Showing posts with label Ttrends - Innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ttrends - Innovation. Show all posts

Transforming air pollution into ink.


YouTube|creative with online videos

ThruYOU: An online video music project launched in 2009 by Israeli, Ophir Kutiel. He takes random YouTube videos, edits and combines them to create original songs.His first creation, “Mother of All Funk Chords” has attracted nearly 1 million views to date
The Subs’ Videocast: Belgian band, The Subs, have taken a novel approach to using annotations in their videos. Viewers are encourage to check out other YouTube videos throughout their videocast - if you don’t fancy clicking, just keep watching.
In Bb 2.0: A collaborative music and spoken word project conceived by Darren Solomon from Science for Girls. Users can play select videos and adjust the volume to create original tracks. Well known but still worth a mention. The advertising agency turned the concept of having a website on its head and decided their home should be a YouTube video.
YouTube Street Fighter: Perhaps not the greatest game you’ll ever play but the novel approach to a fighting game has attracted nearly 7 million viewers / players.
The Mixable Dancer: Again using annotations, Henrik Leichsenring lets viewers mix beats and make a rabbit (?) throw some shapes on the dancefloor

HOW Apple did it?

How to Innovate Like Apple

Apple makes it look easy. From the sleek design of its personal computers to the clever intuitiveness of its software to the ubiquity of the iPod to the genius of the iPhone, Apple consistently redefines each market it enters by creating brilliant gadgets that put the competition to shame. What’s the secret? Apple has built its management system so that it’s optimized to create distinctive products. That’s good news for would-be emulators, because it means Apple’s method for innovation can be understood as a specific set of management practices and organizational structures that — in theory, at least — anyone can use. This Crash Course outlines the techniques Apple uses to make the magic happen.

Clear Your Mind


The word “zen” is often applied to both Apple’s products and the company’s highly focused CEO, Steve Jobs. And while the compliment usually refers to the beauty of the company’s minimalist products, enlightenment is more than skin-deep. “In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains or the sofa,” Jobs has said of his product philosophy. “But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.” Design is a “fundamental soul,” Jobs says, that expresses itself through an end result — the product.

What is Apple’s fundamental soul? The company’s motto, “Think Different,” provides a hint. Apple maintains an introspective, self-contained operating style that is capable of confounding competitors and shaking up entire industries. For example, Nokia, once considered the undisputed leader in mobile phones, never anticipated that a single product from a computer maker might throw its ascendancy into question.

Internally, Apple barely acknowledges competition. It’s the company’s ability to think differently about itself that keeps Apple at the head of the pack. Current and past employees tell stories about products that have undergone costly overhauls just to improve one simple detail. Other products are canceled entirely because they don’t fit in or don’t perform up to par.

Apple’s culture has codified a habit that is good for any company to have but is especially valuable for firms that make physical things: Stop, step back from your product, and take a closer look. Without worrying about how much work you’ve already put into it, is it really as good as it could be? Apple asks that question constantly.

Build Your Fortress


From the outside, Apple’s offices look like those of just about any large modern American corporation. Having outgrown its headquarters campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, Calif., Apple now has employees in other buildings scattered across the town and around the world. Size and sprawl are formidable challenges that most companies manage gracelessly, either by splintering into disorganized, undisciplined communities or by locking employees into tight, stifling bureaucracies. Apple tends toward the latter, but it does so in a unique way that generally (but not always) plays to its advantage.

At its worst, Apple’s culture resembles the closed paranoia of North Korea. For example, one Apple source who agreed to be interviewed anonymously for this story backed out at the last minute. Why? He feared that his employer would examine his phone bill and find him out. Another spoke on background but mentioned the possibility of a lawsuit if he were quoted by name. These are common fears within Apple, and they really do keep the company’s employees quiet. The obsession with secrecy is a double-edged sword, however: It gives Apple a vital element of surprise in the marketplace, but the never-ending game of internal spy vs. spy is draining for rank-and-file employees. Indeed, the corporate culture came under scrutiny recently after an employee of a foreign supplier — reportedly under suspicion for leaking the prototype of a new iPhone — committed suicide in Shenzhen, China.

