Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking a Generic Store Brand to the Next Level

Recently, I have been grocery shopping at a Stop & Shop supermarket. Walking up and down their aisles I have been noticing their generic store brand products. Actually, it’s hard not to notice their store brand – their products packaging is designed better than some of the brand name products on the same shelf. They have done a very smart thing by creating a simple clean and appealing package design template – that is used throughout the store.
Very smart move on their part for mainly two reasons. One, their generic store brand is cheaper than the name brand - having a nice package design for it gets it noticed and you don’t feel like you are buying a generic product. Second, this helps establish their store brand and makes it easily recognized for future purchases.

Here is a sample of some of their products:
CrackerPAn friedCream PuffsIce cream

Friday, May 29, 2009

BRZ Team Graffiti Sticker (unique finds)

BRZ Team Graffiti Sticker

I have been walking past this sticker for about four months now (maybe longer). I never payed any attention to it because its about three inches in size and its on construction site door thats surrounded by large posters. Once I noticed it - I would stare at it everyday making sure it was still there. I was drawn to it because of its uniqueness - it's an all red shiny vinyl sticker. I tried looking up BRZ Team to see if they had a website, no luck. File this under unique interesting find.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Social Networks Racing to be Number One

Social Networks Racing to be Number One

MySpace-vs-Facebook is really heating up. MySpace recently hired Owen Van Natta as their new CEO. If you recognize the name that’s because Owen Van Natta is formerly the COO of Facebook. MySpace is currently promoting from within, as well as hiring a lot of people with strong backgrounds in digital media. They are gearing up to take back what they have lost.

MySpace has their work cut out for themselves though - Facebook has surpassed them in worldwide users. Currently, Facebook is seen as the cooler out of the two social networks. MySpace is seen as the old man on the social network block. Another problem facing MySpace is marketers and marketing companies view MySpace users as lower middle class. This image is going to be very hard for MySpace to shake. They have to do something soon to change people’s perceptions of their social network.

Thrown into this mix is Twitter. It’s very unique - it is a mini-blog and has a very powerful search tool that is current up to the minute. With 140 character limit per post, it’s easy to stay current and updated with family and friends. All this is becoming a thorn in Facebook’s and MySpace’s side. But for now Twitter is still considered new and small, but a potential threat to them in the long run. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the big guys (meaning Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo or Google) are in negotiations with Twitter.

Keep a watch on any news about these social networks -big deals and big changes are coming.

Illustration by Paulo Pereira

Friday, May 22, 2009

KRAZY! at the Japan Society


Been meaning to post about this exhibit for a while. Since this is Memorial day weekend I thought it would be a good time. If you are coming to NYC or you live in NYC and need something to do - Go experience the exhibit at the Japan Society called, KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games.

If you have any interest in video games, manga or anime this is a real cool exhibit. They have rooms set up, so you can play video games, they have manga pods where you can sit and read manga or you can watch some anime (check the website for anime schedule). Click here to go directly to their website, Highly recommend it a very fun exhibit with tons to do, expect to spend a couple of hours there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lost My Sock


Saw these leaflets posted everywhere the other day – And thought, this might be a fun to visit the website or it can turn out to be a disturbing! I was willing to take a chance on it and see what happens. You never know what you’ll get when you go to a website that you find posted on a wall in New York City. When you type it brings you to the, which confused me for a second. I thought I typed in the wrong web address. I then realized that this was actually supposed to bring you to this site only after I read what’s posted below,

The last time I saw my warm and fuzzy friend was in the dryer and now it's gone!
Don't you just hate when that happens? Then you're left with all those single spares who've lost their pairs. No fun! Or waaaait a sec, could it be??
Can't I just wear any two socks that I wanna wear? And then I'll never have to worry about the missing sock again! I mean, who said socks have to match anyways? That's my theory and how my entire company got goin'! So as a super special THANK YOU for trying to help me find my lost sock, I'm giving you a pack of my marvelous, fabulous, kooky or zany socks for FREE!

