Viral Marketing

From Milan to Tokyo by Subway

Imagine that you are a regular Italian commuter on Line 2 of the Milan Metro subway. The train pulls up to Moscova station and you get off as usual. But wait! This isn’t right! You must have dozed off. This doesn’t look like Moscova station; it doesn’t even look like Italy. Like Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” you’ve leaped time and space and have been beamed to Shibuya station in Tokyo.

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Typography

Mahatma Gandhi’s Words in His Own Type

Leo Burnett India ad agency commemorated the 141st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth (October 2, 2010) by creating an alphabetical font in the Devanagari script in the style of Gandhi’s trademark wireframe eyeglasses. The special typeface was the brainchild of Burnett’s national creative director KV “Pops” Sridhar, who wanted to inspire younger generations with the teachings of Gandhi. The glasses symbolize Gandhi’s vision and his visionary thoughts on truth and nonviolence. Sridhar explains, “The way he saw the world is completely different than the way we do – and hence the glasses, to subtly nudge people into thinking like him again.” Gandhi had originally given the glasses in the 1930s to an Indian army colonel who had asked the great leader for inspiration. Gandhi reportedly gave him his glasses and said, “These gave me the vision to free India.”

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Pop Culture

Twitter Gets Manga-ized

It was bound to happen. Publisher Shogakukan in Japan has just issued the second of two manga Twitter comic books, explaining the benefits of social media. Drawn by cartoonist Yoko Gendai, the first Twitter manga called “Mitaka no Chushin de Nau wo Tsubuyaku” – or “I Tweeted Now at Mitaka” – depicts in manga cartoons the artist’s experience in registering with Twitter and mastering Twitter protocol. The second manga Twitter book, released September 25, called “Koma de Tanoshimu Tonari no Twitter” – or “Twitter – Joy of Twitter in 4-Frame Cartoon” – is drawn by Ajiko Kojima and relates amusing incidents that Twitter users face regularly. These two manga Twitter books follow on the heels of a Twitter novel called “Twitter Shousetsu – 140 ji no Monogatan” – or “Twitter Novels – 140 Letters Stories,” published by Discover Twenty-One. It features very very short 140 letter stories by ten established Japanese authors. One reviewer pointed out, however, that Japanese characters can convey roughly double the information possible in equivalent 140 English letters, so maybe that isn’t as impressive as composing a Twitter novel in English. Then again, the Japanese invented the 17-syllable haiku and the 35-syllable tanka poetic forms, so literary brevity is an inherent part of the culture.

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Humor

Do You Tweet After Sex?

iPhone in Bed

Lately it seems that every webinar, workshop, conference and business publication includes advice on optimizing social media marketing, which is why we thought this study on Twitter and Facebook use would be of interest to our readers. Part of the Gadgetology Report produced by Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping site, the online independent survey sampled 771 respondents from across the United States (so we can’t tell you how the answers compare with people in other countries.) The Retrevo survey also reveals that men are more than twice as likely to use Facebook or Twitter after sex than women, and iPhone users are three times more likely than Blackberry owners (no surprise there). We don’t have any suggestions on how to calculate this into your social media marketing strategy, but some savvy marketers will understand the ramifications.

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Book Excerpt

Customer Wooing Styles

Editor’s note: People often ask the difference between how a public relation expert goes about wooing customers versus an ad agency, a designer, etc. In his top-selling book Zag: The No. 1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands, Marty Neumeier summarizes the differences in this tongue-in-cheek visualization. Neumeier is the author of several books on branding, lecturer and Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency, where he helps companies build their brands from the inside out. His book was published before social media caught on, so we don’t know how Twitter would fit into this comparison? Maybe a courtship between two emoticons.

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Design Quizzes

Quiz: Know Your Brand Alphabet

About 12 years ago, we presented a quiz titled “Alphabet Soup,” (Vol. 3, No. 2) to see if our readers could identify a company simply by the first logotype letter in its name. Since then, new companies, and whole new industries, have risen to the forefront. Some of the brands featured in that quiz don’t exist anymore. So, we have created a new alphabet quiz out of logotypes from some of today’s best-known companies. Keep in mind that the most recognizable letter is sometimes in the middle of the name. If you’re stumped, take a peek at the answers.

LogoAlphabets


LogoAlphAnswers
Download Quiz

Humor

Spell Checkmate

With text messaging, Twittering and typing with two thumbs on your cell phone, spelling is becoming an inexact and undervalued skill. The question is how far can this go before the human mind fails to comprehend? Too far, we’re afraid, as this fictitious Cambridge study proves.

spelling