I am a London-based Digital PR/Social Media/SEO Consultant, music producer/anorak, deep sea diver, avid cyclist, worldwide traveller and football-loving technology bod! This page functions as a kind of online scrapbook/resource featuring my favourite blog posts and news items as well as my own personal reviews and recommendations in the worlds of music, sport, travel and technology!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Under-the-sea restaurant

Under-the-sea restaurant: "

The under-sea restaurant is inside the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. It is five metres below the waves of the Indian Ocean , surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear acrylic offering diners 270-degrees of panoramic underwater views.

And another dream becomes reality with an under-the sea-restaurant, reported on Millionface.com


Old Blood makes way for New Blood

Old Blood makes way for New Blood: "

After the reaction to last year's campaign for its New Blood event, D&AD has taken a different tack with its latest promotional work. The posters still feature prominent members of the creative community, but each is depicted at the point of ending it all: the quality of the New Blood on the horizon proving too much to bear...

Promoting D&AD's showcase of the best student work is a tricky job. While the spotlight is firmly on the graduates, will showing one student piece on a poster convey the wide range of projects on show; or be appealing enough to attract the visitors from the wider creative industry?

While the organisation obviously wants to celebrate the quality of its membership (and add an aspirational quality to what being at New Blood might bring a young graduate), at the same time this can run the risk of appearing too elitist and clubby. Indeed, last year, the general feeling from commenters on the CR Blog was that the 2009 posters appeared rather pompous, with various creatives announcing their attendence at New Blood – the idea being that catching their eye, meeting with their approval, could lead to a great career.

But, understandably, it's famous faces that get the interest up. In the new campaign ('Sorry old blood, the new blood has arrived'), shot by David Stewart and designed by NB: Studio, there's certainly an interesting spin on how the creative elite might react once the students unveil their work. Gun to the head? Exhaust pipe through the car window? Rather cleverly, it actually flips last year's controversial tagline on its head, with each creative seemingly declaring, 'I won't be there.'

As ever, we will be at New Blood this year and will be sure to feature some of the best work we see on the CR blog.

D&AD New Blood takes place at the Old Truman Brewery E1 6QR from Thursday 24 until Monday 28 June, as part of the Free Range season. Graduates of more than 50 different courses from universities around the UK are exhibiting this year.

Michael Wolff: making way for the New Blood. Text, top right, reads: NB: Michael Wolff was not harmed during the making of this poster. And anyway, he wouldn’t be seen dead in a German brand.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Alex Taylor was not harmed during the making of this poster and continues to Art Direct at the very highest level.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Al Young and Al Young were not harmed during the making of this poster and will live to be Al Old and Al Old.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Dick Powell was not harmed during the making of this poster but the toast was toast.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Laura Jordan Bambach was not harmed during the making of this poster, but sadly, the Mac didn’t make it.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Paul Davis was not harmed during the making of this poster but now prefers working with very soft crayons.

Text, top right, reads: NB: Peter Hale didn’t suffer any grievous bodily harm during the making of this poster and continues to work at GBH.


Finally! A place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5

Finally! A place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5: "
Fiverr 2013 The place for people to share things they2019re willing to do for $5

The place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5. Seriously, you can pay people $5 and they do these things for you…


Just a few examples from today’s front page:

I will send 10,000 visitors to any website for $5 I will sing, play and record a short jingle for $5 I will create a screen print t-shirt design for you in Adobe Photoshop/Adobe Illustrator for $5 I will send out Ad to my 13,000+ Followers about Your Business for $5 I will answer your Canadian Immigration questions for 20 min… 20+ years working in Canadian Immigation for $5 I will convert your baby into animal costume for $5 I will design flash intros for your site for $5 I will write 3 SEO friendly blogs for you on any topic of your choice for $5

And my favourite:

I will record anything in Norwegian for you for $5 I am a sweet Norwegian girl who will record anything you wish (preferably clean) for two minutes … (by melonlove) (Note: only preferably)

Is this the future of employment? Are all our skills going to be fragmented like this and sold piecemeal? We’ll be buying it all through iTunes you mark my words…

via: http://www.netted.net/


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Record sleeves of the month

Record sleeves of the month: "

Here's the latest batch of music release packaging that's caught our eye of late. Top of the pile is the special edition of the new UNKLE album, Where Did The Night Fall - released May 10 on label Surrender-All.

