Monday, 26 January 2009

Obama Inauguration - High Definition (HD)

It may have been a whole week ago, but it seems as if the buzz surrounding new US President Barack Obama isn't just dying yet. Every day in (the) Metro since his inauguration there has been at least one story about either his actions or his policy announcements. This may be a testimony to the man himself, as it is showing that he may actually be making news-worthy decisions in his first 7 days in office.

However, for the purpose of this blog I am more concerned about technology and advertising than politics (somewhat like the BBC!). This is why I was fascinated by a photograph that I came across on the web this evening at GigaPan.org by David Bergman.

The photograph is of the Obama inauguration last week (see below - please click to view larger):

Obama Inauguration Wide Range


The difference with this picture (other than it being panoramic) is the incredibly High-Definition. It was constructed of 220 images combined to give a final image size of 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 Megapixels!!

Due to this, through the flash-based tool, you can zoom into the image and the resolution stays incredibly sharp (again click to view a larger version):

Obama Inauguration Mid Range


In fact, you can zoom right up to President Obama giving his inauguration speech before you can begin to see pixels appearing!

Obama Inauguration Close Range


These type of High-Definition photographs always amaze me. The level of detail you can capture from such a long distance is stunning. The widest shot at the top is impressive on it's own. However, the ability to roam throughout the shot allows you to find certain things within the image that you would never have known existed otherwise. Two highlights for me have to be the members of the crowd that appear to have fallen asleep (despite the fact that it must have taken some massive effort to attend the event), and the cowboy that can be seen just behind President Obama. It is these small details that can really tell a thousand tales!

Obama Inauguration Audience
Obama Inauguration Cowboy

Mash Up Monday - Fergie vs Avril Lavigne

To get Mash Up Monday back into the Monday routine, I thought I would feature 2 songs that I do not like, mashed up into 1 song that I do like! This is the power of a good mash up.

The mix is between Fergie's "London Bridge" with Avril Lavinge's "Girlfriend" to form "Girlfriend Bridge"!

As I said, I am not a big fan of either song in their corresponding original forms, but I do (for some unknown reason) like this mash-up.

Further to simply posting this song, I would just like to provide a visual aid to any non-UK citizens to explain why "Going down like London Bridge" just doesn't make any sense.

Firstly, I present Exhibit 'A':
London BridgeLondon Bridge


As you can see from this photo, London Bridge is of a flat, solid nature and does not at any point raise up or down!

Exhibit 'B':
Tower BridgeTower Bridge


As you can see, this is a lovely picture of Tower Bridge. This is NOT London Bridge and is perhaps a better reference for "going down". Tower Bridge also features heavily in the Fergie music video, fuelling this misunderstanding.

Anyway, with the rant over, please enjoy this week's mash up:


Mash Up Monday - Fergie vs Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend Bridge"

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Mariah Carey vs. Gorillaz

To complete the weekend contribution to the Mash Up Monday (and the last post before the regular schedule commences), I thought I would feature another song by the same mashup artist as yesterday. Electrosound seems to have quite some skill. I highly recommend that you follow the link to his website above and check out the mix between Fall-Out Boy and Dr Dre as it is quite simply fantastic.

However, the song today is a mashup between Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" and Gorillaz' "El Mañana". It appears as if Electrosound doesn't go for the cheesy naming convention that other mashup artists have gone for in the past. This means that rather giving the songs a name myself, I shall simply refer to the song by the two artists.


Mash Up Monday - Mariah Carey vs. Gorillaz

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Lady Sovereign vs. Gorillaz

Happy Weekend Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the Saturday post for the Mash Up Monday Week!

Before I present the below song, I would like to point out that the following song may be offensive to any Daily Mail readers, or those that get upset by news topics discussed by friends that happen to read the Daily Mail.

The mashup today is between Lady Sovereign's "Love Me or Hate Me" and Gorillaz "Dare".


Mash Up Monday - Lady Sovereign vs. Gorillaz

Friday, 23 January 2009

Becoming Batman - Episode Nine

It has been a very interesting couple of weeks in the world of 'Becoming Batman'.

Firstly, copyright issues to the soundtrack of the videos meant that Episode Eight was initially launched on YouTube without any sound. This was resolved by simply replacing the soundtrack with alternative music.

Shortly after the release of this video I received the following email (click to make larger):

Ed Nashton Riddler Email
Email from Ed Nashton - The Riddler


The email was obviously showing signs of dismay towards the would-be hero that is the Batman of Chalfont St.Peter.

