This week, SXSW Interactive featured a keynote conversation with Limor Fried (Adafruit Industries) and Phil Torrone (MAKE Magazine). Hacking the DIY culture, Torrone and Fried discussed the techniques of tinkering with technology. With examples such as the Bacon Alarm Clock, skin-embedded RFID chips, and the recent Gummy Bear Chandelier, the panelists whetted the audience's palate with a selection of delicious DIY snacks.
Hacktivism culture has been spreading at a rapid rate as of late. Simply said, "People make weird and bizarre things," Torrone stated in response to the movement. Sharing "recipes" has now become commonplace among tinkering communities and unlike dating, you're not slapped if you show all your intimate parts too soon.
We like to think of street art as advertising that pushes back. After all, even graffiti's got its own idea to sell.
Wooster Collective points us to some paste-on street art by Mike Newton, who says, "I noticed how the police would move the homeless from street to street, doorway to doorway around the town. This gave me the inspiration for my latest piece 'removing me won't solve the problem,' a kind of twist on the removal of graffiti."
A similar campaign we once conducted also involved reintroducing absent social pariahs to their natural environments. But we don't think our parents were super thrilled when we wandered into the kitchen wearing Mom's "Like a Virgin" outfit during Pops' business dinner. We bet it left a lasting impression, though.
Offering no apologies for social disruption, the Emerging Social and Technology Trends panelists invite themselves into your conversation. The panel on Saturday hosted yet again a large group of speakers from diverse backgrounds. Although intimate panels tend to be more revealing, this one at least showed a little leg. Headed up by Laura Moorhead (Wired), the panelists included Andrew Blum (Wired), Robert Fabricant (Frog Design), Eliot Van Buskirk (Wired), Peter Rojas (Engadget), and Daniel Raffel (Yahoo!).
Perhaps drunk at the wheel sometimes, technology does drive social change. In turn, everyday people are now enabled to be the drivers as well. Similar to the blur of how you got home the night before, there is no longer a clear sobriety line to walk between social interaction and technology. Likewise, a constant negotiation between public and private, business and pleasure, leaves many at polar realms. Understanding the integration versus isolation debate is said to help us understand ourselves, or at least what Kool-aid we drank to get there.
We love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. That's why we're so attracted to the latest rumour about the mysterious Splasher, an entity splashing paint on street art in trendy New York neighborhoods, who suddenly appears to have an agenda.
To lend some background, the Splasher's been attacking local art through January and pasting manifestos alongside them, calling street art "fetishized [actions] of banality" and "a representation of the most vulgar kind: an alienated commodity." Readers are admonished not to remove the flyers because the paste is allegedly mixed with shards of glass.
I'm Not Sayin notes the latest batch of splashed posters coincide with the art instead of defacing it. And what's the "art" in question? American Apparel ads, of course. He then posits the Splasher is a guerilla campaign cooked up by American Apparel in order to attract (or provoke?) the attention of hipsters, artists and news outlets.
They've succeeded (if indeed it's them), though we'll throw a guess in the pool and suggest they may just be piggy-backing on an actual art-defacing, paint-happy ad-Zorro out yonder. Assuming it's all AA's doing, whether they'll be revered for cleverness or reviled for crime (which graffiti, however pretty, actually is) is another story.
Thankfully, lots of street art starts out as some kind of "defacing" appropriation of public space so we're sure they'll be sympathetic to the big brand's splattery assertion that they're all bourgeois tools.
It was just a matter of time before Borat got pinned a victim for his masochistic hairstyle but it turns out his case may be bigger than that, depending on whether you value the right to good hair over freedom of speech.
An annual human rights report released by Condy Rice criticizes the real Kazakhstan, listing relevant examples of human rights victims and including fictional character Borat, the woman-bashing, Jew-spooked Kazakh reporter invented by Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
It's unsurprising Borat's come across some trouble considering the president isn't too keen on Cohen's charming rendition of Kazakhstan as racist, superstitious and misogynistic. The decision to pull Borat's website, Borat.KZ, is ceremoniously noted in the report: "The government deemed as offensive the content of a satirical site controlled by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and revoked the .kz domain."
We think it's sweet that the country has risen to Borat's defense. If we're going to chuck dirt at all our international friends anyway we might as well stop pretending it's for a good reason and go on righteously rallying for fictional characters.
Humbert Humbert had it rough too. Who wants to throw the rock at Mother Russia?
Copyranter began an open dialog with Ketel One vodka in mid-2006 using the company's all-type/lots of white space print ads to do so. Copyranter's latest conversation responds to the distiller's latest headline, "Dear Ketel One Drinker, Not everyone likes Ketel One. Then again, not everyone's tried it" with "Dear Ketel One Maker, Not everyone hates your ads. Then again, not everyone's seen them." You've at least got to hand it to Ketel One for hanging on to the campaign for a while. If for nothing more than to give Copyranter more opportunities to continue the conversation.
While we're sure retail campaigns like Gap's (red) and Kenneth Cole's Are You Putting Us On? mean well, they don't always ring sincere to the adxhausted audience they aim for.
With fingers on the pulse of a social backlash, Words Pictures Ideas and Romantic Static marry up to bring us the cynical Buy Less Crap, a pithy-prints effort pushing for less, not more, purchase-oriented donation.
In contrast to Gap's campaign, where donations are tied to purchasing (red) clothing modeled in the ads, (less) ads feature naked models with headings like (red)icu(less), meaning(less) and point(less). The website lists multiple charities where people can donate without having to purchase a heart-warming hoodie.
This isn't the first spoof on Gap's (red) but we dig the way it makes the point. While we see the benefit of turning philanthropy into its own sort of brand in a consumer culture, we can't shake the feeling there's a conflict of interest in blurring the lines between purchase and social responsibility.
In its ongoing effort to give Americans a different kind of education, MoveOn.org is raising money to air this print ad about what the escalation really means.
We try to antagonize both political parties equally on Adrants, but we have to admit Bush's WMD claim about Iran smacks of something we've heard before.
You know what they say about gullibility: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. "Fool me six billion seven times, call me a Republican senator," Free Republic adds in our heads (out of context, but a catchy ending nonetheless.)
To be fair, Republicans, Democrats and alternative parties alike are sweating bullets about Bush's latest flight of projectile fancy.
MySpace phenomenon Tila Tequila is about to find out whether or not having 1.7 million friends is as powerful as having a multi-million dollar marketing budget. Rather than sign with a label, Tequila, who's single I Love U was produced by Lil Jon, will be released on iTunes tomorrow.
Oh wow. Just listened. She might be hot but that song sucks. Trying WAY too hard.
- Adland wonders if Gladys Hardy, an 88 year old woman with a MySpace site and who's called into Ellen several times in just some sort of marketing promotion. It sure smells of it.
- Fox Interactive Media Buys Ad Targeting Firm to Leverage MySpace Profile Data. Let's mine that data, guys.
- ABC is creating a spin off of Grey's Anatomy with the Addison Shepard character and Taye Diggs. This just does not sound right.
- MediaBuyerPlanner reports, "Shares of the two largest, publicly traded billboard owners, Lamar Advertising and Clear Channel Outdoor, have skyrocketed in the past 12 months, growing 36 percent and 43 percent respectively."