The package (art directed by James Lavelle, Ben Drury and Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones), includes a booklet of song lyrics and sleeve notes, a gatefold pack housing two CDs and a book of imagery on heavy card. All elements of the package, bar the lyric booklet, is printed on silver stock - giving the release, and the imagery that adorns it (created by Du Preez and Thornton Jones) a unique and lavish quality.

The slipcase contains three items – the black lyric booklet, a silver gatefold wallet containing the packages two discs (the album plus a bonus instrumental version of the album), and a thick card book of imagery created by Du Preez and Thornton Jones

This is the open gatefold CD wallet

Inside the left hand side of the gatefold wallet is another sleeve which contains the album disc (above) and in the left hand side of the gatefold wallet you'll find the bonus disc containing the instrumental versions of each track on the album:

Mat Maitland has art directed the album campaign for Kate Nash's latest album, My Best Friend Is You, working in collaboration with Big Active artist Kate Gibb - who produced all of the silkscreen imagery. Reflecting the personal sentiment in the album's title the printed imagery takes the form of collages all incorporate keepsakes belonging to Kate Nash. This imagery is integrated across all aspects of the promotional campaign.

There's also a deluxe version of the album which is packaged in a book format, shown above

Peepers is the latest album from Jazz percussionist Sebastian Rochford's musical combo, Polar Bear. The artwork, perhaps surprisingly, was created by a photographer - Johanna Ruebel - with final layout and hand written text by Tony Morley at The Leaf Label.

DJ Paul Woolford's first commercial mix project, subtitled Surgery, was released last month as part of Renaissance's Platform series of releases. The two disc package was designed by Engine Creative and features an isometric illustration of a human heart on the front cover. The theme is carried through to an ominous looking operation theatre on the interior gatefold panels...

This is a new repackaged, deluxe issue of Passion Pit's Manners album which contains stunning new artwork by Robert Seidel and exclusive bonus tracks not included on the original release. Here's how the opened gatefold pack looks, outside and in:

Art direction: Anita Marisa Boriboon. CD design: Frank Napolski. Label: Columbia / French Kiss / Sony

Yes, it's a tape cassette version of Goldfrapp's latest album, Head First - released by label Mute as a limited edition special release to tie in with Independent Record Store Day on April 17. This and two other releases from the label were available from various UK indie record stores only on that day. The artwork for the album was created by Big Active in collaboration with photographer Serge Leblon and set designer Shona Heath.

This was another of Mute's limited edition exclusive Record Store Day releases - although I'm afraid it took a bit of a battering in the post, meaning my photograph of it fails to get over just what a lovely package it is! It's a 12' white vinyl release of The Mercy Seat with a gold foil blocked sleeve. Bad Seeds fans will know that The Mercy Seat was originally released in 1988. On this disc is the original version (remastered), an acoustic version and two live versions, one recorded at the Royal Albert Hall and the other, exclusive to this release, was recorded at the Tate Britain in 2003. Design: Tom Hingston Studio.

And last, but by no means least, some new sleeves from IWANT for former Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn's latest musical offerings: new album, Love And Its Opposite which will be released on Strange Feeling Records here in the UK and on Merge in the US – and the first supporting single, Oh The Divorces!

'I decided to use archival portraits, posed but quite candid, that although very ordinary have an underlying tension,' says IWANT's John Gilsenan. 'They display a window into a happier time before it all went wrong. I created bespoke typeface for the Tracey Thorn logo that is intended to reflect the images, a fairly normal simple face that appears to be dressed up for the occasion. The artwork is a reflection of the dark humour that permeates the record.'

The first single from the album was a limited edition clear vinyl 7' (cover shown below) that featured the track Oh The Divorces! on the A-side and a non-album cover version of Vampire Weekend's Taxi Cab on the B-side. This was released specifically on Record Store Day. A 12' release of remixes is planned to follow the release of the album. The album (sleeve shown above) is gloss laminated to feel like a glossy photograph and will be released as a limited edition gatefold vinyl.