The YouTube video link leads to this message from someone with the username "EdwardsEnigmas" (i.e. E-Nigma a.k.a. The Riddler!):


The Riddler V-Blogging


The Riddler's video-blog makes it quite clear that he does not approve of someone attempting to be Batman and taking the law into his own hands. The challenge to solve his riddle is presented:

I have kept your secrets
Have guarded your ideas -
I'm the vessel of your nightmares
The protector to your fears.
I'm smiling when you are weeping
And will still smile when you're dead
I'm with you when you're sleeping.
I'm the horror in your head.
What am I?


It was initially unclear as to whether this is simply an independent social media response to the 'Becoming Batman' series of videos, or whether this is part of a larger plan within the plot-line. Either way, I am impressed that somebody took the effort to email me personally in order to get me somehow more involved with this great series.

This leads me nicely onto the latest Episode of "Becoming Batman".

In Episode Nine - Entitled "Identity Crisis" - our hero misses the opportunity to save a "poor old man" and gets to chat with Christopher Morris from Sky News:

Chris Morris Sky News
Christopher Morris from Sky News - a.k.a. Legend!


The great thing about this video (other than the usual classic quote moments and a potentially superb music video!), is the use of the Riddler post that I received myself. This doesn't clear up whether the video is part of the ongoing plot, or simply a tip of the hat in Mr Nashton's direction, but it certainly took the challenge head-on. A brilliant piece of work. If you were unable to solve the riddle, then the answer is contained within.


Becoming Batman - Episode Nine - "Identity Crisis"


I genuinely feel that the potential for this series is only just beginning to emerge. At the time of posting the most popular Episode to date is easily Episode Two with 77,605 views, and 962 people are subscribed to the BecomingBatman user. I really hope that these videos will at some point soon hit a critical mass and take off in terms of activity.

I'm looking forward to Episode Ten!

Mash Up Monday - Michael Jackson vs. Pussycat Dolls

Going into Friday, we have got another dose of The Pussycat Dolls. In fact, it's the same song that I featured on Wednesday's Mash Up Monday, "Don't Cha"!

However, this time the mashup is with the EPIC "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. "Beat It" is easily Michael Jackson's best song. The guitar rift is the best he ever wrote, the beat is perfect and the lyrics are very catchy! You may debate this amongst yourselves for a bit (Thriller/Black and White/Billie Jean/Bad/Smooth Criminal etc.) but you will eventually come to agree with me.

The mix between the two songs is just pure enjoyment!


Mash Up Monday - Michael Jackson vs. Pussycat Dolls - "Don't Cha Wanna Beat It"

CareerBuilder.com - SuperBowl Ad

Careerbuilder.com is a Job Search website that allows you to search "1.6 million Jobs". With the huge number of career websites available and, I would imagine, a huge serge in demand for jobs, it is vital for these career websites to establish themselves within the conscience of the public.

The first thing you could consider doing is to come up with a very good advertising campaign, particularly on TV. If people are unemployed, the tendency would most likely be to watch some TV!

Once this is in place you need to reach as many people as possible. As far as I am concerned, in the USA, there is only one way to do this...Superbowl.

With approximately 97.5 million viewers watching last year's event, it is going to be harder to reach more people on TV in one go.

Careerbuilder seems to have managed to do both of these things and produced the below advert. I love the quick fire nature of the clips (typical for Superbowl ads), and anything featuring somebody punching a (stuffed) koala cannot go wrong.


CareerBuilder.com Superbowl Ad

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - The Beatles vs. Nine Inch Nails

On paper, The Beatles and Nine Inch Nails would seem to go together as well as Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan (oh yes..I went there!). However, in the case of today's mashup, I would have to rethink that statement.

Apparently, by mixing Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" with The Beatles' "Come Together", you can create a song that (in my opinion) is a little better than either song on their own. Weird!


Mash Up Monday - The Beatles vs. Nine Inch Nails - "Come Closer Together"

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Modjo vs. Pussycat Dolls

Wednesday's instalment of Mash Up Monday Week combines the hit song of the summer of 2000, "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)" by Modjo and "Don't Cha'" by The Pussycat Dolls.

These two go surprisingly well together!


Mash Up Monday - Modjo vs. Pussycat Dolls - "Don't Cha Lady"

Volvo FH16 - World's Strongest Truck

To coincide with the launch of the new Volvo FH16 700 Truck, Swedish developers "Muskedunder Interactive" have developed a rather nice advergame to feature on the strongest truck microsite.

