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Design beats Advertising in a Social Media World.

Ideas will travel interview with Smart Design This fall I was lucky to be able to visit the headquarters of Smart Design in NYC. The global design firm is one of the recognized voices in the resurgence of design. Their iconic work features prominently in Gary Hustwit’s great documentary “Objectified” (Trailer here): a fascinating look at how designed things impact every second of our life. However, when I sat down with Smart Design’s... Read More

Inspiration as a Future Agency Model

. Interview with Piers Fawkes, founder of PSFK. When I first stumbled upon PSFK.com, I was fascinated by its seemingly all-encompassing, anything goes content. So, when I recently talked to the website’s founder Piers Fawkes, my hopes were high that he would wax poetic about the complexity of the PSFK system. However, these expectation were quickly smashed to bits: “It’s simple.”, said Fawkes, “our mission is to inspire... Read More

Why Facebook’s EdgeRank can make you invisible. And how to fight back.

Person or Brand – the Social Network’s algorithm now determines how relevant you are. Have you ever wondered who shows up in your Facebook TOP NEWS stream? And who does not? You probably felt that there’s a pattern behind it. You probably also felt you don’t have a clue what that pattern is. Facebook gave us a quick look at the math behind this, when they explained their EdgeRank algorithm at F8 developer conference in April.... Read More

Creativity is now a Mix of Science and Art.

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We used to be able to make pretty ads all by ourselves. But as the borderline between digital and traditional advertising is disappearing, so is the possibility of doing commercials as an individual sport. Thus, when I recently met Creative Director Juan Morales from SapientNitro in their Miami Beach office, I was curious about their creative culture. They seem to have found a way to use technology to surprise – and even bring forth a chuckle.... Read More

Suddenly, we can see Sustainability!

Boulder Digital Works is a new school for digital creatives. Fostering radical collaboration is one of it’s mottos. Still, I was surprised to find out that they are hosting an event for a Nut Butter company that seeks to radically improve its squeeze pack. World’s most famous ex-adman Alex Bogusky opened the summit with a list of issues that will radically influence brand communication. He compared them to the invisible Gorilla in the... Read More

American Express and the Rebirth of the Patron

Soul superstar John Legend said something memorable about his recent partnership with American Express on the “unstaged” series on YouTube/Vevo: “It was a relief to not have to worry about how well the songs would do on the radio.” (AdWeek 2010) In an ironic twist, Branded Entertainment seems to have created a space of artistic liberty that stands in fundamental opposition to the day-to-day economic burdens of a platinum selling... Read More

Miami Ad School: “Don’t be an advertiser. Be a Pop Culture Engineer.”

Interview with Miami Ad School President Pippa Seichrist For more than a decade, the Miami Ad School (Portfolio School) has been one of the most influential institutions for the ad industry. No other portfolio school has brought forth more award winners. One could even argue, that Miami’s ad industry would never have supported a Crispin Porter + Bogusky without the steady flow of MAS graduates. So when I sat down with the schools president Pippa... Read More

Finally, receipts are exciting – as a medium

Who would have thought that Miami Beach is a place for serendipity. I recently met with my friend Birame for lunch. Birame is one of the most creative people I know, but you will never see her in an ad agency. Because she does not invent commercials, she invents businesses. A couple of years ago she launched Musicphone. One of the first music sending and recognition services for cellphones. Eventually, Musicphone was sold. I knew she had been working... Read More

Social Networks Save the Holiday.

Costa Rican eco-lodge uses social media to win new customers in difficult times. It’s been a difficult year for tourism. Travelling is one of the first things private households cut in years of financial hardship. In an ironic twist, marketing is what the travel industry cuts in response. But that isn’t even an option for small hotels who mostly depend on tourists being sent their way. Or, to be more precise, used to be dependent on that.... Read More

The trouble with community journalism

In Alexandra Township, the work of media trainees is valuable, but not bankable. As part of the Ideas Will Travel project, I was allowed to spend some days with Siyakhona Africa in Alexandra, Johannesburg. Siyakhona is a joint CSR project by FIFA, Sony, and streetfootballworld to create communal education and providing media training to young South Africans from poor neighborhoods. The Worldcup provided a perfect kickoff opportunity for the project.... Read More

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