All you gotta do is:
 Print this out, Bring it into my new LittleMissMatched store in Grand Central Terminal.

No surprises or sneaky moves, just bring this in and you'll get a pack of 3 coordinated but non-matching socks for FREE!
And in honor of this month's Lost Sock Memorial Day, you'll get an extra treat if you bring in all of those single guys you've got lying around. I'll be donating all gently used socks to charity so come celebrate Lost Sock Memorial Day and help others out at the same time!

Soooo thanks again for trying to help me find my sock – hope I've now helped you solve this age old problem for yourself!
Can't wait to see you in Grand Central Terminal!

This seems like a fun little promotion targeting moms and young girls. I don’t know how successful it will be (or is). How many moms or girls actually saw these plastered all over NYC and thought, “hey this looks like it could be fun website to visit”. I feel as though it needed to be a bit more direct toward moms or young girls- It’s way too vague. You are not sure if it’s a joke or not. The idea is good just the execution seems a bit off.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bottling Wine

Bottling Wine-1Bottling Wine-2

This weekend I helped my father-in-law bottle wine - He makes both red & white wines every year. The photos above document the process - first transfer the wine from the barrels to the bottles, then the bottles are corked, the corked bottles are then moved to the shelves and at the end is the clean up. My job which is not pictured, (because it isn't very glamorous), was moving bottles around. Moving empty bottles so they can be filled, then moving the filled bottles so they can be corked and then taking the corked bottles and storing them on the shelves. This all took place in the basement and at the end everything smells like wine. It was a fun experience, that didn't feel like work at all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fiat's Eco:Drive, Great Idea!


Carmaker Fiat has been in the news lately, because of the plans to partner with Chrysler. So while reading up on Fiat, then going to their main website - I came across, Eco:Drive, their Drive Greener program.

Basically, Eco:Drive is Fiat wanting to be more environmentally responsible by providing the car owner with tools where they can analyze the way they drive. This will then provide the car owner with tips & suggestions about how to reduce the environment impact and their costs.

Below is Fiat’s explanation on how it works if you don’t want to read it click here to watch the video.

The car owner plugs a USB drive into their computer, goes to the Eco:Drive website downloads the program for free. Then plugs the USB drive into their car. When they get home they plug the USB drive back into their computer and then the “EcoDrive” system presents the driver with detailed environmental performance of the car including the CO2 emission level for each trip. It analyses the driver’s style and then provides tips and recommendations on how to modify style to achieve CO2 reductions – and save money on fuel.

EcoDrive will encourage the driver to set himself challenges – CO2 reduction targets for specific journeys or over a set period of time. And in a community site will encourage all drivers to come together and pool their savings - working towards much bigger collective targets and showing that a lot of small contributions join to have a massive impact.

I should note that this right now you can only use this in two of Fiat’s cars - Fiat 500 and the Grand Punto but they state this will soon be available in all of their cars. This is an interesting idea overall. Will this make people buy a Fiat? I think so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I See Pop Chips Everywhere

Pop chips 2Pop chips 3

These ads seem to be popping up everywhere I look, (pun intended). This visual bombardment made me take notice - which in turn led me to post about them.

The packaging is simple, clean and to the point. Very unique and fun typographical treatment. I really like their color-code system for each flavor of chips they produce. The whole look will definitely make it stand out on store shelves. The ads really co-exist nicely with the packaging - Overall a very good advertising campaign. (I do remember seeing this packaging about a year ago on The Dieline website, back then I thought it was a very different (in a good way) for a potato chip packaging.)

