Sunday, December 31, 2006

"My money's on the little guy ..."

Title: Anthem
Year: 2002
Creative Direction: Zak Mroueh & Paul Lavoie
Art Direction: Lance Martin
Copywriting: Zak Mroueh
Director: Curtis Wehrfritz
Agency: Taxi, Toronto, ON, Canada
Client: MINI Canada

Post revisted ... The original Mini Coopers, which debuted in the late 1950s, were less superior in many ways than today’s models. Its many years of brand building had resulted in portraying an image that is a “Mr. Bean” car-like.

So to reposition the car in the minds of its target market, the relaunch of the Mini brand has focused on highlighting its newly improved characteristics.

Hence, this particular tv commercial depicts the Cooper’s power, as part of a campaign addressing many of its other features, such as roominess, coolness and overall practicality.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Mini Putt—Not Clubs For The Cooper's Trunk

I am neither a gamer nor a video game owner, but this one is addictive. In fact, it’s supposedly the most played on-line golf game.

Jan. 31, 2007: BD has best score of 28, with 9 hole-in-ones. My best is 31.

Feb. 11, '07: My PB is now 29 w/ 9 hole-in-ones. BD, you're goin' down.

Feb. 12, '07: My new PB is 27 w/ 10 hole-in-ones. BD, who ya daddy.

Feb. 14, '07: Me new PB is 26 w/ 11 hole-in-ones. 24 is within reach BD.

Feb. 20, '07: I'm at 24 now w/ 13 ones. Look out BD here comes 22.

[play game]

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


From Atech Flash Technology via Maclean's Magazine:
Now you can Enhance your Experience in any room with your favorite music from your iPod.

• 4 Integrated high performance moisture-free speakers deliver exceptional clarity and high quality sound
• Charges your iPod while playing music
• Audio selector allows you to play iPod shuffle or other Audio device
• Integrated Bath tissue holder that can be easily folded as a stereo dock
• Requires AC Power (AC Adapter included)
• Easy to remove from Wall Mount

Dimension (W x H x D):
8.25in x 3.68in x 7.12in
210mm x 93mm x 181mm

Power Requirements:
12V, 1.5A AC adapter

2 x tweeters for highs
2 x woofers for lows

Any suggestions for appropriate tunes?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cooper Orange

The much anticipated revival of the new MINI Cooper about 6 years ago did not disappoint the automotive industry as the car had won many design awards and earned favorable consumer reviews on a global scale.

The Cooper was designed by an American by the name of Frank Stephenson, manufactured by BMW and assembled in Oxford, UK. Stephenson has since moved on to Ferrari-Maserati and currently to Fiat-Lancia.

I ordered the orange version, exclusive to the convertible, in mid April 2005 and did not receive the car until about 2 ½ months later. It was a long wait where the MINI traveled by ship from Oxford to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and then by train to Vancouver, BC.

Complicated with some sunny weather, the last few weeks of the wait was unbearable, where I constantly phoned the local MINI Richmond dealership probing where my car was. In fact, the dealership informed me that they had been asked by some eager customers if they knew map coordinates of their orders so that it can be tracked on their GPS system, which the dealership had no knowledge of such coordinates. Then the last days saw my MINI stranded in a rail car at a nearby train yard with other deliveries. How’s that for a tattoo of the MINI Cooper brand in the psyche of the consumer?

Especially with the top down, the Cooper drive is exhilarating— even provides great views of SUVs' under carriages. It’s slightly over 2,500lbs weight make the car a solid, stable drive at 90mph (have not reached the century mark yet). The ragtop can automatically open in 15 seconds, and is currently the only mass- production convertible in the market with a sunroof—the ragtop can have about a 16” opening prior to fully being opened.

The 170+hp, hardtop Cooper S edition is faster than my 115hp ragtop; however, they are both the same price and I chose sun over speed. There is also a John Cooper Works edition at around 210+hp, but would add about a $10k price tag.

The advertising campaign in Canada was created by Taxi, where the agency created award-winning executions, including print headlines such as “Parks Faster Than A Ferrari” and “Screw Point B”.

The Cooper not only stands out in traffic, but it also comes with a unique subculture with a wide target market: catering to elders who once owned the original Coopers and of course the younger demographics, and others in between.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lumberjack Song: For Mr. G.

