Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lunch, Leon, lions, lezzers

I've always found lunch to be a rather depressing meal.

Just the relentless tedium of deciding what I'm going to post into my horrible mouth, chew up and swallow at the same time every single fucking day makes me want to cut myself. Recently I've take to going to Leon, because it was founded by and is often staffed by lesbians (and like Larry David I'm a friend o' the lesbians) and because it serves exactly the kind of low calorie balsa wood pabulum that hot, semi-anorexic girls eat for lunch. Just going in there makes me feel like a hungry African lion stalking bow-legged gazelles at a dusty savanna watering hole.



Oh yeah, and the branding is great. Take note, brand managers everywhere.

So standard Leon type is this very tasteful Sans Serif:

I think typographers like to call this a 'grotesque', but they only do that to trick you into saying 'but I thought it was quite nice actually'

But then look, here's a cup. And the type, right, is totally different, and what the fuck is that, if not a full point on the end of the logo?

Bagaguagio indeed

And then when you look around the place you notice that they've done things like sew the name into quilts. Look, they haven't even tried to copy the type they use in the regular logo - they've just done their own thing. 

Digging the revival of quiltwork amongst new wave feminists. The bald man is also a nice touch.
So, being relaxed about the branding like this has at least two excellent effects, one direct, one inadvertent:

1) it makes you look relaxed about the branding. Like you've got better things to do, like cooking sweet potato fritatas and keeping hot semi-anorexic girls from growing white fur all over their bodies.

2)  it makes it look like the brand has heritage. People are really good at reading this stuff, and they do it totally intuitively - seeing more than one extant version of the logo makes you believe that it's gone through many iterations, it's a bit like the way they put pictures of kids from the 70s on the walls - it provides an artificial aura of nostalgia, and creates a sense of trustworthiness.

Consumers have been around branding for nearly a hundred years now - or longer if you count things like flags and crucifixes - I think they can handle this kind of thing. Marketing managers like brand guidelines, but it's quite possible that customers don't give that much of a shit.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A deeply scary animation

Tajazzle your vajazzle

I had lunch with this dude I know yesterday, he's running a company that helps chronic insomniacs get back to sleep - but without using drugs. They've  packaged a load of proper CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, not Cock and Ball Torture, Gaydar fans) with a load of modern jiggery-pokery like iPhone apps and online sleep diaries. The clinical trials show what he's doing to be extremely effective, which is not surprising given that it's the NHS prescribed therapy for insomnia, but getting people to pay for it takes a bit of doing. The problem is that he's not selling a tangible thing.

This is a really modern problem.

Over the last hundred years you and I have spent our working lives trying to convince people that objects will make them happy. Physical things that they can run their hands over, line up in rows, fill shelves or rails with, polish and clean and otherwise interact with on thoroughly tangible level.

You might remember this exchange from Jurassic Park, which, sadly I can't find on the interwebs as a video. Geoff Goldblum's character warning the kid off his Buffallo Bill nightvision goggles:

Donald Gennaro: Hey, where'd you find that?
Tim: In a box under my seat.
Donald Gennaro: Are they heavy?
Tim: Yeah.
Donald Gennaro: Then they're expensive, put 'em back.

Increasingly though things that aren't heavy, are, or should be, expensive. Things like information, music, books lose value as soon as they become digital, because they've lost their object.

There are lots of good arguments for why these things should cost money - but, importantly, they are arguments. Ironically argument the one thing that modern good advertising does not deign to engage in.

So basically, we all better get good at making Tajazzle infomercials.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fail Better

Haven't posted for a while.

If you're bored, I suppose you could read this article about failure that some bloke at Wiedens wrote.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's a fine line between reassuring and threatening

One that George Irvin's funfair doesn't walk entirely successfully IMHO. Does make for a very compelling tone of voice tho. Shepherds Bush Green isn't all that safe at the best of times, but when there's a fair on it, you might as well just stab yourself before you head out.
Proper cockney use of the word 'levied'

All faiths will be respected right? Or your knees will be broken due to my use of this hammer

All profits from this, once we've paid the new system, who we call Harry the Hammer

And 16 years porridge is no picnic, Sunshine. Just ask Harry