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VW’s Theory of Fun


Volkswagen is, as usual, doing things differently and getting some some positive attention for it. 

The Fun Theory   This morning a composer friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of "piano key" stairs.  His post had nothing to do with VW advertising and less to do with marketing in general.  He just found the video interesting because of his relationship with music (I'm sure of this because he posted the Swedish version of the video and he definitely doens't speak their language).
After finishing watching the video, I clicked on the link, expecting to be directed to some sort of music school related experiment site, and was (momentarily) suprised to be directed to a lightly branded VW website proclaiming (once I ticked the UK flag for English):
"This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun
is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it
for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, the
only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."

This mini guerrilla campaign/behavioral experiment is doing exactly that:

The piano installation was created to encourage people to make the healthier choice to take the stairs instead of using an escalator.  The before and after shots of the staircase vs. the escalator prove the trick works.

The next video depicting "The World's Deepest [Trash] Bin," an outdoor public garbage can that makes a cartoonish sound of something falling very very far, had the effect of getting park-goers to not only throw away their own trash, but also to clean up the rest of the park just to hear the falling sound again. 

Next, they promise to come up with a fun way to recycle. 

I say, GO TEAM VOLKSWAGEN (BDB Stockholm)!  This bare bones project of theirs sure is a great example of a lot of good things advertising: marketing as service, combining online and offline, and making a good idea viral by keeping it open-ended and by not shoving a ton of branding down the throats of those who couldn't care less about cars (i.e. my buddy the composer).

Now How Much Would You Pay?


Having grown up in the music industry, I can tell you that if you’re a performer, you can get the bulk of your money doing tours. Sure, you can make a ton of it by selling your albums and cds, but your record label takes a big chunk of sales. And now you have a new proponent – the internet, which has eroded said sales from the number of free downloads and file-swapping devices in cyberspace. If you have downloaded a track for free that you otherwise would have paid for, then you are contributing to the problem. I know you have done it. You know you have done it. Don’t try to deny it.

Radiohead knows it too, so instead of trying to fight the system, the rock band has allowed you, the listener, to download their newest album for whatever you want to pay them. $40? (which is what the brick and mortar version will cost) No problem. $20? $10? $5? $1.98? $0.00? Also not a problem. The strategy is that if you enjoy the music, you’ll go to their concerts and plunk down a lot more money to hear and see them live. Since they don’t have a record label, almost all of the proceedings from the tour goes to them, and if you even get only 10,000 people with a $50 ticket, then that’s a nice hunk of change. The new album is called ‘In Rainbows’, and if Radiohead’s strategy pays off, they’ll find a pot of gold at the end of theirs.


Sing for the Masses


SingshotWalk into any number of bars in Manhattan on a Thursday night, and you’re bound to hear an American Idol wannabe belting out their version of "Heartbreaker" accompanied by the digital musical stylings of a Karaoke machine.  While some are good, others are very, very bad.  It was only a matter of time before the Karaoke phenomenon made it’s way to the internet. 

While you might benefit from heavy intoxication to get through your friend’s off-key take on "Maxwell’s Silver Hammer", you no longer need to go to the local watering hole to hear it.  Singshot has brought all of the ear-bleeding vocalizations to your computer.  TheMySpace of the Karaoke world, Singshot let’s you share every note of your self-centered anthem with your friends … assuming you have any left.

Share the Air


ShareairLast Friday evening, we launched the new Panasonic Action

Sports Site.
The interactive site is a cool place for action sports enthusiasts to
experience the Panasonic brand while expressing themselves creatively. The site
features an Action Sports film contest, Dew Tour info, a gear section, and an
Oxyride sweepstakes page.

Another highlight of the site, the photo blog, offers unique
perspectives from action sports heroes Atiba Jefferson (photographer, editor of
“The Skateboard Mag”), Sam Smyth (Team manager of Girl Skateboards), and Jimmie
Mcguire (motocross athlete). The photos are, of course, taken with Panasonic
digital cameras.

Samsung Blu-ray player finally on the market


For those of you keeping up with the newest technology (or
interested in learning about it), Samsung has
just launched its own much-anticipated Blu-ray disc player. Blu-ray discs are
new, uber-cool, high-capacity storage devices for audio and video HDTV content.
For all the information on this exciting innovation, visit the official Blu-ray disc site.



HD DVD, the competing format
to Blu-ray, seems to be a little rattled by this new release and has instituted
a price drop in hopes of boosting sales one last time before the popularity of
Blu-ray really picks up (the format is supported by the majority of industry

To get a peak at the Samsung Blu-ray packaging, go here.

Axe Booty Tones



The mantra “Sex sells” apparently also holds true for
deodorant. Axe is now using different “booty call” ringtones, or Booty Tones,
to promote their brand. The company has launched a websitewhere guys (or
girls) can download up to three free songs, such as “Shook Me All Night Long,”
to their cell phones.

This site nicely targets Axe’s main consumer — young party boys 18-24 who are looking to stay fresh
through all of their exploits.

Get Rid of Pesky Teens!


RepellAn inspired Brit, Howard Stapleton, has created a device that will repel teens. His device, called a "Mosquito", emits a high frequency sound that most people over the age of 30 cannot hear.  Teens, on the other hand, hear the ingratiatingly annoying sound quite clearly, and are quick to clear out of the area projecting the sound.  A few shopkeepers have installed Mosquitoes to prevent teens from loitering outside their stores.  If you want to make sure that your little nieces and nephews stay away, read more about it here.

Morning Becomes Eclectic Podcast


Last week KCRW, a Santa Monica radio station, announced that they were going to start podcasting the show Morning Becomes Eclectic. If you haven’t ever listened to Morning Becomes Eclectic, go check out the site and listen to some of the past artists who have played live on the show (which includes just about every important independent artist of the last few years). If you want to find out some more about the show, check out this New York Times profile of host Nic Harcourt, it calls him the most important radio DJ in the country. Anyway, here’s the links for the podcast:

iTunes podcast

Podcast RSS feed


Summer concerts at the MoMA


Moma_org_logoWhat to spend more time outside? Haven’t been to the MoMA since it reopened? Like FREE music, ice cream and/or sorbet? Starting Sunday, July 17th, the MoMA begins hosting weekly music concerts in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The MoMA gives out free tickets at 5:30 pm each Sunday. The garden opens at 7pm and the concert begins at 8pm. The Union Square Hospitality
Group Gelato Bar provides fresh ice creams and sorbets from Il
Laboratorio del Gelato. However you can still purchase wine, beer, and the like. The type of music varies weekly. It could be jazz, classical or brand new contemporary music. Check out the calendar to plan which Sunday to attend!
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Deep Blue


Screen_shot_schoolEver wonder what its like to be in a pack of seals while they’re being attacked? How bout riding through a storm with massive killer whales? Want to see alien-like creatures so rare, they have never been seen before on film? Even if none of this appeals to you, the combination of outstanding cinematography and an awesome musical soundtrack makes seeing Deep Blue a necessity.  Check out the trailer, and then find a showtime
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