Saturday, February 28, 2009

J-Lo's Natural Hat Trick

When I say "J-Lo got a natural hat trick tonight", I don't mean this:
What I mean is: Jason Lawrence (J-Lo) #21 from the BU Terriers scored three consecutive goals tonight against the UMass Amherst Minutemen.
A hat trick in hockey is when a player scores three goals in a game, so a natural hat trick is if those goals are consecutive.  Watch J-Lo's amazing goals here.  The Terriers play the Minutemen again Saturday night at BU's Agganis Arena at 8 pm.

As for my favorite hat: The Panama Fedora!  All versions of this classic hat work today.
Okay, maybe not this one from my favorite movie My Fair Lady, but isn't it gorgeous.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Arnell Group, a brand's biggest nightmare?

Ever since the new year, I have been feeling that things are a bit off.  It began when I walked into Campus Convenience to buy orange juice (I've been sick for the last month), and when I bent down to pick up a carton of Tropicana orange juice, the carton looked overly orange. At that moment, I had a mental struggle, and thought to myself: Is this the right carton of orange juice I have been buying forever?

I bought it anyways because it was the only brand of carton orange juice the store had, but I felt uncomfortable drinking orange juice from an overly simplified, sans-serified Tropicana orange juice.

This new design was done by Arnell Group, 'a multi-disciplinary brand and product invention company' (brand consultants?).  *UPDATE: Tropicana has decided to go back to the old carton design, but keep the NEW orange 'squeeze' top that replicates the process of squeezing oranges every time you open the carton.  THIS IS COOL!  

Arnell is also responsible for the Pepsi logo change (I don't like Pepsi to begin with so I don't care, but Pepsi's logo change also made me feel weird).  Not to totally discredit Arnell Group, they have elevated some brands that I recognize like Bank of America, DKNY and Banana Republic.  However...  

I thought every marketer has learned NEVER to drastically change a brand that has always done well.  I don't understand how Pepsi (a huge competitor to Coca-Cola, who is very brand consistent) could let 'a multi-disciplinary brand and product invention company' tell them to CHANGE THEIR LOGO. Oh my god, those new bottles are hideous, looks like a graphic designer's school project.
Brand schizophrenia is not uncommon, but if Tiffany & Co. decides to change its font to Helvetica and change Tiffany Blue to Seafoam green I will go bezerk. Or, if McDonalds decides to widen its arches because it increases wind flow which increases profits I will lose faith in marketers.  

If I was a brand right now and Arnell pitched me an idea... STAY AWAY (or think really hard about the consumers that have been supporting your brand and the mental struggle you may cause them).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hilary Duff & the Rise of Hockey

I was never a big fan of post-Lizzie McGuire Hilary Duff, but now I think I am a fan because she is a fan of hockey.  She's dating professional hockey player Mike Comrie of the NY Islanders, so I guess she's obligated to like the sport.  Here is why Hilary Duff is good for hockey:
Many Americans (even sports fans) say hockey is irrelevant, and is not as popular as football or basketball.  You can argue hockey is limited to cold areas (Anaheim Ducks?).  Chances are anti-hockey sports fans have never been to a live hockey game, and there is NOTHING like it--the fans, the fights and goals.  
Even Hilary Duff agrees that hockey fans are intense and she's getting into the sport:
 "The first couple of games I went to, I'm like, 'These people are nuts,' They are, like, so into it. And then, I got really into it once I started learning about the game."

Conclusion: Hockey is amazing, and fans of hockey are fans of hockey fans.

Go Bruins! Go Terriers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Personal Plug #3 - ELIE TAHARI site redesign: mood boards

I am redesigning the ELIE TAHARI website in my web design class, because the current site is very web 1.0 (no flash or interactivity) and doesn't reflect the sophistication, workmanship and femininity of its designs. Also, ELIE TAHARI seeks to push its designs globally so it definitely needs to update its website.

Current ELIE TAHARI site:
The current site is bland. I've completed a competitive analysis, creative strategy, site map and wireframes... but my favorite part of the class so far is creating mood boards to determine the look and feel of the site redesign.

