Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grassing on Another Bloody Water

Another Bloody Water were one of the sponsors at last Saturday's St. Ali Yarra Place Project and had their truck stationed in prime position for the event. Now this is not your standard delivery vehicle. Like all their delivery vehicles it's covered from top to tailgate in synthetic turf with the brand name cut into the side.

Against the urban backdrop the grass provides a refreshing and eye-catching contrast. I also wonder if it's an attempt to allude to the eco-friendliness of the brand in a time when the trend is about nose-thumbing the unsustainable practice of bottling and branding water (remember last year when Bundanoon, NSW banned the sale of bottled water in their town). On their website they go to lengths to list their green credentials; it's BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia) certified and the Acquifer it's sourced from is confirmed as fully renewable.

Kudos to them for activating their trucks with a subliminal environmental message.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Moving Windows for Moving Houses

Walking through Albert Park last night I noticed real estate agent, RT Edgar have done away of traditional A4 printed listings in the window in favour of sleek looking monitors.

Although there's a substantial outlay upfront, there are multiple benefits of adopting this technology:
  • Listing are updated immediately - In this never-ending real estate boom (well in Melbourne anyway... have you seen how much competition there is at auctions!) being able to communicate new listings to potential buyers is critical.
  • Unlimited space - the agent is no longer limited by the physical dimensions of the window as data scrolls across the screens.
  • Advertising - costs could be offset by featuring intermittent adverts on the screen ie. for mortgage and insurance companies or local attorneys.
  • Appearance - the moving image attracts the eye of the passerby. It screams to the viewer "This is a professional, slick agency. We have the resources at our fingertips to sell/buy for you!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

General Pants Co. Set Up Record Label

General Pants Co. have come up with an inventive way to drive traffic to their website and ultimately sales, all whilst providing a leg up to unknown Australian musicians.

They’ve teamed up with Peer Group Media to form Major Label a ‘singles only’ record label where the artist maintains ownership of copyright, has full creative control and receives 100% of the royalty income through the sales of music via digital retail stores.

The idea is for the 700 street-savvy General Pants Co. staff to act as talent scouts, street teams and publicists for the label and its artists. The staff will seek out the next hot Australian acts and submit them to the Major Label music blog housed on the General Pants Co. website. Each month three acts will be chosen and their single will be available for streaming on the General Pants Co. website and available to purchase through selected online retailers including itunes, Nokia, Emusic and Amazon at a cost of $1.68.

Jethro Lyons, Brand Manager of General Pants Co. said “Major Label is about discovering up and coming hot new Australian acts and throwing them a lifeline. The program engages our staff and customers and puts General Pants Co. on the dance floor of the Australian music scene, which is an exciting place to be right now.”

The match between brands and music is a natural fit. Brands are continually exploring new ways to engage consumers and music, with the loyalty and passion it arouses is a viable medium. If General Pants Co. get this right they’ll garner much respect from their young customer basis.

That may not be as easy as it sounds.The Levity program was set up by Levi’s® with similar intentions, to assist emerging Australasian talent. Artists signed to short term deals included Mercy Arms and Cut Off Your Hands. The program according to former Marketing Manager Steve Williams, was seen as a long term investment for the brand but waned since its inception in 2007. Having had some involvement with Levi’s® during this time, I would suggest this may have been due to weak distribution channels and difficulty signing up artists

The Major Label initiative launches on 1st March 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Reed Space, A Great Space

I was impressed by the layout of The Reed Space when I visited the New York store late last year.

Located in LES, the 'lifestyle boutique' for guys stocks the latest in sneakers and street apparel, bikes, toys and art. Along the wall as you enter from Orchard Street, neat rows of kids chairs painted white hang, providing a feature and act as shelving, housing a wicked collection of mags and books. The chairs a reference to the brand logo.

What makes it such a shoppable space?
-  Bright lighting and clean white finishes allow mostly colourful product to pop
-  Big tables and angled shelving allow each tee / hoody design to be seen. Limited stock on  floor prevents mess and refolding for staff
- Temporary but sturdy floor-to-ceiling shelving is easy to remove to create space for events / gallery exhibits

Big M's Chocolate River Fits

I spotted this Milk Bar whilst driving through Geelong over Summer. They've done a great job of ensuring the Big M decal frames the window perfectly. Seeing a decal stuck on a window it wasn't printed to fit properly, always looks like a branding afterthought.
Latrobe Terrace, Geelong

Stopping Traffic with Wonderful Windows

This is a great article posted by John Bird of Refreshing Retail on the power of the store window. It includes photos of recent displays by Harrods and Selfridges in London. Full article here.

Australia's kikki K Nominated For Retail Innovation Award

Ever since childhood I’ve had an affinity for stationery, probably thanks to my Grandpa who always kept me well stocked with cute and quirky pencils, clips and erasers every birthday and Christmas. I can confess, embarrassingly, to roping my poor brother and cousins into hours of playing “post offices’ with all my stationery.

As a grown-up the arrival of kikki K allowed me to rekindle that affinity without feeling like a dag. kikki K is a brand that gets it. They make stationery fun and an adult affair without being too serious in a engraved fountain pen manner!
The Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) must feel the same way. They’ve just nominated Kikki K for a Retail Innovation Award in the World Retail Awards to be presented in Berlin in April. The brand posted on their facebook and twitter pages they were "thrilled to be nominated by WGSN for the World Retail Awards." Swedish founder, Kristina Karlsson says the nomination highlights the opportunity for further international expansion. “This nomination confirms our relevance on the world retail scene, and the endless possibilities ahead of us. It’s always been my dream to open kikki.K boutiques in my favourite cities around the world… this takes us one step closer.”

kikki K has 40 stores nationally and another recently launched in Singapore's Orchard Road. In December the company also opened a new concept store in Sydney's Strand Arcade, White by kikki K. The store offers a variety of products all in white. Not just limited to product, the flooring is white washed timber, all fixturing white and even the sales team is dressed in white. Hard to argue that's not innovation!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Tilda Swinton & Ryan McGinley Collaborate For Pringle

Tilda Swinton has been dubbed the inspiration behind the latest collection from luxury knitwear brand, Pringle of Scotland. The Spring/Summer '10 campaign features Swinton shot in organic Scottish landscapes by New York photographer, Ryan McGinley.

To Pringle, Swinton "embodies the new mood of the collection; her strength and confidence conjures up an elusive luminous quality." Of the range "A strong sense of feminity pervades, but is always played with an unmistakable edge." The imagery reflects the design proposition as does the choice of shoot location. Shot in rural Scotland the imagery is in line with "the brands vision since 2000 to restore the heritage of Pringle's rich past and continue the tradition of innovation, authenticity and glamour."


Pringle understand their market, choosing to team with the striking and fiercely talented Swinton over some young starlet. The collaboration with the Academy award winning actress and McGinley has also produced a series of short films for the brand. They feature Swinton running through Scottish woods, climbing over stone walls draped in silk and crawling through caves in a fitted backless gown, all to an eerie score produced by Dogee Mountain. The footage offers what stills cannot for a brand by allowing the consumer to witness the wearability of the garments and ultimately an emotional brand connection.