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Author archive

  • Creatives, Know When to Ask for Help

    25th August 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in creativity, technology

    Author: Kevin Roddy, Chief Creative Officer, BBH New York (follow at @tweetrod)

    Originally posted on Ad Age, August 23 2010 (link: http://j.mp/crf6Io)

    I have a theory about why some “traditional” agencies aren’t evolving as quickly, or effectively, as they need to: because their creative directors aren’t admitting that they’re stupid.

    Now, hang on a minute. Before you take a four-iron to my knee caps, let me explain what I mean. In my pre-creative-director career as a copywriter (you know, back when ads were written in Triceratops blood on cave walls) I never had to worry about writing for a small thing we now call the internet. Back then, an “integrated campaign” meant it had TV, print and radio. The definition of “interactive” was doing a print ad that required someone to turn the page. My colleagues and I never had to think of any solution beyond it.

    The path to becoming a creative director in those days was to be really good at developing work in those media, the theory being, the better you were at doing it, the better you would be at directing it.

    Today? Not so much. As someone who’s now responsible for directing creative people doing things I never even dreamed of in my copywriting days, I don’t consider myself solely equipped to make every kind of idea better. How could I? I’ve never done many of them myself.

    Sure, I can tell someone how to make a TV spot or a print ad better. I’ve done a ton of them. And, I think, I’m pretty good at them. But when it comes to creativity today — a new world that encompasses everything from iAds to augmented reality — it’s a whole different ballgame.

    I’m not alone. I’d venture to say there’s a whole industry of CDs out there who have the same difficulty as I do single-handedly creative directing today’s ideas. Some have even confided in me as much.

    So where does that leave creative leaders like me? Here are a few options:

    1. Ignore the new ideas. Hey, if we can’t make them better then let’s just dismiss them altogether!
    2. We can ask for new ideas, even demand them, but because we honestly don’t know how to improve many of them, we can just let them move forward in their “first-draft” state.
    3. We can admit that we don’t know enough about how to make technologically complex creative ideas better and ask for help.

    Hopefully, we’ll all be brave enough to pick option No. 3. Creative directors need to admit a weakness in our own ability to creative direct today and ask for help. Take down the walls and ask other people for suggestions about how to make the work better. Heresy, I know. (You’ll have to turn in your creative director secret decoder ring and conveniently forget the creative director secret handshake.) But the danger of pretending like you know how to do it mature sex all means great creative opportunities could pass through you agency without a chance of exposing themselves. I believe we’ll be more effective in our jobs if we get help revamping our creative departments to deliver the complex kinds of creative products clients require to engage consumers today.

    Note, I’m not suggesting you get others to do it for you. I’m simply saying get help. As creative directors it is still, ultimately, our responsibility. We are, like it or not, better qualified to judge and direct great creative work, of any kind, than anybody else.

    And if and when the “I need help” movement takes hold, I promise creative directors will look really damn smart (actually being smart, however, is a different story…hell, we’re creative directors not planners).

  • Beautiful Film of The Day – Giant Stinson Beach Bubbles (Canon 550D)

    24th August 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in awesomeness

    Posted by: Seth Weisfeld, Digital Creative Director, BBH New York (follow him at @seth_weisfeld)

    As the summer begins to fade in our minds on a rainy day like this, its all too easy to forget the simple joys of a day at the beach. This film is a lovely reminder and shot and scored very beautifully. Enjoy.

    Be sure to watch in HD, full screen. Even more stunning.

  • Making Digital Work: Voices from Boulder

    23rd August 10

    Boulder Digital Works recently put on a two-day Executive Workshop around the theme of ‘Making Digital Work’. Industry leaders – who on paper are ‘rivals’ – came together for an intensive, collaborative and interactive program around evolving agencies and agency talent in readiness for the emerging landscape (there’s a bunch more detail about the Executive Workshops right here).

    In this short film, put together by the tirelessly enthusiastic & ever-disruptive Edward Boches from Mullen, Gareth Kay (GS&P), Matt Howell (Modernista), Kim Laama (AKQA), Brian Morrissey (AdWeek), Kat Egan (Exopolis) & David Slayden (Executive Director of BDW) share their thoughts after a two-day executive session at Boulder Digital Works. This gives you a sense of the energy and enthusiasm of those who come to teach and learn and share at BDW.

    Making Digital Work: Voices from Boulder from edward boches on Vimeo.

    Follow Boulder Digital Works on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bdwcu

    To learn more about Boulder Digital Works go to their site, here.