I used an article from W Magazine (October 2008) to gain insight and inspiration into the ELIE TAHARI brand:
  • W Mag says, "Tahari is a master of distilling current trends into high-quality, reality clothes for the fashion wise but not obsessed woman."
  • Rory Tahari (Elie Tahari's wife) says, "If it's not sexy, it's not Elie Tahari. I'll tell you that."
I've created two mood boards to represent different ends of the brand spectrum:
I haven't decided which "mood" I want to go along with. I like that the "city social" board reflects real life but the "bond girl" board can work well globally. Either way, I'm excited with how my project is going and can't wait to work on the actual site design. Which "mood" do you think I should choose, City Social or Bond Girl?

I love the 60s + Robert McGinnis

As I am doing research on the lifestyle of Bond Girls (No, I am not changing vocations.  It's for my web design class, which I'm redesigning the ELIE TAHARI website), I stumble across illustrations from the 60s by Robert McGinnis: 
I wish I lived in the 60s so I could have big updos, false lashes and heavy eyeliner.  
Here's one that you all might recognize.  McGinnis also designed this poster:
What's crazy is that this illustration style is coming back and are present TODAY in Stella Artois 4% ads by agency Mother UK.  Long live the glamorous 60s.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Best of Oscar 2009 - Gowns, Moments & Ads

The Oscar "it" dress this year is definitely Marisa Tomei's Versace dress that reminds me of Chanel's "paper" inspired 2009 Spring Collection.  The detailing and train is amazing and I love how simple her make up and hair was.

My favorite Oscar look goes to Angelina Jolie, because I love emeralds and those earrings are beautiful:

Counting down my favorite Oscar moments:
4. Man on Wire documentary recipient does coin magic and balances oscar on head
3. Performance of Slumdog Millionaire original song "Jai-ho"
2. MILK Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black's acceptance speech on gay rights
1. When Animated Short winner Kunio Kato says, 
"Domo arigato Mr. Roboto" live at the Oscars

Oscars was an overall WIN for advertisers, much better than anything from this year's Super Bowl.  Also, the examples below really show that people will listen if you have a positive message:

Diet Coke's Oscar commercials utilized the star power of model Heidi Klum and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio but also cleverly introduced Diet Coke's support of The Heart Truth charity.  Heidi promoted the diamond and ruby red dress charms that support Women's heart health on the red carpet (while coincidently wearing a red gown).  The relevance of the "red color" and charity to its consumer base is really what drives this campaign.  I'm totally pro-coke and boo-pepsi-logo-change. 
True North hit the target perfectly with its inspiring "True North Stories" about people in the US who are making positive changes in society.  The first example was of a former police woman who runs a chain of restaurants that serves homeless people and provides them with job training.  Another story is of a woman that plants trees in the Bronx.  True North sells natural snacks and product shots didn't come until the end of the commercials, which I respect very much.  Great ads and corresponding microsite... LOVE the pistachio chips!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

BU Hockey 101

Last night's home game against Northeastern (#4) ended up in a tie 2-2.  Tonight the BU Terriers (#1) play the Huskies, and the game is in the third right now BU 1-0.  Anyways, I'm not only a BU Ice Hockey fan, but a fan of GREAT hockey, and this year's team plays nothing but great hockey.

For those who don't understand my insane obsession with hockey here are some (shit, i'm listening to the BU/NU game live and NU just tied it in the third)... anyways back to what I was saying.  Here is a quick tutorial on the tradition of BU Hockey:

1. Watch the movie Miracle.  Key players of the movie are Terrier alum (Craig, Eruzione, O'Callahan), and the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey game is considered the most inspirational moment in sports history.  

2. You Tube BU Ice Hockey or BU Dog Pound.  BU Ice Hockey fans are considered some of the meanest and most dedicated fans (F*ck'em up, F*ck'em up, BC SUCKS).