Beyond the secrecy, which affects everyone, Apple’s approach is hardly one-size-fits-all. Rank-and-file employees are often given clear-cut directives and close supervision. Proven talent gets a freer hand, regardless of job title.



Over time, Apple has built a seasoned management team that’s optimized to support bold new product initiatives (and recover from the occasional flop). Here are a few of the techniques Apple’s management uses to make the magic happen.

1. Ignore fads. Apple has held off building a cheap miniature laptop to respond to the “netbook” fad, because these devices don’t offer good margins. Instead it released the ultrathin, ultra-expensive Air, a product more in line with its own style.

2. Don’t back down from fights you can win. Apple is a tough partner and a ruthless enemy. In 2007, Apple pulled NBC’s television programs from the iTunes Store after the network tried to double the prices consumers pay to download shows. NBC backed down within days, and ever since, giant media conglomerates have been hesitant to face off with Apple over pricing.

3. Flatten sprawling hierarchies. Companies with extended chains of authority tend to plod when it’s time to act. Most of the decisions at Apple come from Jobs and his immediate deputies.

4. Pay less attention to market research and competitors. Most firms develop their products through a combination of touchy-feely consumer focus groups and efforts to imitate successful products from other companies. Apple does neither, and the iPod and iPhone are clear proof of that.

Cultivate Your Elite


In truly despotic societies, both art and science suffer terribly. Apple, on the other hand, reliably churns out the industrial equivalents of da Vinci paintings and Hokusai woodcuts. This has little to do with how the company treats employees in general. Rather, it stems from the meticulous care and feeding provided to a specific group: the creatives. Apple’s segmented, stratified organizational structure — which coddles its most valuable, productive employees — is one of the company’s most formidable assets.

One former Apple consultant tells of an eye-opening introduction to Apple’s first-class treatment of its creatives. The consultant visited Apple’s Industrial Design Group, the team that gives Apple products their distinctive, glossy look. Tucked away within Apple’s main campus, the IDG is a world unto itself. It’s also sealed behind unmarked, restricted-access doors. Within the IDG, employees operate free from outside distractions and interference. “It didn’t feel like working at Apple,” our source remembers. “It felt like working at a small design firm.” Some companies are famous for perks — Google, for example, with its free massages and gourmet lunches. Apple focuses on atmosphere, nurturing its best designers behind opaque glass in a hidden sanctuary with music playing in the background.

Despite their favored status, Apple’s creatives still have no more insight into the company’s overall operations than an Army private has into the Pentagon. At Apple, new products are often seen in their complete form by only a small group of top executives. This, too, works as a strength for Apple: Instead of a sprawling bureaucracy that new products have to be pushed through, Apple’s top echelon is a small, tightly knit group that has a hand in almost every important decision the company makes.

Case Study


Other firms have also found success by separating innovation from business as usual. Here’s what David Hsieh, vice president of marketing at Cisco, has to say about his company’s Emerging Technologies Group:

“Big companies have a tendency to eat their own children. They get afraid of disrupting their own revenue stream with a new unit, or someone has a great idea and an executive sponsors it, but the moment the sponsor comes under pressure, they ditch all the little initiatives to focus on their core business. The advantage of a new unit is to insulate it from people who say, ‘We can’t do it that way because we’ve done it a different way for years.’ You want to enable a group of people to think more broadly and creatively without outside pressures. Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group has been in operation for three years, and it’s created a number of businesses. The early ones are all growing successfully, even in a bad economy.”

Don’t Rush, Don’t Dawdle


It’s often said that people in particular cultures live life at their own unique paces. Americans are seen as hard-driving and somewhat shortsighted — a side effect of a business culture that takes its cues from the stock market’s emphasis on quarterly results.

Apple is different because Apple dances to a rhythm of its own making. Although its rising stock has become a vital part of many portfolios, Apple cancels, releases, and updates products at its own speed, seemingly irrespective of market conditions or competitive pressure. Apple doesn’t telegraph its moves, either: The iPod and iPhone, iconic products both, each began as rumors that Apple seemed determined to quash.

Plan B


Your stock price is down, your customers are angry, and investors are banging on your door. Sure, acting like Apple seems like a good idea — until your board starts craving blood. How do you maintain a focus on innovation when you don’t have a few successful quarters to back you up?

