Sunday, 30 November 2008

Guaranteed to make you last that bit longer...

I do believe these adverts are as close to marketing brilliance as I have long seen. Extremely clever, if slightly mischievous, the team behind Durex has come up with a campaign for it’s new condom, the Durex Performa (engineered to make men last longer), that has created a huge buzz, both online and offline. In concordance with the release of the Performa, Durex have also released these charming limited edition pillowcases that have proved such a hit that Durex sales rose by 28% and the pillowcases had to be re-released in sex stores across New Zealand (where the campaign was launched).

Clever, cheeky and creative, Durex has brought a playful aspect to the bedroom, as it passes along the element of fun into that shrouded enclosed environment that most brands would love to be able to reach. It’s a lesson that a whole heap of obtrusive brands can learn from. If it’s my space, be very careful how you, as big, bold, brazen brands, act in it, whether it be online or off, facebook, or my room. Brands need to understand that when you are in my personal area, you can, and can’t, do, or don’t do, certain things. Respect this, and we should get along absolutely dandy.

Stole the images from here.
With thanks to Patricia for the heads up - I hadn't laughed so much over an ad in time, so it had to be documented!

Black Friday x Clark Kent x Nike

Upon looking at these sneakers, I have to ask myself why Nike can’t do more exclusive collaborative drops within these rain sodden shores. DJ Clark Kent and Nike have collaborated in conjunction with America’s infamous shopping splurge, Black Friday, to create these shiny, slick sneakers. With Nike giving Kent the freedom to unleash his creative capabilities once again (he has worked on a variety of other projects, including these trainers for the Olympics) he has created these exclusive kicks with a uniquely unconventional medley of materials - including black pony tail hair on the base, a metallic silver heel and swoosh, and an iridescent metallic gloss on the upper sole. Nice.

Image taken from here. Thanks.

Roll Deep vs the BNP

Going back to the issues in my recent piece on the BNP earlier this month, I was recently shocked by this portion of marketing mischief from the jolly boys from Bow E3. Much like Dizzee Rascal’s outlandish outing on the BBC’s Newsnight a few weeks back, Roll Deep have let down the side for the young, British and black. The video stands for the right things – an attempt by the many members of the motley mob to bring essential awareness to anti race hate campaigns – yet it is being carried about in the completely wrong fashion. As the video is playing, the names and areas of several people off of the leaked BNP list scroll across the bottom; a total display of indifference to the privacy of these individuals. Roll Deep are in a fortunate position where they can make an actual difference - they are in a position where what they say will be heard, will be acted upon, will be an inspiration - and it makes my blood burn, bubble then boil when I see these opportunities wasted. And for what? A cheap shot at a few blushing BNP members which affects nothing, no one and nowhere. Roll Deep have made the video about the fact that they believe these people to be racist - it shouldn’t be about whether these people are or aren’t racist, it should be about taking a unyielding position against what the party stands for. There are certain ways of dealing with issues; making a music video that basically digresses into schoolyard cussing, is, unfortunately for Roll Deep, not one of them.

Image taken from here. And with thanks to RWD for the heads up.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The changing dynamics of the workplace

I was listening to 1Xtra the other day as they had a week devoted to the topic of careers. Far be it for me to sit back smugly as I listened to scores of stories of unemployment, I was instead pertinently provoked by the persistent insistence that young people are lazy - according to a recent survey, 75% of adults think that young people don't work as hard as they did when they were kids. Having read Don Tapscott’s brilliant article in the guardian, and also Alex’s one here, I have come to realise that there is a serious shift occurring in the dynamics of how we work. The emphasis that future employers must place upon the new generation of workers, or the net-geners /echo boomers, will mean that there shall be drastic changes in the work place over the next few years.

