Branding and the "R" word

An interesting story in the New York Times today about the 98th annual meeting of the Association of National Advertisers. Some marketers - actually the biggest names in the business - feel a responsibility to help get us through this financial mess.

“The consumer is sitting at the bottom of a bunker with his head in his hands, wondering if it’s safe to come out,” Jez Frampton, global chief executive at Interbrand, an Omnicom Group agency specializing in corporate and brand identity, said during a general session of the conference.

“It’s up to us to stimulate demand in the marketplace again,” he added.

What do you think? Read more
Resolved to Keep on Marketing, Even in Tight-Fisted Times


Cooking as Visual Art

“I have invited Ferran AdriĆ  because he has managed to create his own language, something that has turned into a very influential issue on the international scene. This is what I am interested in, I don’t care if people consider it as an art or not. It is very important to mention that the artistic intelligence does not depend on the format; we should not relate art only with photography, sculpture, painting…, neither with cooking in its most strict sense. But under certain circumstances, cooking can also be considered as an art.”
- Roger Buergel, Artistic Director,
Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany

Ferran AdriĆ  is the influential chef - some say most influential in the world - from El Bulli restaurant in Cala Montjoi, Catalonia. I urge you to look through the general catalogue of dishes the restaurant has prepared from 1983 to 2005. Interestingly, the introduction to the catalogue begins with a classic information architecture dilemma: how do you categorize things? For El Bulli, food falls into "families" - follies, morphs, tapas/dishes - names almost as poetical as when and how they are served.

Visit the catalogue


Social Media Site Increases Support for Canada's Wilderness

The Big Wild - an initiative founded by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Mountain Equipment Co-op - has been leveraging the viral benefits of online social media in the hopes of growing support for its cause.

The Big Wild refers to the part of Canada that is still in its natural state. And the vision is to keep at least half of Canada's public land and water wild forever. The hope is to achieve this through education, fundraising, and support and encouragement for the public to lobby decision-makers.

The social movement launched this past Spring, with guerrilla marketing stunts in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and St. John's that introduced Canadians to its social networking site, www.thebigwild.org/

The site allows Canadians not only to learn about Canadian wild spaces in need of protection, but encourages supporters to share stories, videos and photos about their own wilderness experiences. This keeps the site real, personable, and fresh. People can truly feel a part of the project and gain a sense of pride. The prizes available for various ways of getting involved only increase the incentive to participate.

To complement the online components of the campaign and keep the viral message going offline as well, Mountain Equipment Co-op is selling (by small donation only), green Big Wild shoelaces.