The effect of the planes flying again after the ash has subsided

I guess we were quite lucky to not have been too badly effected by the planes not flying in the haze of the Eyjafjallajoekull Volcano’s ash cloud. I know a few people who got stuck in other parts of the world, but in the main, most of us coped. As is the human way, we found ways around things and got on with our lives.

For those of doing business overseas, many found alternatives that didn’t involve flying.

Was the global economy really that badly affected or was it just a huge dent to airlines profits?

It really makes me wonder how many of the flights are actually necessary and how many could be done via a good (and increasingly easy) video conference. If a few flights were cut every week, the saving to the environment would be enormous and have a far greater effect than taxing the hell out of poor old car drivers.

It’s easy to overlook the sheer number of flights that take place daily. Worldwide, there are more than 70,000 flights every single day. The Eyjafjallajoekull Volcano apparently stopped around 60% of those flights in Europe.

In CO2 terms the volcano kicked out between 150-300,000 tons of CO2 per day. But in Europe alone, the grounding of the flights saved more than 200,000 tons of CO2.

If you want to see some amazing pictures of the Volcano in action and the power of our earth to fight back, have a look at here.

Or if you want to see the effect of the planes coming back in a time lapsed version of the European skies, watch this superb video below.

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I’ve never voted Tory before, but i’ve only just had a lobotomy

The problem with any political poster is that it’s well and truly open to political graffiti

I really don’t want top get too political on here, but I  did think this was an example of this art at it’s finest.

I really don't want top get too political on here, but I  did think this was an example of this art at it's finest.
I really don't want top get too political on here, but I did think this was an example of this art at it's finest.

Puma reinvents the shoebox – well sort of

Puma reinvents the shoebox, with another box

Well sort of. Click on the above to link through the video as it wont let me embed it here.

This great little video shows the length that Puma have gone to in order to completely rid themselves of the wasteful box for shipping the range of cool shoes. But having gone through a 21 month consultation process, they have radically reinvented something they are calling a bag, but still looks remarkably err, Box like.

Its saved them lots of litres of water in production, 65% in cardboard use and lots of MegaJoules in energy, but I can’t help feeling that whilst it is a big step forward, it isn’t really big enough to be that significant.

Yes, its smaller and it looks pretty good, but they have tried everything to come to the conclusion that a sort of box is still the best method by which to ship shoes.

What it is a brilliant example of however is reinforcement that good/great design and good environmental practice for any business in any sector pays for itself.

Whether they have moved away from a conventional box or not, they have saved a fortune in production costs – that you can guarantee will not be passed on in lower prices. That for me makes it, with some reservations, a good job well done by the teams involved.

Nike Ad with Tiger and Earl Woods

A few months ago when the Tiger Woods scandal first started to unfold, I wrote a piece about what the brands he was associated with would do, how they would react and which would desert him. You can read that here.

I was a bit inconclusive as to how the brands he hangs out with would react. But it appears they have decided to stick with him and embrace him for all his faults. This ad is an amazing one and must be unique where our fallen hero doesn’t get to speak, but rather stare slightly sheepishly into the camera whilst his late father asks him if he has learnt anything.

I watched the US Masters coverage last night on the BBC and I have to say that I was surprised to see that he seems to have been well and truly forgiven (or have they just forgotten?) by the US golf watching community. He was cheered by men, women and children as he played every shot and entered every green.

Maybe Nike have made a brilliant decision in sticking with him, but I guess the result on Sunday night will be the biggest single decider as to whether he is back for good. Me, I’m cheering on our boy Lee Westwood, with a firm support for the elegant Ian Poulter.

Updated

I’ve thought about this a lot since I first wrote it yesterday and watched more of the excellent BBC coverage again last night. I have to say, that I am slightly put out by Tiger Woods and his approach to his own brand. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that this is something of a desperate attempt to keep ‘in’ with his sponsors – but at any cost. I know how hard it was when I lost my own father, so for Tiger to literally sell his own father’s voice for the benefit of one of his sponsors is pretty low and shows the depths to which he will stoop to make money.

Augusta is a bubble. A micro climate where reality is suspended. A place where they’ll spend $80m on their practice area to create the perfect golf environment. Tiger has been the king of Augusta. Few of his peers can hold a candle to his performances on this course. His closing day is normally better than the field by a mile.

But yesterday was Seve’s 52nd birthday and he was my golf hero, before the brands took control of the players. He stands for individuality, fight, courage, respect and outrageous shot making. Tiger can claim the last, but the respect for even his father – who he claims was his hero and mentor – at the behest of his sponsors has gone – and I don’t see him ever getting it back.

Maybe the American public haven’t noticed this yet, but this is the beginning of the end for me. Not the affairs, the lies or even the car crash. Once you lose respect for yourself, your days as a brand icon are numbered.

Domino’s Pizza six fingered box model

I’m all for a bit of clip art here and there. I’ve used it myself on this blog occasionally. But to use it as a central part of your box design is a disgrace for any brand and Domino’s should be seriously embarrassed about this. It sends all the wrong signals. Eating pizza is already known to be a pretty unhealthy pastime, but now we have clear and clinical proof that it makes you grow extra digits, people will be leaving them in droves.

Dominoes Pizza is bad for you as it makes you grow six fingers on each hand
Domino's Pizza is bad for you as it makes you grow six fingers on each hand

New Labour poster Campaign – Step outside Posh Boy

In what would be a quite remarkable brave new poster campaign to position Gordon Brown as the tough kid of politics, the UK Guardian today showed this new poster. If they have the nerve to run it, it will win them the General Election. I know it’s an April fool, but I still think it would be brilliant if they actually ran it!

New Labour poster for Gordon Brown - Step outside posh boy
New Labour poster for Gordon Brown - Step outside posh boy

I wrote a few weeks ago about how much harm the David Cameron retouched posters had done for his reputation and subsequent chances of winning the UK General election, and this could be the perfect riposte by Labour. It has always been the Conservatives who have utilised the best Ad agencies and as such, the best work, but now Labour and Gordon Brown are playing them at their own game and actually winning.