Regarding the argument over the airwaves, it was quickly made clear that many current employers aren’t, or haven’t, adapted to this new way of working. This new way of working is inherently different, as Tapscott enforces in his article: “They've (net-geners) shaken up the game of politics, and now they may do the same in the working world. Their culture of work is challenging, to be sure, but I think it is the way to work in the 21st century. They enter the working world with distinctly different attitudes. Nearly seven out of 10 net-geners, for example, want to choose where and when to work, compared with four in 10 workers from their parents' generation. Half of them value family over money.”

I don’t believe current employees are prepared to make these dynamic alterations to the workplace so readily. It peeves me when it is reported that the young people of today are lazy, don’t want to work hard and diminish responsibility - young people are being satirized enough as it is. It’s not that net-geners don’t work hard, it’s just that they work in a totally different manner to the apparently, solid hard working, dedicated generations before it. Kid’s these days are readily prepared to work their full time job, do the nine to five, but to also venture out more. Kid’s want to benefit more from the talents they have actively accumulated and honed over the years, and financially profit from them. Look at the influx of young creative’s that have hit over the past few years – everyone now wants to create their own clothes, or is in a band, or is a photographer, paints, graffiti’s, models, is a stylist, hosts their own nights – the creative and entrepreneurial possibilities are endeavoring, yet endless. And this is all being achieved whilst still working solid hours in other jobs. The net-geners may work in a different manner from the baby boomers, and those before it, but never has a single generation shown such an almighty ambition for enterprise.

Image robbed from here. Thanks.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Whathehelle hearts LDN

Saturday was a great day. It involved shooting a documentary for Nike, a friendly cameraman called Nikolaj, 1948, sneakers, Nike iD, a Victorian style pub, Shoreditch, Soho, Punk, Camden, Gilgamesh and partying late into the night with Girls Aloud. I shan't bore you with the details, but hell I had fun.

Saturday also reminded me of the fact that I am very fortunate to be young, free and living in one of the greatest cities in the world. The cultural mix, the architecture, the people, the places, the parties, the opportunities - How could you not love London? Pimp magazine have released a guide to the capital called Pimp London: The Guide, detailing some of the capital’s hottest cultural spots and looking at London through sharp, savvy and stylish lenses. It is an interesting look at some of the small sub cultures and goings on within the capitals aromatic borders, and it does remind you of why London is such a great place. Listing 200+ of the capitals best haunts whether they be boutique or bar, cafe or club, Pimp takes a long lasting look at the scenes and spots that make London such a culturally condensed, captivating and creative city. We recently sent the book off to some kids in LA and they absolutely loved it; and if those bunch of broads and hoochie mamas liked it, us Londoners should definitely check it out.

Image stolen from here. Thanks. Sorry.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The Magma

These pics are from the New ACG Magma Ripstop drop at 1948 yesterday. These spindly web of ropes holding the sneakers have temporarily replaced the NikeiD booth, as they display Nike's newest array of All Condition Gear kicks. Durable and as comfortable as pink furry slippers, the Magma is a great addition to the winter wardrobe.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The troubles with the BNP

Regarding the release of the British National Party’s members list, I don't know quite what to make of it all. I've never really condoned this sort of indiscriminant intrusion into people’s privacy that the net oft incurs. However here I am severed and split – the BNP have never, let’s contentedly say, been my favourite political party (if I could say I had one). It stands for the archaic principles and philosophies that find sanctuary amongst only the closest minded members of society and, much like the NF before it, controversially, yet comfortably, convenes alongside hateful and racist values. That being the case, this list, detailing the names, phone numbers and addresses of BNP supporters, pushes the absolute limit of what I find acceptable – it isn’t really fair; is it? The list could be fabrication, for all that we know. It would be the darkest of shames should these people be victimised, slandered and branded racists for a crime they didn’t commit, and, even if they are BNP supporters, you can’t, and shouldn’t, be attacked for your political allegiance. Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

As I don’t condone this intrusion I won’t post the link, but I’m sure a quick google will lead you to it, if you so wish. Stole the image like a thief in the nasty night from here (no I wasn't wearing a hood Mr Sunday Express!)...

