Pure Content

Look at more stuff. Think about it harder.

Sometimes in the past I posted some comments on Google´s great usability, their incredible tools and of course it's incredible transforming logo.

It seems those attributes are enough to make Google, The Brand of the Year Worldwide according to Interbrand research published at brandchannel.com.

This is real interesting, how ubiquitous Google brand can be, based almost solely in a extremely useful service and a very smart research.


full disclosure

So a little under a year ago, I posted a link to an article I found at Relevant Magazine and I posted to it. Looking through my referral logs, I found someone linking to me, who ended up being the author of the piece in the magazine. Although I had given credit to the magazine, I didn't attribute it to him directly (I thought it was a staff piece). Anyway, the author was Bobby Kim, and it was printed in the online (now online and offline) Relevant Magazine. If you like his work, you might consider acquiring i.am.relevant, a book which Bobby co-authored, and which was printed by Relevant Books, the same people behind The Gospel According to Tony Soprano and the spiritual biographies of U2 and Bob Dylan. Just wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings.

Anyway, here's the original post:

"If you haven’t heard of Alife by now, feel free to fly to Manhattan, ask people what it is, and welcome a nice, healthy smack in the face for your ignorance. Founded by four post-pop graffiti-influenced artists (who also design Mass Appeal magazine), Alife is innocuously wedged on the east side, surrounded by ghetto markets and budget retail stores. It’s impossible to find due to the absence of those really important things called “signs” but once you step inside, you’re in fashionista heaven. These guys carry stuff that no one else in the world has – literally. When Nike introduced their much-anticipated $500 Wovens, guess where they were exclusively sold? You got it.

The trend gurus also recently opened the much-talked about Alife Rivington Club. Description: A random door in the side of a building. No address, no signs, middle of nowhere. There’s a video camera that you look into. If they like what you’re wearing, the door pops open, you amble down a tortuous corridor and find yourself in a fully-furnished secret society meeting room for shoe-heads. Velvet couches, hushed tones and vintage Nikes, Adidas, etc. are encased in museum-like displays. Close mouth and wipe drool from chin.

Not only is Alife the coolest store in the universe, they run their own shoe line under the Ritefoot moniker. Last year, their designs were composed of Vans slip-on knockoffs with pastel argyle patterns. Simple enough, but NYC ate them up like Ray’s sundried-tomato pizza, satisfying the hunger for urban, street-cred shoes that could hold their own in the ruthless SoHo district. Their newest line is set to release in the next months and can be peeped at alifenyc.com."

from Relevant Magazine

There you go.


10,000 years (peace is now)

If you had 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste, and you had a deserted mountain in which to put it, and you wanted to keep people away, what would you do to dissuade people from tampering with the nuclear waste? What if you wanted to dissuade tampering for the next 10,000 years?

It's a tall order, but it's exactly what scientists at Yucca Mountain in Nevada are grappling with. " 'How do you possibly communicate with people 10,000 years from now?' asks Wendell Weart, who, as a senior scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories in the early 1990s, oversaw several panels of experts convened to do just that. 'You can almost be certain someone will drill into it with something. It's human nature.' "

The scientists and planners are looking at a number of options and scenarios, like "Earthen berms surrounding the site; large, scattered monuments showing warnings in pictograms and many languages; information centers above and below ground; buried magnets and metal objects to provide a "signature" for magnetic and radar detection; and repository archives dispersed around the world."

The Wall Street Journal has an article on this challenge, as well as some of the discussions surrounding it. Check it out: Early Warning: How to Alert Earthlings of Yucca's Waste (Scientists Devote Much Thought to Telling People in Year 12,000 to Avoid Nuclear Dump).

Thanks to DJ Gazpacho.



Cross-branding is nothing new. Like the TREK series of VWs, or the suite of Eddie Bauer SUVs made by Ford. Here's a cross-branded match that I don't totally understand, aside from the fact that they're both red and they both fit in your pocket.

Nextel has branded one of its cellphones with the look and feel of the Victorinox (Swiss Army) Knife. If you're interested, check it out. I have to say, though, it's a bit of a disconnect for me.


imagination at work

I've enjoyed GE's new ad campaign, Imagination at Work. I think they ramped up their advertising, as I saw a Flash ad online yesterday, followed by a print ad in my latest copy of Popular Science. They've done a good job of getting the message out that GE is a place of innovation and ideas, and they speak to different elements of GE's innovation ... inspiration, playfulness, fun, and the hero worship that is ubiquitous in the modern American business climate. Anyway, the ads are done really well (especially the sketchpad that you can doodle on and e-mail to a friend) ... although I tried sending a doodle to someone at GE, and it wouldn't let me. Hmmm.

