Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The Number 23 Viral

23Sydney Agency Host has launched a new viral campaign for the film The Number 23.

The idea is that you input details about a friend and then send them. The site poses as a professor's personal site, and the email you receive looks authentic as well.

If you don't want to scare a friend, just view the demo instead, which is based on a girl called Sarah.

Second Life Terrorism, or PR Stunt

Second LifeMetro.co.uk is reporting that virtual world Second Life has experienced its first terrorist attack. It maintains that the Second Life Liberation Army, a home-grown terrorist cell of SL users has staged an online attack and is calling for democratic decision-making in the virtual community. Apparently the group "bombed" an American Apparel outlet and a Reebok store.

However, blog Vi-r-us asserts that it's just a desperate PR stunt to stem the "outflowing tide of interest" in the community.

Monday, 26 February 2007

BitTorrent Deal

BitTorrentWired is reporting that BitTorrent Inc is launching a new site selling downloads of films and TV shows licensed from studios such as Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, with episodes of TV shows such as 24 and Punk'd.

BitTorrent Inc is hoping that at least a third of the 135 million previous downloaders who have used BitTorrent software will be willing to pay for high-quality files, rather than taking their chances with the pirated files.

TV episodes will be $1.99 to own, which is comparable with iTunes.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive Approach

Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive have a new Flash movie on their site that explains their approach. Click on approach to view the animated explanation, and on about to see their stated beliefs in bullet points.

The new process tips its hat to Bill Bernbach's groundbreaking (and now standard) method, but Saatchi & Saatchi asserts that they are now taking this approach a step further in the pursuit of creative excellence.

If you work at an agency involved in creating digital work (and what agency isn't now), it's well worth a look and listen.

Thanks to DigitalAgency for the heads-up about this.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Google Earth V4

Google EarthHave you checked out Google Earth lately? Version 4 was released on January 8th. The new version combines search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and even 3D buildings. Take a look at the Google Earth Showcase to see some of the new features and possibilities.

The new version has some powerful features which will undoubtedly have many applications for many people, companies and organisations. However, you will need a fairly powerful machine to really appreciate the new Google Earth experiences, especially Google Earth Plus and Google Earth Pro.

L.A.S.E.R Tag

The Graffiti Research Lab has posted this impressive video of the new GRL L.A.S.E.R. Tagging System in action. They are offering a download of the open source code built in C++, and this is how the system works.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Classic Nike Video

I find it interesting that this Nike Soccer ad from 2005 featuring Ronaldinho is still going strong.

According to web video tracking site Vidmeter, it had nearly 15,000 views today alone, and has had a total of 13,576,051 on Youtube and Metacafe combined.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Tomato in Sydney

On Thursday night I'm going to hear Tomas Roope from Tomato speak about how advertising is affected by the transitional phase of entertainment migrating from broadcast to a consumer controlled model. The talk is being hosted by AWARD. Roope is a well awarded guy, being the "the joint most successful entrant into D&AD's interactive awards".

It should be well worth attending. Tomato has been responsible for some great work over the years including for '90s film Trainspotting, the Design Strategy for Federation Square in Melbourne, Sony Branding, collaborations with great electro band Underworld, and much, much more.

UPDATE: Campaign Brief blog is reporting that Tomas Roope is going to join The Rumpus Room, a subsidiary of The Sweet Shop, to head up the company's UK office. Roope has been with Tomato for 10 years.

Monday, 19 February 2007


PulseAt first glance this looks like a blog, but it's actually a Flash microsite for the Spanish premiere of the film Pulse.

Once you've hit the Open Video button and finished viewing the Flash movie, the site invites you to "scare a friend" by personalising it with your own text, voice or webcam live recording, and then to send it on to an unsuspecting friend.

I'd say they'd have to be a pretty good friend, or perhaps someone you actually don't like.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Wolfmother Grammy

Congrats to local Sydney lads Wolfmother for being the first Aussie band to win a Grammy in 25 years. They won Best Hard Rock Performance for Woman.

The band was up against Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down, Tool and Buckberry, so I guess it was a bit of a surprise considering the more established competition at such a big occasion. I seem to remember that U2 won for best alternative album (or something similar) a few years back, which seemed ridiculous.

I must admit that I'm in two minds about it. On the one hand I'm keen to support locals getting up to win big gongs. On the other hand, the cynical side of me has a suspicion that the recent wave of very popular rock acts (including Jet, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Darkness, The Strokes...the list goes on and on) are being encouraged and promoted in a disproportionate way by baby boomer record company execs who grew up with bands like Led Zep, The Who, Deep Purple and ACDC and want to continue the tradition they started. I can't help but think there might be other (and newer) forms of worthy music that could be just as popular if they were promoted with the same gusto by the heavy hitters. What do you reckon?