Monday, 3 May 2010

Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience

Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience: "

In the future, the difference between social networks and corporate websites will be hard to distinguish.

[With social recommendations, consumers can auto-populate a 'shopping cart' to their friends --even before they've logged into the retailer's website]

HP’s social strategist Tony Frosty Welch gestured for me to check out Levi’s recent social moves, his instincts were right, this is unique. Two weeks ago, Facebook announced a crusade in social colonization to spread Facebook across the web, and we’re starting to see Levi’s take advantage of it. While most brands are only at level 1 of social integration, Levi’s has jumped to level 6 and 7.

Screenshot Breakdown: How Facebook Enables Levi’s Social Shopping

Levis.com homepage spreads awareness Awareness (Above Screenshot): Levi’s homepage indicates that it now has Facebook integration

Education of Facebook Likes is "More Fun" Education (Above Screenshot): An intro video indicates how users can gesture they like a product, by “liking” it on the Levi’s site –even if they are not logged into Levis.com, you can watch the video also on YouTube.

Users can "like" products as they browse the site, and see which one of their friends also 'likes' it Social Gestures (Above Screenshot): On each product page, Levi’s encourages users to “Like” the products, and uses standard social features from Facebook that prompt viewers to be the “First of your friends” to like it.

Social Commerce:  A shopping cart with your friends suggestions is automatically created Social Commerce (Above Screenshot): Using the aggregated Facebook data, Levi’s creates a personalized shopping cart based on what your friends have suggested you’ll like, hoping to increase upsell.

Customer Demands Signals From Social Networks An Opportunity for Retailers Levi’s has launched a promising marketing opportunity at low cost. By simply installing existing social features into their content management systems, they can increase the mouth of the marketing funnel, and benefit from word of mouth marketing.

  • Your friends are shopping with you –even if they aren’t present. This has two major impacts: 1) Consumers real friends are part of the shopping experience –even if they are not physically present. 2) The level of engagement will eventually cascade to mobile devices in store, so eventually as consumers walk into a retailer that has Levi’s they could scan the product and see which one of their friends likes or recommends it.
  • A more engaged user, without forcing them through registration. Registration forms are the bane of marketers: Most consumers disdain them, enter garbage data, and fall off as the forms get longer. However, As long as users are logged into Facebook they can do this even if they are not logged into Levi’s.com. This means that consumers can ‘like’ a product and engage with the Levi’s product and spread it to their friends on the corporate site and on Facebook. As a result, expect the mouth of the marketing funnel to be wider
  • Consumers take part in marketing and recommendations, increasing upsell opportunity. Levi’s has had social shopping features on their site for some time, you can see the ratings, rankings and comments on each product page, yet in most cases, consumers don’t know who those reviewers are. Edelman’s Trust research indicates that customers trust each other or ‘people like them’ so this has the opportunity to increase. In theory there could be a great chance of up and cross sell as consumers rely on their actual friends to influence buying decisions. Expect celebrities with large followings to be more influential as what they ‘like’ will cascade over thousands.
  • Social commerce vendors will integrate with Social CRM –yet should be cautious of user privacy. Social vendors like Bazaarvoice, Kickapps*, and Pluck and other customer rating tools that occur post login, need to quickly pay attention to this as it’s both a threat an opportunity. They should develop integration tools and integrate their social data with CRM systems (called Social CRM) to create new and unique forms of data that can anticipate customer needs. Facebook users aren’t fully aware of the long term impacts this has, expect some embarrassing and news worthy stories to appear where a consumer ‘likes’ a product resulting in an unexpected result.

The biggest opportunities are actually unseen. Expect savvy brands to use demand signals from consumers to indicate which products should be ramped up on production, distribution, and marketing, to learn more read my colleague’s blog on Supply Chain Management, by Altimeter’s Lora Cecere.

*An Altimeter client, see disclosure page. We hope you’ll trust our analysis more if we disclose our relationships.