For a vivid demonstration of how to publicly recover from your errors (in style, no less), check out the video of Steve Jobs’ 1997 Macworld addressand an associated BNET feature, How to Present Like Steve Jobs.

Clone Your Own Steve Jobs


New adherents to the cult of Steve Jobs may be surprised to hear this: The most iconic Apple laptop, the original PowerBook, was released in 1991, after Jobs had been absent for six years. The smug hipsters who line today’s cafes with rows of identical MacBooks are merely updated versions of their counterparts from the early ’90s. Yet Jobs was in no way responsible for this enduring innovation.

So does that mean Steve Jobs is irrelevant? Or is Jobs — and his maniacal focus on building insanely great products — a necessary ingredient of Apple’s success?

Historians have long grappled with a similar question: How critical are those rare, world-changing “great leaders” whose efforts seem irreplaceable? Most historians now believe that great leaders are made by their circumstances and that their great deeds actually reflect the participation of thousands, or even millions, of people. In the case of Apple, there would be no Mac, no iPod, and no iPhone without the efforts of thousands of engineers and vast numbers of consumers who were looking for products that better served their needs.

That said, Jobs cuts an impressive figure, and if he was “made” by his circumstances, that process took many years. Remember that the first edition of Steve Jobs — the young inventor who, at 21, created Apple Computer — was not the visionary we know today. Instead, after nine years at Apple’s helm, the young Steve Jobs was ousted because of his aggressive, take-no-prisoners personality, which created a poisonous, unproductive atmosphere when it pervaded the company.

Today’s Steve Jobs seems to have learned how to focus that aggressive, take-no-prisoners personality more shrewdly, and to great effect. While he’s still an essential part of Apple’s success, the company has also institutionalized many of Jobs’ values to such an extent that Apple is now far less dependent on him. Tim Cook, for example, worked well as acting CEO during the first half of this year, when Jobs was on sick leave. But questions remain. So long as the overwhelming personality of Jobs is present, can anyone really grow into that position? Only when Jobs steps back from his role permanently will we really be able to determine how well Apple has learned the lessons he has taught.

Four Principles of Apple’s Successes (and Failures)

As the story goes, when Steve Jobs looked around Apple in 2002, he saw a profusion of gadgets: cell phones, PDAs, and MP3 players (including Apple’s blockbuster, the iPod). In a flash of brilliance, he asked himself a world-changing question: What if all those functions could be combined in just one device? The answer to that insightful question led to Apple’s next hit: the Rokr cell phone.

Whoops, scratch that. The Rokr was a commercial flop, and Apple’s short-lived partnership to develop an MP3 cell phone with Motorola is now an embarrassing footnote. In no small part, the iPhone exists today because the Rokr threw the shortcomings of the mobile phone industry into sharp relief. Smelling the industry’s stagnation, Jobs began planning the iPhone, even as the Rokr drew withering criticism.

The above anecdote highlights one important thing to remember about Apple: Its aura of infallibility is pure bunkum. The other thing to remember is that Apple learns from its mistakes. In fact, mistakes are vital to its creative process. But what are the rules that govern this process? Here are four of the most important principles.

Principle One: Don’t Follow Your Customers; Lead Them

Apple’s design process differs from that of most other companies. Traditional design research relies heavily on focus groups and customer feedback about existing products. Apple tends to place less emphasis on evidence than on intuition, under the theory that consumers can’t tell you they want a product or function if they can’t yet envision it. Instead, they need to be shown a superior alternative. Apple sees itself as being in business to create those revolutionary alternatives.

Principle Two: Temper Engineering With Art

Most companies that try to operate like Apple fail. Often that’s because of who they tap to spearhead the creative process. High-tech devices are built by engineers — and often designed by them, too. Unfortunately, engineers tend to design products that they would want to use, which explains why a typical device is jam-packed with a hopelessly confusing array of features. Apple has succeeded by making sure its top decision makers all subscribe to the same minimalist philosophy. The result is that the most-used features of its devices — like the iPod’s famous scroll wheel — feel entirely natural.

Principle Three: Focus on the Few to Sell to the Many

Instead of trying to satisfy every fringe taste or market niche — other companies that make laptops, for instance, often sell dozens of models at any given time — Apple focuses on just a few products in each category. With time and money on its side, Apple strives to make each item in its relatively small stable as perfect as possible. Over time, that helps differentiate the products and build customer loyalty.