  • Analogue//Digital – Target’s Light Show Spectacular, Standard Hotel NYC, August 2010

    22nd August 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in Uncategorized

    (Image courtesy of Mother website)

    This is an extraordinary piece of work. Enormous kudos to Mother NYC for pulling off what must have seemed like a extraordinary idea on paper but a monumentally tricky idea to execute (think: no rehearsals, no back-up).

    Last week in NYC Mother NYC teamed up with Target to create this great installation at the Standard Hotel in NYC. Over 170 rooms were used, synced with LED lights, performers and a host of other action going on at ground level.

    It’s bold, surprising and certainly contains more than a nod to the type of visual effects more usually experienced in digital formats. But executed as 100% analogue.

    From Mother’s site:

    What do you call 20 sensory-overloaded minutes fashioned out of 60+ dancers, an original visual program created by Daft Punk’s light designers, a new pop symphony from one-half of N.A.S.A. and 170 rooms of New York’s Standard Hotel? You could start with “Spectacular,” but even that seems limiting. This one-time-only show for Target’s original fashion lines is just about the coolest and most unique event Mother’s ever produced!

    Enjoy the film (the visual treats really begin 40 seconds from the start).

    It reminds us of this video, by Etienne De Crecy, one of our favourites here at BBH Labs, but done on a monumental scale.
    youjizz

    Etienne De Crecy Live 2007 Transmusicales de Rennes from Clement bournat on Vimeo.

  • The Planner Survey 2010

    18th August 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in People, strategy

    Heather LeFevre has just published her annual survey of planners and strategists. It’s most definitely worth a read. And not just if you regard yourself as a planner or strategist.
    Of course, we’re particularly honored to see BBH named joint top as one of two agencies with the ‘strongest planning group’ (& congratulations to W&K).
    View more documents from Heather LeFevre.
    From Heather’s blog:
    The moment at least some of us have been waiting for! The results have been tabulated, analyzed and even designed this year. I’ve posted them on both SlideShare and Scribd so you can download them from whichever you prefer. All of my commentary is in the report, but please comment here after you’ve had a chance to read it. Would love to know what you think.
  • Street Slide from Microsoft, a new perspective on street view panoramas

    11th August 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in awesomeness, design

    This is fascinating stuff from Microsoft, hinting at a new and more immersive way to access street level information on mapping platforms such as Bing or Google Street View

    Here’s more information on the technology, and the project behind it (below). For further details, including Microsoft’s research paper and more films, visit their site, here.

    Systems such as Google Street View and Bing Maps Streetside enable
    users to virtually visit cities by navigating between immersive
    360panoramas, or bubbles. The discrete moves from bubble to
    bubble enabled in these systems do not provide a good visual sense
    of a larger aggregate such as a whole city block. Multi-perspective
    “strip” panoramas can provide a visual summary of a city street but
    lack the full realism of immersive panoramas.

    We present Street Slide, which combines the best aspects of the
    immersive nature of bubbles with the overview provided by multi-perspective
    strip panoramas. We demonstrate a seamless transition
    between bubbles and multi-perspective panoramas. We also
    present a dynamic construction of the panoramas which overcomes
    many of the limitations of previous systems. As the user slides sideways,
    the multi-perspective panorama is constructed and rendered
    dynamically to simulate either a perspective or hyper-perspective
    view. This provides a strong sense of parallax, which adds to the
    immersion. We call this form of sliding sideways while looking at
    a street facade a street slide. Finally we integrate annotations and a
    mini-map within the user interface to provide geographic information
    as well additional affordances for navigation. We demonstrate
    our Street Slide system on a series of intersecting streets in an urban
    setting. We report the results of a user study, which shows that
    visual searching is greatly enhanced with the Street Slide interface
    over existing systems from Google and Bing.

  • Our Ten Top Reads from Last 7 Days, 26 July 2010

    26th July 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in BBH Labs

    Every week Mel Exon (@melex) & I pull together 10 stories or links that we think are in some way inspiring, relevant, challenging, or just plain interesting, & we send them to BBH-ers in our six offices around the world.

    It’s of course heavily based on the BBH Labs (@BBHLabs) Twitter feed & blog, but recognizes the reality that not everyone is hooked up to Twitter 23.5 hours per day.

    Anyway, we thought we’d share it. So here it is. Feel free to pass on. As usual, ideas on making it more useful always welcome.

