I don't know about you, but the most interesting thing I've seen in music this year hasn't been Friendly Fires, Empire of the Sun or even the new Sugababes line-up. It's been reactive music.
Reactive music is a whole new genre of sound that uses sensory input to generate and control the music you're listening to. If you've got an iPhone you can start having a play with it now. Just download the RjDj app and it'll start sampling noise from the world around you and looping it into a kind of weird, trippy music track. It's mind altering stuff, but VERY cool - and a completely new way of participating with the music you're listening to, not to mention the world around you.
For those of you without an iPhone, just watch this and pretend it's your house...
Like all new tech, it'll take a while for reactive music to find its place in the world. But in a world that loves relevance, personalisation, interactivity and entertainment, and where technology is moving ever faster, the creative potential of a feedback loop from you and your environment to the music you're listening to, the pictures you have on your walls, the clothes you're wearing, your Facebook page or whatever seems massive.
Definitely one to keep an ear out for in the future.
I don't know yet but, as career goals go, making it happen's got to be a pretty good idea.
If you belieeeeeeeeve they put a man on the moon, man on the moooooooon! sang Michael Stipe, as he thoughtfully ruminated the most interesting news story of 1969.
What Mike failed to consider, however, was that thanks to the wonders of anthropomorphisation, there's been a man on the moon since way before Neil Armstong. That's not to say things haven't changed since the early years, though. These days he's got a wife. Not to mention a pet rabbit.
Yes, my final piece of anthropomorphic inspiration comes courtesy of The Moon - or, more specifically, the Mighty Boosh, with their unique take on what our lunar companion would say if he could talk (as demonstrated in their live shows last year). Classic.
Now go take some humanity and put it in a strange place. It's fun. And, if you do it right, people might just love you for it.
If there's one thing that us human beings like, it's being human.
In fact, we like it so much that we want everything else to be human too. Or at least, more accurately, our socially wired brains are programmed to look for "human" signals everywhere - and get tickled when they find them.
I could wang on about anthropomorphism in product design (think cars, vodka bottles or angle poise lamps) but instead I'm going to share a few examples of anthropomorphism in art that have caught my imagination recently.
For part one, check out these cool photos from Czech artist Vlad Artazov. And just remember the next time you're doing the DIY - nails are people too, yeah?!
Jill and Kevin Heinz met when Kevin’s childhood friend, Jeff, married Jill’s college friend, Ann, in 2005. Jill couldn't resist Kevin’s wit and charm. Kevin couldn't resist Jill’s intellect, not to mention her remarkable dance moves. This year, they got married and this video of their church entrance has clocked up over 30m views on Youtube, for one reason and one reason only: because it is AWESOME.
So far, so heartwarming, but the story gets even more interesting when you realise that the video is actually something of a landmark in music video history. That's because Chris Brown's record company decided to put that little overlay to buy a copy of the song at the start of it, rather than kicking up a fuss about the fact that their song had been used without permission.
The results have been astounding, with double average click through rates of other Click-to-Buys. Interest in the song also seems to have rubbed off on the original music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x at the end of July. Most importantly, however, the song has rocketed up the US music charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon's best selling MP3 list over a year after its release.
The result is a whole heap of lessons about branding today and here are just three:
1. Throw away your dictionary: old definitions of things like "music video" and "advertising" are being re-written fast.
2. Context is king: a little nudge at the right time can make a big difference - and our data rich, hyperlinked world is is full of opportunities to grab people with the right message at the right moment.
3. Remember that the public has the last laugh: Chris Brown may have seen his chart position rise off the back of his record company's ad, but the decision of the happy couple to add their own overlay - for a charity that campaigns against domestic violence - is a healthy reminder of where the balance of power lies when it comes to reputation.
I HATE Jeremy Clerkson, but I LOVE this.
The best Top Gear ad never made...
This little site rocks. Give it a go!
I call it "Midweek Cup of Tea, No. 1."
Simon Schubert is a German artist who creases and folds ordinary pieces of paper to create incredible works of art. The idea that something so mundane can become something magical and wonderous is a powerful and captivating one, that cuts to the heart of a what we do as advertisers. As such, this seems like it could be a strong technique to associate the right brand with. And, till that moment arises, why not try making your own?!