On our recent visit back to Tokyo, we picked up a bag of freshly-roasted espresso beans from Bear Pond Espresso at their cafe at On the Corner in Shibuya. We love the totally unbranded, shiny, silvery bag — it’s only markings are the roasting batch and date numbers.
This short video titled “This is a Generic Brand Video” was created entirely from stock video to go with the words of Kendra Eash’s clever and funny McSweeney’s Internet Tendency piece of the same title. It’s an amusing, masterful break down of advertising semiotics and visual style.
Among these billboard postings on Broome Street in New York’s Lower East Side is an ad for local classical-music radio station WQXR’s “Month of Mozart” program. As in some of the station’s previous marketing campaigns, the ads make reference to contemporary popular culture and employ a clever pun. In this case, the phrase ” I Am a Deus” references American hip-hop star Kanye West’s recent “I am A God” song and Mozart’s name. “Deus” is the Latin word for God and forms part of Mozart’s middle name, “Amadeus,” which was also the title of a 1984 film about the famous composer.
It lives … The Gucci-branded Fiat 500. We spotted this one in New York City’s East Village on the weekend. The Italian automaker has been doing some interesting things with its re-design and marketing of its classic 500 model (or Cinquecento, as it’s also known). With the launch of the new 500, Fiat embarked on an ambitious ad campaign and push into the U.S. market, which included a series of ads with Jennifer Lopez a couple of years ago. Gucci and Fiat are two massive, distinct Italian brands, but aside from their Italian roots, they’re vastly different: Luxury fashion-lifestyle vs. economy sub-compact cars that historically (before the current, re-designed 500) had a reputation for breaking down often.
A sparkly fresh new wheat-paste street art piece by the artist Raemann on Lafayette Street in NoHo, downtown New City. “Smart Air” is another in series of artworks that depict “bottled air” as a consumer product branded with the logos of popular bottled-water brands, such as Dasani, Perrier, Poland Spring, and, as pictured here, Smart Water.
We were in Paris a few months ago when some ad agency friends in the French capital turned us on to a new and ground-breaking food magazine and restaurants guide that is blowing up in France at the moment. The magazine is called “Fooding,” and it’s providing a fresh approach — in historically conservative culinary France, at least — to how people think and write about restaurants, dining and food. Its timing coincides with a generational and cultural shift in France (a rebellion, some might say) in how food is prepared and presented within the restaurant dining experience. It’s a big deal because classic French cuisine is amazing, but firmly established and thus, until recently, relatively strict, rigid in its ways, hidebound to traditional methods. Though primarily in French, Fooding (or “Le Fooding”) has a lot of reviews translated in English. We really like the look of the magazine, its layout, design, photography, illustrations and graphics, as the photos from the 2013 edition of the guide below show. And we really appreciate the craft and design of an actual printed magazine, especially now, at a time when so many us consume magazine content online or digitally and — seemingly almost as a reaction to that — he art of the the small-run print magazine is showing a resurgence.