Wireless Electricity – or WiTricity – An old idea made new

One of my team just pointed me towards this as a new TED video and I have to say I was totally enraptured with it. The opportunities for this are absolutely endless. The biggest issue we ever have with any technology is the number of wires that come with it. On our recent holiday to Andorra, half my hand luggage seemed to be full of plugs, wires and different little gadgets.

The technology itself is not that new, just this commercial interpretation of it. It was actually proposed by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago!

This has the potential to safely end all of this hassle or wired connections and the sooner we see it commercially, the better. ANy brand that can launch the wireless charging phone has to be onto a winner. The wireless TV would be fab (I already have a few wireless radios – but they still need to be plugged in to charge them!), but trying to find wireless surround sound speakers that don’t need constant charging is something I have been looking for, for years.

The best TV ad of 2010

I’ve just seen this article written by Champagne Jane on the Purple Circle Blog and I love it. In my opinion, this is the best ad of 2010 (so far).

We were at some awards a few years ago when the team at Specsavers were robbed of the gold and Grand Prix awards for their previous ad called Collie Wobble. I was so incensed that they didn’t win (probably because they were a in house team rather than an agency one) that I went and told them and also told the judges that we wouldn’t be entering their awards again unless they got their judging criteria sorted.

These guys do consistently brilliant work in building their brand and their powerful strapline and should be applauded for it. So for those who’ve forgotten it, here’s Collie Wobble.

Original ideas are becoming rarer – But design needs originality

I read a great post from my friend Brian Cray earlier today about how sloppy designers are becoming in their thinking when it comes to design. It’s a great read and you can see it here.

It got me thinking.

Last month I wrote a piece about Branding in a recession, which you can read here

Later that very same day, someone took the whole article and cut and pasted it into his own blog, which again, you can see here.

His thinking was soooo unoriginal, that he didn’t even bother changing the title. Yes he credited me for it, but does Google really know which is the original and which is the duplicated content that it will mark you down for in SEO terms?

The same happened to my mate Andy Henselman in one of his excellent Slideshare presentations. Here’s his original

and here’s the uncredited copy by some Albanian shyster.

I’m also a big fan of the work from the extraordinarily rude guys at COPY©UNTS. They have made it their business to uncover lazy ‘creative’ work where it has literally just been lifted from other peoples original thinking.

And to top it all, I was sent an SEO proposal from one of my clients today and it read slightly awkwardly. I didn’t believe it was original, so I cut and pasted a few strings from it, only to find it was ALL stolen from an educational site on the web about SEO strategy. Oops. I naturally told the client, so they won’t be getting any work, anytime soon.

For designers, SEO experts and anyone in a vaguely creative industry, you have to have original ideas. It’s the only barrier to entry we have in our imperfect worldwide market, where everyone has access to perfect information.

My business partner Mich Slack wrote a piece about this in response to the Glasgow Commonwealth games identity, which you can read here. But at least in that case, the designer had made some effort to change the overall look and feel.

It’s hard enough to retain credibility in this industry when your peers will undercut you for the price of a beer, but the sooner these people are kindly asked to leave it, or forced out by more discerning clients, the better.

Long live original thought, long live original design and long live clients who can tell the difference.

Ok Go video for ‘This Too Shall Pass’ as good as their ‘Treadmills’ video?

In my opinion, it’s not quite as ground breaking as ‘Treadmills’ was when it first launched back in 2006, but it’s still brilliant.

EMI won’t let me embed the video for ‘Treadmills’ for some reason, but you can see it here:

Ok Go 'Treadmills' Video on YouTube
Ok Go 'Treadmills' Video on YouTube

It is one of those brilliant firsts that has been copied by many but so far not equalled by anyone in terms of originality.

But you can see their new one here for ‘This too shall pass’. The production is just brilliant and great fun, like a giant game of Mousetrap on acid.

I don’t know much about the brand of the band Ok Go, but i do love their video work and i’m now off to get a listen to some of their other music. If it’s half as coool as their videos, I think i’ll be a new fan.

The Sandpit – By Sam O’Hare – The most stunning piece of tilt shift work i’ve ever seen

The Sandpit - Short film about life in New York
The Sandpit - Short film about life in New York

The Sandpit from Sam O’Hare on Vimeo.

Not much more to say really, other than the fact that I saw it on my Mate Tim Garratt’s blog and loved it so much I had to share it even further.

If you want to see how he did it, have a look here.

Why David Cameron is losing the lead for the Conservatives

I don’t want this article to be particularly political, but want to review the presentation By David Cameron of the Conservative party from a branding and advertising perspective.

Branding is about getting your message across clearly, consistently and most importantly, honestly. It’s an expression I use quite a lot, but the more you advertise a bad product, the faster it will fail. Now we are seeing much more of David Cameron and his policies, it seems that voters don’t quite like what they are seeing.

David Cameron had a very privileged upbringing, there’s no doubt about that and in theory that shouldn’t stop him from understanding the public. It’s his pretence of being ‘down there with the kids’ and struggling like the rest of us that is positioning him as something he isn’t and may be the reason that he has thrown away a huge lead in the polls.

The recent poster campaign for the Tories, presented a picture of David Cameron that was so far removed from the true picture, that it was ridiculed from day one. It was all things airbrushing, that at first, I thought it had to be a spoof.

David Cameron, Year for Change campaign poster - in al its terrible airbrushed glory
David Cameron, Year for Change campaign poster - in al its terrible airbrushed glory

Here’s the ‘original’, showing a ludicrously airbrushed image of him. He is just presented as too perfect to be ‘one of the people’ quite why he needs the treatment of a Vogue model (albeit done very badly) is beyond me and prompted a response from one of my design peers with a brilliant open forum for people to be able to design their own version of the poster.

David Cameron - grew up on an estate
David Cameron - grew up on an estate

I just love this particular one, which is so clunkily comped that it makes a mockery of the ‘original’ image and the message of truth and honesty that it was trying to portray.

If the Tories go on to throw away their lead in the final vote and we end up with a hung Parliament or a Labour victory, this poster campaign will have to take some part of the blame.

In the same way, in 1979, the very famous ‘Labour isn’t working’ poster was credited with having a huge part in winning the General Election for the Tories.

Labour isn't working poster for the Conservatives from the 1979 general election
Labour isn't working poster for the Conservatives from the 1979 general election

Who says advertising doesn’t have an impact?