Category Archives: technology

Leo Burnett: Samsung | Ostrich

At the end of March, ad agency Leo Burnett (Chicago) released the advert commissioned by Samsung which premiered at Unpacked‘, the launch event for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. 

What happens if you refuse to listen to what “can’t be done?” Samsung believes the only way to achieve the impossible is by refusing to accept anything is. #DoWhatYouCant

The idea focuses on an Ostrich’s dreams coming true after stumbling across a VR headset and experiencing flight simulation (fyi Ostriches can’t fly – they’re built for running), alongside the iconic Elton John song ‘Rocket Man’.
Leo Burnett is the talk of the advertising town with this adorable, hopeful advert. It’s definitely a hit, and I think it works even better with an Ostrich than it perhaps would with humans as the main focal point.
There’s a lot of really really awful crappy advertising at the moment, and I’m struggling to be inspired by creative TV ad concepts… but this ‘dreams come true’ concept is pure genius. If this doesn’t win an award, I’ll eat my hat!

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All the Things

Motion Designer Chris Guyot worked with 3D Designer Paul McMahon (‘The Rusted Pixel’) on this bizarre and colourful animation. ‘All The Things’ is a “collection of individual narratives, unified by a cohesive style.” It’s interesting to read about the concept behind each narrative, but even without any back story I like the random compilation of scenes.

The full creative process can be viewed here on Behance.

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D&AD Identity 2017: The Beautiful Meme

Agency ‘The Beautiful Meme’ have been commissioned by D&AD again to design the creative for the 2017 D&AD Festival. The iconic D&AD Pencils have been animated alongside textures, designed to individually represent the award levels or categories from the D&AD Professional Awards.

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Ben Haworth, Creative Director says:

In advertising and design the D&AD pencil, the symbol of excellence, is ever-present. Around it the industry is weft and warp and flux. Nothing stays still and that’s as it should be. That’s what this year’s identity is about.

This amalgamation of 3D, geometry and motion design is proving to be a very popular design trend, and this has to be my favourite identity for D&AD to date. I particularly love the black Pencil above as it’s using just one colour (bar the yellow D&AD logo), which also happens to be my favourite colour… Also, the animation reflects the popular gif culture that has taken over the art and design world, with the designs working well as both statics and animations.

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Nokia 3310 is My Ultimate Nostalgia: Will the New Version Destroy my Childhood Memories?

I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed, I read “the Nokia 3310 is being resurrected” and my first thought is a negative one: “there’s no way they will recreate the original Nokia 3310 in all it’s shit brick glory!” Well, I was right! The first, and most obvious change is that the 2017 ‘version’ has a colour screen, as it runs on Series 30. It also has a 2MP camera phone and a web browser. WTF.
I’m being precious, I’m being judgmental. I can’t help it – 2000 was the beginning of advanced phone technology, and my generation was a part of it. I was given my first phone at the tender age of 11, and spent a lot of my hard earned money on polyphonic ringtones and custom phone cases (Winnie the Pooh and Playboy Bunny being two of my favourites). After I had enough money I soon upgraded to a Motorola flip phone (still on pay-as-you-go, obviously) but secretly still enjoyed playing Snake on my mum’s 3310. Talking of Snake (one of the most iconic games in history) the new 3310 actually features the game, but visually it just doesn’t feel nostalgic for me – as mentioned above, firstly, the screen is in colour so that’s pretty heartbreaking, and secondly it has been replaced by a multi-directional navigation version, rather than the classic up down left and right. We don’t need any more directions!

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The new 3310 was revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday and was created by new mobile firm HMD Global, which licensed the Nokia brand last year. There are some improvements that might increase its appeal – apart from the new features mentioned above, it has almost halved in weight (so can no longer be referred to as ‘The Brick’ RIP), has a month (standby) battery life, is a third of the price (£42 rather than £129.99), uses a microUSB charge and has a micro SD card slot.
Here’s my problem with the new version of my beloved Brick: the aesthetics (and I presume the actual feel of the phone) are similar like the QWERTY keyboard and removable back, but who will be buying this if it isn’t identical to the original? Upon first hearing about the remake, I assumed the target market would be collectors and nineties kids. People going away on holiday usually don’t have to worry about charges abroad or phone damage because most people have contracts that allow for calls abroad and phone insurance. There’s no WiFi and no range of apps like the essentials Facebook and WhatsApp, so the only people I can imagine this would be suitable for is OAPs who struggle to adapt to technology and want simple call functions.

Penned as the the “detox phone”, I think Nokia’s aim for the the resurrection of the Nokia 3310 is to appeal as a cheap indestructible backup phone, riding on the back of a classic. Honestly, I don’t think people should be saying “The Nokia 3310 is back”, because it simply is not the same. It will be interesting to see how HMD Global market this phone – will they use nostalgia or endurance as their POS?
So, who is it for? You can buy basic phones for under £20 (we bought one for my grandparents) so drug dealers and festival goers won’t care, and it can’t be aimed at hipster techies because it isn’t the same phone…

 

Check out the demonstration by the Telegraph below:

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Spotlight: Daniel Arsham

Contemporary artist Daniel Arsham has created some fantastic and very popular work, but one project has caught my eye. ‘Future Relics’ features a series of fossilised contemporary items such as cameras, Walkmans, phones, furniture and clothing. Based on Arsham’s theory that mundane objects will soon become completely obsolete, he created “future versions” of objects, cast in white ash and other materials like glacial rock dust, ground volcanic glass, hydrostone, rose quartz, and steel. To create the crystallised objects, Arsham casts a mould of the object; crushed calcite is then pressed into the moulds with a binding agent, and if wax is added to the mould in certain areas, it causes those parts to not bind. The effect is amazing…

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Things we associate with the present, as if they were crystallised over millennia.