From an advertising perspective, it's also interesting to note the frequent use of Wolfmother's work in advertising during their rapid rise (see Wikipedia entry for details), including for Apple iPod, Optus, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero II, Jackass: Number Two and more. This phenomenon is nothing new these days though, just part of the whole deal.

I'll choose to leave those thoughts to one side however. Don't get me wrong, I like quite a few of these bands, especially The Strokes and The White Stripes and I've been listening to Wolfmother a lot. The Joker and the Thief with headphones on at work can really get me into action first thing in the morning. I also dug Wolfmother's performance at the ARIA Awards. They are a brilliant rock band.


TropfestTropfest, the world's largest short film festival, is on again tonight.

Now in its 15th year, it has become a major national event with venues in Sydney Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Hobart and this year in 8 other regional centres. There's even talk of international screenings later this year. I heard the Tribeca Film Festival mentioned in the media today as a possible link to a U.S. festival.

Tropfest now has major corporate sponsors and celebrity support. Patrons of the festival include Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Sam Neill, Russel Crowe, George Miller, Lachlan Murdoch and Geoffrey Rush.

The festival continues to get bigger and bigger every year, aided by digital technology and live satellite link-ups. This is a far cry from it's original roots at the Tropicana Caffe in Darlinghurst 15 years ago. I lived close to the the Tropicana in the mid to late '90s, so I remember when the festival was just a few hundred people crowded in the street outside the Tropicana watching a couple of outdoor screens and having a street party; it's certainly grown from that!

Every year the call for entries goes out to the general public and the festival asks budding filmmakers to include a compulsory Tropfest signature item, which this year is a sneeze. The 16 finalists have already been chosen, so good luck to all. Big things have tended to happen for previous winners, and also for the festival founder John Polson.

Keep and eye on the Tropfest video channel over at ninemsn.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Skydiving Incident

You might have seen this on tv news earlier this week. It's footage of a skydiver in New Zealand who survived a 12,00ft fall with some major parachute problems.

The guy landed in a patch of blackberry bushes and lived to tell the tale. He also had a camera on his helmet, so you can experience the whole thing almost as he did, but not quite.

Quote of the week would have to go to his skydiving companion after jumping out of the plane behind him, finding him alive, and videoing the whole thing.

"Are you okay bro."


"Does it hurt anyway"


You won't find the video on YouTube. It was on YouTube, but now you'll find this message there in its place:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Associated Newspapers Limited

You'll find the video here instead. At least the guy must have made some money out of the ordeal. Fair enough!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

LineRider Animation

A serious amount of work and planning has gone into this animation, Discarded by techdawg.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

iSL Unauthorised

It's Apple Jim, but not as we know it. Somebody other than Apple has built an unauthorised virtual Apple store inside Second Life.

I wonder how long this will last before the ilawyers spring into action? My guess is that phone calls and emails are flying as we speak, so if you want to take a look you'd better be quick. Teleport there now if you're an SL member.

Thanks to Steve Rubel for this info.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Hi-Res Naked Flash

Naked CommunicationsThis company site for media agency Naked, is another thoughtful and well executed Flash site created by Hi-Res! London.

Here in Oz, Naked's Sydney office has also just taken out AdNews Agency of the Year, Media Agency of the Year and Specialist Agency of the Year - phew. Congrats Naked.

The Daily Monster Channel

Here's a unique YouTube project. Stefan G Bucher has been drawing a different monster every day, videoing the drawing process and posting it on YouTube (and his blog dailymonster.com) He's up to monster no. 88.

Monday, 12 February 2007


invaderHere's some brilliant new work (in progress) by Invader. These are portraits of Florence Rey from the new series Rubikcubist, seen on VVORK.

Secret Valentines

PostSecretThe new Valentine's Day crop of PostSecrets is up.

I love the PostSecret project. It has inspired some real gems in its time, and this series is no exception.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

A defining moment for new marketing?

Joseph Jaffe seems to be pretty excited about the fact that his client Coca-Cola is finally and wholeheartedly embracing consumer generated content by inviting Stephen Votz and Fritz Grobe, A.K.A. EepyBird to perform Experiment #214, the Domino Effect (see above video) in the inner-sanctum of the Coca-Cola Company, and that the Chairman Neville Isdell might actually have watched it.

He states: " Think about it: two talented, yet normal citizens of planet earth (actually Buckfield, Maine) become the poster children for the rise of CGC and more importantly, the democratization of creativity. Not only did they get the attention of The Coca-Cola Company, but they got the acknowledgment and respect in the process."

Not surprisingly, this has caused a bit of a debate about how significant this moment is in the history of marketing.

Dynamite Surfing, Denmark!

Here's a pretty dramatic, entertaining and well executed new viral effort from Saatchi & Saatchi, Denmark.

I wonder how many fish died in the name of advertising.