    Summary of the how agencies are pushing to evolve & become more digitally literate, & how ‘digital shops’ are losing lead – ‘Closing the Tech Divide’ (AdWeek) – http://bit.ly/9dI94r

    ‘Google is not making us stupid, & the Internet is not really changing our brains’ (a riposte to Clay Shirky, in the LA Times) – http://j.mp/c1RBYU (via @chrisgrayson)

    Will Zynga Become the Google of Games? On the rise & rise of Zynga (of Farmville fame), in the NYT – http://nyti.ms/dzJhFQ

    ‘Digital agencies are the new dinosaurs. If they don’t evolve quickly they will lose their 10yr headstart’ (written by Daniele Fiandaca, chair of Creative Social) – http://j.mp/9L2ICM

    ‘Digital Tools for Making Brilliant Mistakes’ – on Hipstamatic, Vintage Video Maker & why they appeal (explain to your kids why all your photos of them look crap) – http://j.mp/b5T2pg

    ‘Facebook is beginning to look & act like a sovereign state’ – from The Economist – http://j.mp/dggyN2

    Refreshing to see augmented reality work where there’s genuine reason for the AR; new work for Olympus, by Mullen – http://j.mp/deytQl

    ‘What Makes A Good Creative Director?’ – a fairly solid list of attributes here + a good discussion – http://j.mp/cN46me (via @ckburgess)

    ‘We Need To Rethink How We View Creativity’ – great post by @neilperkin – http://j.mp/bRPoyX

    Thought-provoking stuff from @brucenussbaum – Is Humanitarian Design the new Imperialism? – http://j.mp/dkq6H8

    plus a bonus 11th . . .

    New @BBHLabs post by BBH New York’s Seth Weisfeld – ‘The Best Camera is the One You Have With You’ . . . introducing the iOScars’ – http://j.mp/iOScars

  • ‘The Best Camera is the One You Have With You’ . . . introducing the iOScars

    21st July 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in Uncategorized

    Author: Seth Weisfeld, Digital Creative Director, BBH New York (@seth_weisfeld)

    “The best camera is the one you have with you.” (Chase Jarvis, see: http://j.mp/ad29YM)

    Powerful technologies and tools for creativity and filmmaking used to be exclusively in the hands of professionals. The cost of entry was high and the learning curve steep. With the recent launch of Apple’s 4th generation iPhone, consumers can now carry in their pockets a device fully capable of capturing, editing and publishing HD videos. This is an exciting prospect – no more grainy, pixelated, thumbnail-sized videos of our funniest or most beloved moments or the latest breaking news story.

    ioscars_phones

    Imagine what Gordon Gekko could achieve with this.

    Only a few short days after iPhone 4 hit the marketplace, an exceptionally impressive example of the film-making potential of the device surfaced. This film, “Apple of My Eye” directed by Michael Koerbel, was shot and edited entirely on an iPhone 4 in under 48 hours.

    “Apple of My Eye” – an iPhone 4 film – UPDATE: Behind the scenes footage included from Michael Koerbel on Vimeo.

    Read full post

  • “BIG BANG BIG BOOM: an unscientific point of view on the beginning & evolution of life … & how it could probably end.”

    7th July 10

    Everything about this is excellent. And it just gets bigger & better . . .

    BIG BANG BIG BOOM – the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

    direction and animation by BLU
    blublu.org
    production and distribution by ARTSH.it
    artsh.it
    sountrack by ANDREA MARTIGNONI

  • ‘Summer Hours’, a short film about warm sun, cool water & a few mosquitoes, by Jeff Scher

    6th July 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in Uncategorized

    “Do what we can, summer will have its flies:

    if we walk in the woods, we must feed mosquitoes:

    if we go a-fishing, we must expect a wet coat.”

    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I was lucky enough to meet Jeff Scher this weekend, a ridiculously talented & leftfield painter, animator and experimental film maker from DUMBO, in Brooklyn. Jeff’s works are in MoMA, and have been screened at film festivals around the world. He also teaches xhamster at the School of Visual Arts and at N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts. I knew we were going to get on when – within 10 seconds of meeting, literally – he was walking me through his top 10 photography apps for the iPhone. I had no idea my collection of apps was so conservative. (One ‘app’ consisted entirely of wobbling the iPhone violently during the shot, creating a weird kind of trippy effect as the camera’s software corrects for the distortion – try it; it’s cool how the iPhone tries to make sense of it).

    A selection of his films, “The Best of Times,” was just published as an iPhone and iPad app.

    Anyway, take a look at this, below. It’s beautiful, emotive and perfectly captures the magic of my favourite time of year: summer. More details about the film, in Jeff’s own words (as originally published in the NYT) are below the film on the NYT site. (click to play). Music is by Shay Lynch.

    Take a look at all Jeff’s work – http://fezfilms.net/

    This is one of my favourites of his previous films, ‘L’eau Life’.

    YouTube Preview Image

    And if you’re into it and want to find out more about Jeff, here’s a 5 minute documentary piece on YouTube.

    YouTube Preview Image

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