Thumbs up, Britney!

Probably the best thing on the new Britney video, the true beauty of pop on tiny details. (Hint: try to read the apointments below the calendar...)

Via Popjustice


"Very bad for you"

TV show Gossip Girl is spinning its crtics' words to promote the show, brilliant!


Bubbling under the line

The Beijing Olympics are a brand battle of superlatives being fought among the biggest players on the planet, but oddly a curious story is being told from the online front:

Back in May CIC, which is a very interesting business on Chinese trends, released a research on Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) surrounding sports brands, and to no surprise Nike led most of the online buzz with over 42% of share of voice, while Adidas and Reebok followed with 22% and 12% respectively.

When it comes to the online world, brands, especially sports brands, are bubbling with consumers connected from Urumqi to Shenzhen, IWOM plays an important role in a nation with over 200 million internet users, that was 200 new netizens for every minute last year.

Interestingly Vortex points out that most of the Chinese online interaction is played through BBSes, which are online forums. To get a glimpse of its power, earlier this year the “angry China” movement (where Carrefours across the nation were boycotted) started on BBSes, as well as the “love China” buzz which resulted on MSN Messengers looking like this.

This summer IWOM spread beyond the borders and interestingly enough, Chinese old-school sports brands are making a comeback among the right crowd. Sneakers from such brands as Feiyue (meaning Flying Forward), and Shuang Xing (Double Star) were the hottest shoes in China back in the 70s and now are cool again among kids from the Middle Kingdom to the United Kingdom.

Cool Hunting is praising the comfortable shoes, and if that wasn’t enough, they are hard to find as well, even in China, which makes the hunt for them just as exciting. A pair of these sneakers are being sold for as much as 50 EU in London, locally these shoes can be bought for 2-5 EU.

In China the buzz started when Orlando Bloom was photographed wearing a pair of Feiyue, the photo quickly spread through BBSes and sparkled among netizens, leading the way for a cult following, including such tributes as the photo book by a Chinese graphic design student or the coveted “Warrior” t-shirts in Beijing, which I got one myself at the Gu Lou area.

This online effort makes me wonder, an Elf wearing “flying sneakers”, it is either a clever below-the-line move or one of the most curious brand hijacks we are about to witness.

Nike and adidas go 1984

From Apple to Orwell, the most pop of the years also witnessed the first ever Olympic delegation to be sent by China (under the Communist Party rule) and the amazing tracksuits worn by its athletes during the Los Angeles summer games, where curiously Li Ning (the founder of the homonymous company, China’s largest domestic sports brand) won three gold medals in gymnastics.

To celebrate this achievement, Nike reintroduced the retro-looking apparel with a set of amazing photo shoots and a documentary called “Dare” here is the trailer:

I first saw the tracksuits on Milk magazine, which is a pop culture weekly based in Hong Kong. In the following edition Adidas literally wrapped the magazine from cover to cover with its new line of Adidas-Diesel jeans. To tap into the Olympic retro fever Adidas also introduced a similar tracksuit:

I like them both, but Nike’s has history which makes it more special. Plus what I have witnessed on the streets of Beijing so far are girls wearing the Adidas one, while Nike’s is predominantly being spotted on boys, which is interesting.


A new icon-building approach?

The TED newsletter came in this morning and I could not avoid watching one of the videos for two reasons, it was only four minutes long and it was about music videos, the talk was conducted by designer and creative thinker Jakob Trollback, and he basically tried to show a new music video form, one that was created not to be "driven by a concept nor to build an image", the song is "Moonlight in Glory" by David Byrne and Brian Eno, from the album "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts", the version shown in the video below is taken from the 2006 remastered version of the album: 

Every art form tends to be taken by people and then reinvented, we do bump everyday into mash-ups and add-ons of the most diverse things. I guess that happens so things that are still important and relevant evolve with the times, maybe that is the approach Mr Trollback is trying to show on this video.

Maybe it's just a matter of time before everything evolves towards efforts like that, it will require more imagination from people instead. Non-image-driven efforts are really boring, it seems like there is no purpose to most of them and yet despite the fact that most of the western society is a bit too concerned when it comes to that subject, image is still good and easy to digest, just look at this TED talk's posted comments.



Google Reader this morning on the bound-to-be-controversially famous mini movie, Fitna, an anti-quran feature made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. The video has been removed from Live Leak due to threats to its employees, but as of this morning it's still up on youtube.
It's sad though that we witness the threatening to the freedom of speech on the internet.


EA's My(dead)Space

Just keeping the topic running and fresh, I just read last night Wired's blog post on the upcoming sci-fi horror game Dead Space. I started having some interests around DS when I first heard the news that EA along with a multitude of companies plans to start an early buzz around the game's plot creating diverse content to get gamers talking about, interacting with and getting more and more eager for any extra material that might lead to a full understanding of the game, which is only due out for Halloween.

Among the already announced content one might expect the not so surprising: comics, webisodes and a direct-to-DVD animation, all that, before Halloween... Let's hope the content is good in order to keep people's attentions, because the degrees in which these different medias can engage a gamer are completely different.... Starting from the video game itself, a game usually tends to allow more interaction than a movie,
that's why the later should rely on the extra use of violence or storytelling, for example, to keep one's attention, and that's not the case of DOA, BloodRayne or FF: Spirits Within, they all sucked, and I wasn't expecting anything from the first two and still, they managed to do it.

EA and Image Comics are coming out, starting this month, with six comics, which will tell the story of the six weeks prior to the beginning of the actual game, once I get my hands on them I'll blog about.

After watching the trailer for the game it actually looked kinda cool, I am really nostalgic about this genre, it does make me wanna go back home and spend a whole week playing RE2 or the first Silent Hill (which surprisingly came out with a great film, but then there was French production on this one...)

The trailer: