’m trying to do my bit to help them get it. Pop-Up City kindly gave me a book back in 2012…unfortunately it wasn’t my very own book – it was a copy of Indie Brands by Anneloes van Gaalen – but it still made me happy because I had won their competition, and got something lovely for free. So yeah, spread the love and all that, you get a discount if you pre-order!

A body without a soul is just a lifeless inanimate frame

Jaron Albertin Sony 4K TV AdJaron Albertin is a genius. You’ve probably seen the Sony advert that he directed to promote Sony’s new 4K TV, but I’m totally in love with the car advert that he did for Chrysler’s Viper SRT.Viper TV AdJaron Albertin ViperMain Street AmericaDiner CheerleadersJaron Albertin Body & SoulViper Body & SoulIt’s like a pastiche of the most iconic and beautiful films featuring twentieth century America. The advert is called “Body & Soul” and is widely available to watch online, but I’d recommend you watch the one here, because this edit has the music that I feel really completes it. The first time I watched it, it was one of those adverts that I kept on wanting to watch again and again. It’s got such a gorgeous cinematic quality to it. The accompanying symphony is called “River” and is by Alexander Desplat.*

*Just wanted to add that I’m not so pretentious that I’d act as though I knew that all along – I used Shazam on the video because I liked the music so much. Okay, glad we got that sorted…

Sofia Branding & Identity By Anagrama

ImageAnagrama, a Mexican brand development agency, designed this exquisite identity and marketing collateral for Sofia – a towering block of luxury apartments in San Pedro. The huge skyscraper was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli architects for One Development Group.Sofia Branded Stationery SetBranded Property StationeryBranded stationery and promotional items – I really like the colour palette that they’ve chosen: cream, coral and navy blue, with gold leaf accents.Luxury Apartment BrochureSofia Property BrochureExamples of spreads which were inside the hardback brochure, with classic gilt page edges. This is just some of the work that Anagrama did for Pelli Clarke Pelli, and you can see the project in its entirety on their website.

David Bowie X Louis Vuitton

ImageDavid Bowie has been the star of a number of beautiful videos in 2013 – notably his own, which have been directed by the sickeningly talented Floria Sigismondi. In the Louis Vuitton campaign film ‘L’Invitation au Voyage’, directed by Romain Gavras, Bowie performs a unique version of ‘I’d Rather Be High’ for Arizona Muse at a lavish Venetian party…or does he? You can watch the full director’s cut below.

This luxurious, high end advert is in complete contrast to Romain Gavras’ usual body of work – which includes gritty, controversial videos for the likes of M.I.A and Adidas. I find it quite surprising that Vuitton enlisted him to direct this video, but I’m glad they did.