It's quite a similar idea and in a similar tone to Dave Droga's very successful Still Free viral idea from last year.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Relaxing with the Sunday Newspaper

Take a look at this new Australian tv ad campaign for client the Sun-Herald Sunday newspaper. The agency responsible is Sydney hotshop Host, with the creative outsourced to new outfit Happy Soldiers.

I like the ads because they are unexpected and beautiful, but relevant. Eager critics have said that they are too slow, boring and that nothing happens, but I think in the context of tv advertising, the pace of them will really make them stand out. Does every tvc really have to be cut at the same pace as a rock video to be noticed? The original soundtrack really adds something as well. These ads do hit me on an emotional level.

In a way, they are quite reminiscent of this Sony Bravia ad, and similar criticisms were leveled at that. Some people in the industry thought it was bad because they said it was too abstract and contained no strong idea, but personally, I thought it was great for similar reasons to the Host campaign.

What do you think, boring or brilliant...or don't give a rats... it's just advertising?

Centre Pompidou Video Art

Today I went to see the Centre Pompidou Video Art 1965-2005 exhibition at the MCA. It's well worth a look before if finishes on 25 Feb.

Video art is already over 40 years old, and this show takes you through a sample of some of the best from the great collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. I remember seeing a few of the works when I visited Paris way back in the early '90s. The show blew me away back then. I was at art school in New Zealand at the time, and when I got back it inspired me to start making my own video installation work, which eventually lead to me working in interactive media.

I can't help but think that the YouTube (especially videos like this) phenomenon has helped to make video art just a little more acceptable and understandable to the general public. There were certainly a lot of people there today anyway.

If you live in Barcelona, Taipei or Miami (or of course Paris) you might already have seen this work, but If you live in Sydney, definitely go and see it before it closes!

The show features work from artists such as Isaac Julien, Stan Douglas, Douglas Gordan, Jean Luc Goddard, Samuel Beckett, Bill Viola, Bruce Nauman, Pierre Huyghe and Tony Oursler.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

World Wide Hack

Apparently hackers had a decent go at trying to take down the web this week, and I didn't even feel a thing.

They managed to inundate 3 of the 13 computers that handle global traffic. It was one of biggest attacks since 2002, but obviously they didn't succeed.

Blog on people.

Ad Mashups

ad mashupThe name admashup.com is pretty self-explanatory. The above "mashup of the month" was originally an ad for glass cleaner, now it's for viagra.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Moto Colors

motorolaHere's a playful new microsite from Motorola, to promote a new range of coloured handsets.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Brandchannel Readers Choice - Top 10

The results of the annual BrandChannel's Reader's Choice Awards are in. As you can see, Google owns 2 of the top 3 places.

4 out of the top 10 are less that 10 years old, and it's certainly no coincidence that 4 out of the top 5 companies have digital media, technology and the web at their core. Rounding out the top 10 globally are: Nokia, Skype, Ikea, Coca-Cola, Toyota.

It's also difficult to see how Apple could be nudged from the top few in the coming year, with the iphone hitting the market. Then again, the number 3 spot is held by a company that only began in 2005, so I'll keep and open mind. It's possible that a company that hasn't even started up yet could be in the top 5 next year! Google would probably buy it though.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Breakfast Club Dancing

Get into some dorky '80s dancing with the Breakfast Club. You know you want to.

...or watch the film in 60 seconds.

Thanks to Nik Roope (vi-r-us.com) for reminding me of this. I'm not entirely sure he should be thanked, what do you reckon?

Friday, 2 February 2007

Second Life Alternative

Second Life alternativeHere's a funny Second Life spoof page, getafirstlife.com. The Google ads at the bottom right of the page are a nice touch.

Earth Wallpapers

Mt Egmont, New ZealandEarthwallpapers.org is a growing series of desktop wallpapers created from Google Maps images. I like this idea. I've always loved aerial photographs and now the possibilities are endless and accessible, thanks to Google Maps and Google Earth.

Notice the disclaimer (or rather plea) at the bottom of the site though: "This site claims no ownership of any of the images used. We are just trying to share. Please don't shut me down Google".

The above image is of a New Zealand volcano, Mt Egmont. Even though I've lived in Sydney for many years, I was born and raised in NZ, so images like this are close to my heart.

Robot Chicken - Donkey Kong

I've been working on a few online ad concepts involving twists on classic games, so this Robot Chicken animation caught my attention.

As you will see, it involves the Characters from Xbox game Halo taking over the classic Donkey Kong. It's nicely done.

Secret Wall Tattoos

Secret Wall TattooHere's an interesting art project called Secret Wall Tattoos. The project involves creating artworks behind the existing prints and paintings in hotel rooms and offices. I can't say that I actually like many of the paintings behind the paintings, but it's an intriguing concept all the same.

Next time you're staying at a hotel chain, don't forget to check behind those mundane prints for something a little more interesting.

Thanks to Joseph Jaffe for pointing this out.