Anyway, you can see all of them here.


the mind of a COO

Steven J. Hayer, COO at Coca-Cola, delivered a speech last week that encouraged the reevaluation of assumptions about advertising, marketing, and media in general. For the full text of his speech, visit AdAge.com. Here are some bits I thought were good:

Economic and social developments demand a new approach to connecting with audiences, with consumers:
• The economic landscape around media cost-efficiencies
• The escalation of property and sponsorship costs
• The trifecta that is the fragmentation and proliferation of media, and the consolidation in media ownership — soon to be followed by a wholesale unbundling.
• The erosion of mass markets
• The empowerment of consumers who now have an unrivaled ability to edit and avoid advertising and to shift day parts
• A consumer trend toward mass customization and personalization
• And the emergence of an experience-based economy, where cultural production is more important than physical production — cultural production is where Madison meets Vine.

I am describing a magnitude and urgency of change that isn't evolutionary — it's transformational. And as leaders in consumer packaged goods, Coca-Cola will go first.

Even after a record year at the Box Office, the studio executives among us better recognize that to utilize the same traditional media we do, will subject them to the same declines in its efficacy and threaten their results. And maybe even more important as creators of cultural currency, studios are substantially under-leveraging the value of their assets.

Note: "cultural currency." Neat term. Anyone heard it before? It's new to me, but it has power. Anyway ... back to Heyer:

Together we can be more and do more and make more than any of us can alone. If we do it right. If we do it differently than we've been doing it. If we innovate. If we each do what we're each best at ... and do it collaboratively. So how does Madison meet Vine? What's the intersection? It's not the property, the TV show, the movie, the music or the brand. It's why, where, and how we bring them together. And it is, as ever, about the consumer, all glued together by a powerful idea. It's the insight about people's passions and the connections we create — naturally and uniquely — between them and the equity in our brands. Cultural icons in brand context. Important events tied to important brands ... with an important reason why.

Because creating value around this bottle is the secret formula of Coca-Cola's success. Coca-Cola isn't black water with a little sugar and a lot of fizz anymore than one of your movies is celluloid digital bits and bytes, or one of your songs is a random collection of words and notes. Coca-Cola isn't a drink. It's an idea. Like great movies, like great music. Coca-Cola is a feeling. Coca-Cola is refreshment and connection. Always has been ... always will be.

We're headed to ideas. Not properties per se, but intellectual property. Ideas that bring entertainment value to our brands, and ideas that integrate our brands into entertainment.

We have more and better properties than any traditionally defined network, because we are a networked system. ... The Coca-Cola Company in the U.S. spends $1 million on advertising every day (!)

You need to start looking at Corporate America, at the Coca-Cola Company, not as a company with deep pockets... but as a company with deep capabilities. Vast reach and extraordinary potential. We destroy one another's value when it's just about money -- the dollar-only based model is not sustainable. We will neither pay nor play by these rules any longer. ... That's a new model for a new era. "An era of co-creation." It is what the Coca-Cola Company will insist on from its partners. But it isn't something The Coca-Cola Company can build alone. It's a model we need to build together ... at the intersection of Madison and Vine. We just put a big sign in the window — partners wanted. The Coca-Cola Company is open for business.

Thanks to Creative Generalist.


Real men don't send cards, or maybe they do...Take a peek in to the creative mindset at Hallmark courtesy of The Washington Post Magazine. Now I know why those darn greeting cards are so expensive. Writers at Hallmark can make upwards of $100,000 a year according to WPM. - - R. Schaffer

who / what / why

At Play we create brands, strategies, new products, and better cultures for Fortune 100 companies. Our formula for creativity: "Look at more stuff. Think about it harder." Pure Content is one place where we do that, daily.

the cool kids' table

Ben Domenech
(politics, football, and a boatload of know-how)

Creative Generalist
(if Pure Content had a doppelganger ...)

Heath Row
(punk + business
+ creativity = Heath)


go go gadget google:

stuck in an airport

A Pattern Language

Creative Company
Orbiting the Giant Hairball
The Ultimate Book of Business Creativity

The Little Prince

Wittgenstein's Poker

The Dancing Wu Li Masters

The Tipping Point

new to you

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see our neighbors
Comments by: YACCS