Spring has sprung, offering a new season to refresh and rejuvenate ourselves individually and as a team. GCI employees are engaged in brainstorming boot camps, a fitness challenge, and intensive tech innovation. Could your team benefit from a kick-start to summer? We've highlighted some creative ideas, interesting trends and new technologies that are sure to put a spring in your step!
Read on for a quick sip of inspiration and discover the latest trends in art, design, music, fashion and culture by following us on Twitter!
- Denise Brunsdon, Director of Social Media, GCI Canada
1. Green Gardening
Looking for ways to freshen up your garden this season? My Luscious Backyard is a Toronto-based organic farming company that takes your unused or overgrown backyard and turns it into an urban flower farm where blooms are harvested to offer local customers the freshest and most eco-friendly floral bouquets and edible flowers.
2. Social Business Cards
Say hello to a more efficient way of exchanging contact information and getting connected. Devices such as the Poken and the E Connector offer a 'social business card' though a customizable mini USB key. Not into carrying extra gadgets? Contxts offers a service that enables professionals to share their contact information instantly via SMS. The iPhone also has various business card applications and Blackberry has a new barcode scanning system for adding contacts. So, are you still handing out single-medium business cards?
3. Virtual Video Chat
The anonymous video chat site Chatroulette is being heralded as the viral zeitgeist of 2010. With no login information required, users chat with strangers to catch a raw and often revealing glimpse into the lives of others. Despite the controversy and nudity, video chat may be the future of online communications. Musician Ben Folds recently paid tribute to Chatroulette's first star Merton the Piano Man and advertisers are also taking notice as the site had nearly four million visitors in February according to Comscore. Founder Andrey Ternovskiy is now entertaining funding offers from investors.
Michael Landy’s most recent project called Art Bin has sparked an international debate on the idea of creative failure and the importance of modern art and destruction. The fascinating exhibition invited members of the public to dispose of their own artistic failures and unsuccessful works in a huge see-through container – essentially creating a new collective work of art and testament to creative expression.
We ♥ Design
Now more than ever before, consumers expect product packaging and design to be both clever and conscious. Objectified, the most recent film by Gary Hustwit of Helvetica fame, examines our complex relationship with manufactured goods, including the creative processes of some of the world's most influential product designers and the unbelievable creativity at work behind everything from simple toothbrushes to intricate tech gadgets.
With social media in full force, new art forms and expressions now reach the public at break-neck speed. And with an ever-growing technological landscape, customers are demanding the latest and greatest in larger than life entertainment experiences.
Three-dimensional cinematography is nothing new (1953's House of Wax anyone?), but that old eye-popping trick has been showing up in some pretty interesting places lately. The 2010 Grammy Awards used the visual sensation to run a special 3D tribute to Michael Jackson and Nada recently presented her fall 2010 collection in the form of a 3D cinematic fashion feat dubbed Future Fashion/Fashion Future. Portable three-dimensional technology is also accessible with the new Nintendo 3DS and the pCubee, a handheld cube-shaped display offering the thrills of 3D without the annoying glasses.
But the year’s biggest 3D splash was Twentieth Century Fox’s billion-dollar fantasy marvel, Avatar, a film closely followed by other 3D box office hits like Alice in Wonderland and How to Train Your Dragon. The success of these films has television networks endeavouring to bring the 3D HD experience home; Samsung, LG and Panasonic have already started selling 3D TVs!
What's next, we wonder...
Standing apart from the crowd and cutting through all the clutter often requires innovative thinking and the use of extreme marketing measures. Organizations and individuals are expanding traditional advertising mediums and looking for unique ways to connect with audiences and deliver messages.
The company I Wear Your Shirt, with its unique pay-per-day shirt and social media advertising, offers advertisers the opportunity to dress two dudes in branded t-shirts and secure product placement or brand exposure in their photos, videos, social networking accounts and websites.
British tastemaker Philip Levin uses his bald head as a canvas for creativity. From Swarovski crystal head designs to artistic acupuncture needles, he has gained the attention of London’s arts and culture community and has been featured on Trend Hunter and NotCot. He offers a distinctive and original opportunity for brand exposure by providing services in sponsorship, advertising and product placement.
Should your company re-invent itself using creative vehicles of communication? Consider breathing new life into your brand by surprising consumers with fresh messaging and alternative forms of advertising.