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Posts Tagged ‘branding

“All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless!”*…

 

daniel-gebhart-de-koekkoek-a-guide-to-being-better-photography-itsnicethat-13

 

Chindōgu is the art of inventing seemingly practical but ultimately useless gadgets to enhance everyday life. Popularised in Japan in the 90s by its creator, Kenji Kawakami, it was originally just a comical section that appeared in his monthly magazine, Mail Order Life. From fans attached to your chopsticks that cool your food before you eat it, to a Pritt Stick of butter that allows for easy application onto your toast, chindōgu is the perfect balance between ingenuity and absurdity.

As such, it instantly grabbed the attention of Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek…

To date, there are over 1000 official chindōgu items in existence. Poetic and political in nature, they are comments on the state of consumerist culture and the materialism of modern life. They poke at fun at our reliance on technology and inability to carry out basic tasks like administering eye drops. Though humorous, chindōgu has a set of rules – a list of ten commandments, in fact – that must be adhered to. They are as follows: Chindōgu must be (almost) completely useless; must exist (they should be real, useable objects); must represent freedom of thought and action; must be understood by all (its function should not be obscure); must not be sold (they are not tradable commodities); must not be made purely for the sake of humour (it should also be an earnest attempt to solve a problem); must not be used as propaganda; must not be taboo (cheap sexual humour etc.); must not be patented; and must not be made with prejudice (they must be useable by everyone, young and old, rich and poor).

A perfect fit with the other tongue-in-cheek projects that make up his portfolio, including his Make Alpaca Great Again series… Daniel knew he had to find a way to shoot this phenomenon…

More at: “Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek recreates the ingenious yet useless inventions of Chindōgu.”

* Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

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As we investigate intention, we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that the Coca-Cola Company, concerned that it had been loosing share to the sweeter offerings of competitors like Pepsi, introduced Coke II (or “New Coke, ” as it was widely known).  Consumer reaction was swift– and profoundly negative.  Three months later, Coke caved, reintroducing the original formula (rebranded as Coca-Cola Classic)– and enjoyed a boost in sales… leading some charitably to suggest that New Coke was just a ploy.  But the company maintained that it was absolutely for real…  and the episode has become a cautionary example of the dangers in tampering with an established product/brand.

New_Coke_can source

Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday!

 

 

Written by LW

April 23, 2019 at 1:01 am

“I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member”*…

 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Our Motto, 1883

For all of their esoteric ways, America’s early secrets societies were remarkable branding machines. They had their own slogans, their own fashions, and their own symbols and colors. They even had their own manufacturing industry that produced and sold all of these items for mass consumption.

“The secrets function less for the concealing of information than as a bonding mechanism for members,” write the authors of As Above, So Below Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850-1930, a new book about the golden age of secret societies in America. These groups functioned not unlike street fashion or indie music—in which secret societies have contemporary corollaries—by offering experiences cloaked in hierarchy and mystery, designed to bond members together and transform their lives…

More at “The Bizarre Branding Of America’s Many, Many Secret Societies.”

* Groucho Marx

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As we chant our oaths, we might pause to celebrate National Multiple Personality Day, celebrated on this date each year.  While NMPD is an occasion to raise awareness of Multiple Personality Disorder, now more commonly known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, it is also an opportunity for the exploration of one’s own– not always consistent– personality traits.

 source

 

Written by LW

March 5, 2016 at 1:01 am

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one”*…

 

Every self-respecting country has a unique name, a national flag, an anthem, a coat of arms, banknotes, passports, letterhead, and stationery.  Newly formed countries have to design them.

From Anne Quito, the story of South Sudan’s development of an “identity package”: “Branding the World’s Newest Country.”

* Banksy, Wall and Piece

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As we salute, we might recall that it was on this date in 1325 (according to legend) that Tenochtitlan was founded.  Located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico, it became the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century, until captured by the Spanish in in the early 16th century.  At its peak, it was the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas.  Today the ruins of Tenochtitlan are located in central Mexico City.

Reconstruction of Tenochtitlan. (National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City)

 source

 

Written by LW

March 18, 2015 at 1:01 am

85% confusion and 15% commission*…

Advertising is about selling desire, dreams.  But compared to the dreams that animate the creators of advertising, well…

More glimpses into the fantasies of the Marketing-Industrial Complex at Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising.

* “Advertising is 85% confusion and 15% commission.”  – Fred Allen

As we console ourselves with Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “the most truthful part of a newspaper is the advertisements,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that Playboy, a periodical valued by its loyal male readership for its enriching articles and informative advertisements, announced an end to the stapling of “centerfold” spreads.

1985 issues, unfettered by staples (source)

 

Written by LW

January 16, 2011 at 1:01 am

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