Arsham created over 3000 pieces for exhibitions including ‘The Future is Always Now’ and ‘Remember the Future’ alongside a film series, focusing on a world many years down the line, in which a major and transformative ecological shift has occurred.
Arsham collected a tone of objects for this project, mainly from eBay! He has said that he started to think of eBay as a “bizarre Library of Alexandria”, but these mundane objects weren’t all Arsham used for fossilisation. Visit his website or his instagram to see more stunning images:

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They are so bizarrely satisfying to look at.

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ANZ: #HoldTight

In the lead up to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival, ANZ bank have released a campaign specifically focusing on LGBTQI couples and their reluctance to hold hands in public. Agencies TBWA Melbourne and TBWA Auckland aimed to highlight this problem and encourage people across New Zealand and Australia, and beyond, to show their support.
The campaign is based on research commissioned by ANZ which discovered that members of the LGBTIQ community were three times more likely (39%) to feel uncomfortable holding hands in public. In Australia, they are more than twice as likely (52%) than non-LGBTI (14%) to have felt uncomfortable performing the most basic gesture of love: holding hands in public. Also, while the vast majority of New Zealanders (95%) agree that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should feel comfortable holding hands in public, less than half of the LGBTI community (39%) truly feel comfortable doing so. Similarly, in Australia, 94% of people support everyone feeling comfortable with this show of affection, but only (43%) actually say they feel very comfortable. What a sad reality, and something we all definitely take for granted.

As part of a broader social campaign, in collaboration with Twitter, a custom emoji was developed alongside the hashtag #HoldTight. The campaign launched the ad (above) accompanied by stories told by ANZ staff:

Additionally, they also developed a limited edition custom wristband (featuring the same heart-shaped emoji hands), which will light up when people hold hands. The wristbands will be worn by attendees at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Auckland Pride Festival:

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Carolyn Bendall, head of marketing at ANZ said:

ANZ is using #HoldTight as a platform to share an important message about diversity, inclusion and respect and to help people understand the challenges that many members of the LGBTIQ community face. We hope to make a difference by encouraging the wider public to join in the conversation and show their support.

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Vicious Cycle

Vicious Cycle by Michael Marczewski features a group of robots performing a range of repetitive functions. Driven by mechanical devices, the machines speed up and the robots struggle to cope. Aside from the bizarre and mesmerizing animation, I love the colours and typeface Michael used for this animation!
You can watch the making of here.

Of course Michael works as a motion designer at ManvsMachine! What a guy.

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Spotlight: Fyn Ng

In a world where flat colour and long shadows are the go-to design trends, motion designer Fyn Ng has turned design on its head. Playing with 2D UI, Fyn has created stunning 3D versions of everyday technology.
Fyn mixes texture, nature and everyday objects to create surreal 3D narratives using brands like Google, Facebook and Apple.

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Looking on his portfolio, I actually prefer his daily 3D renders, weekly series project over his professional work. What a great collection of downtime work! Check out his Instagram for more.

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Instagram vs. Snapchat vs. Facebook

Back in late 2016 Facebook launched augmented reality selfie masks for Live video – much like the already very popular Snapchat filters. Facebook acquired MSQRD in March 2016, and briefly tested using a similar technology with Olympic-themed masks for traditional photos and videos (only in Canada and Brazil).
I’ve never actually gone Live on Facebook, so I can’t say I’ve tried this feature myself, but I am a huge Snapchat user, and a big fan of the filters. Facebook is now apparently communicating with Hollywood studios to use the animated masks to promote big-budget movies on Facebook. As mentioned above, Facebook already allows filters over the Live videos, but unlike Snapchat brands have not been allowed to feature their own filters.

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Snapchat popularised augmented reality in mobile messaging back in the day – they are the OGs of mask filters – and have had a tone of brands using their service to promote their brand or campaign. The difference between Snapchat and Facebook (and Instagram) is that Facebook and Instagram reach far bigger audiences, whereas Snapchat is seen as a platform for friends.
This isn’t the only feature Facebook has “stolen” from Snapchat – Facebook previously put a Stories section on Instagram, and are currently testing a similar section in its Facebook app. Facebook’s Stories include augmented reality special effects, but that test is currently only limited to Ireland.

Its been stated that marketers and brands prefer the stories feature on Instagram, because Snapchat doesn’t embrace brands the way Instagram does. Instagram makes it easy to follow brands and like their posts – there’s no ‘like’ features on Snapchat, and it’s harder to follow accounts because users have to know exact names to find them (something I find very annoying…). Instagram’s search UI is far superior, in my opinion.
Dan Grossman, vice president of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia summed up the difference pretty well:

Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform. Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.

As a Snapchat fan, when Instagram first rolled out the Stories feature, I was very hesitant. Now, I actually forget to use Snapchat and usually head for Instagram Stories to post my daily activities. The amount of money Facebook are putting into these new app features are, in my opinion, going to destroy Snapchat. Why would I use 2 platforms that do the same thing, when I can just use one? It’s likely that Facebook and Instagram will link their publishing of stories at some point.

(P.S. that is not me in the header image)
(P.P.S I’ve never written “Facebook” so many times in my life)

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Mainframe: For Approval

Look at those renders. Motion Graphics studio Mainframe took an idea for a downtime project by using recognised objects and movements, and turned them on their head. For Approval is a combination of seamless motion graphics elevated by the work of sound designer Max Greening. Chris Hardcastle (Mainframe, Manchester) says that the concept was “simply to subvert the physical properties of objects and materials and have some fun with a viewer’s expectations of how those things should behave”.

I could literally watch this on loop all day. Also, love the art direction.

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