Principle Four: Be Your Own Toughest Critic

The final ingredient to Apple’s success is an intangible energy and interest in doing well. And if the company ever lets that vitality go, it’s game over. (That’s what almost happened during the 1990s, before Jobs returned to provide a vital kick start.) Ultimately, Apple succeeds because it not only beats its competitors but also strives each year to beat itself. As management guru Peter Drucker noted long ago, “Your being the one who makes your products, process, or service obsolete is the only way to prevent your competitor from doing so.” In the process of trying to outdo itself, Apple often leaves its competition in the dust.

Insanely Great Marketing

Apple is famous for its products, but shrewd marketing has been an essential component of the company’s success. Former Apple CEO John Sculley was not being entirely cynical with his famous observation that Apple was, first and foremost, a marketing company. While it’s fair to say that Apple’s engineers are the company’s foundation, it’s clear that without Apple’s marketing and public relations teams, its mythic aura would long since have vanished. Here’s how the company does it.

1. A Clear Sense of the Customer

Apple has positioned itself as the tech provider for the creative class, so it often injects a dose of avant-garde savvy into its advertising. The iPod’s boldly colored ads, for example, could have doubled as art school projects (or acid trips). Other spots simply articulate and emphasize the investment Apple has put into its design “language” — the engineering and styling that make its products so instantly recognizable. In almost every instance, Apple strives to appeal to anyone who lives (or aspires to live) a more creative life, and the results flatter both Apple’s products and the people who use them.

2. No False Modesty

Apple is not afraid to market its devices as game changers that are far better than the alternatives. Nobody would ever call Apple shy or self-effacing. That does wonders to reinforce Apple’s brand, but it has a risky downside: Apple’s barely concealed undercurrent of arrogance makes its fans feel like part of a special group, but it also repels some potential customers.

3. Standout Advertising

Whether you prefer a Mac or Windows PC, an iPhone or a Blackberry, there’s no denying that Apple has become one of the world’s most recognized brands, and Apple’s advertising and marketing efforts have done much to make that happen. Apple’s traditional advertising campaigns have been managed by the same ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, since 1997. Ambitious, nonconformist, and witty, Apple’s campaigns do more than just feature products: They also take explicit potshots at key competitors. The “I’m a Mac” ad campaign, for example, which contrasts a cool hipster (representing Apple) with an uptight office drone (representing Microsoft) was typically effective. Of course, the depiction of Microsoft as a bumbling, Dilbertesque suit recalls the powerful message of a much earlier ad campaign: the famous “1984” spot that Apple ran in 1983 to mark the launch of the original Macintosh, which characterized IBM as the agent of dystopian corporate conformity.

4. Not-Too-Public Public Relations

Apple’s PR department, which maintains contacts with traditional journalists, bloggers, television shows, and just about anyone who covers the company regularly, has never fit the stereotype of fawning, eager-to-please flacks. “The genius of Apple’s PR is the way the company uses secrecy and misdirection to generate buzz around its product announcements,” says Nick Ciarelli, the creator ofThink Secret, a now-defunct Apple blog that aroused the company’s ire. The launch of an Apple product resembles nothing so much as a military assault: months of impenetrable secrecy and denial, misdirection campaigns, waves of rumors, and finally a massive barrage of publicity as the veil comes off. “It’s a strategy that infuriates partners, big corporate buyers, and the press, but it allows public speculation to build to a fever pitch,” Ciarelli says.

It’s also fair to say, however, that secrecy and misdirection can be carried too far. Apple’s PR attempted to pass off Jobs’ recent serious illness, which ended in a liver transplant, as a “common bug,” a whopper that helped provoke shareholder lawsuits against the company.

Let go my boobs please??

