How Honda Gave An Indie Band Its Big Break

Have you heard of the indie band Monsters Calling Home? Well me neither, until now. The band of six come from a range of different backgrounds, doing their music independently to try and make a living. Whilst they are extremely talented, they struggled to get their music out there and make a dent in the industry. Without much money in the pockets they were left to film their musical offerings inside their Honda car as they continued on in their everyday jobs to try to make ends meet.

That was until Honda got involved.

As a thank-you for filming their music videos entirely inside their cars, the car giant booked them on to perform a secret gig at Jimmy Kimmel Live, so secret that even they didn’t know about it. The band were called into the Honda offices to perform for what they thought was an exclusive concert for their 600 employees. And although it somewhat broke my heart when one of the Honda guy tells them there will be no concert after all, but can they get up on stage and sing one song for the three or four people in the room, the look on their faces when they find out they will be performing on Jimmy Kimmel was worth it all! Good on Honda for getting such a great deal for these accomplished singers, and most of all for discovering new talent and putting them infront of everyone’s eyes (and ears).

Watch and weep.

 

I love the music. I love the concept. But most of all, I think I love Honda. #hondalovesyouback

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Another Beauty From John Lewis

John Lewis have done it again. In what appears to be a warm up act for their next big christmas ad, the never knowingly undersold brand has hit the nail on the head with their latest offering. In a beautiful collision of the old world and the new digital age, the ad sets out to prove that whilst so much has changed in the sense of fashion, tech and communication, what’s really important in life doesn’t change.

Again, a perfect choice of soundtrack, a cover of the INXS song, Never Tear Us Apart (re-recorded by Paloma Faith) helps to tell the story of two people from different world’s falling in love.

John Lewis have set themselves up as a brand that produces great advertising, and they haven’t failed to deliver this time round. Bravo.

The Fashion World Embraces Digital

Despite being almost 3,500 miles away, this week I have been enthralled by all the Instagram pics, Viddy videos (my new fav app), and backstage tweets capturing the buzz of New York Fashion Week, giving us non-fashionistas a real glimmer of what it might feel like to be in big apple right now. This year NYFW has really embraced the digital world from the likes of Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and even Oscar de la Renta.  The most exciting digital infused intiative was perhaps the Google’s Project Glass, which wowed the front row at Diane von Furstenberg’s spring 2013 show, showing that wearable tech can be high fashion. Models at the DVF Spring 2012 show at NYFW strutted down the catwalk sporting the glasses, and beaming back live images from the show to the brand’s Google+ page. The show ended with von Furstenberg walking down the runway wearing the glasses. Designer von Furstenberg wore the glasses to record preparations for the show through her own eyes, and a short film of this footage, DVF Through Glass, will be released on DVF’s Google+ page and Google’s YouTube channel. Smart.

So in what I am calling the most digitalised and social fashion week EVER, here are a selection of my favourite Instagram pics from NYFW:

And if you think that was exciting, London designers promise even more action at their shows, with a whopping 70% of the shows being live streamed.

With Anya Hindmarch and Osman showcasing their fashion diary and live pinning on Pinterest, and Matthew Williamson doing live Q&A’s, Topshop is marching ahead with their partnership with Facebook to make their fashion show experience more inclusive for its legions of fans. Facebook engineers have created a camera button as part of the catwalk livestream where users can click to capture their favourite looks to share online. And for the first time, website users will be able to customise clothes and accessories from the latest Topshop Unique collection as they appear on the catwalk. I am seriously excited by this and am majorly impressed with Topshop’s forward thinking digital attitude.

We all know Burberry have always been extremely keen when it comes to digital expriences, where in previous years they have tweeted pictures of their models before they entered the catwalk and even streamed their shows on their Facebook page and in store, but this year they promise to go one step further and host a virtual show of its spring/summer collection at its new Regent Street space.

Along with all of this, for the first time, shows and events in the Show Schedule booklet for LFW can be downloaded to a smartphone calendar via Aurasma, bringing print to digital life and providing an organisational tool for visitors. Using their mobile device, visitors simply need to download the free Aurasma Lite app and then hold it over the LFW image, at which point it will spring to life with exclusive video content. Really great to see the efforts the British Fashion Council have made not only to embrace social, but mobile as well, finally harnessing technology and creativity to promote British designers to global audiences!