3. Check out for updates.

*As I type the Northeastern/BU game has gone into overtime (again)... both teams are fighting for the top spot of Hockey East.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Personal Plug #2 - Boo BC

For my Art Direction class we had to choose something we disliked and communicate it visually. Here's what I came up with:

I dislike BC Superfans and BC hockey mainly because:
1) Last year, they took every title there is.
2) There is no doubt BU/BC is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports.
3) BC Superfans wear dumb mustard yellow t-shirts.
4) Boston College is not even in Boston, it's in Chestnut Hill.

The photo is credited to the BU Athletics site and was taken at the Beanpot Championship this year where we annihilated Northeastern (who we will be playing tonight at Agganis Arena... can't wait!). Anyways, I'm in the photo, second row, center.

As for today's "do" and "don't".
Do: Support Lil' Mama. The best part of watching America's Best Dance Crew isn't just to see Beat Freaks blow the competition away, but to hear Lil' Mama talk. Y'all need to COME HARD. COME. HARD. I've never heard anyone emphasize every syllable of words like "strat-e-gize" and "in-tri-cate". She comes up with uses for words that don't exist... word to you Lil' Mama for be-ing sooo YOU-nique.
Don't: Support Mario Lopez's anything. Most irrelevant host for anything... just stop Mario... I beg you STOPPPPPP.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

UK Rocks

Before I studied abroad in London, I was an alternative, pop punk, screamo, mainstream music kind of girl (The Starting Line, Senses Fail, Mae, etc).  Then after going to free shows and crazy raves in Brick Lane, Old Street and Camden, I realized there's a lot more than just Lil Wayne and T.I. Electronic music is AWESOME... makes you wanna convulse like you have a seizure and there's no dirty grinding involved. 

If going to London is too far to experience cool music, here are some UK sites: 

The Ting Tings aren't bad, but two other UK groups that I think deserve more attention are the Foals (fav song: "Cassius" and "The Race for Radio Supremacy") and Belleruche (fav song: "Northern Girls" and "The Itch").  However, an overdose of European music can get you longing for Top 40... I know every time I heard Britney Spears in London I got excited.  No one will ever top Britney. 

Personal Plug #1 - Lyrical Layouts

I presented my "lyrical layout" in my Design in Communications class today. The assignment is to depict a song through type. My song: Electric Feel by MGMT (great song!). Her hair is the song title in varied opacities of black (we were limited to two ink colors). My favorite parts are her eyelashes and nostril which are made of letters. Guess who the girl is...

Mary-Kate Olsen.
Finally, today's "do" and "don't".
Do: Take your senior portraits. I finally dragged myself to a portrait appointment and sat through five minutes of awkward poses (I hate the cupped-fist-under-your-chin-I'm-an-angel pose). The good thing is that if I become famous my picture will be in the BU yearbook! Also, it's proof I graduated and great subject matter for future blog posts (look for it).
Don't: Order your senior portraits. Besides placing it in the center of your parent's living room, there is no need to pay $100 for three 8x10s and a million wallets. This isn't high school where you trade yearbook photos and then play war with your friends comparing who's prettier than who. I would totally win if we were comparing hair quality and length.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good Boys Bad Boys

Today's "do" and "don't" clearly show that Good guys DON'T finish last

Do: See Shepard Fairey's exhibit at the ICA Boston.  Shepard Fairey is the brain behind OBEY's trademark black and white giant.  More recently, he created the HOPE Obama poster. Besides his street art being politically arousing with mass appeal, this dude started a viral phenomenon in college at RISD through his photocopied/silkscreened 'Andre the Giant has a posse' stickers.  German Philosopher Martin Heidegger explains this phenomenology as "the process of letting things manifest themselves."  Andre the Giant is viral marketing at its best. 
Fairey helps charities through the sales of his t-shirts and backs new artists.  I think Ad people can learn from Shepard Fairey.  This guy is amazing... check it out at the ICA (Courthouse stop on the Silver T Line, Free for BU students).

Don't: Pull a Chris Brown. We all know Chris Brown and Rihanna are getting the PR of their lives right now... but not the right kind.  Boys, please don't beat your girlfriends.  Now listening to Chris Brown's ballads are just depressing.  Plus side, we can use 'Chris Brown' as a verb (i.e. Don't try to Chris Brown me or I'll call the Po-Po).