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Royal Festival Hall

Having had lunch with my maverick mentor Yemisi Blake, he decided to show me around his place of work - the illustrious Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank, and it's impressive, if slightly daunting, auditorium. The centre has stood since post war Britain and has been home to an art based culture from the giddy get go. Originally created to host the Festival of Britain in an audacious attempt by the then government to restore the nations jollity after the damage of the war, the space has since been put to prominent use as, what is now, a world famous arts and culture venue. The Royal Festival Hall also plays host to a number of stages, a bar, a shop and comfortable seating areas, useful as it is all WiFi accessible and, as the hall is public space, is all absolutely accessible to everyone and anyone. Filled with arty types chatting constructive culture and business folk hosting meetings on the plush settees, it is a great place to relax, work and generally be productive, and best of all they don’t turn there noses up at you, or indeed turn you away, because you’re a kid (always a bonus in these big ol’, shiny, important looking buildings). Get down there one afternoon, it’s well nice.

Monday, 17 November 2008

I got thinking...

It’s been a seriously strange last couple of weeks in my world - amongst all the ups, the downs, the departures, the dramas and the overall lack of sleep, I do believe I have matured a wee tad. It’s generally difficult being eighteen – currently caught between the stroppy, selfish adolescent and a mature, responsible adult - without learning slowly and painfully, haphazardly even, the art of growing up. With such great people around me, and with such brilliant opportunities presented before me, I have found it personally unnerving that I could consider, even subconsciously, straying from the striking, shiny highway that potentially lies ahead. But this, I am told, is part of growing up. This, I am also promised, is common amongst kids – ‘Where will I go?’ ‘What will I do?’ ‘How can I achieve my goals?’ ‘Will I succeed?’ – are all questions I have fretted over at some point but crucially, and fortunately, all questions which I have received the semblance of an answer. So, if this self-doubting, self-questioning, quixotic air commonly surrounds kid’s futures, as I know it does, who guides those whom begin to drift – the kids that need it the most. It’s not difficult to lose your way, I know this to be true - we have all, at some point, strayed from the privileged path that keeps us on the broad, long, straight and narrow, but this is part of the learning process. It’s just growing up (or so I am told). Yet it worries me that a lot of kids feel they cannot, and therefore will not, entrust their concerns with adult figures. Generally it is these figures that know what is best, offer the soundest, most reliable advice, and are generally teh most helpful. Sometimes these mentors are all it takes to ensure that the right decisions are taken, and that the wrong ones are avoided, even if it’s just a few words from a respected someone in a rare, spare moment.

Just something that I got thinking about...

(A very pensive) Whathehelle?

Again with thanks to the illusive Mr LayLow for the image...

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Trading Places V

An excellent eve all round: Great atmosphere, great sets, great vibe and some great looking people. Filled with an enigmatic and eclectic crowd, the effervescent atmosphere was evidently infectious as the DJs, all of whom were excellent it must be added, carried the vivid vibe though out the night with a combination of great tunes, hard beats and raucous mixing. Be sure to be there for next month’s rendition to rave it up alongside some of London’s very finest.

Big props to the lovely Gel and Mr LayLow for the pics!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Currency Clothing

You may have seen me wearing a fair few of the t-shirts around and about of late, but I have long been a huge fan of the big, bold and brazen brand that is Currency Clothing. With witty one-liners combined with trite, yet tasteful, typography, Currency merges an in-your-face factor with colloquial, cultural vernacular that shows that the true home of the brand is amongst the streets and straps of the suburbs and cities (if you are looking for a brand that talks to kids you've found it). The message that the brand portrays, somewhat controversially, denotes a very clear image of raw, urban street life; a provocative connotation that has seemingly made it all the more pertinately popular amongst the targeted urban streetwear market.