The game (which you can play below) is very nicely constructed and perfect for that 15 minute lunch-time casual gaming period. There is also a small prize for the best score, which is a rather nice leather jacket that was inspired by the FH16 itself.

I am a big fan of advergames, and as they are becoming relatively cheap to produce, I am sure that companies must be getting at least a small return on their investment. In the case of this advergame, I doubt the type of person that is going to play this game is likely to immediately go out and purchase "The World's Strongest Truck", although 700 horse-power does sound tempting!

However, in terms of a branding exercise I am sure that Volvo will benefit in the wider sense. It would only take a couple of purchases of any of their vehicles for the profit to pay for the game, so it is more than likely worth the effort.



Hat tip today for Adverblog.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Nirvana vs. Destiny's Child

For the Tuesday entry for the Mash Up Monday Week (eh? - multiple reasons that sounds odd), I have sought out a mash up from the Masters themselves, 2 Many DJs.

I was introduced to the legendary 2 Many DJs Part 2 album way back in March 2003 and have since gone on to collect a fair proportion of the CDs Radio Soulwax have gone on to produce.

Those that have not actively searched for mashup CDs may not have come across much of their work. However, the track below is probably one you will have heard at some point in the last 5 years or so.

A mix between Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious", enjoy!


Mash Up Monday - Nirvana vs. Destiny's Child - "Smells like Bootylicious"

Monday, 19 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Rick Astley vs Mika

With today being dubbed "Blue Monday" as it is statistically the most depressing day of the year for the majority of the western world(!), I thought it might be nice to have a marathon week for Mash Up Monday and aim to have one for each day of the week.

First up, we have Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" lyrics over the top of Mika's "Happy Ending".

This is a brilliant alternative to the usual "Rickrollin'" you get on YouTube!!


Mash Up Monday - Rick Astley vs. Mika - "Never Gonna Give Up On A Happy Ending"

Get Real, Get A Prescription!

I was at the cinema this weekend, watching the brilliant "Slumdog Millionaire", but was highly disturbed by an advert that preceded said movie.

The text on YouTube that accompanies this advert explains the background to this ad very well:

"This is an advert from Pfizer in response to research which found one in 10 men in the UK purchase prescription-only medicines from unregulated sources such as internet sites, every year. It is estimated that between 50-90 per cent of medicines sold in this way have proven to be counterfeit which means they are taking a real gamble with health."

As always, there is an accompanying website, www.realdanger.co.uk, that gives you a lot more information about the dangers involved and an email address where you can report counterfeit medication.

WARNING: Do not watch the following if you have just eaten, are currently eating, or are about to eat!


Get Real, Get a Prescription - Pfizer "Real Danger" Advert

Friday, 16 January 2009

Crank 2: High Voltage

In late summer 2006, a movie was released that was just so absurdly crazy (and such a HUGE assault on the senses) that I would have to deem it to be brilliant!

This movie was, of course, Crank. The acting may not exactly be up there with the likes of "The Shawshank Redemption", but for sheer excitement and action, few can claim to have beaten it.

However, there is one film on the horizon that looks to take on such a crown. This film would be "Crank 2: High Voltage".

The first trailer for the movie was released a couple of weeks ago. However, as this was a "Red Band" trailer I did not feel it would be appropriate for this particular blog. Basically, it was 3 minutes of lots of swearing and breasts. However, the latest trailer is the first official cinema trailer and gives a lot more away about the "plot".

Essentially, Jason Statham's character, "Chev Chelios", has been kept alive in order to harvest his organs. To do so, his heart has been replaced by an artificial heart. The film will follow Chev Chelios as he tracks down those that have taken his real heart in order to get it back. The artificial heart has a limited battery life, so it must be regularly electrified in order to keep it working.

Although the film does look ridiculous, I would like to point out that it was this fact that made the first Crank film so enjoyable.


Crank 2: High Voltage Trailer

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Taylor Momsen Freerunning - Nike Viral Ad

Today's viral ad (courtesy of illegaladvertising.com) comes from Nike.

They have used footage of Taylor Momsen (from TV's "Gossip Girl") 'escaping' from reporters and the paparazzi by performing a nice few free-running stunts...all on her Nike's, of course!

Nike are one of the major players in the viral marketing world, having produced a fair few of them in the past, and it seems as if they will continue to do so for a while. The Nike Tick is perfect for viral ads, as it is very distinct and recognisable, and can therefore be on screen for fractions of a second and still be recorded in the mind of the user.

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Taylor Momsen Freerunning - Nike Viral Ad

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Who is Tic Tac Micha?