I am so excited to see the fashion world embrace the digital space and cannot wait to see what happens next. In the meantime I have fashion shows to live stream..

Direct Line Goes Dubstep

As soon as I heard the first beat I immediately stopped tweeting and looked up at my TV to see which brand was using a Santigold song as their soundtrack (Disparate Youth, for those wondering). Now maybe it’s just because I’m a Santigold fan, but I love this latest ad from Direct Line. An unexpected move from a brand proving that they can remain current and still be heard in the over-cluttered world of insurance companies, and comparison websites. Choice of soundtrack aside (I think it’s clear I’m a fan), the execution of this ad is brilliant. The whole domino effect idea is so effective and really brings to life the brand message throughout the ad, along with illustrating the insurance company’s responsiveness when one of their customer’s needs help. I think it’s genius.

Katy Perry’s Facebook Music Video

Worst music video ever? Yes, Katy Perry likes Facebook so much, she made a music video about it. Katy Perry’s new video for her latest hit ‘Wide Awake’ is quite literally an ode to her Facebook timeline  to highlight what two years in the life of a successful singer looks like in flow chart form. Whilst Mark Zuckerberg will be pleased about her choice of style, her fans on the other hand are not. Surely the best thing about Katy Perry is seeing her in cool outfits and different coloured wigs? Who wants to watch readily avaliable Facebook footage. C’mon K-pez, give something back to the fans. [Disclaimer: I am not a Katy Perry fan, but you can’t deny how catchy all her songs are].

Valtari Hour

Something very special happened on Thursday night (17th May). Prior to their May 29 release, as a way to wet the world’s appetite for their sixth studio album, Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros hosted a rolling hourly event for fans across the globe to hear their new album. At indie record stores, on the band’s website and at dozens of participating radio stations, Sigur Ros fans were exposed to the beautiful sounds of Valtari, and encouraged to post to Twitter and Instagram about their listening experience.

Starting off in New Zealand, as they were the first to reach 7 pm, ‘Valtari hour’ (as it was dubbed) was a huge success. At a time where a bands precious music so often gets leaked online and downloaded illegally, Sigur Ros strived to reclaim the buzz for its release date, and create a real excitement around the album launch. In my opinion, it did just that.

In what seemed like a worldwide Mexican wave of airplay, Sigur Ros managed to capture the magic of new years eve, with thousands of fans across the world waiting for the clock to turn 7pm so they could hear the much anticipated play of their beautiful album tracks. Unaware of the excitement to come, I was listening to BBC Radio 1 as I usually do, and at exactly 7pm, Zane Lowe introduced Sigur Ros’ new sound to the UK. I was immediately transfixed on the beautiful sounds coming out of my car radio. And what was even more special, was knowing that I was participating in a worldwide event, just by listening. Hour by hour, each country across the globe got to collectively share in my experience as the Valtari love was passed on. What an ingenious 24 hour marketing campaign from their record company.

If you are lucky enough to be going to Bestival this September, then you will get to hear the band play their first UK show for over four years. But for those, like me, whom are not as fortunate, get ready to close your eyes and let those elegiac chords suspend your subconscious..

Digital Street Art

That my friends, was a Future Lions 2012 entry by the talented students, Iris Gavric & Daniel Otterbein, at the Academy of Visual Arts, Frankfurt. Proposed for Absolut Vodka, they’ve attempted to create movement called Absolut Inspire, an Augmented Reality Street Art App designed to create a new world without creative limitations.

As you can see, the campaign is a fusion of the Google Street View platform combined with an app that allows you to create your own digital street art anywhere in the world, all seen through the augmented reality viewer. I want this to be turned into a real campaign. Heck, I NEED this to be turned into something real! Not only is it such a great fit for the brand, but it really taps into the urban art scene fad at the moment. Whilst I am no artist (far from it), as a street art fanatic, I would love the opportunity to be able to try my hand at decorating the streets of London. This app totally makes it possible, without actually getting into trouble of course or further still, defacing public property with my awful artistry skills. So yeah, someone take note and make this happen! Great work.