If you aren't different, you have no identity

Striking timing on Twitter this evening as I read a great quote from Dave Trott (see below) and then some glorious, almost to the pixel, copies of Apple's hardware & software seen at CES this week.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Modern Trailer

After finally watching The Force Awakens, I can safely look at anything mentioning the words 'Star Wars' again. I thought this modern trailer for The Empire Strikes Back was something really fun to see and just plain cool. What really strikes me about these trailers is the fantastic use of Han and Leia’s love theme from The Empire Strikes Back. It's so evocative, and the juxtaposition and power of being so reverential to the original films is very powerful. It almost brings a tear to my eye when you the see the Falcon on that cue around 57 seconds.

Here's the same treatment to Return of The Jedi

(Via The Verge)

Update 16/01/16 - Adding A New Hope. Shines a new perspective on the film, so well done.

HTC's Misguided Marketing

HTC need to stop copying and/or poorly executing their recent products and marketing. 

In October HTC released the HTC One A9. They managed to outdo Samsung in completely copying the design of Apple's iPhone 6. Recent performance seems to show they are probably banking the future of the company on this new phone, which makes you wonder why they chose to ape Apple's industrial design so closely. Perhaps some misguided hope of netting some sales from confused customers?

Anyway, I'm not sure how the phone is performing, but the marketing can hardly be helping.

First up, they come out with this thing. A film which states 'Be Different' triumphantly, almost as a rally cry to anyone who might be a sheep in wanting a highly superior device. It then proceeds to poorly copy and execute an interpretation of Ridley Scott's infamous 1984 Apple ad. At this moment they are behaving like a Bizarro Apple.

Then this ad comes out. It's doing the thing unimaginative brands and agencies do, which is to rely on the updated features in the product to market it to consumers. So we get a roll call of the same amazing thing that smartphones have been doing for years. Show us the benefits! To make it even harder to grasp, they set it in a studio with a model who struggles to express the needed emotions when required.

Years ago Microsoft created a brilliant internal film which poked fun at themselves if they designed the iPod’s packaging. Here in three minutes we have a perfect example of the difference in marketing with emotion and the human benefit versus the colder roll call of features so common especially in tech advertising.

It’s got to be hard for an agency to create compelling advertising when it seems clear that even though HTC created a carbon copy iPhone, they want to distance it so much from Apple in its marketing (and almost diss them). 

It is advertising in a vacuum, it isn’t aware of its surroundings, the real world. So it all feels so inauthentic. It’s the elephant in the room, and no one wants to say it. But audiences will see it and they definitely won't buy it.

YouTube Space Lab

Space Lab was a huge, interactive campaign launched by Google in September 2011. The project culminated in a Live stream and Google+ Hangout from the International Space Station before the channel was handed over to Scientific American in September 2012

Sponsored by Lenovo and in partnership with NASA, it’s all about inspiring and educating young people around the world about science in the most imaginative way possible.

The idea is simple: 14-18 year-old students are challenged to design a science experiment that can be performed in space.

The winning experiment will be performed and streamed live aboard the International Space Station.

The challenge was to make a beautiful, engaging and compelling promo that would get people talking about this campaign in as many countries around the world as possible. It was all about captivating visuals and not words.

Having been part of the briefing early on meant there was real synergy between the creative in the video and the rest of the campaign.

In under a week we had 4.5 million views and it was the no. 1 spot in the AdAge viral video chart, beating the iPhone 4S launch video.

It was such a favourite in the office, I worked with one of our designers to create a poster to put up in the office kitchen.

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