Friday, October 21, 2005

Wolves and Grizzlies

Apparently there are wolves and grizzlies on the top of Grouse mountain kept in pens. The wolves were abandoned by the film industry after being raised as pups and are no longer fit to be in the wild.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Avian Flu Virus

WHO released a statement yesterday claiming that the panic surrounding the avian ‘bird’ flu virus is unfounded. However, the issue is still spawning paranoia. The question is, where does this paranoia stem from? Why would the media have such a vested interest in keeping people uncomfortable? The media will create the emotional environment that will best attract business for their advertisers. So the question remains - which company is to benefit most from a population terrified of exagerrated disease?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Masterful Spike Jonze

Ah heck, while we are on the topic of IKEA ads, I might as well put in my favourite ad of all time The Unboring Lamp. This was the ad that made me want to go into advertising in the first place.

It was directed by Spike Jonze, the same director who started off in music videos directing the Beastie Boys Sabotoge, Fat Boy Slim's Praise You and some stuff for Sonic Youth and the Breeders. Then he went into movies and directed Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and then on to Cannes-award winning ads like this one and the Hello Tomorrow Adidas commercial.

Great Value, Low Price

How can you show great quality at low prices in a new way? IKEA are the masters of it Creative Wonder Link

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Just Say No

Crystal methamphetamine is considered an epidemic in Canada. It has sparked a lot of fear in other countries as well. It is cheap, addictive, and has been shown to lead to criminal behaviour.

Recently there has been an increased push to raise awareness about the negative consequences of the drug to the public.

A large part of this awareness involves advertising campaigns and public service announcements.

The Montana Meth Project has recently released an ad called Laundromat that plays up on scare tactics.

But how believable is it really? Does anyone ever really think that they will fall into the life of a scabby-faced petty criminal robbing women and children for rock money?

People don’t like to talk about scare tactics. They shut them out. Humour is a much more potent medium. It gets people talking, and it lifts taboos to the surface to be examined in a realistic light.

A great anti-drug ad out of London is Ask Frank

Sure, it’s stupid, but I bet you will mention it the next time anti-drug ads are brought up.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The other cost of conservation.

Rising costs in heat, electricity, gasoline and other fossil fuels have made it easier to take stock in the conservation of resources. As other resources such as water, timber and even oxygen become more scarce, their costs will rise, and the inclination to ‘waste not, want not’ will return even more. This is not really a positive model, in that it only strengthens the divide betweens the haves and have-nots,

But there is another cost. Time. It is something I have seen more and more, and it seems to be working wonders. In a fast-paced, time-starved, disposable-inclined culture, we have grown to expect our excesses instantaneously. But there are a few small inventions and concepts out there, that although seem to make little difference in the overall scheme of things, do offer an interesting model for responsible use of resources based upon a cost to our time.

Paper towel dispensers – You have all seen them, at least if you live in Vancouver, the slow moving, infa-red scanning machine that puts out one measly 12” X 12” piece of paper for you to dry your hands with. Admittedly, I was a 3-4 sheet user before, but that wait has really slowed me down. What used to infuriate me, made me eventually realize that it is possible to dry your hands with one piece of disposable towel.

Infa-red lights and water sensors – when you walk into the room, the lights turn on, when you stick your hands under the tap, they start. Brilliant! All that jumping around and clapping makes for some good spontaneous exercise as well.

Car pool lanes – if you have extra people in your car, you move at the speed limit. Otherwise you must wait.

Preferential parking for hybrid cars – there are always spots available, and if you actually pay less in Vancouver.

Can you think of any other ways that time can be used as a deterrent for overuse?