Archive for August, 2009

We’re Jerkin’

Posted in Culture on August 21, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


Jerkin’ is the new Krumpin’, apparently. Jerkin’ is a positive, mash up hip hop movement from LA which has emerged from the wearing of skinny jeans (considered rebellious amongst hip hop elders) and social media. Dance crews battle each other while “jerkin” – meaning they add freestyle, nerdy dance and fashion moves, such as doing a running man or wearing Jarvis Cocker specs. What’s interesting about Jerkin’ is that it’s a mix of nostalgia, music 2.0 and cultural rebellion.

Jerkin’ has been described as hip hop for the MySpace generation because Jerk bands such as The New Boyz, The Bangz, and Pink Dollaz, head straight to social media rather than record companies, to launch themselves. But, they’re also amenable to corporates. Entrepreneurs rather than anti-brand.

Jerkers also mash up music and fashion references – 80s, Nu Rave, punk and preppy are all in there. A web series Skinny Jeans The Movement (see clip above), is a portal to the culture. So-called because skinny rather than baggy jeans, are the Jerkers new school hip hop uniform (which show off your dance moves better).

Jerkin’ emerged from Hamilton High School, the talent locus (Mike Elizondo, Ozomatli, and err, David Cassidy) thanks to its renowned Academy of Music.

You’re a Jerk” by The New Boyz is the scene’s anthem.


Thanks to Tickle for this story. Adam Tickle is overrated.


Shadow-Puppet Bunnies

Posted in Branding on August 21, 2009 by Something for the Weekend

How cute. And slightly creepy. Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind cinematographer) is behind U.S. Cellular’s new spot for the Believe in Something Better campaign. The ad transforms a city into a giant shadow-puppet show featuring smooching rabbits. The cute bit. The crowd is invited to use U.S. Cellular to share images; promoting the fact it is bizarrely, the only US network that doesn’t charge customers for receiving calls and texts. We love the sound of the second spot featuring blow up octopus, whales and jellyfish roaming through the city streets.


Thanks to Ellie Osbourne for this story. Ellie looks a bit like Penny Crayon.

Moving Magazines

Posted in Digital on August 21, 2009 by Something for the Weekend

The first-ever video in print ad will appear in a limited edition Entertainment Weekly next month. Created by TV network CBS and Pepsi, it will show telly previews and Pepsi Max adverts. The video is activated when the page is turned, similar to singing greeting cards. Meanwhile, deaf charity RNID is launching an interactive outdoor campaign that uses moving posters that react to sounds around them. The posters’ messages are coded to appear as visualisations of sound. If there is no sound the message does not appear. The campaign is based on the interesting finding that one in seven people are hearing impaired.


and this


Posted in One to Ponder on August 13, 2009 by Something for the Weekend

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We are moving away from designated play areas to transforming entire towns into playable space. Traditional playgrounds are being redesigned as multigenerational; houses conceived as living adventure games; and the mundane act of waiting for the bus re-imagined as a swing ride.

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To promote the film Coraline, 50 boxes of curious objects were mysteriously circulated to various bloggers – film props as marketing. Film characters and otherworldly themes were also graffitied on real-world walls, while one-off semi-personalised notes, buttons and keys appeared in shops and hung from abandoned buildings, just waiting to be discovered.

Meanwhile, the highly evolved Coraline website was designed as a secret map of the movie, complete with surreptitiously embedded content. A cult following was built up around charting the discovery of the objects, and unlocking the clues and secrets hidden in the website.

Designer Bruno Taylor hijacks public spaces with a dolloop of much-needed fun, such as putting a swing in a bus stop of making park benches bouncy.

Interior architect Eric Clough transformed a New York apartment into a living adventure game, known as ‘Mystery on 5th Avenue‘. The home is embedded with riddles, ciphers and furniture with hidden compartments. It even has its own accompanying book and musical score.

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The world’s largest crossword puzzle has been created on the side of a residential block in the Ukraine. By day, the puzzle is empty, but at night special lights make the words in the puzzle visible. The questions for puzzle are hidden in interest spots throughout city. Tourists and residents have been gathering outside the tower block every night to see if their answers are correct.

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Playgrounds and daycare centres are being redesigned for young and old alike, driven by the converging needs of an ageing population.

Play is increasingly considered a social and economic utility.

Sources: Imagination Building, Wallpaper*; LS:N Playscapes; Rethinking Childhood.

Climate Suffragettes

Posted in Miscellaneous on August 13, 2009 by Something for the Weekend

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Eco campaign group Climate Rush take a feminist-style approach to sustainability. They call themselves ‘Climate Suffragettes’ and describe their activities as peaceful and stylish civil disobedience. Their free eco newspaper features people like Queens of Noize and Quentin Tarantino. Next month, Climate Rush will be touring the UK and greening up towns with an interactive mix of entertainment and education. Find out more.

More feminist-inspired marketing here.

Thanks to Alnoor Ladha for this story.

Blue Rinse Chic

Posted in Culture on August 13, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


Grannies are chic. If you think your Nan and Granddad are more stylish than Aggy and Hedi, then Advanced Style is your Vogue. This blog is a cross between The Sartorialist and Saga and celebrates the innate, enviable stylishness of the elderly. Who else but the over-60s can equally pull off blue hair and top hats without looking silly or over-dressed?

Advanced Style was created by 27-year-old, New York-based Ari Cohen, whose best friend was his grandmother. ‘People have started to notice older people more,’ he says. ‘You can learn so much from the way an old person wears a coat that they have had for ever with maybe a hat. These are the last people around who know how to dress formally and they have a confidence about them that younger people just don’t have.’

The blog is something of a style barometer. Recent trends spotted on the site include bright red lipstick and huge dark glasses. Women in their 20s and 30s increasingly look to women in their 50s and 60s for inspiration – from diets that actually work, to ageing gracefully. It can only be a matter of time before we get a ‘mature Vogue’ or something.

What we’ll definitely witness is the rise of ‘ageless’ products. The Saturday Guardian now has a regular fashion page featuring models young and old wearing the same sorts of outfits. Globally, 1 in 10 people are aged 60 and the fastest-growing age group is 80+. Brands will ignore the grey pound at their peril.

How stylish are this lot:

grannygranny 2granny 3


User-generated Cartoons

Posted in Branding on August 13, 2009 by Something for the Weekend


Following the PC-gone-mad move to make Dennis the Menace less of a menace (so, Walter the Softy isn’t bullied in case people think it’s because he’s gay, Gnasher the dog doesn’t gnash, and Dennis’s Dad isn’t allowed to spank him when he’s bad), the Beano is now handing control over to its readers with a user-generated cartoon competition.

Launching at the Edinburgh international book festival this weekend, children are invited to co-create a new Beano character. Beano artists will draw the new character on an overhead digital screen as suggestions are made by the audience. The character will appear in a future issue of the comic.


and this

Thanks to ///Paddy Fraser for this story.