If you immediately cannot see the above video, wait for about 5 secs until the video loads on your screen—then press play.

I thought you need a break from all the Cmas songs.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

E-mail Overload

Via GDC BC Blog:

Lowered I.Q. and Bad Manners Caused by Obsessive Communication

An article in The Guardian, a leading British newspaper, in April 2004 reveals that how you handle e-mails can affect your I.Q. The study used 1,100 people and was carried out by psychologists at Kings College, London University, on behalf of Hewlett Packard. The purpose was to see the effect of constant distractions on productivity and concentration. [more]

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some GDC Memoirs

Designer rock star diva Marian Bantjes, Chapter Cmns Chair was responsible for bringing in Rick Valicenti (seated next to her in above photo, quadrants 2 & 3) at the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), BC Chapter's Annual General Meeting in Jan.06.

Marian's popularity has escalated in the last year or so, check out her site ... Print, Sagmeister, etc. She can make her pixels sing the opera.

Marian also invited her good friend Debbie Millman for her NY Design Stories, around summer 2005ish. Debbie is one of the only presenters I have seen using just one sentence per Power Point slide ... an amazing woman with great design and branding knowledge.

Next to Debbie in above photo (quadrant 1) is Yves Rouselle, partner at bau+wow communications in Vancouver, BC and Chapter Pres. I had a chance to work with Yves when I was with a previous employer Voith Paper, and he is as nice as it gets in the industry. His shop does amazing work too.

The photo of the paper plate is Rick's notes prior to making his speech—food for thought. I sat next to him prior to his AGM speech, and he was curious as to where I got my orange, Nike Rift, split-toe shoes I was wearing. So I told him shoes from Seattle and socks from California. Then I had a chance to talk to him about the mighty '85 Chicago Bears, since he is from that area. Maybe I'll sell that plate on e-bay ; )

I enjoyed the Jim Coudal seminar (June.06), where I shot some interesting photos too. What stood out was when he said that (paraphrase) designers need to have good taste in order to do good work. He was emphasizing that innate trait over designers knowing trade-related software applications, which can always be learned.

Jim also mentioned that they originated Photoshop tennis. One slow, friday afternoon, they decided to pass around Pshop layers that others built on it, and so on.

Plus, Jim mentioned to me that he had Bears seasons tickets after I made a comment how great the Bears are. Then I voiced my opinion that only if the Bears' secondary could have double covered Panther's Steve Smith in 2006 playoffs, the Bears would have advanced in the playoffs. Smith was single covered throughout the game and he ended up burning all the Bears' corners. I'm still pissed about that one. Enough. (I think I'm listening to too much sports radio and causing me to get fired up about sports.)

Also, I was in communication with Hillman Curtis, as we had plans on bringing him to Vancouver for a talk. And people were excited about him coming to Vancouver. But, after I resigned from the GDC Board, that idea vanished. Perhaps in 2007 the new board can slot him in (?). I thought I would get Hillman to sign my 3 books he has written.

I miss being on the GDC, BC Chapter Board (June.03 to March.06), but not the work. Click here for more photos and reviews re the above seminars.

Holiday eCards For Charity

Last year, I introduced my employer to sending an eCard for the holiday season. And the savings from purchasing actual printed cards and postage will be donated to a charity.

Last week, I quickly created the above and eBlasted to our contact list worldwide. The eCard also sits on our company home page (excuse the site I inherited and will be creating a new one by Q1.07, hopefully).

The eCard does not have to be in jpg format, it can be rich media. Print designers and printers may not benefit from this idea, but charities will.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bear Down

My Chicago Bears are finally on its way to great playoff football. No I have not taped my ankles and jumped on the band wagon. I have been a fan of the Bears since the Payton days.

Monday Night Football tomorrow will have B. in St. Louis. Some analysts are saying that if Grossman plays bad in the first half, he should get benched for the 2nd string qb Greise -- who some say that he is the best #2 qb in the league. Hell, he has no game experience this year.

Should be an interesting game tomorrow. I say Bears will represent NFC in Superbowl, if they don't -- I owe a co-worker lunch as he is picking the Cowboys.

(btw, I don't know how effective I'll be at blogging, but this is my first attempt.)