How hip are these guys. They’re called Vamp (and vampires are so hot right now), they’re based in a run-down church in Woodstock (Woodstock is so hot right now). And they  sell imaginative revamped art deco and fifties furniture for very reasonable prices. Already addicted to their weekly emails with new tempting goodies… on the subject Woodstock has some amazing places to get second hand decor for hipster homes. Go shopping before they’re all gentrified out of existence.

Based on the insight that most people’s inflight entertainment for shorthaul trip these days is on there ipod we (Atmosphere) have put together a pilot podcast that is now available on the kulula air home page. The idea was to find some interesting local personalities to interview that would be of interest for both business and leisure travelers on the airline. We invited Seth from 2oceansvibe, brad from beer salon &Union, Thierry from Za News and The Kings of Vegas along for our first go at this.

As its a pilot (no pun intended) we’d appreciate any feedback. But hopefully you’ll find it interesting. download by right clicking and saving on this link: kulula podcast.

If  you know me you’ll realise I have a bit of a t-shirt fetish. So i’m definitely a fan of the original crowdsourced t-shirt site threadless.com (and our local incarnation of the idea springleap.com). In particular digging their ongoing Twitter t-shirt slogan competition. If you’re wondering what to send me for xmas the two below are particular favorites.

There seems to be a trend at the moment of ad/marketing agencies launching their own products (check out the work of Anomaly for example). It could be seen as a recession fad (when all the real clients disappeared). But I think its more the next step in evolution for agencies that have felt frustrated with being left to only do window dressing without integrating creative branding into the DNA of products.

Until recently I suspect most agencies that suggested getting involved in product development would have been kicked out of the boardroom and told to go back to making commercials, but with high-profile case studies such as Apple and Google where the product is essentially the marketing campaign I think business is coming open to the idea that brand building isn’t just about window dressing but something that needs to be pulled through (in a tightly integrated way) from product concept to the final sale (and beyond probably).

By product design i’m not just talking about physical objects but also experiences and interactions with the brand. For many companies their biggest marketing tool isn’t advertising its the experience of using their service/products and how its discussed/reviewed by consumers (Telkom for example…) . There is no point paying for an ad campaign that reaches 300 000 target consumers if 600 000 walk through your doors and have a poor experience every week. So makes sense that the marketing industry is looking to take creative thinking more deeply into their clients business.

The President are putting together a popular culture festival in March next year which sounds pretty interesting. This is the line-up:

The President presents:
TOFFIE POPULAR CULTURE FESTIVAL
26-28 March 2010

Speakers confirmed:
* eBoy (Canada, Berlin)
* Kim Jones, Head Creative Director, Alfred Dunhill (UK)
* Jorge Alderete, Graphic Designer (Mexico)
* Seba Valdivia and Pablo Gonzalez Diaz, Owners of TMDG, the biggest design conference in the world (Argentina)
* Peet Pienaar, Creative Director, The President (South Africa)
* Wynand Myburgh, Musician, Van Coke Kartel / Fokofpolisiekar (South Africa)

Exhibition:
Jorge Alderete
Disturbance Studio
KRONK
The President
Brandt Botes

Opening Friday 26 March @ 18:00

Shops:
Weekend Special
2BOP

Registration:
Friday 26 March 16:00 – 20:00, Rondebosch Boys High, Memorial Hall

BOOKINGS: toffie@thepresident.co.za

Ticket prices: R680 for exhibition plus 2 full day lectures
ONLY LIMITED AMOUNT OF TICKETS AVAILABLE. BOOK NOW TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MISS OUT

(Ticket prices include copies of the Bruce Lee and Coco Joe magazines, plus access to the party on Saturday night to over 18’s)

Tel 021 462 6092/9 for more information

An interesting twist on the functional drink phenomenon are these drinks with magical powers from Jones Soda. Given the almost ludicrous benefits printed on the side of some vitamin-laced drinks these days it makes sense. The limited edition drinks are taken from geek-grooming game Dungeons & Dragons and include benefits such as potion of healing, dwarven draught and my personal favorite Ithilid Brain Juice. Yum. My suggestion that  Steri Stumpie release a Sasquatch Mojo flavour sadly fell on deaf ears…

 

 

Nice idea from Ikea making use of Facebook’s phototagging feature:

April 77 Records (a label available at Urban Outfitters in the UK) shows that the mash-up trend applies equally to businesses. Everytime you buy one of their fashion items you get a scratch card that gives access to an mp3 download of a band signed to their label.

 

Atmosphere recently launched the kulula beach index for kulula.com. We worked with a freelance economist to figure out the cheapest beach destinations in South Africa – just in time for the summer holiday season. To get the figures we looked at the price of fish & chips amongst other typical holiday costs for a family of four. Stillbaai in the Western Cape came out as the cheapest and Camps Bay in Cape Town (maybe not surpisingly) came out as most expensive. The activity was designed to draw attention to kulula holidays the travel portal of kulula.com (which is mostly known as an airline brand). Coverage has appeared in the Daily News, Weekend Witness, Weekend Argus, Business Report and iafrica amongst other places. Considering the costs were minimal in putting it together I think this makes it a nice little PR idea.

I spent Friday evening working at the very last ghd style lounge in Cape Town. The ghd style lounge is a pop-up salon that we’ve been touring around Joburg, Durban and Cape Town over the last few weeks. The idea is consumers register at a microsite www.ghdstylediary.co.za and we choose a limited number of winners to attend with four friends. They get a makeover from a ghd expert, make-up from our partners on the event Benefit and a play with a self-portrait shooting photo booth. This was the second year we’ve run the event and the reaction both in terms of applications to attend and media coverage has been great. Sad to say however this is the last time we’ll run it in its current for. However very excited about the new incarnation under a different name and with a fairytale theme to match the new ad direction. Special thanks to Hammer Live Brands who brought the events to life and found some amazing spaces to use.

What’s this?

Underfield is written by Dan Pinch in Cape Town. Dan works in brand communications/PR at Atmosphere (part of King James).

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