Another day and another great viral advert, complete with microsite.

Firstly, just sit back and enjoy the following:


Micha Tic Tac Viral Advert


As I am sure you will agree, this is a very catchy advert with a 16 year-old guy that is far too talented with Tic Tacs!
Tic Tac Micha Website
His efforts have been supported with a Tic Tac sponsored website that is fronted by Micha Albacow himself! Described as a "Human Beat Machine from Uzbekistan", Micha describes his Tic Tac Instruments and how he is travelling around the world to perform.

However, the highlight of the site has to be Micha's Game, which is essentially a "Tic-Tac-Flute" version of Guitar Hero that you can play using 5 keys on the computer keyboard!

This is a very simple idea that I quite like. Whether this would ever appeal to the wider internet community is still to be seen. It does make me want to buy Tic Tacs and Guitar Hero, however!

Tic Tac Micha GameTic Tac Micha's Game

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Lynx Instinct

Lynx has unveiled it's latest fragrance, "Instinct".

Lynx Instinct Roar-Off Website
Emphasising on a caveman approach to the advertising, the product comes complete with a great slogan ("Unleash the Man Leather") and a dedicated microsite at unleashthemanleather.com where you can challenge your mates to a "ROAR-OFF". Unfortunately, I do not have a microphone attached to my computer at work, so shall not be spending my lunch-times trying to record the loudest roar! Shame.


Lynx Instinct Advert


Talking Retail reported back in November that the product would be launched as part of a £6million media schedule involving TV, print, outdoor and sampling. The range of products for this fragrance will also cover the full body spray, antiperspirant, shower gel, roll-on and aftershave formats. Apparently, the scent is made up of a special formulation of ingredients that include cardamom, amber and atlas cedarwood to produce a spicy scent of leather.

I am sure to give the fragrance a little tester when I pass it in the supermarket, but when they say "a spicy scent of leather" I just hope that means I won't end up smelling like DFS!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Christina Aguilera vs. The Strokes

I suddenly realised today that I haven't yet included (as part of Mash-Up Monday) one of the songs that reignited the mashup/bootleg mixing craze back in 2001.

"A Stroke of Genie-us" features The Strokes' great "Hard To Explain" and Christina Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle". It is definitely one of my favourite Mash-Ups of all time, and I would love to share it with you.


Mash Up Monday - Christina Aguilera vs. The Strokes - "A Stroke of Genie-us"

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Becoming Batman - Episode Eight

In Episode Eight of "Becoming Batman" - Entitled "Introduce a Little Anarchy" - tensions begin to rise between "Wayne" and his best friend.

This episode has been a few weeks in the making, with the video being added on YouTube on the 9th January. However, the original copy was forced to have the audio muted due to copyright issues with the soundtrack that they have been using.

However, the guys were very quick to come up with a second soundtrack to accompany the video and had the updated version ready for us all to enjoy the next day. Thank you.

The storyline has been brilliant thus far at building the tension between the two friends and the Joker impressions are spot-on. I just wish some TV station would contact these guys (including everyone that must be involved in filming/creating), as their creative potential is clear to see. You will often hear stories of talented musical people being picked up from online sources out of nowhere (e.g. Lily Allen off MySpace and Little Boots of YouTube), and I cannot see a reason why the same shouldn't apply to TV and movie stars/writers.

Episode Highlight:

-"Let's start with what you think you might want to do on a day to day basis?"
-"I want to punch or smack a guy in the throat...scaring people, carrying weapons, driving really fast."

Also worth noting:

"I don't really send emails. I just DO THINGS" - Brilliant Joker


Becoming Batman - Episode Eight - Introduce a Little Anarchy

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Google Rescues Kidnapped Girl

Like any good superhero**, Google has many tools at it's disposal. In certain ways, these gadgets (if used correctly by the right people) could potentially be used in order to fight crime and save lives.

In fact, this premise partially became a reality yesterday, as BBC News reported.

This wonderful story is one of a kidnapped nine year-old girl in Athol, Massachusetts named Natalie Maltais. It was suspected that she had been taken by her own grandmother, so a fire-fighter and police officer teamed up. Since 2005, US law has stated that all cellphone providers must be able to locate 67% of callers within 100 metres and 95% of callers within 300 meters. That in itself is a quite interesting fact!

