Posts Tagged 'brand extension'

the fifth dimension

Various forms of technology that once existed solely on the desktop are becoming increasingly interwoven into the broader spectrum of everyday activities.

They bring extra layers of detail, interaction, or entertainment to analogue experiences, allowing technology to come to us, instead of the other way round.

For example, Google Maps mashups and Layar add a richness of detail to physical locations.

Meanwhile, apps like foursquare and Gowalla are taking social network into real-world interactions.

But the possibilities of augmented reality (AR) are the ones I find most exciting.

If we look beyond the novelty that characterised much early AR, and explore instead the ways in which normal, everyday objects can become interfaces that trigger a ‘fifth dimension’ of reality, things get very interesting.

Suddenly, everything can become so much more than it already is.

This has massive potential for every brand in every category around the world – from the simplest to the most complex.

Ever the pioneer, Adidas has been exploring what that might mean for its shoes.

Not content to limit itself to producing hugely popular fashion items, the brand has recognised that its products can deliver even more value through this fifth dimension:

Watch out for an explosion of activity like this from other brands in the coming months.

Many thanks again to Alexander and the whole Cultural Fuel team for sharing yet another gem.

cut out and keep

Hypebeast and Today and Tomorrow have already featured this fantastic partnership between Lego and Muji, but it deserves more than a quick twitter link.

The concept is so simple that I’m sure children all over the world already have their own version.

However, there’s nothing wrong with brands celebrating existing behaviour.

The reason this partnership works so well is that it builds on the essences of both brands: Lego’s boundless creativity, and Muji’s delightful simplicity.

Here are some more images borrowed from the original Yoshikage Kajiwara post (in Japanese):

On a related note, take a look at this glorious anthropological study of Lego ‘nomenclature’, and this inspiring post from Russell Davies on the importance of imagination in play, communications, and the world in general.

Many thanks to PSFK for alerting me to the Muji partnership and nomenclature posts.
UPDATE: John seems to like this too… what is it about planners and Lego?

in the flesh

flesh imp bk have it your way

Geb over at Ruby Pseudo shared an interesting perspective on youth marketing recently.

The opening line of the post sums it up:

“Not many brands ‘get’ the youth market; they’re either too in-your-face, or try too hard to be ‘down with the kids’.”

Some brands do get it right though, as demonstrated by a recent partnership between Burger King and a Singaporean fashion brand, Flesh Imp.

Flesh Imp have designed a range of items as part of the tie-up, including some great T-shirts and headwear, and have implemented some engaging in-store activity too.

The result feels very natural: a hint of self-deprecating irony from both brands builds their respective personalities by showing that neither takes itself too seriously.

Nicholas at Flesh Imp gave me a bit of background to the whole collaboration, but it’s probably easiest to let some pictures from the brand’s flickr tell the story instead:

flesh imp bk king playing card T

‘King’ playing card T

flesh imp bk packaging

T-shirts come packed in great ‘take-away’ boxes

flesh imp bk window dressing

The window dressing at the chain’s flagship store

flesh imp bk king T close up

‘King’ T close up

flesh imp bk girls' have it your way

Have it your way…

flesh imp bk cap

Limited edition headwear

flesh imp bk delivering your purchase

Here’s your order

The brand has put together a great Facebook profile that shows more of the collaboration:

flesh imp bk facebook

[click image to enlarge]

The whole tie-up fits nicely with the global BK Studio initiative – something that Flesh Imp have helped the brand with before:

BK isn’t the only multinational brand that Flesh Imp has collaborated with though.

This clip gives a taste of some great work they produced on behalf of Coke Zero, again in Singapore:

They did a great line for the Transformers movie too:

flesh imp 3d transformers

Flesh Imp 3D Transformers T

The magic ingredient that makes all these tie-ups work is authenticity: Flesh Imp manages to find an overlap in relevance between these large brands’ positionings and its own irreverent personality.

There’s a similarity to the Adidas Originals approach:

The difference is that Flesh Imp creates success for partner brands as well as its own, connecting them with a more cynical, younger audience.

As Nicholas pointed out, how many ad agencies could achieve that kind of impact?

As Ruby might say… Nice.

See more on the Flesh Imp tie-ups on their official blog, facebook and flickr sites.

slick on both sides

mos def album

PSFK reports that Mos Def has launched his new album as a t-shirt.

At first, this struck me as a pretentious PR act.

But further reflection reveals a mastery of audience insight.

In a world where illegal downloads are commonplace, what alternative channels can commercial artists harness?

The music t-shirt has long been a valuable source of social expression; they’re what Hugh MacLeod might term ‘social objects‘.

So making the t-shirt the core product, and providing access to the music via a link on the hang tag, is a masterstroke of contemporary marketing.

Mos’s approach identifies the expressive benefit of ownership, and amplifies that very same expressive element.

Brilliant.

With thanks to PSFK for the info and image, and much kudos to Mos Def

makku

quarter pounder

[screenshot from quarter-pounder]

notcot reckons these new burger outlets in tokyo’s omotesando and shibuya east districts are by mcdonald’s.

a very different approach to the chain’s traditional family focus, these restaurants are clearly targeting tokyo’s coolest.

the only thing on the menu is the quarter-pounder.

there doesn’t seem to be any mention of mcdonald’s on the website though, which makes this all the more intriguing.

if it really is mcdonald’s, it’s a very interesting piece of portfolio planning that takes the brand far away from ronald and the golden arches.

find out more here | from notcot



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