Though Currency has been around for a fair few years it has only been revealed relatively recently to the large majority and is now being sold in stores such as Hideout, Supra and Global Sports. Brought to us by the creative talents of Brian Gathii, the man behind super brand To-orist, and Lionel Agunyego, the chief designer, the brand is fast expanding as demand on the streets is ever increasing. Keep a look out in your local neighbourhood; you’re sure to see speech bubbles popping up all over the place.

Get in touch if you are interested in purchasing any Currency Clothing...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Nike meets the mob...

This was the launch of the Nike x Married to the Mob trainers and matching t shirt held at Nike's warehouse 1948 in Shoreditch. Packed full of interesting individuals, the complimentary candyfloss, the powdered pink bonbons and the professional nail varnishing went down a terrific treat. And look at the pretty sneakers, aint they marvellous!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Wise words and sceptical cynicism...

I've spent the last two hours pondering passionate politics with a varied intellectual, insightful bunch of individuals. The US election has created a political storm that has swept both sides of the Atlantic, powered by the prospect of progress, change and a black man seated in, what has always been, a very white House. It was my good friend Niyi Crown that highlighted the issues with the hype surrounding Obama and, though I had been inclined to challenge his point, it makes severe sense. Obama is very popular amongst the young - he has created a campaign that has genuinely got kids excited and is generally perceived to ‘get’ the youth - however, this genuine hype has become overshadowed somewhat. Niyi highlighted the point that too many young black people support Obama for the sole reason that he is black himself. Niyi even went as far as to berate me somewhat for liking Obama for, what he perceived to be, the ‘wrong reasons’. Another friend of mine, Andrea, has long been ‘wondering why EVERY black person on (her) Facebook is voting for Obama?!... Have people even done their research?!’ Andrea, needless to say, is both black and an avid McCain supporter. She also has extremely strong elements of truth in her words. When I joked that I would be voting McCain, my friend Shakira wondered if I would be ‘scared of the abuse I would get from every black and young person on facebook’... Proving Andrea’s point somewhat.

I myself have not researched the policies, particular politics, or philosophies of Obama, yet I, alike many others, have been swept up in the monsoon of his groundbreaking arrival on the international scene. So, I had to ask myself, why isit that I am such an ardent advocate of Obama? As I explained to Niyi, it is the innovation of the man that has captured my enigmatic imagination, and the colour factor is very much a cog in the well-oiled machine that is Brand Obama. Obama, being a black man, is majestic modernization in motion.

Two years ago, could we have ever imagined a black man running for presidency, let alone actually winning it (as early indications shows that he will)? It was Tupac Shakur that uttered the infamous words ‘And although it seems heaven sent, We ain't ready, to see a black President’. Though we may have a black President come tomorrow morn, are we indeed ready for one? Even if Obama is voted in to the White House early tomorrow morning, this does not prove that we as a race are prepared to have a non-white man leading the most powerful nation on Earth (though I flippin’ hope we are). Only tumultuous, turbulant time will tell...

With thanks to Tupac, Niyi, Andrea and Shakira for their input. Image stolen from here.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Happy Birthday NikeiD

I had a whole heap of fun at an event that confidently seeped of cool, colour and creativity. Held at a 'scenic' spot on Commercial Road, an amiable atmosphere and some great music, courtesy of some live DJ sets by the Nike team, set the night in magnificent motion. Big props to the NikeiD team (minus the constantly discourteous, cutting and caustic Kash) for throwing this lavish night of fun, fashion and flippant foolery.

With thanks to Mr Jarrett-Hunter for providing some of these images.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Thinking Different

The terrifically talented T.Magic has done it once again with his newest release – a glow in the dark edition of the original Think Different t-shirt. The aluminous print is a refreshing, seemingly emerging, trend that I have seen on a number of occasions at recent events. Watch out for more of this garish green glowing through the gritty gloom.

Props to T.Magic for the image...