By using this fact, the two man team were able to obtain the rough location of the child's phone through the provider AT&T. Rather than immediately sending police to that location (giving the grandmother a chance of escape whilst the area is being searched), the fire-fighter had the great idea of using Google Street View in order to see what was in the vicinity of that area. The photo below shows the result that they got. With the image of a hotel being visible, they were able to use Google Search to get the contact details of the hotel and then sent police to the location, where the girl was indeed rescued!

Google Street View Photo
Google Street View photo


This is a really great story of teamwork, and the use of great technology in the hands of intelligent and creative thinking people.


**This statement could be debated in some length and for quite some time! As I tend to prefer keeping my blog entries short and (preferably) sweet, I will simply state that when making the claim of a "good superhero" I had Batman in mind. Although I can accept that there are other equally good superheroes that do not take advantage of tools and gadgets, there are normally good reasons for this. For example, Superman does not often make use of anything other than his own superpowers. However, the fact that he is not human and has such a vast array of powers due to the Earth's yellow sun, it is hardly far to compare him to the likes of Batman. Batman is simply a rich human that had an emotional problem and too much time on his hands. That is all something we can aspire to. Although this may now seem like rambling, there is also the question to be raised as to whether other fictional creations could be considered as superheroes. James Bond would be one such example. He repeatedly saves the world (with the use of gadgets/tools I may add!), just like comic superheroes, but does so through (as far as I can tell) luck, charm and determination. There does not seem too much skill involved, with the poker scene in Casino Royale an exception. I somehow feel like I have now gone off the point a little! Where was I?...Erm...I suppose that depends on whether you read this as an afterthought or whether you saw the asterisk and decided to follow that argument! So please either stop reading, or return to the top of the post. Thanks.

Friday, 9 January 2009

For The Love of Wispa Advert

Back in November, Rick Lamb reported how Cadbury's were looking for help in creating their new advert for Wispa!

You could do so by volunteering your skills, possessions and/or time at www.fortheloveofwispa.com to help create the advert itself.

I can now show you the resulting advert:


Cadbury's - For The Love Of Wispa Advert


It is all so simple and grand. I really like this advert in the entirity. However, at 2 minutes 11 seconds in length, I am sure it will not get much TV air time in this form.

As with the "drumming gorilla" ad and the "racing colourful vehicles at an airport" ad, it seems like Cadbury's are sticking to commercials that are just purely associating themselves with having fun. I think that is a smart way to go in our health-conscience society and I hope that Cadbury's continue with this route.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Humanitarian Lion - Whopper Virgin Response

I came across a rather interesting concept by a group known as Humanitarian Lion. Their idea is to create a category within the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival (IAF) in order to come up with a great way in which to do a good deed somewhere in the world.

They have proposed to enter a new category into the Awards Ceremony that would be free (but required) to enter for any agency looking to enter their work into one of the original categories. These agencies would submit 1 idea about something that could be funded (building something, filming something, etc) in order to help those that need help.

These ideas would then be judged and the winner picked by the large multi-national corporations that run and attend the event. These companies would then combine the resources in order to put the winning idea into practice.

This seems like a great idea, and something I would like to see happen with other events around the world.

One supporter of Humanitarian Lion has created a nice video that plays on the recent Burger King Whopper Virgins ads that have been showing in the US. The idea is that they have travelled to South American countries (and other far off places) to perform a taste test between the Whopper and the Big Mac for those that have never tried either.

Below is an example of the type of ad they have been showing:

Burger King Whopper Virgins Ad


The Humanitarian Lion supporter has responded with this rather effective advert that takes that same concept, but applies it to everyday amenities (water, transport, etc). It reminds me very much of the Oxfam-type adverts that appear on TV every now and then.

See for yourself:

Humanitarian Lion Response

Cow Gives Birth to Man - Ray-Ban Viral Ad

Having featured Ray-Ban in an old post about viral marketing using fake events/achievements, it seems as if they are up to it again.

The Never Hide campaign has been very successful for the brand and their latest video is quite a surreal one!

To be honest, I won't try to describe the events, but would rather you watch the ad for yourselves (if the post title and caption doesn't give it away!).

I really enjoy the way in which Ray-Ban advertise as they never fail to make me smile.


Ray-Ban Viral Advertising - Cow gives birth to a guy!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Mash Up Monday - Linkin Park vs. One Republic

For the first mash up of 2009, I have a good mash up of Linkin Park's "We Made It" with One Republic's "Apologize".

I know I featured the same One Republic song along with Nelly Furtado a few weeks ago, but I do like One Republic quite a bit and you can never get too much of a good thing (so they say!).


Mash Up Monday - Linkin Park vs. One Republic - Apologize/We Made It