Atomic Bombs Follow Flying Penises in Virtual Terrorist Bombing

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Proof positive people have way too much time on their hands, last week, the virtual stores of American Apparel and Reebok has suffered a terrorist attack inside Second Life. Yes, you heard right. Some people actually went to the trouble of "bombing" the two stores. The group behind the attack (we can barely write we are laughing so hard right now) calls themselves Second Life Liberation Army and the purpose of their actions is said to be a call for democratic decision-making inside the virtual world (oh for fuck's sake, it's a game!).

The bombing follows several "attacks" made by the group over the past six months and follows the famed flying penis attack (video here) made by another group during an in-world CNET interview with wealthy Second Life Resident Anshe Chung. Seriously, people. Grow up and get a real life.

by Steve Hall    Feb-26-07    
Topic: Games, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Budding Fashion Interns (or Bitchy Bloggers) Come Ready-Made at Stardoll

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Online community Stardoll unrolls a virtual red carpet for the Academy Awards. For the teeny bopper demo (or girls at heart like Mariah), Stardoll is a candy-sweet space for creating Oscars-themed scenes with - wait for it - virtual paparazzi and Joan Rivers avatars. It ain't the Oscars without invasive camera angles and loud blondes straddling perpetual midlife crises so we smile upon the stab at authenticity.

"We hope to usher in a new generation of kids who want to try their hand at fashion in a way that is fun, creative and a bit friendlier than an internship at Vogue," says CEO Mattias Miksche. After seeing The Devil Wears Prada, we find this noble indeed.

In addition to playing with Oscar nominee avatars and making adamant suggestions about who should win (most favor Kate over Penelope!), girls make their own avatars and craft campaigns to become the next Stardoll cover girl, an honour doled out by the community.

Stardoll stikes us as an awesome resource. While we'd like to suggest it as such, the imagined execution (admen trolling the Pretty in Pink section) is not cute. Resist the urge to channel dormant XX chromosomes. We're sure you know a little girl you can foist this job upon.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Online, Trends and Culture



Adrants Ponders Dov/Julie Paradox

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For Dov Charney, who's bowing out of American Apparel in pursuit of his own manifest destiny, office life has been a source of both business and pleasure.

Short of being a lumberjack or Chuck Norris, Dov Charney is a king among men. Dov Charney:

* Masturbates regularly in front of reporters
* Gets freaky with colleagues (thanks, Jewlicious)
* Pushes American Apparel's squeaky clean clothes with skanky adverts
* Still manages to position American Apparel as an ethical business that pays good wages and poses no harm to overseas workers

While Julie Roehm fights for footstools over in Pariah-ville, she must be shaking her fist at what Dov got away with over the course of his career, also behind the guise of a similarly apple pie all-American style company.

Granted, American Apparel ain't all sex, and it isn't the first brand to use R-rated tactics to pull in a fickle demo.

Are we looking at a double standard? And double standards aside, is America just too uptight about this sex stuff?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Brands, Social, Trends and Culture



Suicide the New Stupid Dad Ad Trend

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We've done stupid dads, talking animals, women in bikinis, rape, humor, shock, poignancy, cavemen, rodents out of a cannon and hundreds of other hooks to get people to look at our ads. The meme of the moment now is suicide. GM did it. VW did it. Now we have children contemplating suicide for...lollipops. Yes, Chupa Chups thinks it's the end of the world without their lollipops with girls contemplating a jump from atop a doll house and boys contemplating death by milk. Surely the Center With Nothing to do But Complain About Innocuous Ads will have something to say about this one.

by Steve Hall    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Bad, Trends and Culture



Social Meme Mash-Up Makes Art on Big Ball

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A cross between a collaborative rubber band ball and a chain letter, this piece of "potential art" has been bouncing through the webosphere, inviting collective creative design for an ever-growing montage.

Drawball zooms into a spot about 1/4096th its size, which is where users can leave their mark. The result isn't just a mishmash of arbitrary graffiti; it includes americana logos like Coca-Cola, new pop culture icons like Digg and representations of various subcultures.

Like Wikipedia.org, the Drawball project proves surprising to some: people left virtually unregulated will work together to build something meaningful, even if the meaning can only be seen in the aggregate.

To witness the evolution of Drawball from beginning to end, check out Drawball Playback, where a year's work of collaborative art unfolds. It's a little like watching the progression of mankind in hyperspeed, as various image colonizations and social eclipses take place over the life of the project.

We wonder if human colonizations are this provocative from a distance. Maybe that's why God never intervenes.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Best, Consumer Created, Online, Trends and Culture



Burden of Inch Angst Now Shared by Both Sexes

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We grow ever nearer to the elusive notion of gender equality. Don't believe us? Now men aren't the only ones breaking a sweat over the measuring tape.

Start your conditioning on the merits of the designer vagina right here. And to think! Just a few years ago the makers of Gattaca thought perfection paranoia would end in pursuit of good health, pretty eyes and sharp minds. The devil is always in the details.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Online, Racy, Strange, Trends and Culture



Interactive Installations Spice Up Brand Experience

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To liven up the boring auto show and to provide some customized interactivity with an automotive brand, Mindflood along with experience marketing company George P. Johnson teamed to create some very impressive consumer experiences for Acura and Scion. We can remeber going to auto shows and thinking it was cool just to touch the car ans sit inside it. That's so yesterday. The Acura Interactive Oracles and the Scion Mix it Up Experience give people so much more to play with including complete vehicle customization, t-shirt creation and a complete interactive experience of the vehicle.

more »

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Events, Good, Point of Purchase, Trends and Culture



Dolce & Gabbana Ad: Cartoonish Edginess or Gang Rape?

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What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.

One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Racy, Trends and Culture



Snap Dragon Paints Picture of AmerAsian Youth

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To herald in the Chinese New Year Snap Dragon Consultants issued a press release entitled "Ten Things Every Brand Should Know About Asian-American Youth."

This was part of a report from performer/playwright Kate Rigg's nationwide talks with Asian-Americans ranging between ages 14-23.

Among other gems, Rigg reveals Asian-Americans:

* Dig Korea
* Dislike the stereotypes that rocketed out of the William Hung years
* Want more street cred
* Like to gamble
* Are secret fans of easy listening

Oh, no. How could they divulge that? The gangsta-lean reputation we spent years crafting around the weekly violin lessons is officially destroyed.

Actually our parents couldn't afford violin lessons for long, so they punched holes in the cardboard tubing from a dry cleaner hanger and told us to learn the flute instead. We had to colour it yellow ourselves. How's that for street cred, beeyatch?

Check out the press release here.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Research, Trends and Culture



McD's Stirring Spoons Remembered Less for Stirring, More for Blow

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There's something totally classy about blowing coke up your nose with a McD's coke spoon. It ties you to America somehow, and to cheeseburgers, and to childhood.

In the '70's, McD's strange-looking stirring spoon gets adopted by the white powder cult. Panicked about becoming accomplices in the empire of blow, family-friendly McDonald's discontinues the multi-faceted units.

But this kind of thing doesn't die quietly. Artists Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney bring the hot spoons back - plated in 18k gold, disco-fever style. Pissed at their insolence, McD's released a cease and desist.

Oh come on. It's every fledgling brand's wet dream to be appropriated by some enthusiastic subculture. And who doesn't want the designer drug users (possibly now enthusiastic - and wealthy - pop-art consumers)? They define trendy.

Plus, coke-heads are generally skinnier than the obese protesters long courting the golden arches. They make natural retaliatory press. Getting fat? Forego the baked apple pie for a spoon. It's free! (Magic dust sold separately.)

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture








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