Archive for September, 2009

Combo

September 27, 2009

Can pure joy and hard work mesh perfectly together? Apparently.

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Nano Nano

September 20, 2009

A week ago, Apple released its seasonal refresh of the iPod line, and among all the new this and that was perhaps the smallest, and certainly most retro, feature of all: they added an FM radio tuner to the 5th generation Nano. As AdAge pointed out, who might be the “unlikeliest benefactor” of the new feature? The radio industry itself! Suffering from the repeated economic batterings of a decades-long demise that has seen its revenue plummet year over year, radio still enjoys huge audience ratings with very little in the way of targeted programming to offer. (The satellite programming options of XM/Sirius underdeliver but are otherwise perhaps ahead of their time.) Now here comes the hottest audiowave gadget of the last decade finally including Marconi in its feature set! Perhaps with a little bit of ingenuity, some kind of targeted advertising and/or interactivity could be the result? Wouldn’t be surprised.

What “hidden” aspect of your brand is under-utilized, waiting to be strategically transformed into gold?

Photo: Apple Computer

Photo: Apple Computer

Once Again, Science Fiction Invents the Future

September 19, 2009

This is an amazing concept in the conflux of automotive and audio. Nissan finds it necessary to add a safety feature to their upcoming electric car, Leaf. Because it runs so silently, it could be a danger to pedestrians. The solution? Have it make some noise, some music, some sweet future sound. The inspiration? The delightful aural buzz of the film Blade Runner. And as this article from the LA Times points out, it’s not a big leap to imagine a future of downloadable auto-tones as we now have ring-tones. Not the most pleasant imagining of the future, but could it really be worse than the cacophony of our landscape now? We’ll see, or rather, hear.

Photo: A futuristic car, or “spinner,” in the 1982 film “Blade Runner.”Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Don’t Tax Calories!

September 17, 2009

Perhaps this is going a little too far? The idea that we might inject health consciousness into our food consumption is good, but the combo of simplistic analysis and government legislation is probably not going to go down the gullet even with a big spoonful of sugar. As Dr Susan Albers says in her article Do We Need Calorie Laws?, calories are only one indicator of a food’s properties and is only relative to health in the context of a lot of other factors. Seen in a larger context, the obvious trend toward healthfulness (driven by the not-so-altruistic issue of health care costs as they affect and burden the US economy) is one that will only grow and become more significant in the coming decades.

Tax the Fizz?

September 17, 2009

Actually it’s taxing the corn syrup, but still a radical idea. @timoreilly tweets regarding a little web calculator to be found at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, saying: “Love this idea. Instead of subsidizing soda (which we do via corn syrup subsidies) we ought to be taxing it.” The consequences would be profound. Starting at fundamental levels of economy is always the most effective way to influence social policy. This would prove one of the more literal examples of putting your money where your mouth is.

Expectations

September 10, 2009

The world as we experience it has very quickly moved from a state of WOW to MEH. That is: so many incredible changes in our lives occur so frequently now, to grant each and every one of them the accord and respect it deserves would result in all of us being neverendingly exhausted! Louis CK spoke brilliantly about this a while ago. And now Don McAllister, in referring to yesterday’s Apple PR event, points out just how extraordinary details are when you really take a moment to look at them. Our expectations are skewed because we, like a child who receives presents everyday, can’t get excited unless something blows our bloody socks off. (And often this is the very definition of short-term strategic thinking.) No one knows where in the cycle we are, but you can be sure for marketers there is another way and another wave on the horizon.