Monday, April 21, 2008

change and re change

Possibility--In certain times with certain light, what we see changes us.

During the 60's
o Individuals change (people evolve over time, individuals over age, stages of life)
o Organizations/institutions evolve + embrace ritual
∑ Could be university, classes, religion, professional groups, etc
o Leaders grow from the masses
o Products emerge: ideas+things
∑ Both IP and actual things
o Change happens
o Cultural
o Societal: gov, education, opportunities/push back
o Economic: it's coming with the coming recession
o Political: what happens with political ideals get traction, change in leadership
o 9/11
o Ipod
o Internet
o What is a family…nontraditional
o Health issues: obesity, exercise
o Social responsibility
o Boomer generation getting older and taking care of parents and kids
o Talking, thinking globally
o Environment--hybrid cars, recycling, sustainability
o Student shootings
o Shifting paradigms-affected young people most dramatically
o Protests against segregation
o Cesar Chavez
o "Feminine Mystique" is published
o Aug '63-Martin Luther King
o '63-Kennedey assassinated
o Civil Rights Act
o '68 MLK assassinated
o Berlin wall goes up
o Peace Corp founded
o Cuban missile crisis
o Bible in public schools unconstitutional
o Surgeon general's report on smoking
o 64-Gulf of Tonkin--beginning of Vietnam (now a lie)
o Wilderness Act
o Medicare bill
o Miranda rights
o 1st birth control pill
o 1st copier
o 60-1st televised presidential campaign
o 62-1st color television
o 1st James Bond movie
o 1st topless bar
o 1st heart transplant
o Marilyn Monroe dies
o 63-Where the wild things are…children's literature changed
o 64-Beatles land in NYC
o 64-Sydney Portier wins oscar
o Catholic church changes from Latin to English
o Consumer activism born: Ralph Nadar-unsafe at any speed
o 69-Woodstock
o War Protests: why--draft and media coverage of war, mostly transparent coverage
o Meeting with Russians
o Foray into space
o 1st PHd in Computer science
o Vietnam 64-75: 58,202 killed, 61% 21 or younger
o Civil rights violence
o Language- discussion
o Role Models-politicians, musicians, orators (story tellers)
o Networks-knowledge possibility
o Anthropologist
o Political, Social and Economic cycles within eras

∑ Whatever era that culturally, socially and economically hits high notes, you could plot out places
∑ When all engines are working together in all drivers---it creates change
∑ Looks at era that follows--given all that possibility, what did we do with it?

notes from deb morrison presentation

Saturday, April 19, 2008

image vs innovation

New Ways of Thinking

The media's role in this: different kinds of media force change in the marketplace. People are more aware of different media being fed to them these days.

The Difference between Brand Innovation and Brand Image:
Brand Image is oldschool. It follows this old formula:
Product Benefit X Distinct Indentity X Added Values = Strong Brand.
Examples: McDonalds followed this formula, using features such as fast, convenient coupled with family values, and the added value of work with the Ronald McDonald House to create a strong brand. This method worked for a time.

-Problems with this way of creating a Brand Image, is it shortchanges authenticity. A set script or formula is less sincere, and easily imitated. Examples of this are how Burger King copied McDonalds, or the Pepsi & Coke.

-There is often confusion between top of mind awareness and largest share of voice, and brand loyalty. Having a strong brand through the Brand Image formula doesn't ensure product loyalty.

Brand Innovation is a more interactive and dynamic way of handling a brand. It creates change in the way people do things, the image of the brand becomes what they do, their actions. (Example: Google. Has no advertising, but is known for what they do)

But first, what is a brand? A personality, a lifestyle. Who you are, what you want to be seen as. It is embedded in cultural ideals. (Examples: Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfigure, the Kennedy's. Each have represented a lifestyle to emulate, or to aspire to. All were, at least to begin with, innovators.)

In looking at the connection between brand and culture, with the old formula of brand image, consistency had been key. But why would a brand want to be consistent? Authenticity often means changing with the culture, as culture is fluent and interactions with brands are as well. Only liars are reliably consistent. (Examples of changing brands: Geico)

What is the role of advertising?
Is it to build culture, or to highlight it? Should it be the ads or the products that shape the brand? (example: Apple products are changing the way people interact and live, but the ads are showing us this lifestyle and the image of who you can be if you use the product.)

One thing seems to stand out: People are irrational. An example of this is the OJ Simpson trial for murder. He drives away from the police, and 66% of Americans say he's guilty. After a year of intense media coverage, and evidence built up against him, 67% believed he was guilty. Only 1% of people changed their minds, after having nearly indisputable evidence. Decision-making is not formulaic, and often not rational.

Looking at STEP for today's cultural climate (john grant):
S (societal): people are working longer hours, commuting further. As a result, they have less family time.
T (technological): iphone and clones can be used during the commute.
E (economic): gas prices rising, the threat of the recession.
P (political): Excitement over Bush leaving office, a more liberal agenda in the future.

Looking at these categories, does a brand fit into them? Consider that people decide on things irrationally (why else would people buy pet rocks?)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


i wanted to start with a broad social construct when looking at how people communicate with each other. where do the stories come from that we tend to repeat and what stories have meaning. so i invited a friend to come in and talk to us about mythology.

The following are Peter's notes from Ann Maxwell’s presentation

How do we know things?
-Things that have been tested and results measured
-Measurable facts

Phenomenology: Anything imagined as real can be accepted to be as real as proven things.

Mythology: How the world was created and how are you supposed to be in the world.
Not morals, but open-ended stories.

Joseph Campbell: A Hero with a Thousand Faces
-Why so many hero stories?
-That’s what worth writing about
-Someone who achieved something improbable
-Someone who has given their life to something larger than themselves

Physical Hero vs. Spiritual Hero:
-What type of difficulty did you overcome?

Initiation ritual:
-A child must ‘die’ to come back as an adult
-Going from psychological dependency to independence requires a ‘death’ and

-Finding your career
-Drafted into war

Commonly seen stories:
-“Fire theft” relay race:
-Brought fire to civilization, different birds carried the torch, got burned , and
turned different colors
-“Monster Slayer”
-Three temptations of Christ
-Three temptations of Buddha
-Social Duty
Both return from their journeys and choose disciples.

The trials of the hero journey are essential
-Serendipitous adventure
-Hero is given not only a physical instrument, but also a psychological commitment

Commonly seen metaphors:
-Belly of the whale
-Going in and coming out again
-A willingness to cross the threshold
-Water is unconscious

We all operate in our society relative to a system
-Will the system eat you up?
-Will you harness the system to succeed?

Memorable quotes (from star wars/ the hero's journey):
-“I love you”-Princess Leah
-“I know”-Han Solo