They are supposed to different type of potato chip compared to other potato chips theses are literally popped into existence. They apply heat and pressure to the potato and create an unique looking and tasting chip. I have yet to buy them so I can’t comment on their taste. But if you are curious here’s their website where they list all the stores where you can purchase them -

Friday, May 8, 2009

Design without Borders discussion at NYIT

Designers Without Borders TalkDesigners Without Borders Talk2Designers Without Borders Talk3Panel2

I went to a graphic design discussion last Friday, called Designers without Borders at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology). The talk centered around a panel discussion about design in a globalized world. Designers that participated in the discussion were:

Roberto de Vicq – company Vicq Design born in Brazil.

Matteo Bologna – company Mucca Design born in Italy.

Maya Kopytman – company C&G Partners LLC born in Russia (but moved to Israel)

Carole Goodman – company Blue Anchor Design born in United States (New Jersey)

Takaaki Matsumoto – company Matsumoto Inc born in Japan.

Pablo Medina – company Cubanica born in the United Stated (Washington D.C moved to New Jersey)

The talk overall was interesting. It was fun hearing from all the designers discussing their background: where they came from, what projects they worked on, funny stories about people they worked with, etc… They discussed cultural differences and how they dealt with it all in their own way. Some designers had problems assimilating to the language and some had a hard time dealing and working with other cultures.

Something I found interesting was that they all pretty much felt that their cultural backgrounds did not influence their design. I’m not sure that’s true. They might think their cultural background doesn’t appear in their design but I disagree. It might not be so obvious, like a design style or certain look that can somehow represent their country of origin. But their cultural background influences the way they think and problem solve. Which is a big part of graphic design.

Another topic they brought up was about how in some countries graphic designers are treated differently, almost like “Rock Stars.” In certain cultures clients value the designer and their opinion more than they do here. They know your work and ask for your help on what to do. They don’t dictate their idea, you design what you think works. They look to you for answers and guidance. This was also a revelation to me -I know some companies here in the states do seek out designers’ guidance for ideas and projects but for the most part, we are there to communicate their ideas. If they don’t like what we have produced, they will tell us and sometimes they’ll tell us how to make it better.

Overall, a good talk with lively designers that kept you engaged. Glad I went. I look forward to more talks from NYIT.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Coffee Wars


Here is Starbucks new print ad campaign plus a video explanation from Howard Shultz himself, (click here for the video explanation). Starbucks is going with an eco-looking print campaign, the eco-look is to show you how environmentally conscious they are over other coffee places. The campaign also puts down other coffee makers, in a nice way. It looks as though they are gearing up for an all out coffee war. But if Starbucks is going through all this you know they are a little worried about McDonalds & Dunkin Donuts taking away their coffee drinkers in this touch economy.

I am curious to see where these new ads will appear? If they advertise in the typical areas they usually advertise in, (for example New York Times) how do they really expect to grow their business? They just keep talking to the same people that already support them. Right now it's tough for them and I think it's going to get tougher. Not sure if this is really the right direction they should be heading. I feel this ad campaign is not going to help them make any head way. The people that buy Starbucks will keep buying it - They people who buy Starbucks but can't justify buying it because of cost will probably stop and buy cheaper coffee some where else - The people who never bought Starbucks are not going to start now.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Got An Original Idea?

Got An Original Idea?

In 1993 the California Milk Processor Board was formed to remind people to drink milk. They hired ad agency Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, who did research and produced the popular milk commercials for the California Milk Processor Board. The television commercials set up the groundwork for the got milk? advertising campaigns that everyone now-a-days recognizes.

Since 1993 there have been countless companies that have co-opted the got milk? tagline, (above is just a small sample of what I found). Usually these knock offs are done by small local businesses who don't have a marketing budget and don't really understand branding. The just "borrow" popular taglines from commercials or print ads that they have seen. Most of the time these appropriated taglines that they use don't even work or make any sense for that particular company.

I feel this forced branding hurts those small businesses and confuses their targeted clients rather than help them. I like the idea of small local companies branding themselves, but why not come up with something original? Come up with a campaign that actually means something to that particular business. Or better yet, create a brand by helping the community, and in turn this will help their brand get recognized locally.