Many people have emailed to point out the handheld-boob trend going on right now. EURO RSCG Warsaw, did an ad explaining experience in lingerie by showing a much older womans hands cupping the breasts of a young model for Aniela. They all pointed out that ALMAP/BBDO already did this for Meias Liz Underwear.The whole campaign for Meias Liz shows mens hands as various lingerie items, a bra, a demi-cup bra, a pair of knickers.
The idea isn't "have your boobs cupped by our 40 years of experience" anyway. Maybe the idea was "Feel like some random man is grabbing your crotch", I don't know. Either way, not really turning me - the potential target - on enough to consider either brand of lingerie.But, neither one of these were the first ones to cup a womans breasts.
Janet Jackson relaunched her sexy self with this photo of her then husband cupping her to kick off the nineties.

Aniela hand cupping breast ad
Meias Liz Underwear  hand cupping breast
Janet Jackson "Janet"

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Developed on the assumption that there's no such thing as too much choice, Coca-Cola Freestyle is a new self-serve soda fountain that can dispense up to 100 different drink flavours. The machine is being tested this summer at fastfood restaurants in California and Atlanta, with the intention of rolling out units across the US early next year.

Flavoured teas, waters, juices and soft drinks will all be available from Coca-Cola Freestyle, letting customers select drinks based on brand, calorie content or caffeine levels, all through the system's touchscreen interface. Combinations will be pre-set, meaning Raspberry Coke and Peach Fanta are available on tap, but frat dares combining tea and Sprite won't be possible. Many of the flavours on offer are new to the US market.

RFID tags will keep track of the syrup the machine uses, telling retailers when to refill, and providing Coke HQ with insight into popular flavours and locations. By tracking sales, Coca-Cola gains valuable insight into which drinks would be most successful if offered bottled or canned. Which means the intelligent technology doesn't just offer a new level of choice for customers, but also streamlines supply chain management and informs new product development.


Packaging . Innovation

Behold, the pizza box we've all been waiting for! Watch the film for a simple demonstration of how a few smart-thinking tweaks to an established design can radically improve customer experience.

The company behind the Green Box is called Environmentally Conscious Organization Incorporated, and their ingenious idea sees the traditional pizza delivery box transform into into four handy serving 'plates' AND a half-sized storage solution for any remaining slices... Made out of 100% recycled material, the box is protected by US Patent 7,051,919 which we firmly hope will allow e.c.o. Incorporated to cash-in on their innovation.

Give the hairy few weeks the Domino's brand has just endured, if you worked there wouldn't you be all over this?A good news story that could leave the public with a better impression of the brand than simply 'cheese up the nose'...

McDonald's:::Tourists are lovin’ it…

McDonald's Piccadilly Circus

BRAND OWNER:McDonald's Corporation



DATE:Apr 2009 - Dec 2008

Piccadilly Circus is London's equivalent of Times Square - right at the heart of the city and filled with brands digital billboards, each clamouring for attention. Some 1.1 million Londoners and tourists pass through each week. McDonald’s tends to have a presence there, but wanted to create a more interactive experience and encourage people to specifically photograph the brand’s ad and then share the photographs.
McDonald's therefore launched an interactive sign where passers-by can interact with images displayed on McDonald's giant LED screen, and visitors can take an interactive role at one of London's most photographed locations. 
A series of images ranging from hats to speech bubbles, to idea clouds are shown on the giant LED screen billboard. People in Piccadilly circus can then position themselves to make it look as though they are wearing a hat, saying something or having an idea. People are then encouraged to post up their photos to Flickr or Facebook

McDonald's has long been the friend of weary tourists whose enthusiasm for the local cuisine has been exhausted by one dietary novelty too many...
But now that relationship has gone one step further, with the launch of a new 'interactive' billboard in London's Piccadilly Circus. The giant LED sign displays a rolling selection of images which invite camera-happy tourists to strike a pose with the props on screen.

Some of these have a British theme - an open umbrella and a city gent's bowler hat - while others are just about inviting participation - a birthday cake with candles you can pretend to blow out, a hammer that seems to beat you over the head, a strongman barbell you can hold triumphantly aloft.

The YouTube clip above shows the idea in action and the magnetic appeal it has to tourists... how many go on to eat a McDonald's burger after painstakingly lining up their shot has not yet been established but we're SO tempted to send someone down there to follow that up!  Participants can also upload their snaps to a dedicated Flickr group, set up to corrall all those happy memories into one big experience-extending gallery and ensure that the event remains public long after the holidaymakers go back home.

Inventive stuff from Leo Burnett!