The poet Jean Cocteau once said, “Style is a simple way of saying complicated things”, and as I watch contractors unscrew the tents on 62nd street I feel like there is something very complicated going on. The pendulum of design that swings between function and luxury often creates a chasm between those who need and those want.
That is why these Diane Von Furstenberg hospital gowns being produced for the Cleveland Clinic are so interesting to me.
A high end fashion designer takes a job to design the least attractive, least properly functioning clothing imaginable. Finding a challenge in recreating the banal and plebeian (see Last Train Home) is often worth more than the flash in the bottle because it’s more universal, it transcends.
The shoe company Palladium (a Brand I’ve been sporting for a minute) recently dropped a doc called Detroit Lives, in which Johnny Knoxville, yeah that Johnny Knoxville, tours a city on the brink of collapse, and imagines it as an emblem of the resilient American spirit that it embodies. The doc brings home the idea that art can galvanize and uplift, that beauty in the face of demolition, destruction and despondence can create perseverance. ’nuff respect to both!
The Slate article debates – what are these… films? Commercials, short-films, advertising films, mini-films? No matter how you slice it – these have been going on for quite some time. For example, David Lynch directed Benecio Del Toro and Heather Graham (he’s aged/she hasn’t) in 1988 for Calvin Klein’s Obsession.
Why do we watch these films? What’s there importance? Are they important? As Sasha Watson said in her article we watch because of the vagaries of these projects.
Vagary – an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.
Very well put Sasha.
That – it seems – is art. Even if the art is intended for us to consider the brand and their products – it’s still enough to make us see life within a new context and that is what art is supposed to do. The other truth beneath the surface is perhaps major film directors need the work from fashion houses more than ever before and fashion houses need to diversify their brand platform so they invest in some high-profile visual stimulation. A little of both perhaps?
Enjoy Lagerfeld’s Chanel short-film where everyone from Coco, Bardot, and other famous fashion legends/luminaries in the background and the foreground as Lagerfled pays homage to the 70s and beyond.
Will.I.AM reminds me of Ashton Kutcher. They have huge followings and realize the importance of courting the favor of heavy corporate hitters. Instead of shrinking into the label of ‘artist’ they are becoming their own captains of their brands and business. And they realize how important it can be to be an early adopter for technology. The Black Eyed Peas conceived a song (I Gotta Feeling)that will play at every major function forever and have woven their sponsors into their day to day business. Hopefully they will be able to pull a little Bono action and leverage their connections for big change. The Black Eyed Peas are building an empire. Get out of the way or join in. This article gives a great look into their business deals.
Getting brands integrated into films or TV shows can be done thoughtfully and without distraction. The key is to get the brands involved in the creative process at an earlier entry point. This gives the principal creatives time to figure out how to incorporate it. The worst is when a brand gets shoved down the throats of the creative team and then the integration is unsightly and distracting. Most brands only want to get involved in ‘winners’ and are afraid to get involved in the messy creative process because it involves loosening the grip on their brands. Brands should take some more chances and understand that failing is part of the process of getting that perfect integration. Because when someone cool in a movie or TV show uses your product – that can be worth a generation of advertising budgets.
Toys have long been thought of as the after effect of a franchise. Its an additional revenue stream after TV and movies established the characters or its been a longstanding toy that is turned into a movie. But in the new age of toy companies leveraging their assets in savvier ways – Mattel is revolutionizing their R+D process. Instead of relying on Hollywood to drive the ship – Mattel is taking matters into their own hands. They asked their developers for new toy ideas that can be turned into properties – took the top five and picked the best one. By creating a new line of toys with its own back story and hiring producer Neal Mortiz (Fast and the Furious), Mattel is taking control of their ‘transmedia’ options. Transmedia being the ability to spinoff their product into every conceivable market. – play with, see, hear and eat. Now they can control all parts of the process. By exercising more control over the creative – Mattel will enjoy more equity and more financial responsibility for the product.
Brilliant marketing by Ralph Lauren. This is a fashion show online with commentary and the ability to purchase items as they walk towards you. There is a big trend across all industries of cutting out the middle men or the ‘arbiters’ and going straight to the consumer. Online shopping first made its mark because of the convenience factor but now retailers are realizing that creating an embedded experience for online shopping is important.
Food programming will continue its meteoric rise because its brand friendly, relatable to everyone and has great visuals. Its amazing that some people thought the Food Network would never work because you couldn’t ‘taste the food’. Having brands that can easily integrate into the programming helps protect the ad revenue against time shifting and TV anywhere. All major food brands should be looking to create their own branded material – Instead of waiting to be invited into a show. Your advertising teams are letting you down!